‘The Bachelorette’ Season 11 Episode 8 Recap: Picnics and Parting Ways

the-bachelorette-episode-8Last week on The Bachelorette, we left off with a confrontation between Shawn and Kaitlyn. But really, what else is new? Shawn is Britt, basically. This episode started off super slow — I was yawning for most of it — but the last 30 minutes were a game changer. I promise! And I am not the king of empty promises unlike someone I know (Chris “you’ve never seen anything like this before” Harrison). If your work morning is as slow as this episode was, then you’re ready to recap after the jump!

We close in on Shawn and Kaitlyn in what is only one of many seemingly-drunken confrontations in Kaitlyn’s hotel room. I’ve gotta say, I’ve never seen someone so confident in going into a girl’s room uninvited and waxing poetic on how unappreciated he feels. He breaks out the big guns this evening: “I don’t know if I can do this.” Kaitlyn is understandably shocked because, hello, almost half the guys on the show bailed on her already. I can’t help but wonder if she’s going to sleep with Shawn this episode just to even the score — she doesn’t — but the memory of sleeping with Nick is eating away at her and it’s an underlying theme in the episode. We wasted no time tonight with people immediately breaking out the waterworks. Tanner tells Nick in true Gossip Girl fashion that Shawn cried after Nick came home from his date with Kaitlyn and subsequently didn’t receive a rose. Tell me he isn’t Britt!

The first date of the episode is a two-on-one, which honestly freaks me out so badly. Nothing would scare me more than knowing you have a 50 percent chance of being eliminated no matter what you do. I’m honestly not ready for JJ or Joe to go home either, because as much as I hate JJ, I love to hate him; I think Joe is just a precious Muppet baby and I would just miss him if he got sent home. JJ tells the camera, “today’s the biggest day of my … recent life.” Good catch, buddy. It would be truly depressing if it were really the biggest day of your life.

Did anyone else forget JJ has a child?

Last season’s two-on one-date was so unbelievably disastrous and this one is starting out really well, so I have a feeling it’s going to be a quiet separation for one of these contestants. For those who don’t recall, last season’s two-on-one featured Kelsey, Ashley I. and Chris Soules on a date in the middle of the desert. There was crying, screaming, catfighting and too many mentions of Ashley I.’s virginity … and both girls got sent home. Joe and JJ both get some alone time with Kaitlyn, where they open up to her in completely different ways. Joe tells her that he’s falling for her, and JJ admits a giant secret: he cheated on his wife and that’s why he’s a single dad. I honestly didn’t see this coming, and that’s not sarcasm but it makes sense why we haven’t heard JJ’s back story yet. Because this is The Bachelor, he’s swiftly sent home (although Kaitlyn says it’s because she doesn’t want to keep him from his child), and Joe is asked to spend more time with her before he inevitably gets a rose.

Meanwhile, back at the house, I’m given a few more reminders that I don’t care about Shawn’s whining. Still love him, starting to dislike him, if that makes sense. When Joe walks in and tells them that the date was romantic and that he’s falling for Kaitlyn, Shawn literally gets up and walks out of the room and heads to Kaitlyn’s hotel room. He’s getting very comfortable there. The camera operators (or whatever that’s called; I’m a writer, not a PA) let her know that Shawn’s on her way so she can have some time to prepare or in this case, cry a little bit about her situation before he arrives. Remember that the whole time Shawn’s getting upset simply because he’s not #1 in Kaitlyn’s eyes, she thinks he’s mad about Nick. Shawn doesn’t even know about Nick! Keep that in the back of your mind as you watch the rest of this season.

Apparently, off-camera, Kaitlyn reassured him to the max that he’s the one for her. Bad move, girl. The good thing about Chris Soules was that what you saw was what you got. There were no secret liaisons and deeper discussions off-camera so now I and the rest of America feel slightly betrayed. I watch this show because I’m nosy! I want to know everything that happened! Stop taking things off-camera! I was convinced Kaitlyn was going to drop the bomb about Nick at this moment, but it was a complete cop out and instead she apologized for reassuring him “too much.” He’s 28, he’s a grown adult, he should be able to figure out how to date. That’s all I have to say.

