Shawn takes the news surprisingly well – no, really
With just five guys left in the competition, this week’s episode of Shawn Hates Nick had Kaitlyn Bristowe sending two suitors home, leaving just three men slogging along in this most exhausting, effortful journey to True Love.
Also, Kaitlyn finally told Shawn that she slept with Nick. He took the news way better than anyone could have expected, given his deep, burning hatred for “The Other Guy,” as he continues to childishly refer to his main rival for Kaitlyn’s love and affection.
Going into her date with Ben, Kaitlyn was feeling stressed out about the nonstop carousel of drama that is her life. However, Actual Disney Prince Ben H. managed to lift her spirits, and they managed to have a chill, casual date before Ben decided to unload his own Tragic Backstory – a must for any Bachelor or Bachelorette contestant.
Without deceased relatives, children or car accidents to his handsome name, Ben had to look inward for psychological trauma: His biggest fear is that he’s unlovable. Because 26-year-old Ben has not yet had a properly serious relationship – and because he’s always been the one who has loved more – he fears he’ll never be loved back. Reminder: He’s 26.
Either he’s a drama queen or several women have made it their mission to hammer his self-esteem into dust because Ben is adorable inside and out. It struck me this week that he is basically Prince Eric from The Little Mermaid. (It also struck me that Kaitlyn’s tan situation is reaching a critical level.)
Anyway, Kaitlyn reassured him that he is, indeed, lovable, but it was such a train wreck to watch – Kaitlyn is just not going to end up with Ben. She’s just not. Another woman is going to break up with him and this time it’s going to happen on television. Poor nugget.
He also told Kaitlyn that he’s “falling in love” with her and that he couldn’t wait for their overnight date so that they could stay up all night and talk.
Hilariously, Kaitlyn thought that he must be a virgin – and asked him as much. (He is not, but I am loving her insane train of thought and her uncanny ability to ruin a moment.)
On a group date with Nick, Shawn and Joe, Kaitlyn decided to take Nick aside and tell him that she regretted that happened between them. Once again, she didn’t necessarily regret the sex but how soon it happened: “I’m a grown woman, I can do what I want,” she said. (Stitch it on a pillow.)
Her conversation with Joe went far worse. Not having had much practice at this point – given how many men have voluntarily left the show before she could send them home – Kaitlyn is terrible at breaking up with people.
After a short make-out session, Joe told Kaitlyn that he was falling in love with her. (Which, by the way, is such a weird cop-out phrase that leaves so little wiggle room. It could mean you’ve just started feeling something for somebody or that you’re on the brink of being head-over-heels and it’s used so often on this show.)
Kaitlyn shut him down immediately – she said that his confession made her realize they weren’t on the same page. “I did need you to put yourself out there,” she told Joe, who was visibly crumbling under the weight of his own disappointment and hurt feelings. He didn’t handle the rejection super well, but his reaction wasn’t disproportionate to the situation. It was a super cold way to break up with somebody.
She tried to talk to him more, but he had entirely closed off and couldn’t even make eye contact with her, just repeating, “it’s cool” and “no worries” and “it’s been fun” in different combinations. Yikes.
After what has felt like years of keeping her sexcapades with Nick under wraps, Kaitlyn finally dropped the bomb on Shawn.
“I just feel like I went too far,” she told Shawn, who closed his eyes in anticipation of the blow to come: “It’s hard for me to admit it, but we had sex.”
Shawn’s face was utterly blank. He nodded slowly, not meeting her eyes, as plinky, ominous piano music came over the soundtrack. He was so keen on avoiding eye contact that it even seemed as if he made eye contact with the camera a few times. In the time between her confession and his response – “Do you regret it?” – approximately 84 years had passed.
Civilizations were built and destroyed during that dead air.
After telling her that he couldn’t figure out why she was telling him this (“I just thought it was the right thing to do,” she replied), he took a minute to “regroup” in the gents. (That’s “bathroom,” for those not currently in Ireland.)
When Shawn returned, he was a bit more clear-headed. He told Kaitlyn that she’s well aware of his feelings about Nick (that is, searing hatred) but that he would just “man up and deal with [it].” Shocking!
It’s crazy how well Shawn dealt with this given his hate-on for Nick. If this were scripted television, there would be slash fanfiction written about their relationship – the depth of his feelings for Nick is almost romantic. If Nick knew how much Shawn thought about him, he would probably be flattered.
At the rose ceremony, the show reminded us that Jared is a thing. His minimal presence during this episode was an omen of what was to come, but first Kaitlyn tried to dole out a rose to Shawn.
He asked for a minute to talk to her, and they rehashed the same old boring conversation about Nick and the other guys and why she told him that he was “the one” before she went off to have sex with Nick, etc. etc. Once again, she admitted that telling him that so early was a mistake. “I had no business doing that when I had other relationships to explore,” she said, adding that it wasn’t fair to him or to anyone else for her to do that, “because if I’m going to tell somebody that, it’s going to be at the end when I’m 150 percent confident.”
Following their aside, he accepted her rose. So did Ben and Nick, meaning Jared would be going home. Bye, Jared! Please remember that you’re very handsome but that you need to do something about the hair on your head and on your face – it’s not a good situation.
Even as he was being broken up with, Jared was ever the gentleman. As they said their goodbyes, Jared offered his coat to Kaitlyn and was reassuring her as she cried. “You’re a wonderful person, and I’m really glad I met you,” he told her. “You’ll always have a special place in my heart and that means a lot to me and I want you to be happy. Just make sure you find the man of your dreams because you deserve it.” Aww.
Jared was such a dark horse in this competition that it’s almost surprising he made it this far. But, unlike Shawn, it seemed like Kaitlyn actually had fun with Jared. Despite this deep “connection” she seems to have with Shawn – a word thrown around so often it has nearly lost its meaning – their relationship seems like a torturous chore. Kaitlyn – who has said time and time again that she needs a partner who can let loose – has had almost no fun with Shawn. Maybe we haven’t seen that side of Kaitlyn and Shawn’s relationship in favor of more dramatic, TV-ready storylines, but Jared seems like a way better partner than Shawn, who is more obsessed with Nick than with the girl he’s supposedly falling in love with.
Anyway, it’s down to the wire. Next week, Shawn will lose his damn mind over Nick again – big surprise – and Kaitlyn will whittle the competition down to the final two. (Just guessing, here, but there’s no way that Ben will make it into the final two. Right? Sorry, Ben. You’re a lovely man.)
The Bachelor airs Mondays (8 p.m. ET) on ABC.