Shawn kicks off this episode by making all of us question, once again, if he realizes he’s on The Bachelorette. After telling Kaitlyn that her relationship with other guys makes him nervous, he asks her, “Are you in love with me? Yes or no?” (Hey, Shawn, do you know that Kaitlyn’s not allowed to say something like that until she picks the winner? Yes or no?)
Other Contestants Who Aren’t Nick or Shawn Alert! Kaitlyn kicks off the next day in Dublin by taking JJ and Joe on a two-on-one date. And while their linked-arm walk in this photo might look awkward, it isn’t half as uncomfortable as the rest of the date itself.
Joe takes his one-on-one time with Kaitlyn as an opportunity to tell her that he’s falling in love with her. It’s very sweet!…
… and JJ takes his one-on-time with Kaitlyn as an opportunity to tell her that he once cheated on his wife and lost everything important in his life as a result. It’s… not quite as sweet.
And, while it might not be a direct result of JJ’s honesty and/or infidelity, Kaitlyn decides to send JJ home at the end of the two-on-date. But it’s not exactly a win for Joe either: Kaitlyn confesses that she doesn’t feel close enough with him to give him a rose just yet. All in all, this date has been weird. Maybe we actually need the Shawn/Nick drama for Season 11 to remain interesting?
To that end, here is a shot of Shawn doing what he does best: brooding.
During a pre-rose ceremony interview, a producer tells Kaitlyn that Shawn is unexpectedly on his way to her hotel room. I can’t be 100 percent sure about this, but Kaitlyn’s epic eyeroll likely mirrors all of ours at home.
During an extremely long and drawn-out conversation, Kaitlyn tells Shawn that, although she blames herself for giving him too much reassurance about their relationship, he also needs to cool his jets when it comes to other guys. “If you’re in the Final Two, I’m going to meet someone else’s family, and it’s going to be intense,” she says. Eventually, Shawn promises to be better about controlling his emotions. So, yay! We can finally put this drama behind us! Right?
Wrong! Before the rose ceremony begins, Kaitlyn admits to the guys how nervous she is, confessing that this emotional week has included some mistakes. Cue all the contestants wondering if she’s talking about them.
“Um… wasn’t our sex super-awesome, though?”
“Um… didn’t she tell me I was The One, though?”
Once Kaitlyn finishes her one-on-one conversations with the guys — a quick summary: Ben H. proved he is perfect next-Bachelor material, Nick cried and Shawn remained deeply jealous — she hands out the first two roses to Ben H. and Chris. The final rose? That goes to Shawn, not that any of us doubted those results for a second.
Sorry, Ben Z.
The next day, the contestants take a road trip to Killarney. Most of the guys end up on a bus together, but Kaitlyn chooses Jared to ride with her. The main takeaway: Kaitlyn is not the best driver. (It’s not that hard to avoid the curb, right?)
Kaitlyn and Jared make a pit stop at Blarney Castle, where they kiss the Blarney Stone and then kiss each other. (The only thing I can think about? So. Many. Germs.)
In a rare chat with Chris Harrison, Kaitlyn tells the host that she’s been second-guessing some of the decisions she’s made, among them her intimate evening with Nick. “I regret it,” Kaitlyn tells Chris. His response: “That’s good.” Um…
Chris then breaks the news that Kaitlyn will be eliminating half of the contestants this week, leaving only three guys in the competition. That will be followed by overnight dates, which then will be followed by hometown visits for the first time. The person who looks most anxious about this switcheroo, unsurprisingly, is Shawn. Is this guy ever not tense?
Kaitlyn selects Chris for her next one-on-one date, in which they take a helicopter ride to a picnic at the Cliffs of Moher. For a guy who started this competition by driving a giant cupcake, Chris has done surprisingly well for himself.
…Or perhaps I spoke too soon. During the picnic, Kaitlyn and Chris’ date soon becomes an elaborate break-up, in which Kaitlyn keeps her promise not to lead on someone with whom she can’t see a future. If any of you at home have made a drinking game out of Kaitlyn’s crying scenes, I legitimately fear for your safety at this point.
And Chris, who managed to keep it together for most of his exit interview, unexpectedly breaks down in the final moments of the episode. It could be because he had such strong feelings for Kaitlyn… but I suspect it’s because Kaitlyn took that helicopter back to the hotel by herself.