Noah makes baseless claims about the guys to Tayshia, leading to a furious confrontation between her and the house -- plus, the funniest mix-up in "Bachelorette" history leads to a romantic midnight rendezvous with ... Chris Harrison?
It's one thing for the "Bachelor" franchise to cast Black leads, but it's quite another to invite real issues facing Black Americans into its bubble, so it was amazing to see "The Bachelorette" do just that as Tayshia got real about Black Lives Matter with one of her suitors.
Unfortunately, while that was a beautiful and real moment shared between Tayshia and Ivan, it would prove to be the peak of the episode ... one that would end with Tayshia canceling the cocktail party mid-way through after Noah continued to stir the pot with seemingly baseless claims.
Will we go so far as to say he's lying? Based on the perpetual smirk on his face, we just might. Certainly there's been no evidence in any conversations that have made it to air to justify him saying every guy there is questioning her integrity and motivation for giving Noah the group rose.
It's absolutely possible he made that up, thinking it would raise his standing with her. He even suggested she confront some of the guys about it, which sounds like he was trying to sabotage their one-on-one time with her by planting that seed of doubt.
It's an incredibly selfish, immature and cruel thing to do, if it is some strategic lie, because it hurt Tayshia even more than any of the guys. And it would prove that he doesn't really care about her, or perhaps just lacks the emotional maturity to understand the consequences of his actions on her.
But while Noah is obviously immature in how he's handling virtually every encounter in the house at 25, he's got two 36-year-old men going toe to toe with him at the basest of levels. On the one hand, you've got Ed who seems ready to fight (verbally) at any moment and on the other, there's Bennett, just ready to snidely condescend (Harvard approved methodology, we're sure).
It's not a good look on any of them and like most women, Tayshia is not going to stand for such juvenile posturing if and when she finds out. She already shut Spencer down for getting into it with Ed so this isn't going to end any better for any and all involved parties.
Tonight, though, was all about being vulnerable and making real connections, and no one exemplified that more than Ivan, who spoke honestly and openly about how much George Floyd's death and the subsequent Black Lives Matter movement has impacted him.
He shared with her how his younger brother wound up in prison for four years and the unnecessary abuses he endured at the hands of correctional officers there.
"No matter what George Floyd did either way, or what my brother did, these people have a job to do and they need to do it right," Ivan said through tears. "They can't just be hurting people for no reason."
Tayshia had even more trouble opening up about the issue, which producers and ABC gave several segments to. For her, as a Black and Latina mixed woman in Orange Country, she felt like she's been trying to fit in where no one looks like her, so hearing those chants really hit her hard.
It was a candid conversation that appeared to air unedited, for which we applaud everyone involved. Neither Ivan nor Tayshia provided any answers or even attempted to go down that route. They just shared their real experiences and how the movement has affected them as Black people.
That's what's so important to see and hear because that's reality, so it was wonderful to even see the heightened surreality of Bachelor Nation take a beat and share with us something truly real that reflects our challenging culture.
We get that this is a show about love and finding love and that sometimes things go there, but none of us were prepared to hear fake orgasm sounds blaring through a sound system at the resort. We feel sorry for anyone within earshot.
Okay, it was awkwardly hilarious but mostly it was awkward and cringeworthy. Especially as some of these guys have us pretty convinced that they've never actually experienced one of those in their lives, or at least have no idea what that might sound like.
Tayshia got assists from Bachelor Nation's Becca Kufrin and Sydney Lotuaco, with all three women reduced to gales of laughter as the guys had to not only fake intimacy in their efforts for a one-on-one date with her, but chug disgusting smoothies and find Chris Harrison to autograph their bodies "where the sun don't shine."
Things got better for Tayshia, though the Dare portion of her Truth or Dare was certainly filled with laughs, when she got the chance to push these guys to open up that evening. It was kind of the theme of the week, which is partly why Noah's comment hit so hard.
We suddenly found ourselves feeling something for Bennett as he actually let his own bravado down (about one percent) to admit he was catching feels for Tayshia. It was the fake proposal during the Dare portion that suddenly became sincere and betrayed his feelings.
The highlight of the episode had to be the late-night misadventures of Ben and Ed. Ben felt he needed to redeem himself after blowing it last week on the group date (he really did), while Ed just wanted to be bold and make time.
In a way, this is Noah's fault, too, as Tayshia clearly rewarded his rule-bending boldness with the group date rose last week, and Chris Harrison empasized that she clearly likes bold. But do women like men showing up at 2:30 in the morning to be bold?
Especially two of them?
Luckily, Tayshia didn't have to answer that question. For all that we were anticipating a confrontation at her door, it didn't happen because Ed apparently missed the mark by a wide margin, winding up at Chris' door instead.
If this wasn't orchestrated as a funny counterpoint plot by production, this is easily one of the funniest mistakes ever made on the show. Ed is so awkward in general, but he and Chris together sipping wine in the middle of the night trying to do small talk was purely magical.
