Tonight, winemaker Ben continues to ferment his relationships with nine women. This week, they’re in Panama City, Panama — the group’s sixth stop on this journey, because it’s impossible to fall in love if you’re not constantly traveling. That’s why carnies and spies have the most stable relationships.
Blakeley really wants a one-on-one date, but the first one goes to Kacie B., who’s already HAD a private date with Ben before. So selfish. The date card says, “Bring three things. Will our love survive?” Please tell me that means they’re fighting to the death in the Thunderdome. (Sure it sounds crazy, but that wouldn’t even be the most torturous date in Bachelor history.)
Date #1: Getting Stranded with Kacie
Ben picks up Kacie in his private helicopter, and then it’s off to their private island for a day of fake survival and quasi-real romance. The helicopter drops them off and leaves, so they’re completely isolated on an uninhabitated island — just Kacie, Ben and the camera crew!
For her “three things,” Kacie brought a green monkey stuffed animal, a corkscrew and a bag of candy. Kacie is the real life 13 Going On 30. She knows nothing about survival and will be the first to die at the hands of the Others. Slightly more intelligently, Ben’s producers packed him a machete, a fishing net and a pair of bright orange shorts that can double as a flare if they are in need of rescue. They spend the day doing cute versions of Robinson Crusoe things, like opening coconuts, fishing, and admiring each other’s abs. Kacie is aroused as she watches Ben repeatedly bash a coconut with his machete.
Gotta get that sexual frustration out somehow!
But before things get too primitive, Ben’s helicopter swings back by and picks them up. After a three-hour shower break, Kacie and Ben reconvene for dinner. She’s more reserved and scared than before, because this long-term pre-engagement interview is finally becoming “real” for her.
Meanwhile, back at the bachelorette holding cell: The second date card arrives. It says “let’s get lost” and is addressed to Emily, Nicki, Lindzi, Casey S., Courtney and Jamie. That means Rachel and Blakeley are on the dreaded do-or-die, rose-or-goes, hit-it-or-quit-it two-on-one date. Blakeley is excited, because she gets more time with Ben, which means more time to “shiiiine“! Rachel is worried, because it will be “awkward.” Plus, it’s not really fair. She’s up against Blakeley and her huge bazungas. That’s three against one!
Back on the date, Kacie opens up to Ben and tells him that in high school, she was both bulimic and anorexic, until her parents caught her vomiting at their Super Bowl party. Sad! (And timely.) Controlling her weight is how she attempted to “control” her life, but she’s well-adjusted now. Ben says that her honesty makes him like Kacie even more, so he offers her the rose and they kiss. I hope she doesn’t go back to the house and tell the other girls how she got the rose. Somehow I doubt she’s the only girl here with a story like that in her past. Or present.
Date #2: Going Native with Emily, Nicki, Lindzi, Casey S., Courtney and Jamie
Ben shows up on the shore in a long-ass boat to pick up the ladies, who swoon over his ability to steer a boat and dock it (shove it into the dirt on the shore). As they travel down a jungle river, it starts to rain, and everyone pretends not to care that her hair is ruined. Then they turn a corner and come to a native village where kids in loin clothes are playing soccer and jumping into the river. A row of skulls on sticks lines the shore, next to a sign that says “TRESPASSERS BEWARE!” (Just kidding.) (I wish.) They follow the kids into the village (eeeek!) where they are greeted by the tribe of the Emberas, who are friendly despite having no idea why these plastic, nervous-laughing Americans have come to experience and exploit their culture for a couple minutes.
The women are whisked into huts to put on native apparel. Of course Courtney decides to go FULL native by taking off her bikini top underneath her loose, mesh-like native top. She claims that she just wants to be “one with nature” and “do it all the way,” which might be a valid reason if she didn’t then attempt to show off her nipples at every possible opportunity.
Girl gone wild.
