The Bachelor Recap: It's Time for the Fantasy Suites

Fantasy suites are here, which means we've entered the steamiest part of The Bachelor season.

And this episode had three overnight dates, so it's not lacking in the drama department. Let’s get to it.

Before the dates with his final three women even began (👋Michelle, Rachael, and Bri), Matt decided to do some digging into his "fear about what a long term-commitment really looks like” based on his experience with his family, specifically with his dad.

Earlier in the season, we met Matt's fabulous mom. Matt often described that he was raised by a single mother, so we understood that his dad wasn't involved in his childhood. But now, Matt and his dad, Manny, are sitting down for what will likely be a very difficult and intense conversation. Buckle up, friends.

Matt and Manny covered a lot of ground in their conversation. Matt flat out explained to his dad that he wasn't there for him growing up, which meant Matt missed out on having a present father. Manny told Matt that he didn't have a father figure either, because his dad was killed when he was only 5 years old. 

Their entire discussion was really heartbreaking to watch. Matt showed an incredible amount of strength, not to mention extraordinary courage to air such a deeply personal and honest conversation on national television.

They ended the conversation after Manny apologized to Matt. Matt explained that he'd like Manny to be part of his life moving forward, and that he forgives him. It was a pretty remarkable ending to a deep, compelling, and undoubtedly difficult conversation. 

Matt also opened up on Instagram about the conversation before it aired–asking that he hopes viewers watch "with nuance, care, and also an understanding that there are real systemic issues at play." He also added that he's "so proud" of himself for being vulnerable and that he's so proud of his mother. Well said, Matt!

Image by ABC Press/Craig Sjodin

Now, on to the dates. Michelle was up first. Their date consisted of a "traditional Pennsylvania Dutch spa day," which doesn't sound like a real thing. It starts with an oatmeal foot bath that is followed up by a milk bath. Ew? Let's just sum it up by saying: if you bought a spa day and instead got this spa experience, you'd instantly ask for a refund. But Matt and Michelle clearly had fun! They're so cute together.

Later on in the date, Matt and Michelle talked about last week's hometown dates, AKA when Matt met Michelle's parents. Matt admitted that he felt really comfortable with Michelle's family. A good sign, perhaps?! The duo also discussed how Michelle's parents modeled what a successful marriage looks like.

Then, it was time for Michelle and Matt to head to their fantasy suite. They were both very enthusiastic. Once in their room, Michelle says "I love you" to Matt! A HUGE moment! Other than the odd start to this date, I'd say it was a success overall.

Image by ABC Press/Craig Sjodin

While Matt and Michelle are on their romantic date, Rachael is struggling. She feels like this is the hardest week yet, and the idea of Matt dating (and getting intimate) with other women isn't sitting well. Bri is having her own internal struggle–she's been feeling uneasy the last rose ceremony, when Matt called her name last. But now it's time for her romantic overnight adventure with Matt.

Bri and Matt's date brought the two of them to the woods, where they pitched a tent and cooked over a campfire. Bri admitted she's "the least outdoorsy person," but she still seemed to genuinely enjoy the date and her time with Matt. I love Bri! Matt and Bri discussed her family's visit last week. Bri's mom no doubt left a lasting impression, even though Matt insists she didn't scare him away.

Their date continued with dinner, where Matt opened up to Bri about the difficult conversation he had with his dad. Bri then reflected on her strained relationship with her dad too. These two bonded in the past over being raised primarily by single moms, so it makes sense that it came up after Matt's emotional discussion with Manny.

And then, finally, Bri dropped the "love" bomb on Matt too! Surprise, surprise: both Matt and Bri gave the fantasy suite offer a big "yes" and they set off on their romantic night together.

Image by ABC Press/Craig Sjodin

Once again, we see that Rachael is struggling while Matt is on his overnight date. Let's be honest: this whole situation of sharing your boyfriend is unusual, but there's something about being the last date, after Matt had two overnight dates, that feels kind of horrible. But still, that's the name of the game here on The Bachelor.

At long last, it's Rachael's turn to go on a date with Matt. She is noticeably down, and the date has a really uneventful beginning. Matt and Rachael's date is a pottery class, and TBH, Rachael is not into it. Eventually, she asks to pause the lesson and tell Matt how she feels.

Rachael said it was hard for her to handle the fact that he spent the night with two other women. Matt said he understood and he tried to reassure her as much as one possibly can when dating three women at once. And then, he did something that shocked me: he told Rachael he is falling in love with her! 

They haven't even made it to the fantasy suite at this point, but spoiler alert: they very happily spent the night in the fantasy suite together. 

Finally, it's time for the rose ceremony. The ladies were dressed to the nines (can someone tell me where Bri's dress is from?!). Matt's first rose went to Michelle, and secondly... to Rachael. Bri is going home!

I'm shocked, and I'm guessing Bri is too! Matt explained his decision to Bri on her way out, but it was kind of brutal to hear. It was a sad exit: Bri was clearly into him and is a gem of a human. I hope we see you again soon, Bri!

So now we're only one week away from Matt's final (!) rose! It's been a long season full of ups and downs, and I can't wait to see how it finally ends. Tune in next week to watch it unfold!

Main Image by ABC Press/Craig Sjodin; Bracket design by Sydney Mastrandrea