‘The Bachelorette’ Recap: Don’t Ever Get in the Helicopter
Here’s a good Bachelorette rule of thumb: Never go on any date with a helicopter ride.
Granted, not all helicopter ride dates on The Bachelorette end badly. But when they end badly, the same thing always happens: The Bachelorette takes the helicopter back to her hotel alone, leaving her rejected man in the middle of nowhere. On tonight’s episode of The Bachelorette, Kaitlyn takes Chris “Cupcake” (so named because he rode a motorized cupcake into the Bachelor Mansion on the first night, like any rational thinking man would) on a “romantic” date to the Cliffs of Moher.
The helicopter ride to their private date overlooking the water was spectacular. But Kaitlyn’s mood was somber. The date didn’t go well. And ultimately, Chris was sent packing. Or rather Kaitlyn sent herself packing and left Mr. Cupcake on a Cliff of Moher, where he promptly burst into tears, partly because he’d just been dumped on national television but mostly because he was stranded with no ride home and this is basically how An American Werewolf in London started.
Kaitlyn’s mood was somber through most of this week’s disappointing and sluggish episode. Most of that had to do with the events of last week’s Bachelorette, when Kaitlyn decided to sleep with Nick after their date in Dublin. According to this week’s episode, Kaitlyn has spent every waking moment since terrified that Nick was going to blab to the eight other remaining men about their romantic rendezvous. It wasn’t an entirely unfounded fear; Nick’s the same guy who, at the end of the last season of The Bachelorette, scolded Andi on live TV for sleeping with him mere hours before she dumped him for another man.
So far though, Nick’s kept his tryst with Kaitlyn a secret, and the show mostly milked the possibility of this secret coming to life as a desperate attempt to inject some suspense into an uneventful week of dates. It all started with one of the least juicy 2-on-1s in the series’ history. Typically 2-on-1s are fraught with awkwardness and tension because they end with the Bachelorette sending one of her two suitors home, and because the producers often stack the deck by pitting a “nice guy” against a “villain.” Viewers watch and wait to see whether the Bachelorette will discover the villains’ true colors before she sends home a dude of noble intentions.
(Funny enough, one of the 2-on-1 dates on the last season of The Bachelor involved a helicopter. Guess what happened when the Bachelor realized he didn’t want either of the ladies he’d taken to a remote canyon far from civilization? Yep; he ditched them there.)
Kaitlyn’s picks for her 2-on-1 date followed the classic Bachelorette formula, pitting sweet Kentuckian Joe against “villains-gotta-vill” creator JJ. But JJ’s eased off his villainous ways (or the producers have eased off prodding him into villainy) since Nick joined the show midstream and became the focal point of this season’s drama, and JJ and Joe seemed unwilling to play along and humiliate themselves (and attack one another) for Kaitlyn’s affection. Both remained sincere and earnest in their admiration of Kaitlyn, who eventually chose to keep Joe around and send JJ back to wherever his bro Clint’s been hanging out since he got kicked off the show a few weeks ago.
The real drama didn’t emerge until the show’s closing minutes, when host Chris Harrison showed up at Kaitlyn’s hotel room with a major twist on The Bachelorette formula. On a traditional season, next week’s episode would feature Kaitlyn visiting the families of her final four men on Hometown Dates. Then she’d get rid of one dude, and take each of the final trio to the Fantasy Suite, where off-camera hanky-panky is encouraged. After kicking off the guy whose hank she least enjoyed panking, she’d take the final two bachelors to some tropical resort for a finale of beauty, romance, and incredible discomfort when a dude gets down on one knee to propose to a woman who’s planning to get engaged to somebody else.
This year, only the final two men will get Hometown Dates. After Kaitlyn eliminated JJ, and then Ben Z. and Tanner, she was left with six finalists in Ireland. After three more dates, she’ll have to winnow those six down to three, and then take those three on what Chris Harrison skeevily described as “romantic intimate overnight dates.” Then after another culling, the two finalists will introduce Kaitlyn to her family, presumably because the old format always forced the Bachelorette into the awkward position of pretending she was seriously considering a marriage to four different men, and forced her to ask four different sets of parents for permission to marry. The new format means less lying for all parties, which is nice.
How exactly this will change things remains to be seen in future episodes. But the pressure to remove three dudes in one fell swoop did lead to that tragic date on the Cliffs of Moher, which prompted even more tears from Kaitlyn and Chris, before “Cupcake” vanished forever into the Irish countryside. R.I.P. Chris Cupcake. At least you were open and honest.
-The other major storyline this week was an ongoing drama around Shawn, the guy who knew he was going on The Bachelorette, a show predicated on a woman dating many men at once, who can’t get over the idea of a woman dating many men at once. Twice this week Shawn went up to Kaitlyn’s hotel room, first to tell her what a hard time he’s having watching her go on dates with other men, and then to sort of apologize for going up to her room the first time. There was also the matter of some words of reassurance Kaitlyn apparently gave Shawn in a rare off-camera moment, which convinced him he was “the one,” but only convinced Kaitlyn she maybe shouldn’t have told Shawn he was the one. More on this, and one of the interesting changes on this season of The Bachelorette, next week.
-Shortly before he was never seen again after getting lost in the Irish hills, Chris “Cupcake” said of Killarney, the little Irish town where the men were staying “This is what my soul looks like!” Can you believe Kaitlyn didn’t pick this guy?!?”
-Amy Schumer continues to talk about possibly being a future Bachelorette. I love The Bachelorette, and I love Amy Schumer, and that is why I hope for her own sake she never becomes the Bachelorette. She’s too good for this insanity.
-Line of the night: My good friend and fellow Bachelorette fan Andy, who had this to say about Joe and Kaitlyn’s date: “Joe called Kaitlyn one in a million, which means there are roughly 7,000 just like her on Earth.”