I’m a little bit torn on this one. It’s not inherently wrong or slutty that she’s wearing the garments she was given. And the other girls are being quite prudish with their bikini tops on underneath, scoffing and dry-heaving at Courtney for being only partially exposed. BUT SHE’S JUST SO VAIN AND PROUD ABOUT IT! And, beyond her lengthy track record of being shady and shameless, that ruins her point. Nobody honestly expects a genuine native experience or cultural sensitivity out of this show, but please don’t turn wearing a native tribe’s garments into a chance to showcase your sexual manipulation skills and bottomless vanity. That’s not “local flavor.” That’s straight up offensive. But I guess I’m not surprised that the model is confused that not all clothing was invented expressly for her to shimmy and smize in.
Ben comes out in a loin cloth and of course is extra-pleased to see that Courtney went full native with him. “I appreciated that in more than one way” he says and flashes a goofy/creepy grin. Please, do everyone a favor and marry each other immediately.
Then they paint “tribal” images on each other. Courtney writes “B + C = <3” on Ben’s back. Everyone else fake-barfs, including me. The group dances in the village square in the mud and the rain, and Courtney says she feels like she’s on a one-on-one with Ben. He only has eyes for her (nipples)!
When we come back from commercial, it’s already time for the post-indigenous peoples wrap party! Lindzi tells Ben that she hates drama, but that she has cried over “us” (their undefined open relationship) because she finally realized that “my boyfriend has a couple, if not more, other girlfriends.” Issue not at all resolved, they share a full wrap-hug lip-smacking session.
Lindzi thinks that if she hoovers off his entire face, she can have Ben all to herself!
Meanwhile, back at the lady-cave: The last date card arrives, and it says ominously, “Blakeley and Rachel, save the last dance for me.” And then even MORE ominously: “Two girls, one rose. One stays, one goes.” One girl will get a rose, and one girl will NEVER DANCE AGAIN!
Ben asks to steal Courtney, and she (drunkenly?) brags as they walk away: “I’m getting stolen! Call the authorities!” He encourages her not to stop being assertive and aggressive with him, because he likes it. She says she wants to feel special and be alone with him, and then she tells him her hotel room number! That minx. “We can just lay there for fifteen minutes,” she coos. Yes, I’m sure that IS what sex with Courtney is like. The mind of a super villain, but the energy (and creepy smile) of a sloth.
Jamie is finally ready for Ben and America to learn her name. But Courtney, emboldened by Ben’s seal of approval for her soulless displays of alpha-female aggression, meanders over in her bikini behind Jamie and puts on a private show for Ben while he’s trying to focus on boring stuff like talking and feelings. Her plot to kiss the Bachelor ruined, Jamie shuffles back to her spot on the wall and worries that she’s not going to get a rose.
After a life-affirming makeout with Ben, Emily decides she actually DOES want to marry him, but she can only do that if she’s not hung up on hating Courtney. So Emily attempts to apologize for badmouthing Courtney, and even goes so far as to say she misjudged (no she didn’t) and respects (no she doesn’t) the wicked model. WEAK.
Courtney not only refuses the apology — she stomps all over it, saying that she’s not one to forgive and forget, and will never respect Emily or be her friend. Someone tries to say, “She was just apologizing…” and Courtney snipes, “And you want me to bend over and take it up the tailpipe?” People without emotions have no need for conflict resolution.
We’ll never be friends.
Ben gives Lindzi the group date rose for whatever reason, and Courtney is furious that her nipples and bikini show and hotel room number didn’t win her that rose. She put all this effort into manipulating the date to her advantage, and for what?
Daddy, I want a goose that lays golden roses and I want it NOW!
Her needs unsatisfied, Courtney says, “I feel like I deserve some sort of reward,” which she hopes Ben will come to her room and deliver. In penis form.
Coincidentally, a camera is there while Courtney waits and waits and waaaaits in her room, but Ben never shows up! All the while, we hear her frustrated voiceovers about how she always ends up getting “taken for granted” and “disappointed” in relationships. Maybe because she’s impossible to please and selfish. Nobody can live up to Courtney’s standards — and that’s why they have to DIE!
Date #3: Two-on-One Dance Showdown with Blakeley and Rachel
Blakeley’s spent all week practicing her talking points, and just keeps saying them over and over: “I’m SUPER excited! More time with Ben! Can’t wait! I love to DANCE!”
Ben thinks that some salsa lessons will help the women keep distracted from the rose at the end of the date, because Ben is an idiot. A dance showdown is the LAST way to resolve a love triangle. Hasn’t Ben seen ANY of the Step Up movies?!
