Week 8: Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner!

Greetings, bee-bees!

Welcome to the homestretch, with four girls left and at most two episodes left. Hopefully, you survived Week 7 without a recap. All you need to know is that Emily, occupation:”Twin,” was politely sent home after meeting Momma and Papa Higgins who were none too impressed by her youthful attitude. It was the end of the road too for boring ass Becca was sent, whose maiden vagina remained the most interesting thing about her even seven episodes in. This brings us to Week Eight  and my second-to-favorite leg of this never-ending magical journey after Fantasy Suite week: The Hometowns. This time around, Ben H. will be meeting the families of Amanda, Lauren, Caila, and JoJo.


We start near the ocean in Laguna Beach, which is the only possible someone who looks like Amanda can legally come from, I think. Someone drops off Amanda’s two little girls who are so freaking adorable my uterus could die. Ben is super patient and seems to genuinely enjoy playing with them, as Amanda’s eyes light up with admiration and hope. Thankfully, playtime wears them out and it’s back to birth control time as we witness the flip side of parenting: weepy children crying in the backseat all the way home. Amanda is in her element though and puts her toddler right to sleep much faster than tthe previous episode’s preview montage suggests (we see you, Chris Harrison, you shady shady bat!)

lemme tell you, i LIVE for those silver sandals! #werk

Amanda’s family is super welcoming and asks all the question one might expect of a gentleman entering the life of a young mother, and express so worry that he may not be ready for all this baby jelly. Ben doesn’t give too much away but says he’s open to the whole thing. The rest of the day goes smoothly and Amanda bids him farewell, feeling pretty top-notch about her chances of falling in love and snagging a baby stepdaddy.

Next in line to welcome Ben home is Lauren B., the flight attendant from Portland, Oregon. So far, Ben’s done pretty well with choosing Ladies from hometowns that aren’t a drag to visit (and I says this having grown up in Reno, Nevada so–). Lauren takes him to downtown and shows him one of the city’s “Keep Portland Weird” signs, which for some reason Ben finds hilarious. Oh my gash, someone please blow Ben’s mind and tell him that there’s like an entire show about it! Just kidding. We all know Ben has not befriended enough hipsters to get the jokes. Lauren takes Ben to some food trucks and later to a whiskey library that looks like a perfect place to make out.

spoiler alert: it is.

Lauren’s family is just as you would expect: wholesome, welcoming, worried, white. Mom encourages Lauren to go ahead and fall in love while Dad and Sister are a little more skeptical about the speed at which Lauren is catching feelings. But! By the end of the night, all seem taken in our Bachelor’s light and Ben saunters away, his mission of earning the family approval once more accomplished.

Though one can always pray for a life never requiring one to fly into Ohio, sometimes life hands you lemons, and when it does you may have to meet some Lady in Hudson, Ohio. Such was the case for Ben H. this week as he readied himself to meet Caila’s family. The date began with Caila and Ben designing their dream dollhouse and then going into her daddy’s toy factory (EVERYTHING ABOUT CAILA MAKES SO MUCH MORE SENSE NOW) to actually build one. Ben is super stoked by the original date and says something expected about seeing himself build a house to inhabit with the woman he once described as a sex panther.

Then, it’s off to meet the family: Caila’s dad who looks like he could be running a  Presbyterian church on the side, Caila’s mom, and her little brother. Caila’s mom makes a delicious-looking Pinoy feast while her dad makes an interesting comment about how different it is to be married into a Filipino family. It sounds like he enjoys it but it’s hard to tell without further elaboration. Honestly, Ben looks like he could use a little diversity in his life so it’s probably  great thing that Caila has a mixed background. Although her dad warns her about going too fast — a theme this week but also, honestly, with every single hometown date ever —  the parents are pretty into Ben. Caila tries to muster the courage to tell Ben she’s falling in love with him but in the end, flounders. Let she who has not chickened out of being vulnerable and saying I Luh You first, cast the first stone!

