Our venue has moved to the beautiful city of Bruges, Belgium where Rachel has high hopes [cue High Hopes Panic! At the Disco] of moving past her multiple rejections and enjoying looking for love in this romantic city. We already know that she has no shot, but the Evil Genius Producers (EGPs) turn the volume up to eleven by quickly cutting to Logan sharing his inner turmoil of constantly taking roses from Rachel while actually being attracted to Gabby. “Maybe she’ll understand,” he says, talking himself into Rachel being fine with him having his cake and eating it, too.
Yeah, good luck with that.
Surprising nobody, Rachel has her 19th nervous breakdown over Logan’s decision to leave her team in hopes of getting a tryout from Gabby. Instead of a canceled Rose Ceremony, Rachel cancels the Group Date much to the disappointment of the guys hoping to find love and chocolate in Bruges. It also brings a knock on Rachel’s door from Jesse Palmer trying to fulfill Chris Harrison’s old role as Pastor Chris. This raised a question from My Daughter Cassandra (MDC) as she wondered if I would give Jesse the pastor title or if he is still at an assistant pastor level. After some research and thought, she feels “Chaplain” is the appropriate title. I’m inclined to agree.
So Chaplain Jesse helps Rachel talk through her feelings and shares his experience of being The Bachelor and operating without a playbook because of course Rachel would identify with a metaphor from his experience as an NFL quarterback. “There’s no playbook for this”, except that he rolls out the “at the end of this there will be a guy down on one knee,” which is said to every Bachelorette in Crisis. So much for no playbook.
But Logan has unfinished business. He still must make his pitch to Gabby to join her squad. That goes well and now the EGPs have nicely set us up for the possibility of drama between her and Rachel, and between Gabby’s Guys.
(Did she really want him to stay or was that an EGP decision? [cue Sly and the Family Stone If You Want Me to Stay]
Although Rachel canceled her Group Date, there was a Cocktail Party and the Guys step up and make her feel desirable and worth pursuing. She reciprocates those feels especially with Tino and Zach, and it’s Tino who gets the Group Date Rose (GDR).
Finally, we get to Gabby’s Journey. Her Group Date involves the Guys getting schooled by young kids at street soccer and then getting their faces slapped with fish. The latter is tempting me to go down a Google rabbit hole to find out if that’s an actual thing in Belgium and why.
It’s at Gabby’s Cocktail Party that we get The Return of Logan much to the shock, awe, and icy reaction of Gabby’s Guys, and much to the glee of the EGPs.
Nate gets the GDR and continues to be one of her main connections, but I suspect that his having a daughter is gonna play a big role at some point.
The Guys’ feels aside, they focus their attention on Rachel and compartmentalize the presence of cake-eating Logan.
The announcement of Group Dates also implies 1-on-1s. Rachel chooses Aven and they have a great day in Bruges. He gets a Rose and at the end, there were fireworks. Fireworks are a leading indicator of someone going far. Rachel has been pretty down with Tino and Zach but I’m wondering if Aven sneaks into her top two after some unexpected drama with either of them.
But once again, I have a question. DO THEY EVER EAT ON THEIR DINNER DATES??? I saw food on a plate! Can we just get one shot of somebody putting a fork in their mouth?
Gabby’s 1-on-1 was with Johnny.
They have fun drinking beer and soaking in a tub full of beer. Things go well. Nothing to see here. Johnny, whoever he is, gets a Rose.
The girls hold a Combined Cocktail Party, and a bit of minor drama swirls around Logan. The EGPs have clearly done some foreshadowing here which becomes all the more obvious in the previews of next week that center around Logan. Against all odds, there is also a Rose Ceremony! Here’s your recap:
Gabby: has already given Roses to Nate and Johnny; gives Roses to Jason, Spencer, Erich, and Logan. The latter chagrined Rachel for a brief moment; and Gabby says an unusually early goodbye to Mario given his First Impression Rose.
Rachel: has already given Roses to Tino and Aven; gives Roses to Zach, Ethan, and Tyler. Goodbye Meatball, who was really only there for early entertainment purposes.
On a personal note, if you made me match all those names to pictures of their faces, I might only get three right, max.
The question we have before us is how many guys are going to Hometowns? The usual four visits per Bachelorette seems unwieldy. Three per girl might be the number. Also, we saw and heard some dramatic stuff in the previews. I say saw and heard separately because the EGPs LOVE to mismatch the voices and the videos in their previews.
On a final note, the ads each week for casting are hysterical. This week was, “Found out the guy you’re dating is your cousin? We can do better.” That prompted a text from MDC: “Like that’s your base? An option better than my cousin?”
See you next week.
P.S. This week’s viewing wine was an excellent Unanime Merlot. I love their wines. This was earthier and more powerful than a typical California Merlot.
 This would be my second literal reference to a song. In case you missed the first, the hint is look for a number.
 Whoever he is.