Drama seemed to be at a fever pitch going into the June 2 episode of ‘The Bachelorette,’ but by the end of it, things had taken a much more serious turn.
In every season of The Bachelorette, there’s a clear point where the guys realize that they’re not just a bunch of friends drinking endless amounts of wine and starring in the lamest bromance ever — they’re competing for one girl’s love. That moment in Andi Dorfman‘s season came last episode when Josh M. and JJ confronted Andrew and accused him of flirting with another girl while on a group date. And tonight, June 2, we get to sit back and watch the fallout from those seminal shots fired.
Dylan Opens Up To Andi About His Past
But of course we have to watch a bunch of boring (in comparison) stuff before the bombs go off.
Many of the Bachelor and Bachelorette seasons kick off their globetrotting episodes with trips to Iceland, or Thailand, or Scandinavia, but this time they’re going to beautiful, sunny New England. Check that: I’m being told New England is only beautiful and sunny for two months out of the year.
So underneath gray skies, Andi welcomed her guys to Mohegan Sun in Connecticut, which is like Las Vegas, if Las Vegas was boring and only consisted of one hotel.
Lucky for Dylan, the Boston boy who had a serious home-field advantage here, he got to leave the hotel to take a romantic steam-engine train ride on a one-on-one date with Andi.
Dylan revealed in the last episode that he’s lost two siblings to drug addiction, so that serious confession hung over the cutesy date like a New England storm cloud. On the train, Dylan first dropped a reference to his deceased brother nonchalantly and basically waited for Andi to push him to open up about it, only she never did.
Until dinner. With Andi’s prompting (finally, girl!), Dylan revealed his unbelievably sad and shockingly recent past. He understandably broke down opening up to Andi, which had to have been so freaking hard — especially with a camera in his face. It was something Dylan had to do though if he wants to get anywhere with Andi. She rightly gave him the rose, and I hope Dylan can show off his lighter side now that this weight has been taken off his chest.
‘Bachelorette’ Basketball: Game, Blouses
Talk about an oddly paced episode. After starting with the season’s most emotional moment yet, things then switched to a group date that was 100 percent goofy fun, courtesy of a basketball game hosted by the stars of the WNBA (I’m assuming LeBron James and Kevin Durant were busy).
The guys first got smoked by the WNBA stars — even former pro baseball player Josh M. couldn’t hang. Also, JJ was wearing a shirt that just said “JJ,” so I ignored him for the entirety of the date.
The group date got really good when the guys were split up and forced to play a game, with the winning team getting a nighttime date with Andi. That’s when the ‘bows started to fly. I couldn’t tell for sure, but I bet there were some below the belt shots being taken in the paint. In the end, under the leadership of Brian (remember, he’s a high school basketball coach, so this was a wet dream for him), the “Rosebuds” won the game and got the date night.
That’s where Brian continued to put on the full-court press (it’s basketball puns from here on out, guys, sorry I’m not sorry). He took her through his 8th grade drills, and then made a half-court shot (Sign this dude up! Surely he could play for the Knicks right?), which basically had Andi eating out of the palm of his hand. Only he didn’t kiss her. Man, he really dropped the ball.
In the end, Brian’s balling skills were still enough to get him that pre-ceremony rose anyways though. And later he made up for his mistake during the rose ceremony cocktail mixer.
‘The Bachelorette’ Takes A Turn
After a hotel-rappelling one-on-one date with Marcus that pretty much played out like a lame, more pointless scene from The Challenge combined with a low-rent country concert in which Marcus and Andi had to dance on a tiny stage above the rest of the audience for some reason, the show finally hit us with even more emotion.
But it wasn’t the drama I was expecting. Earlier in the episode, Eric Hill fumbled through the group date when Andi (rightly) told him that their connection had flat-lined. And how did he respond to that? By pulling her aside at the mixer and telling her that she was the one who wasn’t being real. “I came on this to meet a person, not a TV actress,” Eric told Andi.
This strategy somehow backfired on E-money — Andi got totally pissed, Eric continued to dig himself deeper, Josh M. ascertained, “She shouldn’t be crying right now,” and Andi tearfully broke things off with Eric, sending him home.
For the first time, we could see how a seemingly amazing guy like Eric went so long without finding a serious relationship. The way he self-destructed his relationship with Andi totally blew my mind. Obviously, Eric died in April after leaving the show, so it was absolutely heart-wrenching to see him go out on such a sour note.
A Tribute To Eric Hill
The show decided not to end it that way though — after a commercial break, Chris Harrison appeared on-screen to somberly announce that the episode would not end with a rose ceremony, but instead with an in-the-present tribute to Eric, aided by Andi.
“It’s devastating to even talk about it,” Andi said. “This season’s dedicated to him — we all remember him.”
Andi went on to explain that she and Eric just couldn’t open up enough each other, that the excitement of their first date just wasn’t enough to sustain a relationship. But Eric will always have a place in Andi’s heart, she admitted. “It changed me in so many ways. To lose someone puts everything in perspective. It’s tough, saying we lost a family member,” Andi said.
I’m sure I’ll have so much more to say about this, but my first reaction is that the way The Bachelorette handled Eric’s exit was just OK. On one hand, it seemed insensitive and borderline exploitative to show Eric in such a negative light in his final scene, and have him go off the show talking hopefully about the rest of his life. It also felt somewhat like The Bachelorette was turning Eric’s tragedy into a spotlight for Andi to backtrack on sending him home, when the focus should have totally been on him.
But on a more basic level, at least show tried to pay further tribute to Eric, and didn’t belittle his death by mixing his departure on the show with the triviality of a rose ceremony.
Also — Tasos went home (!!!) during that rose ceremony that will never be seen.
— Andrew Gruttadaro