Last but not least, Ben meets up with Jojo in Dallas, that bastion of cultural … just kidding. Dallas is the worst, but here we are anyhow. Jojo returns to her condo to find a bouquet of red roses awaiting her at the door, along with the thick envelope. She sits on her sofa and opens up the letter, giddy with excitement and awe at the sweet gesture. A few paragraphs in, however, Jojo comes to the awkward realization that the letter is actually from her cheating ex. The cameras continue rolling mercilessly as Jojo tries to sort out her feelings before Ben arrives. She calls the ex on loudspeaker and (we think, because the cameras sort of cut off here) tells him that there’s no chance in Texan Hell she’ll get back together with him.  Ben knocks on the door and finds her a bit  more frazzled and less happy-go-lucky the would have ben his preference. Jojo tells him about what just happened and reassures him that they are still good. Hard to tell how much of it Ben buys but he’s here now, so the date should probz go on.

They arrive at Jojo’s home where they are greeted by her parents, her two brothers — one of which is really sucking hot, lez be real here — and her sister, whom you will not see mentioned after this sentence because we never see her again. Jojo’s dad looks really sweet, kind of like a train conductor in a children’s book, although he is actually a poop doctor. Her mom encourages her to go for it and not hold back.  On the other hand, Jojo’s super-protective brothers  aren’t so sold on Ben’s sweet-chile act. Ben the Hottest One and Matt the Second Hottest One feel like Ben doesn’t seem as invested in Jojo as she is in him. And after pressing Ben to elaborate on his feelings and the fact that he could love her after only two one-on-one dates, the brothers conclude that Ben is giving them canned answers.

prognosis on getting a bro-se from these guys: not great.

This may, for realsies, be the most uncomfortable hometown on The Bachelor to date. As for Ben, the more openly suspicious the brothers appear, the more closed off and tongue-tied he becomes, which only exacerbates the lack of chemistry between them. Jojo picks up on her brothers’ coolness to Ben and just prays at this point that they haven’t ruined her chances at Fantasy Suite week. Ben leaves on this note, tail between his legs on so many levels, to mull over the upcoming rose ceremony.

Ben meets the court Ladies back at Bachelor Mansion with three roses on the table next to him. Everyone is appropriately overdressed for the occasion, except for Caila who looks like she picked up the first dress she found on the sales rack at Urban Outfitters. For this reason alone, we should lobby Ben to send her home. Alas, Caila survives yet another day in the Mansion along with Lauren B. and, by some miracle, Jojo. Indeed, the glimpse into Amanda’s life may have proved a tad too real for Ben H. Amanda exits gracefully but does make the point to ask why the fuck Ben would bring her back to LA to dump when he could have just told her in Laguna Beach instead of taking her away from her kids one last fucking time (okayyy the latter part, she omits, but the subtext is clear as day).

ugh boyz are dum

High five, gurl. But also low five, because you’re sad and alone and wondering if you’ll ever be able to find a man who can complete your family 😦

And just so, we end up right back where we started, in LA, though not for long as The Bachelor promises Jamaica for Fantasy Suites week. ‘Til then, stay warm!

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Week 6: When 2 Become 1

Greetings, bee-bees!

FIRST OF ALL, I would like to sincerely apologize for bringing this update to you so late in the  week. Unfortunately, real life responsibilities got in the way  and made it difficult for me to work on this recap until the early morning hours to have this gossip ready for our Wednesday rendez-vous. I hope this won’t happen much more often in the few weeks we have left together. So let’s get to it, shall we?


 

False Start

We start right where we left off, in the middle of a tense rose ceremony after Ben pulls Olivia aside for a talk. This, as you’ll recall, is immediately after an intense evening in which the Ladies spend a significant amount of time warning Ben that Olivia is not here for the Right Reasons. Ben’s decision to pull Olivia aside makes us wonder if this will be the first time that the Bachelor sends a Lady home after having already given her a rose. Emily is especially nervous because she led the Olivia Call-Out bandwagon, and fears her courage may now backfire. As Ben returns to the ceremony with Olivia’s smug face in arm, this feels like an eminent possibility. But! Emily survives yet another round and ultimately, it is Jennifer who gets the axe. “He doesn’t know who I am, and that’s what sucks the most,” says Jennifer, in what turns out to be the most words the producers let her have this entire season.

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After dumping Jennifer back in LA, our skeleton crew — Jojo, FuckingBecca, Emily “Twin,” EvilOlivia, Amanda, Caila, Lauren B., Lauren “Yawn” H., and Leah — ships off to the Bahamas for a much needed vacation from this vacation. Once the Ladies are settled in on paradise island our Saint Bearer of Perpetually Bad News, Chris Harrison, makes an appearance to announce that this week will consist of one single date, one group date, and the dreaded two-on-one date.

