Katie Thurston Episode 10 – Third Time Is The Charm

Welcome back dear readers! I know we are all here tonight – on the edge of our seats – waiting to find out whether the PA booked Katie’s flight home from New Mexico using Kayak or Travelocity, and whether production can get Katie that crucial economy-plus upgrade. 

Before we get a screenshare of the PA’s browser window, however, we have to pass some time as Kayshia welcomes us to a definitely-not-live studio show with a curated audience. The bright colors are there; and the choreographed clapping is there. 

There is, however, something that doesn’t seem quite right. Oh yes, the host(esses). They’re different. I’m expecting some critical race theory curriculum from Kayshia, or, at the very least, they might read some bulletins from the woke police. 

We first get a recap of what’s happened to date. If you haven’t been reading our blogs as bedtime stories for your kids (and why wouldn’t you), you would be reminded that Katie felt super confident in her Hometown Four; and then Michael decided that he loved his kid more than Katie; and Greg decided that he loved his influencer future more than Katie. 

I was worried that we wouldn’t be able to fit all of what was left into one episode. Alas, this long recap tells me that they had the opposite problem. They were looking to fill time and this is the equivalent of futzing with the margins and changing the font to courier.

In ITMs, Katie tells us that when Greg left, she blamed herself for his departure, and even thought about chasing down the men who have left her. While I think Katie booking tickets to New York to break up Rachael & Matt James could have been compelling TV, the producers weren’t so sure. Isn’t Justin still hanging around the hotel lobby here somewhere? Will his parents show up if we tell them that Justin is in the final two? 

But I’ve already thought more about Justin just now than Katie did while on dates with Justin in New Mexico – her mind is still preoccupied with Greg. She tells Kayshia in the “live” show that she hasn’t spoken to Greg since and she doesn’t think “a real man” would talk down to her and walk away. That’s what’s known in the industry as a tasty preview of what’s to come. 

Rewind time back a few months, and Kayshia walks in on BCB & Justin waiting for the rose ceremony. They are told that Greg has left, but Katie has decided to continue. Justin must be freaking out. He’s just having a good time, and now he has a 1 in 2 shot of being engaged in two days? Can’t a guy just go on a show to promote an art career in peace? 

The first of the final two dates is with BCB. The date gets off to a lighthearted start with a balloon paint fight. The two get themselves cleaned up and situated in a hot tub. Katie tells BCB that when Michael and Greg left, a part of her wanted to quit. 

BCB then tells her that when the 1st Bachelorette dumped him, he wanted to get off the fame-seeking train as well, but he persevered. Then the 2nd bachelorette dumped him, and he still persevered. He summed up his lessons learned by saying, “the arc of the Bachelor-verse is long, but it bends toward influencer fame.” 

While it would have been better had he said those things, he actually didn’t. He did what you expect BCB to do, makeout with Katie. I guess we’ll need to wait until dinner to see where his feelings are at. 

The dinner conversation is just one extended BCB monologue. He talks about how closely he hangs on to the word “love,” and raises the example of how his dad doesn’t even say “I love you” to BCB, but instead just showed his love. I’m not sure where this word train was headed, but in not too much of a shock for BCB, it ended up about hockey. Apparently, when they were playing street hockey at the end of the hometown date, and Katie scored and said “Go America!” – that sealed the deal for BCB. He tells Katie that, at that moment, he realized that he loved Katie. 

Take note readers – all you need to get into a Canadian’s heart is to mouth words while playing hockey – that’s all it takes. 

After hearing BCB’s declaration, Katie reciprocates with “I truly love you so much.” She has decided that BCB is the one for her on the journey. I would otherwise joke that this is a huge surprise to everyone that had Justin in their pool, but we all know that not even Justin’s parents thought Justin had any shot of “winning” the season. 

The two read Kayshia’s fantasy-suite card and I’m surprised that the most sex-positive lead and cast member in recent memory even waited to get into the suite before disrobing. We don’t get too much of the morning after – just more “I love yous” exchanged. And the camera focusing on a bra that is on the floor under one of the bedside tables.

But it’s Katie’s conversation with Kaitlyn that spoils the suspense. Katie makes it known that she was very happy with how things (and BCB) went down (multiple times) the night before and that she’s all in on BCB. At that moment, Kaitlyn helpfully reminds Katie that there’s this guy Justin who’s still here and currently setting up a caricature booth in the lobby.

A light bulb goes off inside Katie’s brain: “Can Blake and I get a caricature done right now?” (editor’s note – not what actually happened).

Justin is full of confidence for some reason – he’s ready to take the next step. But when he greets Katie for the “date” – Katie’s body language gives away the ending. 

