But soft, what light through yonder window breaks? It is the east, and —oh, wait, no, it's just the glare of the cameras on The Bachelorette. Week six of Andi Dorfman's quest for a husband took the former assistant D.A. and her remaining seven suitors to Italy, from Venice to Monselice to fair Verona, home of Shakespeare's most famous star-crossed lovers, Romeo and Juliet, whose fatal fling provided some misguided inspiration for our leading lady and her would-be fiances. Let's recap!
The episode kicks off with Andi offering the first one-on-one date to the show's current villain, Nick. Poor Cody thought he was going to get the date, since he's the only remaining dude who hasn't gotten a one-on-one, but Andi has some stuff she needs to "figure out" with Nick.
Oh, did she say figure out? She meant make out. There's a lot of PDA on this date, so it takes a while for them to get down to business, but they do, eventually. Nick brings up the Cody situation between kisses in the gondola, and then Andi brings it up again at their fancy-pants dinner, which is in some massive masquerade hall that they both describe as "romantic" four or five times in a 45-second period. (If you were playing a Bachelorette drinking game and had to do a shot every time they said that word in this episode, you'd have been passed out on the floor before the second commercial break.)
What follows is an awkward exchange about whether Nick thinks he's a frontrunner, culminating in this very anti-climactic declaration of affection from him: "I can confidently say...I mean...I'm definitely...uh, falling in love." (Nick, we need to talk about what "confidently" means.) Fortunately for him, Andi finds anti-climactic declarations of affection adorable, and rewards him with the date rose, a masquerade mask, and a romantic dance in the courtyard.
The next day, Andi gets another note from her "secret admirer," which she reads giddily before meeting up with Josh, Brian, Dylan, Marcus, J.J., and Chris at the Castello di Monselice. The group date card says something like, "I'm looking to find true love"—emphasis on the "true."
You see, Andi believes relationships are all about honesty, so she's decided to make five of her remaining seven guys take lie detector tests. Because nothing says "I'm falling in love with you" like putting your future husband in a room with two gruff Italian men and monitoring his pulse as he answers questions like, "Are you good in bed?" and "Do you wash your hands after going to the bathroom?" (They're also asked if they're there for the right reasons, if they're ready for marriage, if they want kids, etc.)
Josh is not happy about the test, and frankly, who could blame him? He rightly points out that relationships are about honesty, yes, but also about trust—and making someone take a lie detector test isn't a great way to show that you trust him, or to build his trust in you. Chris, meanwhile, hems and haws about hiding something from Andi and not wanting it to come out this way, which sounds much more dramatic than it is, since the thing he's hiding is just that he's her secret admirer and has been writing her love letters for the last three weeks.
We learn later—after Dylan goes back to the hotel sick—that three men told no lies, one man told two lies, and two men told three lies. (Andi lied twice, too, but one of her lies was answering "yes" to "Is Italy your favorite country?") In any case, Andi wisely decides to not look at the guys' results and even tears them up in a gesture of good faith.
Later that night, at the cocktail party, the men fall all over themselves trying to get the date rose. Brian finally takes some initiative and steals Andi for a quick makeout, Marcus tells her he almost left but stayed because he's in love with her, Chris confesses to being her secret admirer, and Josh...well, Josh makes her cry by telling her he didn't like having to take the lie detector test. So, okay, most of the guys were trying to get the date rose.
Andi is thrown by how upset Josh seems, and starts to wonder whether he's hiding something. "This huge cloud of doubt came in," she says. "I had been so clear about how I felt about Josh until now...It's starting to make me question everything about this group date. It's tough to just feel like I was maybe so wrong."
To no one's surprise, Josh does not get the date rose. It goes instead to Chris, who subsequently gets into a bit of a confrontation with J.J. over whether they should be happy for each other in group date situations. J.J.'s point is: "It's getting very hard for me to get excited about other people's successes." Chris' point is: Shut up and let people feel how they want to feel, because the alternative is just being a jerk.
And on that note, we head to Verona! Cody's long-awaited one-on-one date with Andi is all about Romeo and Juliet, which should be the first clue that it's going to end in disaster. She takes him to Juliet's courtyard, where they do a poor reenactment of Shakespeare's balcony scene, and then to Club di Giuletta, where people send letters to Juliet from all over the world. In the spirit of romance (or something like it), Andi and Cody pick letters to read and respond to, perhaps hoping that other people's love stories will inspire their own.
At dinner that night, Cody reveals that he wrote a letter to Juliet, too, about seeing Andi on TV on The Bachelor and then coming on The Bachelorette to fall in love with her. He ends the letter with, "Since you [Juliet] lived the greatest love story of all time, I hope you'll bless ours," which is cringe-worthy for many reasons, not the least of which is the fact that—spoiler alert if you never took high school English or have been living under a rock for the last three-plus centuries—Romeo and Juliet ends with a joint suicide. Not exactly happily ever after.
The bigger problem with Cody's romantic gesture, though, is how pained Andi seems to receive it. She literally winces when he tells her he wants to kiss her and "roll around" with her and take her home to his family. It's not Shakespeare, sure, but it's also not a death sentence, which is how it looks based on her expression. She finally—tearfully—cuts him off, telling him she doesn't see a future for them and doesn't want to lead him on any longer. She says it's the "right thing to do" to let him go, which is probably true but sounds unnecessarily moralistic nonetheless.
Moving on to the pre-rose ceremony cocktail party! (We could all use a drink by now, I think.) Nick takes Andi aside as soon as she arrives, which makes all of the guys hate him even more, since he already has a rose and doesn't need to vie for her attention. She loves his "take charge" attitude, though, and happily makes out with him while the rest of the men sit seething in the other room.
The rest of the party is pretty uneventful, save for Brian's blatant rip-off of the poem from 10 Things I Hate About You, which was itself a take on another Shakespeare play, The Taming of the Shrew. Josh and Andi smooth things out, Chris tells Nick he's arrogant, and then Chris Harrison pulls Andi aside for a little heart-to-heart about her "emotional" week.
In the end, Dylan, Brian, Marcus, and Josh get roses (in addition to the two already given to Nick and Chris), so J.J.—the "pantsapreneur," in case you forgot—is headed back home to the U.S. Ciao, J.J.!