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The Golden Bachelor is an especially tough watch this week

Everyone is sad on an episode that presents Gerry with his hardest decision thus far

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The Golden Bachelor
The Golden Bachelor
Photo: ABC/John Fleenor

Well, we got got. Last week, we predicted that this would be the week everything came crashing down. In our defense, our source seemed sound—it was The Golden Bachelor’s own “next week on” preview after all—but alas, these producers are always going to do what they do best. Namely, exploit their contestants’ (and viewers’!) hearts and minds for maximum drama and minimum viewer fall-off.

Instead of Gerry’s big breakdown, this week only served to add more powder to the keg that will presumably blow up at some point along the journey. At this point, we would have been able to predict that even if it wasn’t explicitly teased to us.


Tonight’s episode started a little differently than the others. Instead of Gerry weeping, it was Leslie’s turn to do the honors as her Golden Bachelor hugged her and told her everything was okay. Is everything okay, Gerry? We don’t think so. This role reversal highlighted a shift felt throughout this episode. Up until now, we’ve primarily been concerned with Gerry’s journey. The toughest moments have all come in watching the 72-year-old widower break down sending a woman he’s clearly falling for home, or the anticipation of knowing that it’s only going to get harder as those feelings progress.


This episode shifted that focus to the women, who are all at this point experiencing a parallel agony of falling for a man who may or may not choose them in return. First up is first impression rose receiver Faith, who’s lamented her lack of one-on-one time with Gerry pretty much every episode since. She’s finally chosen for a “once-in-a-lifetime romantic date” to the sadness of the other women, especially last week’s one-on-one Leslie, who’s finding it (understandably!) hard to stomach watching the man she’s “crazy about” dart off to make out with someone else. More tears ensue.


But on Faith and Gerry’s date, a helicopter ride over the city that ends on a luxurious yacht, the couple connects and strengthens their bond. He gives her a rose—the most important yet as next week is hometown dates, which means Gerry is committing to meeting her family. “A life with Faith would be really amazing. I think she could be the one,” Gerry says later. This is, somehow, not the most romantic thing he’ll say by the time the episode concludes.

Next up is the group date, a theme park romp at Santa Monica Pier. After a few rides and a lot of giggling, the girls go off on their most important one-on-one time yet. There are only two more roses this week, which means that three women are going home. Each woman lays their feelings on the line, and Leslie, Theresa, and Ellen all tell Gerry they’re falling in love with him. Leslie specifically gets a future tense “I will” when she says she wants someone to protect her and an unprompted “You’re my girl,” which is... a lot. It would be pretty messed up if she was sent home after all that, huh?


She isn’t, thankfully, but Ellen—who got similar assurances from her man—is. (Sandra and Susan also get the ax.) While the other two clearly saw this coming, Ellen can barely make eye contact with Gerry as he walks her to the car that will whisk her away. Still, she manages to choke out a “He’s a really special guy and he deserves to be happy” through the pain. For what feels like the hundredth time, it’s hard not to comment on just how classy these women are, and just how much more than this they deserve.

Next week, Gerry’s meeting the grandkids. We’re sure everyone is going to leave that experience feeling hopeful and fulfilled, and no one’s going to have their heart shattered into a million tiny pieces, right? Ugh.