As we prepare to witness two fresh hours of hell that compare unfavorably to an IRS audit, Samantha, Jackie, and Mandi are kaput, so it should be a little easier to keep names straight. It also helps to use descriptors such as “skinny blond with extensions and annoying vocal inflections #4.”
Tonight’s episode will be fraught with drama, despair, and the tragic revelation that Jubilee has never tasted caviar. Since she’s a veteran, though, she’s probably had plenty of creamed chipped beef, which is exotic to the rest of us. All of the excitement occurs over the course of two one-on-one dates and a group session, during which the gals play a game of soccer. Ben wants to see how well they can manipulate balls.
Meanwhile, whoever ghostwrites People‘s blog by the current bachelor reports that Ben wants to quell the controversy over Lace that took social media by storm for a full 11 minutes. His conversations with the possum-faced brunette made him realize “what a sweet and sincere woman she seemed to be,” despite her possibly sociopathic behavior when they first met. He’s too young to recall that Ted Bundy used a similar tactic to ingratiate himself to women.
Lauren B. gets the first solo date. They drive off in a convertible. She is so so so so excited, but also scared to “see someone you could see yourself falling for.” She’s read too much Hans Christian Andersen. They arrive at an airfield where a tiny yellow plane awaits them. That scares Lauren B., too, despite the fact that she’s a flight attendant. Maybe it’s because there’s no room on board for the drink cart. The pilot tries some loop-de-loops, but it’s all good because Ben is there to die with her when they a crash into the ocean. They kiss awkwardly around the goggles.
The other girls see the little plane fly by. Emily feels this is the most amazing date ever, better even than when Richard Gere take Julia Roberts out in the red dress, although just as orchestrated by the scriptwriters. Olivia asserts it is of no concern to her because she has her eye on the prize, and unlike for me, it’s not the $5,000 a day you can win if your number is drawn on Wheel of Fortune.
On land, Lauren B. jumps on Ben’s back and makes him carry her, just like it would be if they were married. They come upon a hot tub in the middle of a field. “It’s great being out here without any distractions,” Ben drools as she appears in a white string bikini. Kissing Ben “feels like something we’ve done before,” Lauren B. sighs, although she may have him confused with her last eight boyfriends.
Back at the house, the ladies variously bemoan heartbreak, missed opportunities, and low Q-scores. I bemoan all the damn commercials between these pointless scenes.
Ben is optimmistic about a future with Lauren. What does she like? he questions her somberly, and she asks what he means. They may have to work on communication. “How has a dude not just grabbed you up?” Ben marvels. She thinks it might be because her dad is like the nicest, kindest, like most sensitive person, so she’s like picky.
The date card arrives back at the house. Amanda, Shushanna, Lace, Jami, Emily, Haley, Rachel, Jen, Olivia, Leah, Amber, and Lauren H. are all going. “Love is the goal,” the card tells them, neglecting to note that the Fantasy Suite must come first.
Lauren tells Ben that there is really no place she’d rather be right now. They have talked about life, at least as much as you can in several takes. Ben wants her to really know him aside from in the Biblical sense. He tells her about his dad’s heart issues, which remind him of the depth love goes to. Also to buy life insurance. He offers Lauren the rose and after they kiss noisily, he bops her on the nose and she blinks. It’s more romantic than Roman Holiday.
They go to dance while some dude strums a guitar and a woman I think I am supposed to recognize sings. Eh, I missed this season of The Voice. Everything in this moment is perfect, Lauren swoons, except for ISIL and that a heel broke on one of her favorite Louboutins.
Next day, off the group goes to play soccer and reveal how they look in active wear. Coaching them are two ladies from the U.S. National Team that won the World Cup. They’re the only women ever to appear on the show without false eyelashes.
Olivia fears getting a ball to the nose like Marcia Brady, because then Ben wouldn’t like her anymore and she’d probably have to switch to doing radio news. The remaining girls at home blabber incessantly about falling for Ben and not getting enough time with him. “He falls for the nice girls,” Jubilee notes, explaining that she is so much more complicated than anybody else there. She worries that she is not his type, which is white.
