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 3 of Katie’s “journey” and there’s an exciting new development in the house: the men have unionized.
The men seize the means of production
The reason our guys have seized the means of production is to oust one of their own, Karl. We rejoin the action mid-yelly fight from last week. For context, Karl tried to manipulate Katie by telling her some of the other contestants were here for the wrong reasons. Which men? Who can say, but they’re out there.
The rest of the fight is just a rehash of last episode and isn’t all that interesting, except for some astounding name-calling:
Aaron (our himbo king) told Karl “fuck you dog” to his face, but it was his confessional where he truly hit us with the wisdom. He said “if Karl goes home, I think that’s great. If I go home, I think that would be a huge mistake,” which hell yea man.
Tre called Karl a “worm.” Even the Canadian likened Karl to a snake.
The drama came to a head at the Rose Ceremony.
After three roses went to at least two underserving men, Mike was forced to do the Christian thing. Mike broke the format of the show and, after he accepted his rose, told Katie that the men, “as a unit,” thought Karl was lying and should get booted off.
Side note: Mike bookended that statement with some really paternalistic “we need to protect Katie” nonsense, but whatever. Once men realize they can do the right thing out of respect rather than their own egos, society will finally evolve.
Katie was rightfully astounded by such a display of collective bargaining and needed a break. Tayshia reassured her that this is her decision and everyone at home wondered for the umpteenth time why Kaitlyn was a host. The funniest thing in my mind, however, is that they definitely made those men stand next to each other the entire time Katie was in the other room and Karl must’ve been sweating bullets.
Then, Katie did the best thing possible: she came back, didn’t mention a word about what happened, and continued handing out roses.
A bad bitch move, if we’ve ever seen it on this program.
Katie finished the rose ceremony without saying Karl’s name and thus, his banishment was complete. In his last pathetic gesture, he stood around while the more popular men were hugging goodbye, as if to make a speech, only to chicken out and leave the set without a word.
Joining Karl on the walk of shame were Garret, John, and Kyle. Remember them? Of course, you don’t, they were flavorless extras. Thomas, for his part, was happy to see Karl go and remarked that “if you’re not here for the right reasons, get the hell out.”
A statement that will only get more ironic as the show goes on.
The Group Date
Now that we’re all done with the drama of who is and is not here for the right reasons, time for a normal group date. Wrong! We’re going have the most unethical scene I’ve ever seen on the show instead.
The unlucky men about to be exploited are:
- James the Box Man
Katie greets her guys with an uneasy “last night was…interesting” right before telling them she brought a friend to help them move past all the drama. You’d expect a licensed therapist or other mental healthcare professional, but no, it’s Nick Viall.
No one is really excited to see Nick except for Hunter, whose eyes positively light up with joy. He’s visibly attracted to the former Bachelor and raves about him in a voice over. Hunter will also be the first man Nick calls on to torture, so there might be more than meets the eye between those two. And you know what? I ship them.
But now for the unethical part.
Nick Viall tells the guys he’s there to “hold them accountable.” Whoever taught corporate white people the word “accountable” in their DEI training should be liable for crimes. Corporations can’t get enough of that word and to them it just means “to tell on oneself.”
In practice, this means that each of Katie’s contestants need to tell her a painful experience they’ve had in a past relationship. It’s a fabricated group-therapy session, but it completely goes against the principals of therapy.
Firstly, no one consented to publicly share their trauma. Secondly, no one in attendance is prepared to lead that kind of discussion, least of all Nick fucking Viall. And lastly, Katie is forced to look over all of it and give the validation that trauma dumping is the best way to display romantic value.
I hated this date and it cemented one of the more toxic parts of the franchise to me.
Some of the guys shared some really personal and touching stories too. Hunter told Katie about his former marriage and what a new relationship would mean to him. Aaron’s dad had a stroke that we completely skip over him elaborating on. And Connor B (Catman) told the group about his struggles with alcohol.
Technically, he told everyone how alcohol made him cheat on his girlfriend, but the real take away was that he had an alcohol dependency that caused him to verbally abuse her into leaving. There’s nothing wrong with struggling with addiction unless it went untreated and unresolved, in which case, there’s a lot more he should consider before getting in another relationship.
Then, we get to Thomas. Thomas is just a Dude. He’s not a grownup man nor is he an immature child. He just wants to get on the show, maybe build a platform and he might even really like Katie. But none of that matters now, because he told her in his group-share that he didn’t come for the right reasons, so everyone is pissed.
The last share was really hard. Katie told the group (and America) about the time she was sexually assaulted 10 years ago. She explained the mental anguish it put her through and the problems it caused in her relationships, especially sexual ones.
It sounds like it was a really formative experience for her and makes up a large part of her mentality today. I’m happy she gave voice to an experience many people go through, but do so silently, but I hate that it was in this format. She said she didn’t plan on sharing it at the start of the day and I don’t think she would have if the show didn’t set up this shameful date.
Anyways, fuck ABC and I can’t imagine what regular date Nick Viall was originally supposed to lead the men through.
The Night Portion
Once we were paroled from that therapeutic hell, we got a classic Bachelorette evening date. Katie wore an outfit, the men fought, someone made dramatic accusations. It felt like home.
Katie lied when she said “I forgot how well you guys clean up” because clearly no one read my guide on how to dress for these dates.
