*Warning: This post contains spoilers from the most recent episode of The Bachelor, so if you haven’t watched it, stop reading!*

Last week’s episode of The Bachelor ended with the showdown of the century season between Corinne and Taylor, and it was obvious we hadn’t seen the last of it in the previews. Before everything went black, we saw Taylor coming out of the darkness rather than heading home as she was supposed to. Let’s catch up with the group and see where things are now…

THE AFTERMATH OF LAST WEEK AND THE ROSE CEREMONY

Taylor crashed Nick and Corinne’s date, and our flaxen-haired villain was obviously pissed — Nick didn’t seem to be too happy either, TBH, though he consented to go outside and talk to Taylor. She immediately told him that Corinne was a liar and that she’d lied about Taylor’s character earlier in the day, and she felt she’d been sent home unfairly. She told him to “open his eyeballs,” after which he said he respected her opinion but sent her back on her way. Nick told Corinne that what Taylor said wouldn’t affect anything going forward, and Corinne seemed more confident than ever. Nice try, Taylor!

They then moved right into the rose ceremony, continuing the non-traditional structure of this season. The women seemed especially nervous entering this ceremony, which was validated when Chris Harrison came with news that there wouldn’t be a cocktail party. That usually means that Nick doesn’t need any extra time with the women because he knows exactly what he wants to do, and the news sends anyone who hasn’t had much time with him that week into a blind panic — this week, most notably of which was Jasmine. The women with roses, of course, were feeling confident as ever.

Notable goodbyes were Josephine, a member of the peanut gallery; Alexis, our fave dolphin shark girl and Jaimi, the first openly LGBTQ Bachelor contestant. Now, it’s all women Nick calls “serious” contestants, including a few women who’ve made little to no impression on the audience so far. Astrid? Whitney? We hardly know ye.

TRAVELING TO ST. THOMAS AND A ONE-ON-ONE

Nick announced at the end of the rose ceremony that they’d be traveling to St. Thomas, and everyone cheered (even if they didn’t seem to know where it was). Upon arrival, he said he “loved island living,” perhaps referencing his Bachelor in Paradise days, though let’s hope this version of island life is a little bit different for Nick (though if his colorful shorts are any indication, we may be in for a rocky ride). Kristina was given the first one-on-one, and it started immediately with a ride on a TINY plane with water-landing capabilities. She was totally game, but back on the ground, Jasmine was not stoked that she wasn’t picked for the date and the other women comforted her. Side note: It’s always so strange to me how these women are able to be here for each other under these circumstances!

Kristina opened up to Nick about her family; she’s adopted and still has a sister back in Russia. He seemed very interested and wanted her to share more, but wasn’t pushy about it. It was a nice change to the usual Bachelor scenario where people either share too much too quickly to force a connection, or don’t share it all up front and the other person acts like they’re putting up walls. Nick acknowledged that it was normal for her to not tell him everything immediately, which was great.

Meanwhile, back at the house, a woman named Lorna showed up to basically fulfill all the women’s needs — and basically ended up just filling in for Corinne’s nanny back home, Raquel. Poor Lorna. Back on the date, Kristina and Nick sat down to “dinner” and Nick asked more about her family situation (so much for taking it slow), and she opened up about her early life in Russia. She told him a story he probably wasn’t expecting, about how her family never had food and she eventually ended up in an orphanage. After a few years, she was given the choice to leave her sister behind and come to America to start over with a new family, which she took — Nick was moved to tears by her story, and told her she was incredible. He immediately offered her the rose, and she accepted.

THE GROUP DATE

After the group date card was read and two women were left off, the women assumed that Danielle L. and Whitney would be on a two-on-one date and the tone immediately changed. Two-on-ones breed tension; there’s no getting around it. Anyway, the group date started with a game of beach volleyball, which was probably not a good choice for women who are already in a competitive mode.

Many of them stated their concerns off the bat, saying that they weren’t there to play volleyball or compete in a literal sense for his time before quitting the game to sit on the beach and, more or less, pout. Group dates are terrible, to be fair, and I’d have a really rough time with them. The last shot before a commercial break was a dramatic scene of Nick kicking at the waves in the ocean, and like, c’mon Nick. Rally and go talk to your girlfriends.

