This season of 'The Bachelorette' is a big one for the PNW, as the Bach herself is Seattle's own Katie Thurston! We knew we wanted to cover Katie's ~journey~, but after a rocky year on and off-screen for the franchise — we wanted to do it differently. We polled our audience and found a group of five incredible women with diverse backgrounds to make up what we're calling our Bachelorette Collective. They'll be trading off every week to give recaps, commentary and perspective on Katie's season. You can find all our past Bachelor Nation coverage in our dedicated section.
Well, hello, my thorny rose lovers! Let's set the mood — I am currently writing this while cooling off in my daughter's inflatable pool (and no, that's not a throwback to our premiere's MVP Sandy). Seattle is hot. But you know who else is hot?! KATIE! She seriously looks absolutely stunning in this episode. I'm so here for it.
We started the episode with a gossipy CrossFit session about Thomas and his alleged "Bachelor" audition. Last week's confession sparked some major, major controversy, and as expected, got a lot of attention last night.
Anyways, we get to leave the Thomas trouble behind for just a few minutes as we indulge in "Katie's Truth or Dare" date. I'm not gonna lie — this group date totally takes me back to middle school (but in like the most innocent way). I giggled so hard while watching (although I am not sure if it's the show making me laugh or if I'm totally delirious because it's 8,000 degrees outside). Do you remember when I said that I wasn't digging the British accent that Andrew S. pulled out the first night? Well, he must have been practicing over the last three weeks because that accent was sexy (Tayshia agrees). But you know who didn't nail the accent? Greg. All the cringe aside, he's so incredibly wholesome and sweet, you truly can't help but to root for him.
"And a one and a two and a rip nudey doo." LOL. Are these tears of laughter, or have I been aggressively splashing around in this tiny human pool? I'm so into the dynamic of this date!
Speaking of tears, the men crying after eating habanero peppers while proposing to Katie was just so cute. I can't get over how much I love this cast and our lead. Apparently, this recap is going to be a full-on lovefest. Side note, the ring prop that the men proposed to Katie with is almost (ALMOST!) as big as Kaitlyn's brand new engagement ring (and you know what? I love this for her).
The nighttime portion of the group date stayed right on course. This particular group of men is so kind to each other. As a school counselor, watching friendships evolve so organically and so genuinely is just pure gold. It is literally my job to teach lessons that emphasize the importance of leading with kindness while learning to cope with our own feelings and emotions. All the heart eyes. Am I speaking too soon? Probably, but let me live in this beautiful moment while I can! Before moving on, I also need to mention the fact that I am just obsessed with Katie's outfit; it is the perfect mix of...WAIT A MINUTE. TACO BELL?! Are you serious?! I'm in love. This is it. Let's call the ending now, Andrew S. wins. While I am just slightly disappointed that I didn't see a Crunchwrap thoughtfully laid out on that tray of deliciousness, I am so legitimately into this beautiful and tasty surprise (and yes, I am hoping that my husband reads this recap and copies that romantic move).
I don't envy having to be the guy to follow Andrew S., but wow. WOW. Mike P. nails his conversation with Katie, and of course, Greg continues to be awkwardly sweet. And Thomas. Oh no. I remember what show we are watching now...the drama. The drama is back! I felt too much joy. I knew this wouldn't last. We spend approximately the next forever-minutes discussing Thomas, and I am actually with Andrew S. on this one. Katie has shown us that she is a smart, confident and assertive woman. She will see through Thomas' awkward-scary smiles and overly manipulative romantic words without needing Tre's warning. She truly doesn't need a man to tell her what's happening (Greg agrees).
And the group date rose goes to: Andr...TRE! I was so wrong. Katie appreciated Tre's snitchy honesty and gave him the rose.
Quick recap break: watching everyone in long sleeves and pants is seriously making me sweat more. Will we ever feel cold again?!
And speaking of bringing the heat, Tayshia tells Katie about a passionate man from her past that wants his chance at love with Katie. Mysterious. Who could it be?! Drum roll, please...Blake! Katie is speechless and feeling "literally every single emotion" (not to make another weather reference, but that's actually how I feel right now).
Ok. Now that I am out of the tiny pool and have a fresh glass of yep...rosé! We can get down to the last half of this episode but not before addressing how hot a computer on your lap feels. Are you tired of me talking about the temperature? Yeah, me too.
