At the end of last week’s Bachelor episode, Matt James promised Katie — and all of us — that he would attend to the drama and bullying going on between the contestants. I, personally, took this to mean that he would kick off half of the women at once in an unprecedented, but much needed move. This did not happen. But, I am pleased to say, a couple key players were sent home.
The episode starts off as toxic as you’d expect considering last week. Victoria tells Kit, “We haven’t even started the hazing process” in reference to the four new contestants. When two of the new ladies walk past, she calls them “disgusting." Kit responds that she better not let them hear her talk like that.
After three dates last week, it’s now time for the rose ceremony. Going in, MJ and Anna are still being mean about the new women. Anna, lest you forgot, spread a rumor that new arrival Brittany is an escort in Chicago where they both live. There have been many villains in this show’s past, but everything happening this season is next level, primarily because of Victoria and Anna. It’s just exhausting to watch. Unfortunately, I don’t think this last hurrah is ushering a new, villain-less Bachelor world.
When Matt shows up to the cocktail party, he immediately addresses the “culture of bullying." He pulls Brittany aside, and Anna immediately knows it’s about her. She says in her confessional that she made a mistake, as if spreading a harmful rumor is like spilling a glass of wine. Katie doesn’t admit that she was the one who told Matt, but does say in her confessional, “I think the reason people are so upset is because they messed up and they know it.”
Brittany tells Matt about the rumor and breaks the fourth wall by saying that with this being on national TV, the rumor is now attached to her permanently. Matt looks like he’s tearing up, and tells her to please bring up any other issues to him, because he can “see a future with her.”
Meanwhile, MJ tells Anna to talk to Matt now and fix things, because there’s “not a toxic environment in the house.” Well, that’s not true.
Anna explains to Matt how she heard the rumor from someone back home and that she spread it, but immediately regretted it. At this point, she should have removed herself from the show. Instead, Matt says that while she’s “not a horrible person,” she still has to face the consequences and be sent home. Very fair, Matt.
Inside, Chelsea says that she didn’t feel the house was “toxic," but asks the new women how they feel. And, yeah, they think the house is toxic. Quickly, an apology tour kicks off, with Victoria in particular making the rounds. She even apologizes to Catalina for snatching her Miss Puerto Rico crown off her head. In her confessional, Catalina is like, are you kidding me with this timing?
Ryan tells Matt that Victoria called her a “ho” to her face simply because she is a dancer. Ryan breaks down crying, and says that Victoria gave her a fake apology. When Ryan returns to the party, Victoria asks what she and Matt talked about — damage control much? — and Ryan confidently admits that she talked about her.
In her own conversation with Matt, Victoria says, “There’s definitely things I can work on,” which should be enough to send her packing on its own. The guy has 20 other women to choose from and has known her for a couple weeks. She can't just overcome those odds after terrorizing the other contestants. Confronted about the “ho” comment, Victoria says it was taken out of context, and he asks what context it would be okay in. Matt walks away; Victoria goes crying to the producers while continuing to insult the other women.
At the rose ceremony, Michelle, Bri, and Pieper already have roses. By the way, we never got to see the end of the group date from the previous episode. Apparently, Pieper got that rose, but what the heck is going on with the editing? Matt gives roses to Brittany, Ryan, Rachael, Serena P., Magi, Kit, MJ, Jessenia, Katie, Abigail, Chelsea, and Serena C. Obviously, this means Victoria is sent home at last, along with Catalina, Mari, and Lauren. Victoria does not give Matt a hug goodbye and tells him she feels sorry for him that he would listen to hearsay.
And it’s over! We get to move on! An hour into the episode we are finally done with the rose ceremony.
The next day, it’s time for a one-on-one date, which goes to Rachael. She gets one of those extravagant shopping dates. In case you’re wondering, Nemacolin Resort really does have stores.
At night, with Rachael in her new gown and Louboutins, she tells Matt, “I already am completely falling in love with you.” He says he feels the same way. I realize this is a short recap for a date, but honestly not much happens except them saying they’re falling in love. She gets the rose. They ride off in a carriage.
The group date is next. It’s a visit to a farm where they have to shovel and wheelbarrow and milk goats as some sort of strenuous analogy for the work that goes into a relationship. What’s actually hard is the women catching Matt making out with Pieper when they sneak away.
At night, Matt pulls Chelsea aside first, and she’s again wearing her amazing white furry coat. This is important. And, yeah, he really likes her. That’s important, too.
Abigail talks to Matt next. She’s losing confidence in their connection, after hitting it off so well early on and getting the first impression rose. She also talks to him about her fear of disappointing him, because, while they both want kids, she says there is a good chance that her children will be hearing impaired like she is. She says her birth father walked out on her and her sister after they both got cochlear implants for their hearing, so it’s understandable that this is a concern of hers. Matt reassures her that he’s interested in her. It’s clear these two are really into each other. Maybe just not quite as much as Matt and Rachael.
Michelle opens up to Matt about how hard the group date is to handle. She is one of the new women who showed up, and she immediately got a one-on-one, so this is her first group date rodeo. He makes clear to her and all of us that she is a front-runner.
Lastly, we see Matt’s conversation with MJ. He says her name came up when he was talking to other women about the drama in the house. It’s unclear why he didn’t have this conversation at the prior rose ceremony, but maybe he was too busy with Anna and Victoria.
MJ immediately confronts the other women about her “character being put into question.” Jessenia admits she told Matt about people in the house saying “varsity and JV” and that MJ started that phrase. We've seen her say it in her confessional. MJ gets mad at Jessenia, but Jessenia stands by what she said and Katie backs her up.
Matt returns and gives the group date rose to good old drama-free Abigail.
Moving on, Kit gets a one-on-one where she gets to bake cookies at Matt’s “house,” which is just a huge rental property at the Nemacolin Resort. She talks about how growing up as designer Cynthia Rowley’s daughter — around “gold Bentleys” and red carpets — meant she put up walls to protect herself from the public eye. (I question whether you yourself are really in the public eye that much as a designer’s child, but what do I know.) Matt appreciates Kit being vulnerable and likes their normal, hanging out at home date. She gets the rose. This is a very short date for some reason. Kit doesn’t even get the usual day and night portions.
The next day, the women are hanging out on the morning of the rose ceremony, and there’s a knock at the door. No, don't worry, it's not Victoria. It’s a date card for MJ and Jessenia. Matt wants to meet up with them both before the cocktail party. It’s that quasi-two-on-one thing the show has been doing in recent seasons.
The episode ends with Jessenia and MJ arguing as they wait for Matt to arrive. It’s mostly MJ saying she “preaches harmony” and Jessenia calling her a liar for not admitting her role in the “varsity versus JV” thing. Jessenia says Matt and everyone find out the truth “when this all airs.” We end with that fourth wall a little bit more exposed.
Next week: Serena C. calling Katie “the freakin’ arsonist” for starting fires of drama. An appearance from Tyler Cameron. The return of Heather “Never Been Kissed” Martin from Colton Underwood’s season.
Winner of the episode: Abigail. She embodied the breath of fresh air we all needed after the first half of the episode.
Loser of the episode: Victoria. No further elaboration required.