Katie Thurston didn’t see her latest goodbye coming. During Monday night’s episode of The Bachelorette, the leading lady embarked on Hometowns with her final three men, all of which ET is breaking down in our recap.
Episode nine of ABC’s reality dating series kicked off with Blake’s Canadian-themed date, where questions about his delay in saying “I love you” mounted.
Justin’s pretend trip home was not without drama, as the investment sales consultant’s parents neglected to make the journey to New Mexico, leaving Katie to meet his two best friends instead.
All seemed to be going well for Greg on his date, but Katie’s response to his emotional confession set into motion a devastating series of events.
Keep reading for the full recap of episode nine of The Bachelorette.
Blake Needs to ‘Man the F**k Up’
While Katie and her three remaining men could not travel to their hometowns amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, each guy tried to bring a little bit of where they were from to New Mexico.
That all began with Canadian Blake, who admitted to keeping maple syrup by his bedside, before taking Katie mechanical moose riding and challenging her to a game of street hockey.
After Katie revealed that moving to Canada would “always [be] a possibility,” Blake was feeling excited to introduce her to his mom and siblings, despite not having said “I love you” yet.
“Katie is everything I’ve ever wanted,” he said in a confessional. “… Our relationship is growing exponentially. It’s not fading off. The inevitability of me falling in love with her is impossible to deny.”
Katie, meanwhile, was left “nervous” over Blake’s failure to vocalize his feelings.
“Blake is not yet in love with me. We think we could get there. But that in some ways makes tonight scary,” she admitted. “He’s very close with his family, and if they didn’t support our relationship, I don’t know how Blake would handle that.”
While Blake’s mom, Emily, told Katie that her son was “smitten,” his sister, Taylor, was less sold. During a one-on-one conversation with her brother, Taylor questioned why Blake hadn’t dropped the L-word and drilled him over how his relationship with Katie was different from his past romances with former Bachelorettes Clare Crawley and Tayshia Adams.
“I feel it way more today than I did last week. No one’s aligned with me like she has. Ever,” Blake told Taylor of Katie. “… That word is going to be used, it’s a matter of when. I feel it, but it needs to come naturally. When I know, I know, and this is the most I’ve ever known.”
Blake reiterated those feelings while speaking to his mom, telling her that there’s “literally zero question” that he’d propose to Katie. After hearing her son’s declaration, Emily demanded that Blake “man the f**k up and tell her you love her.”
While Blake couldn’t get himself to express his love for Katie before the night ended, he was more sure than ever about their connection.
“I felt like my eyes were opened. It was just this whole new feeling. Love comes with time. I truly believe we’re right there. I feel it. I feel love. I feel it. More than I ever have,” he said. “If things keep going the way that they are, I see myself getting engaged to Katie.”
Justin’s Parents Skip Hometowns
As Justin prepared for his hometown date, he got a phone call from his parents announcing that they wouldn’t be coming because they “find it difficult to understand how anyone could get to know someone in this short period of time to propose.”
“Family is a huge part of what this week is all about, and not having my family here, it’s disappointing that I wasn’t able to make that happen. It sucks,” he said of his parents’ decision, before expressing excitement that his two best friends, Herb and Tommy, were there to support him.
Before Katie could meet Justin’s friends, though, the investment sales consultant pretended to take her around Baltimore, as they took selfies together, went on a carriage ride and ate crab legs.
“Justin is confident and smooth. He’s a great kisser,” Katie said. “… With Justin it’s just easy. He’s real. Our conversations are real. Our chemistry is undeniable. We’re just very confident in where we stand.”
That confidence was shaken a bit when Justin revealed his parents weren’t there, with Katie admitting to being “a little disappointed.”
“I was a little surprised, especially given how soon an engagement is. I think meeting the families is extremely important,” she said. “It’s hard because, with Justin’s family not here, I do wonder, ‘Is Justin ready for a proposal? A marriage?’ That’s a little bit of a struggle for me.”
Justin’s disappointment weighed heavy, too, but he knew his friends would provide some much-needed guidance.
