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 7 of Katie’s “journey” and she has some very important cuts to make before hometowns. Will she use this important week to make the final cuts meaningful and appear as if she hasn’t already chosen her man? No, but the show must go on, so let’s jump right into…
After starting the episode with our final 7 guys explaining how important it is to get a one-on-one, the date card comes in. Does it go to either of the two gentlemen who haven’t had a one-on-one yet? Of course, it doesn’t, it goes to Softboi Greg.
Watching the hope and enthusiasm exit the room like air from a spaceship airlock was truly hilarious. I applaud the evil Bachelorette producers and wish them all the best.
Before the date even starts, Greg tells the camera “I’m so happy, I’m so ecstatic right now” with the dead eyes of the Annabelle doll. I know it’s abundantly clear, but the lack of charisma and charm from this man is painful to watch.
The nicest thing I’ll say about him this date is that I’d like to steal his olive-green shirt because of its large pockets. That’s the end of the nice things because the first thing Katie tells him is how happy she is to be on this date because last week was really hard for her.
Instead of offering any kind of reassurance or sympathy, he tells her that last week was also really tough for HIM. Don’t worry, this theme will come up again shortly.
As we saw last week, ABC is completely out of date ideas, so the theme of this date is: Seattle. Just Seattle. No special activity planned, just a bastardization of tourist sites in Katie’s home city.
The pair start with a faux-fish tossing game where Greg can’t catch, throw, or even look like he’s having fun. After Greg literally destroys the lights on the set by attempting a throw, they move on to oyster shucking.
I’m a fan of raw oysters, they’re truly the best tasting things on Earth that look like boogers. I don’t think I’ve ever heard of shucking my own, however. It seems like it would be a good date activity, but it’s immediately clear that Katie and the Softboi are on the edge of slicing their hands open.
They also did one pass at a football game without mentioning the Seahawks, which was odd.
Greg’s pity party
But now that all the “fun” is over, it’s time for the couple to do their favorite activity: making Greg feel better.
Katie sits her boifriend down to talk about how giddy he makes her feel and how much she loves being with him. This was sad because it’s so clear Katie really likes Greg and wants to act like a couple with him, but he’s so dead faced. He could’ve told her how much he loves being with her too or show that he can make a positive emotion, but he only musters a pithy “you make me feel like I’m in high school.”
Seeing that Greg isn’t going to engage that conversation, Katie checks in with his sadness because that’s all she’s been conditioned to do. I’m not out of line saying that either, here’s the groundwork he’s laid for this conversation the last three episodes:
- The first time she put him on group date Greg told her he was “mad at her” during his time. It was playful, but he quickly doubled down on it. This was the first instance of Greg using the “I hate sharing you” line to make Katie apologize.
- He insinuated he might leave by once again pointing out that he hated group dates. I wouldn’t be surprised if this was the start of Katie’s worries.
- While looking like 1990’s ESPN anchor, he told Kaite how much he hated the most fun group date of the season.
- At the beginning of THIS DATE, Katie mentions that she gave him the one-on-one because she knows how much he hates group dates
This wasn’t the conversation Katie wanted to have when she sat down, but, once again, we need to reaffirm Greg and drag him into saying something nice.
Much like a little league coach, Katie says enough things to Greg so he’ll agree not to quit for another week. But Katie demands emotional reciprocity for her labor so it’s Greg’s turn to commit.
Greg explained how reticent he is to introduce people to his mom, but it sounded less like it affected his mental health and more like he just doesn’t usually do it. Katie needs to meet his parents if they’re auspiciously about to be engaged and he acts like he’s 15.
While adorning a sexy teacher voice, Katie pushes “is this something you’d be ready for?” And according to the official Hulu subtitles, Greg says “mh-hmm, yeah” while making the following face.
Point 1 – Katie
The last scene, but at night
I know Katie likes Greg the most too because she saved the leather dress for his one-on-one. Not to be confused with the Velma-leather dress, Katie’s a “pack two leather outfits” kind of girl.
