This week on The Bachelorette, Fantasy Suites get off to a rough start for Gabby in Mexico, while it’s smooth sailing for Rachel with Aven and Tino.
Hola, rose lovers, y bienvenidos a la semana de Fantasy Suites! (Not sure if my Español was correct there, but you get it.) In part one of Gabby and Rachel’s “journeys” this week, l-bombs were dropped, leaps of faith were taken, and at least one heart was broken.
Our Bachelorettes meet up at the Vidanta Riviera Maya, where they sip champagne and discuss how they’re going to approach their Fantasy Suite dates. Gabby knows that as much as she wants to “play” and “giggle” and “chase each other around naked,” she and her remaining men — Erich, Jason, and Johnny — will need to “utilize this time” to have serious conversations about their respective futures.
Rachel says she still has a little PTSD from the Fantasy Suites fiasco (finasco?) with Clayton, so part of her is “dreading” this Bachelorette milestone. That said, she’s laser focused on getting “clarity” about her three men: Tino, Zach, and Aven. (Was anyone else a little surprised to hear Rachel say, “I don’t think I’m there with Zach”? I really thought she was feeling him from day one.)
With that said, it’s time for these ladies to get on with these big dates — and, as Gabby puts it, even bigger nights.
- 0.1 Date No. 1: Gabby and Erich L-bomb status: Both have said “I’m falling in love with you”
- 0.2 Date No. 2: Rachel and Aven L-bomb status: He’s said, “I’m falling in love with you,” but she has yet to reciprocate.
- 0.3 Date No. 3: Rachel and Tino L-bomb status: Mutual “I’m falling in love with yous” achieved
- 1 Share this:
Date No. 1: Gabby and Erich
L-bomb status: Both have said “I’m falling in love with you”
I’m not sure if you’re aware of this, rose lovers, but love is like a leap of faith — you just have to jump into the abyss and hope that something keeps you from splattering your meat sack into a million messy pieces. To that end:
Erich says he’s totally into Gabby but admits that dating her “hasn’t been easy” — because she’s also dating two other men. (Man, if only there had been some way he could have foreseen this circumstance!) “There’s a possibility that I might not be the one for her,” says Erich, scratching his beard pensively. (Did anyone else wince at the LOUD SCRATCHING NOISE Erich’s whiskers made? It was like the opposite of ASMR.) “I’m going to tell myself to kind of take a leap of faith,” Erich continues, “because she is so freaking worth it.”
When it comes time to jump off the highest platform, though, Gabby isn’t sure she can muster up the courage. “I think I’m too scared,” she frets. “You can do it!” Erich says encouragingly. And — as you see from the GIF above – he was right. Cue the smooches and the triumphant instrumental music!
“It makes me feel so loved, and that we can do lots of hard things together,” says Gabby. “And honestly, that’s what I want in my husband.”
That night at dinner, Gabby’s feeling confident about her “connection” with Erich, but she’s still not sure whether he can give her pure and unconditional love. “I’m hoping that tonight with Erich I can be all the different sides of myself in one breath,” she says.
As they sit in front of an untouched platter of charcuterie, the Bachelorette raves about how welcoming Erich’s family was to her, which means a lot to her given how difficult her own family life was as a child. Gabby says her parents separated when she was little — her dad was gone a lot because he was in the Air Force, and her mom worked two jobs. “I did a lot of growing up on my own,” she explains. “There were times growing up where I did have to change who I was in order to receive love.”
Do we think this is the first time Gabby’s given Erich this much detail about her home life? It feels like this is info that should have been covered much earlier in their relationship — but I know that’s a silly thing to say when said “relationship” is condensed into eight weeks or whatever. Anyhow, Erich is appropriately supportive. “I can’t imagine going through what you’ve gone through and turned out so f—ing amazing,” he marvels. “I’m in love with you, Gabby, and I don’t want to leave here without you.”
Ding ding ding! That’s the correct answer, sir. Gabby says she feels like “the happiest person in the whole world.” You know what comes next, rose lovers:
The old-timey key gets me EVERY TIME. What, are they staying inside of a haunted wardrobe? One of the pantry cupboards in Downton Abbey? The Locke & Key mansion? None of the above — it’s a hotel room with a hot tub. Cut to the next morning:
One the one hand, Erich’s feeling great. “She is everything and more than I thought,” he says of Gabby. On the other hand, he’s not psyched that she’s the Bachelorette and has two more Fantasy Suite dates to go. “The reality is, it sucks that there are other relationships happening,” admits Erich. “I’m not a super-jealous person, but when you have crazy feelings for somebody, it’s going to hurt to know that there are other people still there.”
Fair enough, bro. But this is (say it with me, rose lovers) what you signed up for, so suck it up and let Gabby continue her “journey.” The Bachelorette knows that Erich is struggling and urges him to have patience with the process. “I want to be able to say, ‘I want to be engaged to him because I know it’s him,'” she explains. “But I don’t know.”
Date No. 2: Rachel and Aven
L-bomb status: He’s said, “I’m falling in love with you,” but she has yet to reciprocate.
They’re on a boat!
Rachel’s very into Aven, but she’s a little worried about using “the love word” because of how carelessly Clayton threw it around on his season. “After today, I really hope to be ready to take that step,” she says giddily.
But first, it’s time for a Jesse Palmer Interlude
The host asks Tino how he’s holding up as he waits for his overnight date with Rachel. Short answer: Not great, Bob! “The waiting game is just, like, gut-wrenching at times,” says Tino. “It is trying my patience beyond anything I could have imagined.” When Palmer presses Tino about the hometown date situation, the suitor says that Rachel was “caught off guard” by his dad’s tough questioning — but he thinks the whole ordeal with be worth it.
