The night began with six men still in the running for the women's hearts after Hometowns and their decision to keep all of those that remained. Because of six men and a lot of drama, it took two nights and four hours to get through all of it!
So buckle up, because we've got a lot to get into! And once again, we find ourselves scratching our heads at some of these people, as if they forget at this point in the season how this show works and what's been going on all season.
There's something about the Fantasy Suites that draws out all those insecurities and jealousies that can bring out ugliness in people. if you can't handle the idea of your person possibly being intimate with other people, you should never sign up for this show ... even though, this week, that did actually happen for one of the ladies.
By the end of a wild week of six very different dates, jealousy and uncertainty, only one of the women made it to the Rose Ceremony. And then, as she went to grab the first Rose, the ceremony was interrupted. We won't know how that plays out until next week's finale, but let's see how we got there!
To start things off, both Gabby and Rachel regrouped in Mexico at the top of the week to share how things went so terribly for them during Claton's season at this exact point, with him declaring that he loved them all and had slept with them all.
First up for Gabby was Erich, who is single-handedly trying to make the mullet sexy again -- and kind of pulling it off. As always they enjoyed a very easy rapport as they basically went cliff diving (only off of a man-made structure).
When they got to the highest point, it was actually very sweet seeing Erich being so supportive of and encouraging to Gabby, helping her overcome her fear of jumping so they could take the plunge together.
We also started to get worried as talking head interviews started covering how anxious he was about the idea of her being with other guys this week. These guys (and sometimes the ladies) get so possessive during this week.
Gabby is right in saying that what she does or does not choose to do during her Fantasy Suite dates is her business. If he wants to share that he's uncomfortable as it's his truth, he certainly has the right to do that, but he doesn't have the right to try and guilt or pressure her about it.
At the same time, we appreciated Erich's honesty that he seems to be aware that it's unfair an inappropriate for him to act out on those feelings. But he also knows that his mind will spiral in that direction, so he's having his own internal struggle over it.
As for their actual overnight date, they appeared to have a wonderful time -- and Gabby made it pretty clear that physical intimacy is important to her so checking for compatibility there is part of her process. It's complicated and difficult, but it's part of the package.
Poor Aven, before we even got to see the beginning of his overnight with Rachel, we got another one of these guys talking about how hard it is for them to think of their woman with another man. This time, it was Tino. After his family dumped all over Rachel and left her feeling like s---, maybe he should focus on trying to repair that damage.
As for Aven, he and Rachel had a perfectly splendid time together, culminating in them both declaring that they were falling in love with one another. Rachel was adamant that she not carelessly throw that word around as Clayton did, but she did use it.
Unfortunately for Aven, the Tino interruptions kept coming -- way to short-change one of the nicest guys on the show -- as he started sharing that it makes him feel like he could throw up just talking about Rachel being physical with other guys.
Every season, we get frustrated at this same point at the boorish behavior of some of these guys -- and ladies on "The Bachelor." At least no one is making hard ultimatums about it, but it's still incredibly unfair to project your own insecurities on the lead, who certainly has more going on emotionally and literally in this show than you do!
But back to Aven, he's just a very down-to-earth, regular, ordinary, very nice guy. But nothing really exciting happened during their date other than it went well, so maybe that's why producers decided to intersperse some jealousy.
After bogarting Aven's Overnight with talking head segments about his own issues, Tino got to show his prowess (ahem) astride a horse and deal with a Rachel deep in her thoughts and insecurities.
On top of this being the week it all went wrong during her season on "The Bachelor," this is also their first time after his parents basically ran her through the wringer and found her wanting -- or at least this whole process wanting.
They also accused her of saying all the right things, but questioning how much of it was real in this fairy tale world, which was ... interesting. Stay tuned on that note.
To his credit, Tino was pretty honest about his parents. Even though he said that they would come around and come to love Rachel as he does, seeing all of her great qualities, he did concede that it probably wouldn't happen overnight.