As always, Kaitlyn makes it a point to remind the guys that it’s been a tough week. It’s always a tough week for Ms. Bristowe. You know what’s a tough week? My shoes broke on the subway the other day. I don’t think she’s had to deal with that. Anyway, we’re at whatever-number rose ceremony it is, I just can’t keep track, and I kind of want one of the Bens to go home because I’m sick of hearing specific initials this late in the game. Ben H. is super suspicious of Shawn and Kaitlyn — he knows they had some kind of talk — and he wants to be let in on the secret. So what does she do? Makeout Bandit strikes again! Nick sits down with Kaitlyn as well and we get into a good Bill-Clinton-level semantics discussion, specifically, what kind of words he used to describe their ~ encounter ~. Nick gets super riled up and emotional (you can see shades of the Nick from Andi’s season coming out) and I wouldn’t be surprised if he puts Kaitlyn on blast when the timing is right. We’ll have to wait and see.

Kaitlyn tells Shawn that they need to take a break right before the rose ceremony, sending him into a downward spiral of despair and questioning his own self-worth. He legitimately thought he wasn’t going to get a rose because of that one conversation. Do the producers at The Bachelorette brainwash people? I also think it’s hysterical that she gives the guys a lecture every single time she’s in a room with them. She eliminates Ben Z. and Tanner, leaving six guys in the competition. Ben Z.’s spiel about finding the right girl in his last talking head leads me to believe that he could possibly be a contender for The Bachelor next season, but seeing as he was eliminated so soon, I doubt it … although I would sooo not mind seeing more of Ben Z. come January.

Before the group heads to Killarney, Kaitlyn asks Jared to drive with her while the rest of the guys sit on the bus. I kind of forget that Jared exists because he’s so harmless and out-of-the-way, and I mean that in a totally good way. He’s just a nice dude who’s there to date a girl, you know? He doesn’t get confrontational or mean or weird (although I still think he’s super weird for his Love Man alter ego), and every time he’s on the screen it’s just refreshing. They visit the Blarney Stone together, which should mean good luck for their relationship.

Meanwhile, back on the bus, Shawn’s sleep apnea hits and his snoring puts all other snoring to shame.

Chris Harrison and Kaitlyn have a serious talk about changing some things around and they decide to push hometowns to a later week. This week, there will be three overnight dates. Kaitlyn’s decided that she needs more time to get to know these guys better (probably because she’s spent the majority of her time with Jared, Nick and Shawn). For once, I believe Chris Harrison when he sits the guys down and tells them, “gentlemen … everything is about to change.”

Cupcake gets the first date card, and I think he and Kaitlyn may be a match made in heaven because they are both so damn preachy whenever they get picked to go on a date/have to talk to a large group of people. Like, maybe no one wants to hear your thoughts on whether or not you agree with Kaitlyn and Chris Harrison that you need more time? What kills me about Ireland is how casual they try to make it seem — oh, here’s our private helicopter; oh, here’s the castle we’re staying at, oh, there are the Cliffs of f-ing Moher, we’re just going to have a picnic on them, it’s fine!

I almost threw up in my mouth when Chris responded to Kaitlyn’s assessment of “the most beautiful place ever” with “and the most beautiful girl ever.” Ughhhhhh. So we finally get into a discussion, and I can tell something bad is going to happen, because how many times do people ask each other how they’re doing unless you’re going to deliver some bad news? And, without fail, as I type that out in my notes, the waterworks start. She tells Chris that he hits every point on her checklist, which should be a good thing! But it isn’t, and he doesn’t realize it until I do sitting at home that she’s telling him it’s not enough. She just doesn’t see them together in the long run. So she packs up, gets in the helicopter, and leaves him moping around the Cliffs of Moher. He lasts a few minutes before going into a full panic mode, crying and screaming and shaking his head. Break up with someone on a steep cliff on national television, Kaitlyn … smart!

Sorry for the short recap, you guys. This episode was emotionally draining. I’m hoping more exciting things happen next week when, according to the previews, the rest of the guys finally learn about Kaitlyn and Nick. Until then… cheers!

Past Episodes:

Episode 7: Luck of the Irish
Episode 6: Does Anyone on This Show Understand Where They Are?
Episode 5: The Gang Goes to NYC
Episode 4: Sex, Lies and Sumo Wrestling
Episode 3: This Isn’t Church Camp
Episode 2: Who Is the Bachelorette?
Episode 1: Fireball on the Rocks

meghan-kennedy-bio-picMeghan is a recent graduate of SUNY Geneseo with a degree in Personal and Professional Communication. You can find her at the nearest Chipotle tweeting about Drake, her sorority little and Project Runway.