“My family’s approval would mean a lot to me, but family isn’t just blood and these two guys are my family,” he said. “If all goes well tonight and my two closest friends are able to see how real Katie and I are together, it’s a huge step in the right direction.”
Justin’s friends were quickly taken with Katie, and surprised by how open their pal was with the bank marketing manager.
“Seeing Justin holding hands and looking into her eyes, that was all new to me. I’ve never seen him so affectionate. PDA is not something he’s typically up for, to be honest,” Herb said in a confessional. “The way I saw them interact, it’s possible that Katie could be the one.”
Tommy agreed, telling Katie, “He’s just so himself around you. I haven’t seen him that way before.”
Still, though, Herb expressed concern over how little time was left, a worry that was at least a little alleviated when Justin revealed he was ready to say “I love you.”
“I’ve seen how my feelings have grown exponentially, time after time after time. At this point, I know how serious it is. I can’t hold back, despite how nervous I am about letting her know how I feel about her,” Justin said. “It’s something I have to do because I can’t live with potentially going home at this point and knowing I left something on the table.”
After saying their goodbyes to his friends, Justin had the all-important conversation with Katie.
“As much as I’m trying to fight it, I know I’m falling in love with you,” he told her. “That is how I feel and I don’t want to hold back.”
The reveal, Justin said, left him feeling “incredible.”
“There is literally nothing that’s missing from our relationship. It just makes me want to keep opening up, and peeling back those layers,” he said. “I’m so elated with where we’re at. I’m ready to take that next step with Katie. As scary as it is, it is a reality now more than ever that I could be engaged very soon.”
Greg Tells His Family That Katie Is ‘The One’
Katie’s hometown date with Greg seemed to be picture perfect from the start. The pair transported themselves to New Jersey with a tandem bike ride on a makeshift boardwalk, a snack of pork rolls and Italian ice, a game of basketball in remembrance of his late dad, and a second rain-soaked kiss.
“With Greg, it’s natural, it’s easy. He doesn’t try to act too cool. He’s not afraid of expressing himself… He doesn’t take things too seriously and that’s really something I want in a relationship,” Katie said. “… Greg is someone that I know I am falling in love with. He is truly everything. He is somebody I can very much see walking away at the end of this.”
Greg was equally feeling the love, admitting, “It’s hard not to continue to fall in love with her.”
“I’m falling so hard for Katie, and it’s just a feeling I haven’t felt in the longest time,” he said. “I honestly cannot wait to show my family the girl that I am falling in love with.”
The visit with Greg’s family began well, as the marketing sales representative sobbed taking in video messages from his sisters.
Things only got more real from there, as Joe, Greg’s older brother, told Katie that she may be the first person he’d opened up to about their late dad. At the same time, Greg gushed to his best friend, that he’s “in love with this girl.”
“It’s gonna be me and her… She’s made me realize why it hasn’t worked with anybody else,” Greg said, adding that he and Katie had “talked out all the [post-show] logistics,” including the fact that she’s “going to come to New York and we’re gonna work it out.”
Katie seemed equally confident while speaking to Greg’s mom, Sandy, assuring her, “Greg will be here next week.”
“Greg is someone I want to continue to pursue a relationship with. We have such a strong connection. It has been there since the very beginning. We grow every single time we are together,” Katie told Sandy. “… I’m so thankful for him. If he wasn’t here, I don’t know how confident I’d be in this whole thing, truthfully.”
“He’s here to stay,” she added. “… I think him and I are really just this perfect match.”
While Sandy was delighted “to see the light back on” in Greg for the first time since his father’s death, she still expressed concern that he may get “crushed” in the end.
Greg, however, assured his mom that this thing was for real.
“She understands me. I don’t know what it is. We get each other. Every single time we’re together, it’s the lightest, it’s the easiest, that I’ve ever experienced in my life,” he said. “… I think a piece of me was unhappy for a long time, especially with Dad. I’m not joking. She fills me up with so much happiness. I haven’t been this happy in the longest time.”
Despite feeling all the love in the world for Katie, Greg said in a confessional, “At this point, if I’m getting down on one knee and proposing, I need her to be fully vulnerable with me and tell me exactly how she’s feeling.”
