"It just feels like it's all for nothing," Katie Thurston said during Monday's episode after one of her final three suitors removed himself from the running

Advertisement

This post contains spoilers from Monday's episode of The Bachelorette.

Despite Michael A.'s unexpected departure last week, Bachelorette Katie Thurston was excited to embark on hometown dates with her final three men: Blake, Greg and Justin.  

"I'm hoping to figure out who it is that I see blending into my life," she said in a confessional at the start of Monday's episode. "You don't just marry a man, you marry his family, so this is huge."

BLAKE'S HOMETOWN

First up, Katie spent the day with latecomer Blake getting a taste of his life in Canada.

Blake brought her to a bar on the Hyatt Regency Tamaya Resort & Spa premises (due to COVID-19, the guys had to replicate their hometowns on-site in New Mexico) where they played a Truth or Dare version of darts. During the game, Katie named spiders as her biggest fear, told Blake there's "always a possibility" she'd relocate to Canada and accepted the dare to "touch me on your favorite body part."

The duo rode a mechanical moose and played hockey before going to see Blake's family.

THE BACHELORETTE - "1709" – After an unexpected and heartbreaking departure before “hometowns,” Katie is nervous but excited to continue the journey with her three remaining men in New Mexico. With stakes at an all-time high and the pressure of meeting loved ones, she tries to balance falling in love with fairness – but keeping her emotions held close leads to a tense fallout with one of the guys. Can Katie patch things up enough to convince him (and herself) to stay, or is she ready to quit her journey for good? An all-new episode of “The Bachelorette” airs MONDAY, AUG. 2 (8:00-10:00 p.m. EDT), on ABC. (ABC/Craig Sjodin) BLAKE MOYNES, KATIE THURSTON
Credit: Craig Sjodin/ABC

Blake's mom Emily started off by asking Katie at what point she decided to pursue Blake. "The second I met him our chemistry was very instant — it was just natural. We were very flirtatious," Katie said. "Ultimately, I decided to do what was best for me, which was bring Blake on."

Blake also told his family that he and Katie's physical connection was "1000 percent there."

"There's a connection between them, but I think the biggest concern I would have at this point right now is, is it just infatuation or are they really digging deep and falling in love with one another?" Emily wondered to the cameras.

When Katie spoke one-on-one with Emily, she said that when it came to falling in love, she and Blake both felt "that we can get there" and were "committed to pursuing our relationship." But Katie didn't want to use the L-word yet. "It doesn't feel right while I'm still dating multiple people," she said.

Meanwhile, Blake spoke to his sister Taylor, who worried that Blake was "so set" on previous Bachelorettes Clare Crawley and Tayshia Adams, and those relationships didn't work out. "No one's aligned with me like [Katie] has, ever," Blake insisted.

Then, speaking with his mom, Blake said he could "100 percent" see Katie as his wife. Emily encouraged Blake to "man the f--- up" and tell Katie he loved her.

Blake wrapped the night feeling invigorated about his relationship with Katie and considered telling her he loved her. Instead, they ended the evening with a passionate kiss. "The word 'love' is a scary word to use," Blake said in an on-camera interview. "Still, at the end of the night, the way she kissed me, if things keep going the way that they are, I see myself getting engaged to Katie."

JUSTIN'S HOMETOWN

Ahead of Justin's time with Katie, he revealed that his parents wouldn't be attending the hometown date.

"We'll support you, but I just find it difficult to understand how anyone could get to know someone in this short period of time to propose," Justin's mom told him over the phone. "You have to be mindful of not only getting to know a person but that individual's family, because all of those things are important in a marriage and in a relationship."

Justin agreed, but felt frustrated nonetheless. "You and Dad aren't here, so what am I supposed to do?" he asked his parents. "It's just hard to give a glimpse into part of me that is very important and it's just like I've got literally nothing to show."

Justin tried to make the most of the date despite his parents' absence and took Katie on a horse-drawn carriage tour of a recreated Baltimore. They took pictures at a replica of the Welcome to Baltimore sign, visited Graffiti Alley and enjoyed some seafood. During their meal, Justin informed Katie that she wouldn't be meeting his parents, but would be introduced to his two best friends.

THE BACHELORETTE - "1709" – After an unexpected and heartbreaking departure before “hometowns,” Katie is nervous but excited to continue the journey with her three remaining men in New Mexico. With stakes at an all-time high and the pressure of meeting loved ones, she tries to balance falling in love with fairness – but keeping her emotions held close leads to a tense fallout with one of the guys. Can Katie patch things up enough to convince him (and herself) to stay, or is she ready to quit her journey for good? An all-new episode of “The Bachelorette” airs MONDAY, AUG. 2 (8:00-10:00 p.m. EDT), on ABC. (ABC/Craig Sjodin) JUSTIN, KATIE THURSTON
Credit: Craig Sjodin/ABC

"I was a little disappointed," Katie admitted to the cameras. "I was a little surprised, especially given how soon an engagement is. I think meeting the families is extremely important, and it's hard because with Justin's family not here, I do wonder, is Justin ready for a proposal? A marriage? That's a little bit of a struggle for me."

Still, when Katie met Justin's friends Herb and Tommy, she gushed about their "instant connection." "I've never seen [Justin] so affectionate," Herb remarked. "The way I saw them interact, it's possible that Katie could be the one."

When Herb and Katie spoke privately, he asked whether she and Justin had said "I love you," and she reiterated the same point she made to Blake's family. "It doesn't feel right to tell one man that I'm in love with him knowing that there are other men still here," Katie said.