On the field, the teams are formed and the gals get ready to squeal daintily and toss their hair as they move around the field. Haley and Emily are on opposing teams, but research into separated twins’ development has revealed they will still both play braless. They’re vying to win either more time with Ben or a script for Percodan if they’re injured.
The field is alive with activity, most of it reapplication of lip gloss. Observing from the sidelines, Ben calls the experience “absolutely crazy,” because software salesepeople generally don’t have large vocabularies. The striped team wins! “Hard work pays off,” says Olivia smugly. Apparently, she has never been a coal miner.
The losers return gloomily to the house. All the girls pout, frown, or cry at losing the chance to sit around with Ben while being filmed by strangers. In fact, sitting with Ben for a 30-second clip is “literally my goal,” Amber says, since she didn’t get time with him last week.
Olivia is first to steal that envied moment. In a motel room where there are likely only two or three crew people present, they discuss the profound meaning of the rose, which doesn’t take very long, then make out. The last time I fell in love with a guy as fast as these women do was when my accountant gave me his extension so I wouldn’t have to go through the receptionist.
Back home, Jubilee gets the one-on-one date she coveted. She leaps to her feet in shock.
Ben sits next with some blond, maybe one of the twins. Amber despairs that everyone else has some kind of connection with Ben except her. She fears having to appear on next season, too, or God forbid, Bachelor in Paradise. But then she gets her time with him. “I’m glad you’re here,” Ben reassures her, moving in for the tongue-thrust.
Now it’s time to present the rose. It goes to Amber, who took the time to get to know him and his tonsils better. The rose makes her hopeful, but Olivia sees greater portent in the fact that Ben pushed her knee as he got up to leave. He only does that kind of leg-feeling with her, you know. They have a special special connection based on physical leverage.
Jubilee is dressed all in white with a bare midriff for her date with Ben. She is worried that she will be awkward with Ben, for whom she cares so much, and because wearing white is just asking to get a big stain on your front. Ben is late to pick her up, but soon a helicopter arrives to transport them and ruin her hair.
But Jubilee is terrified of helicopters–odd for a serviceperson, but maybe she has PTSD–and nervously offers the date to someone else. Caila sneers in disapproval at her ingratitude, and Jami says sternly, “It was offensive to listen to,” as if Jubilee had suggested deporting 11 million illegal immigrants.
But Jubilee does leave with Ben, who comforts her fears by putting his hand on her leg. Wait till Olivia finds out about that. They land at a health spa in a little castle, where first they sample some fancy but hardly unheard-of food, like figs and the caviar, which she spits out.
“I’m adventurous, but not with food,” Jubilee explains, adding, “I’m obsessed with hot dogs.” Ben reports needlessly, “There’s something about her that I’m attracted to.”
Next it’s hot-tub time, during which Jubilee accuses Ben of only laughing uncomfortably, as if he feels he should laugh or the script calls for it. “She allows me to be open and honest,” Ben says. He should take the opportunity to be honest about those white pointy fingernails of hers.
That night, they meet again. She’s never had so much fun on a date with someone who only laughs uncomfortably. She has shared “all the information that there is about me,” although the credit report might not have been necessary. Ben asks why she has never been back to her home country of Haiti and what holds her back. Quiet, sad music accompanies her description of a “difficult past.” Oops, her whole family died there. “Except for me,” she adds helpfully. She starts to cry over the plinky piano music as Ben looks kindly at her. Not a good time to stick his tongue down her throat.
He tells her she’s a strong woman with a lot of depth, and he wants to get to know those layers before unbuttoning them. Then he offers her the rose, and they embrace as the music swells. She thanks him and the producers. Ben could see himself falling in love with her, and also having her teach him how to operate a large-caliber cannon in a rotating gun turret.
The next day, all the others are shocked to see Jubilee still in the game. They criticize how she’s acting remote from the group, which indicates she would be a bad soccer mom. There’s a lot of tension since three roses are spoken for before the ceremony, and also craft services was out of granola.