She also has great eye makeup to match the outfit, which has proven to be troublesome for her. One consistent quirk is a beautiful homage to former Bachelorette Hannah Brown’s relationship with earrings.
The dinner portion of the date starts off by reassuring us how much fun the last scene was before we get into the real meat of the conversation: the same thing from earlier.
Katie apologizes AGAIN for how uncomfortable he was just walking out of the limo on week one. This is revisionist history because Greg nailed night one and Katie even told him she hopes it validates him.
Katie finally quits the nuance and tells him it feels like he’s going to leave. Then this man has the audacity to say “why do you think that” on TV.
Greg goes on to tell Katie that insecurity is a big problem for him and that his sister said it was his most unattractive trait. That’s a really heavy issue that a therapist should deal with, not your humble Bachelorette reviewer, so I won’t speculate on what that means for his current relationship skills…but I don’t think it should affect hometowns.
But, after all that work, Katie finally drags an “I’m falling in love with you” out of Greg. Katie followed it up by saying she “those are the words I needed to hear” before correcting herself to “wanted” to hear. And hell yea girl. After this long, that kid should have to say I love you.
Then, we remember why Greg is still here. That man is really good at kissing. Watching Katie drag a dude she really likes into adulthood live on camera is incredible.
They also kissed in the rain and just when we thought we were going to get a full shot of leather dress 2.0, she covers it in a coat. Good for her because they filmed this during flu season, but how dare ABC not show all of it. It even looked short.
Dunking on Brendan
This was the best part of the night.
The subplot of the episode was people explaining just how bad Brendan’s situation is. Blake started the day by one-on-one-splaining how important and awesome a one-on-one is. Blake even told them how “he knows the feeling they’re in” like he didn’t get a one-on-one immediately upon arrival.
Brendan brings it up in the hot tub with Andrew during Greg’s date. It’s clearly not on his mind, STOP asking about it. He literally said “it changes everything, what changed for you,” which surprised the hell out of Andrew.
Andrew told him how awesome a whole day together is, which he wouldn’t know. That’s big talk from a guy who only had a night date without even an outfit change for the dinner portion. But hey, it is a really sweet response and meant to instill a lot of sympathy for Andrew. (Who can say why)
It comes to a head when the date card comes in and you already know Brendan’s name is on it.
In confessional after confessional, Brendan talks about how miserable and upset he would be if he didn’t get the one-on-one. It was like watching act one of Jaws. Surprise, he’s on the group date and says, “why am I even here?”
Self-awareness is a rare treat on the show and Brendan’s meltdown was a great palate cleanser from the heavy emotional scenes on either side of it.
Brendan walked right over to Katie’s room and pounded on the door. If Katie opened the door one second earlier, she would’ve seen Brendan applying Chapstick and made the following breakup irrelevant.
For his part, Brendan raised a very fair concern he saw from that date card. He legitimately tries to sympathize with her and her role, but points out his emotional needs matter to. Contestants have enjoyed unfettered access to Katie’s free time this season and this was the best violation I’ve seen.
Katie dumped him softly with what I believe was the first draft of her next breakup. She didn’t think she could get there with Brendan and didn’t want to force him through more of the process.
She’ll later punch up that language to “you deserve a 100%, which I can’t give you” before meeting the family. Same basic argument with better metaphors and some edits. Katie is a master in her element.
Possibly the most meaningless group date ever
Since Brendan made a gentleman’s exit the group date is:
Other than my suspicion Justin can only paint roses, the only meaningful part of the date was the art by Jacqueline Secor. She’s an artist who managed to get written up by the Huffington Post and paints exclusively vaginas.
Not that I don’t love a good Georgia O’Keefe rip-off, but her paintings were less than breathtaking. The men were tasked with painting their own PG-rated erotica and the date mercifully ended.
Mike’s Oedipus Complex
Mike P. finally secured a one-on-one and it revolves around cuddling in the woods. Of ABC’s cheap dates, this one actually seemed fun and something a new couple might actually do.
