Footage then flashed back to when Zach confronted Rachel at the beginning of her Rose Ceremony post-Fantasy Suites.
Zach pointed out how things felt "off" between them during their overnight date, and he admitted, "I thought what I was seeing wasn't the real Rachel. I felt like I was seeing Bachelorette Rachel... not the Rachel I've come to know and love."
Zach said he felt upset and disappointed in how Rachel behaved and treated him, and Rachel explained how she received a lot of clarity in the Fantasy Suites. Zach called Rachel's concern about his age "a blindside," and Rachel confessed she had been trying to find "a missing piece" for her in their relationship.
"I did really love you," Zach told Rachel. "I saw a future with you, but I need to go."
Rachel appeared surprised and said, "I wish I could've gotten there," but Zach pointed out how a relationship is a two-way road and he couldn't have gotten to the finish line without her half and equal effort.
"Honestly, this is so sad," Rachel noted after saying goodbye to Zach.
Zach then got into a car and left the show, and he said his elimination didn't "feel real" because, in his mind, she was going to be the future Mrs. Shallcross.
Rachel proceeded to tell Tino Franco and Aven at the Rose Ceremony how it was hurtful and disappointing to have her character questioned by a man she thought really cared about her. She then handed out a rose to each of the two men.
"I thought maybe I meant more, but I guess I didn't," Zach said through tears in his final words. "One of the things I fell in love with was she made me feel special. I cared for her, and I question if any of that was real or if it was just an act."
Rachel and Zach then reunited live onstage with Jesse, and Zach apologized to the Bachelorette for making her feel like he had called out her character.
Zach said that's the last thing he ever wanted to do and he was just in shock and disbelief over the sudden demise of their relationship towards the end of the process. Zach admitted he could've handled it better.
Rachel said, "I'm sorry too," and she assured Zach that her feelings for him were real all along. Rachel insisted that she never put on an act with him but it took their Fantasy Suite date for her to receive the clarity that she needed.
"We felt like two strangers in a way," Zach recalled of the Fantasy Suite.
"And I think that was the moment, which I maybe didn't fully recognize at the time, but when maybe you realized I wasn't going to be your future person, and we had to rest of the night to hang out and be together... It was a tough conversation, and it was just off. It felt like two very different people."
Rachel confirmed their overnight date was "awkward" and there may have been miscommunication, but the former couple wished each other well and said they really appreciated seeing each other again and hashing things out in-person.
Footage then flashed back to Rachel visiting with her parents, including "Big Tony," and her two protective best friends. Rachel shared how she felt "conflicted" at the time because she had strong feelings for both men.
Rachel said she liked Aven right off the bat and she trusted him "completely."
Rachel insisted Aven was ready for a proposal and had expressed to her how he was falling in love with her. Rachel said Aven made her feel safe and supported throughout her whole journey, and her family noted how Rachel gushing about Aven spoke volumes about him.
Aven opened up to Tony about how he and Rachel shared the same values, sense of humor and physical connection, and he stressed how his feelings for Rachel were very strong.
Rachel told her mother that she totally trusted Aven and he would be "the most incredible partner" if they got engaged. Rachel said she knew Aven would be amazing "for sure" and had "no doubts" in the bachelor and the fact he was ready to get down on one knee.
However, Aven shared with Rachel's two friends how he wanted to be with Rachel and have a life with her after the show but he wanted their engagement to be "perfect" and a "one time shot" for them. Aven said he could 1,000 percent see himself getting there but he didn't know if he could get there by the end of the process.
"Getting to a marriage and a life with her is something I want; it's just about the timing of it," Aven said. "I've expressed that I'm ready for an engagement, like, as far as my life is concerned and where I'm at in life."
Rachel's friends told Aven that Rachel definitely wanted an engagement, and so this was a "red flag" for them. Rachel's friends knew that she didn't want to return home with just a boyfriend.
Rachel told her family after they met Aven that on paper, he was the perfect choice and she'd be "stupid" for not choosing him. But Rachel's friends broke the news that Aven seemed unsure about whether he could get engaged at the end of the show.
Rachel's friends said that Aven was being honest and "logical," but she was shocked.
"This is not what he had told me," Rachel admitted. "I would never bring him in front of you if I thought he wasn't ready 100 percent... I'm not coming out of this not engaged."
Rachel said she and Aven had "talked at length" about being ready for an engagement, and so she wondered why Aven would say one thing to her and then say another thing to her friends and family.
"I appreciate your honesty, but why did you lie to me?" Rachel questioned in a confessional.
After the meet and greet, Rachel said she was concerned because Aven had said he may not be ready for an engagement. Aven assured Rachel that he was ready for that but he wanted to make sure it would be 100 percent right for the both of them in that exact moment.
Rachel said that's not what he had told her, but Aven reiterated how he wanted a future with Rachel.
Regardless, Rachel said Aven's hesitation about timing was hard for her to hear, and she wondered where that was coming from. Aven said it had nothing to do with their relationship but he was trying to make sure than an engagement would be the best thing for both of them.
"My feelings for you haven't changed at all," Aven said, adding, "I care about you and I care about us, but this is a big deal. I have no doubts in my mind about us getting there, if it's in three days or whatever the case may be."
But Rachel broke down into tears because she realized Aven wasn't on the same page as her, and she pointed out how she didn't want to "force" him into an engagement.
Aven explained how he was just trying to be honest with her and wasn't going to "throw words around" just to make her happy.
"I want to make sure the timing of it is right, Rachel!" Aven shouted.
"Why are you yelling at me?" Rachel asked.
