A feud erupts on "The Bachelor" after one woman steals Zach Shallcross away for a kiss moments before he takes another woman for a One-on-One date.
After Covid completely derails the London leg of Zach Shallcross' "Bachelor" journey, he and his Top 9 were hoping Estonia would prove it was "a great place to fall in love."
It certainly proved a good breeding ground for jealousy and tension between the women. Interestingly, unlike most seasons of "The Bachelor" when a clear villainess emerges at this point, we're not sure where we land on tonight's biggest drama.
Actually, there were two "most dramatic" moments of the night. The first came right away and then continued to play out through the rest of the evening leading to tension and drama at the Rose Ceremony.
The other one didn't even get that far as one of the women spiraled herself right into an anxiety attack and then an aggressive conversation with Zach that left her in a limo and both of them a little confused as to what just happened.
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First up, though, was good news for Charity, who got a redo of her canceled London One-on-One after Zach came down with Covid. She'd briefly worried he might skip her or come back to her later, but he was true to his word to her that this would happen.
It was almost the perfect day, until Zach showed up to take her away for the day only to be taken away himself by Kat. She pulled him into the hall, telling him how much she'd missed him and even kissed him.
The fact that this went down just moments before Charity's One-on-One date hit Zach and Kat differently than every other woman there. Zach said he appreciated her boldness, while she thought she was fully right to take time.
Everyone else thought it selfish, disrespectful and extremely rude to Charity. It took a day that was supposed to be all about Charity and made it at least a little bit about Kat -- and a bit about Kat first.
On top of that, no one did anything like that to Kat before her One-on-One date earlier in the season, or anyone else, for that matter. While all of the women were upset by this, Brooklyn was beside herself and not afraid to speak her mind.
In fact, with Christina gone, Brooklyn quickly stepped up as the one we can now count on for the best confessionals and face-to-face commentary. She was fearless and so quick on her feet when coming at Kat for this audacious move.
This is a situation where until this point, we were a little on the fence as to who was in the right here. Kat is right in that there are no rules. She saw an opportunity and took it, and Zach appreciated it. She's not here to make friends, but to land her man.
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At the same time, there is such a thing as basic decency and respect for other people. What's most important is to give the respect that you expect. That's where Kat quickly lost us ahead of the Group Date.
She was a part of it and when Charity only vaguely referenced what had happened before her date, Kat shut her down and said she did not want to have this conversation before the Group Date. OMG, talk about a lack of self-awareness. Luckily, Brooklyn was right there to help her out!
"Oh my god! You don't want to ruin the group date? You don't want to have it before it ruins your time, like Charity's?" she asked.
"Ew, why are you being so aggressive?" Kat asked her, legitimately confused and completely not getting the parallel here.
""Ew? Because you have your head up your ass," Brooklyn said.
This issue between the three women continued all the way through the night's Cocktail Party, when Charity finally pulled Kat aside to try and talk to her about it. Once again, Kat felt she had nothing to apologize about, but when Brooklyn interjected herself into it, Kat stormed off.
She said she was ready to talk it through with Charity, who was the wronged party, but felt it was inappropriate for Brooklyn to keep trying to be part of it.
Now, we can't abide Kate's cluelessness as to how it was rude when she asked Charity not to ruin her date with an uncomfortable conversation first when she kissed Zach before Charity's date ... but Brooklyn did aggressively interject herself into that conversation as if she felt Charity couldn't handle it herself.
So, we're still a little torn on this one. We get where Kat is coming from, but a little self-awareness and empathy goes a long way in life. If she's this tone-deaf to her own actions here, where else does this blind spot come into her life and impact her relationships?
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One-on-One Take 2
Back to Charity's actual One-on-One date, once Zach was done kissing Kat they went on to have a wonderful time taking in the sights and sounds of Estonia. They enjoyed local fare, drinks, a carriage ride and even a wife-carrying obstacle course.
Look, we're not at all sure that we believe they had no idea this was going on and just happened to stop to watch and then Charity just happened to offer them to participate. It's certainly possible, but those cameras were set up pretty good from the start to capture this from all angles even as they "spontenously" stopped.
Still, Zach killed this course, which saw Charity straddling the back of his neck face down and getting carried by her legs as he ran and hopped and jumped and zigged and zagged. It wasn't particularly dignified for either of them, but it had an odd intimacy.
Later that evening, Charity opened up about the emotional abuse she'd endured in her previous relationship, which involved a lot of mental manipulation and even infidelity on his part with someone she was very close to (making it a double betrayal).
She said she went so far as to lie about the problems and hide them from her parents, leading to feelings of shame and regret that she allowed herself to get to this point. It's something that's all too easy to do, as so many who do find their way out can attest.
The sharing brought the pair closer than ever, landing Charity a rose.
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One-on-One or Done
The reading of the names for the week's Group Date did not sit well with Jess, one of two women who had not yet experienced a One-on-One date with Zach. The other was Greer, but Jess seemed to keep forgetting that Greer existed, insisting she was the last one.