A vivacious and patient salsa teacher tries to guide as Rachel slithers on Ben like a dead slug and Blakeley watches awkwardly and jealously off to the side. Then they switch. “Salsa is sweaty and sexual!” Ben says as Blakeley wraps her legs around him and rides him like a stripper pole.
“Stay down there.” – Ben
That’s the last straw for Rachel, who knows that Blakeley is “tacky” but is worried that Ben won’t see through her. I’ll tell you what Ben CAN see through — Blakeley’s dress at dinner! They sit down for the meal with Ben sandwiched between the women. Everyone acknowledges that the theme of the night is “awkward,” so they quickly move on to the “alone time” portion of the night, when each woman gets a chance to make her final plea to GET DAT ROSE!
Rachel tries to convince Ben just how “into him” she is, but then they share some sexless pecks. Blakeley goes for the pity strategy, and starts crying because of how much she cares. It’s her last chance, so it’s time for Blakeley to bust out the big guns: HER BEN FLAJNIK VISION JOURNAL! That’s a straight up obsessive middle schooler move. It even says his name on the front in magic marker. Noooooooooooooooooooooooo!
If Kacie B. is the movie 13 Going on 30, then Blakeley is the movie Big.
She points out the pictures and magazine clippings and explains what they mean. Like, “This is a picture of Puerto Rico, because remember when we went to Puerto Rico?” Riveting stuff. I didn’t get a look at the page where she wrote “Mrs. Blakeley Bachelor, Mrs. Ben Bachelor, Mr. and Mrs. Ben and Blakeley Bachelor” over and over, but I’m sure it’s in there.
It’s time for Ben to pick the lesser of two disappointments, so he offers Rachel the rose. Blakeley hangs her head and then storms off. She doesn’t want Ben’s explanation. HOW DARE HE! After she showed him her dream journal and everything! Ben finally catches up to her and forces her to sit through his worthless explanation about how they weren’t moving fast enough. A lonely street cat meows in the night as she sobs in his arms. “I still care about you very much,” she says. “I know, I’m so sorry,” he replies like an ass.
Goodbye, Blakeley. I hope you find the man of your dream(s) journal.
Bonus Anti-Date: CASEY S. EXPOSED!
The week’s dates are now over, and the girls are just sitting around gabbin’ about the normal stuff, roses and their boyfriend and what not. Chris Harrison shows up “for one serious reason” and it involves Casey S., aka the mute blonde waif in the denim jumpsuit, so he escorts her outside. Having no idea what this is about doesn’t keep the other women from speculating. And hoping that whatever fresh tragedy has befallen Casey, it means she won’t get a rose.
“I hope it’s an immediate family member in at least a coma. That oughta get her out of here.”
But it’s not a family crisis. It’s a DISHONESTY crisis! Chris drops the bomb: “It was brought to my attention by three different people back in the United States that you’re in love with somebody else and not in love with Ben.” Whoa, whoa, whoa. If Chris isn’t talking about “herself,” that’s not allowed. Casey, you insubordinate female. Only BEN is allowed to be in “love” with multiple people at once!
This is when Chris really earns that hosting paycheck. He’s done his research, and he even has a name: “Who’s MICHAEL, Casey? Huh? HUH?” That’s her “ex-boyfriend” according to Casey, but Chris says that the producers spoke to Michael, who said they’re still in a relationship and spent every day and night together until she left for the show. Casey claims that Michael never wanted to get married, so a year ago they broke up … and then they got back together … and concludes with, “maybe I should be in therapy or something.” Uh, what? I guess she left out the part where they broke up again, because it never happened. Or perhaps we have reached a new low, and the show is casting girls who are so slow, they can’t remember if they have a boyfriend or not.
Chris asks if she’s still in love with Michael, and she says, “I don’t want to be,” which is a yes. But now that he mentions it, COME TO THINK OF IT, Casey admits that in the last two days she HAS realized that she loves her (ex?) boyfriend and wants him to change. How weird. What are the odds!
