Welcome back to The Takeout’s weird column about the food, or absence thereof, in the many corners of the Bachelor cinematic universe! I’m your host, Allison Shoemaker, and if you’re talking to Katie about your own complex relationship with death and loss, I’ll be interrupting you shortly to tell her I’ve got undefined feelings, and yeah, I already told her that five minutes ago, but tough shit. There’s a lot to get to this week and I’m going to have to work extra hard to make the whole “food” thing make sense, so let’s not dilly-dally. Could I have your attention, please?
Let’s get into it.
Okay, a funny thing happened with this episode, and it is this: I actually watched it? Like, sincerely? And I took notes, but I was mostly just paying attention and not scouring every frame for food? Because it was... good?
Thanks for that reaction shot, Justin. (I learned his name this week, because he makes such great faces!) It’s shocking, I know. But here we are. The point is this: I don’t think Katie ate any food this week, unless you count Thomas’s word salad. (More on that later.) But I can’t be sure, because, uh, I actually, um, cared. Like I said in week one: Katie’s gonna put me out of work. As with last week, we’ll break things down by date.
A large chicken hunk, desert snacks, a cocktail made by combining all the tears shed by those on the group date into one huge martini glass and adding bitters, and Karl’s bullshit. Let’s start with that last one!
If you’ll recall, last week ended with this:
This week, there’s more ughghhhhhhghhghhggggghhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh, but then Mike P. and the rest of the dudes—like, all of them—put an end to the incoherent groan of boredom that was escaping from living rooms across America by coming together as one to tell Katie that Karl suuuuuucks.
Listen, Katie is very good at being a TV person, so while she says she was intending to keep Karl at the end of this rose ceremony, I’m not sure I believe that. He’s not good at being a TV person, and she honestly didn’t seem to buy any of it, even though she played along. (See also: Thomas, and again, more on that piece of work later.) And whenever the suitors unite in some way, it’s always entertaining, but in this case it’s not the cast banding together to tell Katie she’s making bad choices. Instead, it’s like they all rejected the premise of the bullshit in the first place and are trying to help her dodge the douchebags.
So yeah, Katie walks off and tells Tayshia and Kaitlyn that she doesn’t know what to do, but I’d bet you a chicken breast the size of the Hyatt Regency Tamaya Resort & Suitor Unionization HQ that she’s just making the TV better by pretending to leave us in suspense. Thanks, Katie! Thanks, Mike P.! So long, Karl!
CW: This section includes a discussion of sexual assault.
Behold, a traditional group date with a less-gross-than-usual twist! There’s a much longer story to be written about how this Nick Viall-led mass confessional works in the franchise’s favor by encouraging the suitors to fess up about the bad dude shit they’ve done in the past instead of waiting for someone to post it on TikTok, but this is not that column. Let’s just say that this is wayyyyy better than a lie detector test, that the lighting designer deserves a raise, and that some of those emo-bros seems like genuinely lovely people. Hunter, we love that self-awareness! Connor B., you’re doing so good, buddy! Thomas, you’re—uh—well, okay, I’ve got nothing there. Anyway, the dudes talk about their feelings and then Katie shares, too.
No jokes here. It’s an important thing that Katie Thurston did here in talking about her experience with sexual assault (here she calls it “a situation where there was not consent”) and its aftermath. Good for her, and good for all the non-Thomas dudes we saw for being comfortable sharing their feelings and crying and stuff. Connor the Cat gets the group date rose, and still rules.
This fuckin’ guy. Thomas here sure thinks he’s getting a hero edit, doesn’t he? In both the televised group therapy session and the evening portion of the date, Thomas regurgitates some dialogue from every other season of this godforsaken show like he’s playing verbal magnetic poetry without ever actually saying anything, and again, Katie either misses it or (my guess) pretends to miss it because that’s better television while also making it clear that this dude is what the youths call “sus.” Expect more nonsense from him next week, and hopefully only next week. I’ll write more about it then, unless Thomas interrupts me to make sure that he can imply that he’s falling in love without actually saying it so that he can satisfy his delusional confidence. Thanks, once again, to Justin for the reaction shot.
Here’s where I really lost track of the food. Darn you, Michael A. and your grief and sincerity! On her second actually pretty great one-on-one date, Katie hears Michael’s story: His wife and longtime sweetheart was diagnosed with breast cancer seven months after she gave birth to their son, and she died. It wasn’t long ago, it’s obviously still a lot, but this guy seems EMOTIONALLY HEALTHY! AND SELF-AWARE! AND KIND! You know the protect button meme? That was the internet last night over Michael, non-stop. I have no idea what they ate or did not eat. But I know they didn’t eat this:
Whatever, who cares about the chicken hunk, this was a good date. Look at these precious lambs stargazing after a feast of freakish giant meat.
Michael, obviously, gets the rose. And we’ll leave it there, because after this there’s just more Thomas drama and I already used the “ughghghswh1-20ugh” bit last week.
Justin, for all the reaction shots. This could have been a post comprised of nothing but gifs of the faces he makes. Maybe next week. See you then!