SPOILER ALERT: Do not read if you have not yet watched the March 8 episode of “The Bachelor.”
Three women remained in Matt James’ search for love on Monday’s episode of “The Bachelor.” Rachael Kirkconnell, Bri Springs and Michelle Young continued on to fantasy suites in Matt’s attempt to find a wife.
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Matt started the week with a visit from his father, who left Matt, his mother and brother when he was younger. Throughout the season, Matt openly shared how the abandonment shaped his views on relationships and how it’s skewed his views on commitment. “Harboring that negativity in my life hasn’t progressed any of my relationships; it’s hindered my growth,” he said.
His dad started the conversation with pride, as he congratulated Matt and told him that he’s always been “great.” But Matt forced the conversation to his dad’s commitment to the family, specifically after his infidelity caused his mother to leave him. Matt maintained that his objective was to let his dad know how he felt, which ultimately led to an apology and forgiveness from each respective party. Despite settling the conversation at the end, the talk was emotionally charged, leaving Matt rattled for his future dates.
Michelle’s date was first, and she and Matt spent the day in a Pennsylvania Dutch spa. Leading up to fantasy suites, they discussed the previous week’s hometown dates, and how she credits her parents’ relationship with being the model for her expectations. Her parents — who have been married for years — set her standard for success.
Matt reflected on his previous conversation with his dad and how he didn’t have the same model for commitment. Despite that, Michelle assured him that he brought a lot to the table, and admitted she’s in love with him. The two retreated to their overnight fantasy suite.
Meanwhile, Rachael was struggling as she and Bri waited for their turns, grappling with the idea of Matt being with other women in the interim.
Bri’s date followed Michelle’s. Bri and Matt spent the day hiking through the woods, where they pitched a tent and cooked over the campfire for the remainder of the day. Bri joked that she wasn’t an “outdoorsy” girl, but she loved any activity that she got to spend with Matt. He teased her that they’d be spending the night in the tent before the two moved to their real destination, which was dinner before the fantasy suite.
Over dinner, they reconnected over their absent fathers (Bri’s dad is around, but not an active participant in her life), and their interest in mending those respective relationships. She spent time reflecting on how her connection with her dad would manifest in other relationships. She confessed to Matt that she loved him before the two headed to the fantasy suite.
Rachael’s date was last. Her anxieties waiting while the other two went on their dates with Matt carried into her own time with the Bachelor. She was visibly down when she approached Matt for her day. The two spent the afternoon spinning pottery before she had to stop to address her feelings.
She said that it was hard for her to cope with him spending intimate time with other women and that it was getting in her head. She simultaneously recognized that it was important that he analyze and process each remaining relationship while sharing her own struggles. He responded by reaffirming his feelings for her — going so far as to reference their hometown date when she had a messy fall after parachuting together. “That was like really the first time I was like ‘What would life be like without Rachael?’” he said, and told her he was falling in love with her.
During their evening date, Rachael continued to share from where her insecurities were coming. Matt said he tried to be more communicative; Rachael felt a lot of comfort in leaning on him. He also shared the clarity he received from speaking to his father, and he was happy to be able to “pursue [Rachael] in love wholeheartedly.” They also spent the night in the fantasy suite.
The last rose ceremony of the season had all three women each confident of their own relationships. However, it was Bri who was given a tearful exit, pushing Rachael and Michelle one step closer to the end.
“The Bachelor” airs Mondays at 8 p.m. on ABC.
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