It's probably for the best Ed never found out Ben was actually making amends with a very sweet room service gesture and a heartfelt apology for bombing out so bad last week. It was enough to save his bacon this week.
That said, we really can't wait for "Men Tell All" to see what Ed and really everyone thinks about our new favorite Bachelor Nation moment.
The night was not kind to everyone, though, as a closing rose ceremony sent four guys home, revealing Tayshia's final 12 guys. Falling just short were Chasen, Joe, Jordan C and Kenny; the latter despite opening up and actually having one-on-one time with her this week.
All in all, it was a light and fluffy episode of "The Bachelorette" that did what it was supposed to do -- at least until Noah blew up the ending before four guys were sent packing.
And as we saw in the teaser for next week, it looks like it is going to hit the fan between Tayshia and at least Noah and Bennett. Not only do we see them going at it some more, but we see her calling them out for their childish behavor and suggesting that only one will survive the week.
Honestly, we're not sure if Noah feels anything real for Tayshia because he's clearly reveling in being the bad boy so most of his talking-head pieces have been about that. At the same time, doesn't that kind of say enough?
Meanwhile, she and Bennett have a real connection, so unless Bennett really blows that confrontational moment with Tayshia and Noah right there, we suspect the mustache ride may soon be over.
Then, maybe we'll go back to Spencer being the villain. He's been oddly quiet since Noah jumped the fence last week.
Anyone else notice that Spencer and Noah quickly emerged as the new villains. Is it because they were brought in after Tayshia arrived and the other guys had already bonded over their frustration with Clare's run or is it because producers specifically dropped them in to be shit-disturbers.
We may never know ... but we kind of know, don't we?
"I got the rose, which is good, but I also kind of expected to go on the group date." --Noah
"I am glad that he shaved that terrible skidmark above his lip, but he's definitely walking a very, very fine line." --Bennett
"Oh my god, my dad could be your dad's dad." --Ivan (to Tayshia -- his dad is 73, hers is not yet 50)
"I would direct him to the ER if I heard that." --Becca (after Kenny's fake orgams sounds)
"Blake got some demons, dog. Blake need to go to church." --Eazy (after Blake's fake orgasm sounds)
"Boo, get off the stage!" --The guys (after Bennett's fake orgams sounds)
"So what if you met my parents, would you be smart-assy?" --Tayshia (to Kenny)
"No, I would be normal." --Kenny
"It's been hard for me. There's a real chance that I've blown it. She's upset that I didn't make an effort. She thinks I'm the worst. I need to fix it. I need to step up. Nothing else matters, even if it means I get sent home." --Ben
"This is my room. Tayshia's not here." --Chris (after Ed shows up looking for Tayshia)
"I just want to apologize for making you disappointed in me." --Ben (to Tayshia)
"I just felt like our whole theme of the week has been proving yourself, and just, like, fighting and showing up. And I know there are some guys that they second they're able to they jump at the chance to make a connection, to have that time with me." --Tayshia
I expected there to be time, I expected to be able to close out the night. I'm not trying to be apathetic to you or our relationship, and I'm terribly sorry." --Ben
"I didn't know what I was doing. This is a common flaw for my species." --Ben
"Tayshia's room was very hard to find. In fact, I couldn't find it. I stayed up all night to meet Chris Harrison." --Ed
"It's a good feeling coming into this with a rose. You get to really focus on your feelings for her." --Noah
"It's been implied that you gave me the rose just to kind of shake things up. There has been a lot of rolling eyes, talking like I don't deserve it, she's just doing that for the show to get us going, things like that." --Noah (to Tayshia)
"It has been frustrating seeing them discredit your thought process." --Noah
"If you guys think that I'm trying to start drama in the house for no reason because I simply have a connection with some people, y'all need to grow up. I'm a grown woman and I can make decisions based on what I want to do. If you're gonna be questioning me, I'll gladly walk you outside. 'Kay? I"ll see you guys at the rose ceremony." --Tayshia (to the guys)
"Who was in the last conversation that something happened?" --Eazy
"You ruined everyone's night here, you ruined Tayshia's night." --Ed (to Noah)
"Can you imagine having an argument with a 14 year old? That's how I feel right now. There is zero percent chance that you'll end up with Tayshia, everyone here knows it, she will know it soon. I'm sorry to be the one that tells you the truth. You owe all of these gentlemen here and her and apology. And if you don't realize that, you don't belong here. I've got nothing more to say to you." --Bennett (to Noah)
"I'm here for love, not for breastfeeding Noah." --Bennett
"If you can cause a bunch of guys not to get time, it seems like a chess move. --Kenny
"I don't wanna be the villain of this, but I'm not changing. If anything, I'm gonna take it up a notch." --Noah
"The Bachelorette" continues Tuesdays at 8 p.m. ET on ABC.