‘The Bachelor’ 2021 Episode 3: A Front-Runner Decides to Leave (RECAP)

ABC/Craig Sjodin

We’re on to week three of Matt James’s season of The Bachelor, which means we get to watch Queen Victoria wreak havoc… again. The drama really started to heat up last week, but it looks like this week’s episode is going to be even more intense.

Who’s Going Home?

We pick up right where we left off last week, with Sarah recovering from nearly passing out. There are still five roses for Matt to pass out, but Sarah manages to snag a little extra time with Matt.

OK, back to the rose ceremony. After handing out his last few roses, Matt sends home Marylynn, Alana, Sydney, and a couple of other women. If we’re being honest, it’s hard to tell exactly who goes home in this episode because the camera only focuses on Marylynn’s departure.

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Group Date #1

Rachael, Bri, Lauren, Kit, Serena C, Victoria, Khaylah, Anna, Kaili, and Katie are invited on the first group date of the week. Chris Harrison tells the ladies he’s taking the lead on the date, which is aimed at getting everyone out of their comfort zone.

Matt and the ladies walk in on Bachelor Nation royalty, Ashley Iaconetti, who is reading from Chris Harrison’s book, The Perfect Couple. Way to plug your own book, Chris! Ashley tells the women they’ll be writing their own love story with Matt — complete with erotic fantasy — and they’ll have to share it with the group. Yikes!

As to be expected, Victoria’s not afraid to go for it. When sharing her writing with Ashley, Victoria explicitly details what she’d like Matt to do with her in bed. Hey, at least Victoria can say she doesn’t hold anything back.

The Bachelor Victoria, Bri, Rachael Episode 3

Matt starts the show and shares his own love scene, which is…awkward. There was something about chocolate cake and a suit? Honestly, we were plugging our ears. The ladies then start to share their stores, which range from silly to straight-up uncomfortable. Katie, who is best known as the girl who brought a vibrator on night one, tells the most graphic story of all, but she is quickly shown up by Queen Victoria.

Alright, now for the evening portion of the date. Rachael manages to get alone time with Matt, as does Bri. These two already feel like solid front runners. However, midway through the night, Sarah — who isn’t even on this date — shows up and interrupts Matt’s time with Katie. Thankfully, Katie stands up for herself and goes back to ask for more time with Matt.

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“I can see Katie is upset and now I’m worried what the other women will think. I’m just thinking in my head how I’m going to apologize for interrupting their time,” Sarah says. Katie confronts Sarah as she’s leaving the date and tells her she should’ve waited to talk to Matt, rather than take time away from the other women. Sarah apologizes through tears, but it’s clear she’s on shaky ground. Is she the new house villain?

Following the craziness, Matt decides to give the Group Date Rose to Rachael, which shouldn’t come as a shock to anyone that’s been watching.

One-on-One Date

Serena P. gets the one-on-one date this week, which is great considering we don’t know much about her. However, before Matt takes Serena on their date, he decides to check in on Sarah (who’s been hiding away all day). While we’re not doubting Sarah’s insecurities, it does feel like she’s milking the moment to get more time with Matt. Of course, Matt reassures Sarah and talks her off the ledge. “I have real feelings for you,” Matt says before giving her a kiss. C’mon Sarah, stop keeping Matt away from Serena!

The Bachelor Sarah Matt James Episode 3

OK, now it’s time for Serena’s date. The pair ride horses while admiring the gorgeous fall foliage and have a nice picnic on a hill. Serena reveals her father wasn’t supportive of her going on The Bachelor, but she knows it’s what she’s supposed to do. Matt shares his mother was supportive of his decision and wants him to have a partner in life. After two weeks of focusing on Bri, Abigail, and Sarah, it’s nice to see Serena have a chance to shine!

The Bachelor Matt James Serena P Episode 3

During their dinner portion of the date, Serena dives into her previous relationships. She tells Matt she’s only had one serious relationship. “The breakup was one of the lowest points of my life. Just because it was sad and painful doesn’t mean it was a wrong decision, it just meant that it hurt.”

After revealing he’s never been in love before, Serena drops a classic Bachelor cliche bomb, telling Matt she “could see herself potentially falling in love” with him. That’s like five steps from actually falling in love, right? Regardless, Matt’s flattered by Serena’s admission and gives her the rose.

Sarah Apologizes to the Group

Right before announcing who’s going to be on the second Group Date, Sarah comes out of her hiding spot to apologize to the women. She explains she was thinking of leaving and was needing a little extra time with Matt. “Hopefully you guys know my heart and see my heart,” Sarah shares.

“This is not the Sarah show,” Victoria says before the other women pile on. While we’re certainly not Team Sarah, it does feel like the ladies are ganging up on her. “I feel so emotionally beat up,” Sarah says through tears. “These women who I’ve gotten to know have huge issues with me right now. It’s making it really difficult for me to be here.”

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Katie finds Sarah after the ordeal with the other women to check in on her. Sarah tells Katie she’s going to leave, but Katie tries to talk her out of it. “I don’t want to be his backup plan. If you leave and he’s still interested in you he’s going to be wondering what if,” Katie says.

The Bachelor Sarah Katie Episode 3

“I really have to put my well-being first and I’m not in a good headspace here,” Sarah shares, before telling Katie her dad has a terminal illness. “I thought I was ready for this but I have to be true to myself.” Katie then reveals her father passed away in 2012 and encourages Sarah to cherish the time she has left with her father.

After her conversation with Katie, Sarah decides to leave. She finds Matt and explains she needs to be with her family. “I told you how important family is to me and being away from them it’s just weighing so hard on me,” Sarah says. Sarah opens up about her issues with the rest of the women and that it’s hard to be here, but Matt tries to convince her to stay. Though Matt tells her he doesn’t want her to leave, Sarah knows she has to go. Despite Sarah’s issues with the group, it is sad to see her leave under these circumstances.

Since we didn’t get to the second Group Date this episode, it looks like we’ll start with that next week. Until then, folks!

The Bachelor, Mondays at 8/7c on ABC