Kaitlyn finally comes clean to Shawn before embarking on her first overnight date. (Well, second.)
Credit: ABC

I’d like to welcome everyone back to Killarney, the city where Shawn nearly killed Kaitlyn’s tear ducts, Cupcake nearly killed himself, and the show nearly killed all of us with extreme doses of boredom. But hey, at least we’re in an appropriately titled city.

After what Kaitlyn claims was the most draining week so far, we are headed into overnight dates, which Kaitlyn says is “definitely the HARDest week yet.” Shawn agrees, saying this week is “only gonna get HARDer.” These people practically do my job for me.

And cut to my favorite visual of tonight’s hour: Nick, Shawn, and Ben H all squeezed onto one very tiny yellow love seat. Based on the gross couch from Kaitlyn’s last hotel room, and this one, I’d say the show is undergoing a few budget cuts. And you know what? God bless it.

But the guys are powering through their latest awkward moment as they wait for their first date card, which goes to Ben H. Shawn update: When Ben gets up, Shawn has a bit more breathing room on the couch, and generally, seems to be in better spirits from last week. (Read: He does more than scowl/pout.)

Preparing for her date, Kailtyn claims it’s time for her to really look at each guy and ask, “Are you my husband?” which funnily enough, is the title of P.D. Eastman’s adult sequel to Are You My Mother? It’s also the question Kaitlyn should’ve been asking this entire time.

At this point in their journey to find love, Kaitlyn thinks it’s time for Ben to see all the different sides of her, and not just the bubbly happy Kaitlyn (who literally cried for an entire week not too long ago).

Getting in a boat with Ben—which is only romantic for the one who doesn’t have to row, by the way—Kaitlyn is feeling a bit stressed, but that’s probably because Ben is rowing them straight toward a rock. Don’t worry, she’ll calm down as soon as they get to Innisfallen Island and play hide-and-seek.

Important note: Ben does not count Mississippilessly. Ross would be proud.

Left alone on an entire island, Ben and Kaitlyn really take advantage of their surroundings by shoving together on a tiny bench where they list the things that make someone wife/husband material.

For Ben, being wife material means:

  1. You’re hot. (His “you kill that one, babe” was cute.)
  2. Something about joy and hope.

For Kaitlyn, being husband material means:

  1. Not giving up on her when things get tough. (Again, Ben gets points with his, ‘I didn’t even know that was an option.” Someone brought his A game.)

Kaitlyn then declares that she’s feeling all of those feelings that she should be feeling when she’s falling in love. As for Ben, well, for the first time in his life, he’s going to pursue this relationship with as much openness and honesty as possible. In other words, he was a super shitty boyfriend to everyone he dated before now.

At night, Kaitlyn and Ben continue their tradition of riveting, controversial conversation with their discussion of loving fireplaces and whiskey. But it doesn’t take long for Ben to reveal his biggest fear: His last relationship ending made him think that he might be—yes, he’s going there—unlovable. But the way he said that without hesitation means he either A) doesn’t believe it; or B) Has a helluva therapist who’s talked him through this multiple times.

But Kaitlyn is there to be all “You’re very lovable!” In fact, she’s falling in love with him RIGHT NOW, even though he just told her that they’re not going to have sex if he gets an overnight date. For him, the overnight date is not about the physical side of the relationship, and he’s excited to stay up all night and talk.

Kaitlyn’s all ‘scuse me? Have you looked in the mirror? So after about 30 seconds of thinking it over, she comes to the only logical conclusion for a man not wanting to have sex with her on their third date: He’s a virgin.

AND THEN SHE ASKS HIM. Just straight out: “Are you a virgin?” Spoiler: No, he’s not, but he’s glad he comes off “innocent and pure of heart because I am.” Okay, Ben. Stop talking while you’re ahead. But really, Kaitlyn wants to know about the day you lost your virginity (because she clearly doesn’t believe you).

NEXT: The talk

Back at the hotel, Shawn is sitting around with his trusty companion: his Guinness. Seriously, how often do we think he works out in order to drink all this beer? Regardless, his beer-loving name is on the next date card, along with Joe and Nick. (So it’s less of a group date and more of a three-on-one, but you know, whatever.)

The next day, Kaitlyn meets her threesome at Killarney National Park, where she’s got a great date planned. And by that, she means that she has nothing planned and this is basically a cocktail party where they’re going to sit around until they steal her away for one-on-one time. First up: Shawn.

Pulling Kaitlyn away, Shawn remembers how their last conversation was the first time they hadn’t kissed, and they both agree that it sucked. So they agree to never not kiss again. And sitting in a wind strong enough to blow even Shawn’s gelled hair, Kaitlyn decides she has to tell him about Nick, especially considering that trust is his thing. (Isn’t it everyone’s?)

But just as Kaitlyn goes to possibly fess up, Nick steals her away. Talking about their “intimate” night, she asks his thoughts. Of course he feels good about it, but she tells him that even though she doesn’t regret it, she does feel like it was a bit fast. (Probably because you’d met 48 hours earlier.)

