SPOILER ALERT: Do not read if you have not watched the Sept. 5 episode of “The Bachelorette.”
Gabby Windey and Rachel Recchia are back together again. The co-Bachelorettes reunited in Mexico after separating for hometowns, where they compared stories from the past week (Rachel lamenting that her once front-runner Tino Franco’s family didn’t like her, Gabby sharing her comfort levels with her final three).
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Dates immediately commenced, with Gabby’s first going to Erich Schwer. The two spent the day facing her fears and jumping off high platforms into a pool during the day, and by night, Erich confessed his love for her before they settled into a fantasy suite.
They had a slow exit the next morning, sad to leave each other after their night together. Erich showed a glimpse of his insecurity, and Gabby pleaded with him to “please be patient” while she navigated the remainder of her run as the Bachelorette. Their goodbye was sad, both clearly upset to leave the other.
Meanwhile, Rachel’s first date was filled with positivity, with Aven Jones on a yacht. During Aven’s hometown, his family loved and embraced Rachel, and he admitted he was falling in love with her. But Rachel was hesitant to reciprocate the sentiment, out of residual fears from her time on “The Bachelor,” when Clayton Echard recklessly told multiple women he was in love with them.
But by the time the pair was proposed a fantasy suite, she too had told Aven she was falling in love with him, and they spent the night together.
Her second date went to Tino, which was framed by the negative hometown experience. Before the date, Tino and host Jesse Palmer sidebarred. He expressed concerns about how Rachel received the backlash from his parents, plus the brutality of the week knowing Rachel was with other men. “If I wasn’t so sure that she was future Mrs. Forever for me, this would be an easy week to walk away from,” he admitted.
Heading into their daytime activity, the two went horseback riding before they dissected the previous week’s events. Tino continued to reassure Rachel, saying that his family would come around, and that he sees her as the future. He sealed his validation with an “I love you,” to which she immediately and enthusiastically reciprocated.
Despite the hiccup of hometowns, the two still decided to spend the night together and headed to the fantasy suites with their newly shared “I love yous.”
Gabby’s next date went to Johnny DePhillipo, where the two spent the day laughing on a sailboat. But the date took a turn when Johnny admitted he wasn’t ready to be engaged, claiming that he didn’t want to drag Gabby through if he wasn’t able to give 100%.
Despite his interest in her, his lack of commitment was enough to send him home and he left before they ever saw a fantasy suite.
His exit was followed by Gabby’s confessional of wanting to be chosen. Despite disappointment at Johnny’s departure, she was confident in her relationships with Erich and third finalist Jason Alabaster and their willingness to commit. However, that was contradicted by a one-on-one conversation between Jason and Jesse, when Jason too admitted that he was not ready to get down on one knee.
Meanwhile, Gabby was surprised with a note from a mystery suitor and arrived to find Erich waiting for her. What started as a sweet excuse to spend time together turned sour when he expressed that her being with other men “crushed” him.
Gabby was sympathetic, but bothered by the confession, and revealed they had talked about it privately in the fantasy suite off-camera. They discussed that he felt like he was being “cheated on,” and she was bothered that it was being rehashed.
The confrontation led to tears, and Gabby was frustrated that she had to defend herself and her actions. She felt “tested” and what was once confidence in the relationship was replaced by a fear that her person wasn’t there.
“This feels like the end for me,” Gabby said.
Part two of the “The Bachelorette” fantasy suite airs Tuesday, September 6 at 8 p.m. on ABC.