Ben and his final six travel to Belize -- the most beautiful place to fall in love. Or, in the case of Courtney, the most beautiful place for Ben to finally get a glimpse of her profound inner ugliness. WE HOPE!
Kacie claims that she's "as in love with Ben as she could get," which sounds like an insult, considering that they've never been exclusive or even spent two consecutive days together. And she's
Chris Harrison shows up to explain that on this week's dates, all of Ben's brain power must go to deciding whose families he wants to meet, and therefore he'll only be handing out one rose before the rose ceremony, on the group date. Then Chris hands off the first date card, which reads,
So, a statement that is not romantic nor helpful nor special in any way. With poetry like that, it's no wonder Nicki instantly starts crying about how "really real" her love is for Ben.
Date #1: Diving into the Big Blue Hole with Lindzi
Ben stops by to pick up Lindzi, and Emily compares the experience to someone stealing her cheesecake. Her "cheesecake in swim trunks." I'm starting to worry about her sanity.
Wow, what a surprise -- Ben and Lindzi immediately get into a helicopter, and the high altitude immediately starts Lindzi in on talking wistfully about Ben. He makes her realize that she wants "kids and marriage and forever." Before Ben, all she wanted was horses and eyeliner and more horses. And self-tanner. And more eyeliner.
To symbolize how Lindzi wants to dive into the Big Blue Hole of Monogamy with Ben, he takes her to the Big Blue Hole of Belize. Beautiful, round and terrifying, it's like a big fat wedding ring in the middle of the ocean!!!!!!!!
They dive into the hole (shh, hush now, you gross little children) and then make out a whole bunch on a yacht. Her brain too flooded with adrenaline to really think about what she's saying, Lindzi says, "After today, I absolutely
know that I'm falling in love with Ben." Meanwhile, back at the hotel:
The second date card arrives, and it's for Emily. "Do you Belize in love?"
the card asks. Courtney laments how it's "not fair" because she
wanted a date, and now she wants to kill herself. I don't want to say "go ahead," buuuuuuut ...
Back on the date, it's time for dinner, and Lindzi makes the first of what are sure to be many barf-worthy metaphors tonight, comparing their Big Blue Hole "leap of faith" to the "leap of faith" she wants to take in her heart with Ben. She says that she wants him to meet her family, and he's like, "Cool." Then he distracts her from his complete lack of investment by suggesting that they write a message, stick it in their wine bottle and send it out into the ocean. But not just ANY message. Ben and Lindzi compose a cheesy fairy tale about themselves as lovestruck prince and princess that has no bearing on reality, is full of empty promises and will never exist outside of the liquor-soaked container in which it was created. EXACTLY LIKE THEIR RELATIONSHIP! Date #2: Stabbin' Crabs with Emily
Emily gets sent off in a private plane to meet Ben in Caye Caulker, Belize. Whereas the other women are like, "Oooooh I love Ben, I want to have ALL of his babies until my uterus falls out," Emily very clearly thinks that Ben secretly hates her ever since she ratted out Courtney twice, and I think she
secretly hates him
a little bit for that. But Emily's an over-achiever and a perfectionist. Her desire to win him over (and win in general) and fix what was never working in the first place is pushing her forward. It's sad, but understandable. Who wouldn't want to at least
outlast Courtney, even if it's in a competition for a guy who's dumb enough to like Courtney?
While Ben and Emily go diving for feisty crabs that could easily serve as metaphors for how their relationship might be delicious but isn't really worth the trouble, back at the hotel, Courtney's having a mini-meltdown -- as much as her monotone, dust-filled heart will allow, anyway. She wants a real boyfriend who's "in her corner." Or who's at least not making plans with a bunch of other
girls' corners while he's inside of her
corner. And now she's not sure she wants Ben to go home and meet her Addams family?!?! She says that if Ben doesn't offer her a one-on-one this week, she's going to reject his next rose.
Horns still intact? Yep!
