Bachelorette Men Tell All recap: the bottle episode

Welcome back to Mouthful of teeth’s weekly Bachelorette recap where I’ll break down all the heartbreak, bad feminism, and television gimmicks on Katie Thurston’s search for love.

This is week 8 of Katie’s “journey” and saw the resurgence of a franchise staple: the Men Tell All. Yes, it’s time to watch the boys be caddy about all the contrived drama we had this season.

But before we get to that, we need to watch…

Michael get negged by his son

I’m glad they let Michael FaceTime is son James every day, it seems like keeping him from that would be one of the Guantanamo Bay-esque mind games ABC loves to play. At this point, James’ dad has been away roughly 5 weeks in real time.

Michael is raising a child savant in manipulation

That’s not an insignificant amount of time, and it’s clearly affecting Michael in a big way. Then, James drops the bomb “maybe daddy doesn’t want to see me(sic).”

Side note: his son says he can’t wait to go to Disney World with his dad, which is fishy to me. Not because it isn’t true, it’s very likely Michael bribed him with a trip there. Fishy because ABC and Disney love a cross-branding opportunity and they might’ve paid that kid to say it.

The emotional blow sends Michael into tears immediately after the call and he hugs the producer who was clearly just trying direct him out of the room. Good on that woman to hug him back though.

I believe that kids say mean shit like this all the time flippantly, however. Like, cool for James to act like Greg long enough to make his dad feel bad, but it seemed kind of toxic to me.

Bachelorette teased this weeks ago, so it’s less than surprising that we immediately head to breakup city.

A game of respect

Katie’s a smart woman and has had ample experience in the last few weeks with the beginnings of a dumping and catches on immediately.

Then, we see an excellently written breakup strategy complimented by someone who wants to help the strategy along. It was like watching two old people playing chess in the park, quickly following each other’s moves because they’re so familiar with the game.

Michael tells Katie he “can’t focus on anything else” and “it’s wrong to give her half of what he could be.” This is probably a reference to Katie’s favorite argument:

“I don’t want to make you go through this game show any longer when I know we’re not going to get there now.”

Starting with that is akin to setting up a Sicilian defense in Queen’s Gambit.

“Jack Sparrow said this will always point to the thing you want most in life”

From there, Michael uses some original metaphors and even a physical prop. The prop in question was the pocket watch (that he calls a stopwatch) he gave her as his opening bit. This would be like Katie giving Matt James her dildo during their breakup.

Katie responds with the vague line, “I saw us going to the end,” leaving off “before dumping you for Greg…”

They kiss each other for a job well done, and we can finally move on to the real action of the night.

The Men Tell All: the clip episode

I wish the crowd booed them

Remember that episode of Fresh Prince of Bel Air where everyone sat in the living room and remembered earlier shows? It was very boring and only seemed to fill time until the next week.

Well, that’s remarkably similar to what this Men Tell All was like. Sure, these episodes usually bring old beef from the season, but it usually serves to create or further new beef. Just saying the same (boring) stuff from the season wasn’t very riveting.

The men invited to tell all were:

  • Cody
  • Karl
  • Kyle (who literally did not get one word in the entire night)
  • James the Box Man
  • Brendan
  • Aaron
  • Catman
  • Hunter
  • Andrew S.
  • Michael
  • Tre
  • Quartney

Pretty in (red-tinged) Pink

Before we see how bad the men look, we’re blessed with a surprisingly well-coordinated outfit choices from both Mentors™.

“Yes boys, this is what it looks like to get dressed up for TV”

Tayshia shared my love of Katie’s double leather dress season and decided to bring one of her own. She opted for a tight, leather minidress with one strap around the shoulder. The color was thankfully closer to crimson than to a car’s interior, but it did look warm.

Tayshia also changed her hair to some amazing new box braids. The braids had strands of blondes that, matched with her New Mexican earrings, made for a bright compliment to that otherwise matte look.

Katie even dressed well; it was truly a night of wonders. Her look was also inspired by Katie (her sexy Hillary Clinton look) by incorporating massive shoulder pads. The shimmering choral business-cut flowed quickly into a minidress and the flawless callback to Katie’s one-on-one with Justin is complete.

Weeks to work on their TV appearance wasted

The men, on the other hand, drew inspiration from their own parts of the season by mostly looking like shit.

Despite my repeat pleadings to do so, 8 of the 12 men could not find ties in time for the event. James the Box Man even forgot to bring the jacket to his 3-piece suit.

Tre, once again, thought he could pull off a smoking jacket, incorrectly. Brendan wore the only suit he owns. Aaron, the dummy that he is, wore another T shirt under a burgundy suitcoat because he things a spot of color forgives fashion sins (it does).

I’d like to give my heartfelt thanks to Quartney and Michael that once again, showed that they’ll always put on a tie, even when the chips are down. Quartney and Daddy Mike are also the only well-dressed men there, so it makes sense that they sat next to each other.

