Spoiler alert: The Coast will be recapping episodes of The Bachelorette every week this season. If you missed our introduction to this series, click here. Please stop reading if you don’t want to know what happened in the episode.
Well folks, we’re nearing the end. After starting the season with dozens of dudes a few weeks ago, last night’s episode of The Bachelorette kicked off with just eight contestants—and ended with four.
Next week we’re heading into hometown dates, meaning the stakes are especially high. Whoever goes through will be introducing Michelle to their family and friends, and taking one step closer towards a potential engagement. Time flies!
This week we’re still in Michelle’s hometown of Minneapolis, where we get to meet four of her adorable elementary school students (have we mentioned she’s a teacher?). We find out the students have planned the week’s first one-on-one date, and will get to choose who goes on it after spending an afternoon with the contestants.
This segment is genuinely great. The kids are excellent judges of character, and watching grown men try to impress them is charming.
“Clayton has really big muscles,” says a child named Luke. “He’d be really good at carrying the groceries in.”
“Nayte seems like a good guy for Michelle because he’s tall and seems good to play basketball with,” a kid named Kelsey says.
Kelsey also raises an apt point about Martin, our misogynist with frosted tips: “I don’t know if he’s the right one for Michelle and he wears too much cologne.” We don’t either, Kelsey!
After much deliberation, the children choose to send Clayton on the date, with the sound reasoning that he built them a blanket fort.
Michelle and Clayton get whisked away in a limousine stocked with pizza and candy, which brings them to a museum. It’s after hours, so the pair get to explore the empty exhibits together.
It’s a pretty cute date, but something is clearly off. With hometowns next week, Michelle is serious about only giving roses to contestants she feels strongly about—and she says that something with Clayton is missing. She sends him home at the end of the date. (Though, as we already know, he’ll be the next bachelor, so… he’s fine.) He gets a good Bachelor Edit before he leaves, the producers trying very hard to make us root for him after giving him no screen time all season.
We move onto the group date, which takes place at a farm. This is, mercifully, the last group date of the season.
“In life and in a relationship, you have to do things that are hard every day,” Michelle says, trying desperately to find meaning in the date’s activities. The contestants milk cows, shovel manure and churn butter. “Churning butter is a lot like relationships,” she laughs. “It takes consistent time and effort.”
Winnipeg Nayte tells Michelle he’s falling for her. She reveals that the feeling is mutual.
Frosted Tips, who is apparently still upset that Michelle called him out on being sexist last week, complains about what happened to some of the other guys. He says that, based on the poem she shared a few weeks ago (the one about feeling unseen as a Black girl in a mostly white community), he thinks she has unresolved trauma that she’s taking out on him. He calls this “immature,” and says he’s “not sure what she stands for.” It’s truly shocking.
Olumide tells Michelle what Frosted Tips said (obviously!). Michelle confronts Frosted Tips, who defends himself by interrupting her every time she tries to speak. He gets sent home.
As the night wraps up, Winnipeg Nayte gets the group date rose. I still think he just might win this thing!
We move onto the night’s final date—a one-on-one with Brandon. Michelle brings him to her childhood home, where they make out in the hot tub until they’re awkwardly interrupted by her parents. The four of them chat for a while. It’s pleasant. Brandon has a few minutes alone with Michelle’s parents and asks for their blessing in marriage (assuming he makes it to the end). They say yes.
The date ends with Brandon and Michelle both confessing they’re falling in love with each other. It’s very sweet. Brandon gets a rose.
This brings us to the final cocktail party ahead of the rose ceremony. Brandon and Nayte both have roses, meaning there are only two roses left to give out tonight. Four men are in danger: Joe, Rick, Olumide and Raymond. The men are hoping to use the cocktail party to prove to Michelle that they should stay, but it’s no use—host Tayshia announces that Michelle’s decision has already been made, and leads the men straight to the rose ceremony.
Joe and Raymond both get roses; Rick and Olu get sent home. Joe, Raymond, Brandon and Nayte will be moving onto hometowns next week!
What will we get to see of Winnipeg? Who will Michelle’s final few be? Will this thing really end in an engagement? Who knows?