Greg Asks for Assurances
After the successful visit with his family, Greg felt that there was “no question” that he’d propose to Katie. As the pair sat down to talk, Greg emotionally laid it all out on the table.
“I feel like I lost a major piece of me with my dad, seeing him go through that. He just had so much life to him, and then it was just gone,” Greg said through tears. “I feel like I lost a part of myself during it all, I really do. I haven’t been this happy in the longest time.”
“I think you’re beautiful and I think you’re great. I didn’t know I was going to fall in love with you. I didn’t know that. And I am in love with you,” he continued. “You just make me the happiest I’ve ever been. I see it with you. This is real to me.”
Greg added, “I haven’t been this vulnerable with anybody in my life. I don’t know what else to show you at this point or what else to tell you at this point. I know in my heart I’m not going to have any regrets after this. I’m not going to get down on one knee twice. It’s a one-deal thing for me.”
Katie, who previously said that she will not say “I love you” until there’s only one man remaining, did not respond to Greg’s romantic confession in the way he hoped.
“It is tough. I had to explain things to your family. I told them you’re here next week. I told them our connection is so strong. I really do believe in it. We’ve made it this far for a reason,” Katie said. “It is going to be hard, but at the end of it, it is going to be worth it. You know how I feel about you, though, right? You feel good about us?”
Greg began to look more and more dejected with each word Katie said, causing her to tell him, “I hate seeing you be this way. I feel like I can’t get you out of it right now. I want to help but I don’t know what to do.”
In an apparent effort to get away from the cameras, Greg and Katie left their seats on the couch and headed to a dark room, with cameras following behind.
“I can’t be there at the end if I don’t think it’s us,” Greg told Katie from the shadows.
“I promise,” Katie replied, though Greg didn’t seem to hear it.
“That was the biggest step in the world for me tonight. I’m just letting you know,” Greg said. “… I just don’t understand how you don’t know at this point. I just don’t get it. That it’s me and you… I’m, like, losing my s**t here. I have never emptied my heart out to somebody like this before.”
Katie responded by asking Greg to “trust” in their relationship, telling him, “I’ve never felt like you’ve wanted to give up until right now.”
“I’ve also never felt like you were holding things back from me until tonight,” he clapped back.
Through tears and confusion, Greg walked Katie out, giving her a hug and a kiss at her request. After the car took off, Greg admitted, “I’m really confused. I just don’t get it. I truly don’t. What can’t you share with me right now, especially when you can see I need it?… What the f**k just happened?”
Greg Reaches His ‘Breaking Point’
The next morning, Greg was as confused as ever. In a confessional, he revealed he was feeling “so sad” about Katie’s reaction to his admission of love.
“I spilled my heart out to her last night. When I told her I was in love with her, she really didn’t have any reaction,” he said. “I wasn’t asking for a lot. Just the smallest thing to let me know she was feeling somewhat the same. Then for her telling me she feels like I’m giving up on us, that hurt.”
“I’m in love with this girl, but something isn’t right. It’s clear to me she’s not feeling the same. I thought we understood each other completely, inside and out,” Greg continued. “I’ve been nothing but vulnerable with her. I’ve done nothing but empty my heart to her, so how I can think that this is going to be my wife, without her telling me she’s falling in love with me?”
Deciding not to leave questions for the rose ceremony, Greg made his way to Katie’s door, where he confronted her once more over her feelings for him.
“I told my mom that you were the one. I was telling my whole entire family that. I truly felt that in my heart and wanted to express that to you. I expressed that I do love you. I felt like I was telling that to a stranger,” he said. “I don’t know why. This whole entire time has felt like Katie to me, and that night, I was thinking that I was expressing my love to my future wife, and you didn’t even feel it. You just completely dismissed it in my eyes.”
A confused Katie was quick to apologize and explain her decision not to say “I love you” just yet, but, for Greg, it wasn’t enough.
“You didn’t even acknowledge what I said to you. You completely mowed over it. It scared the hell out of me. I was so confused,” he said. “It pains me still to think that that’s what you think I was asking for… I even feel like right now you’re giving me a surface-level response. I’m talking to you. I’m not asking for this stuff. This is real. This is real life.”