Still, thanks for wearing a tie king

Michael unfortunately, didn’t stay in my good graces long because of his poor hair choices.

Vox pointed out in their article, Why famous dudes grow beards to deal with existential crises, that Michael is clearly going through it. He’s been blessed with thick hair in his old age (36), but needs to manage better it because he looks like he forgot to get his hair cut before filming. His Matt James beard was also a bold, but ill-advised, choice.

The producers even had the gall to make Tayshia say those men looked dapper.

Second verse, same as the first

Tayshia and Kaitlyn put on their best Chris Harrison impressions for the first hour of the program by enticing the men to fight with each other. This is pretty standard fare for the Men Tell All and it started with Aaron with Cody.

Or at least it was supposed to until Karl jumped in.

Aaron and Cody know each other from San Diego and Cody was the first person convicted of the Supreme Crime this season: being there for the wrong reasons. The pair’s rematch was off to a good start where, all of a sudden, Karl jumped in to defend someone who didn’t ask for his help.

“BRO, are we about to kiss right now?”

Karl made the excellent point that these men seem to choose to oust a new guy every week and once they pick you, it’s like a witch hunt.

Trump dog whistle aside, he’s absolutely right. I’ve derided the Dudes’ Union since their unfair treatment of my man Thomas, but it’s really terrible when I’m on the same side as Karl.

I’m not going to claim him as a partner in arms just yet, however, because he then say’s “fake news” a couple of times and states that Brendan was only on the show for a ticket into the country and free beer.

  1. Why would a Canadian come to this country when there’s a very real chance he’ll require healthcare
  2. Free beer is a good excuse to go to your cousin’s wedding, not be on an ABC show

The trend of bad people making good points didn’t end there. Hunter, clad in his 1st day of middle school haircut, argued on behalf of our unfairly persecuted Thomas.

Did all the barbers in LA go on strike this week?

Much like yours truly, Hunter reasoned that Thomas didn’t come in with bad intentions, but simply said some stupid things and got caught up in them. James the Box Man responded to this claim with a totally original and equally clever roast on Hunter’s height.

These men are obsessed with putting down anyone they don’t like and the groupthink in the group is so toxic. That being said, please stop making me agree with the villains of the season.

Catman in the hotseat

Was there a huge clamor to hear from Connor?

The mentors lied that he “stole our hearts” at the beginning of the interview and wanted to paint him in the most sympathetic light possible. In my mind, Catman was always just a d-bag with too many songs and not enough buttons on his shirts.

So, you do see it? Right Catman?

But, apparently, he’s beloved enough to warrant a montage that only made us remember how cute Katie was in cat ears and how bad a kisser Connor really was. After Katie dumped him, Connor allegedly asked an ex-girlfriend if he was a bad kisser and she said it wasn’t about the kiss, it’s about the connection.

Reading between the lines was never Catman’s expertise.

Then, for the wildest part of the episode. A “random” woman stood up in the middle of the crowd to shout at Connor that she doesn’t believe he’s a bad kisser and will walk down to the stage and be on television just to prove it.

Thank god the producers give every guest a microphone, otherwise her crystal-clear audio would be an embarrassingly obvious staged encounter.

Her real name is Tara Kelly, a musician from California, that just so happened to interact with Connor several times on Instagram before the show. She also dropped brand-new music the day after the Men Tell All, which isn’t suspicious in the slightest.

Their in-studio kiss was allegedly so good they couldn’t show more than half a second of it before cutting away. But, she rated it an “11 out of 10,” so who am I to judge what a woman might do to promote an album.

“11 out of 10”

(For the record, I’ll kiss each and every one of you to promote my blog, just ask)

Andrew’s Bachelor Audition

Despite leaving his tie in the car, Andrew looked really hot this episode. I loved the blue-latticed suit coat and the shorter haircut made him appear older than he was the rest of the season.

That, paired with some extremely sympathetic Bachelorette storytelling, let us know he’s on the shortlist for Bachelor nominees.

I wouldn’t be mad if he was ultimately chosen, because he’s one of the few men this season to show some growth and he doesn’t come with such a heavy backstory as Michael. After Katie smashed his heart, Andrew seemed to grow up overnight and looks like one of the few members of the cast ready for an adult girlfriend so why not let him steer the ship?

We let Peter the Pilot and human cardboard Matt James have a swing at it, so it’s not like the bar is too high.

“Now that Austrian football season is over, I really would like a check from ABC”

He’s already well-equipped with lying about love and displayed that prowess early in the interview by saying he and Katie “never had a bad moment.” We saw his one-on-one that didn’t even have a real night portion and Katie barely spoke to him until week 3, so this was bold to say the least.

Tayshia asked Andrew how he felt about interracial dating again, which I can only imagine a white producer wrote.

