While The Bachelorette's second episode did not feature a Rose Ceremony, Katie handed out roses to Thomas, a 28-year-old real estate broker from Poway, CA, and Andrew S., a 26-year-old pro football player who splits his time between Vienna, Austria and Chicago, IL and is the reported cousin of The Bachelorette alum Clay Harbor, at the end of her two group dates in Week 1.
Katie also gave Greg, a 27-year-old marketing sales rep from Edison, NJ, a rose during the first one-on-one date of the season.
The episode also featured Katie forming a strong emotional connection with Mike Planeta, a 31-year-old gym owner from San Diego, CA, after he revealed he's a virgin before she eliminated Cody, a 27-year-old zipper sales manager from San Diego, CA, who was accused of going on the show for fame.
The Bachelorette broadcast began with Katie learning she'd be going on two group dates and a one-on-one date during her first week as the show's star.
Karl Smith, a 34-year-old motivational speaker from Miami, FL, said he was going to "fight to the death" and hoped to receive a date with Katie.
Justin Glaze, a 26-year-old investment sales consultant from Baltimore, MD, wished they could find Karl "a muzzle" because the men had apparently grown tired of Karl talking and referring to the process as a game or some boxing match.
The first Date Card then arrived for the following men: Karl; Justin; Thomas; Mike; Christian Smith, a 26-year-old real estate agent from Boston, MA; Garrett Schwartz, a 29-year-old software marketing manager from Salinas, CA; Tre Cooper, a 26-year-old a software engineer from Covington, GA; Quartney Mixon, a 26-year-old nutrition entrepreneur from Dallas, TX; James Bonsall, a 30-year-old from New York, NY; and Connor Brennan, a 29-year-old math teacher and musician from Nashville, TN.
When the guys met up with Katie, she teased that the date was going to require them to be vulnerable, open and comfortable.
The group entered a theater and saw props including handcuffs, lingerie and other sex toys, and then comedian and Juicy Scoop podcast host Heather McDonald walked in to host the date.
Heather set out to find Katie "the greatest lover of all time," and Mike became a little nervous since he is a virgin saving himself for marriage.
After the men were quizzed and questioned on topics such as the largest female organ, the most effective sex toy, their preferred sex position, and the last time they had sex, Heather announced the bachelors would each have to create a presentation for Katie to explain why he would be her greatest lover ever.
Mike broke down into tears in a confessional because he wasn't expecting to reveal his lack of sexual experience this early in the process. He worried Katie wouldn't see his heart and the fact he's perfectly fine with her being sex-positive.
Connor B. sang Katie a hilarious song on the guitar, saying the length of his affection isn't as important as the girth and he can play piano and is amazing with his fingers; Christian said love is about more than just what happens in the bedroom before ripping his pants off; and Tre put on a puppet show.
Justin rubbed Katie's feet and said his hands know his way around a painting as well as a woman; James S.ripped down into nothing but a box over his package; and Karl did a comedy routine that apparently lasted a little too long.
When it became Mike P.'s turn, he sat down next to The Bachelorette star and read her a letter he had written essentially addressed to his future wife.
"I want you to feel so loved and so honored, and the best way for me to show you this is by saving myself for you. Love is hard, sometimes figuratively and sometimes literally," Mike shared.
"But I want you to know I would wait another 31 years to have sex if it was what proved to you that I would sacrifice everything for you to feel loved and secure, and that is why I would be the greatest lover for you."
Mike brought Katie to tears, and she noted his presentation was "so beautiful."
"Mike acknowledged that he knows exactly who I am. I'm going to get emotional just talking about it! For him to choose to be here for me, knowing who I am and how I am, that's probably what hit me the most," Katie cried to the cameras.
Mike therefore won the trophy and was declared "the greatest lover of all time."
Mike said no one probably expected "the virgin" to come out on top of a sex-positive activity, but he said that's proof intimacy comes in so many different forms.
At the afterparty, Connor B. re-did his first kiss with Katie -- which he was concerned had been rushed and "flubbed" -- and Karl shared with Katie how his last relationship ended two years prior but he was totally focused on his new relationship with her.
But Katie's fun and lighthearted mood seemed to shift and change once she sat down with Thomas, whom she said she had been thinking about a lot and didn't know why.
Thomas complimented the way Katie carries herself and how her strength shines naturally.
Thomas said their relationship was going to take a lot of work and energy but a person knows when he or she feels something.
Katie admitted she felt a connection with Thomas that she couldn't explain, and Thomas agreed their time together was "spectacular" and he could feel "a tunnel-vision connection" between the two of them.
"It's something special and you can't fully explain it. It's magic, and I'm just grateful to be going through this with you," Thomas said.
"I am so glad you're here!" Katie gushed.
Thomas and Katie had a steamy makeout session, with Katie sitting on the bachelor's lap. Thomas said all of the happiness and confidence he felt was out of a storybook and he and Katie definitely had undeniable chemistry.