In talking up the date, Justin noted that he and Katie have “been together for a whole month.” This show is weird. If Justin were to facetime his parents to be like “hey, I’m engaged to that girl I have been dating for a month, during which she was dating between one and 29 other dudes” they would rightly be concerned. But a month probably feels like a long time when you’re trapped in some sort of New Mexico Truman Show

Katie tells Justin that things changed after the overnight with Blake, she’s told Blake that she loves him, and that it wouldn’t be right to continue with Justin.

Justin’s face, which usually gives away all the emotions, holds it together, not revealing much. He tells Katie that he now sees the other side of vulnerability, but he wishes Katie well and hopes that Blake won’t take her for granted. Katie tells Justin that he’ll be a great husband and father. This is exactly how a breakup on this show happens where two people have fallen in like, but not remotely close to being in love. 

We should all get the chance to dump a Justin. Just a supportive and affirming experience for Katie all the way around.

Justin Hot Seat

Justin’s in the studio with Kayshia and says what you expect him to say. When asked, he said he didn’t feel like he got a fair shot from Katie given all the attention on Greg & Michael. When Katie joins him, Justin asks whether he was just there by default. While we all know the answer was yes, Katie says no, and alludes to unseen moments. The clips of those moments are so far down the Bachelor memory hole that they ran into the clips of the argument between Rachel and Vanessa. And if you got that joke – congratulations – you just might be my soulmate. Justin & Katie wish each other well, and I’m sure we’ll be seeing at least one of them again in Paradise.

Despite almost being overcome with emotion at the start, Justin’s time in the hot seat ends with a montage of the best Justin-Face moments. Justin’s love story is basically reduced to an homage to Jim Halpert. 

BCB and the Thurstons

We go back in time again and it’s BCB’s turn to meet Katie’s family. Mom Rhonda Lee and Aunt Lindsey are here, and Aunt Lindsey just might be my favorite family member in the history of this show (other than the chair that Aaron Rodgers was supposed to sit in).

She introduces herself to us (and Blake) by firmly telling Blake, “I’m going to shake your hand.” That’s right BCB, you’re gonna be happy with a handshake and a lot of shade from Aunt Lindsey. Why wasn’t Aunt Lindsey invited to the group date with the Drag Race Queens? There was more shade in Aunt Lindsey’s 90 seconds on screen than there was in that entire date that was supposed to be about throwing shade. 

Lindsey and Rhonda Lee starts by asking real questions. You know, not the ones about feelings and such – but about stuff that matters – where do you live? What is your job? BCB’s answer to the job question is a combination of words that started with “unemployed” and ended with “non-profit.” This is a guaranteed winner on meet-the-family day! 

Aunt Lindsey just crushes BCB. Katie described her as “not affectionate at all” and Aunt Lindsey did not disappoint. Aunt Lindsey asks BCB why he wanted to be on this season after he “flunked out of” the last one. Ha! She’s mean! Aunt Lindsey appears to have marching orders to bust BCB’s balls. “You ultimately mean nothing” is a thing she actually says. Aunt Lindsey is my favorite Nihilist philosopher. 

BCB, who is wishing they could go back to talking about how he is unemployed, hears Aunt Lindsey tell him “you’re here because we want you here, not cause we need you here.” Aunt Lindsey is, let’s hope, the bad cop. When BCB tries to explain that he knows that marriage is difficult because he saw his parents fuck up their own marriage, Aunt Lindsey says “watching a trainwreck is not the same as actually being in that trainwreck.” I mean, he was kinda in it, it was his parents. But Aunt Lindsey is clearly not going to take “I’m ready to marry your niece after a month on this TV show” for an answer.

Rhonda Lee tells Katie “it is super important not to need someone” and “we don’t put ourselves in a position where we have to rely on a male.” Are they from Seattle or Themyscira? 

Aunt Lindsey asks Katie “what makes you want the beard?” Hey, that’s our thing! Katie claims the distance is not an issue because she can just go to Canada or Africa to see BCB like there’s no pandemic on. Aunt Lindsey thinks Katie is putting BCB first and she does not like it. I really wish these two had been able to get their claws into Greg. They’d be picking their teeth with his bones within minutes. 

Lindsey probably already printed multiple copies of Greg’s acting-school transcript in preparation for her cross-examination. 

Rhonda Lee asks BCB if he wants to get married/engaged. “What are the plans?” she asks, and BCB seems to be wondering if the camera crew will help him if they attack or just film the bloodshed. Rhonda Lee and Aunt Lindsey are not wrong that BCB and Katie live in different countries, but they may be misunderstanding the changes that have taken place in their Katie’s life. She’s not a bank manager anymore. Influencers can easily fly to different places (pandemic permitting) and BCB is not actually going to be managing much wildlife going forward. Canada isn’t on the Moon. They live in Renton, from which they could drive to Canada in under three hours. Granted, not the right part of Canada, but Renton to Abbotsford, BC is 2.5 hours by car when the border is open. They should be familiar with Canadians.