He was also quite adamant that their negative opinions about this whole experience are not coloring how own feelings. They're simply ignorant of this unique situation, he explained, that allows two people to grow close and get to know one another so deeply in such a shortened span of time.
In other words, he was saying all the things she needed to know to believe that the echo of his parents' harsh words were not going to impact his commitment to her or this process.
And then, after telling Aven that she was falling in love with him, Rachel took it a step further with TIno as they both expressed that they were in love with one another. No falling here. But that's still two people she's expressed those feelings for -- and been intimate with (we assume).
So actions are lining up somewhat similarly to what happened on Clayton's season (and frankly a lot of other ones, too), but we suspect Rachel won't be so brutally direct and blunt about blurting out nobody's business to everyone for no real reason.
Once again, Gabby and Johnny have a riotous time just running around and laughing and being silly. They've never had any problems in this area, but it's in going deeper that they've struggled.
During Hometowns, Johnny basically told his parents that he couldn't see himself ready for an engagement by the end of this journey, and tonight he decided it was time to tell Gabby.
Basically, he was teling her that he's afraid of that commitment at this stage, whether it's her or anyone. Could he possibly get there at some point? Maybe. But his family didn't think he was ready for commitment at all at this stage in his life, and that appears to be the case.
Certainly his body language suggested that the thought of getting down on one knee any time soon scared the living bejeezus out of him. Again, we find ourselves wondering why someone that afraid of commitment would agree to do this show? They do know the endgame, right?
Gabby made it clear that engagement is what she's ready for and looking for at this point in her life. She didn't offer the idea that maybe they could get there eventually and maybe this journey doesn't have to end in an engagement, but we think that's more because she could also see that he's just not ready for that at all.
They're just at two very different places in their lives. Gabby is looking to find her person and settle down. Johnny is still enjoying living it up, dating and having fun with no strings attached and no long-term commitments. Again, though, why did you do this show?
While Gabby was heartbroken, she had solace in that she believed both Erich and Jason have been open and honest about their feelings for her and that they're ready.
Before we even got to see Gabby on her Overnight Date with Jason, we got to see him talking with Jesse about where he's at ... and it's not where Gabby thinks he's at.
In fact, he basically echoed what Johnny said, saying that not only is he not at all ready to think about an engagement, he's not even able to say that he's falling in love with Gabby.
He feels strongly about her and he sees their relationship growing in a positive direction, but he also made it pretty clear that he only sees the possibility of it growing into something more substantial after the show.
While this was going on that Gabby didn't know about, she got a note from Erich to meet him at the bridge (she didn't know it was him until she got there). His apparent intention was to just see her and have it be all sweet, but that green-eyed monster had other ideas.
Instead of just enjoying a fleeting moment, he reiterated a conversation they'd had off-camera during their Fantasy Suite where he told her that the thought of her with another guy this week is just crushing him. He was basically saying, I don't want to put an ultimatum or anything on you, but you do need to know that it would emotionally destroy me if you get intimate with other guys. But, you know, totally your call.
Gabby shared that in the Fantasy Suite, Erich told her that this week felt like she was cheating on him with the other guys, which is a possessiveness that makes no sense (we must reiterate) in the context of how this show works ... this show he signed up for!
After Gabby stormed off, frustrated and heartbroken, Erich apparently reflected and realized that he'd overstepped and been incredibly unfair to her, fearing that he'd "f---ed" everything up. Did he?
The hits just kept on coming for poor Gabby, only this time they were coming because she took Jason on the tennis court so he could teach her the game and be in a more comfortable setting. Jason has been so stiff and uncomfortable all season.
If we're totally honest, we've not understood this connection she has with him as he speaks in this monotone voice and looks like he wants to bolt at every moment that he's on camera. Maybe they steal moments off-camera where he shows some personality?
Or maybe not.
He actually believed that she might take him sharing with her that he's not ready for an engagement and not in love with her, but things are still going great between them, well. But even that's not what he ultimately wound up saying.