But Nick is all about the modern age of dating, explaining how they knew each other before he showed up. And now, he mumbles out “you know I’m falling in love with you,” but only after Kaitlyn asks him to say it. With that, Kaitlyn kisses him and Nick tells us that he couldn’t LITERALLY put into words what getting the rose today would mean to him. (But could you do it figuratively?)

Once Kaitlyn’s back from her time with Nick, she grabs Joe, who’s ready to tell her that he’s gone from falling in love with her to being in love with her since the last time he saw her. Surely there’s some footage of the two of them that we haven’t seen yet, right? Or does Joe really fall so easily?

While Kaitlyn starts asking Joe if he’d really want to be engaged to her, he totally misses all of the social cues and continues to tell her that he could kiss her for the next 60 years and be the happiest man in the world “because I’m in love with you babe I don’t think there’s any denying that.”

OH GOD. He’s so confident … and so, so very close to her face. How is she supposed to reject him now?!

But reject him she does, explaining that she’s “not there right now.” And just like that, Joe flips a switch and shuts Kaitlyn out, making this the most uncomfortable break-up of the season. Joe just keeps repeating different combinations of “cool,” “I’m fine,” and “no worries, man” until Kaitlyn gives him the world’s most painful final hug.

Then, in a moment that’s so brutally honest, Joe has no idea what to do next. THANK YOU, JOE, FOR SPEAKING FOR AMERICA. Does he just walk away and find a flight? What does he do?!

But the producers don’t step in, because why would they ruin this horrific moment by helping?! Instead, they let a pissed off Joe get left behind as Kaitlyn returns to Shawn and Nick to inform the guys that she’s not going to give out the rose tonight. In fact, the date’s not just over for Joe. It’s also over for Nick, who’s going back to the hotel so that Kaitlyn can get some alone time to ruin Shawn’s life.

So what do we think Shawn and Nick were talking about the entire time Kaitlyn was talking to Joe? Could it have been more awkward? In my head, they discussed the difference between lager and beer.

With one difficult conversation down, Kaitlyn gets ready for the next one while Nick runs back to the hotel and tells Ben and Jared every detail of the date. For someone who doesn’t like to talk much, he never shuts up.

But let’s just say Shawn would probably rather be back on that tiny yellow couch than sitting on the ridiculously loud leather couch he’s currently on with Kaitlyn, who’s freaking out trying to find the proper words to explain why she left her mic on during sex with Nick.

After what feels like two hours of painful half-sentences about how her date with Nick went too far, Kaitlyn tells Shawn, “It’s hard for me to admit it, but we had sex.” And here’s where my journalism degree kicks in:

37:42 Kaitlyn tells Shawn

38:06 Shawn groans

38:09 Shawn clears his throat

38:28 Shawn finally speaks a full sentence!

And the first words out of his mouth are, “Do you regret it?” She doesn’t say yes, though she admits that she felt guilt and is worried about what it might do to their relationship. Well, for now, it’s going to cause you guys to take some space because Shawn heads to the bathroom to figure out why Kaitlyn’s telling him this—because honesty?—and regroup.

NEXT: A love worth drinking for

Reemerging from the bathroom, Shawn thanks her for her honesty. He’s obviously upset, but he tells her that she’s “the only thing I want out of this,” so he’s going to “man up”—I always wondered what that meant—and move past it.

To summarize, Shawn thinks Kaitlyn is worth getting an ulcer/liver cancer, and she’s so, so happy.

So from the sex talk, we head to the cocktail party, where Nick is still talking about how little time he’s had with Kaitlyn. But let’s not focus on Nick. Instead, we should probably focus on Shawn, who went to bed ready to “man up” and woke up with whole bunch of questions for Kaitlyn—questions he wants answered before he can accept a rose.

However, there’s a twist: Just as Shawn talks about how much he needs to talk to Kaitlyn, Chris Harrison informs the men that there will not be a cocktail party tonight, because unlike Shawn, Kaitlyn has her mind made up.

And of course, the first rose that confident Kaitlyn—and her shimmery décolletage—gives out is for Shawn, who asks if they can talk in another room.

Shawn update: He did a lot of thinking last night, and while he understands that she does have other relationships here, he has one question about her night with Nick: “Why him?” THANK YOU, SHAWN.

But because she couldn’t honestly respond, “His green pants and loud kisses turned me on,” Kaitlyn tells him that she’s here to explore other relationships so that, at the end of it, she will never explore another relationship. She admits that she shouldn’t have told Shawn that he was the one so early on, and she knows that her night with Nick went too far—hence the incredible over-use of “too far.”

She asks Shawn if he can trust her because she’s not convinced he can, but we’ll never know his response, because the camera cuts back to the rose ceremony, where he accepts her rose with an “absolutely.” So, um, what happened between her “can you trust me” and the rose?! Because a man doesn’t just go from a “no” to an “absolutely” without something going down.

But according to Shawn, the bottom line is that he can’t give up on this girl.

The next rose goes to Ben H—get ready to talk all night, Kaitlyn!—with the final rose going to Nick. No, Shawn’s head doesn’t literally explode at the thought of Nick getting another overnight, but Jared’s heart does break.

