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‘The Bachelorette': Another Self-Elimination Sends Katie Packing

”I want someone to book my flight home,“ Katie said

In Bachelor world, hometowns offer a wonderful chance to get to know your partners’ families and where they grew up — except if you film in the middle of a global pandemic and have a surprise exit from your favorite suitor.

Prior to the evening’s tumultuous events, Katie began her hometowns episode optimistically, saying, “You don’t just marry a man, you marry his family.”

Blake’s “hometown” to his native Canada turned out to be a bar in the Hyatt Regency Tamaya Resort & Spa in New Mexico, decked out with hockey sticks, maple syrup and cheesy red and white decor. During the couple’s maple syrup tasting, Katie asked the question we’ve all been thinking: Has Blake used syrup in the bedroom? We’ll spare you from those sticky details.

As the two rode a mechanical *moose* and frolicked on the property, Greg caught a glimpse of their date from the house, a sight that “[made] him sick.” Sigh. This is when we had a feeling something was wrong, that and the somber mood music, of course.

Later, Blake introduces Katie to his family and in true Bachelor-fashion, Blake’s sister, Taylor, didn’t hide her cynicism, bluntly asking “Is this the one?” reminding happy-go-lucky Blake that he has had flings with not one, but two Bachelorette women, including this season’s co-host Tayshia Adams (not awkward at all). Despite wanting to tell Katie he loved her, Blake left her only with a kiss. “The word ‘love’ is a scary word to use,” Blake said.

Next up is Justin, who transformed the wild New Mexico desert into the Baltimore harbor with a “Welcome to Maryland” sign and a graffiti wall. As they ate fresh crabs on the side of the road, Justin crafted a nuanced understanding of both their journey and eating crabs, saying, “You had to get past the nasties to get to the good stuff.”

Justin parents, who couldn’t visit the couple, stamped their (semi?) approval on their relationship ahead of their 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.

Instead, Justin’s best friends, Herb and Tommy, spent the evening with the pair and heard about their friend’s kissing a surprising number of times — it was only twice, but twice is too many. After his friends shared that they have never seen Justin “so himself” before, Justin confessed to Katie that he was falling in love with her.

The producers saved the most drama-filled for last: Greg’s “hometown” to New Jersey. After riding a tandem bike and eating Italian ice, Greg took Katie to the basketball court, where he shared with her that he and his dad played basketball often and he hasn’t played much since his dad passed away. Referencing their first one-on-one date, where Katie took Greg fishing in honor late father, we savored this tender moment before the spectacle to come.

Later, when Greg’s mom, Sandra, expressed her concern that he son’s heart would get hurt, Katie assured her that already had Greg in mind for a rose and that he would be continued onto next week. She also shared, as she did with Blake, Justin and their families, that she has chosen to refrain from telling any of the men that she loves them so she can save it for the last one standing. Sounds a bit rehearsed and not uber romantic, no?

Well, Greg thought so too. In a moment of unfiltered vulnerability, Greg opened up to Katie saying he was in love with her and that he was the happiest he had ever been with her. Instead of fireworks bursting in a moment of pure puppy dog love, Katie appeared to slide past Greg’s heartfelt confession, making Greg visibly put off by her reaction. Although they kissed goodnight, Greg admitted that he was “confused” about their relationship.

When he headed to Katie’s room the next day to resolve their conflict, the two struggled in their communication after Greg took offense to Katie saying he was her number one. “The fact that there’s a list right now, that’s hurtful to me,” Greg said — and we can’t blame him. In an emotional and prolonged breakup, Greg chose to eliminate himself from the show, saying “I deserve more than what I’ve been given on your side.”

Katie, heartbroken and shocked, took refuge in the only place inaccessible by cameras, the bathroom, with the company of co-host Kaitlyn Bristowe. When Kaitlyn asked Katie what she wanted to do, Katie replied, “I want someone to book my flight home,” citing that both Michael A. and Greg had now left.

If hearing Katie’s sobs through the bathroom door wasn’t sad enough, the producers decided to take a break from their usual post-credits blooper and replace it with a fairytale romance montage of Katie and Greg’s relationship. Nice touch.

Katie’s journey to find love will return next week in the finale episode, where Katie will choose Blake, Justin or potentially no one at all.