Kristen Baldwin
June 24, 2014 AT 05:03 AM EDT

Ciao, rose lovers! Welcome to the picturesque city of Venice, Italy. Are you ready to put France behind us? Nick sure is. “I sucked on the last group date,” he admits, prompting all of America to reply, Dude, you suck on every date.

For now, though, Andi is ready for a fresh start. “I missed y’all!” the Bachelorette trills at her eight remaining suitors, who gather awkwardly around her. Even more awkward? Andi’s about to announce who’s getting the first one-on-one date… herself. (Okay, last week the card was blank and this week it’s non-existent… did the production assistants go on strike or something?) Everyone—including Cody—expects Cody to get the solo date since he has yet to have one, but the honor goes to his condescending frenemy, Nick. “Enjoy Venice!” Andi calls over her shoulder as she and Nick walk away, leaving Cody in the semi-circle of sympathy. “I feel like I’m kind of like the pet dog of the group,” he complains. “I’m just kind of being drug along.”

Andi knows her decision made most of us want to throw something at our television, but she’s like, BACK OFF, Y’ALL, this is my journey! She still has questions about Nick—and she wants answers. “There was something that just didn’t sit right about last week,” she explains. “I need to see, can I move on with this guy or can I not?”

[Insert product shots of the Abano Grand Hotel here]

So Andi and her unpopular choice stroll hand-and-hand through the streets of Venice, at one point stopping to allow a hungry flock of flying rats to crawl all over them in a scene that will absolutely be on high rotation in my nightmares. (Nothing says romance like disease-ridden street birds, amirite?) For a while everything’s all pizza and gelato and masquerade masks, as Andi doesn’t yet have the courage to tackle the primary question at hand: Is Nick a dreamboat or a douche bag? Fortunately her date mans up enough to broach the subject during a gondola ride. After last week’s rose ceremony, Nick says, “I woke up the next morning for the first time afraid of, like, maybe losing something special.” Survey says: You should be worried! “If you say you’re gonna do better, then I guess I’ve gotta wait for you to do better,” replies Andi, letting Nick know with her tone that should she choose to continue their relationship, she will always, always have hand.

Night falls, and Andi emerges from the shadows wearing a noisy, strapless black-and-gold ball gown with an asymmetrical neckline and fish-tail skirt. Obviously, the dinnertime interrogation she has planned for Nick is a black-tie affair. “Last week, I didn’t know if I had just missed something or if I was just reading everything wrong. I was like, ‘Is my sweet little Nick that sweet anymore?'” Nick puts on his sheepish, I’m-just-a-lonely-little-puppy-dog face (yes, I know I just called him a sheep and a dog, but you get it) and has the audacity to tell Andi that Cody hurt his feelings by calling him arrogant. Not one to be manipulated by a sympathetic witness, Andi continues her line of questioning: “Do you think you’re a front-runner?” Oh man, that’s a classic lose-lose situation if I’ve ever seen one. If Nick says yes, he’s arrogant. If he says no, he’s essentially telling Andi he doesn’t feel like there’s something real between them. Well played, counselor. Well played.

NEXT: We learn a terrifying truth about Dylan

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