We’re down to the final three on The Bachelorette. Or as I like to call it “The final two — oh, wait, yeah, Justin, too.” It’s time for hometowns — which all take place at the same New Mexico resort because of COVID — and since Michael self-eliminated last week, Katie is left with Blake, Greg, and Justin. Just to warn you: The episode starts out very typical and then we are forced to watch 45 minutes of one of the most brutal breakups and most real fights that this show has ever seen. It takes place over two days and in multiple locations. It is exhausting.
But, first, we start with Blake’s hometown, which is actually home-country themed, because he’s from Canada and apparently we Americans cannot handle more specificity than that. Katie and Blake have a maple syrup tasting, play darts, and ride a mechanical moose. Katie learns that Blake has used maple syrup in the bedroom. That seems just about right for him.
At one point, we find out that Greg caught “a glimpse” of their one-on-one, and it makes him feel physically sick. Hometowns being in actual hometowns would definitely have helped with this.
At night, Katie meets Blake’s mom, sister, and a man who we literally hear nothing from. Blake’s mom seems pretty into the whole thing, but is concerned that Katie and Blake haven’t said they love each other yet. Katie says she doesn’t want to say “I love you” to anyone until the end of her Journey (this just might be foreshadowing). Meanwhile, Blake’s sister tells him that he needs to hurry up and say it, because what if someone else already did?! She also calls him out for being really into Clare, then Tayshia, and now Katie in quick succession: “So, this is the one now?” Love a judgmental family member.
Blake’s mom then tells him in their solo conversation that he needs to “man the fuck up and tell her you love her.” She then almost immediately breaks down in tears because she’s so proud of him. I like this lady. She’s very chic, too. We need her thoughts on Katie’s millennial outfits. At the end of the night, Blake does not tell Katie he loves her, but instead says, “I feel so good about you.” Sure!
The next day, Justin is on the phone with his parents, talking about how they won’t be at hometowns. His mom doesn’t understand how he could be getting ready to propose to someone so fast, especially since they haven’t met each other's families. Justin’s like, 'Well, you’re not coming so that she can meet you, so what am I supposed to do?' We don’t hear why his parents aren’t going to be on the show, but he has two friends come in their place.
Justin takes Katie to “Baltimore”, which involves a carriage ride, a mini version of the “Welcome to Baltimore” sign, a graffiti wall, and crabs that are sitting on a platter on a tablecloth with candelabras. Where is the newspaper? Where is the dipping butter? The vibe is all wrong. My apologies to the people of Baltimore.
Katie is thrown off when Justin says his parents aren’t coming, and it makes her doubt whether he’s ready for a proposal. That’s exactly what a person who already knew she wasn’t going to pick him would say.
As on Blake’s date, Justin’s friends are concerned that he and Katie haven't said “I love you” yet. Neither Katie nor Justin seem that thrilled about each other in their conversations with the friends. At one point, one friend tells Justin, “If you’re telling me that this is it, this is it.” These friends are too chill. We need more judgment than that, my man. At the end of the date, Justin tells Katie, “I’m falling in love with you.” We’re zero out of two on the “I love yous” for Katie.
Greg’s date is last. We open with him saying in a confessional, “I wasn’t supposed to see, obviously, her date with Blake.” Weren’t you, though. Weren’t you? Ah, silly, naive Greg.
Greg takes Katie to “New Jersey” by having them ride a tandem bike, eat pork roll and Italian ice, and go fake surfing. They also play basketball, because that’s what he used to do with his dad before he died. On their first one-on-one, Katie took Greg fishing, which was an activity she did with her late father. Greg also brings back their rain machine from their Seattle date, because “it rains in Jersey, too.” Also, the rain pairs well with the swelling romantic music that The Bachelorette is using to mess with all our minds.
That evening, Katie meets Greg’s mom, brother, and one of his friends. They get to watch a video message from Greg’s sisters. Greg really gets the star treatment!
Greg tells his best friend that he is in love with Katie and is confident she feels the same way. “It’s going to be me and her,” he says. He even adds, “We’ve talked out all of the logistics. She's going to come to New York.” Well, that sounds pretty concrete.
Katie’s conversation with Greg’s mom is even more blunt. “I hate to use the word ‘frontrunner,’” Katie says. “But Greg is someone I have a strong connection with … I don’t care if I’m allowed to say this, Greg will be here next week.” With a show that is meticulously edited, you have to question why we’re getting to hear this much about how Katie feels for Greg. One of Katie's next lines is some foreshadowing: “If he wasn’t here, I don’t know how confident I would be in this whole thing.”