What he instead said was that none of this is real and he doesn't believe she knows the real him and he doesn't know the real her. Basically, he sounded like Tino's parents on repeat in her head. And it was again so monotone and lifeless as he basically told her that everything they'd shared to this point wasn't really real.
She decided to give him a chance, since he is so private and reserved, to maybe offer some clarity during Fantasy Suites because that's the one time the cameras leave them alone all night long. Would he open up and show the real him? Could it be productive?
The next morning, she was alone, so it did not go well. Somehow, from the moment the cameras turned off to when they turned on again, Jason basically told her that he couldn't see them together at all, either during the show or after.
After letting him have it the next day for stringing her along and leading her on for weeks and weeks and weeks until he made the Final Three when he didn't even see a future with her -- despite saying he did -- Gabby said goodbye, leaving her with one guy.
The guy who was pretty crappy to her about possibly spending the night with other guys. She wound up not spending the night (sexually) with anyone else, but not because of him. And now, this insecure woman who thinks she's too broken for anyone to love, is left with one extremely flawed prospect left.
Of all the dates we saw, this one actually looked to be the most fun. Rachel and Zach ran around Mexico drinking tequila, trying out anything they could find and just laughing and laughing. It couldn't have looked easier and they couldn't have displayed more chemistry.
After a psychic told her she was worried about the past, Rachel admitted to Zach that she was a little hung up about this point during Clayton's season, but she needed to take the psychic's advice and leave the past back there and embrace that this is a new journey.
So here's where it gets weird. At one point, before the overnight portion of the date, Rachel said in a talking head that she had no doubts Zach was ready to get down on one knee and propose. And everything he said in his talking heads confirmed that.
So what the hell happened?
Zach came out of that overnight so stunned and shellshocked that he looked dazed during their breakfast portion. They agreed that they'd have a tough conversation, with Rachel telling Zach she hoped he got clarity. We're not sure he did.
Instead, he went to Jesse Palmer's room to try and process through what had just happened. As he explained it, she suddenly started grilling him about whether or not he wsa ready to commit because he's only 25 years old (she's 26 but only a few months older).
He also said that it felt like she never revealed her true self or personality to him after the cameras turned off. It all felt very inauthentic to him, which is a very interesting observation. Certainly, Rachel appears to be more careful in how she presents herself than Gabby, but we assumed that was just her personality, a little more reserved and put together. Could there be something else there?
It all came out of nowhere for Zach who was all in on Rachel, ready to commit and ready to take that next step. It could be that it's not about him at all and that Rachel had kind of already decided that she didn't want to give him a Rose, or that she'd already decided she was all in with Aven or TIno. But that's not a great way to handle it, if that's the case, by trying to put it on him that suddenly you don't think he's ready because of his age.
Regardless, Zach was a mess heading into the Rose Ceremony. Jesse shared with Rachel that Gabby would not be there, without revealing that there really was no point because she was already down to one guy. So Rachel went in alone. And just as she was about to reach for the first Rose, Zach pulled her outside to talk.
We won't get the fallout from that conversation until next week, but we did get to see Gabby and Erich have a conversation where she realized how much love he'd been giving her, he owned up (at least privately) that he'd been an a--, and they hugged it out sans Rose Ceremony.
Unfortunately, while it looks apparent how this will play out (Gabby gets engaged to Erich, Rachel eliminates Zach and chooses from Erich and Tino -- probably TIno), the teaser for next week's finale proves there's plenty more chaos and drama to come!
