Des listens patiently, biding her time until Brian's lovely, raven-haired girlfriend Stephanie is properly positioned right behind him. Just as Brian's saying that he's still friends with his ex, Des cuts him off with an icy, "Do you know how she feels about it? Because she's actually here." (Cue the audience chant: Jerry! Jerry! Jerry!) Stephanie greets the Bachelorette with her hand outstretched and a deliberate, "Hi, I'm Brian's girlfriend," but Des is all, scorned women don't shake hands -- scorned women gotta hug! "Oh Jeeze," mutters Brian, his eyes darting back and forth as he looks for an escape route. But he's not going anywhere until Stephanie reads him the riot act. "Brian, you told me that you weren't going to see anyone else. I believed you!" He's barely able to stutter out a perfunctory denial ("Stephanie and I have had a relationship, we had it in the past") before his petite one-time paramour pounces. "It's in the present, Brian. We're still together. I tried to break up with you a day before you left to come here on the show. You told me you just needed time to yourself to get things sorted out," wails Stephanie, her voice climbing an octave in her distress. "Why would you do this to me?"
Harrison tries to step in to referee, but nothing is stopping Tropical Storm Stephanie and her rapid-fire assault on Brian's character. She insists he was professing his love for her the day before he left for the show, and chides him for not being a role model for her son Donovan. "It's unfortunate that I'm being attacked," offers Brian weakly. "I also certainly didn't want to hurt you." The situation gets progressively more shouty -- several times Harrison tries and fails to stop Stephanie's shrieking -- and eventually a blurry picture of what possibly, maybe, at one point might have happened begins to form: Brian and Stephanie were dating. Stephanie, despite being a roller-skating and balloon enthusiast, can sometimes have a bit of a hot temper. ("I did throw rocks at you!" she huffs at Brian. "Because you're a jerk!") Brian, being a bit of a coward, thought the best way to distance himself from this "toxic relationship" was to hightail it to a Bachelorette casting session and, eventually, inform Stephanie -- through his appearance on a nationally televised dating show -- that he doesn’t see a future for their relationship.
Whatever happened, it's over now, because a rather large gentleman named Paulie is here to escort Brian out of Casa Bachelorette... forever. Once the Reject Van has pulled away, Des wants the rest of the guys to know she is not having it: "If you are hiding anything, tell me now." [Nine seconds of awkward silence] Anyone? Bueller? All rightie, then. Kasey, it's finally time for your date!
But Brandon, bless his heart, has a hard time recovering from Hurricane Stephanie's visit -- in part because as the child of single mom himself, he overly identifies with Stephanie's son Donovan. "I had a lot of men come into my life as father figures, and I'd fall in love with them. And then they're just gone," he sobs, tears streaming down his cheeks. "I don't want to fall in love and lose it again. I just don't want anyone to leave me anymore, you know?" Ugh, thanks for the gut punch, Team Bachelorette. Would someone please get Paulie? Brandon needs to be wrapped in a soft blanket, bundled into the Sadnessmobile, and shipped off to the nearest intensive therapy center for adults with severe abandonment disorder.
NEXT: Kasey's shot at romance is gone with the wind