Catman started the night by once again, believing America needs to get a good look at his bare chest. He wore a deep V cut on the day portion of the date (even during therapy) and reaffirmed it on the second half. I love the confidence, but you have to expose some chest hair or a tattoo with the deep V, otherwise you just look like a confident twink.
I also believe that he gets worse at kissing every time he does it, because he looked like he was trying to kiss Katie’s nose by the end of that snog.
Thomas sat down after Connor and it finally clicked that he has the same facial structure as handsome Squidward. Katie hasn’t figured that out yet, so she was more interested in his dumbass share during group. She asked him what he meant when he said he’d be glad to talk about all his “red flags” and he responded with a nothing-answer.
Listen man, that’s the rule. You can’t say shit like that unless you have some examples lined up. Classic Dude™ move.
After Katie accused him (correctly) of dodging the question, Thomas assuaged her concerns with the line “I feel like the way we both feel could be developed into something.” A statement whose emptiness is rivaled only by its stupidity. It’s good enough for Katie, however, so she proceeds to make out with him.
Outside, Aaron explains to the rest of the men that he intuitively doesn’t like Thomas. I was skeptical of Aaron’s intuition on week one, but I know better now. Aaron is a Vibe Doctor, and he knows just what to do with a “cancer” (an actual word he will use to describe Thomas later).
Aaron’s anger definitely stems from Thomas interrupting his deep talk with our Katie. Aaron was talking about his dad, who died from a stroke, while Thomas lurks in the background. This is a normal Bachelorette tactic, but is distracts both Aaron and Katie. I truly believed Aaron when he said he lost his train of thought.
Thomas swoops in to steal Katie away and sends Aaron out to the bros, sealing his fate. Aaron is the captain of the house and when he’s mad because his time was interrupted, you know the house is going to hear about it.
Aaron feels capital D Disrespected by Thomas and alerts the offender to that fact by saying “you’re saying your time is more important than mine?” Thomas answers in the affirmative because he’s not a liar and all the men rush to their captain’s defense.
There will be a union meeting about this later. Aaron ends the date with a beautiful “Thomas showed he has zero respect for the other Boys” and the night is over.
Oh yea, Catman gets the date rose and no one seems to care.
Michael’s one on one
Remember Michael? He has a four-year-old son at home and didn’t get a single date last week. He doesn’t really matter in the grand scheme of things and this entire date only confirms that.
Katie shows that she is, once again, NOT like other girls and knows how to drive. That is until she flips her dune buggy on accident. She isn’t hurt and keeps her composure much better than I would have, but thank god there’s a touch of levity in this episode.
She drives her (upright) dune buggy and finally notices that Michael has a very ugly tattoo of three rings on his forearm. I have plenty of tattoos that don’t hold up from when I got them, but thankfully, none are in such a public part of my body.
They drive around for a bit and don’t speak. This looks like a genuinely fun activity, but not much of a date. Thankfully, they shoehorn in a picnic during golden hour. It’s also clear that Michael incorrectly styles his hair every morning because he’s never looked hotter this season than when he took his helmet off and gave his hair some bounce.
Straight men confuse me.
They talk on a very surface-level about Michael’s son and Katie says “one of the most amazing lessons about life is love.” In an episode of nothing-statements, this might have been my favorite. After brief makeout and an even briefer butt touch, the day portion of the date is over.
Their “romantic” dinner has the look and feel of a business meeting. Katie wore a whole ass blazer that would be welcome in any #girlboss’s office and Michael is so old he wore a cardigan. If they’re going for that “young professional having an inappropriate dinner with her older boss” feel, they nailed it.
The dinner conversation is light and quirky until all of a sudden, it’s not. Michael tells Katie about his wife who died two years ago after a rough fight with cancer. This was a heartfelt confession and really touching…or at least it would have been if the show didn’t drag everyone’s psyche through the fucking dirt for two hours.
Katie rewards his trauma with a validation-rose, as per the show’s agreement, and they head outside to stargaze. This would’ve been an awesome date with two people with chemistry, I just wish she brought someone else.
First Union Meeting
All the dues-paying members of the Bachelorette union gather in the living room to talk about new business. After the astounding success they saw with ousting Karl, they have a new target in sight: Thomas.
The group (or the Boys as Aaron would call them) has a hilariously caddy conversation about how fake they find Thomas and decide he needs straightening out. Their real beef with Thomas absolutely comes from the fact that Katie clearly wants to sleep with him, so I’m not too concerned with their accusations. Instead of trying to summarize their scheduled yelling with Thomas, I’ll simply recap it with real quotes:
Aaron: Thomas has real sociopathic tendencies. He’s a psychopath.
Hunter: There’s been flipping and flopping
Thomas (to the men): I would never do anything to hurt you
Hunter: Did you think about becoming the Bachelor, was that your prerogative?
Why that idiot didn’t just lie like everyone else is beyond me, but that’s the gist of their little tiff. I, for one, always support collective bargaining so I’m excited to see what the Bachelorette Contestant Union (BCU) does with their newfound power. But that is thankfully a wrap on this truly despicable episode.
The Rundown: the stats after week three
Who’s still there:
- Conor with one n
- Mike (god’s favorite)
- Andrew M. (who?)
- Christian (but not Mike)
- James the Box Man
- Garret the boring man
Unions formed: 1
Men targeted: 2
Producers who thought Nick Viall was the best person to handle a surprise therapy session: way too many