By Matt Mueller Culture Editor Published Nov 10, 2021 at 10:31 AM

Remember back in the first episode of the season (I know; that was so many boxes of wine ago) when we all made fun of that one contestant for bringing "notes" onto the show? Well, judging by Tuesday night's episode, perhaps the rest of the guys could've used a cheat sheet to being on "The Bachelorette" too – with the first note at the top of page one reading: "Remember: You are here to date Michelle." You'd think you wouldn't forget something like THE BASIC PREMISE OF THE SHOW AND THE ENTIRE PURPOSE OF BEING HERE, but apparently we gave the bros too much credit because, whoops, they spaced on that part Tuesday night.

In fairness to them, though, candy and pizza was involved. Let he who has never been led astray by junk food cast the first stone ... 

Before we get to that, however, we first have a one-on-one date with Martin, aka Frosty, who comes dressed in his finest Vin Diesel cut-off shirt – which turns out to be in theme because they're drifting in fancy BMWs. Because nothing says "we have an intimate connection" like setting up a date that puts you in two separate vehicles with a guy probably named Doug chaperoning everything. Anyways, they spin around a bunch before they hang out at the test track's ... hot tub? WHO PUT THE HOT TUB AT THE TEST TRACK!? I do not see the need; I don't care how fancy BMW thinks they are. 

So the two get to chatting in the tub, with Martin asking how Michelle's feeling about last week's Jamie drama. I, for one, wouldn't bring up my date's bitter ex during my one-on-one time – especially if I was BFFs with said bitter ex, which is exactly the case with Martin and Jamie. And when she talks about feeling good about dropping him off at the door forever last week, with a face that screams "CAN WE DISCUSS LITERALLY ANYTHING ELSE?!", I would then not continue that conversation by saying that, actually, Jamie was a pretty good guy who just got a bad rap. HEY MARTIN: SAY LESS! So yeah, Michelle's not a big fan of Martin implying that she overreacted to Jamie, a liar, and seemingly trusting him over her. See, I told you the hot tub was a bad idea!

Martin must've realized his mistake because, quickly into the dinner portion of the night, he tries to explain himself by saying that he has a habit of being blunt about his opinions. "I haven't always been good at communicating," he says, followed by a hilariously quick and blunt, "No," from Michelle. He eventually turns this into an opportunity to talk about how his dad was a very traditional man and how he followed his lead, never even crying before. Michelle is relieved, feels like Martin has opened up to her and, best of all, believes he trusts her more than his bro Jamie. So she gives him a rose and the two go look at the stars in an observatory.

Back at the mansion, it's revealed that Rick will get the second one-on-one date of the day. Hold on, that guy's name is Rick? I would've sworn he was a Greg. I'm going with Greg from here on out. Meanwhile, Chris S. – who seems much more like a Rick – is peeved that Nayte isn't all stressed and sad that he's not getting this solo date, and is in fact confident that he'll get one eventually. But he doesn't have much time to steam, though, because the group date dudes all get gifts: pajamas, from comfy pants androbes to, in Chris's case, a "Risky Business"-inspired combo of collared white button-down shirt and tighty-whities. Do people wear that as pajamas? Anyways, Chris thinks the underwear is VERY goofy and ridiculous. My man, Rodney was bare-ass naked last week – you get no pity. 

As the PJs suggested, the group date is a slumber party – though not like any slumber party I remember from back in the day. We didn't have unlimited candy and rows of pizzas and cotton candy machines. Anyways, the guys gobble down snacks and get foot massages and jump into poof chairs and play games and start ... punching one another? I don't know what that was about, Olu. The one thing they're not doing? Paying any attention to Michelle, who's awkwardly wandering around, begging for Clayton and others to notice her. Only Chris S. does anything with Michelle: playing the world's least sensual game of Twister.

A part of me wants to give the guys a break because I too would be easily distracted by the world's greatest slumber party set-up. But you'd think SOMEBODY at SOME POINT would remember that their girlfriend is there and would want some time with her as opposed to bro-ing out. The ghost of Aaron from "Bachelor in Paradise" apparently possessed everyone. 

Thankfully the bro down gets interrupted ... to make room for another, even more aggressive bro down. The Bella Twins from the WWE drop by to start a teddy bear fight. Why not just a regular pillow fight? What did the teddy bears do to deserve this? So the guys get even more jacked up and distracted while Michelle just stares at everything with an emotionally dead face that says, "I've made a huge mistake" – though eventually she has a decent time when the fighting begins. As it turns out, grown men slapping each other with large teddy bears can improve any mood.

One team eventually wins, one team eventually loses – but really, all the dudes fall short because both sides continue to ignore Michelle after the teddy bear brawl. You guys know ... you're on "The Bachelorette" right? The point isn't to win stuffed animal slap fights but to win over Michelle's heart – and while it might be reassuring to her to know that these guys can defend her with fluffy cotton toys, that's not on her shortlist of things she's looking for in a partner. 

Kaitlyn and Tayshia finally notice that their star's having a bad time, so the former takes Michelle aside to let her vent about not feeling seen and feeling alone in the room – something she talked about JUST LAST WEEK in her spoken word piece. She doesn't need big gestures; she doesn't need guys to suddenly get possessed by a Nicholas Sparks book. (No one needs that.) She just wants a hello and for the guys to give her some attention and act like they want to be with her – something she breaks to the winning team that night. And realizing the error in their ways, they give Michelle some great and open conversations – with Olu eventually earning the group date rose. He's come a long way since trying to start a game of "Punch Me."

Things go much better on Michelle's one-on-one date with Greg/Rick, which takes them into the mountains for a nature hike. Along the way, they conveniently find a wish box filled with hopes and dreams from fellow hikers that they have to read. Now, realistically this box would be filled with middle schooler prankster notes saying, "I wish to see boobs" or "I wish to get a billion dollars" or "I wish for a swimming pool of Jello." (That one's mine.) But HOW CONVENIENT that all the wishes happen to be thematically in tune with our couple, asking for romance and not Jello.

