Bachelorette Katie Recap: Doubting Thomas
It was a heavy night, dear reader. I’ve been writing Bachelor recaps for a long, long time, and I believe this episode resulted in the fewest notes taken in the history of my random career. Even back in the day when Firestone escorted a PYT out to the jacuzzi to sit in tepid, unmoving water, I scribbled down more notes on an old, discarded Chick-Fil-A napkin than I did in Katie’s third week on her journey to find someone who is here for the right reasons.
Truth talk: If I wrote an entire post on just the dude’s wardrobe choices, it would be longer than the recap. Either I’m getting too old to know what’s cool, or I’m woefully out of the loop regarding men’s fashion.
I will say that I now understand all of the crying from this season’s promos. Who wouldn’t crumble into a puddle of tears when forced to admit your deepest, darkest secrets during a sharing circle spearheaded by Nick Viall of all people? Bring on the waterworks for all the infidelity, the ulterior motives, and Nick’s unfortunate pant length.
When we last saw Katie, she was sobbing into her bright green lamé Studio 54 dress, devastated by Karl’s revelation that some suitors are not there for the right reasons. The men are irate when Karl finally admits (sort of) that his honest conversation with Katie led to her current emotional state.
When Katie cancels the rest of the cocktail party, Tre claims this is the worst thing that has ever happened. This is an untrue statement. The worst thing that has ever happened is Connor the Cat Man’s unbuttoned black shiny shirt showcasing layered delicate gold chains on a freshly shaved pectoral region.
There was something hanging on the bottom of the chain. What do you think it was? A cat pendant? A guitar pick signed by Thomas Rhett? My money is on a pink crystal that cleanses his chi.
After Katie excuses herself from the group to get ready for the rose ceremony, Greg proves that his head is still in the game. He rushes to find our bachelorette, reminding her that she needs to be confident in everyone in the room because Karl is a jackwagon. Greg leaves her to gather her confidence. Then the ABC Intern blasts a drumline sequence from the movie Drumline, mentally prepping Katie for battle.
She stalks down the hall to the beat in her five-inch heels, approaches the boutonniere pedestal, and starts tossing roses to all of the faceless dudes who are NOT in my bracket. When she calls Mike’s name, he accepts his rose and then pauses to take both of Katie’s hands in his.
Mike explains that as a unit, the guys feel that Karl is not telling the truth. Karl seems to be the biggest of chaches, and after taking a quick poll, he knows that all others are definitely here for the right reasons. Katie asks in a steady, loud voice, “Do you all feel the same way?” She turns weepy when most of the men nod in affirmation.
Katie bolts to the other room into the loving, gin-soaked arms of Tayshia and Kaitlyn. I applaud them for showing up in this time of need! The women give Katie sound advice.
Tayshia: Follow your heart.
Kaitlyn: It’s your decision.
Lincee: Push the envelope. Do what you gotta do. Put yourself out there.
Katie rolls her eyes at all of us, hands out twelve more roses, and sends four guys home. My boy Kyle, Garrett, John, and even Karl are pointed in the general direction of the rejection SUV. As fate would have it, the US military did NOT have to come to drag Karl out of the resort as he predicted earlier in the night. Instead, he gives a roomful of guys the evil eye and ignores Katie altogether before walking himself out the door.
This is when things get weird. And I’m not just talking about Nick Viall channeling his inner Justin Timberlake from his “Man of the Woods” album cover shoot. Masculine buffalo check flannel was so pre-COVID, it’s not even funny.
Nick and Katie lead the gentlemen into a bare, yet well-lit room. There are grey folding chairs arranged in a wide circle. Clipboard in hand, Nick requests for everyone to take a seat. Metal scratching a concrete floor is the only soundtrack provided as the dudes look ominously at one another, wondering what is going on.
Imagine every scene from a movie or television show that involves the characters attending some support group meeting. This is the setting for our super fun group date. Except take out the “super fun” and replace it with “highly inappropriate.”
Nick sets the ground rules for the sharing circle. As a veteran bachelor, he understands that Katie’s biggest fear is not knowing who these jokers are at their core. Therefore, a dozen men huddled in the spherical spotlight will be forced to share sordid details of their lives.
Feelings explode onto the scene pretty quickly when Hunter bawls like a baby straight out of the gate while speaking about how his divorce has affected his two children. The bar for lamentation has been set, so the others follow suit.
Aaron’s dad had a stroke, and he dated a girl out of obligation to “feel something.” Big tears. David chose his career over love and has wondered ever since if he made the right decision. Soft tears. Quartney broke a girls’ heart. Choking tears. Connor, the Cat Man, used to get blackout drunk, turning into an aggressive, mean version of himself. Ugly crying. Even Katie shared that she was in a position ten years ago when she did not give consent and has suffered from feelings of denial and shame ever since.
And then there was Thomas. His “big confession” was his absolute love for Katie. He admits that he didn’t expect much when he came on the show. Sure he would welcome a boosted platform (HE ACTUALLY SAID THIS) and even went on a few dates before coming out to New Mexico. Luckily, he leaned into the process and is quite pleased with his newfound relationship and their chemistry together.