Aven apologized and said that wasn't his intent. Aven claimed he was just passionate about their relationship and had never changed his mind about her or their future together.
Rachel, however, wanted her man to feel 100 percent confident in her and getting engaged to her. She was upset that he never came across that way to her family and friends.
Rachel felt "shook up" after their conversation and didn't know how she was going to move forward with Aven after that. She felt blindsided, although she had assured Aven that their date didn't end on a bad note.
Rachel cried about being lied to, but she was still hoping that she and Aven could get back on the same page.
Viewers then watched Gabby introduce Erich Schwer to her family. Gabby presented Erich as the man she wanted to be with forever, and he had already met Gabby's beloved grandpa. Erich met Gabby's father and her aunt Julie, and Erich expressed how he was "obsessed" with Gabby and couldn't imagine his life without her at that point.
Gabby's family liked Erich a lot, and Gabby gushed about how Erich loved her like no man had before. Gabby was afraid to lose Erich because she cared for him so much, and a part of her feared that she's unlovable, but her family advised her to put her walls down and let Erich in.
Rachel was then shown introducing Tino to her loved ones, and she was a bit more guarded than before. Rachel's friends could tell that Rachel didn't want to gush about Tino and him being ready for an engagement in case, like Aven, he wasn't.
Rachel also shared how Tino's family didn't seem to like her, which surprised the whole group.
Tino was extremely nervous during the gathering, but he said he felt 100 percent confident that his family would come to love Rachel and accept her. Tino also said he could travel and move around with Rachel as long as he had enough notice, like a couple of years, so he could find a building to work on.
Tino told Tony that Rachel meant the world to him and he wanted to go on adventures with her and make her happy forever. Tino thought the meeting went very well, and Rachel confirmed that Tino had received "a big stamp of approval" from everyone.
That night, Rachel got to see Aven again, and he apologized for having upset Rachel. He said he never wants to be the reason why she cries.
"But I'm realizing that I want more time with you. I want to come visit you in Florida and see where you live. I want you to come visit me. I want to do life outside of this with you, and I feel that's so important for us at this point -- before that next step," explained.
"And I want us to be fully, fully in love with each other so that point, when we get there, is so special for us and we can go right into a marriage and start a family together... However many [kids] you want."
But Rachel started crying and said it was really hard for her to hear this when she had told her family that Aven was ready to get engaged and would never lie to her. Rachel said it was so important to be on the same page when he spoke with her family and she felt "so blindsided" by him.
Aven reiterated how he wanted to be with Rachel and get engaged to her down the road. He tried to fight for their relationship.
But Aven noted, "I may have been... caught up a little bit in some of it... in saying that I thought I'd be ready for this in two weeks. But my feelings for you have not changed at all and a life after this is something that I want with you."
Rachel firmly said, while sobbing, that she wanted to get engaged and be with someone who's sure about her. She said she was not willing to sacrifice that for anybody, even though she had thought it would be Aven and her outside of this.
"I need someone who is sure about me, and you're not sure about me. You can't give me what I want right now," Rachel cried. "I ultimately feel like I can't move forward. It's over."
Aven said he was never going to get over this, which made Rachel cry even harder. She said it felt like her heart was breaking.
Aven told the cameras that he never thought he'd be leaving The Bachelorette without Rachel and he had "failed." Aven wished things could've been different, because he insisted, "I know we would've gotten there."
When speaking with Jesse live, Rachel appeared somber and said, "I really did see him and I at the end of it, and so it was really hard to say goodbye."
When Rachel and Aven reunited on the stage, Aven said he was "extremely sorry" for the way things had ended between them. Aven felt guilty for hurting and blindsiding Rachel, and he acknowledged how he had let her down.
Rachel told Aven that she respected how he was being honest with her, and Aven pointed out how he didn't fully understand what she needed and wanted -- which was on him.
Aven explained how he never wanted to give up on Rachel and had been hoping to continue things, and Rachel said it was all understandable and he didn't have to apologize to her for how he felt at that time.
Aven regretted not being able to find Rachel and tell her how he felt about an engagement before meeting her family, because obviously he told Rachel's friends how he felt first.
"I could've done a way better job at that, and I regret that deeply," Aven shared, adding how timing was off and their timelines just didn't align.
"You were perfect... but you can't really look back," Rachel concluded. "I'm really happy to see you, and I really just wish you nothing but the best."
The episode ended with Gabby hoping Erich would feel ready to propose to her. They spent some time together, and Gabby brought up the topic of an engagement.
Gabby told Erich how she didn't want to pressure him into anything, and he replied, "I truly love you, and I do want to spend the rest of my life with you. But I don't want to rush anything and have there be any expectations that wouldn't feel natural to us."
But Gabby wanted a marriage proposal from Erich and to know the truth, and so she was looking for honesty from him.
Erich then told Gabby that an engagement is a big deal and he didn't know how to handle the situation.
The pair talked in circles for a bit, and then Erich said, "I really want us to work, and I think all the odds are kind of working against that. I just want to date you. In the real world, I want to date you -- and getting engaged before that is not usually how things go."
Gabby got the clarity she needed, and the news hit her hard.
Gabby told Erich that she couldn't talk about it anymore, and she walked away from him. Gabby vented to a producer how the situation was "crazy," adding, "I don't want to do this anymore! I don't want anyone to be forced, but I am so sick of this!"
Erich chased after Gabby, but she couldn't believe that he had just said, "I want to date you."
Gabby wanted to be with Erich forever and so she wanted him to propose.
"What am I supposed to do? Walk away because he's not ready to propose?" Gabby cried. "Here we are. Big fat dumpster fire. Big f-cking mess."