As Katie confidently walks down a beautiful courtyard, she sees Blake and immediately recognizes him. He begins by apologizing for the discomfort his late arrival will cause, but he just knows that Katie is a perfect match for him. Um yeah, Blake. Did anyone else notice the fact that Katie is wearing the exact same outfit that she had during the group date that our resident Bachelor therapist, Nick Viall, hosted? Is this editing purposely messing with our timelines? Blake and Katie definitely met last week, so why did they hold it off until this episode?! My theory...they needed us to feel that the connections were deeper than in week three. Because, you know, a week truly is that defined amount of time that it takes you to go from stranger to partners for life. Super weird and confusing editing move. Regardless, my favorite moment of the night features Blakey Blake: as Katie is walking away, he tells her that she looks great. She then turns around, curtsies, and says, "thank you." I have never seen someone accept a compliment so confidently. Seriously. Yaaassss, queen!
As the men gather prior to the cocktail party, we must give a special gratitude shout out to Aaron. Thank you, Aaron, for acknowledging global warming tonight. That was too timely, and I should probably not say much else on this topic. During the cocktail party, Thomas is nowhere to be found. Where could he be?! Knock, knock knock. He's at Katie's door. Shocking (NOT). Thomas and Katie seem to have a genuine conversation, and for how much I came into this episode thinking he should go home, I feel like he's honest and upfront about his intentions. He has a great point: anybody signing up for a reality tv show for a chance to find love has a desire for fame no matter how much of an after-thought or slight that desire is. Anyone else with me?
"What a rollercoaster, huh?" Aaron spews out truth once again. I am feeling that same way. I'm cheery but also confused (I can probably blame the juxtaposition of emotions on this insanely delicious Snickers ice-cream bar I'm devouring). But, moving on, the men can't even believe that Thomas is still here. Hunter can't even look at him. Can't even!
As Katie gets the cocktail party started, some dude I've never even seen prior to tonight hands her a glass of something that's too bubbly to be rosé and goes on to have the first conversation of the night, only to seconds later call her a sweetheart...ugh. Katie asks the men to be present and enjoy the moment with her, but nobody seems to be able to move on from the Thomas turmoil. Are you ready to move on? I sure am. You know who is also ready? Michael A. Of course he is! He's just so great. I like him. I like him a lot. Can we just end the show now? I know I said this once already tonight, but I really mean it now. Let's just end it here, with Michael A. and Katie riding dune buggies into the sunset.
Before diving into the rose ceremony, I have a very important question: why is Thomas is chilling out in a relaxation room? What is a relaxation room? How do I get one of those in my house? But also...that was weird, right? During the rose ceremony, Thomas offers Katie and the men a public apology, and Katie quickly proceeds to handing out roses (Our boys Tre, Michael A., and Connor B. have date-roses and will continue their journey to be Katie’s maybe-husbands). Roses go to Hunter, Greg (duh), Justin, Brendan, Andrew S., Aaron, Mike P., James, Josh, Quartney, Andrew M. and...THOMAS! Oh, "Bleep!" Jaws on the floor!
But nope, you thought wrong. Thomas does not receive a rose. Katie is straight-up honest with Thomas: "What I learned about you tonight is that you're selfish, unkind, and a liar. Your Bachelor audition ends tonight...so get out!" So savage! I think the last time Bachelor Nation felt like this was with Hannah Brown's iconic podium move, am I right?!
I am so proud of our girl Katie for following and trusting her heart. This week, she has clearly shown us she can make powerful decisions, from her choice of dinner at Ono Poke in Edmonds a few nights ago (seriously incredible, if you haven't tried it, you should) to telling Thomas to leave and inviting Blake into the house. Katie knows what's best for her, and that's ultimately all that we want! As I have watched Katie as our Bachelorette these last four weeks, I can't help to think of my daughter and how much I want her to grow up with some of these same qualities that Katie clearly possesses. She is confident, resilient and so strong. She is just a beautiful human being. We absolutely need more Katie's in our world.
About writer Micaela Katz: As you know, Bachelor Mondays have been part of my weekly routine way before I had a baby, and COVID-19 put our social lives on freeze. I watch the show as a guilty pleasure while obsessing and likely over-analyzing the relationship dynamics within the contestants, production and the franchise. As a first-generation immigrant, Latina and first-time mama (shout out to my 15-month-old daughter, Sigi), I seldom see myself in the contestants. Our voices deserve (and need!) to be heard, and I want to challenge our traditional view and coverage of the franchise as we aim to push for more racial diversity, equity and inclusion.