BCB tells Rhonda Lee that he loves her daughter and he knows what he has and doesn’t want to fuck it up. BCB says he told Katie he loved her and he wants to devote himself to Katie forever. Rhonda Lee cries a little and has jumped on board the BCB train. Aunt Lindsey would like to wait for another train, perhaps one that lives in the greater SEA-TAC metroplex. 

We are led to believe that BCB is so stressed out by this encounter that he may not propose. But this very much reads as a manufactured controversy to fill some show. These two are so ready to get engaged, despite the occasional clip of BCB saying he is “full of doubts.” Normally we try to present an overly-exhaustive summary of what is happening on the show, but I am going to go ahead and say we can just “yadda yadda” this “will he actually propose tho?” non-story.

Zozobra Date

There is a nighttime portion of this date and “Felicia” is here to supervise it. Felicia is our date guest. She is a healer, and they will be burning Zozobra. You can apparently put your gloom down on paper and place it in Zozobra and then burn it. They are going to write things they don’t like on paper and burn them. This date involved writing separately in journals on a cold windy night. Then they read the things they do not like to each other and lit a puppet on fire. It is cooler than it sounds.

BCB, whose story never really got told because he was always behind Greg and Michael, has now introduced an idea that his own parents’ failed marriage looms over his own quest for love. Katie says some things about not feeling like she is good enough. Then they lit a big fire in a state that really doesn’t want you to start any fires. Zozobra burns safely despite the high winds and the New Mexico drought. 

At that moment, I looked up from my phone and saw what appeared to be a burning cross, and Immediately thought “Chris Harrison must be thrilled to see this!” Just kidding Chris! Enjoy your retirement. 

We see Tayshia and Neil Lane facetiming each other. Neil Lane apparently needs Tayshia to do his job because he wasn’t quarantined in time. Due to the dramatic exits of Greg and Michael and less-dramatic exit of Justin, things are ahead of schedule and Neil Lane could be all full of Covid or whatever. We see Tayshia set six ring boxes in front of BCB. Friends, I am fairly certain that this is the first time in show history that a guy picked out an engagement ring with the assistance of his ex. 

Tayshia reminds BCB that he was “willing to risk it all for” Katie. I mean, what did he risk? Covid, I guess? Maybe he can’t claim unemployment benefits if he is not able to use the internet? The music tells us BCB might not pick out a ring, but we know better.

The Final Rose

Katie, wearing a green dress, heads out into the very-dusty desert. BCB is in a suit and headed out to meet Katie. BCB does look pretty nervous, but perhaps because he is in a very-tight suit and he is going to have to talk without swearing. BCB heads down a dirt road to a stage set against a gorgeous backdrop of mountains and a river. New Mexico is real pretty, y’all.

Katie says “you look so good” and tells BCB that “love shows up when it wants, regardless of time, tradition, and expectations.” And regardless of whether love was eliminated by Tayshia and not chosen by Clare. Katie gives a tearful recitation of her feelings, and says “you love me for me.” It is a bit cliché to note that BCB was the guy that didn’t leave and the one that worked the hardest to get on Katie’s season. Katie says she knew she wanted to love BCB for the rest of her life. Katie really is the best example of why the lead should propose, even on the Bachelorette. BCB says he has been living what has basically been a fairy tale. He recounts a few moments from their brief time together when he knew he was in love, and he says he “knew how great of a wife you’re gonna be, how great of a mother you’re gonna be.” BCB tells Katie he doesn’t want her to compromise. BCB then says he “can’t give [her] what she came here for… because you deserve a lot more than that.” It doesn’t really make sense, but it plays into the fake drama we have been forced to deal with because ABC set aside three whole hours for this undramatic finale. BCB opens the Neil Lane branded ring box and we have an engagement and a final rose. Notably Katie seems moderately surprised by this proposal and at no time does she seem unhappy when it appears it might not be coming. 

Tayshia and Kaitlyn run up in heels along a dirt path to celebrate with the future Mr. and Mrs. Canada Blake. Tayshia and Kaitlyn are also a cross-border couple, as Kaitlyn is one of our greatest Canadian imports. The recently-engaged couple manages to mount two horses (though BCB’s tight suit almost derailed this part) and slowly rides away.

Back in the studio everyone claps because we can finally get to the part everyone has been waiting for: Greg. 

Greg Hot Seat

Greg walks out and awkwardly reacts to the hosts not standing up. I assume Greg has some sense that he is walking into a buzzsaw. 

