The Bachelorette Season 17, Episode 4 Recap: It’s Midnight, Bro

Photo: Courtesy of ABC.
This week on The Bachelorette we get threatening carbs, a not-so-surprising new contestant, a very surprising time stamp, and even more villain slashing from Katie. The times are changing — at least in one way. During Katie’s reign we don’t have to keep annoying dudes around for weeks on end. Here’s how it all went down.
The episode begins with everyone talking about how Thomas is awful and is using Katie as his “ticket” to become the Bachelor. While I also get bad vibes from Thomas, I don't think these guys realize that this being Thomas’ storyline already means that he won’t be the Bachelor. 
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With Thomas’ fate still hanging in the balance, it’s time for the second group date of the “week." The guys have to visit different stations and complete dares. Mike has to eat 5,400 calories worth of Twinkies — they literally try to scare these gym-loving men with carbs. Andrew S. and Greg have to whisper sweet nothings into a giant ear attached to a speaker Katie, Tayshia, and Kaitlyn can hear. Andrew puts on his English accent; Greg lists out the 50 states in a faux sexy voice. Tre gets his butt waxed — not much more to say about that other than that the waxing station brought out a lot of screams. 
They also all have to eat two habanero peppers and propose to Katie while sobbing spicy tears. When Greg proposes, Katie says in her confessional, “Technically, it was the first time Greg told me he loved me. It counts. I’m telling myself it counts.” I’ve said it once, I’ll say it again: Greg is a major frontrunner. 
Photo: Courtesy of ABC.
That evening, Katie’s first chat is with Andrew S., who pretends he brought her his own dare, but it’s actually Taco Bell, a bunch of candy, and Lunchables. (For some, Taco Bell is a dare, but Katie loves it.) He also turns the conversation serious, telling her how much he likes her, and she responds that things are easy with him. Her deepest conversation is, of course, with Greg. He says it’s hard to be around so many other guys who are dating her, and she basically says that if they make it to the end together, then that says a lot about the strength of their relationship. Either the producers are tricking the hell out of us or he’s just going to win. 
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While Katie is off having chats, the remaining guys discuss whether she should be warned about Thomas. Tre wants to tell her, because he thinks it would be wrong to withhold information. Andrew S is confident in his own connection with Katie and thinks she can figure out Thomas for herself. Various other guys take sides. They sound like a bunch of people talking about how the actual show works, which is funny. It’s also nice to see these guys have a mildly annoyed discussion rather than actually jumping down each others’ throats. 
Tre decides to go forward in warning Katie about Thomas, telling her that he’s manipulative and wanted to be the Bachelor. Katie is receptive, but upset because she interprets this to mean that Thomas didn’t join the show actually open to finding love. No, he does want to find love, Katie. He just wants to choose from 30 women cast for him.
While Katie cries to a producer, because she really was interested in Thomas, my guess is that it’s not that devastating, because she has other guys she’s more into. Katie ends up giving Tre the group date rose, which shocks Andrew S., but he’s still convinced that Tre’s conversation will lead to a ripple effect of more drama. He tells Tre, “You kill a whole vibe. Buzz Killington.” Andrew S. for Bachelor? 
The next day, Tayshia shows up at Katie’s room with a surprise. A guy from her past has arrived because “he really felt passionately you guys would be an amazing match.” Tayshia says she won’t tell Katie who it is right away, so she doesn’t “cloud her judgement." That makes literally no sense, it’s only so there can be a big reveal. But, as we know from the many previews, it’s Blake Moynes from the Tayshia and Clare Crawley’s season. (Also, he was, apparently, already there, though it’s unclear for how long exactly.) 
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Katie meets Blake and doesn’t seem that surprised. Turns out, they had DMed before, because he reached out to “commend me for my bold personality.” She seems very intrigued by him in a way that says, “Well, damn, if you just asked me out IRL, I wouldn’t have to be on this show.” She’s conflicted about keeping him around, because she already has strong connections with some of the other guys. Blake is confident that if he stays, they’ll be engaged at the end. Blake’s got some boldness of his own. As for me, I’m not conflicted. I think he needs to get the heck out. He is the true Buzz Killington. 
