Spoilers are ahead. If you had hoped that the second episode of Katie Thurston's Bachelorette season would better clear up why contestants Aaron Clancy and Cody Menk have beef, you're probably pretty disappointed right about now. Their rivalry was finally explained after cropping up without explanation during the premiere — their "it’s not my fault I don’t like you" spat came out of nowhere during the first cocktail party, if you recall. But after Clancy sat down with the Bachelorette to explain just what it was about Menk that makes him feel like punching something, the history behind this bro tiff is as clear as mud.
In episode 2, Menk and Clancy were paired up for the mud-wrestling date (subtle, producers), and Thurston noticed that there was some real tension there. She asked Clancy about it and he admitted that he and Menk knew each other from both living in San Diego. "We're not really cool. We're not friends," Clancy said, characterizing Menk as "malicious." His explanation was simply that some of Menk's social media posts rubbed him the wrong way, and that he believed Menk was on the show for fame rather than finding love.
Thurston opted not to just let drama fester, and confronted Menk, who didn't attempt to offer any answers. Menk suggested that maybe Clancy was exaggerating, but exaggerating what, Thurston (and the rest of us) wanted to know. All Menk managed to say was, "I'm unsure what he's talking about." At least we can agree on that.
One thing was clear though: Menk didn't seem to be all that bothered by Clancy's claims. If Clancy was spinning yarns, wouldn't Menk have been pretty upset? His lack of pushback was enough to make Thurston nip the whole thing in the bud and send Menk home immediately. "Okay," he said, getting into the limo without tears, final questions, or an ounce of information about what the hell just happened.
This was honestly one of the most confusing fights we've ever seen on this show. It's not totally unusual for pre-show strife to make its way onto The Bachelor and its other franchise shows. On Colton Underwood's season, former pageant contestants Hannah Brown and Caelynn Miller-Keyes had some beef, but they explained where they knew each other from and why they felt the way they did. And on Bachelor in Paradise, when Blake Horstmann was part of drama at the Stagecoach festival, several other Stagecoach attendees and BiP contestants cleared the drama up on camera.
Viewers were extended no such courtesy with this fight. There is, of course, the possibility that Thurston did get the full story, but it was edited down. She seemed pretty convinced that Menk needed to go. In fact, she tweeted a very clear goodbye to the guy as the episode aired on the East Coast. "Please take Sandy with you ✌️" she wrote after Menk was eliminated, along with a gif of Jim Halpert and a blow-up doll — Menk's limo night claim to fame.
Refinery29's Natalie Morin and Ariana Romero did some digging and found that both men, in addition to living in San Diego, are very involved in the fitness world and may have come across each other in that space. And as for why they have beef, Morin and Romero found that there was an old photo on Instagram of Menk and a woman snuggling up together, but the two no longer follow one another. She does however follow Clancy. This is pure speculation, but based on Clancy calling out Menk's social media posts, perhaps this has something to do with it.
In her final conversation with Menk, Thurston focused on feeling like she couldn't trust Menk and being concerned that he wasn't there for the Right Reasons™. And that's apparently what we're going to get, officially, until the Men Tell All airs later this season.
Whatever the details are, we won't lose much sleep over Menk. The guy showed up on limo night with a sex doll (no thanks), was apparently unable to articulate even the smallest thought or feeling, and looked wholly uninterested in Thurston as she told him it was time to go. She said that ultimately she didn't think Menk was going to be her husband, and it's not hard to argue with that.
Clancy, on the other hand, is now branded a drama guy, no matter how legit his feelings for Thurston are. And for what? A feud that made no sense to the viewers at home? Let this be a lesson to all future tattle-tales: Use your words when explaining the drama dujour, if not for the lead's sake, for your own.