As you’ll remember from last week, we left off with Ben dramatically interrupting Chris Harrison to dramatically pull Olivia away for a dramatic private conversation. (This truly is the most. dramatic. season. ever.) Ben had just learned from a number of girls, most notably from recently separated Siamese twin Emily, that Olivia is a different person with him than she is in the house.
This week, we pick up right where we left off: Ben is telling Olivia that people have been saying she doesn’t fit in with the rest of the girls. Olivia calmly and manipulatively explains that she’s had a target on her back ever since night one, when Ben gave her the first impression rose. She’s not interested in doing things the other girls like, like painting nails and doing each others’ hair. “I like reading books. I enjoy thinking,” she explains. Then, she starts crying her fake, fake crocodile tears.
A room away, the other ladies are speculating that Olivia is going to be sent home. “She’s rude.” “She’s disrespectful.” But, just as they’re wagering their bets, Ben escorts Olivia, who’s still carrying her rose, back into the room. She’s staying. The girls are upset, and they don’t know where Ben’s head is at.
“I enjoy all of you and your differences,” Ben explains, which sounds like a line from this play I participated in at the local youth theater in middle school. Olivia is sitting in the middle of the couch, pretend-crying and surrounded by all of her h8rs. Emily is mad.
(Last Week’s) Rose Ceremony
“What an incredible week,” Ben says, which is a terrible ice breaker, as everyone looks like they’ve just suffered something akin to a wild animal attack and somehow managed to escape alive.
The first rose goes to Caila, which means extra points for anyone who has her on their fantasy team. Unfortunately, that’s not me.
The second rose goes to Lauren B., and Emily is sure she’s going home because she was the first to warn Ben about Olivia.
Rose 3: Jojo. Rose 4: Becca. Rose 5: Leah (who we literally haven’t even met yet this season.) Emily is going to cry. Jennifer knows she and Ben could be great together.
Rose 6: Emily (phew!) Looks like we’re saying bye bye to Jennifer.
Back to This Week: The Bahamas
We return from a commercial break to learn that we are in the Bahamas. The girls arrive at their hotel room and are amazed at the luxury.
“This is amazing! Our beds are huge, our rooms are huge. This is the way to travel!” exclaims a wild-eyed Emily, who has never been on a vacation before.
“This is the most romantic place we’ve been so far,” says Amanda, surrounded by the 10 other women whom her boyfriend is also dating.
Chris Harrison comes into the living room to greet the girls. He tells them that this week, there will be a one-on-one date, a group date and a (GASP!) two-on-one date in which one girl will get a rose and the other girl will be sent home. The girls eye each other and the hate is palpable. Chris leaves behind a date card, and surprisingly, it’s for Caila.
Leah is so sad because she hasn’t had any one-on-one time with Ben, which is true because most of us forgot she was even on this show until now, and this will be Caila’s second one-on-one date. Leah is questioning everything, but I wish I could pop in and let her know that, if I know Ben, (which I obviously do), I’d guess this second one-on-one isn’t necessarily a good thing. I think he’s unsure about Caila and needs to use this time to suss out whether he really wants her to keep hanging around.
Date 1: Caila
Ben arrives at the girls’ room with his shirt mostly unbuttoned, proving that he has already enthusiastically embraced island life. “Spring Break 2k16!” he wants to shout. He takes a seat on the living room couch, quite obviously pushing Leah aside and turning his back to her which is oh-so-dramatic. He addresses every girl but Leah, and then he and Caila leave for their date.
They board a yacht and immediately begin kissing. His hand is on her upper thigh and her hair looks amazing, and once again, I am amazed at just how similar my real life is to this TV show.
Back in the hotel, Leah is hysterically crying and says she shouldn’t even be here if Ben doesn’t want to get to know her.
Cut back to the yacht, where Caila and Ben are dry humping/deep sea fishing. Caila catches a fish that’s larger than she is, and the ease of this fishing excursion seems a bit suspicious to me. Fishy, you could say.
Cut back to the hotel, where Leah is tearfully complaining about everything.