Prior to the cocktail party, Katie discusses everything with Tayshia and Kaitlyn. She says she saw Thomas being at hometowns, which is telling because she didn’t see him, say, in the final two. Kaitlyn notes that “There’s one way to not be the Bachelor and that’s to tell everybody you want to be the Bachelor.” Thank you, Kaitlyn, for pointing out that this is a TV show everyone will see. 
Predictably, Thomas visits Katie in her hotel room before the party even kicks off. His opening speech places him as the victim — he hasn’t gotten to hang out with the other guys, they’re all questioning his character. He then admits the Bachelor thing, but says that, duh, of course the idea would cross his mind. He even says he would “sign something right now” to not be the Bachelor. Dude, how do you think that is even necessary at this point?
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Back with the suitors, Connor the cat explains that he didn’t know how to feel about Thomas but realized that his “confusion” about Thomas meant something in itself, because you shouldn’t feel that confused about someone right off the bat. That’s spot on. Connor, head to Katie’s hotel room! Make haste!
Katie decides to wait for the rose ceremony to make a decision about Thomas. When he returns to the group we get the biggest reveal of the night. Thomas says he didn’t want to take up time at the rose ceremony, and Christian responds, “It’s midnight, brother.” Excuse me? They had to sit in a room until midnight because of this convo? With no TV? No cell phones? The horror. They should at least show them old Bachelorette seasons.
Andrew S. has a major “I told you so” moment about his whole ripple effect of drama theory. This upsets some of the guys, who question whether he would feel better if Katie wasn’t told about Thomas. Andrew S. points out that, yes, that would be better because Thomas is still there anyway.
At this point, I’m desperate for a rose ceremony, but Katie shows up and marches on with the cocktail party. A bunch of the guys talk to her about Thomas, and I’m like, bros, you need to stop while you’re ahead. You got Cody out. You got Karl out. At this point stop talking about Thomas and focus on yourselves.
Then, the most welcome breath of fresh air: Michael pipes up. Michael, I forgot about you! How could I? He says that putting additional stress on Katie isn’t fair and has a chat with her about their relationship. “Michael has this kind of energy that uplifts you,” Katie says. I agree.
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Finally, it’s time for the rose ceremony. Before Katie can get going, Thomas apologizes to her for ever having been there for the wrong reasons, and to the guys for, among other things, “any time I diminished the value you have as men.” Did he even do that? What does that mean? 
Michael, Tre, and Connor the cat already have roses. They’re joined by Hunter, Greg, Justin, Brendan, Andrew S., Aaron, Mike P., James, Josh, Quartney, and Andrew M. Katie calls Thomas’ name last to the shock of everyone, but she’s not giving him the rose she’s holding. 
After pulling something akin to Clare's classic step-away-from-me move, Katie says, “You told me things I wanted to hear, but what I learned is that you're selfish, unkind, and a liar. Your Bachelor audition ends tonight, so get out.” Everyone is thrilled. Connor the cat and Michael look like they are even more in love with her.
In addition to Thomas, Christian, Conor C, and David are sent home. With the rose she didn’t give to Thomas still on the table (literally?), Katie heads to Blake’s hotel room, and… he’s only in underwear and can’t open the door. “I was not expecting you at all, for real,” he says. I buy it. After all, it is probably about 3 a.m. She invites him to join the show, but doesn’t give him the leftover rose, even though that would’ve tied things up in a nice bow. 
Whew, we have a season, people! Next week: Contestants are concerned that Blake is around. What else is new? 
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Frontrunner to win: Katie was very moved by Michael this week, I’ll give it to him.
Frontrunners for final four: Michael, Greg, Connor the cat, and… Blake? Sure. He’s very confident and Katie clearly likes him. 
Frontrunner for Bachelor: If he doesn’t win, Michael seems like he’d be great. Yep, Michael gets a hat trick of my superlatives this week.
Frontrunner for Paradise: Thomas. He was a villain, but didn’t do anything so offensive that he couldn’t make his way to the beach to stir up more drama.

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