The Bachelorette Season 17, Episode 7 Recap: Cuddle Queens & Broken Dreams

Photo: Courtesy of ABC.
Katie is down to her final seven on The Bachelorette, but it feels like she’s down to her final five. That’s because we enter the episode with two guys — Mike P. and Brendan — who we’ve barely seen and who haven’t had one-on-one dates. The episode opens with all the men talking about how Mike and Brendan really need those dates, and Katie telling Tayshia and Kaitlyn that she isn’t sure whether to give the one-on-ones to men who haven’t had them or to guys she really wants to further develop her relationships with. That really says it all, doesn’t it? Katie doesn’t see strong relationships forming with Brendan and Mike. Still, it’s a surprise when the first one-on-one goes to Greg
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Their date involves doing things that remind Katie of Seattle, which is where she’s from. This includes playing football, shucking oysters, and — in a true low point of these pandemic Bachelor/ette seasons — Katie and Greg throwing a large fake fish at each other à la the fishmongers at Pike Place Market. But, while the activities are kind of a bummer, Greg and Katie really seem like a normal couple who have a lot of fun together.
At dinner, it only becomes more obvious that these two are really into each other. Katie says she’s scared Greg is going to leave, because she can tell the show is hard for him, and wants him to be confident. While he says confidence is something he’s always struggled with, he adds, “I’m really excited to show my family the girl I’m falling in love with.” Yep, he gets that hometown rose, and they go makeout in some fake rain, because... Seattle.
Meanwhile, we get a clip of Michael adorably video chatting his young son, James, while drinking a mimosa, because he’s the best. Michael knows it’s a sacrifice to be away from his kid, but says, “I can’t be anybody back home if I’m not happy” and Katie could make him happy. I’m already preparing myself for heartbreak for this guy.
The group date card reads the names of Justin, Andrew, Blake, Michael, and Brendan, the latter of whom immediately starts questioning why he’s even there if he isn’t getting a one-on-one before hometowns. Brendan heads to Katie’s room, where her reaction can be best described as “oh crap, he noticed.” He explains that while he does like her, he has concerns based on how things have gone so far. It sounds like he’s about to self-eliminate, but Katie cuts him off and gives him the boot herself. I’m not sure what Katie’s reasoning was for not letting him do the deed — maybe it wasn’t clear that was where he was heading? I just felt like the guy should’ve gotten to do it himself. He didn’t get any Moments of his own the whole season. 
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The next day, Andrew, Justin, Blake, and Michael have their date. After meeting an artist, Jacqueline Secor, and viewing her vagina-flower art (that isn’t all she does, by the way), the guys have to make their own art inspired by Katie. Michael sculpts a butt. Justin, after bragging that he’s the real painter there, presents some doodles that represent his and Katie’s love story. Andrew paints sushi, because they’re both foodies. Blake paints what I initially think is a plain black rectangle, but apparently is just so sexually explicit that the entire thing has been blocked out.
Photo: Courtesy of ABC.
That evening, Katie chats with all the guys. Blake is extremely confident. “I’m not in love right now, but the way that we’re going, it’s fucking inevitable,” he says. Justin shows Katie one of his more impressive paintings of butterflies and they reflect on how far they’ve come – including the fact that he was her first kiss, which is a nice reminder. 
In her convo with Michael, Katie says that if they’re meant to be together, then she’s confident that everything else will fall into place. She thinks all the time about what it would mean to become a stepmom and the life she pictures herself, Michael, and James having together is “such a dream.” While you can tell she means it, I don’t think she’s going to pick him.
Andrew talks to Katie about not knowing what to do about his football career, because he currently plays in Austria. As with Michael, Katie explains that if they’re together, they’re going to have to just go with the flow and figure it out, even if that means living in two places or putting off having kids. Again, Katie seems reasonable, but also again, I can’t see her picking Andrew in the end.
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Michael gets the group date rose. He’s going to hometowns. (Or, rather hometowns are coming to him because of the whole quarantine bubble thing.)
Mike’s one-on-one is next. He and Katie meet with a woman known as Cuddle Queen Jean, who teaches what I can best describe as therapeutic cuddling. (She was previously featured on Keeping Up with the Kardashians and was not happy about her portrayal, so hopefully this one goes over better!) The idea is that Katie and Mike need to find out if they have a physical connection. We get an awkward clip of Mike whispering to Katie about how much Katie reminds him of his mom, in great detail. The editors don’t help the guy out with making that seem less weird, either, by splicing in clips of him and Katie cuddling all over each other as he talks about his mother.
Unsurprisingly, Mike doesn’t make it to the second portion of the date. Through tears, Katie tells him that their relationship didn’t miraculously become as strong as the others because the cuddling wasn’t effective enough. 
When Mike departs, there is still 30 minutes left in the episode, and I can’t understand how it will take that long for Katie to send Justin packing. Something is clearly up.
At the ceremony, Michael and Greg have roses, and Katie gives roses to Blake and… Justin. Gasp! 
This means Andrew is sent home. Katie explains that she has stronger connections with the other guys. They both cry. “I’m so happy we met,” she says. “Me too,” he responds. Heartbreaking. As Andrew drives off and gets a classic back-of-the-car Bachelor audition, Katie tells a producer that this was the first decision she made where she wasn’t fully confident. 
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The next thing you know, it’s the following morning and Katie is sitting in her hotel room wondering if she made a mistake. And guess who shows up? Brendan. Just kidding. It’s Andrew, of course. He doesn’t want to leave on a “not smiling, happy note.” I can’t help but wonder if this is really taking place the following day. They seem too calm and refreshed for it to be right after their breakup.
Anyway, after Andrew and Katie have some “smiling, happy” closure, he leaves and hands Katie a note on his way out. She reads it and starts sobbing. “If you change your mind,” it says. “I’ll be waiting.” I, an emotional weakling, get chills. Katie runs out of her hotel room barefoot to find Andrew. She spots him and runs and jumps into his arms. “I just want to give you a hug,” she says.
“Whenever, if ever, you have me,” he tells her. What a line! Katie asks, “If there’s a way to stay a little longer, would you want to?” Whoa. "It’s tough, because it did happen,” he responds, which is reasonable, but wow, that would be wild if he rejoined the group. 
Katie walks Andrew out once again, and they’re both happy to share a final kiss. “I wanted to say yes,” Andrew says in an impromptu confessional. “She fucking sprinted down the stairs, dude, and I said no. But I want my future wife to choose me, and I wasn’t chosen.”
So, yeah, that was rough, but Andrew made the right decision — especially since Katie probably shouldn't have offered him the option, anyway. And, hey, he basically got an extended Bachelor audition. 
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Next week: Hometowns. Katie hasn’t told anyone she loves them, and everyone is worried that Katie hasn’t told them she loves them.
Frontrunner to win: Greg. He and Katie should have already run off together.
Frontrunner for Bachelor: After what we saw tonight, I've gotta say Andrew. 
Frontrunner for Paradise: Also, Andrew, because one way or another, we’ll be seeing this guy again.

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