Herb wondered, however, if other men had expressed their feelings to Katie. "Katie's a really fun, nice girl. And she really does see Justin as a potential husband," Herb said in an on-camera interview. "But I fear that there's other relationships that could be stronger, and that they've confessed their love to her."

At the same time, Tommy told Katie how reserved he usually finds Justin. But "he's just so himself around you," Tommy observed. "I haven't seen him that way before."  

And Justin confessed to Herb that he didn't want his usual guarded attitude to get in the way of a future with Katie. "I can't live with potentially going home at this point and knowing I left something on the table," he said.

So at the end of the night, Justin opened up to Katie about his feelings. "As much as I'm trying to fight it, I know I'm falling in love with you and that is how I feel," he told her. "I'm not going to hold back."

He and Katie kissed and Justin told the cameras, "Tonight was everything I was looking for."

"I'm so elated with where we're at," he continued. "I'm ready to take that next step with Katie and as scary as it is, it's a reality that I could be engaged very soon."

GREG'S HOMETOWN

Greg wanted to bring Katie to his New Jersey beach town, so they rode a tandem bike down a makeshift boardwalk, ate pork rolls and Italian ices, and surfed on a motorized machine. They also played basketball together, something Greg used to do with his dad before he died.

Later, after Katie met Greg's mom, older brother Joe and best friend Dave, Joe told Katie he didn't think Greg had opened up to anyone before about their late father. "You could see how happy he is and how happy you guys are," Joe said.

Greg expressed that happiness to pal Dave. "She's made me realize why it hasn't worked with anybody else," Greg said of Katie. "It's so real with us."

Greg's mom Sandra asked Katie what made Greg special, and she cited his confidence, his ability to remain humble and his love for his family.  "I hate to use the word frontrunner, but Greg is someone I have a strong connection with," she said. "Greg is someone — I don't care if I'm allowed to say this — like, Greg will be here next week. Greg is someone I want to continue to pursue our relationship with."

THE BACHELORETTE - "1709" – After an unexpected and heartbreaking departure before “hometowns,” Katie is nervous but excited to continue the journey with her three remaining men in New Mexico. With stakes at an all-time high and the pressure of meeting loved ones, she tries to balance falling in love with fairness – but keeping her emotions held close leads to a tense fallout with one of the guys. Can Katie patch things up enough to convince him (and herself) to stay, or is she ready to quit her journey for good? An all-new episode of “The Bachelorette” airs MONDAY, AUG. 2 (8:00-10:00 p.m. EDT), on ABC. (ABC/Craig Sjodin) KATIE THURSTON, GREG
Credit: Craig Sjodin/ABC

Sandra asked whether Katie had expressed her love to Greg yet, and Katie repeated her same speech about wanting to wait until the end to say "I love you." That concerned Sandra. "Honestly, I worry that his heart's going to get hurt," she told Katie. "I do."

Katie assured, "I think him and I are really just this perfect match."

Greg shared his feelings with his mom when they spoke privately. "I am in love with this girl and I do see me getting engaged to her at the end," he said.

Then, he opened up to Katie. "I haven't been this happy in the longest time," he said after the family gathering. "I didn't know that I was going to fall in love with you. And I am in love with you. You just make me the happiest I've ever been."

When Katie didn't say "I love you" back to Greg, she noticed he got visibly upset. "I just need you to trust in our relationship," she told him.

Greg wanted more assurance, though. "I've also never felt like you were holding things back from me until tonight," he said.

They kissed goodnight, but Greg told the cameras he felt "confused" about where his and Katie's relationship stood.

"I'm so sad because I spilled my heart out to her last night. I don't know. I told her I was in love with her. She really didn't have any reaction," he said. "I wasn't asking for a lot, just the smallest thing to let me know she was feeling somewhat of the same."

Greg headed to Katie's room the next day for answers, and Katie said she hadn't told any of the remaining men that she loved them. But Greg wanted some sort of response to his profession of love. "You didn't even acknowledge what I said to you," he said. "You completely mowed over it."

Katie tried to remain even-keeled, which only left Greg feeling like she had still only offered a "surface-level response."

"There's obviously a disconnect here. It's, like, clear. That's obvious," he told her. "As much as it hurts me, I've reached my breaking point with this. I gave you everything and I really hope you find something."

A shocked Katie needed more clarification. "I can't even comprehend what it is you're trying to say right now," she replied. "Are you not wanting to stay anymore? Are you done?"

Will you accept this rose? Sign up for PEOPLE's free weekly Bachelor Nation newsletter to get the latest news on The Bachelor, The Bachelorette and everything in between.

"Yeah, that's exactly what I'm saying," Greg confirmed. "It was never about a rose for me this week and I was never asking for you to profess your love to me. I just wanted Katie."

Greg walked out of Katie's hotel room and she chased after him. But Greg stood firm on his position to leave. "I deserve more than what I've been given on your side," he said. "I'm not happy here anymore. I'm done here."

That prompted Katie, too, to declare, "I am done. I am done. I am done."

Co-host Kaitlyn Bristowe paid a visit to Katie's room, where she found the Seattle resident sobbing over the breakup. "It just feels like it's all for nothing," she said of her time on the show.

When Kaitlyn asked how she wanted to proceed, Katie said, "I want someone to book my flight home."  

The Bachelorette airs Mondays (8 p.m. ET) on ABC.