As Kaitlyn walks Jared out, he continues to be a class act, offering her his jacket and telling her that she’ll always have a special place in his heart and so on. It’s not until he’s alone in the back of the van that he breaks down. Here’s to hoping he finds happiness (and the right way to wear his facial hair). But more than anything, here’s to hoping his car doesn’t break down before he makes it to the airport, because right now, it’s not sounding good.

With her three overnight partners selected, Kaitlyn wakes up the next day in Cork, Ireland. Really, they chose CORK as the location of the overnight dates?! Well played, ABC.

Of course Nick’s fantasy suite day is first, and he’s excited because he says he hasn’t seen Kaitlyn “in a while.” (Does he mean he hasn’t seen her naked in a while, because I’m pretty sure he saw her yesterday.)

And when he does see her, he ruins any chances he has of getting any with this greeting: “Good to see you, kid.” Why do men ever think it’s okay to address you like your father would?

Starting the date, Kaitlyn is worried that Ashley S was right and that her connection with Nick is just lust, but by the time they enter another cathedral—who keeps letting these two into churches?!—and Nick tells her all about his Catholic upbringing and how his parents were introduced in church, she realizes it’s more than lust. It’s also spiritual.

All I know is that, whatever it is, it’s not polite, because for some reason, Nick couldn’t tell Kaitlyn his story outside of the church? Quite literally for God’s sake, you two.

NEXT: Nick Sucks, a memoir by Shawn

So while Kaitlyn and Nick exchange first kiss stories in a pub, three locals join them to explain that “craic”—the “Hakuna Matata” of Ireland—means “having a good time.” They also inform them that the secret to marriage is trust. (See, it’s not just a Shawn thing.) Then Nick gives a toast to “having the craic”—nope, good try, though—“to happiness and most importantly, to love.”

Miraculously, no one spits out their drink.

Heading into the night, Nick is ready to connect with Kaitlyn on every possible level there is, which apparently, he hasn’t done yet. And by that, he means that he’d like to talk about Shawn, who’s currently spending his evening leaning on balconies and fences until he can’t lean anymore.

According to Nick, he can’t have respect for a guy who brags about being Eskimo brothers with famous country singers. (Eskimo brothers = both guys have slept with the same girl, and in Shawn’s case, on the same night.) And even though Mother Nature—huge fan of the show, I hear—tries to tell Nick to shut up with a sudden severe thunderstorm, he continues trash-talking Shawn.

But Kaitlyn handles the news well: By confronting Nick on why she’s only ever heard concerns about him. Nick’s theory is that everyone is oddly content with being number two behind Shawn, but Kaitlyn’s already stopped paying attention. She chocks it all up to jealousy.

Meanwhile, Nick is still hung up on the fact that he showed up late this season. WE’RE ALL OVER IT, NICK. But he’s not sorry for falling in love with Kaitlyn and taking a chance. Apparently, “the only thing that’s keeping me breathing in this world is knowing why I’m here.” Hear that oxygen? Nick doesn’t need you.

Heading to the fantasy suite—because Kaitlyn is the first thing Nick wants to look at when he wakes up—Kaitlyn tricks Nick into thinking they’re spending their night in an old jail cell. Of course, he falls for it, but they quickly head to the real fantasy suite, where Nick tells her, “I love falling in love with you. It’s been kind of fun.” I hope you’re taking notes, Nicholas Sparks.

The next morning, the couple—comfy in their pajamas—discusses bacon vs. ham and how “uncanny” it is that they’re so comfortable and casual.

According to Kaitlyn, the couple sat on the couch all night and ate chocolate and drank and talked. And if I had to guess, I’d bet Nick made at least one scarring comment about every part of her body.

But let’s not dwell on the past, because Shawn just called and asked for Nick’s hotel room. (Is his name really pronounced “vile” or is that just Shawn being Shawn? Please tell me it’s the former.)

Marching down to Nick’s room, Shawn says he doesn’t want to talk behind Nick’s back like the others, so instead, he tells him to his face that he doesn’t think Nick is here for Kaitlyn, and he also doesn’t think that if Kaitlyn had seen what the guys have, that Nick would still be here.

Nick is all “you don’t know me,” but Shawn doesn’t want to. He thinks he’s “manipulative,” “arrogant,” and a “cocky guy.” Nick’s response? Ditto.

Basically, the guys agree that if Kaitlyn ends up with one of them, then the other will have dodged a bullet, because there’s no way they were meant to be. (Also, someone should really tell them that a good confrontation takes place within 10 feet of the other person.)

Shawn then decides that Nick is here to change his reputation from his last stint on the show … but for more, you’ll have to tune in next week, because cliffhangers are apparently the new black.

And finally, in other things we didn’t ask for, there’s the Brady Bunch update: Brady is getting ready to leave L.A. and return to Nashville, so they’re going to try the long distance thing. Britt doesn’t know when she can come out. In other words, they’re done and she’s never visiting. Yeah, she just thanked him for a kiss. They’re so done.

Until next week, everyone. If you need me, I’ll be tracking down the popular guy from Kaitlyn’s middle school—the one who told her she was in the “big leagues” after her first kiss—to get his opinion on where’s she’s at now.

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