She had it right on a technicality for this week only as Greer followed Zach's week with Covid by getting it herself. Still, she remains a part of the competition and had not yet had a One-on-One.
This whole situation was another case where it's hard to say who's in the right here. Certainly, Jess was spiraling in a way that wasn't healthy for her both before and during the witchy Group Date.
They met a legitimate Estonian witch who worked in healing and did a series of rituals. One of them involved staring at each other's eyes through a lit candle. Now, we're not sure if Jess and Zach were the only pair to have the candle blow out while they were looking, but it did happen and the editors made sure to emphasize it.
Jess admitted to the other women to having had a full anxiety attack before the evening portion of the date, and then finally let it all out when she and Zack finally got some time together. For his part, he said he was still intrigued by her and totally into her.
Jess, on the other hand, fixated on the fact she'd not yet had a One-on-One. Zach tried to insist it's not about that, but Jess kept insisting that it was that time the other women had had to progress their relationships.
At this point, every woman there except for her (because Greer was absent) had had a One-on-One, so it's easy to sympathize with her frustration that she was probably behind them, or would be soon once Ariel had hers the following day.
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At the same time, Zach can only give out so many of those and it takes time to get through all the women. So who's in the right here? We're not entirely sure. Her uncertainty and fixation on the One-on-One aspect of the show left Zach feeling "nervous."
His lack of meaningful responses -- and Zach is definitely not great with his words or expressing himself -- culminated in Jess declaring that she said from the beginning she would not fight for him. At the same time, she demanded that her man fight for her.
With this and an apparent completely inability to even understand where one another was coming from, Zach walked her out still confused as to what just happened. In fact, both of them seemed a little perplexed.
Zach told the other woman he cut her, but it looked to us like she cut herself. Certainly, her ultimatum about not fighting for him and demanding he fight for her made it seem like she was done. Or maybe she was asking him to fight for her and he didn't.
Either way, we found ourselves wondering if she was holding an unfair double-standard in this belief that her man should fight for her but she should not fight for him? In the limo, though, she reasonably argued that it would make sense for her to be wanted sooner than last (second-to) by the man who might one day be her husband.
While we can acknowledge her frustration, we found ourselves again uncertain as to whether she was being unfair or just setting a boundary that Zach was unable, or unwilling, to meet at that time. Usually we can just ride up and pick a side, but we're on the fence with this one.
We don't love the declaration she won't fight for her man (but wants him to fight for her), so that would make us Team Zach. But we also see her wanting her future husband to want her first, or sooner than last, which would make us Team Jess. We'll settle for Team Probably for the Best.
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Zach is still in his mid-20s and so are all of his remaining bachelorettes. That showed a bit when he and Ariel went for another Estonian cultural experience at a nude sauna.
Not only did the rudely interrupt their guide on the journey by interrupting her to flirt and giggle at one another, they twice laughed at another couple who was choosing to be nude -- for choosing to be nude.
When you talk about disrespectful, this is rude and disrespectful. It's fine that neither of them were comfortable enough to strip down themselves. But that's more about them than the people who do have that comfort level.
They were kind enough to the other couple, but the giggling felt inappropriate and disrespectful. For them, though, it only served to bring them closer together, with Zach declaring what a pleasant surprise it was getting this time with Ariel.
You could argue that he was proving Jess' point from earlier by progressing his relationship so much with Ariel after getting to spend all this additional time with her. At the same time, had he chosen Jess for this One-on-One, then it would have been Ariel falling behind. It's the nature of the beast with this show.
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The episode began with Jesse Palmer checking in with Zach about his remaining nine women (before Jess left) and it gave some insight as to how things are going with them. For one thing, we're growing more and more confident in Kaity as our guess for the winner.
First of all, with Jesse, Kaity was the first woman he talked about, saying that things are going "incredibly well" with her. During the evening portion of the Group Date, he grabbed her before any of the women could grab him. Zach seems to gravitate toward her constantly and first a lot. She got the first Rose Ceremony rose last week, too.
He went on to talk about Brooklyn being a "straight-shooter," and boy did we see that in tonight's episode, while Kat gave him butterflies, things were getting better and better with Charity, and he felt something strong with Gabi.
At the top of the night, he had the least to say about Ariel -- which explains why he was so pleasantly surprised by their One-on-One; maybe he was expecting to cut her.
He also said that he wasn't sure if he fully knew Jess yet (echoing her sentiments) and that Aly was great, but their One-on-One was so long ago, he wanted to see how much was still there between them. We clocked this immediately as an "uh-oh."
Kat was definitely in her head again about the whole incident with Charity, exacerbated after Charity and Brooklyn confronted her about it moments before Zach came to find her to get some time with her.
