Last week, The Bachelorette touched on racial issues for one of the first times in franchise history — and this week, it truly zeroed in on them as the drama brewing between Kenny and Lee bubbled over.
The end result? A two-on-one date for the ages. Let’s jump in.
GROUP DATE, CONTINUED
Things picked up where they left off last week, with Kenny — once again — confronting Lee for telling Rachel that he was “aggressive.” The confrontation ultimately fizzled out when Lee walked away, but resumed just moments later after Rachel decided to hand out the group date rose to Bryan.
After Rachel left the room, Kenny took a moment to congratulate Bryan — and throw some serious shade at Lee, calling him a “snake” and a “bitch-a— dude.” Lee responded with a “f— you,” which tipped Kenny over the edge, sparking a trail of angry insults — including Kenny telling Lee he’d be “a stain on that couch.”
RELATED VIDEO: The Bachelor‘s Bob Guiney on Bachelorette Contestant Lee Garrett — ‘I’d Love to Fight Him’
ONE-ON-ONE WITH JACK
The next day, Rachel took Jack on the last date in Hilton Head Island. On paper, Rachel and Jack are a perfect match — around the same age, both from Dallas, both lawyers — but in person, these two have less chemistry than Jamie Dornan and Dakota Johnson in Fifty Shades.
This date was incredibly painful to sit through. Jack was grinning like the cheshire cat the whole time and it was honestly creepy. The poor guy was somehow completely unaware that it was going terribly and kept banging on about how great their “connection” was, even though Rachel could not have looked more uncomfortable. No, really. She was even worse at hiding her complete and utter disinterest than Nick Viall was.
When Jack went in for the kiss, Rachel actually pulled the classic “I’m sick” excuse, which has been friend-zoning men everywhere since the beginning of time. But that didn’t stop Jack. Oh, no. Jack went for it, again. MAKE IT STOP, ABC, WE BEG OF YOU.
By the time we got to the evening portion of the date, Rachel admitted that things had been “comfortable” with Jack, but that the “passion” was definitely missing. Really, Rachel? Has it been comfortable? Is that the right word here?
But because she’s a good Bachelorette, she decided to give him one last shot at salvaging this train wreck and asked what they would do if they were on a date back home together and not on a TV show in front of millions of people.
Rachel: “If you could take me away to Dallas right now, what would we do?”
Jack: “First off, I’d lock the door, push everything out and just sit down and hang out. Just like, lay in bed and hang out, honestly. I think that’s the best way to chill.”
Spoiler alert: Rachel sent Jack home right then and there. And he didn’t even get an exit interview. Harsh, ABC.
LEE GETS A HISTORY LESSON / ROSE CEREMONY
Meanwhile, the drama between Kenny and Lee was still lingering back at the house, so Will decided to take Lee aside in order to give him a brief history of racial tensions in the United States.
Will: “When you call Kenny aggressive, there is a longstanding history in this country of regarding black men as aggressive to justify a lot of other things.”
Lee: “So he’s the guy that gets mad and plays the race card and tries to get away with everything he does?”
Anyway, Rachel ended up skipping the cocktail party and going straight into the rose ceremony. She sent home Jonathan the tickle monster and Iggy the pot-stirrer, neither of whom will be sorely missed.
ONE-ON-ONE WITH BRYAN
After the rose ceremony, the group flew to Oslo, Norway, for the rest of the week. The first person to score a date was Bryan, who took home the First Impression Rose week one and has slowly but surely been climbing his way to the very top of the competition.
But Rachel’s decision to give Bryan the one-on-one didn’t go unnoticed back at the house — in fact, it sparked further discussions about race, with Eric pointing out that of the five one-on-one dates thus far, only one had gone to a black guy: Anthony. “Maybe dating brothers might not be her choice at this time,” he speculated.
Meanwhile, Rachel and Bryan were enjoying the thrill of rappelling down Oslo’s historic Olympic ski jump — 187 feet above ground. Bryan even insisted on a kiss mid-rappel, which is classic because Rachel and Bryan are never not making out.
By the time the evening portion of their date rolled around, Rachel was pretty much eating out of the palm of Bryan’s hand — and vice versa. In fact, Bryan was the first guy this season to drop the L word, admitting to Rachel that he is “falling in love.” (He got the rose, obviously.)
FROM PEN: The Bachelor‘s Nick Viall on His ‘Emotional Rollercoaster’ Proposal to Vanessa Grimaldi
The next date card included everyone’s names — except, of course, for Bryan, Kenny and Lee — which confirmed who would be going on the dreaded two-on-one.
For the group date, the guys were put to the test with a grueling game of handball — in skintight unitards, no less. Things went well, and the evening portion of the group date went even better. Rachel had a great time with all of the guys — except Josiah, whom she’s starting to sense might be here for the wrong reasons: “Josiah’s good — he’s smooth,” she said. “Do I question it? Of course. He sounds very disingenuous, and it makes me feel like he is more fascinated with the idea of me than really getting to know who Rachel is.”
One person Rachel is definitely into? Peter. The two snuck off in the middle of the group date, slipped into their bathing suits and spent a good chunk of the night hooking up in a hot tub. It was very intense.
Ultimately, though, the group date rose went to Will: “I had amazing conversations with every single person,” she said. “But I can only give one rose out, and so I’m going to give it to Will. I feel like I saw a different side of you today. It was very open, and you were very vulnerable.”
TWO-ON-ONE WITH KENNY & LEE
Finally, the time came for Kenny and Lee to go head-to-head one last time. The two hopped into a helicopter with Rachel, which, as per two-on-one franchise tradition, dropped them off in the middle of absolutely nowhere.
Rachel took Kenny aside first and he immediately launched into a calm, level-headed speech, explaining that yes, he had yelled at Lee, but now he really just wanted to put that behind him and move forward with his relationship with Rachel.
Then it was Lee’s turn to explain himself, and Lee ended up telling Rachel that Kenny had called him a “snake” and a “bitch” several times and had apparently become violent with him while trying to pull him out of a van. Lee claimed Kenny has a “dark side” that comes out when he drinks, and Rachel was floored.
“All I wanted out of today was clarity, but right now I’m getting two completely different stories,” she said. “I know there are truths to what both of them are saying, and I feel that there are exaggerations in what both of them are saying. I don’t know who to believe at this point.”
In order to get to the bottom of things, Rachel took Kenny aside again and informed him of Lee’s recent accusations. Kenny was shocked and denied the whole thing, and Rachel told him that she needed some time to think things over. The episode ended with a furious Kenny approaching Lee — stay tuned for part two.
The Bachelorette continues with a two-hour episode Tuesday at 8 p.m. ET on ABC.