I'm not even going to waste your time with an intro because we need to jump straight into one of the most! dramatic! moments! in Bachelorette history: Clare completely shutting Yosef and his nonsense down with such clear intensity that I think it will forever, as the kids say, live in my mind rent-free.
To set the scene: At the cocktail ceremony from last week, Yosef pulls Clare aside for a one-on-one. He starts—starts!!!!!!!—by talking about the “red flags” he's seen. If any man or woman began a date this way, I would flip the table Teresa Giudice style, and start a new life in Italy à la Juicy Joe.
So what are the “red flags” that Yosef is seeing? First, that Clare told the contestants they were “here” for her. Um, yes? And? THAT IS WHAT THIS SHOW IS, SIR. Did he think he was signing up for a free quarantine at the La Quinta Inn and Suites?
Clare, in a remarkable show of patience, says she understands the sacrifices everyone made to be here. After all, her own mother is dying and…oh wait, I don't know because Yosef cuts her off with a “Let me finish.”
And all this before Yosef starts in on the “appalling” dodgeball date. “It’s so humiliating and degrading, and I don’t see how that translates into finding a husband,” he says. Keep in mind, Yosef wasn't even on this date. He's the human equivalent of Regina George's “a little bit dramatic” tank top. As Bill (my husband) said while watching, “It’s weird he’s so holier-than-thou when he’s the one DM'ing women from West Virginia and lying about it to a man that looks like Matthew Mcconaughey."
Anyway, all the gold stars to Clare for remaining calm as Yosef says, "I expected a lot more from the oldest Bachelorette that’s ever been…. You’re not setting the right example for my daughter. I’m ashamed to be associated with you.”
After that, Clare is rightfully D-O-N-E. She stands up to say her piece, to which Yosef tries to talk over her again. “No," she says. “I’ve listened to you this entire time. I’ve listened to you for the last 20 minutes. The way you’re talking to me right now…. I would never want my children having a father like you. Get out of here.”
Yosef responds with more digs, but Clare walks away with the expertise of someone who's had to ditch dozens of unworthy fuckbois in her lifetime before. Some of the men come over to comfort her, but the only one who seems to connect is—shock—Dale. With one hug he completely changes her mood.
“Literally all I’ve ever wanted is a man like Dale who will come over and protect me and make sure I'm okay," Clare later says in a confessional. “Dale is everything that I'm looking for.” And then, a reveal: It's not even the second rose ceremony, and she's already falling in love with him.
But we still have a show to produce, so we must continue on with a rose ceremony. Remarkably, Clare agrees to give men not named Dale roses as well, including, Zach C., Demar, Brandon, Jordan, Joe, Jay, Bennett, Eazy, Ben, Ed, Ivan, Kenny, and Zach J.
The next day Clare meets with former Bachelorette DeAnna Pappas to get some “advice.” But the conversation is all about he who shall not be named. Not because he's evil–it's just, like, how many times can we talk about Dale?
Even on the group date, he steals Clare away first. They head to her room for some heavy petting and are gone so long that poor Eazy must awkwardly knock on the door to interrupt. Later we see Clare ask a producer if they “can hurry the rest along.” Guess who gets the date rose!
The next day Clare has a date with Zach…I want to say, H? (Sorry, I refuse to commit to knowing who's who among these men until week five.) It's uneventful, until Clare suggests they take a break so she can change clothes before dinner. She leans in for a goodbye kiss, but Zach doesn't lean in far enough? It's weird and awkward and unclear what happened there, but basically they don't kiss. But then Zach makes it way worse by trying to grab Clare—by the neck, no less—to pull her in for a make-up kiss. It's obvious he's not intending to hurt her, but it does clearly make her uncomfortable. Later she cuddles up with her dogs and explains that the incident triggered some issues from her past.
That night Chris Harrison tells Zach that Clare isn't coming to dinner and he needs to leave. It's jarring, yes, but impressive: I've watched countless seasons of The Bachelorette, but this is the first time I remember one clearly stating that a man made her uneasy and removing herself from the situation without apology or remorse. More of that.
Another situation I don't think Clare wanted to be a part of: the second group date, because Dale wasn't invited. Margaret Cho was there, though, which is a sad commentary about the state of comedy in 2020. When living legends are suddenly available to host Bachelorette roasts, our culture is in trouble.
Even with her “help,” the jokes are unmemorable. All you really need to know is that everyone—but especially Bennett, the villain in Pretty in Pink—digs into Dale. Naturally, this doesn't go over well with Clare, who insists on grilling the men at the after-party about it. Zac C. calls her “gossip girl,” which, great reference, and Kenny complains to the others about her obvious tunnel vision for Dale.
Clare isn't helping matters—in a truly wild Bachelorette first, she doesn't hand out a rose on the group date. She says it's because she didn't have enough time to dig deep, but the men correctly surmise that she's upset they dunked on her main guy.
So where do we go from here? Clare is so deeply in on Dale there's no room for any other storyline. WELL, I'LL TELL YOU. In a shocking move, for this franchise at least, next week's preview actually gives our first glimpse of Tayshia. Seems like the rumors are true, and I cannot wait to see how it all plays out.
Anna Moeslein is the senior editor at Glamour. Follow her on Instagram @annamoeslein.
Originally Appeared on Glamour