One particular wish, though, mentions wishing that their father could see them now – something that really hits Greg hard for reasons that he feels uncomfortable fully explaining to Michelle at the moment. Later on, however, he opens up and explains that he and his dad had a falling out when he discovered his father was having an affair and told his mother, leading to their divorce. His dad eventually died without the two truly reconciling, leaving Greg with understandably complicated emotions. Michelle appreciates his honesty and openness, earning Greg a rose and "a surprise." Spoiler alert: It was not a surprise. It was, of course, a private concert – though not from a country up-and-comer but Andy Grammar of "Honey I'm Good" fame. I would've preferred to have gotten lost in the woods and wandered into "The Blair Witch Project."

So with all the dates over, it's time for the cocktail party and rose ceremony – and with all the drama essentially wrapped up, it should be a calm, relaxed and nice way to end the night. Ooooooh noooo, Chris S. found out about Michelle's disappointment during the group date and suddenly has the urge to make a grand statement to the group. As a result, when Michelle greets the guys, Chris S. takes the stage to chide everyone about not treating her right – and that there are guys who he thinks aren't even trying anymore because they think they've already won. Just a quick reminder, my guy: YOU WERE ON THAT DATE TOO! So if she wasn't feeling seen or noticed, clearly you were falling short too.

And speaking of short, amusingly enough, while Chris S. is trying to act like such a big man, I started to notice how small he looked amongst everyone. Funny how that works. Also: I did not need the lower thirds to tell me he was a commodities broker. Figured that all out on my own during this Small Boy Energy conniption.

Anyways, the Kitten of Wall Street takes Michelle – who does not seem all that impressed by this whole act, almost as though she'd said earlier that she doesn't need grand gestures – to talk, tossing Nayte in particular under the bus in the process by saying that he didn't care about getting a one-on-one date, knowing he's going nowhere. Sure, that's techncially accurate but, much like Jamie last week, it's making a big deal out of a nothingburger. Nayte gets confronted on the matter by Michelle, which leads to a confrontation between Nayte and the Kitten of Wall Street that Chris S. fills with even more Small Boy Energy, dismissing things by saying the same sentence over and over before weakly trying to say Nayte was going to put his hands on him.

And in case one dude particularly furious at him wasn't enough, Chris S. also gets on Olu's bad side, with Olu saying that Chris S. won't get a rose due to his shenanigans and Chris S. saying that you bet he will – and when he does, he'll give Olu a little wink. The two then end the conversation by trying to kill one another with awkwardness and an inability to gracefully end a conversation.

I would not pick a fight with the guy who wanted to play a game of "Punch Me I'm a Wall of Muscle" earlier – but hey, I am eager to see how this ends for you, Jordan Belfort. 

If only there was a hero who could step in and make everything bettOH LOOK AT THAT, JOE'S HERE! And Joe's not only refusing to be distracted by the drama, but he brings Michelle snacks as well as a blanket. CALL IT A SHOW AND MARRY HIM! The only snag: At one point, Joe eats a yellow and green candy, and Michelle points out with a cringe that he just ate Green Bay Packers colors. I know we should've assumed she was a Vikings fan ... but this is a shame. A bummer that she's now the worst Bachelorette in history, but rules are rules. 

After all that chaos, Michelle moves to the rose ceremony – which ends with Chris S. indeed getting a rose. You knew after sending home villains the first few weeks, the producers would make sure Michelle kept one around for at least an episode or two. But hey, this might also end with the Weenie of Wall Street getting a swift swat to the face from Olu if this wink happens – so I say worth it. LET'S SEE THIS WINK, BRAVE BOY!



(*rewinds to see if I missed something*)


Oh. He bailed. Somehow surpassing Small Boy Energy and entering the rarely seen Negative Height Boy Energy, Chris S. says that he didn't end up winking at Olu – but Olu knows he won. WELL THAT IS ABSOLUTELY NO FUN! I hope Olu gives him a wink when Chris S. inevitably is sent home next week. It's what the world needs right now.

As for the guys who do get cut, the good Chris – OK, maybe just the better Chris; the snapping at the spoken word last week was a little Ryan Gosling in "La La Land" for my taste – says his goodbyes while Will and his probably still damp bomber jacket fly back home as well. At least he's leaving with a souvenir ... an increasingly moldy one, but still! And Romeo, Romeo, where for art thou, Romeo? Out the door, apparently. If you go on a dating show with the name Romeo and fail to make an impact, you should be forced to take a new name. I will run on this platform in 2024. 

Before we call it a day, Michelle has a final announcement: Things are changing ... namely the venue because we're going to Minnesota next week. REMEMBER TRIP REVEALS!? AND NEW LOCATIONS!? We truly have made it back to normal. The guys are ecstatic – probably too much so. I say this as a Midwesterner: No one has ever been this excited to leave Palm Springs for Minnesota. But maybe heading to the world of Minnesota Nice will bring an end to the douchey drama. (*remembers Small Boy Chris is somehow still here*) Damn. 

Matt Mueller Culture Editor

As much as it is a gigantic cliché to say that one has always had a passion for film, Matt Mueller has always had a passion for film. Whether it was bringing in the latest movie reviews for his first grade show-and-tell or writing film reviews for the St. Norbert College Times as a high school student, Matt is way too obsessed with movies for his own good.

When he's not writing about the latest blockbuster or talking much too glowingly about "Piranha 3D," Matt can probably be found watching literally any sport (minus cricket) or working at - get this - a local movie theater. Or watching a movie. Yeah, he's probably watching a movie.