Their guide on the intimacy journey was none other than Cuddle Queen Jean. A qualified cuddle expert who emerged from the woods where she certainly lives with her polyamorous troupe. She even went as far as to say her “cuddle community” has several different positions, each with their own wild name.
Firstly, what the hell is a cuddle community? How many members are in it? Did they have to take a break for COVID or did they form a cuddle bubble? All important questions that we never get closure to.
The first position is called the Oxycontin Hug. It’s unclear if Jean cleared that name with Purdue Pharma, but it involves sitting cross legged next to each other and having a long embrace. Mike described the experience as “10/10 uncomfortable,” because either Jesus wasn’t in between them or he doesn’t believe the opioid epidemic is a laughing matter.
Cuddle Queen Jean, in all seriousness, said in her confessional how worried she was for Katie and Mike’s chemistry because she’s an intimacy expert as well as a cuddler. After several positions, each less Christian than the last, it’s time for the weirdest moment of the season.
Mike’s talked before about how “nurturing” Katie is and what a good mother she’d make, but he finally said the quiet part out loud. In a crazy confessional, he said “my mom’s the best woman I know, but Katie’s a better cuddler. Uh, my mom’s gonna hate me for saying that, but at some point, every boy has to move on.”
Full stop. Is he implying that he often cuddles with his mom and that she would be jealous that her 30-something son would cuddle a romantic partner? I’m unfamiliar with this branch of Christianity (or incest).
And in the clearest moment of an Oedipus complex in motion, he whispered into Katie’s ear “you remind me of my mom.”
They were in a full spooning position and had just talked about “humping,” so this might’ve been the creepiest thing he could’ve said. Maybe “I have a bunch of your hair in my suitcase” would’ve been worse, but I’m not positive.
Katie did the right thing by immediately exiting the cuddle to go film a confessional and take out a restraining order. When she returned it was dumping time.
She tried out the latest draft of her upcoming breakup speech and Mike was whisked away in an SUV. Hopefully his mom will take him back after watching that scandalous date.
Emotional manipulation by ABC
We move directly from that date to the rose ceremony with half an hour left in the show. That’s a suspicious amount of time without a cocktail party, which implies some drama that doesn’t pay off.
The men dressed up in their B+ outfits for the umpteenth time to await the news that one of them is toast. The only one who pulled off a decent look was Justin, despite breaking the rules of wearing a tie and socks. He opted for an outfit so tight and a suit coat so mustard colored that I was blind to my better judgement.
Katie, on the other hand, wore her worst dress in her suitcase. It was oddly tight in places and had a deep cut in the shape of a rectangle. I love a weirdly tied dress and the color magenta, but this look was a miss.
It was Andrew’s time on the chopping block and even after all the good footage of him throughout the episode. Andrew has been a 2nd tier contender all season, but after the breakup scene he had, we’re supposed to feel like she sent Greg home.
Katie finally broke out the completed draft of the breakup speech she’s been writing all episode and it works so well, Andrew says it’s alright that she dumped him.
Bravo, amazing breakup. Katie ends the scene with a hearty cry and the episode goes dark.
But wait! There’s more.
RIP the format
If we’ve learned one thing this season, it’s that the old rules are gone. Men get to say goodbye after being dumped, people are talking during the Rose Ceremonies, it’s madness.
Well, Andrew decided to put another bullet into the corpse of the format by returning the day after he went home. This is a blatant violation of the rules and ABC must be dying for some controversy.
Katie is happy to see him and he leaves her a note. It tells her that he’ll be waiting if she changes her mind and it was so effective that she changed her mind right there. After a Love Actually-esque chase scene, Katie asks Andrew if he’d stay and he thankfully said no.
He said he didn’t want to be in another Rose Ceremony waiting for her not to choose him and left after the most adult decision he’s ever made.
Great Bachelor audition Andrew, I’m cheering for you.
The Rundown: stats after week 7
Who’s moving on to hometowns:
- Softboi Greg
Who went home sad:
- Brendan (FINALLY)
“My person” count: 5
Emotionally mature men remaining: 2