Groundhog Date

Most of the Ladies have had a one-on-one date  with Ben,which is really the only way to enjoy Ben uninterrupted. Missing from this list, however, is Emily, Leah, and Olivia. It is thus a surprise for everyone to hear that the name on the first Bahamas date card is Caila’s, who was already the first to ever go on a one-on-one date with Ben …  albeit along with Kevin Hart and Ice Cube.

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we dedicate this flip to leah

Leah in particular is CRUSHED by the news. “What am I doing here? There’s no reason I should be here,” she wonders aloud as though reading our thoughts. And to add insult to injury, Leah must bear Ben’s presence next to her on the sofa when he gleefully shows up to the Ladies’ suite to pick up Caila.

 

While Leah is crying at home, Ben is having a grand ol’ time fishing with Caila and being super handsy and grabby on their little boat. The chemistry is strong in these ones. After swimming and playing all day, Ben wants to get to “know all the layers that make up who she is,” and spends most of dinner coaxing Caila to open up and “be vulnerable.” Caila semi chides him for expecting her to be able to do that on the drop of a dime, like a Barbie robot of sorts (paraphrasing mine) when she’s not in fact ready to cry on his shoulder. But then, things get weird as Caila keeps talking. She feels like she loves him but that she can’t open up and that maybe she won’t be able to fall in love completely and that her greatest fear is breaking Ben’s heart and that maybe she’s not ready and that it feels like she’s going to hurt him but that she is ready to find someone and to find love. It’s a lot of words. And if they mostly made little sense to you, rest assured that you are not alone. The moment feels like Caila is reading for a role on Grey’s Anatomy ,and we do not mean that as a compliment.

But Ben, who is contractually obligated to follow his heart at all times, shoves all of the Red Flags out of the way. Carla’s confusion, he decides, passes his authenticity test. And more than that, it is attractive in a challenging/possibly-setting-yourself-up-for-failure type of way. When he hands her a rose, Caila is just as surprised as we are. But Ben feels happy that there is some complexity below Caila’s exhaustingly sunny persona, and marks this date as the beginning of a real relationship. In conclusion: men are strange.

Hog Date, Run to the Ground

The card for the group date makes clear that the two-on-one date is reserved for Emily versus Olivia. Sounds like an unfair match in light of Olivia’s rose supremacy … but more on that the later. The rest of the Ladies, excluding Caila, join Ben on a boat and sail to an undisclosed location. They come upon a small desert island as the Ladies wonder what awaits them. “There’s a pig in the water!” screams one of them, pointing at the buoyant animals circling the boat. That’s right: little, and large, and medium, pink and black, adorable hairy pigs paddling through the clear Caribbean waters.

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fuckingbecca, lauren b., ben, leah, jojo

The air brims with excitement as some Ladies squeal in fear of the pigs aggressively pursuing the hot dog snacks brought along for the feeding, while others cradle the smaller beasts like the babies  with which they wish Ben would impregnate them. It’s all fun and games until the Ladies witness an impromptu moment of intimacy between Ben and Lauren B. as they hold hands and kiss. Instantly, the mood of the date turns somber and the Ladies icier. Oddly, Ben seeks validation from Jojo who basically tells him know that it’s really fucking hard out here for a G. dating the same man as a bunch of other Gs.

 

dr-whoMaking things even more awkward, Leah decides to confront Ben for not giving her the time of day and essentially  making her feel like a “group date groupie.” Ben asks her to Please just make the most out of the day, without even making an effort to affirm that he’s still interested in her. Overall, the answer is as satisfying as being patted on the knee after telling a man “I love you” for the first time. Not great, Ben. #TeamLeah.

In the evening, Ben is still feeling self-conscious from his herd turning on him earlier. Thankfully, there is not a shortage of Ladies willing to make him feel better about himself for making them uncomfortable earlier. But one of these Ladies is not like the other. Leah, being the only one on the group date to not have spent a whole day alone with Ben, has officially launched mission Stay Or Die Tryin’. When Leah pulls Ben aside, we find ourselves rooting for her, hoping she’ll be assertive about demanding time with him but also that she will feel the spark she believes led them both to leave Denver only to meet in this ridiculous context.Much to our chagrin, however, Leah opts instead for the poison pill. The woman with whom Ben has the strongest connection (“Lauren B.,” Leah says explicitly) is not who she claims to be. Specifically, Leah implies that Lauren B. is different in the house than in front of Ben.

