The Bachelorette recap: You CAN hate on love
This week, Clare doesn't even bother pretending that she's interested in anyone but Dale — and the guys aren't happy.
This was a pretty easy Bachelorette recap to write, rose lovers. None of the dates really mattered — except maaaaybe the group date — and even Clare is past the point of pretending that she is interested in anyone but Dale. I mean, she called the man her “fiancé.” Let’s hit the highlights, shall we?
The Cocktail Party
As you may recall (what is time at this point?), we ended last week’s episode before the rose ceremony. We rejoin the guys tonight as they’re milling about the cocktail party waiting to talk to Clare.
Yosef is still mad about the “classless” strip dodgeball date. “It’s definitely, like, showing me some traits of her character,” he says. “As well as, you know, her maturity level.” He’s all set to let Clare know how he feels about the whole thing, even after Riley tells him to “calm down a little bit.” (Or was Riley using reverse psychology on Yosef in order to encourage him to confront Claire, because Riley knows it’ll end in disaster? Discuss.)
Anyhow, it ends in disaster.
First, Yosef informs Clare that he thought it was “really disrespectful” when she scolded the guys for not pulling her away fast enough on his group date. “I sacrificed a lot to be here,” he says. “I’m missing out on time with my daughter.” Then comes his chief complaint: “I was absolutely appalled at the group date… there’s naked guys playing dodge ball together. It’s so humiliating and degrading, and I don’t see how that really translates into finding a husband. Like, who’s willing to strip down butt naked and play dodgeball? It seems very silly and very immature.”
Well, he’s got a point. But Clare does NOT love it… especially when Yosef drops the age bomb: “I expected a lot more from the oldest Bachelorette that’s ever been.” Not deterred by Clare’s death-glare (she’s remained mostly silent up until this point), Yosef plows ahead with his harangue: “You’re not setting the right example for my daughter… I’m ashamed to be associated with you.” He goes on to say she sounded “crazy” on his group date, and when she finally jumps in to defend herself, Yosef snaps, “I’m not done yet.” The Bachelorette begs to differ.
Hell yeah, he is! “Do not ever talk to me like that!” Clare says, jabbing her finger in Yosef’s smug face. “I would never want my children having a father like you!” As the Bachelorette storms off, Yosef gets in a few last digs (including “believe that you’re not fit to be the mother of my child!” and another “oldest Bachelorette” remark) before stomping into the Reject SUV.
A livid Clare, meanwhile, reminds us that she is the oldest Bachelorette because she “didn’t settle for men like THAT!” And just as she’s dissolving into angry tears, up walks Dale to cradle her in his beefy, bland arms. “He said everyone here is just appeasing me,” sniffles Clare. Dale laughs and says just the right thing, yet again: “That’s the farthest from the truth… I’m here to please you, how about that?” She LOVES it, of course.
“Literally all I’ve ever wanted is a man like Dale, who will come over and protect me and make sure that I’m okay,” Clare says, in a post-Yosef confessional. “Dale is everything that I’m looking for… It’s not even the second rose ceremony, and I’m so falling in love with Dale.” Welp, I guess we’re done here, right?
After all that drama, Clare is too drained to talk to any other guys, so she cuts the party short. The guys are understandably annoyed, but unlike Yosef they aren’t gonna cause a scene about it. Anyhow, rose ceremony roll call: Dale, Zac C., Demar, Brendan, Jordan, Joe, Jay, Bennett, Eazy, Ben, Ed, Ivan, Kenny, and Fart Box join Riley, Chasen, Blake Moynes, and Jason in the “keep” pile. That means we say goodbye to Other Blake, Garin (bummer!), and this guy, who — my hand to God — I have never seen before in my life.
A little help here, rose lovers? [frantically scans Bachelorette website] Oh, okay — sorry to see you go, Tyler S.! We barely knew ye.
I mean, I love DeAnna Stagliano (née Pappas)… but why? Anyhow, Clare spends the whole time — during which she’s supposed to be getting “advice” from the former Bachelorette — gushing non-stop about Dale. She even shows DeAnna a pair of Dale’s pants — the ones he tore on the group date, and then gave to her as a gift. Yep, not weird at all. DeAnna's all, Well honey, when you know, you know! And Clare, it seems, really knows. “This might be the shortest season ever,” she says with a laugh.