"It sucks," she says as she wipes away icicles from her slowly thawing tearducts, "I really liked him." Liked
him? Watch out, Ben! If Courtney's referring to you in the past tense, you may soon be
past tense. Back on the date:
Ben asks Emily if she feels ready for him to meet her family, and after a meandering explanation that recalls their Courtney-shaped bumps in the road, she says yes. In the most backhanded champagne toast in the world, Ben says that "smart people don't like to be called smart all the time," so he toasts to how beautiful she is instead. ("But I still mostly think of you as smart, not beautiful.") Emily says that she's falling in love with Ben and that this was the greatest date of her life. So I guess she's not THAT smart.Back at the hotel:
Courtney tells the group that she's really banking on the one-on-one, or else. Unfortunately, we don't get to find out what her "or else" nutso rampage would have been like, because the next card is addressed to her. "Let's take the next steps in our relationship,"
it reads, and Courtney brags to the group that Ben's a good boy who listened to what he was told. Ewww. "It took every fiber of my being not to sprint across the room and punch her in the face," says Kacie, who only takes off her cuteness when she's talking about Courtney. "It's not because I'm jealous of her. It's because she's the sh*ttiest piece of person I've ever seen in my life."Date #3: Ruining the Mayan Ruins with Courtney
Courtney definitely wasn't getting enough screentime or attention or opportunities to use her baby-voice, so a one-on-one is just what she needs. She worries that the spark is gone since she allowed Ben into her Big Black Hole when they went skinny dipping in Puerto Rico. But the sight of where the Mayans conducted their human sacrifices really gets her juices flowing. They climb up the temple and lay down their blanket RIGHT where they think the sacrifices must have taken place. Roooomaaaantiiiiic!
Sitting where so many ancient innocents had their heads chopped off makes Courtney feel comfortable and secure enough to present Ben with her latest piece of emotional blackmail. She tells him that their "spark" is fizzling, and this whole experience has been "harder for her than the other girls." Back at the hotel:
The other girls tell Emily that Courtney was playing the victim and bragging about having Ben under her thumb during Emily's date. "You were right about her ALL ALONG," they say. Emily knew this, she was just trying to pretend she didn't. Kacie's still feeling REAL dramatic and calls Courtney a "black widow who sucks the life out of everything." I like her style when she's jealous. Nicki hopes that Courtney will finally dig her own grave on the one-on-one -- but Nicki has a lot more hope in Ben than she should.
Back on the date, Ben comforts Courtney by saying that he "wants a woman with a little bit of
edge," who's "a little bit weird," and that he likes how much she seems
to care. I wish that Ben would just propose to his edgy, weird, malicious model-monster NOW and get this all over with. Instead, they climb to the top of the temple and we have to sit through some romantic Spanish guitar and Ben missing his dad and the two of them declaring, "We found the spark again!" As if that's some sort of accomplishment on their SECOND one-on-one date? And as if Courtney ever lost her "spark" for winning in the first place? And as if we're supposed to be rooting for her now? AS IF. AS IF TO ALL OF THIS!
At dinner, Courtney can't do anything wrong in Ben's eyes. He even likes that she's unsure if she wants him to meet her family! He's like, "I really like how you're not sure if you like me." But she eventually talks herself into it, and says that her parents (one of whom has been quoted in a tabloid as saying that Ben "isn't hot enough" for her daughter) are the epitome of soulmates
. Could Ben be HER soul(less)mate? "I'm kinda high on love right now," Courtney says, which immediately makes her feel high on homicide: "It's over, girls. You can all pack your bags, KILL SHOT," she says as she smiles and points her finger-guns at the camera. That's gonna look so sweet
set to David Gray's "This Year's Love" when she and Ben get engaged at the end of this.
Back at the hotel:
The group date card comes. It reads, "Rachel, Nicki and Kacie, Let's sea whose family I will meet..."
which sounds an awful lot like a threat.
Back on the date, Ben asks Courtney why this has all been so hard for her,
which kicks off her most glorious speech yet. First, she claims that she's been trying since day one to win over the other girls (lie!), but she's "bored by them" and their "vanilla," self-absorbed ways (hypocrisy!). She then tells Ben that it's not that she's bad at making friends (another lie!), because she "has some good friends ... a lot of guy friends
" at home (RED FLAG!). Ben questions her ability to connect with others, and she says the most self-righteous, self-absorbed thing EVER about how it's her "job" (haha) as a model to be "the talent" (HAHA) and make everyone happy. Ben nods. She's pretty and people like taking her picture, therefore she must be a good person. Clearly
. It all adds up.
But in his head, Ben finally starts to have doubts. Maybe he doesn't
want to marry this cold, heartless mannequin who was brought to life under the curse of an evil witch. But ... but ... he's already seen her naked.
Decisions are so HARD!Date #4: Swimming with Sharks with Rachel, Nicki and Kacie
Ben breaks in and ambushes the girls at 4am. When they're wearing NO makeup! AHHHH, too soon, Ben! They want you to meet their families
, NOT their real faces. Rachel and Nicki scurry into the bathroom to shave off any stray body hair because no girl ever got a rose with a little stubble in her pits!
And I'M shaving my back in the pool!!!!! Hahahahah so alone.
They get on a boat and Ben announces that they're going shark diving. Rachel is so scared that she starts being a real bitch about the whole thing, making fart-smell faces and crossing her arms like a baby. Atta girl. Eye on the prize.