During the nighttime portion of the date, Nick immediately started talking to Rachel. Their conversations are super refreshing and honest, 90 percent of which I put on Rachel (#RachelForBachelorette). She told him exactly what she felt, and in an honest and communicative way. He received her feelings nicely and obviously wants her to be there; they left the conversation asking each other for honesty, and it was a real conversation a couple would have IRL. Many of the other women were similarly stressed out and felt like they needed reassurance, but Jasmine especially, seeing as she hasn’t had a one-on-one date yet. Back at the hotel, Whitney and Danielle L. were stressing out just as much over the prediction that their date is a two-on-one.

Pretty soon, Jasmine got time with Nick, and it devolved quickly. She talked about choking him multiple times, and actually put her hands on his throat, which was a clear sign it was time to go. While she said she wanted to do it out of frustration rather than necessarily violence, that’s still never something to joke about let alone actually mime, and he sent her home immediately — and I’m glad he did it. That was not okay. While she was clearly having a lot of feelings and was unable to get them out clearly in such a stressful situation, and that’s probably not something she’d do in a more normal situation, that’s also not an okay thing to do.

THE TWO-ON-ONE DATE

Danielle L. and Whitney met Nick for a helicopter ride, and Danielle had a lot of feelings right off the bat. This is understandable! She’s had a lot more time with him than Whitney, and it’s strange that he’s comparing the two of them in this way. Whitney got one-on-one time with him first, which is the most time we’ve seen of her on camera. He told her immediately that she’s “really beautiful” and has a calming aura, which explains why he’s kept her around even though they haven’t had much time.

Nick went right in with the hard questions for Danielle L., asking immediately what she asked herself when she thought about a future with him. She said that she could see herself bringing him home to her parents, to which he awkwardly left her alone and said, “Give me a second, I’ll be right back,” and went to break up with Whitney. She didn’t let him off the hook easily, and said that it was easy to say that when they hadn’t had that much time together. They hugged awkwardly on their beachfront cabana for about 10 seconds too long, and then Whitney took her helicopter home. During the dinner part of the date, Danielle L. compared falling in love to falling off of a cliff, which doesn’t really bode well for the rest of the relationship, so we’ll see.

Danielle gave Nick some pretty lackluster answers during dinner, however, that he didn’t seem to like, and his eyes got this glazed over look they get when he’s about to send someone home. When she finally told him she was falling in love with him, he fell completely silent and his face went red. I began to get the sense (along with the rest of the internet) that this two-on-one date would have no winners. He stayed silent while she giggled nervously, saying, “I’m so glad we’re on the same page,” as if she could speak it into existence. And what a shocker — he didn’t give her the rose, after all.

He was obviously very conflicted about it and didn’t want to hurt her (or make a mistake). His rationale was just that he didn’t feel it back and didn’t want to hurt her more in the future, which I respect. She thought he was making a mistake too, and her tearful limo ride home was hard to watch. She did wisely acknowledge that “you can’t make someone love you” while he ruminated on the fact that she had been someone he’d had a ton of excitement about just a few weeks ago and it had dwindled. Hey bud, maybe that’s the problem with the whole Bachelor setup in the first place! You can overanalyze everything, get infatuated with the experience over the people, and fall in love with the idea of love rather than the actual people/person — but hey, that’s part of the fun of watching.

THE END OF THE EPISODE

The episode ended with Nick walking into the hotel room to talk to the women, clearly reeling over the decisions he’d had to make during the night. He began to cry, telling them that the relationships with the women he’d sent home had “fallen flat” and that he was terrified it’d happen with the rest of them. He revealed that he wasn’t sure if he could keep going through the process before walking out. That seems incredibly irresponsible and strange to tell them all that and not let them respond or ask questions, but hey, that’s Nick for ya!

Keep watching to see what happens next week, which looks like a rollercoaster of tears, anxiety and probably a few weird sports-themed dates, because of course!

What did you think about Nick’s decisions this week? Let us know @BritandCo!

(Featured photo via Maarten de Boer /Getty)