Reality TV

The Golden Bachelor Left Fans Wondering What Happened To Marina

Plus, viewers react to Episode 2’s most heartwarming moments.

Gerry Turner at 'The Golden Bachelor' rose ceremony in Episode 2.
ABC/John Fleenor

Everyone is watching The Golden Bachelor. Between broadcast and streaming, the Sept. 28 premiere of Gerry Turner’s season earned the most viewers over a three-day period of any Bachelor Nation program since 2020. And fans were curious to see how Gerry’s quest would unfold beyond that chaotic first night.

In Episode 2, which aired on Oct. 5, he went on his first one-on-one date and had moving conversations about love and loss with several contestants. Gerry also continued to narrow down his pool of potential partners. (The debut season of The Golden Bachelor is only scheduled for eight episodes, so things are moving quickly!)

Here’s a recap of the best fan reactions to The Golden Bachelor Episode 2, from Gerry’s first date to a missing contestant.

Gerry And Theresa Begin Their Journey With Some Journey

After the women moved into Bachelor Mansion, host Jesse Palmer delivered the first one-on-one date card to securities professional Theresa Nist, but things got off to a shaky start.

On their way to dinner, Gerry and Theresa had trouble with their car’s headlights, making an unfamiliar drive down a Southern California highway much more nerve-racking. But Gerry was heartened by Theresa’s show of support: “Your hand on my shoulder meant a ton,” he told his date.

Once they arrived at their destination, an old-fashioned diner, the pair connected over similar stories of loss. Theresa, like Gerry, had been married to her high school sweetheart for decades before he passed away from an illness.

“We have both been to hell and back,” Gerry said. “We have the loss that we’ve overcome. We’re still alive and kicking. And there’s hope. We have hope — not just hope to get to the next day, but there’s hope that I have someone that I could enjoy the rest of my life with. That hope is huge. You don’t stop believing.”

That last bit was a perfect segue into a flash mob of Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believin,’” performed by the diner workers. Naturally, Gerry and Theresa joined in.

Fans on X, formerly Twitter, felt the infectious joy through their screens, with one writing, “THIS FLASH MOB IS SO WHOLESOME ARE YOU KIDDING ME.” Another commended the surprise, preferring it over “an awkward private concert ANY DAY.”

A Romantic Photo Shoot Brought The Tears

Later, during a group photo shoot inspired by romance novel covers, retired interior designer Nancy Hulkower broke down in tears when she donned a wedding dress for the first time since marrying her late husband, Mark.

She opened up to Gerry about how she was feeling, and he shared that he’s also been surprised by memories that trigger grief. (The smell of cinnamon from a bakery reminded him of his wife’s annual Christmas dessert.)

“Even though I was sad earlier, I still felt hopeful,” Nancy said. “So, there’s joy in remembering. But then, I still have hope moving forward. And I think that’s really important.”

The conversation led Gerry to give Nancy the group date rose, and her fellow contestants celebrated her win — which viewers noted rarely happens on other Bachelor shows.

Gerry Eliminated A Scene-Stealing Contestant

During the dreaded rose ceremony, Gerry sent home three women: Natascha Hardee, Peggy Dercole, and Jeanie Howard. Gerry cried once he’d given out all his roses, and even told pro-aging coach Natascha “I love you” during a goodbye hug. The moment was especially heartbreaking because earlier in the episode, Gerry told Natascha that her hugs reminded him of his late wife.

As Jesse Palmer warned Entertainment Weekly, the ceremonies “will only get tougher and more emotional for Gerry” from here on out. Great!

Natascha ultimately ended her time on the show on a happier note, delighting fans with her advice during a post-credit scene. “Guys, do the rose ceremony in chairs,” she said. “You have people in here 60, 70, and above. Do the rose ceremony in the chairs. They have chair yoga, they have chair exercise, they have chair aerobics. Chair rose ceremony.”

Wait, Where Is Marina?!

One contestant was conspicuously missing from the episode, leading fans to wonder on X: Where is Marina?

Craig Sjodin/Disney General Entertainment Content/Getty Images

Marina wasn’t sent home during a rose ceremony, but rather chose to leave of her own accord. The Los Angeles-based educator had to return home unexpectedly due to a family situation.

In a video clip shared on the show’s Instagram page, she says to Gerry over FaceTime, “You know, I’m a single mom, and I had to choose my family.” Gerry says he fully understands, noting that “commitment to family overrides just about everything else.”

Marina expanded on her decision in an Instagram post: “Leaving the show was difficult, choosing family was not!”