The Group Date That Wasn’t
After making Jason, Jay, Eazy, Chasen, Blake, Ed, Riley, and Dale sit around all day waiting for their group date, Clare strolls in at sunset and says they’re just going to have a “really long cocktail party” instead. “To me what matters is the quality time,” she chirps. “I just wanted to come over and give you guys a head’s up on that… Sorry to make you guys wait!” Are you though, Clare? I gotta say, I almost appreciate how hard Clare is leaning into this diva act. She’s been in this game for more than six years — it’s her time now, dammit! If she wants to waste hours of production’s time, the guys’ time, DeAnna Stagliano’s time, then that’s exactly what she’s gonna do. The guys are, in a word, irked.
Everyone except Dale, that is. “Honestly, I prefer this,” he tells us. “I don’t ever want to sound, like, arrogant or overly-confident, but whenever I get quality time with her… it’s a wrap.” Nope, you don’t sound arrogant at all, buddy! No notes.
Once the cocktail party starts, Dale politely informs the guys that he’d like to talk to Clare first… but what happens next definitely doesn’t qualify as a “talk.”
Yep, after strolling away from the party, Clare takes Dale to her room and they proceed to make out for… a while. The rest of the guys are left sitting by the pool, sipping their drinks and checking their watches. “Should we send out a search party for Dale?” wonders Ed, a.k.a. one of the many men we’ve barely seen since the premiere. “They’ve been gone for an hour,” Jay informs us. Finally, Eazy tracks down the missing Bachelorette and her chosen man.
Could we get a hose in here to cool these two down so Clare can answer the door? “Dale’s here!” the Bachelorette announces cheerfully, as Eazy strolls into the living room. “Well this is awkward,” he says, but Dale assures him that he and Clare were just “having a conversation.” Nobody’s buying it, buddy. Don’t forget to grab a handful of dog treats on your way out.
Somehow, Clare musters enough strength to make small talk with a man who isn’t Dale for a few minutes… but as soon as Eazy leaves, she has a request for the producers. “Could we, like…”
That’s cold, rose lovers. Ice. Freaking. Cold. But Team Bachelorette obliges: Ed, Riley, Blake, Jay… wait, Dale again??? “I, I, I, I didn’t know somebody was in here,” he says, after walking in on Clare’s chat with Jay. “I was just kinda roaming.” (Key: “kinda roaming” = “entering room producers told me to.”) And because Clare is the worst, she invites Dale to stay! And because Dale is also the worst, he agrees! These two are made for each other.
Chasen, who still hasn’t spent any time with Clare, decides to interrupt Dale’s second go-around. To Dale’s credit, he does an excellent job hiding his erection from the camera when Chasen kicks him out.
I *might* have rewound that several times. It’s just too good. Dale’s excuses, though, are truly terrible. The guys remind Dale that he gave a “let’s respect everyone’s time” speech before the night began, and they press him to admit that he straight-up just wanted to steal more time with Clare. But Dale just hems and haws and stumbles over his words. “My bad,” he mumbles. “I was kind of dazed and confused and lost a little bit.” The rest of the guys are like, Nah, man, that’s BS. Just admit you wanted to get more time with Clare — yet Dale continues to insist that he just went to the bathroom and happened to stumble across Clare and Jay on his way back. Oh look! Clare’s handing out the date rose.
Ooof. Very expected, but nonetheless very awkward. “This entire day has just been kind of weird,” sighs Eazy. “She’s been spending so much time with Dale… I feel like we’re kind of like cast to the side for no reason.” Just when you think Dale can’t make things worse, he tells the guys that he had to hog all the time with her tonight because he was “the best one suited” to “be there for her” after the Yosef debacle. Jason, who is rapidly becoming my favorite suitor in the bunch, scoffs: “Yeah, right. None of the [other] guys were f---ing there for her. It’s all good.”
Thank you for that evergreen GIF, Jason. Appreciate it.
Poor Fart Box. It’s supposed to be his one-on-one date with Clare, but from the moment she walks in to pick him up, all she can think about is Dale, Dale, Dale. “God, he looks so hot in his hat today!” she gushes. “I was ready to game on in the bedroom with Dale last night.”
Still, Clare insists that she’s really “present” for her spa date with Zach J. The guy has never had a pedicure, and he’s clearly not super excited about strangers touching his feet. Also, I’m pretty sure you’re supposed to mix avocado with a few other ingredients to make a face mask — but Clare just scoops the green goo out of the fruit and smears it on his skin.
