‘The Bachelor’ 2022 Episode 2: Cassidy and Shanae vs. The House (RECAP)

'The Bachelor,' Season 26, Episode 2, ABC, Clayton Echard, Cassidy
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ABC/John Fleenor

Clayton Echard’s Bachelor journey has officially begun! After the January 3-airing Season 26 premiere started off with a rose refusal, an early elimination, and the first round of cuts, it’s clear this season is shaping up to be one of the most dramatic yet!

For Clayton’s first one-on-one and group dates, the show wasted no time to call in some famous faces to lend the Bachelor a helping hand. Meanwhile, trouble was a-brewing in the house as women formed connections and rivalries, which resulted in the episode ultimately leaving off on a major cliffhanger decision for Clayton.

Let’s dive into what happens during Week 2!

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The Women vs. Cassidy in the First Group Date

Taking a trip from the Bachelor Mansion to another Beverly Hills manse, the girls of the first group date are instructed to help throw a birthday party for a group of (very energetic) kids. Given Clayton’s established love of children via his heartwarming interaction with Michelle Young‘s students on The Bachelorette, this group date gives the women the perfect chance to tap into their familial sides. Not only that, mother-of-three (and the upcoming star of Hulu’s How I Met Your Father) Hilary Duff makes a special appearance to help the contestants throw the best party ever (bouncy house and all)!

“Knowing that fatherhood is so important to Clayton, I wanted Clayton, and the girls, especially, to get just a tiny glimpse of how chaotic it can actually be,” says Hilary.

'The Bachelor,' Season 26, Episode 2, ABC, Hilary Duff, Clayton Echard

ABC/John Fleenor

While others prepare the party’s entertainment and decorate a cake, Cassidy is laser-focused on getting alone time with Clayton. “I’m not here to build a dollhouse. I’m here to build a relationship.” The others quickly took notice, much to their annoyance.

Melina is the life of the party in her clown getup, while elementary school teacher Serene shows off her skills by connecting with the party’s young attendees, much to Clayton’s appreciation. He applauds everyone’s effort, but Cassidy makes it very clear that kids weren’t her thing, going so far as to *accidentally* drop the birthday cake Genevieve decorated. “It’s disrespectful,” she grumbles. Maybe she should have focused less on trying to talk to Hilary and Clayton and more on the task at hand.

At dinner that night, the women took the opportunity to call out Cassidy, who was certain she would receive the group date rose. “I’m simply not going to apologize for not hanging enough streamers,” she fires back when the woman confront her over her behavior. “I have not done anything wrong.”

The women worry that Clayton won’t see through Cassidy’s fake personality, and their fears are confirmed when he presents her with the group date rose. “Who’s laughing now,” she quips. She did exactly what she set out to do, but not without making some enemies in the process.

Susie Gets the First 1-on-1 Date

Susie is excited to take her relationship with Clayton “to new heights” on the first one-on-one date of the season. Having never been on a helicopter before, she boards the chopper for a gorgeous sightseeing ride over California with Clayton, even spotting the Bachelor Mansion from above.

Taking their date from the air to the sea, they spend the rest of the afternoon chilling in the hot tub of a private boat. “She seems so genuine, so humble,” says Clayton, already feeling a strong connection with the Virginia Beach native. “Having this special time with Susie has been nothing short of incredible.”

At dinner, they bond over their strong connections to their families. Susie opens up about her father’s health struggles and his fight to meet his newborn grandson. He loves her ability to see the good during bad times, something he admits he struggles with.

 

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Ending the night on a musical note, the two are treated to a private concert by Amanda Jordan, who sings her song “I Choose You” before Clayton gives Susie a rose. After his bad luck with one-on-ones on The Bachelorette (too soon?), Clayton’s first of the season couldn’t have gone any better.

Shanae Shakes Up the Second Group Date

Following her group date success, Cassidy imparts her *wisdom* onto Shanae going into the second group date of the week. Comedian Ziwe surprises the group for a game of “Relationship Red Flags,” which is meant to help Clayton spot who is actually there for the right reasons.

Shanae, in full “Sha-nay-ay” mode, is there to win, and she’s set her sights on taking down who she sees as her clear competition: Elizabeth. During the obstacle course, Shanae gets her revenge, *accidentally* shoving Elizabeth off a fake piece of bread and butter, and the two are forced into the “friend zone.” But it’s Sarah who emerges from the obstacle course victorious, winning her that extra time with Clayton that Shanae so desperately wanted.

Shanae’s discontent continues into the night, especially after Elizabeth takes Clayton aside first. Elizabeth, Sarah, Marlena, Rachel, and more continue to make their marks on their man, but Shanae uses her time to point out “red flags” in the house, taking another dig at Elizabeth. Clayton is rightfully shocked, as are the rest of the women when he takes Elizabeth aside to talk.

The news leaves Elizabeth fuming, so she chooses to tell Clayton that Shanae pushed her earlier, leaving him even more confused than before. Taking Shanae aside, Elizabeth hashes it out with her, apologizing for supposedly hurting Shanae’s feelings earlier in the week. In the end, neither woman ends up with the group date rose, which goes to Sarah. Once Clayton leaves, the women are left to deal with Shanae and Elizabeth’s drama, with those who didn’t get time with Clayton feeling especially annoyed.

Cassidy’s Secret Revealed

Clayton goes into the second rose ceremony of the season excited and hoping to avoid drama. Eliza and Jill make up for lost time after not being included in group dates, each maintaining a positive attitude. Gabby breaks out another (horrifying) Clayton face pillow, but it works for her, as he loves her sense of humor. “I mean, right now, this is about as good of a night that I could ask for. And no drama!” Oh, Clayton, you spoke too soon.

Shanae takes Elizabeth aside once more to discuss yesterday’s argument. She accuses Elizabeth of using her ADHD as an excuse for her *rude* behavior, after which the rest of the group agrees that Shanae should apologize. Even Cassidy goes against her friend!

 

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Cassidy’s best behavior goes away quickly when Sierra reveals to Clayton that Cassidy told her about a friends-with-benefits relationship she has with a guy back home. Sierra lets Cassidy know what she did, while Clayton takes a minute to think. Jesse approaches him to see how he’s doing when he leaves us on a giant cliffhanger, asking Jesse, “Has anyone ever taken a rose back before?”

Looks like we’ll have to wait two weeks to see if Cassidy’s secret comes back to bite her!

The Bachelor, Mondays, 8/7c, ABC