Tayshia Adams came here to eat food and break hearts, and she’s all out of food. (Actually, she’s not, there’s kind of a lot of food.) In the first of two double-episode weeks that will wrap up this wild season, Tayshia cuts men loose and throws them back like she’s fishing for pleasure, cries a lot, and finds herself in a situation that’s not Shakespearean, but which is also... not not Shakespearean? It’s a journey, folks. If yesterday you had told your intrepid Bachelor Nation food correspondent that she’d spend 10 minutes of her life with her hand over her mouth, quietly whispering “oh nooooooooooo” to an episode of The Bachelorette, she’d have called you a liar, a scoundrel, a Harvard D-Bag. And yet here she sits, still a mess about poor old Ben, whose ships-in-the-night exit is merely one of several points in this episode where she was definitely not crying, it’s just dusty in here.
So let’s get to it. We’ll structure things a little differently this week, since we had two episodes and one was packed and the other one was, uh, not.
Of course not, the Men Told Nonsense And Yelled A Lot. Let’s dispense with the week’s first episode entirely: Tayshia went on a date with Blake, who aimed to “to prove to Tayshia that I’m very, very real and serious.” She didn’t even get to dinner before sending him home, presumably after a helpful producer whispered his name in her ear so she knew what to call him as she walked him out. Then she cried a lot. Then she walked over to see the guys and asked Riley to come outside with her, and then she sent him home, and he was very sad and sweet and she cried even more. And then she had a rose ceremony and sent both Noah and Bennett packing, and then they did the MTA and the dudes were mad at each other and Noah got a sippy cup full of green juice which he did not drink. Also, Yosef’s still a huge butthole. The end.
She did, in the second episode. In the other, she didn’t even see any food. But hey, at least we got a Clare snack montage. Am I being trolled?
Let’s break this down by date. It’s “Hometowns Week,” which this season means flying out some family members (and one friend) and having them quarantined for a week before meeting a woman who might or might not get engaged to their loved one on national television. This is a lot less chaotic than usual, and not only because each one of the remaining guys is an absolute cinnamon roll. But first, Tayshia got a taste (literally!) of each of their hometowns. (She also drank coffee and wine and I think gin, but this week we don’t have to stretch! Feeling blessed and highly favored.)
Brendan (and by that we mean a bunch of production assistants) created a smalltown carnival for Tayshia, which would have been pretty cute on its own, but they were joined by his niece and oh my god, it was just lovely. Is this the only reality show I’ve ever seen in which all four of the finalists seem like genuinely wonderful people who are fundamentally decent, despite their participation in this absurd and occasionally toxic series? I think it might be. Anyway, Brendan and Tayshia are adorable together, and they eat Rocket Pops. And they don’t even feed them to each other! Double win.
After that, she meets his brother and sister-in-law, and they all have some nice heart-to-hearts about feelings, and Tayshia makes Brendan’s brother cry, in a good way. So much crying. Next!
Zac stayed up all night building that “bagel shop” with his bare hands! Or perhaps the La Quinta Sleep Salon And Bagel Palace just has some little carts on hand. Probably the latter. Anyway, Zac gives Tayshia a “tour” of New York, including a tutorial on hailing a cab (adorable), some New York-style pizza (looked kinda gross, honestly), and the aforementioned bagels. Is it possible no one working on The Bachelorette has ever been to a bagel place? Why were there gummy bears?
Regardless, it’s a very cute date, though not as cute as if he’d had a really sweet niece there too. Then Tayshia meets his lovely family, who clearly adore him, and it’s just really nice. There was yet more crying. Next!
Ivan wisely kept things simple, showing Tayshia a video of an “acclaimed chef”—his baby niece—preparing Filipino food before they attempted, apparently very unsuccessfully, to recreate them. And I’m not just saying that because they look like this:
She later feeds him a bite and he is unable to hide how gross it is, and they laugh a lot. Again, adorable. So then she meets his family, and despite his mom’s completely understandable skepticism, it is, again, pretty wonderful. And then Ivan says, “I wish my brother was here,” and lo, he walks out! Much crying! Don’t take the tears streaming down Tayshia’s face as evidence of her “connection” with Ivan, though, because who among us would not cry when two brothers hug each other and get in touch with their feelings?
You love to see it! Next!
Oh, Ben, honey. Oh, Ben. Ben “brings” Tayshia to Venice Beach. It’s cute. They go to a “juice bar.” It’s gross. They go swimming. It’s kinda hot. It looks like a very good date, but Tayshia has some concerns about whether or not Ben really has feelings for her. And here comes an actual legitimate food connection!
That’s Top Chef superstar Andrea Lofaso! She’s apparently a close friend of Ben’s, and joins him, with his clearly deeply amazing sister, for his Hometown. And while the sister’s off with Tayshia, trying to get her to understand that Ben feels a lot of feelings and is just not particularly demonstrative with those feelings, Chef Antonia helps Ben realize that he’s in love with Tayshia. He’s so excited! He’s so happy! He can’t wait to tell her! And then he... doesn’t.
Y’all, it is a lot.
Watch that and just try not to feel feelings. I dare you. Listen, every one of these dates was great, every one of these guys is great, and no matter who Tayshia sent home it would have bummed me out. But this is clearly a case of two people who just miscommunicated—she misread him, he hesitated (again) when he shouldn’t have done. I would pay actual money to watch a video of Tayshia watching this episode because god, my heart.
Me, it’s me, I do. But also him:
Bet you $10 he’s back next week. Why do I care this much? What is wrong with me? Is this pandemic brain? Protect Ben at all costs.
Next week: the finale. Two episodes, two recaps, three dudes, one Bachelorette, and also Ben and Ben’s tears. See you Monday.