“You told me that you told my family I’m getting a rose this week. Like, f**k the rose. I don’t give a f**k about the rose. I was just telling you that you filled a hole in my heart,” Greg continued. “… I’ve never given up on you. I’ve fought so hard for you here… As much as it hurts me, I’ve reached my breaking point with this. I gave you everything. I really hope you find something.”
Katie told Greg that she couldn’t “even comprehend” what he was saying, and so he proceeded to explain it further, telling her, “I told everyone in my family that you were the one, that I was going to marry you. I felt it in my heart. I was so certain… I just love everything about you. I really saw you as my girl.”
Katie was sobbing by this point, telling Greg that she felt “helpless.” She offered another apology, before questioning how “one night can change everything.”
He responded by saying that he felt Katie “put up a wall” and that her feelings “shifted.” When Katie replied by telling Greg that he’d been her “number one from the very beginning” that only served to make him more upset.
“You’re number one and the rose, I don’t want to hear that stuff. That’s how I feel that night and this is going… what you’re all wrapped up in,” he yelled. “How you told me that night, ‘I told you’re family you have a rose,’ I was telling them that you were the f**king one. Who cares about the rose or the number one or the number two or who’s getting sent home this week? If it’s not real, it’s not real. I just wanted something real.”
“… You think I care about a rose next week if it wasn’t real between us? What does the rose mean at this point? What, we’re going to move on to the Fantasy Suites, and then I’m going to make love to you? And then what?” he questioned. “I thought that we were more than that. I thought you thought of us more than that.”
A crying Katie told Greg that she wanted “to go back” and relive the moment he expressed his love, but Greg appeared to have checked out, telling Katie that the process “makes me sick,” before storming out of the room.
Katie was quick to chase after Greg, eventually finding him sitting outside.
“I’m, like, shaking. I don’t even know what to say. I’m shocked. I want to leave, if I’m being completely honest, because I didn’t see any of this happening,” Katie confessed. “… I really don’t know what to say, because I have given you everything. I’ve been nothing but honest with you the entire time, and I felt nothing but confidence in us the entire time until that very final moment of that night.”
“I’m telling you everything and you still won’t even believe me!” she added. “I’m losing you. I’m losing my mind here! This whole thing feels like [it’s] for nothing if you leave.”
Greg replied by stating, “All I do know right now is I deserve more than what I’ve been given on your side. I’m not happy here anymore. I’m done here.”
After that, Greg walked away, leaving Katie sitting sobbing on the ground. It’s then, in a moment that’s been teased since the beginning of the season, that Katie stormed off.
“I’m done. I am done. I want to go home. I am done. I am done. I am done. I am done,” she screamed. “This is f**king bulls**t. I am done.”
Katie continued to her room and locked the bathroom door, before co-host Kaitlyn Bristowe showed up to offer encouragement.
“I am just so blindsided right now. Like, today I’m heartbroken and defeated,” Katie said. “It just like this unnatural feeling of trying to fall in love, but also dealing with the biggest heartbreak of your life. It just feels like it’s all for nothing. It’s just so f**ked up.”
“I said it in interviews that I’m falling in love with this guy. That’s the f**ked up part about all of it,” she added. “… Michael left. Greg left. At this point, the confidence and the strength I thought I had is, like, destroyed… Every week when this is s**t is hard, I’m like, ‘It’s gonna get better, it’s gonna get better.’ I’m at a point where it’s like, ‘When does it get better?'”
With all of that weighing on her mind, Katie told Kaitlyn, “I want someone to book my flight home.”
In her confessional, things only got more bleak.
“I think today I officially lost Greg. Like, officially. I don’t think he’s coming back,” she said through tears. “I came here to fall in love. I came here to find my person. It just feels like it’s backfiring over and over again. I open myself up to all these relationships, and I just don’t know what to believe in any more.”
The Bachelorette airs Mondays on ABC. ET has got you covered throughout the entirety of Katie’s season with recaps, interviews and exclusives. Check out all of our Bachelorette coverage for the latest.