"This is the point, when we were on Clayton's season, everything went haywire, everything went off the wall." --Rachel (to Gabby)
"To be honest, I have been dreading this week because of what happened with Clayton." --Rachel (to Gabby)
"I never want to make anyone feel the way that we did." --Gabby
"We get to rewrite what this week means and make it into something positive." --Rachel
"Erich and I do have physical chemistry, and I'm really looking forward to seeing where it goes tonight." --Gabby
"Dating Gabby, it hasn't really been all that easy, to be honest, because there are two other people here. So there's a possibility I might not be the one for her. That's the risk for me. That's the thing that I think about from the back of my mind ... [but] she is so freaking worth it." --Erich
"I am in love with you, Gabby, and I don't want to leave here without you." --Erich
"I am falling in love with you, I really am." --Gabby
"I know thinking about things like her in the Fantasy Suites with these other guys, it's just not gonna be healthy for me; I know how I get. I get really in my head. And I'm not like a super jealous person, but when you have super crazy feelings for somebody, it's gonna hurt to know that there are other people still there." --Erich
"Do you know how I feel?" --Gabby
"You think I'm confused?" --Gabby
"I'm confused." --Erich
"I am definitely more than falling in love with him. I really think I definitely am in love with him and I know he deserves to know. But I know how strong those words are and I want to be able, honestly ,to tell just one person at the end of this. I can definitely see it being him, but I know I have to save it for the right moment." --Gabby
"Please just be patient with me." --Gabby (to Erich)
"Undeniably, when I'm with him, I wanna be with him and I can see myself with him forever. And I hope that that feeling holds up, but I'm scared that it won't." --Gabby (about Erich)
"It's so hard feeling this strong about her knowing she's on an Overnight with one of the other guys. It's just beyond me at times that she's even exploring other physical connections. I can't imagine her wanting to spend the night with anyone else ... Even talking about it right makes me want to throw up." --Tino (about Rachel)
"It's mind boggling to me if she's not sure at this point. I certainly don't need to sleep with anybody else." --Tino
"It wasn't until his Hometown that I knew for sure that I'm falling in love with him. And I've been wanting to tell him, but I am so terrified because of how it went last time with Clayton. I was so blindsided by him." --Rachel (about Aven)
"Moving forward, can you definitely see yourself getting engaged in two weeks?" --Rachel (to Aven)
"I definitely can. I think that the moments that we've had we've continued to build and build and build. I think last week, that was really kind of the deciding factor for me of knowing how ready I am for this with you and how I feel about you and that I'm falling in love with you. Yeah, I can definitely see a life for youtside of all of this." --Aven
"I feel like on my last journey that word was really carelessly thrown around." --Rachel (about "love")
"I know that words means the same to you and you would never use it unless you were feeling it, which is why I am comfortable saying I am falling in love with you." --Rachel (to Aven)
"I feel like I have a lot of anxiety, and I think he can tell I'm nervous. I really hope that tonight we're able to have really serious conversations about last week and what happened with his parents and how we're gonna move past it. If we don't find a way to solve the problem, I just don't think I can move forward." --Rachel (about Tino)
"I think the last thing your dad said to me, one of the last things, was, 'Well, like, I'm not gonna disown him if he gets engaged, like, I just can't accept it.'" --Rachel (to Tino)
"Really? Wow! I didn't know that." --Tino
"Along those lines. I was like, 'I desperately want this, like, not even approval, but, like. 'Okay, we don't get it, but okay.' And I feel like I didn't even get that. I feel like I'm worried about you. Like, can you get to a point at the end where even if you don't have their approval, you're still like -- can you honestly, like, move forward." --Rachel
"It's probably not gonna be overnight. I don't expect your parents to love me overnight." --Tino
"My heart's a little in my throat saying this. I love you, Rachel." --Tino
"I love you, too. I really do." --Rachel
"You're so easy to be with. I feel like I can be my most ridiculous self with you." --Gabby (to Johnny)
"I've said it before, but you make me want to be a better man." --Johnny
"It's time to make a relationship my full priority. I'm just at a place where it is what I want and need, almost." --Gabby
