Welcome back to The Bachelor, where in long-standing Bachelor tradition, instead of seeing the conclusion to Chris’ journey to find love, his courtship is interrupted by an episode called “The Women Tell All.” The title says everything you need to know about the episode where the things get real, Chris Harrison swears “It’s the most shocking season ever,” and waterproof mascara gets tested to its limits.
Here’s what happens when the women tell all on The Bachelor:
Party Hopping: Before we get to the group-therapy session, Chris Soules and Chris Harrison go party hopping. And while ideally it would be like The Bachelor Thunderdome where two Chrises enter, but only one Chris leaves, instead they just crash a bunch of Bachelor viewing parties. At one of the viewing parties, Chris Soules was mouth assaulted by a corn-tequila drinking mother who just couldn’t control herself (probably due to the corn-tequila drinking). At another party, Chris Harrison made a man mansplain why he would watch a show like The Bachelor, and he could not justify his actions other than shrugging, “The women are hot?” At the final party, the women peer-pressured Chris Soules into doing shots with them.
Group Therapy: As Chris Harrison works off his corn-tequila hangover, we are ready to rumble as a live studio audience forms a circle of caring around the discarded bachelorettes, who are ready to bare their emotions and talk through every single feeling they have ever had. Then it’s a walk down repressed memory lane where the camera slowly pans down a long line of women that your brain is desperately trying to forget, so instead of being able to remember your mother’s phone number during an emergency, you are instead able to recall that Jillian likes to squat thrust in short shorts and Ashley I. was the freelance journalist while Ashley S. was the onion lover.
Britt: The second the camera starts rolling, Britt and Carly start yelling at each other. Britt feels betrayed by these women who, in the noblesse oblige of front-runners, she thought were her new best girlfriends, and not competitors. Chris Harrison calls Britt up to the therapy couch to try to persuade the world that she is not a big fakey faker. While Carly rallies her troops, Britt finds an ardent, if unlikely, defender in Jillian who brought her own soapbox and hollers from it until Chris emits a piercing whistle and he informs her that she’s “a little jacked up,” which is a dictionary-perfect example of an understatement. Everyone is still yelling when Chris goes to commercial to give the women an off-camera talk about on-camera behavior. Once the show is back, the second-string women take a knee while Britt and Carly have it out. Britt cries on camera and no one gives her a tissue, which seems like cruel and unusual punishment.
Kelsey: Flashback to when Kelsey used the story of her widowhood to score points with the Bachelor, somehow naturally segueing from talking about her deceased husband to making out with a strapping farmer. Then throwback to all the women cheering and celebrating when she was kicked off the show, which is all kinds of awkward to watch en masse. Kelsey, who apparently took lessons from Britt, sniffles and cries while watching the tape and takes a silk pocket square from Chris and blows her nose on it. Chris asks her if she has any idea why the women dislike her so much, and she says that she is “condescending” and adds “I use big words,” which is, of course, condescending. The women collectively roll their eyes, and all their hands shoot up in the air. Chris ignores them until after a commercial break. Everyone starts yelling at her and continues yelling at her until she cries, believably for once. I hope everyone is proud of themselves.
Ashley S.: The most expert troll in The Bachelor‘s long history, returns to the stage to continue her long Andy Kaufmann–esque con. When asked why she was wandering the grounds and surprising the show’s accounting staff, she shrugged. “I was so bored, honestly,” she explained, which makes a kind of sense. “While all of them [gesturing at women] were getting upset and crying, I was outside looking at pomegranates.” That’s when Chris can’t control himself anymore and begs her to be on Bachelor in Paradise. At that the entire audience erupts into cheers of, “Ashley! Ashley!” She is nonplussed and just says, “It’s so weird.” “What is?” asks Chris. “That we’re on TV,” says Ashley. And scene.
Jade: Chris calls Jade to the hot seat to discuss the fact that she revealed her X-rated past, and Chris Soules immediately jilted her. Jade is still in the sad stage of a breakup and cries on the couch, when she should be in the angry stage where she gets to call Chris Soules a duplicitous sex-shamer who probably spends a lot of time in Internet comments sections, and can’t handle a real woman. Instead she just demurely dabs her eyes and tells Chris H. that she’s nervous about seeing Chris S. again.
Kaitlyn: Just last week we watched Chris toss aside hilarious, wacky, beautiful Kaitlyn for Becca who has very little discernible personality (it could be the editing) and some serious red flags (she should thank her sister for that). On the couch, Kaitlyn reels off the buzzwords of being authentic and feeling open and being vulnerable while adding that she thinks about her ungracious dumping every day.
Chris: When Prince Farming himself comes on stage, Britt gives him a big hug. She then proceeds to throw Carly under the bus. He sidesteps by saying that Carly had nothing to do with it, and he made the decision to oust her all by himself. She ignores that. Then Chris turns to Kaitlyn and tells her that he was honestly falling in love with three different women and just randomly chose Becca over Kaitlyn. Kaitlyn also wants to know why he made her stand through the Rose Ceremony and didn’t give her the courtesy of a private reprieve and why didn’t he give her the same chance for some one-on-one time that he gave Becca. Chris has no answers, but just sweats and shifts uncomfortably in his seat. Then it is Jade’s turn to demand a clarification about a word choice on his blog, which is every writer’s nightmare.
Best News of the Night: While the producers still haven’t announced that Kaitlyn is the next bachelorette (and Britt was lobbying hard to make herself more likable to audiences) the show did have one big reveal for fans: Chris Harrison has used his years of experience watching people look for love on reality television and poured all those borrowed emotions and spent tears into a romance novel. It’s called The Perfect Letter, and it will undoubtedly put Nicholas Sparks to shame.