Still, Tino says getting through Fantasy Suite week is going to be like “nails on a chalkboard” for him. “It’s mind-boggling to me if, like, she’s not sure at this point,” he grumbles. “I certainly don’t need to sleep with anybody else.” Way to low-key slut-shame the woman you claim you want to marry! And while we’re at it, Tino, let’s not pretend that if you were the Bachelor, you’d stop yourself from having sex with the final three women. Your needs are not the only needs that matter, Tino. Please shut your pie hole and take a seat.
And thus concludes this Jesse Palmer Interlude™.
Meanwhile, back on the date, Rachel and Aven are enjoying a romantic dinner under the stars. And by “enjoying,” I mean “totally ignoring the food and drinking champs instead.” Rachel, looking lovely in a flowing hot-pink ensemble, assures Aven that she “genuinely” sees a future with him outside of the Bachelorette bubble. But she needs to know, can he realistically see himself getting engaged in two weeks? Aven’s all, Yep! Next question. “I’m 100 percent ready,” he says. “But I definitely want it to be something that you feel as well.”
Well, you’re in luck, buddy! The Bachelorette is finally ready to drop the bomb: “I know you would never use that word if you weren’t absolutely feeling it, which is why I’m comfortable saying that I am falling in love with you. I truly mean it!”
Of course, Aven LOVES it. He and Rachel smooch; she hands him the Fantasy Suite card; Aven says “absolute yes” to the invitation. Cue the random fireworks — and the requisite “making out on the bed” shot.
The next morning, Aven and Rachel snuggle in bed and coo at each other about being on cloud nine. “Aven is the full package,” says Rachel, blushing and giggling simultaneously. “The full package!” Okay, girl! Get it. Aven, too, feels “very confident” about their relationship and is even more ready to get engaged than he was the night before. Hoo boy, does Rachel look happy.
Aven is going to be a tough act to follow — but follow him you must, Tino. Good luck!
Date No. 3: Rachel and Tino
L-bomb status: Mutual “I’m falling in love with yous” achieved
Heading into her day with Tino, Rachel is still feeling swoony from her date with Aven. She’s also not looking forward to rehashing her hometown date fiasco (finasco?) with Tino’s parents — but she knows it must be done. “I think tonight we do need to discuss the fact that his family is really not supportive, and how we’re going to move past it,” she says.
Perhaps… on horseback?
Though his steed is a little “rambunctious,” Tino makes it safely to the watering hole where he and Rachel cozy up on a rock and talk about their feelings. “There is just a little bit of general anxiety coming off of hometowns,” says Rachel. Tino encourages her not to “what if” herself into a spiral and assures her that the only thing that matters is how they feel. In other words, LOVE IS LIKE A LEAP OF FAITH!
It never gets old, rose lovers.
But all the secluded swims in the world can’t change the fact that Rachel is really, really worried that Tino’s parents hate her. “My one thing I wanted out of hometowns was acceptance,” she says. “Can he honestly move forward with an engagement without that support [from his family]?” Let’s head to dinner and find out.
It’s a hot and humid evening as Rachel and Tino sit down to dinner. Tino keeps having to wipe sweat off his brow as the Bachelorette begins the uncomfortable conversation about his family. “I just feel like they really did not like me,” she says. “I think the last thing your dad said to me was like, ‘Well, I’m not going to disown him if he gets engaged — I just can’t accept it.'”
Ooof! Even Tino is shocked to hear that, but once again he tries to assure Rachel that his parents don’t hate her — they just hate the idea of their son finding a wife on a reality TV show. Rachel is understandably skeptical, especially when Tino says that his parents won’t be mad at her if he does end up proposing. “I know they’re going to come around, end of story,” he insists. “I know it’s not going to be overnight… There’s just no reality here where they don’t get on board.”
Tino goes on to give a pretty convincing speech about how he’s certain that his parents will eventually come to adore her the way he does. “You’re so incredibly beautiful and you match that with being ambitious, being smart, wanting a family, wanting a career,” he says. “My heart’s a little bit in my throat saying this but… I love you, Rachel.”
Ding ding ding! Another correct answer from a Bachelorette finalist. And now Rachel has something to share.
All righty, then! Game over, I guess? As Rachel and Tino head off to the Fantasy Suite, she expresses hope that his parents will change their tune down the road. “They better,” she adds, “because I really do see Tino at the end.” Cover your ears, Zach and Aven!
Date No. 4: Gabby and Johnny
L-bomb status: None to date, though Johnny does think Gabby is “the dopest girl” he’s ever “hung with”
They, too, are on a boat!
“Every time I’m with Johnny it’s so easy and effortless,” says Gabby. “I’m very hopeful for a future with him.” However, she’s not ready for an overnight date with him until she finds out that Johnny is ready for a long, long, long-term commitment.
Back on the beach, Gabby asks the question bluntly: “I’m in a place in my life where I feel like I’m ready to get engaged.” OK – it’s more of an expression. But Johnny says the implied end of this sentence is “Can you say the same?” knows it is.
Johnny doesn’t just come out and say he’s not ready; instead, he talks about how difficult it is to think about the subject. Johnny really sees a future with her, but makes it clear to Gabby that he won’t be proposing to her (or anyone) so soon.
The single woman finds excuses to go and think things over and reveal everything when she gets back to the blanket. “I feel like we want different things,” she tells Johnny. “If the timing isn’t there… you want to fix it, but there’s nothing to fix.” They share an emotional farewell hug before Gabby sadly returns to the sailboat. (Wait, how will Johnny get back to the hotel?)