The crazy begins.

There’s a certain point in every season of The Bachelorette where everyone involved begins to go completely insane. Maybe it’s the lack of access to cell phones and the internet, or being cut off from loved ones or normal day-to-day life. Maybe prolonged exposure to the air in luxury hotels causes acute brain death. But every year it happens; guys just start to snap. On this season, that breaking point came in episode six. Multiple dudes lost their minds simultaneously on national television. The whole episode was this GIF of Mr. Spock looking really uncomfortable for two hours.

The awkwardness started even before the mental breakdowns. Former Bachelorette runner-up Nick Viall formally accepted Kaitlyn’s invitation to join the show at the end of last week’s episode, and as this week’s episode begins, he arrives at the contestants’ hotel suite in New York City. Upon his arrival, he’s seated on one side of the living room while the fourteen remaining bachelors sit on the other side and grill him about his intentions. Every word he said was scrutinized. When he called Kaitlyn a “pretty cool chick,” Joshua questioned what he meant by that. “Is she a cool chick or an amazing woman to you?” he snapped back. (Nick’s clever response: She’s both.)

It was Joshua who would ultimately succumb to the night’s first Bachelorette freakout. He simply could not accept Nick joining the show midstream, and the horrific violation of Bacheloretiquette that represented (for more on that, read last week’s recap). On the week’s group date, an exquisitely uncomfortable (and racially questionable) Mariachi competition, Joshua became increasingly agitated about Nick’s presence. The tension grew and grew until he it had to go somewhere. And that somewhere was at Kaitlyn.

Admittedly, the show seemed to be doing everything it could to destroy Joshua’s fragile psyche. First, he had to dress like an extra from The Three Amigos, write an original song for Kaitlyn, and then sing it to her in front of a bunch of people (and millions more at home). It went ... ungood. (“That was ... that was brutal,” was Joshua’s own accurate assessment.) Next, Joshua tried to earn Kaitlyn’s trust by letting her cut his hair as part of their one-on-one time on the group date. That went even worse than his hideous singing. She butchered his ’do, taking a huge chunk out of his sideburns and then leaving him with a half-shaved head when her electric razor ran out of battery power.

So here’s Joshua, a nice industrial welder from Kuna, ID. He just desecrated an entire nation’s musical heritage and he looks like he lost a fight with a barber. Now this guy Nick shows up. He’s got excellent, symmetrical hair, he owns his terrible mariachi singing, and he says all the right things whenever Kaitlyn’s around. So what happens? Joshua goes apes---, of course.

He pulls Kaitlyn aside and accuses Nick of not being on the show for “the right reasons” (which, on The Bachelorette, is a crime akin to running someone over with your car and then fleeing the scene before the police arrive). He also insists all the other bachelors feel the same way. When Kaitlyn claims that means that everyone is lying to her by hiding the truth about Nick, Joshua agrees. And that is a serious accusation. Refusing to be “open and honest” on The Bachelorette is an even worse crime than not being there for the right reasons. It’s like running someone over with your car, fleeing the scene before the police arrive, and then selling your car to someone you don’t like in the hopes that they’ll get arrested for your mistake.

When Joshua comes back to the group, he lies and claims he was doing an interview, and then when Kaitlyn arrives to get answers about Nick’s behavior, Joshua starts flip-flopping faster than a fish that’s just been yanked out of the ocean. In private, Joshua agreed with Kaitlyn when she called all the guys liars. Minutes later when Kaitlyn asks “Are you guys being honest with me?” to the whole group, he now replies “I’d like to think so.” Even JJ, who was the season’s main villain before Nick showed up (and even coined the term “Villains gotta vill”) called Joshua on his bad behavior. When you’ve fallen farther than the “Villains gotta vill” guy, you know you’re in trouble.

Joshua didn’t get kicked off following his meltdown, possibly because this season continues its wildly frustrating structure of ending each week’s episode before the Rose Ceremony, but his departure is only a matter of time at this point. The clock is also ticking on Ian, who apparently saw Joshua’s group date implosion and thought “Hey, that looks fun! Maybe I should try that!”

Resigned to the fact that he’s not making a strong connection with Kaitlyn, Ian decided the time was right to go out “guns blazing,” and to break up with her before she can break up with him. This week’s dates took place in and around San Antonio, so Ian felt the time was right for his own Alamo-style last stand. In interviews, he starts bragging about how he has “a lot of sex” back home and doesn’t find Kaitlyn interesting. He also claims he is “an enigma” Kaitlyn can’t solve. In that regard, he is most certainly correct. I’m not sure anyone will ever understand a man who willingly chooses to look this arrogant and obnoxious in front of an audience this large.

Before the evening’s Rose Ceremony, Ian pulled Kaitlyn aside, sat her down, and basically insults her to her face for three straight minutes. “I came here expecting to meet the girl who had her heart broken … not the girl who wanted to get her field plowed by [previous Bachelor star] Chris.” He called her shallow (and called himself “deep”). He questioned her intentions. He accused her of just wanting “to make out with a bunch of dudes on TV.”

Sooooo I’m going to guess he’s going home next week.

In less dramatic news, this week’s one-on-one dates went to Ben H. and Shawn B. The former got to enter a two-step dance competition with Kaitlyn; the latter went for a romantic kayaking trip around San Antonio. Shawn was nervous about Nick’s arrival and claimed it was making him “pump the brakes a little bit” about his relationship with Kaitlyn. But by the end of their private date he told her he was falling in love with her. Time to replace those mental brake pads, Shawn. They’re not working too good.

Shawn’s got to be the frontrunner at this point in the competition, with Jared (who also told Kaitlyn he was falling in love with her this week) a close second. Kaitlyn even brought Jared up to her room prior to the Rose Ceremony in San Antonio for some private smooching. The “Next Week On...” promo suggests Kaitlyn will soon hook up with Jared (or maybe Nick?) and things go a little farther than she plans. But let’s leave that (along with the genuinely bizarre sexual politics of The Bachelorette) for next week.

Additional Thoughts:

-Line of the Night: Nick, in an interview, saying that “The guys have been super-cool to me — at least to my face” right before Joshua goes behind his back and tells Kaitlyn he’s a bad dude. Having gone through the whole process before definitely gives Nick an edge in the competition; maybe not in winning Kaitlyn’s heart, but certainly in making sure he never does or says anything that will make him look bad. The difference between his careful P.R. game and the brutal (and self-damaging) honesty of rookies like Joshua and Ian was really striking.

-Here’s another weird quirk of The Bachelorette: Almost every one-on-one date includes dinner, but no one ever eats their food. It just sits on the table, untouched in front of the couple, while they discuss being open and honest or whatever. When do these people actually eat?

-Apparently there was some kind of possible spoiler for this season posted on Snapchat this week. I saw an article about it, but I’d actually prefer not to be spoiled, so I didn’t read it and don’t plan to. If you want to spoil yourself, you can follow that link.

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