Tonight’s episode started so nicely. All three girls genuinely like and care for each other even though they are all in love with and dating the same guy.
Well, that couldn’t last. Enter Susie’s Spiral of Sorrow.
Yes, there were dates. But they were essentially foils for Susie’s unraveling emotional state. The girl’s got rules [cue Dua Lipa New Rules]. And one of them is that her person doesn’t get busy with other persons. In this weird situation of competing with two other girls for the Neil Lane ring, the fact that Clayton might cross the intimacy line with one (surely not both, right??) of them is the thing she fears most.
And her worst fears came true.
Rachel had the first date. They went high (helicopter) and low (into a volcano). They went to dinner and Clay-in finally drops the L-word. As always, nobody touches their food. And they head off to the Fantasy Suite.
Susie to Rachel after Rachel returns to the hotel:
Gabby gets the second date. They explored Icelandic terrain in an RV. They went to dinner and Clay-uhn finally drops the L-word. As always, nobody touches their food. And they head off to the Fantasy Suite.
Rachel to Gabby after Gabby returns to the hotel:
The Evil Genius Producers (EGPs), knowing saving Susie’s date for last, will be dramatic.
Prior to meeting Susie, we hear Clayton saying: “Now that I’ve really addressed my emotions the last week as a whole . . .”
Translation: “Now that I’ve, like, told two other women I am, like, in love with them, I can, like, add Susie to the list. I think it’s going to go, like, really well.”
Finally, Susie gets her date. They do water. Lots of water. Spraying water. A tub of water. Showering water. Falling water. Flowing water. [cue Davina Michelle Sweet Water]
At dinner, Susie goes IN on Clay-doh with direct questions.
And he is actually angry at the idea that she’s not OK with the idea of getting engaged to a guy who got down with two other women that he said he is in love with just several days ago.
And that ended the fun and games. The last 30 minutes devolved into something Clay-dummy isn’t going to be proud to watch. It was impossible for me to watch without being viscerally angry at him. The stream of texts I was getting from my Bachelor Nation friends said lots of things like “mansplaining,” “blame game,” “gaslighting,” and a lot of words I won’t repeat. Bachelor Twitter appeared to be blowing him up, too.
I’ll save all the deeper analysis for the podcasters and think piecers. I’ll leave it at I’m Team Susie on this one.
This leaves us on a massive cliff to hang on, especially with the previews of two more devastated women, and what is the news from Jessie Palmer “that I think is gonna change everything for you?” And we have a “historic moment” and “truly shocking live finale” to look forward to. Won’t it be “great” (I’m not sure what that even means in the context of Clayton’s despicable attitude and the disgraceful Women Tell All) if history and shocking were true for once? Based on the previews – carefully edited to get us wondering, of course – how does he end up with anybody?
See you next week.
Again, a wineless episode.
 The cities do pay for the right to be put on display.