Now, back to the boat, where Caila and Ben are hardcore kissing and he’s touching her torso a lot. Then, they take a running leap off of the yacht and into the ocean, holding hands the whole way. This is one of those special scenes that we’ve seen in 100 previews up until now, and it feels so good to finally be able to identify the girl in the clip.
After a brief commercial break, we join Ben and Caila at dinner. Ben tells us candidly that he’s worried he won’t be able to get under the surface of Caila. He wants someone to cry with him. (??) He wants to know how she would react to relationship struggles.
In what is hands-down the most confusing conversation on this show to date, Caila tells Ben she loves him, and then in the same breath starts to explain that she’s afraid she’ll hurt him because she can’t love him enough to be vulnerable with him. Or something? She says she feels like he’s trying to make her tell her darkest secrets right now, and he’s like, “No no no, baby, just tell me your deepest fears and saddest moments.” This conversation has taken a weird turn.
At the hotel, the second date card has arrived. It’s for Lauren B., Becca, Amanda, Jojo, Lauren H. and Leah. Leah is, of course, mad and crying. This also reveals additional drama: Olivia and Emily will be on the two-on-one date together. Upon realizing this, I cry aloud, “Oh no! Olivia is going to eat Emily alive!”
“Emily is young,” Olivia sasses to the camera, even though SHE AND EMILY ARE THE SAME AGE. Emily looks like she’s going to barf.
Back on Ben and Caila’s date, they are still rambling nonsense at each other, and the rose is sitting there on the table just waiting to be handed out.
“What exactly are you feeling? Are you ready to find somebody?”
“I feel like I am.”
“Are you really falling in love with me? How do you know?”
“I know because I feel like I’m being understood.” Even though he literally just said YOU WERE CONFUSING.
Caila says she understands Ben in a deeper way, she is rambling on and on and I’m becoming suspicious that they are both drunk. I am so confused and I have no idea what she’s trying to say. Of course, Ben eats this up and he suddenly understands her perfectly and sees an authentic side of her. He gives her the rose, and personally, I’m just glad this date can be over. Exhausting!
Date 2: The Group Date
This week’s drama queen, Leah, wants to be excited but she can’t be. She’s being overshadowed and she’s not even sure she wants to be on this date.
The girls meet Ben again, this time in bikinis. (From across town, I can hear Bryan perk up at the sound of bachelorettes in bikinis.) They get on a boat and are taking shots when suddenly, something swims by in the water. A shark? No! A pig! Ben reveals that, on this date, they are going to swim with pigs. They get out of the boat, and the pigs swarm all around and everyone is screaming out of fear.
In an especially tense moment, Jojo literally gets attacked by pigs and Ben does absolutely nothing to save her. But then we pan to shot of adorable baby pigs and we know everything will be ok.
Ben and Lauren B. swim away to spend time together and all the girls are getting jealous of their alone time. “He is literally only spending time with her.” Someone mentions that this is the most awkward date of this experience so far, and I have to agree. The strangeness is translating perfectly through the screen.
Now we see Ben alone in the far-away distance, treading water and trying to get girls to come and talk to him by yelling for them. “Jojo!” he yells. “Hey, Becca! Over here!” His stupid smiling head is bobbing around in the ocean as he calls their names, and they just look at him like he’s nuts. Once again, I wonder if he is drunk.
While Ben is alone in the water, surrounded by pigs, all of the girls are on the beach. They all have beautifully wet, side-swept, beachy hair, yet their makeup has remained perfectly in place. For years, I will try to replicate this look with little-to-no success.
Ben finally gets out of the water to talk to Leah, who is sulking alone. “Do you want to swim?” he asks.
“I was swimming,” she says.
“Do you like pigs?” he asks. (?!)
“I like pigs. I like to eat pigs.” (?!?!)
Well, this is horrible. Ben asks her how she’s doing and Leah just starts whining and crying. They have a heart-to-heart, but hilariously, all I can hear are pigs squealing in the background.
Ben looks depleted, like he wants to swim back to the yacht and sail away, leaving the girls to fend for themselves on pig island.