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leah, by the end of the week

As the former finishes planting her seeds of doubt, Lauren B. interrupts to have a chat with Ben, having no idea what just happened. Poor thing is completely blindsided when Ben mentions what was brought to his attention, and remains shaken for the rest of the night as she realizes that this coup may very well jeopardize her relationship. Meanwhile, Leah straight up Lies that she hasn’t said anything to Ben. Literally, Leah sits down all casual and asks, “What happened?” when she sees the Ladies consoling Lauren B. Later, Leah even adds, “I would never be the type of person to single somebody out like yo, Lauren B. or whatever.”

 

After all this drama, Ben gives the group rose to Amanda and goes hoe to rest, in preparation of a stressful two-on-one date the next day. Back at the house, Lauren B., Amanda, and Emily cross examine Leah’s vague-ass responses on the group date from the comfort of a shared bed. Together, they come to the conclusion that Leah was indeed a lying liar who threw Lauren B. under the bus out of her jealousy and insecurity. Little do they know that at that very moment, Leah is transitioning to phase two of her grand master plan: ex parte communications with Ben.

Leah sneaks out of the house and knocks on Ben’s door. Now seems like a good time to use that time to seduce Ben and make sure to build enough of a romantic connection to survive one more week. As Leah unveils the dets of her master plan, to “make sure that he believes and believes that she’s not right for him,” it becomes apparent that our Coloradan is not the sharpest tool in the shed. Why would Ben be excited to have one ore negative, potentially upsetting, conversation after an already confrontational group date, you ask? “Don’t know, don’t care!” responds Leah’s misguided little inside voice.

Ben opens his door, offers Leah some wine, and seems eager to hear whatever she has to say. Too bad that mostly consists of doubling down on talking shit about Lauren B. in the hopes of convincing Ben to send her home.

tumblr_magk2fkzyc1qiw26mFortunately, this tragically backfires as Ben concludes that someone who would go out of their way to see him alone only to talk about someone else probz isn’t a good fit for him. And just like that, Ben sends her on her merry way, back to Denver, middle of the night. Somehow, this outcome is shocking to our Leah who in the end still feels like Ben missed out on getting to know her. It’s almost as though she feels no remorse for taking an arguably unethical approach to winning Ben’s heart, and also has forgotten that her entire scheme was captured on a camera roll somewhere. Don’t let the door hit you on the way out, bee-bee. #NotTeamLeah.

2 Become 1

“Two women, one rose. One stays, one goes.” Finallyyyyyy, it’s time for the two on one! Battle of the Titanettes: Venus v. Serena; Tanya Harding v. Nancy Kerrigan; Olivia v. Emily. After getting the first impression rose and too many group roses to count after that, Olivia is rightfully going in very confident. How do we know? Well, she tells us matter-of-factly, “Ben and I’s love is that all consuming, ever-present, constantly growing kind of love, and I don’t need to prove anything to Ben.”

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Emily on the other hand started the season being more reserved while Twin was still on board.  An, in addition to having received significantly less validation than Olivia, Emily feels the pressure of being the one to rid the house of the only other person worse than Leah.

As Ben pulls Olivia aside first, Emily predicts that Olivia is being her typical self: braggy, self-absorbed, inauthentic. It seems like she’s onto something as Olivia spends twenty minutes talking about herself before sort of abruptly telling Ben that she’s in love with him. Ben  smiles and tells her that he’s thankful that she still told him all this in spite of the tensions of the previous weeks, but leaves it at that. Olivia leaves the conversation on cloud 9, convinced that Ben wants someone serious and that she is coming home with the rose that night.

A few minutes later, Ben pulls Emily aside. Her focus is on letting him know that she’s still in it and that she wants Ben in her life to experience new things with her, blah blah blah. There’s a cutesy moment where Ben fixes her hair and tells her that he’s very excited to get to know her too, and see the side her mom described to him back on Dump HaleyTwin Day. After that conversation, Ben then grabs the rose and asks Olivia to accompany him on a walk. Emily stays behind to ponder her bleak fate and wrestle the worst of the Love Feels alone on the beach: disappointment, heartbreak, anger, confusion, All The Things.

But, twist! Ben tells Olivia he can’t reciprocate the feelings of love she admitted to and that he cannot give her this rose. It’s a magical moment as Ben walks away from Olivia, and Emily realizes that he is coming back with the rose and that it is Fucking Hers.