"I like, it's hard thing to think about. It's such a quick process, and that's-- like, I don't know. I know how I was feeling about you. I'm so into you. It's just-- the end result scares me. I also didn't know I'd be here on the beach and falling in love with you, so--" --Johnny
"That's a hard thing to think about. It's like a battle in my head. I don't know what to think or what to do. You deserve everything. You should get everything you want, so where do I stand in that. And that's, like, such a hard thing to decide." --Johnny (about an engagement)
"I'm just at a place, I am ready." --Gabby
"Life with you would be insane. You're exactly the person I'd want to fall in love with and be my person forever. But I just don't' know if I can get to an engagement in the next week or so. It's not that I don't like you, it's not that I'm not falling in love with you, it's not that I can't see myself with you. It's just more so just, like, it scares me. I don't know if I can bring 100 percent to the table and commit to that end result if I'm not ready." --Johnny
"I feel like we just want two different things. If it was a different time for both of us, it could be so, so great." --Gabby
"I feel like Erich and Jason have been really able to validate me in a way I didn't know I could ask for. It is just the feeling of being loved that trumps all." --Gabby
"So do you feel like you're falling in love with Gabby?" --Jesse (to Jason)
"I mean, I would say, not quite there just yet, I would say. But I have strong feelings for Gabby and, yeah, hopefully it turns into something real after this ... Right now, it's hard for me to get to the point of engagement." --Jason
"I do have one thing I want to tell you. You know our last date? Like, the day part was amazing, the night part, like, I couldn't imagine that going any better. And I'm, like, now sitting here picturing the girl that I'm in love with doing that with somebody else, like, that kinda crushes me. This is not gonna be easy, but I just want to tell you how I feel because I think I'm having a really hard time. Didn't plan on telling you anything, but I just wanted to tell you where I'm coming from." --Erich (surprising Gabby)
"I feel like in the spirit of being honest, like, we talked about this off-camera. Like, I feel like we were able to have, like, an honest conversation about it in Fantasy Suites. So you brought me here to tell me again." --Gabby
"No, this is not why I brought you here at all. I'm--" --Erich
"I feel so frustrated right now. Erich expressed to me in the Fantasy Suite that this week feels like I'm cheating and now I feel like we're rehashing the conversation and I'm being pressured. Him being like, 'I don't want you to have what we have with somebody else.' Well, that's not for you to say. You're here knowing that I could have it with somebody else." --Gabby
"I don't know what's happened this week, but I just can't pretend like I'm cool with everything." --Erich
It was not my intention to have any sort of ultimatum or anything like that, but I need you to know how I feel because I can't just go through this whole week being, like, everything's fine." --Erich
"Why do I always have to defend myself? I feel like he was testing me and that's not something you do to someone that you love. Maybe he's not gonna be my guy after all. I'm starting to question it. ... What if I realize that Jason isn't my guy, either. Now it's right in front of my face, my guy isn't here." --Gabby
"I hope this doesn't end in a big, fat dumpster fire, but right now it feels like this is the end for me." --Gabby
"I lost trust in me and her. I got really in my head. I wish I didn't. I f---ed up." --Erich
"I don't want to see you sad. I f---ed up. It could have been a good moment and I'm sorry." --Erich (to Gabby)
"I'm falling in love with Jason and I believe he feels the same way, but he hasn't been able to tell me how he feels." --Gabby
"I want him to actually hit me on the butt with the racket. So hot." --Gabby (playing tennis with Jason)
"It's a strange place, but when I'm with you, it feels normal. That's what I think." --Jason (to Gabby)
"I'm curious how she'll take it. Hopefully well." --Jason (about telling Gabby he's not ready for an engagement)
"Obviously I do know I'm into you. When I'm with you, I feel like I'm having some of the best days ever. And I know what the expectation is for this, for a lot of people, is being engaged and being fully in love. To be completely transparent and honest, I don't think I'm fully there yet. I think it's because in this environment, it's constantly in my head, what's real, what's not real? I'm questioning so many things. I don't think in another seven days I'll be ready for that. It's just not something in my heart that feels right. I just wanna be fully transparent and let you know how I feel." --Jason
