All's fair in love and war, and this week's episode of The Bachelorette has a little bit of both. After last week's fight between Ben and Michael, and then the drama surrounding James' conversation with Mikey -- in which he supposedly bragged about his plans to become the next Bachelor -- tensions are simmering among the remaining eight contestants. And it doesn't take long for them to boil over.
The episode kicks off with Des and the guys arriving in Barcelona for the second international stop on their romantic whirlwind. "I love everything about this place -- the buildings, the churches," Des gushes. "It's just full of life...It's the perfect place to fall in love."
Spoken like someone who has no idea what hell is about happen. Drew gets the first one-on-one date card, so the guys send him off to meet Des with a little push and a reminder that someone (meaning him) needs to break the bad news about James. "I don't want to let the tension with James dictate my time with Des today," he says. "If there's time to address the situation with James, we'll get to it."
The date gets off to a strong start, as Drew declares within the first five minutes that he hasn't been able to stop thinking about kissing Des. They share the first of what turns out to be many kisses before heading out for a day of sightseeing, hot chocolate-drinking, and bonding. At one point, over pastries, Drew opens up to Des about his family and, in particular, his dad, who is a recovering alcoholic and also has cancer.
"It feels great knowing that Drew is comfortable and he can share so much with me," Des says. "He wants me to be part of his life."
Later that night, the two sit down to enjoy a romantic dinner. They're not seated for very long, though, before Drew -- overcome with "crazy" emotions -- pulls Des away into an alley to make out. The crew has to chase the couple down, but neither Des nor Drew seems to notice much once the cameraman catches up to them.
Not surprisingly, Drew gets the date rose. And now that he's safe from elimination, he feels secure enough to tell her about James' conversation with Mikey. Des is understandably devastated -- and more than a little angry.
"I'm very disappointed in James, because I truly believed he was an honest man," she says in a confessional. "What a f--king a--hole."
The next day, though, Des seems to have had a change of heart. "I'm not going to jump the gun, and I'm not going to go on the attack with James," she says before the group date with him, Brooks, Kasey, Chris, Michael, and Juan Pablo. "I really want to give him the benefit of the doubt."
The guys, for their part, are temporarily distracted from the drama when they meet up with Des at the RCD Espanyol De Barcelona stadium for a game of soccer -- which Juan Pablo has played professionally. "I feel like I'm home," he says with a grin.
"Juan Pablo's very name is directly translated to, 'You have no chance -- and I am going out with Desiree at this moment on the soccer field,'" Brooks quips.
Juan Pablo's confidence takes a hit, however, when he and the guys are outmatched in a game against Des and her team of professional women soccer players. The guys score two goals in a row, but that's it for them -- the rest of the game is just them watching the ladies kick balls into the net past James, the goalie. "If we don't beat them, we're going to be embarrassed forever," Brooks says, noting that James is "like a little girl in the net."
The final score is 10 to 2, and Brooks, at least, seems confident that James' inability to make a save on the soccer field means he'll also be unable to save himself from elimination that night. He and the guys head off to cocktail hour with Des, where he makes a cheesy but sweet toast to the evening ahead of them. "Cheers to kicking some soccer balls today and to kicking it with Des tonight," Brooks says.
Chris and Des then split off from the group for some one-on-one time in Des' bedroom, where Des reads him a poem she wrote for him on the back of a postcard. "The Chris and Des love scale is rapidly rising," Chris gushes in a confessional afterward.
Back at the party, the guys are gearing up to confront James about the conversation with Mikey. "If James is a man, right now he will own up and apologize," Kasey says. He and Michael and Chris (now back from his one-on-one time with Des, who has moved on to Brooks) take James aside and ask him to explain what Kasey and Drew heard after last week's group date in Munich. "You said, 'If I can make the final four, I am in a very good position to become the next Bachelor,'" Kasey alleges.
James is temporarily stunned into silence, but he eventually attempts to defend himself. "I don't think I was the one who started that conversation," he says weakly. He then proceeds to deny having said any of the things Kasey says he said, before going on the attack against Michael. "You haven't even been on a one-on-one date yet!" he yells.
"That makes it worse!" Michael yells back. "I haven't even been on a one-on-one date, and I would never make the comments you made on that bus."
James accuses Michael of being more confrontational ever since the face-off with Ben on last week's disastrous two-on-one date, and though he's maybe not entirely wrong, it's clear he's just trying to deflect attention from himself. "I didn't bring that s--t up," he tells Kasey of the conversation. "Mikey did. What the f--k ever, dude."
Kasey uses his one-on-one time with Des to recap the James drama, after which she decides she isn't going to hand out a date rose that night. She sends everyone but James back to the hotel and then confronts him about about Kasey and Drew's version of events. "The walls are closing in on James, and s--t's about to hit the fan," she says.
"I believe everything. Because they are guys that I fully, fully trust," she tells James, who proceeds to tear up.
"I think that these guys think that we have something...I think they're threatened by me," James says by way of an explanation. "[Becoming the next Bachelor] is not why I'm here. And if you think that, then I should go."
Des and James both cry, but in the end, she sends him back to the hotel so they can both take time to process the situation. The rest of the guys, who were so sure that James was going to get the boot, are shocked to see him waltz in the door with a snide, "Gentlemen, goodnight."
"I'm gonna stay, and they can watch me walk off into the sunset with her," he says in a confessional later.
The next day, Des and Zak meet up for their one-on-one date at an art studio, where they proceed to sketch each other. Zak's drawing of Des is terrible and hilarious -- Des literally falls on the floor laughing when she sees it. The two of them are having a grand old time when a male model walks in and drops his robe, revealing nothing -- and everything -- underneath. Zak's demeanor instantly changes, but he rolls with it and even strips down to his tightey-whiteys himself.
Dinner that night is in an awesome wine cellar, where Zak tells Des about his family and his love of traveling. They kiss, she gives him the date rose, and then they kiss some more, and Zak is practically floating.
"I'm absolutely in love with this woman," he gushes. "There's no doubt about it. I don't feel any hesitation...It feels insanely good to be in love, and not just to be in love but to be in love with a woman that is so incredible."
Back at the the hotel, James confronts Drew about what he told Des about what he overheard after the group date. The conversation quickly escalates until both of them are yelling and James walks away in anger. "James is a piece of s--t," Drew sneers.
The next day, Des pulls James away from the group to talk more about the situation in the house. "I'm not here to hurt your feelings," he insists. "I'm not here to fool you. I'm here to fall in love with you."
His platitudes seem to work -- temporarily, at least -- as Des cries and sends him back to the hotel instead of just sending him home. The guys are shocked, again, to see him return, and another yelling match ensues.
"If James gets a rose tonight, I think the group is going to collectively s--t themselves," Michael says of the situation in the house.
There's no cocktail party this week, so Des gets right down to business at the rose ceremony. Drew and Zak are already safe, but there are only three other roses -- which means three guys are going home. Chris, Brooks, and Michael are the lucky recipients of the remaining buds, so Kasey, Juan Pablo, and James are booked on a flight back to the U.S.
"Nobody will ever know the exact truth," James says as he rides off in the limo. "And that sucks. These guys, I think they felt very threatened by me. I'm a confident person. I had an unbelievable date with her. I got bullied here. I got bullied right out the door."
"People vs. James. Case dismissed," Michael (a lawyer) concludes.
Tell Us: Do you think Des sent the right guys home this week?