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The camera zooms out to let us appreciate the view: Olivia watching her claimed future husband board a boat with Emily from the other side of the beach, while she stands on the little island alone and crying as Texan God intended.

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bye bye, American pie face!

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nope, still not sorry for her!

A Tale of Two Laurens

After a harrowing week, Ben cancels the cocktail party, probz because having to reassure a zillion women at once all the time is incredibly stressful and exhausting, especially if you already know which one needs to go home. Ben is pretty pretty prettyyy sure his mind is made up and that the person to send home is a Lauren.

After a dramatic pause, holing the last rose with two Laurens left, Ben hands the good to the B. Lauren and walks the H. Lauren out to the dreaded limo. After a pretty solid date in Mexico the previous week, Lauren H. is understandably taken aback by the send home and feels unclear on what Ben is looking for, she tells us through the tears. In his defense though, Ben probably doesn’t know what Ben is looking for! Anyhow, Lauren H. is super bummed to not be able to make a relationship work ever and we just want to give her a cookie and tell her that in the grand scheme of things, she’s only 25 and should propz just chill and enjoy the beautiful ride of life.

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And thus ends week 6! The rest of the season looks EXCITING as it becomes clear that Ben H. is going to fuck up in a major way by proposing to someone and then taking it back, before calling another woman on the phone. I’m upset to admit that it sounds to me like FuckingBecca and her Virgin Mystique is going to be the one BUT on the other hand, The Bachelor is notorious for its misleading preview montages. So, who knows what the future holds beside Chris Harrison?! NO ONE is whom. All we can do is keep our commitment to watching this thing through its bitter end. Til next week, bee-bees.

 

Week 5: !Bienvenido a Mexico!

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This week, we send our most dysfunctional polyamorous sample across the border to Mexico City. I’ll just be happy if we can get through this whole episode without a culturally insensitive slip of the tongue, but according to last week’s previews there is plenty else to look forward to. Let’s see if Chris Harrison can deliver on the promise of Drama.TM


 

Up Up Up

Even though Olivia’s “gut” tells her that the one-on-one date belongs in her cold little clammy hands, it is with Amanda that Ben would like to “put all his eggs in one basket,” as says the card. The shock this news brings to Olivia is a delight to every viewer on this scorched planet. In Olivia’s view, if Ben is the insurance company then Amanda’s adorable children are the pre-existing conditions: non-starters. And,unfortunately for everyone involved, this setback means Olivia will work harder to Git That Rose this week.

200_sWe soon learn one of Ben’s traits must be gullibility because someone has convinced him that it would be “fun” and “clever” to barge into the Ladies’ common suite at 4:30 in the AM, to see them in their most vulnerable splendor: sans weave, makeup free, con retainer. Or as some like to call it, Fucking Fifth Base DUDE. Thankfully, sunrise Amanda looks like a radiant baby angel as she rolls out of bed effortlessly, leaving some of the other Ladies awake for more hours to spend more hours than usual ruminating the odds that their friend will survive her date (with a rose, not literal death).

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reason #25312749 to never go on reality tv

Ben and Amanda take a hot air balloon ride over Teotihuacan before being dropped into a romantic little meadow where all the birdies and colorful butterflies can surround Amanda like she’s always deserved. This is also her chance to tell Ben her back story, which here involves marrying a very selfish person who partied his way through their short marriage and cheated on her throughout, before she decided to leave  with her two children. Amanda’s baggage is mostly the shame she feels re: divorcing, which is a pretty small baggage in the grand scheme of baggagey things. Ben can get behind that. Plus, it’s refreshing that Amanda has lived through hard times, heartbreak, and marriage: a combo that will do wonders for a person’s maturity and toughness. Okay he doesn’t say that exactly but, like, it’s in his eyes. If anything is clear, it is that Amanda could be a darn good fit for someone with a great sense of loyalty and some Savior Syndrome tendencies like, maybe, I dunno, definitely Ben. One rose for the Lady!

The Way to a Man’s Corazon

Our streak of luck continues as Olivia’s gut proves less accurate than an MSNBC straw poll. The next one-on-one is reserved for Lauren H. Until then, consolation group date! Ben invites Jojo, Jubilee, Leah, Jennifer, Lauren B., Emily, Caila, Becca, and (HAHA) Olivia, to come take an Español as a Second Language class. Jubilee struggles to get her jelly feel under control in the midst of nine other Ladies, while Olivia revels in the opportunities the group date presents to publicly perform Forced Emotional Intimacy at Ben in front of her competition.

