The Bachelorette’s back this week with a largely uneventful episode that focuses on Clare getting to know the contestants better. Don’t worry, she’s still very focused on Dale. But at least we get a better look at the other guys—before she eventually rejects them all.
The contestants have moved into Laquinta Resort, and this episode starts off with a group date consisting of Riley, Jordan, Yosef, Ivan, Ben, Bennett, Zac C., Zach J, and Dale. Without the traveling and elaborate dates that have normally dominated the Bachelor franchise, Clare and the contestants have to get creative and return to basics. So they decide to go with a deliciously naughty and sentimental task: exploring each other's love languages. The guys take turns saying words of affirmation, finding or creating gifts for her—which seem to be just random items from their rooms—and, finally, getting more physical with Clare while wearing blindfolds. Most of these interactions are milquetoast at best, but when Clare gets her hands on Dale, their lame set quickly turns into the backdrop for some soft–core porn foreplay.
Later, we get to the cocktail party. It starts off rather poorly: Claire arrives, but none of the guys make a move, paralyzed by their bro–iness. There’s just a period of awkward silence that makes you wonder whether any of these guys have even watched this show, and Clare becomes frustrated to the point where she shouts, “Does anybody want to spend time with me?” Bennett takes the chance to get a moment with her, but Clare’s too upset by the lack of response earlier and goes back to tell them off. The guys try to apologize, and stupidly, Yosef responds with, “You’re crazy to think that we didn’t all come here for you.” Calling her crazy only added fuel to this fizzling fire, but Dale swoops in and sweeps her away before the altercation can escalate.
It’s the moment Clare’s been waiting for, and she finally gets some more one–on–one time with Dale. I still don't see the chemistry, but clearly Clare does, because she confesses her feelings early on. Despite how much she enjoys the time with Dale, the group date rose ultimately goes to Riley, with whom she talks about prom and slow–dances to imaginary Boys II Men songs.
Jason wins this week's one–on–one date, but it’s more like a therapy session than a date. Clare's very focused on vulnerability and emotional availability, and isn’t scared to dive straight into it. They start off with a cathartic scream, and then write on tiles things they’ve been labeled with. Next, they smash the tiles, symbolizing that they're letting go of those labels, and read letters they wrote to their younger selves. Clare gets Jason to open up about his family life and gives him a rose for his willingness to be vulnerable, despite him openly admitting his enduring player ways. It gets even more romantic from there, and the date ends with Clare burning her dress from the finale of Juan Pablo’s season.
The second group date is a dodgeball game with the winning team earning an after–party with Clare. Clare makes one small adjustment though: the team that loses has to strip. Unfortunately for the blue team, they quickly lose all four rounds and have to walk home nude.
At the after–party, Clare has another conversation focused on vulnerability, but this time with Chasen. Here, Clare peels back her own layers: she was bullied in school and never went to prom, a striking departure from the franchise's popular girl personas. She also has a brief moment with Eazy, and talks to Jay before Blake M. interrupts to request a moment with Clare, despite being part of the losing team. This doesn’t sit right with the other guys, and they confront him about it.
Clare talks to Brandon, who claims he's ready to redeem himself after making a terrible first impression. However, the talk takes a depressingly superficial turn. When asked why he came onto the Bachelorette, the only reason Brandon can think of is "because Clare’s so beautiful." He ends up getting sent home on the spot—and rightfully so.
Back at the resort, Yosef criticizes Clare’s dodgeball game, calling it “classless” and humiliating. It looks like he’ll bring this up with her next episode. Up next is the cocktail party, and Blake M. gets a rose from Clare who says she appreciated him taking risks and encourages him to continue to do so. She leaves with Dale next, and they share some cute moments, gradually becoming more intimate.
Although this episode wasn’t that interesting, from the trailer, it looks like things will finally start heating up next episode, and I’m excited to see how Clare will “blow up” The Bachelorette.