Now, it’s nighttime and they’re back on land and they’ve all cleaned up. All of the girls look beautiful, but what I appreciate most is that Lauren B.’s hair is frizzing out a little in the Bahamian humidity, proving once and for all that Bachelorettes are just like us! (I love you, Lauren B.!)
Ben sits down, clinking glasses with the girls, and then asks Becca for alone time. He felt like Becca was standoffish today, and she agrees that she was. She says it’s obvious that Ben has a connection with Lauren B., and she felt jealous. But, then they kiss and it’s better somehow?
The theme of this week’s episode is painful awkwardness.
Then, Ben talks to Amanda. “I like you, don’t doubt that,” he tells her. Seems like Ben’s doing damage control since they clearly all noticed he’s pining hard for Lauren B.
Back at the house, Olivia and Emily’s date card arrives. “Emily and I are the same age,” Olivia has realized, “but on this date, I’m going to feel like the mother. I’m going to feel like I’m on this date with my daughter.” Whatever that means.
On the date, Leah is upset and pulls Ben aside. She hates that Lauren B. and Ben are close, and in a turn of events that I truly did not anticipate, she tells Ben that Lauren B. is not being real with him and he needs to reevaluate things. Ben is shocked, as am I.
Did she really say this? Could this just be clever editing? I did not expect this from Leah. Also, I didn’t remember Leah’s name until this episode, so that doesn’t mean much.
Lauren B. interrupts and Ben feels – you guessed it! – awkward. He tells Lauren B. that someone brought up concerns about her, and Lauren B. is confused and shocked. She goes back to the group and starts to cry. She tells Becca, Lauren H. and Amanda what happened, and then Leah walks in the room and denies everything. I am still not convinced this is real, but what I do know for sure is that Lauren B.’s left eyelash is falling off.
Ben comes into the room and gives the rose to someone he’s “appreciated for a long time, a sweet person that we all know”: Amanda. Then, Ben leaves, and the girls go back to their hotel.
Amanda and Emily convince Lauren B. that Leah was the one who called her out. Meanwhile, we see Leah primping in the mirror in a very Maleficent way. Once she’s all gussied up, Leah walks out the house and straight to BEN’S HOUSE to talk to him one on one. This is against the rules! Thankfully, Ben just happens to have a camera on in his apartment when Leah comes over. He lets Leah in and says he’s excited to see her.
He pours some wine of course and Leah starts in again on blaming Lauren B. “She doesn’t care as much as you think, she’s not genuine, she’s catty.” Oh Leah, Leah, Leah. You have spent this whole episode crying about how you never get alone time with Ben, but when you get it, you waste it by gossiping about other girls! Bad move, silly goose.
Just as I’m thinking this, Ben says he wants to use his time with Leah to get to know her, not to talk about Lauren B. He tells Leah that he doesn’t think he connects with her and that something’s missing. “There just hasn’t been anything in our relationship. I think it’s best for us to say goodbye.” Whoa, Leah. You set up your own goodbye!
Notably, Leah is also wearing shorts, which continues my theory that, if a girl wears a non-dress on this show, she is going home.
SO MUCH DRAMA.
Date 3: Ben and Emily. And Olivia.
Olivia is rambling on about how happy she is for this date, but I can’t hear her over how great Emily’s boobs look in her fringe bathing suit. The girls walk to the end of a pier to meet Ben, who is pulling up on a boat, and it is so windy outside that I think their safety might be at risk. Did some ABC intern accidentally book this trip during hurricane season? They are rocking so much in the boat as they sail along. I bet you $100 someone will throw up before this is all over.
Phew, now they made it to a beach with white wine, but it’s still so windy and all three of them look miserable. Ben pulls Olivia aside for alone time first.
“Ben and I’s love -” (which is improper English) “- is that all-consuming, constantly present love,” Olivia’s voice over tells us. She talks to Ben, burying her ugly toes in the sand, subtly trying to dig deep enough so as to hide her cankles underground, as well. “I’m an introvert,” she rambles. “I’m at peace with who I am. I’m very grounded, very in tune with my body, really strong, really confident, intimidating. I like news and politics and religion. Deep intellectual things are my jam.” And then, out of nowhere, Olivia tells Ben she’s in love with him. WHAT?