At the ceremony, Ben reports that two people close to him just died in a plane crash. “I’m a little down,” he tells them, but that’s one reason he’s here to find a wife: To have someone to talk to when more of his loved ones perish in a fiery crash.
In an effort to console him, Olivia tells him she hates her legs, which has caused her much agony. To be fair, it’s easier to recover from someone else’s death than eliminate cankles. Just ask Hillary Clinton and Mrs. Vince Foster. Ben is disappointed at this revelation, as he hoped to see Olivia’s legs spread.
The other girls discuss how bad they feel that they ever discussed stupid little things like cell phone cases and auditioning for The Bachelor. Meanwhile, Jubilee is brooding some more about how complex she is and her resentment that Chicken Soup for the Soul was no help. Starting a Tumblr would be more effective for her problems than dating Ben.
But he greets her warmly, surely not only because the two narrow strips of gauze that make up her halter top are barely containing her bosoms. A trained aesthetician, she leads him to a massage table to give him a rubdown. It’s like a grief support group for his muscles. They are interrupted by Jami, who resents that she only has a certificate for completing PowerPoint training.
There is continued talk among the others of Jubilee’s failings as a bachelorette and human. After leaving Ben, she is summoned by Amber to hash it out with them, but she refuses and stalks away as the others threaten to confront her. If I had known bull sessions with my Camp Cedar Lake bunk mates would make popular TV viewing, I’d have taped them back in ’75.
Ben overhears the angry exchange and longs to help, largely because he’s already kissed everyone this evening. Jubilee tells him she has no idea why the girls are so upset. Maybe because she gets so much more camera time this episode. Then Amber tries to explain how everyone was pissed when Jubilee acted momentarily ungrateful about her date with Ben. He interrupts to defend her, saying he respects that she “doesn’t walk on eggshells,” although it looks like she wears them glued to her fingertips. Ben has seen the dark side of some of the women tonight. It’s food for thought, although hopefully not caviar or figs.
Now he meets with Lace, who sobs at how rough it’s been being on the show and discovering America doesn’t support her type of character this season. She feels like going home might be easier, even if her sheets aren’t Egyptian cotton. She wants to work on herself and then find another show to be on. Ben bids her goodbye, as do most of the viewing audience.
Ben tells the other girls this update; they nod appreciatively before trooping in for the Rose Ceremony. Her implants bursting from her neckline, Jennifer bemoans Ben’s hard decision tonight. “This is hard,” Ben confirms before beginning rose dispensation.
Lauren H. gets the first one, followed by Amanda and Becca. Haley is next, then Emily, duh. Olivia is convinced her name will be spoken soon. She is determined to become Mrs. Ben Higgins, or at least the contestant who gets the longest spot on Jimmy Kimmel. Rachel is called next, followed by Caila and JoJo. Olivia’s insistence that she’s a keeper continues as Jennifer and Leah come up for roses. Now certain that Ben wants to make a “last but not least” statement by saving Olivia for the end, the final flower is lifted. Indeed, it goes to Olivia and her bony knees.
Jami is out, as well as some other chick in a formal jumpsuit. They grieve. “The lesson from this is don’t expect anything from humans,” declares Jami defiantly, although the producers are only semi-human.
Meanwhile, Olivia perceives Ben squeezing her waist to mean he can’t do everything for her at all times, but she must be patient. More likely it means she was being checked for love handles, but okay.
See you next week!
Chris Harrison invites Lace to compete on Bachelor in Paradise.
UPDATE: MJ here. Just finished watching the live talk show that comes after, hosted by Chris Harrison. Lace was a guest. She shared that her drinking got out of hand on the show, and she’s now working on improving her self confidence. She seemed to regret doing the show. She answered a firm no when Chris asked if she’d do it again.
And then, Chris invited her to appear on Bachelor Paradise this summer. She didn’t answer either way, but if she’s dealing with a drinking problem, she should probably say no? “I’ve got a couple of months to decide,” she said, “We’ll see.”