Greg briefly recaps the hot start to their relationship, and Greg says he “didn’t know how unhappy” he was until Katie showed him how happy he could be. Kaitlyn cuts right to the chase, asking Greg why he flipped the fuck out and left. Kaitlyn asks if there is anything Greg would have done differently and he can’t think of anything. “She found her person, and I’m grateful for her.” That is nice and all, but it may not be enough for Katie, who has shown herself to be pretty unforgiving in the past.

Katie is welcomed to the stage and she walks right past Greg without a hug or a handshake or eye contact. And the crowd seems to give an audible “ooohhh.” Hell hath no fury like a vibrator girl scorned. 

Katie tells Greg he wasn’t really there for the right reasons. And despite all of the “validation” Katie gave Greg, she now thinks he wanted to “escape.” Greg says he is “honestly so confused.” Katie is spitting fire, and it is clear that she does not take kindly to feeling like she is being used. Future-Bachelor Thomas knows all about this personality quirk. Katie thinks Greg never really felt what he claimed he felt, and despite being “on her knees begging” for him to stay, he “talked down to” her. And she has a new accusation, saying he was just there for “acting practice.” The audience gasps, because perhaps they were also aware that Greg did, apparently, take some acting classes. This leaked out on some of the online chatter about the show. And Kaitlyn jumps in to ask Katie to explain for all of the viewers at home who don’t subscribe to online Bachelorette conspiracy theories.

According to what Katie learned since she left the resort, Greg went to “acting school” and Katie has heard he is “not the shy guy he was on the show.” She learned this from one of the many Greg-Anon sites on the dark web. Do your own research! Katie says “I really don’t know if I actually know who Greg is.” Though she seems confident enough in her knowledge of Greg to say: “you’re a liar, and if you think that’s love, you don’t know what love is.”

Greg suddenly does not burst into song: “I wanna know what loves is, I want you to show me….” This is what they call a missed opportunity.

As a general matter, it probably is not a great development that Katie is repeating reddit theories on television. I mean, this is Greg’s life, not GameStop options.

Greg says he is sorry that Katie thought he was talking down to her and Katie says “gaslighting” is a good word for it. Katie then defines the term as “when you try to make someone else think it is their fault.” Greg, now backpedaling, is trying to find something to apologize for. But Katie is like a cat stalking a mouse. When Greg says he is sorry Katie reminds him that he just said he had no regrets. 

Somewhere Aunt Lindsey is nodding her head approvingly. She was not lying, the women in this family do not suffer prospective actors gladly. 

Greg, who is really wondering how much longer he has to be here, says he is sorry that Katie questioned his integrity and he didn’t know he would fall in love. Greg says he “got scared” that Katie was “playing the Bachelorette role” and notes her promise meant Greg couldn’t be certain about her. Katie says “that moment wouldn’t have pushed” Greg away if he really loved her. 

This was Greg’s opportunity to make a tactical retreat. What is he arguing for? That he really loved this woman who is dragging him mercilessly on television? Instead he says “You knew what I needed to hear if you wanted me.” Katie calls this “an ultimatum,” and Greg responds “if it was me, you would have stopped me.” “Agree to disagree” is a thing people can say here. But Katie instead looks at Kaitlyn and Tayshia and says “he wasn’t my person and when he went away everything I felt for him did too.” Greg, despite taking body blows all through the interview, seems to feel this one. He tells Katie “I wish you nothing but the best” and she says “I wish you nothing but the best” in the same way that Alanis Morrissette wishes Uncle Joey the best in You Oughta Know

BCB and Katie Hot Seat

BCB comes out to wild applause and is showered with kisses from Katie. Tayshia congratulates her ex on getting engaged to Katie. Katie says the ring is “exactly” what she would want “and Greg never could have picked a good ring because they don’t teach that in ACTING CLASS” she does not add. Katie tells us that her family doesn’t know about the engagement because Katie didn’t trust them to keep a secret. “Can we get Aunt Lindsey on video?” Tayshia asks. “No! Please God No!” BCB screams.

BCB tells the story about realizing he was in love during family hockey, and Kaitlyn says “very Canadian of you, falling in love over hockey.” Guys, I am almost ready to forgive Canada for beating the USWNT in the Olympics. Almost. 

Back on the couch, BCB tells Katie how wonderful he thinks she is and then we hear the strains of Memorize You. Laine Hardy is a real beneficiary of Greg’s implosion, because somehow this is BCB and Katie’s song. Some randos in the audience hold up old boomboxes, though obviously the music is being piped in through the studio because no way these randos hit play on their cassette tapes at the same time. Even after a pretty unpleasant hour of television, this is painfully kitschy. 

So ends another season of the show. We will probably write something about Paradise and somewhere Michelle Young is already eliminating some dudes. So we will be back for that in the fall. Until then, stay safe and watch out for Aunt Lindsey.

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