Katie then decided to give the group-date rose to Thomas, and Karl admitted he was "pissed" because another opportunity may not present itself in the near future.
The next day, Katie rolled up to greet her bachelors in a red pickup truck, and Greg embarked on his one-on-one date with the Bachelorette.
The guys appeared shocked and jealous Greg had received Katie's First Impression Rose as well as the first one-on-one date of Season 17.
For their date, Katie and Greg -- who said he felt "a lot of potential" with Katie -- drove up to a river where they were going to fish and enjoy a quiet, intimate date. Greg seemed excited because he apparently grew up fishing, and he gushed about his immediate connection with Katie.
Katie taught Greg how to pitch a tent, and although Greg's "wilderness skills" weren't stellar, the pair had fun and laughed together. Katie even showed Greg how to turn a bucket into a toilet.
Katie shared how she had lost her father in 2012 and his memory reminds her every day how short life is.
Katie told Greg that she chose him for the date because she could envision him going far into the process. Since she used to fish with her father, Katie got a little choked up and emotional when thinking about her past and doing an activity from her childhood with someone special.
Meanwhile, a Date Card arrived for Cody; Andrew S.; John Hersey, a 27-year-old bartender from Pacific Beach, CA; Kyle Howard, a 26-year-old technical recruiter from Fort Lauderdale, FL; and Josh Tylerbest, a 25-year-old IT consultant from Miami, FL.
Aaron, a 26-year-old insurance agent from San Diego, CA; Brendan Scanzano, a 26-year-old firefighter trainee from Toronto, Ontario, Canada; and Hunter Montgomery, a 34-year-old software strategist from Houston, TX, also learned they'd be accompanying Katie on the second group date of the season.
The guys were told they'd be getting "down and dirty," and Michael Allio, a 36-year-old business owner from Akron, OH, told the cameras he was upset to have missed out on a date this week.
Michael said he liked Katie a lot and could see her relationships advancing with other men, which hurt and bothered him.
"Being away from my son, it's eating me alive," Michael confessed.
That evening, Katie discussed with Greg how her father's death was still painful for her and she had struggled to open up that day. Greg insisted that he wanted to be Katie's rock and hear all about her story.
"I actually lost my dad too, about two years ago actually. One day we're at a Knicks game and the next day I'm getting a call that he has Stage IV cancer and that he has a month to live," Greg shared, adding that his best memory with his father was being woken up to go fishing at 6AM.
Greg said it hurt to know his father would never see or meet the woman he's going to marry, and he broke down into tears during the conversation at dinner.
Greg promised Katie that he was on the show for her and had taken time away from his mother to find love. Katie said the fact she could fish without crying was "such a gift" Greg had given her, and she thanked him for that experience.
Katie said she could tell that Greg has a good heart and wears his emotions on his sleeve, and with that being said, she moved their date to the back of the pickup truck, where a blanket was waiting for them.
Katie called him "really sweet" and dubbed their date "perfect," and so Katie capped off the night by giving Greg a rose and watching a fireworks display with her bachelor.
The couple kissed the night away, and the guys -- watching from their hotel -- could tell they were "in trouble."
"She's just incredible. I feel like we have that type of connection. That was definitely one of the best days I've had in a long, long time," Greg gushed.
Katie told the cameras, "Greg was amazing. Am I falling for him? I mean, it feels like it."
The men woke up and walked outside in their underwear, and Kaitlyn and Tayshia explained how they were going to wrestle in the mud in a competition called "Katie's Big Bucket Brawl." The winner would receive a belt with a buckle on it that read "Katie's Golden Cowboy."
Katie's bachelors changed into cowboy attire, and Katie said she wanted to see the men have fun, roll with the punches and get pretty dirty.
Brendan won Round 1 against Hunter, Andrew S. defeated Kyle, Josh and John's match was declared a draw, and then Cody and Aaron were asked to face off against each other.
Aaron said he and Cody knew each other from home in San Diego and he didn't like him. Aaron alleged Cody wasn't on the show for the right reasons, and Katie could immediately sense tension between the two guys because they avoided eye contact.
Katie noted that Aaron and Cody's matchup felt "personal" and she'd have to get to the bottom of the drama or beef between them later on. In the end, Aaron won the match.
"Katie's Golden Cowboy" belt also went to Aaron, and Cody hoped Aaron wasn't going to talk trash about him during his time with Katie.
When Katie and Aaron got some alone time together, Aaron said he and Cody were not cool and not friends, and Aaron recalled how a few social-media posts had rubbed him the wrong way.
Aaron suggested that Cody wasn't on the show for Katie and he handled things in a "malicious" manner in life. Aaron said he didn't want an "unkind" guy like Cody around him, and while he wouldn't flat out call Cody "a piece of sh-t," he totally suggested Cody is just that.