This was another case of Zach having no idea because no one to our knowledge has told him that this even is an issue among the women. Of course, he knows he kissed Kat before Charity's One-on-One, but he doesn't know it rubbed anyone the wrong way.
He did, however, pick up on that tension in the air and that disconnect with Kat during the witch Group Date. When he asked about it, though, she said a lot of things that weren't what it was really about. We get not wanting to air that dirty laundry, but Zach has preached and practiced honesty above all and Kat didn't do that here. If any of the other women fill him in later, this could come back to haunt her if he thinks she misled him about what was going on.
At the Rose Ceremony, those predictions from the beginning of the episode came true. Greer appears to have gotten a pass into the next week, despite being completely absent from this one, and it was Aly who didn't get the Rose.
We hope Zach had the courtesy to check on Greer during her sickness, like Kaity did for him, because he knows first-hand how lonely it can be. We know we didn't see anything like that, so we'll just imagine that he did. Maybe next week will show something.
Certainly, as always, it looks like things are going to get even more complicated. And just wait until he declared "no sex" for Fantasy Suites week. Who's fantasy is that?!
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- "I'm learning so much f------ patience." --Kat (waiting for Zach to get over Covid)
- "I didn't even recognize you for a second." --Kat (when Zach walked in)
- "Zach, before you go, can you come with me? Can you come with me before you go on your date." --Kat
- "Wait, what?" --Charity
- "I wanted you to have fun today and enjoy your time with Charity, but I just missed you and wanted to say hi to you before you left. Call it needy, but I don't care."
- "No, that's like taking initiative and I appreciate that." --Zach
- "I'm annoyed, to be completely honest." --Brooklyn (to Charity about Kat)
- "When Zach came back, I'm maybe an overly observant person, but it did look like he might have lip gloss on his lips, which I don't think he applied himself." --Gabi (about Zach)
- "I know that if that would have happened before my date, it would have messed me up in teh head and I would be in my thoughts." --Aly (to Kat)
- "We went a very long time without seeing him and if I want to see him and have a moment with him, I'm allowed to do that." --Kat
- "It's kinda her moment … It's classless." --Brooklyn (to Kat about Charity)
- "Zach picks me up and I never thought I'd be upside down, my face in his ass. I hated it, but loved it at the same time." --Charity (after wife-carrying competition)
- "We're heading to Smooch City, Estonia." --Charity
- "I expected to get a One-on-One by now." --Jess (so did everyone else who hasn't had one)
- "Does being the last one mean something?" --Jess (after she doesn't get the One-on-One)
- "But you're not the last one. Greer hasn't had a One-on-One." --Gabi
- "Greer's got Covid." --Jess
- "I'm the last one to not get a One-on-One." --Jess (in confessional, but also still not true)
- "I tried to kind of block out some things before, but the day was special." --Charity (totally referring to Kat macking with Zach beforehand)
- "Okay, I'll be honest with you, yesterday was a lot and I don't want to have this conversation before we go into the group date." --Kat
- "Oh my god! You don't want to ruin the group date? You don't want to have it before it ruins your time, like Charity's?" --Brooklyn
- "Ew, why are you being so aggressive?" --Kat
- "Ew? Because you have your head up your ass." --Brooklyn
- "Nothing prepared me to date a man that's dating other women, too." --Jess (um… you did know what this show was, right?)
- "I can only hope that I'll get the rose tonight, but nothing's guaranteed here and I know that he's got other connections to build." --Kaity (gets it more than most)
- "You are one of my strongest connections I feel so good about." --Zach (to Gabi)
- "It's hard for me because I am a hopeless romantic and I've just been knocked down so many times. Being in this position -- like, I know what I signed up for, I put myself here -- but I don't have that much confidence. … It's a lot to sit here and see all these women progress in their relationships with you. And I felt like, in my perspective, I was waiting on that One-on-One to, like, open up more." --Jess (to Zach)
- "Are the women being vulnerable with you before or after their One-on-Ones?" --Jess
- "I'm feeling so confident about us and then it's about a One-on-One? What am I missing?" --Zach (not getting why it matters to her)
- "I told you from the start that I'm not gonna fight for someone. Like, I told you that all I wanted was someone to fight for me and, like, I'm not doing that. I'm not. I'm not gonna beg for you. I'm not doing that." --Jess (walking away)
- "For him to be shocked that I'm hurt is crazy to me." --Jess
- "So. We are at a nudist sauna." --Ariel (laughs uncomfortably)
- "This journey has carried many surprises, and I'm not kidding when I say you might be the best one." --Zach (to Ariel on their One-on-One)
- "Kat, do you mind if I steal you for a second." --Charity (pulling Kat during Cocktail Party to talk about the incident)
- "I stand by for what I did because I wanted to show him that I care." --Kat
- "I feel like someone will be blindsided tonight. I just hope it's Kat." --Brooklyn (before Rose Ceremony)
"The Bachelor" continues Mondays at 8 p.m. ET on ABC.