No wonder Fart Box can’t relax. Back at the pool, Zac C. is spreading gossip about Clare and Dale. “People alluded to the fact that maybe they’d been in contact prior to arriving here,” he says. “I don’t know what the truth is.” No, Zac C., you don’t — so zip it. (My two cents: I think she stalked Dale’s Instagram prior to production and projected all of her romantic hopes and dreams on his beefy blank slate.) Whatever the truth is, Clare is determined to find a way out of this date with the other Zach. “I wish I could see Dale,” she sighs, before scolding herself for “disrespecting the process.” Two seconds later, though…
“Why did you stop?” asks a flummoxed Fart Box. “I was right there!” It looks like he was one hundred percent ready to accept her kiss, but for whatever reason Clare stopped short — and now she’s accusing him of pulling away? Girl, we all know you aren’t into this guy, but that’s just false. Fart Box is understandably confused. What isn't understandable is the way he keeps grabbing Clare by the back of the neck and trying to pull her toward him. It's not great, Bob. Now the Bachelorette has a perfect excuse to end the date completely — which, I suspect, was her goal from the beginning. “Zach just made me feel extremely uncomfortable,” she says. “That kind of triggers me, and kind of scared me.”
In a Bachelor franchise first, Chris Harrison himself shows up at the “romantic,” “private” dinner set up to send someone packing. Jeeves, please pull the Reject SUV around!
Group Date No. 2
First, the good news: Clare doesn’t cancel on Joe, Bennett, Brendan, Kenny, Ben, Jordan, Ivan, Zac C., and Demar. Now, the bad news (for Clare, at least): The date activity is a “comedy” roast (featuring an appearance by actual comedian Margaret Cho), and all the guys want to do is rip on Dale. To ensure maximum awkwardness, producers make the dudes who aren’t on the date come sit in the audience for the roast — and of course, that means Dale has a front row seat for all of the comedic abuse.
The zingers are pretty weak in general, but Bennett has two winners: “Your speeches make absolutely no sense… I’ve witnessed three cameramen collapse after falling asleep listening to you,” and “You look like the boa constrictor from The Jungle Book.” The guys absolutely LOVE it.
The Bachelorette, though, finds the whole show very distasteful and upsetting. “So what, I have feelings for Dale! We have a connection,” she huffs. “You can’t hate on love, though. You can’t hate on it.” Oh honey, they can and they obviously will.
At the cocktail party, all Clare wants to do is talk to the guys about (what else?) Dale. Why don’t they like Dale? When did Dale say he was the “best suited” for her? What else has Dale said about her? And so on. “It was almost like Gossip Girl trying to figure out what was really going on,” sighs Zac C. Indeed, all of the guys attempt to steer their one-on-one chats with Clare away from the subject of Dale, but the Bachelorette simply will not let it go. “It literally feels like right now, she’s only interested in Dale in this whole house,” complains Kenny. “To the point where I feel like I’m wasting my time being here.”
Kenny, you are absolutely correct. Need more proof? Here you go:
“I actually did not get what I needed with you guys,” says Clare. “So, this rose… I won’t be able to give this out tonight.” She starts walking back to her room, and the camera follows as Clare grouses to a producer about the guys she just dissed: “I really don’t think I can sit there and go, ‘You dished on my fiancé so hard…’ Like, I can’t be doing that. It doesn’t feel right.”
Wow, rose lovers. Wow. I guess we can’t fault Clare for falling head over heels for Dale — the heart wants what it wants, and all that. But Clare takes a lot of pride in being a grown-ass woman who’s worked through her issues and knows exactly who she is and what she wants. Shouldn’t she know enough to take a second and consider the ramifications of her feelings on others? Now would be a great time for Clare to raise her hand and say to producers, “Um, guys? I’m starting to worry that I won’t be able to hold up my end of the bargain as far as being the Bachelorette. Could we discuss?”
Maybe she will… next week. Tonight, though, she’s got tunnel vision. “She doesn’t really care about anybody else or giving anybody else a fair shake besides Dale,” says Kenny. “If you already got a boyfriend, what the f--- am I doing here?”
Here’s your answer, sir:
Awwwww HELL yeah, rose lovers! The worst kept secret in Bachelor Nation is no longer being kept at all. Though the preview doesn’t tell us exactly when or how Tayshia will step into Clare’s shoes, it does indicate that our current Bachelorette will peace out next week… and that Ms. Adams will save the day. Get. It. Girl.
And it won’t be a moment too soon. Before you go, a few questions: Who do you hope stays around for Bachelorette No. 2? What is Dale’s deal, really? And who do you think wrote those roast jokes for Clare? Post your thoughts below!