"I know how hard it is for you, and it's a big expectation. But I don't also know if you're at a place in your life where you can see me with you at all in the future, or what?" --Gabby
"It's so hard for me to see that right now in this bubble, because I feel like you don't even know who I am completely and I don't fully know who you are." --Jason
"Jason said he's highly uncomfortable here and not ready for a proposal. Would have been good to know before now." --Gabby
"I'm just feeling upset. I'm just trying to stay true to myself. It's obvious she was upset about what I told her. I definitely don't wanna just walk away from this. I feel, like, a unique connection to her. I just want her to know how I feel." --Jason
"Do you want to spend the rest of the night trying to figure this out?" --Gabby (to Jason, meaning without cameras)
"Last night with Jason, once we got behind closed doors, we were talking in circles and couldn't agree on how things were gonna go and if we needed more time. And honestly, I was running out of patience. I was like, 'Maybe it's just not meant to be.' And he was like, 'Yeah, definitely.' Like, when were you gonna tell me that? So I wanted to leave and give it space. Right before I walked out the door, he was like, basically, 'This is it.'" --Gabby
"My mind's just spinning what we were doing all these weeks. 'Cause you were willing to be here and participate, so I took that as you did at least see it going somewhere week after week. But then last night it was, like, you're questioning if this is real and you can't see me in the outside world." --Gabby (to Jason)
"It was incredibly tough for me. I truly needed that time to realize this wasn't going to work for us. Um, yeah, I'm sorry ... I was really fighting for it and trying to see--" --Jason
"I don't think you were really fighting. I think I was and you were following my lead. I think you're so terrified to hurt me, you've been treading so lightly. It's like, you know how you feel and couldn't tell me ... I'm not looking for you to apologize. I just truly want you to realize, I've been led on." --Gabby
"I've tried so hard not to be reckless with other people, and he was reckless with me. He never loved me. So what were we doing? It's not even that he didn't want the engagement, he didn't want me ... Am I too broken for anyone to love? It does take the right person to know how to love me and they may not be here." --Gabby (about Jason)
"I don't even have a question, 'Is Zach ready?' or 'Would Zach get down on one knee?' because I know he is." --Rachel
"I already see a future because I love this woman and I want to be with her for the rest of my life." --Zach (before Fantasy Suite)
"Obviously, we all know how things went down with Clayton last season. And the last thing I'd ever want is for the woman I love and care for to feel like she's not being watched out for and protected, and so I want her to know that she can always be safe with me." --Zach
In the morning, I'm looking to feel more in love with the future Mrs. Shallcross. And nothing coming out of tonight can change that." --Zach
"It was a tough conversation, but hopefully it helped you, like, gain clarity." --Rachel (to Zach the next morning)
"The strange thing for me was when the cameras were away and it was just her and I talking, it felt like she was just, like, not showing her true self. It was very unauthentic sometimes. Her major concern was my age. She wasn't sure if I was ready to commit because I'm 25. And I said, 'You're 26, only a couple months older.'" --Zach (to Jesse)
"Rachel. Can we speak?" --Zach (as she's about to hand out the first Rose)
"Today, I do know what I need to do ... I don't wanna play games. I think I've worked really hard and I've been honest with myself and my feelings. But I've been waiting for the right moment and this is so clearly the right moment. And now I'm really not afraid to say that I do know what I deserve." --Gabby
"I'm in love with Gabby, and this whole process I've kind of misjudged from the start how hard it is on her. I brought something up that wasn't in the right place, the right time. And it's something we had already talked about. And for me to just still kind of harp on something that was bothering me, I realize how insensitive that is." --Zach
"If it's my decision to leave here alone, I know it's mine." --Gabby
"You have taught me that it's okay to feel safe and wanted and loved in maybe a way that I haven't. You're the only one left. I know it's, like, so hard and I think I've felt it for a while, but I do know that I love you." --Gabby (to Erich)
"There's no point in having a Rose Ceremony. It's just me and you." --Gabby
"I like the sound of that." --Erich
"The Bachelorette" concludes live next Tuesday at 8 p.m. ET on ABC.