After receiving a mash note from a "secret admirer" who wrote it from his soft-focus lair somewhere in the hotel, Andi's in a great mood going into the cocktail party. (Her bedazzled strapless gown looks to be held up by nothing but optimism and a smile.) Marquel, bless him, uses his one-on-one time to teach Andi some UFC-approved self-defense moves, but getting Andi to put him in a "rear naked choke" hold is as close as he gets to a kiss. It's all fun and games until "E-Money" (aka Eric) interrupts to steal Andi away. He's feeling defensive about their last conversation, and wants the Bachelorette to know it. "I've been really open with you," he begins. "I feel like you're not being [the real] Andi with me... I came on this to meet a person, not a TV actress."
Oh, snap. Now this is going to get all kinds of weird. Normally I'd be bouncing on the sofa and gleefully hooting "Oh no he didn't!" at the TV. But watching Andi get increasingly upset at Eric for claiming she walks around with a "poker face," well... it just makes me cringe for her (can you imagine how wretched she'll feel watching this scene back?) and feel awful for any of Eric's loved ones who decide to watch tonight's episode. "Am I comfortable and natural all the time? Not a chance," fumes Andi. "But do I work my ass off and stay up late so that everyone knows that I'm here for them? Yeah I do. You have no idea how exhausted I am! You have no clue how it is to look at them in the face and send them home!"
Okay, so she's crying now. I get why Team Bachelorette included this fight -- I mean, catching emotional confrontations on film is their raison d'être -- but boy do I wish they had trimmed several minutes out of this dust-up. The man is dead -- was it really necessary to devote nearly five full minutes to footage of him making Andi cry? (Though, by the way, his concerns seem completely genuine.)
Anyhow, Andi and Eric bid each other a tense goodbye, and then the Bachelorette marches back into the party to spray some rage shrapnel at the rest of the guys. "If any one of y'all thinks that this is a joke to me... you can just say it now and you can walk your ass on out," she bawls, her voice steadily climbing up several octaves. "Every single day this is real to me." And with that she storms out, while Team Bachelorette calls Eric a cab. Godspeed, sir.
Fortunately Team Bachelorette also realized that cutting next to the rose ceremony would be, at the very least, tacky, so instead they devote the final segment to Harrison and Andi reminiscing about Eric. "My last conversation with him – it's not ideally the last conversation I would want to have with somebody," admits Andi. "That's a tough pill to swallow."
Indeed. So, goodbye Eric, and a much-less-significant goodbye to Tasos, who got the boot at the rose ceremony that shall not be shown. And goodbye to you, rose lovers -- at least for two weeks, when Andi and her man-harem will be back. If you haven't collapsed from emotional exhaustion after tonight's episode, let me know what you thought of how Team Bachelorette handled Eric's goodbye – and be sure to head over to PopWatch to read Chris Harrison's exclusive blog about the painful send-off. Now if you'll excuse me, I'm going to indulge in a good old-fashioned cry.