Tayshia talked at length on her date with Ivan about the Black Lives Matter protests, a season ago and Andrew already touched on the above subject once this season so I’m not sure what this was meant to accomplish. I’d really love to hear these two talk about dating as Black people on this (pretty racist) show, but this conversation didn’t have the substance I think either of them wanted.

Andrew ended his Bachelor audition by proclaiming he’s a “hopeless romantic” and the interview came to a merciful close. Chef’s kiss* no notes, Andrew.

Daddy Mike’s Turn

Michael jumped onto the hotseat with his terrible haircut for everyone in the crowd and on the internet to gush over him.

I call this look the “Phony Stark”

We’ve had dads on the show before. We’ve had widowers on the show before. I’m just unsure why this one has everyone losing their minds. He’s not very cute and I don’t think he’d ever consider becoming the next Bachelor, which requires even more time away from his son.

The real highlight of his interview was the interviewer herself.

Kaitlyn took the lead for this talk and she started by wiping away a nonexistent tear after Michael’s montage. It was a bit of stage work that would make any former theatre kid blush, but bless her for doing it all the same.

She also brought the hard-hitting questions though, don’t worry. First of which was “I can’t imagine how hard it is to leave someone you’re falling for…how hard was that?”

The rest of the conversation went as you might expect. She asked about his late wife, he talked about his new quest for love, and everyone went home happy.

A standing O from the Union

So happy, in fact, that the crowd erupted into a standing ovation. Standing ovations should be saved for remarkable valedictorian speeches and musicals where the whole cast flips the bird to Mike Pence, not this B- interview.

How not to propose

We were definitely missing more Kaitlyn backstory this season, because, for seemingly no other reason, her fiancé shows up to join her on the hotseat. Her beautiful himbo, Jason, isn’t just there to give me a third attractive man to look at though, he’s there to explain why he gave such a shitty proposal.

The pair host a podcast together, which is off-putting, but some harmless white people nonsense all the same.

Well, Jason thought it would be super romantic to pop the question during a fake interview he lined up for just that purpose. So, without ensuring that Kaitlyn’s nails were done, or her outfit was something she’d like recorded for eternity, he dropped to one knee.

“Before you hear her answer make sure to subscribe to our Patreon for as little as $1 an episode”

If someone proposed to me on a podcast before I had a chance to compose myself, I’d simply say no.

But Kaitlyn is much nicer than I am, so she squeals in delight and yells “holy shit!” when she sees the ring before graciously accepting his offer. Despite my reservations about the setup, watching them be happily dumb together was very sweet and endearing.

I DO believe in fairies

Finally, the Men Tell All is close to the finish line.

Katie, the fashion inspiration of our dear hosts, dressed to impress once again by strutting onto stage in a short, Tinkerbelle dress and throwing-knife earrings. I’ve been a big fan of Katie’s wardrobe this season and, after watching these terrible men for an hour, her dress was a welcome reprieve.

Her interview didn’t cover anything meaningful except confirm that her and her shitty softboi fiancé, Greg, are still together. She even turned down Michael live on air because she “doesn’t dwell on the past,” which we’ve seen her do all the time.

The most fun part of her visit to the stage was a Zoom call with *gasp* Thomas.

Our boys spent the whole episode (and the whole season, for that matter) ripping on Thomas and it was nice to see his face. Even if that Perfect Squidward jaw was marred by a supervillain goatee.

He jumped on the call just to ask Katie why she didn’t like him, and she gave the most self-unaware response imaginable. Katie argued that, as she was pouring her heart out to him and crying, he sat there smiling and talking about himself, which she couldn’t deal with.

“You have 1 hour to wire me…1 meelion dollars or I’ll become the next Bachelor”

Katie’s ultimate choice, Greg, could not be more unempathetic if he tried. He started their last one-on-one by not listening to Katie’s woes, so I’m not sure why Thomas couldn’t get away with doing the same thing. At least Thomas has the good sense to be hot.

Thankfully, ABC blessed us with some bloopers, and we were paroled from the episode.

I’m looking forward to the final two weeks of Katie’s journey to see just how she picks Greg from the pile of scraps she’s left for herself.

The Rundown: stats after week 8

Trump dogwhistles: 5

Right/Wrong Reasons count: 4

Good outfits by any gender: 6(ish)

Weeks left: 2

The entire season in one picture

1 thought on “Bachelorette Men Tell All recap: the bottle episode”

  1. Loved reading your viewpoints and happy to see we rolled our eyes at similar moments in this episode. However, I do have to disagree with you on 2 issues: I love Connor and def don’t think he’s a douche (but unfortunately does seem to still be an appalling kisser) and Katie’s outfits this season have been GARBAGE. Her dress that night was a cute silhouette but the color was something I would’ve chosen back when I was in 7th grade. I was obsessed with Tayshia and Megan Fox Kardashian’s dresses though. Can’t wait to hear your thoughts on the final 2 episodes.

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