Hypercool brother-sister-chef duo Nico and Lula (like, seriously, how are their names even cooler than everything?!) welcome the Ladies at a lively open air market. There, Nico and Lula explain that the Ladies will have to put their dual language skills into practice by shopping for several ingredients in Spanish in order to put together the delicious recipes the chefs will hand them.

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olivia, ben, becca’s hair-why(?), jojo, emily, jubilee, lauren b., jennifer

But there’s a twist! They must work in pairs. As it becomes clear that Ben is walking either toward Lauren B. or Jubilee, Olivia brands him as her partner like he is cattle from her home state of Texas. Our conciliatory boyfriend and associate girlfriends reluctantly give in to avoid prolonging the ensuing awkwardness. Props to Olivia, it’s an incredibly shrewd way to turn this already fun activity into a mini one-on-one date, while fucking with the other Ladies’ heads. All it takes is for Olivia to feed Ben some crickets or to throw her head back in delighted laughter at the right moment, within sight of the other Ladies, for the damage to be done.

If the other ladies seem more adept than Jubilee at hiding just how shitty watching Olivia makes them feel (extra credit to Jojo), it’s because they are. As we long ago unilaterally decided, Jube is way too real for this shit reality. Unfortunately, her inability to summon smiles and giggles fast enough does not go unnoticed by Ben. But more on that later – dundundundun. At the lunch table, chefs Nico and Lula judge each team’s each dish. By then, everyone has loosened up and enjoys the present moment. Mindfulness:1 ; TheBachelor franchise: 0.

The bragging rights for best execution goes to Lauren B. and Jubilee, which cheers the latter right up! Good, we says to ourselves, just in time for the evening portion of the date. Not surprisingly though, it opens with Olivia doing That Thing she does where Ben has barely finished his welcoming speech before she drags him away for her hourly dose of validation.

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Although ordinarily we doubt this would shake much in the dynamics of the evening, this was the night Jubilee intended to grab Ben first. After her missed opportunity, Jube’s mood faces a death spiral. Unaware Ben, meanwhile, comes and goes from the cocktail party, grabbing a different Lady from Jubilee several times over and not thinking much of it. He’s out with Lauren the longest, as he takes her into the street for a short romantic stroll where the two kiss passionately several times. By this time, Jube has gone from stewing and hurting to bad-decisions-Pissed-Off. When Ben comes to grab her from some alone time at last, Jubilee refuses to hold his hand, in front of the whole school of Ladies.
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All … downhill … from here. Jubilee opens with her feels, which are insecure and dark tonight (like, maybe, other nights also). For normal human beings, it is okay to have many “off” nights with one’s boyfriend. In the Bachelor, we think that high count may be at two. Three if your name is Olivia. The questions Ben asks Jube at this point sound more like an exit interview prequel than Caring, but this detail sees to escape Jubilee as she continues to unload. When she asks him if he still sees a future for them, he says he’s just not that confident. Ben even looks a twee angry when he asks her how he’s supposed to feel when she refuses his hand in front of a group. Oh. Noowwww Jubilee realizes that she done effed it up. With the balance of power having this quickly shifted, Jubilee begs him to not give up on her, to give them another chance, to pretend she’s pulling back.

Jubilee tells him that she wants him to still see something in them to which our boyfriend answers: “As hard as it is … and as incredible as it’s been …” And just so, the writing’s on the wall. It’s goodbye to Jubilee, right here in the garden, on the goddamn group date. Like many before her, our last remaining melanin-blessed Lady must sail into the night, along with our dashed hopes of a Black Bachelorette next season. But not before leaving us with the most haunting words as she cries into her newly single hands, “I’m like the most unlovable person in the world right now.”

the-bachelor_video_2735400_362x204_1454373290597This is pretty sober and it sure feels like the episode should end right here, with us processing the fact that this cut-throat path to finding Love is just not right for the Laces and Jubilees of this world (you go take care of your souls, bee-bees! find yourselves some nice partners who can devote the many hours your needs and neuroses deserve).