At the end of the visit, Katie and Greg talk about how everyone was so glad to see Greg so happy, because he hadn’t been for so long following his dad’s death. Greg breaks down crying, He talks about his dad, how he didn’t know what to expect from being on the show, and how he didn’t know he was going to fall in love with Katie. He tells her he is in love with her. Katie stares at Greg for a while, and when he says “What?” she says, “I just love looking at you.” It’s... not the answer he was looking for. “You know how I feel about you, right?” she says, but his entire mood has changed.
Greg tries to pull information out of Katie as to why she thinks he’s bummed. Basically, Greg poured his heart out and keeps getting Bachelor lingo back. That can’t feel good. At one point, they even talk in a dark room as if that will mask the audio on their mics. “I just don't understand how you don’t know at this point?” Greg asks. “Know what?” Katie responds. Come on, Katie. You know what he means. She’s in a tough spot, though. Her assignment is to film this reality show and fall in love with someone. Not just fall in love with someone and ditch the production. That seems to be what she’s implying, but Greg is living in the real world, not the show world at this point. Katie drives off without things being worked out.
The next day we see Blake and Greg talk about how Greg is freaking the eff out. In his confessional, Greg says, “It’s clear to me that she’s not feeling the same way.” Oh no! He heads to Katie’s hotel room. Oh no again!
Katie is immediately concerned. She tells him that he seems nervous and unhappy. He says, “You seem fine.” Oof. This is only a hint at how cutting this guy can be in an argument.
They get into it. Greg is upset that when he told Katie he loves her, she didn’t acknowledge it. He says he didn’t need her to say she loves him, but felt like he put everything out there and she said nothing and didn’t seem like herself. Katie explains that she felt like she needed to listen more than talk, because emotions were running so high. Greg brings up how Katie told his family he’s getting a rose and says, “Fuck the rose,” because this is more real than the show. The whole thing is stressful. They just can’t get on the same page, because it all has so much to do with their own emotions, how they express them, and, most importantly, how they express them under the limits of filming a reality TV show.
Greg says that there’s a “disconnect,” and that he has reached his “breaking point.” Katie can’t believe what’s happening, but Greg says he has to leave the show. Katie feels like he’s giving up because something went wrong for him once. This is all a lot to take in, but I think she has a point there. Getting into arguments based on feeling misunderstood happens in relationships, and it doesn’t mean you have to throw in the towel. Filming The Bachelorette adds an additional layer of difficulty to that problem, of course.
It goes on and on. Greg goes off about how Katie is still thinking in Bachelorette terms. “I’m so confused. I’m so fucking confused,” he says, frustrated. I want to shake him and be like, “She’s filming a show! Get it through your head!” At the same time, I think I would also be like Greg, pacing around frantically and panicking about how the person I love will not acknowledge the fact that they are on a TV show and run off with me.
Greg leaves the room, and Katie goes looking for him. The conversation still continues. “I am just as shocked. I want to leave,” Katie says. “I was very clear … that if you left, I was done.” Throughout everything she says, it’s still clear that Greg wants to leave. “Is there even a point for me to tell you anything? I'm telling you everything and you still don't even believe me.” He concludes, “I deserve more than what I’ve been given on your side. I'm not happy here anymore.” I understand where he is coming from, but that’s the entire concept of the show. You always deserve more than what you’re getting unless you “win,” because the person you want to be with is dating other people. Greg doesn’t give Katie any room at all to reason with him or walk anything back.
With Greg gone, we get the big Katie moment from the trailer. “I’m done. I’m done. I want to go home.” She goes back to her room, closes the bathroom door, and starts sobbing. Kaitlyn Bristowe comes in to talk to her. Katie says her confidence is destroyed and when Kaitlyn asks what she wants to do, Katie says, “I want someone to book my flight home.”
The preview for next week is incredibly vague. All we know is that Katie’s mom shows up and a giant wooden man is burned in a mass of flames (???). The kicker at the end of the episode is basically a memorial for Greg with some of his and Katie’s most romantic moments. I seriously have no idea what we’re supposed to gather from that, as it still seems possible he’ll be coming back. And if Greg is not coming back, we didn’t end on a good note with him, so why the cheesy montage? I’m so fucking confused, too, Gregory!
Frontrunner to win: No one. Absolutely no one.
Frontrunner for Bachelor: I’m tired. Does true love really exist? Should this show even continue? TBD.
Frontrunner for Paradise: Not Greg.