Chris takes Casey to Ben’s room, where if you thought maybe we’d get a REAL answer out of her, you’d be wrong. Listening to her attempt to spit out her sad story to Ben is excruciating. She says that she’s not still dating her ex, but she’s not over him. Ben admits that Casey’s been very closed off this whole time, and it’s probably because she wants to marry that guy who doesn’t want to marry her, not THIS guy who also doesn’t want to marry her.
Two or three sentences in, Ben’s already over the conversation, and looks full-on annoyed when Casey starts crying about how sad she is that she can’t get back together with Michael because he doesn’t want to marry her. He tells her to pack her knives and go.
“I just want validation that I’m worthy of love.”
“Get the hell out.”
For the record, this is completely different from how Ben was completely in love with and wanted to marry Ashley Hebert a couple months ago, yet in a couple of weeks will claim that he’s in love with 2+ women and can’t decide which of them to propose to. COMPLETELY DIFFERENT. Monogamy and trust are VERY IMPORTANT to him, you guys!
Chris Harrison finally gets his chance to play armchair therapist to somebody this season, even if it’s with a quickly unraveling and now useless-to-us Casey, who cries in his arms and worries that, as a beautiful 90-pound blonde life-size Barbie, she’s going to die alone. He then pushes her into an unmarked van and slaps its side, and the van whisks Casey away to her future Hoarders house full of dead cats and regrets.
Goodbye Casey. Good luck convincing that one guy or the next guy or whoever to marry you.
Chris goes to the other women and explains the situation. Then he lets this be a lesson to all: “If you’re not open to love, this is the moment to step away.” Chris Harrison, you are SHIIIIINING tonight!
This episode is still going? Seriously? Ugh, OK.
Nicki, who spent all week in the wall or something, grabs Ben first and forces him to dance with her without any music. Meanwhile, Courtney tells Rachel that she thinks she “might be going home … just kidding!” She’s such a dick. But now it’s so consistent and forced that it’s actually boring.
Her nips still vivid in Ben’s imagination, Courtney knows she’s definitely not on the chopping block. But Jamie is, and she knows it. Right as most of America points at the TV and asks, “Who’s that one again?” Jamie decides to shed her “prude” image and really get dirrty (Xtina style) with Ben and enact her deepest bedtime fantasy … of straddling him.
“So nice to finally meet you!” – Ben
I wish her fantasy also involved shaving Ben’s head. He’s looking more and more like a teenage nerd at his bar mitzvah every week.
Instead of being turned on, Ben is scared of Jamie now. But she keeps the uninvited sex play going anyway, this time with a kissing lesson, literally describing the steps as they happen: “We’re gonna go mouth closed first … and now we’re going to explore.” EXPLORE? Oh no, girl. I liked you better when you were quiet, not crazy. Ben’s not into it, either, and stops the kiss How dare she try to teach kissing to The Bachelor. Kissing is his BUSINESS!
In light of Casey’s horrible betrayal, Chris Harrison reminds the women “why we are all here,” which is to fall in love with Ben and Ben ALONE! He said “we,” so that includes Chris Harrison. Sixteen seasons and he’s never received a rose. I wonder if he ever got one, would it be like wishing for a genie’s freedom?
Ben only has three roses to give out. Kacie, Rachel and Lindzi already have them, and the rest go to:
Nicki, whose dress conveniently forms a circular frame around her cleavage
Courtney, who pretends to be surprised with an unconvincing gasp and then says “I shall” as a reminder that she’s the worst
Emily, whom I no longer care for since she backed down and said that she respects Courtney. THESE COLORS DON’T RUN!
Which means that Jamie not only ripped her dress when she humped Ben, but ripped her last chance at happiness as well. As she cries in the elevator, Jamie says that she honestly cared about Ben and “saw something” in him, but her efforts were too little, too late.
Ben now says that he’s “confident” that his future wife is on this rooftop pool deck, and that’s why he’s so excited to announce that next, they’re going to Belizeeeee! The perfect place to fall in love.
Next Week: Right before Hometown Dates, everyone magically realizes that they’re in love with Ben and want to tell him. But the rest of the women are fed up with Courtney, and they’re going to spit Ben’s own rhetoric back in his face, telling him to “tread lightly” with the black widow.
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(Images courtesy of ABC)