'Bachelorette' recap: Katie sets her final four contestants. But is Andrew's exit for good?

·3 min read

Even spoiler blogs got it wrong, but ABC's "The Bachelorette" star Katie has established her final four.

After a romantic second one-on-one date with Greg, Katie faced some difficult goodbyes in Monday's episode, as she whittled down her pool from seven to four. With hometown dates next week, the stakes are higher for giving out roses.

This week's first two exits weren't too surprising: Brendan and Mike P., neither of whom had one-on-one time with Katie. Brendan even wondered why he was still standing after learning he wouldn't have a solo date this week, and while Mike P. finally got his one-on-one, it was so awkward that his exit seemed inevitable (dating pro tip: don't compare the person you're dating to your mom).

But the third goodbye was one we didn't see coming. Here's how it went down:

Last week's 'Bachelorette' recap: Katie gets 'physically ill' over Hunter drama: 'I had to get out of there'

Andrew's heartbreaking exit (and return)

Heading into this week's rose ceremony after giving out a one-on-one date rose to Greg (his second!) and a group-date rose to Michael A., Katie feels the least confident she's been all season about whom to send home. Ultimately, she hands out roses to Blake and Justin, which means Andrew's time on the show is done. … or is it?

Katie tearfully expresses how amazing Andrew is and how thankful she is to have met him. Andrew, reciprocating the waterworks, tells her he'll "forever hold you dear to my heart" before saying goodbye and hopping in the car to leave the resort.

"It’s heartbreaking," he reflects. "I haven’t felt this way about a woman before. I poured myself into every bit of this, and she had stronger connections. It hurts because I put everything into it."

In the first episode of Katie Thurston's run as "Bachelorette," she and Andrew S. chat during the cocktail party.
In the first episode of Katie Thurston's run as "Bachelorette," she and Andrew S. chat during the cocktail party.

It's the first decision Katie has made that she wasn't fully confident in, and it's clear even into the next day that she's struggling with it.

Cue: a knock at the door. It's Andrew, who determined it "it would not be like me or the relationship we had to leave on a not-smiling, happy note." They have another emotional goodbye, at the end of which he pulls out a letter for Katie meant to be read once he leaves.

“If you change your mind… I”ll be waiting," he wrote with a smiley face. "Love, Andrew”

Katie immediately starts crying again and chases Andrew down the hotel stairs and into the lobby, where she jumps into his arms for another hug.

"I had to see you," she tells him. "If there’s a way to stay a little longer, would you want to? You can say no, you can say yes."

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Andrew weighs the return invite back, but ultimately declines: She turned him down once, and he can't go through that rejection again.

"I wanted to say yes," he later reflects. "I’d love nothing more than to be with her. She (expletive) sprinted down the stairs, dude. And I said no. But I want my future wife to choose me. And I wasn’t chosen, so I had to say no. I don’t want to go through this again. I don’t want to be standing at a rose ceremony waiting for her to not choose me again.”

They part with one final kiss, which seems a little too passionate for two people breaking up, if you ask us.

"If it was Andrew and I at the end of this, I would be so lucky. I really would," Katie says. But "with every goodbye, I know I’m one step closer to finding my husband."

Interview: 'Bachelorette' co-host Tayshia Adams on her ex Blake Moynes crashing Katie Thurston's season

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This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: 'Bachelorette' recap: Katie's final four, Andrew's uncertain exit