It's a good thing that sharks can't smell insecurities, because all of these girls would get eaten. Rachel's scared of the sharks. Nicki's scared of everything, especially her feelings. And Kacie is scared of how Rachel is "monopolizing" Ben with her Jaws
phobia. If Rachel wasn't constantly holding Ben's hand, Kacie would probably sneak some chum into her bikini bottom and let nature take its course. NOT THAT KACIE'S A JEALOUS PERSON OR ANYTHING.
After forcing Ben to protect her from those toothless child-sized sharks, Rachel thinks she's getting the rose, but she's totally not getting the rose. I mean, obviously. Each of the girls gets a chance to give her "Why You Should Meet My Family" speech, and Nicki's and Kacie's are WAY more convincing. And by "convincing," I mean emotional. Nicki's so passionate that she even wants to tell the palm trees
that she's in love with Ben. And Kacie wants that rose so bad that she's stuck its bastard cousin -- the red hibiscus -- behind her ear as a shoddy facsimile until she can get her paws on the real thing.
Kacie tells Ben that she loves him (but WHY?), and he smiles and kisses her in exchange, which Kacie thinks "says more than words can," but I THINK THE WORDS WOULD PROBABLY BE BETTER. Still, for "wearing her heart on her sleeve," Ben gives Kacie the rose, which is almost
as good as verbal validation of her feelings, given the circumstances. She screeches with girlish delight that Ben's going to meet her family.
Then things get awkward. Nicki and Kacie have decided that it's time for another Ben-tervention. For the sake of his happiness, they tell Ben "to be cautious about Courtney" and "tread lightly," because Courtney's not "here for the right reasons." Meanwhile, Courtney's up on her balcony, gazing into her crystal ball, saying that Kacie is a "little girl in a little boy's body" and complaining about how the other
women are the catty ones. If only we could trust Ben to make that the last obnoxious, hypocritical thing we had to hear her say.The Canceled Cocktail Party
Five girls and only three roses to give out. The stakes are almost UNFATHOMABLY high, and everyone is feeling nervous and somber. Except Courtney, who's feeling happy and confident and gloaty. "Let's get this party started!" she says while sloshing around her pina colada. As usual, her words of "comfort" to the women who are about to get dumped are disturbing and insensitive: "Cheer up. Ben's not the only guy in the world!"
DID SHE ... NO, SHE DIDN'T ... SHE WOULDN'T
... DID SHE JUST SAY THAT BEN ISN'T
THE ONLY GUY IN THE WORLD?!?!?!?!
It's not true, Ben IS the only man in the world! (Because that's the only way all these women would want him, right? If he was the last man on Earth?) Courtney just broke the rules and the fourth wall and all of our hearts all at once
, so it's no surprise that Ben felt her betrayal in his heart and immediately canceled the cocktail party. Chris Harrison comes in and breaks the news, saying that Ben knows what he needs to do, so "there's no reason to delay the inevitable." But isn't that what this show is all about?
"I'm ready to get ridda some gerls!" Courtney drunkenly tells the camera while pretending to pull out her hair. "I'm one step closer to calling Ben my fiance! See ya! Wouldn't wanna be ya!"
I hope it's not too late to ask for another autotune
. Rose Ceremony
OK, so get this: Ben canceled the cocktail party because he was sure of what he wanted to do. But then, when he walks into the rose ceremony, he immediately pulls Courtney aside, because he's not sure about what to do!
He starts by once again apologizing about how hard all of this has been on poor, dear, fragile Courtney, and then says he "wants to make sure that she's in this" for the right reasons. A reality TV veteran, Courtney gives the classic "I'm not here to make friends" defense. Then: "I don't want you to question me at all, I've been nothing but honest and open." Well a liar would never say
she was honest, so case closed!
We don't see Ben's response, but I'm sure it was perfectly superficial, idiotic and glib. On to the roses.Kacie
's got hers, and the rest go to: Nicki
I mean, duh. After Emily said, "Goodbye Courtney, it's been nice knowing you and my condolences to whatever man you end up with," didn't we all know that man was going to be Ben? Courtney gets the rose. Ben gets what he deserves. AND WE GET TO MEET THE PEOPLE WHO SPAWNED HER! Rachel and Emily,
the last two struggling blondes in a race built for brunettes, say their sniffly goodbyes. Courtney whispers "see ya, wouldn't wanna be ya," again. Thank God she bestows those catchphrases on us over and over. They are just TOO cute and clever to hear merely once.Next Week:
It's time for Ben to meet the parents! In between trying to convince each of their parents that he's worthy, that meets getting straddled by Kacie, wearing cowboy hats with Nicki, riding horses with Lindzi, and stumbling upon an outdoor wedding set-up with Courtney. What are the odds?
(Images courtesy of ABC)