Now, it’s time for Ben and Emily to be alone together. They are braving the windstorm, and Emily’s hair is all up in her face because she refuses to pull it back, even though we see that she has two hair bands around her wrist. “I want today to be the beginning of our journey,” she says. She wants Ben to grow with her. Ben pushes her hair out of her face as they talk, which is really adorable.
Finally, the three of them are back together, and it’s decision time. Ben picks up the rose and asks Olivia to come with him. Is he going to drown her in the ocean? They walk into the water, still holding the rose. Maybe he’ll leave her on an island?
“From the first night, I knew that you’d be different,” he says to her. “You took the time to speak from your heart and tell me what you’re feeling. Umm, but I don’t think I reciprocate those feelings. That’s just not a place that I can get to. (Ouch!) I can’t give you this rose. I’m going to have to say goodbye.” Then, he pushes her into the water, and we watch her body slowly sink like a frozen Jack at the end of Titanic.
Just kidding. Olivia just stands there as Ben walks away, and her stone-cold facade doesn’t crack. Because she doesn’t care. Because she’s there for the wrong reasons. Which I’ve been saying all along. Ben returns to Emily and gives her the rose.
At the house, some nice-looking producer enters the room and rolls Olivia’s suitcase away. The rest of the girls see this, of course, and silently cheer. Ding dong, the witch is dead!
“I felt hurt a lot throughout this process. I just never let it get to me because I was so focused on Ben,” Olivia says through a tight throat. That’s what I sound like when I fake cry, too, as Bryan knows all too well. Ben and Emily skip away on the boat and wave to Olivia as they speed away from the island.
The Night of the Rose Ceremony
Ben stands on a cliff overlooking the water, and it’s still so windy, I fear he’s about to blow away. I’m serious, he has to stand in a weird wide stance so that he doesn’t fall over.
The girls are all sitting in their cocktail dresses, sipping wine and speculating who will go home as they wait for Ben to show up. Lauren B. is feeling unsure that she’ll get a rose because of what Leah said, and Lauren H. looks around the room and doesn’t know who will go home, which probably means it’s her. Jojo thinks she is falling in love with Ben and needs to tell him.
The girls are shocked when Chris comes in the room instead of Ben. “I know you thought Ben would be here tonight for the cocktail party,” Chris starts. “Unfortunately, a strong gust of wind came and carried him into the ocean, so the show is over and you all have to go home.” Oh, just kidding. We learn that Ben is very alive, but he has decided to cancel the party and go straight to the rose ceremony because he’s had enough of the bullshit this week.
Jojo starts crying so hard, we can’t understand what she’s saying.
The Rose Ceremony
There are only three roses to give out tonight, because Caila, Amanda and Emily already have theirs. Ben picks up the first rose, and it goes to Becca.
The second rose goes to Jojo.
And the third rose to… Lauren B.!
Lauren H. is sent away, ugly crying all the way to the airport. But who could blame her, of course.
This Season on The Bachelor
Ooh, a whole season preview! Jojo thinks “this is crazy.” Emily “didn’t expect this.” Ben cries. Ben cries again. Everyone cries. Lauren B. is “completely in love with Ben,” and he’s the man of her dreams. Amanda is in love with Ben, too, and oh! Her daughter, Jarleigh, is there! Jojo loves Ben. Jojo “will be nervous the whole time.” Becca had no idea falling in love with Ben would happen this fast. Emily meets Ben’s parents?! Ben cries again and again. Ben cries five times. Ben will make a decision that changes everything. Ben tells two women he loves them and he can’t walk away from either one of them. Chris tells Ben that he’s about to make a decision that will change everything. It appears that Ben sends someone home and then wants her back. Ben calls his mom.
Well, I’m going to go and re-watch that season preview 10 more times until I figure out who wins it all. Until next week, America.