But this is The Bachelor and the show must go on, starting with Jojo strangely congratulating (?) Ben for breaking up with people “so well.” This touches easily-touched Ben, who then gratefully grants her the last kiss of the group date. When Ben sits back down, it’s time for business. After scooping the group rose off the table, Ben tells us, “I’m going this rose to somebody that I reconnected with; somebody that, I think, had struggled for a while.”

Is it going to Emily whom he is separated from his twin, in front of their mom, the week before? Is it going to Lauren B., with whom he clearly felt a real sense a intimacy just an hour earlier? Is it Jojo, who just worked so hard there is still a trace of brown up her nose? NOPE. NOPENOPENOPE. It’s fucking Olivia, because guess what: there is no God, there is no justice, only “mission accomplished” banners waived by Texas’ worst. And so, the group date ends. Should have named this episode recap: The Blindside.

Lauren à La Mode

Lauren H. (that’s the goofy one) (also the one who thought Jubilee wouldn’t jive with the “soccer mom crowd”) is going on her first one-on-one date with Ben! After rehearsing for a few minutes surrounded by pro models, Ben and Lauren are put into make up, gorgeous clothes, and sent to stalk down the Mexico City fashion week runway with Very Serious faces and gorgeous Pineda Covelin clothes. Seriously, Lauren H.’s boring freakout is worth getting through just to get a peek of the stunning designs!

LAUREN H., BEN HIGGINS

While Lauren’s friends back at the  Mexico City Four Seasons seem skeptical that she’ll will be getting a rose, Lauren is holding it down at dinner and actually opening up. Ben was uncertain there was substance to her because girlfriend is so relentlessly happy and giddy. lauren-himle-1His perspective changes when she reveals that her boyfriend of four years dumped her out of the blue, after cheating on her with three different women including one of her friends. To the sound of piano piano, Lauren says that happiness was a choice for her, a way to do hold on to herself, blah blah blah. It’s actually really touching and a great advice for anyone who’s ever been destroyed by love. Makes total sense when Ben hands her that rose, inviting her to continue on his Epic Journey to Find Love.

Rose Cere—

For the first time in the history of this season, Ben is allowed to complete his welcome speech without the interruption of a Desperada trying to secure her place in Ben’s rose-studded heart. While Ben is talking to one Lady or another at this cocktail party, the camera rolls over to a conversation in which Amanda is discussing a weird dream she had that might have been engendered by some anxiety over her ex picking up her children from her mom’s this week. To which Olivia (for a split moment having forgotten said cameras were said rolling) responds with no light behind her eyes: “I feel like it’s an Episode of Teen Mom. Well you know that show … like—”

bachelor-teen-mom-awkward-3fe3cf24-811e-420e-a5d9-ff1a238e2ed8

Not that Amanda should have to explain this to an adult woman, but it is an incredibly offensive thing to say. At once, Olivia remembers that her mic is hot, and that this episode will air. She apologizes, leans in and, through Highly-Suspicious tear microdroplets: “I want you guys to know, like, I’m gonna try harder from here on out.” I don’t speak much Spanish but it sounds a lot like Please Don’t Tell Ben What I Just Said.

This is Emily’s breaking point. Carrying her torch of Keeping It Real, Emily goes to find Ben. When it is time to stand in her truths, however, Emily becomes emotional and teary-eyed and annoying (to me). One wouldn’t think it was this hard to tell the man he has sacrificed enough of his group date roses to the Spawn of Satan once and for all. Yet here we are. In fact, Emily takes so damn long in getting the words out that it is impossible to tell just how much she gets out before Olivia strategically interjects with a fucking ring “gag gift.” Hmm. Savage. Also, we’re just mad we didn’t think of it first.

Ok. I’m gonna skip over the part where Emily calls her twin over the phone while UGLY-CRYING  because: NO. Despite Olivia’s best efforts though, Ben’s curiosity is peaked and the man uses his one-on-one time with the other women to do a little due diligence. Soon, Chris Harrison comes back to call the cocktail night to a end. EXCEPT. Ben throws us in for a loop and asks to talk to Olivia alone before the rose ceremony commences, leaving us with all these questions and so little time to figure it out!

Holy Bat-meme!

EMILY YOU ARE GROWN BE GROWN

Does Ben’s gut function better than Olivia’s? Will a rose given on a group date be revoked before the rose ceremony? Specifically Olivia’s rose? Or will he give her One More Chance?
Whatever the answers, promise the collective Ladies’ tears, prepare to be disappointed to your ore.

And on that bright note, farewell til next week. Same time same place!