Hello, Bachelorette hate-watchers and love-watchers! On Monday's episode of The Bachelorette, our favorite contestants returned after a two-week hiatus, and boy did we miss them. Our reunion was filled with laughs, men's tears and finally saying goodbye to two more men. Those poor unfortunate souls: Alex the Marine and James Taylor the singer-songwriter with a heart of gold.
Also, we watched a grown man tenderly wrestle a horse to the ground.
Monday's episode marked the last week of traveling before hometown visits, so the stakes were high from the beginning. All the men who get through this episode will get to host JoJo in their homes and tell the country about how much they love their moms, so these roses are extra special. The episode started off with the extra special announcement that there will be no more roses on one-on-one dates, so it's extra hard to get an automatic pass-through this week.
Alex gets the first one-on-one date with JoJo, which is so good, Chase says, because he has been "bitching" about not getting time with JoJo. Delightful. Alex and JoJo start off their romantic day together with a luxurious ride in a normal-person car while the rest of the dudes have to road-trip together in a stinky old jalopy.
But to be frank, the bus ride seems way more fun. The boys all do some freestyle hip-hop rapping while Alex tries desperately to entertain JoJo with his words. "Is that wheat?" he asks JoJo while he stares out of the window, and everyone in Bachelor nation cringes with secondhand embarrassment.
JoJo and Alex arrive at some sort of ranch and dress up as gauchos, while the bus from hell stops at a roadside BBQ joint so the rest of the boys can have a snack.
JoJo and Alex ride around awkwardly on a horse before arriving in a pasture, where they watch a horse-professional seductively embrace a horse until it is fully laying down on the grass, at which point JoJo and Alex go over and lay on top of it like it's a beanbag chair. It would not be an exaggeration to say that this is in the top five weirdest things that have ever happened on a Bachelorette one-on-one.
During the nighttime part of JoJo and Alex's date (while the rest of the boys check out their new digs), they decide to do some serious talking about their relationship. Alex says he always knew there was something special about JoJo — hmm, was it that she's the star of a reality TV dating competition show? — and then he drops the L-bomb on her. It's love, he says. He loves her.
Sadly (for Alex), JoJo tells him that she doesn't actually feel super pumped about his feelings, and even though there's not technically a rose on their date, she can still send him home. Alex is so bummed that he actually can't even look JoJo in the face, which is sad, but, whatever.
The next morning, JoJo is so over dumping Alex and ready for her date with Jordan! They fly in a tiny plane together, which is classic Bachelorette. They go to a vineyard and stomp grapes so they can taste each other's foot-tainted grape juice. That's real love, people.
Then they don skimpy bathing suits and sit in a hot tub to kiss and talk about life. Meanwhile, back at the mansion, all the other boys are saying mean things about Jordan and getting very competitive about everything. The next date card arrives, and they are peeved that Cowboy Luke is getting the next one-on-one date.
At dinner with JoJo, Jordan confesses that he and his Very Famous Brother, Aaron Rodgers, don't talk. Yikes, that seems like some raw, painful family drama that we should really dig into. But then Jordan basically says they don't get along because he's the good one. Welp.
Robby, James Taylor and Chase all go on the group date, which was going to be some kind of sultry horse petting, probably, but because it's raining they decide to stay inside at the hotel instead. It's slumber party themed, y'all! James Taylor decides that the best way to impress the potential future mother of his children is to dare himself to stuff as many french fries as possible into his own mouth. And then he does it. It's both impressive and gross.
They play charades, Robby gets dared to run through the hall in his undies and show off his bangin' bod, and then, like any good slumber party, things start getting dramatic. While they are all lying on top of each other in bed, which is already a lot, singer-songwriter James Taylor starts accusing Robby of staring at stranger-women on the sidewalk. Robby says this is slander. Nothing is really resolved, and also this argument plays out while they are watching a foreign version of The Bachelor on TV, so that's pretty weird.
Then it's time for everyone to get special serious talking time with JoJo. They all say that they are falling in love with her, basically, but apparently Robby does it the best because he gets the date rose. That makes Robby the first man officially moving on to hometown visits, and he also gets to stay late and kiss JoJo while Chase and James Taylor, singer-songwriter, have to dejectedly head home.
Cowboy Luke's one-on-one date is up next, and he shows up wearing a denim shirt that is severely unbuttoned. He and JoJo go horseback riding, and he shows her how much he knows about horsies. Then they go skeet shooting, which is not dirty even though it sounds like it should be. Luke says he likes the date but he also never smiles so who really even knows.
JoJo decides to skip the cocktail party tonight because, let's face it, the horses all took up way too much screen time this episode. Robby already has a rose from his date, and Luke, Jordan and Chase all get one too, which means they're all going on to hometown visits. Singer-songwriter James Taylor actually has a sincere, heartbroken goodbye scene — that's how you do it, Alex — and further cements his places as America's sad, good country boy.
That's everything that happened Monday, folks. Buckle up for next time, when we get to meet the moms!