That evening at the afterparty, Katie immediately asked to speak with Cody, and Aaron assumed Cody wasn't going to be honest with his intentions. Aaron said he just hoped the situation wouldn't ruin Katie's night.
Cody insisted Aaron had told Katie a bunch of lies and that he was not on The Bachelorette for fame. Cody said he and Aaron knew each other back in San Diego but were never really friends.
Katie believed one of the two guys was lying straight to her face, and Cody said Aaron might have been exaggerating certain situations, although he didn't even know what Aaron had been referring to.
Cody said he was furious and doing everything in his power not to yell and lash out at Aaron.
Katie explained in a confessional that Cody didn't seem surprised or offended after hearing what Aaron had to say about him and so his lack of expression and concern was "a red flag" for the Bachelorette.
Katie said if a woman had thrown her under the bus like that, she'd be devastated and a guy would be able to see that written all over her face.
Cody asked to speak to Aaron after his chat with Katie, and Cody seemed upset about Aaron bringing up his name. As Katie cried about some of her bachelors potentially being on the show for the wrong reasons, Cody accused Aaron of giving Katie a "tainted" view of him.
Katie then pulled Cody aside and admitted how she didn't feel like they had established trust.
"There is no point to drag this on any longer. Unfortunately, I think it's best for you to go home tonight," Katie said.
Katie said her gut was telling her that Cody wasn't going to be her husband, and she just hoped the other men truly wanted to find love with her and would want to leave the show engaged.
Once Cody left, Andrew S. approached Katie and said he wanted to be her comfort and put her mind at ease. Andrew S. said he was definitely on the show for Katie and he planned to be there for her.
Katie explained how she was always going to be honest and direct, and Andrew S. said that's the type of woman he's looking for because he was raised by a strong mother. The couple bonded over shopping at thrift stores and receiving free lunches at school.
Katie recalled growing up very poor and sharing one bedroom with her three family members. Andrew S. told Katie that she's "exceptional" and her dad would be very proud of her.
Kyle then told Katie that he wants a passionate wife, and she took the time to get to know most of the men at the afterparty, including Josh, who revealed how he had been borderline-obese and lost a great amount of weight.
Hunter wrote the Bachelorette a sweet letter and made her feel special, and she said she could see a future with many of the bachelors.
At the end of the night, Katie gave the group-date rose to Andrew S., who acknowledged the Bachelorette had swept him off his feet. Andrew S. gushed about having real feelings for Katie this early on.
Hunter admitted his heart was crushed and it sucked to see her give the rose to someone else.
At the second cocktail party of the season, Katie caught up with Michael and the pair kissed, and Karl began questioning whether any other men were on the show for the wrong reasons. Karl wasn't convinced Cody was the only person, allegedly.
Katie shared with Thomas how she could envision a life with him outside of the show and their connection felt natural and right. Katie was so happy this evening and told the cameras she was "floating" through the process.
Karl then sat down with Katie and insisted some of the remaining men didn't have the best of intentions, but he wouldn't give her specific information about whom or what he was referring to -- even when Katie pushed, and essentially begged, for names and details.
Karl promised Katie that he was genuinely competing for her heart and cared for her, but Katie didn't know what to think or whom to believe.
Katie suddenly felt overwhelmed with concerns and doubts, and she hated not having any names of people because she couldn't address the allegations.
Katie wondered if Karl or someone else was tricking her, and so she decided to address the group as a whole.
"I'm sorry, I'm shaking right now. I made my intentions very clear about why I'm here, and tonight, a bomb was dropped on me about multiple people still here for the wrong f-cking reason... If you are not here for me, if you are not here for an engagement, then get the f-ck out!" Katie cried.
"I don't know who is here for the wrong reasons, but from what I was told, there are multiple people I should be looking out for. For some of you, this might be a platform, but I am not here to waste my time."
Given the guys were so confused, Karl confessed to the group that he didn't believe 100 percent of Katie's bachelors were being authentic and honest about their intentions.
Karl said he had heard "some stuff circulating around" and he'd confront people individually. Karl told the guys that he wanted to give them the chance to step up and "fess up," which raised Tre's eyebrows.
Karl admitted he didn't know "specifics," and Aaron complained that was "the dumbest thing he could've possibly done" because Katie was in a room crying by herself and his speculation caused damage.
"I'm so angry. I can't even tell you. He spat in all of our faces; he has disrespected every single person here even more than I ever could have imagined. It is absolutely ridiculous," Aaron complained.
Tre also said he couldn't believe Karl had used his time with Katie to "manipulate" her.
"What a weak, spineless man you are!" Tre complained of Karl in a confessional. "You f-cked it up for me; you f-cked it up for a bunch of guys, and you f-cked it up for her!"
The episode then ended on a cliffhanger, with the guys flipping out and Katie crying.