Beefcake Aaron isn’t buying it. This should surprise no one.
Katie arrives at the cocktail party in a silver version of her green lamé Studio 54 dress, paired with a man’s coat. Thomas whisks her away, and Katie drills him on the “red flags” that he never disclosed during sharing circle time. Thomas expertly dodges the question, but Katie presses in again, determined to get him to have an actual conversation with her about heavy stuff.
Thomas parrots back a bunch of fortune cookie answers, promising his intentions are pure and that he truly wishes to be married one day. Katie uses her tin foil dress to summon extra energy for the will power needed to resist Thomas pulling her into his lap so he can cloud her judgement with his pheromones and talented tongue.
She quickly hugs him goodbye and moves on to Aaron, who continues the story about his father. Meanwhile, Thomas realizes he has mismanaged his time with Katie, so he lurks in the background, totally creeping on Aaron’s one-on-one. He eventually swoops in to “tell Katie something really important.”
You crossed the wrong guy, Thomas. Aaron is one unhappy camper. He lumbers into the other room to tattle on Thomas for interrupting his time, not to mention the fact that other dudes haven’t been alone with Katie yet. Later, Aaron accuses Thomas of assuming his time is more important. Then he asks the ABC Intern for a can of red paint so he can draw a bullseye on Thomas’ back.
Thomas begins to panic. Karl was just kicked out for ruffling feathers. Thomas adopts a pitiful face and even slumps a little in posture, proving he will not put up a fight. He announces to the group that his “very important thing” was to tell Katie he loved her.
Connor the Cat blurts out, “Saying you are falling in love right now is making a mockery of the process.” My head explodes. Then Aaron reminds everyone, “This morning, you were here for a platform.”
If I weren’t laughing so hard, clapping my hands wildly at the television, I would have resonated in the incredible boldness of both those statements.
Thankfully, Katie doesn’t give the rose to Doubting Thomas. That red bud goes to Connor the Cat Man and his non-existent chest hair.
I think it’s important to note that Katie did not die in a dune buggy accident. Fortunately, the helmet and safety restraints did their job, holding her securely as she rolled her buggy over onto itself. Poor Michael had to wait in the middle of the desert, counting tumbleweeds while the production team pulled her from dangling upside down in the wreckage.
Both were brave enough to go riding through the desert after. TAKE TWO!
Katie is enamored with Michael. He’s endearing and pure. He even asks if he can kiss her before each opportunity he takes to kiss her. When Michael grabs her butt up against the dune buggy in the middle of a make-out sesh, I was proud of him for stepping beyond the boundaries the other men have labeled him as “the dad of the house.”
At dinner that night, Michael shares his story. He met his wife at college, was married, had a son, and seven months later, Laura was diagnosed with breast cancer. She passed away two years ago.
It’s clear Michael loved his wife with his entire heart. However, you can tell he understands what his story portrays coming into this particular situation, and you have to appreciate the lengths he goes to make sure Katie knows that he’s in this for real. His defense? He knows what love feels like and is ready to open his heart again. He is confident he can create a relationship that is unique and their own. Also, he would consider it a privilege to have the gift of falling in love twice in his life.
Katie is overwhelmed for several reasons. His story is heartbreaking. Michael is effervescent. Does she want a kid yet? This feels intimidating! He is so nice and genuine! Being with him is so natural.
Katie does what any woman would do in this situation and gives Michael the date rose. Then she takes him to the roof so they can “look a stars” while making out horizontally under a plethora of Aztec-inspired blankets and alpaca throws.
DRAMA WITH THOMA-S
Hunter decides it’s in everyone’s best interest if he calls Thomas out for being a chach right before they go on their group date. It feels like Thomas is running a campaign to be the next bachelor, so Hunter asks him point-blank if he’s ever considered it.
Thomas hems and haws, babbling on about how he always feels like he has to smile and be a happy person. He didn’t know what to expect coming here. Blah, blah, blah.
Hunter interrupts and asks the question, again. “Did you come out here thinking you could be the next bachelor?”
The answer, is yes. I love this so much.
Hunter, being the nice one-sleeve tattoo guy that he is, asks Thomas if he still considers being the next bachelor. Because he’s not a complete moron, Thomas swears he no longer considers it. The entire entourage calls BS.
Tre, our resident color commentator, explains to the viewing audience a few quick details. First, it was Cody who was here for the wrong reasons. Katie sent him packing on night one. Then, Karl was ousted for his pants being on fire. Now we have Thomas, who may be the worst of them all, trying to weasel his way into being the next pretty face holding a lone red rose on a billboard in Los Angeles.
What if Katie gives up? Will she throw her hands up at her current situation and run off with Nick Viall? Is Thomas going to get busted like the other two? Does Michael stand a chance at finding love at the end of this journey?
Sound off in the comments section! Remember, no spoilers!