Tonight, Ben and the women who are still successfully hiding their dealbreakers from him traveled to exciting, exotic, alluring … Park City, Utah, where they will break hearts and liquor laws with equal abandon!

This week’s dates are clearly about experiencing nature. In the most unnatural way possible, as we’ve established. As Ben flies in on his personal helicopter, he’s giddy to see Utah’s landscape has “every color of the rainbow”! Like a real, rugged outdoorsman. Kacie says that Utah is “the perfect place to fall in love.” (Everywhere on The Bachelor is the perfect place to fall in love.) But still. Helloooo, new “I’m a Mormon” campaign!

Date #1: “Letting Nature Take Its Course” with Rachel

Three weeks and six hours of television into this season, Rachel is notable so far because … she has bangs? What I’m saying is that she’s not notable. I guess that’s why the date immediately becomes about Kacie B. and how jealous she is of Rachel. There’s always one girl who voluntarily signed up for a dating show built around the premise that one guy dates a bunch of girls, who then complains that the guy is dating a bunch of girls. Kacie is that girl today. “I always said that when I found love, it would be instantaneous,” says the girl who doesn’t know how real life adult love works. “And that’s what happened to me.” Ben is practically allergic to the L-word, so that doesn’t bode well for Kacie Cutie.

Kacie takes solace in the fleeting moments she gets to see Ben when he picks up Rachel for their date.

kacieb-sisterwife.jpgAlways the sister wife, never the wife-wife ūüôĀ

Rachel and Ben go out on a canoe and talk about how they’re completely secluded and alone, but there are still a bunch of cameras there to catch them making out?! I bet those clever Bachelor producers attached cameras to the heads of trained falcons, so Ben and Rachel could get some REAL alone time.

rachel-soalone.jpgJust me and you and those guys in that boat right next to us zooming in on our every move.

But once they’re out of the magical makeout canoe, Rachel and Ben’s date goes straight down the toilet. Rachel’s not talking incessantly about how much she likes Ben, which is Ben’s #1 turn-on. Ben worries that she’s too “tough to read” and “holding back.” C’mon, Rachel! Tousle his hair and scream about how ready you are to move to California! Ben LOVES that.

Meanwhile, back at the compound: Jamie, Casey S., Blakeley, Lindsay, Nikki, Samantha, Kacie B. and Courtney get their group date card. Courtney pinches her sphincter-mouth furiously. She doesn’t want to go on a date with these fools who think she’s cold and fake. She’s not cold and fake (yes, she is), it’s just that she “blossoms” around Ben! Hahahaha, I love when the villain is also an idiot. Emily hopes that Ben will see how “condescending and self-centered” Courtney is on the group date. But I’m pretty sure all Ben sees when he looks at Courtney is a neon sign about her head that says “MODEL.”

Their dinner inside Grizzly Man’s yurt is really make or break for Rachel. Ben starts interrogating her about her relationship philosophy, and it’s all so vague and over-edited that I basically tune out and stare at the skins covering the walls and wondering how many different kinds of animals have been butchered exactly where they’re sitting. Conservative estimate: 30.

ben-yurtface.jpgBen’s “Is she model enough for me?” face.

rachel-myfaceduringthisdate.jpgRachel’s “I’m not really into you but I AM into the TV cameras” face.

¬†When I wake up, I guess Rachel “opened up” and “dove in,” so Ben gives her the rose and a non-sexual peck. They go outside and make s’mores, and Ben says, “I like kissing Rachel. I like being around Rachel,” but it sounds more like someone saying, “I like eating salad. I like being in the dentist’s office.” That rose is just deferring the inevitable.

Date #2: Riding Horses and Fly Fishing

The group takes a quick, boring horseback ride through the beautiful landscape, and then it’s time to go fly-fishing, the sexiest sport ever! The women put on their waders and get straight to trying to catch … BEN! LOL! Courtney says that catching a fish can’t be harder than catching a man. And it’s also not very different for her, because she’s going to gut them both.

It’s not long before Courtney, who loves fish puns almost as much as she loves Charlie Sheen and murdering for pleasure, “lures” Ben away from the group in order to “reel him in.” Ben says he loves spending time with Courtney and that she “gets it.” I think what she “gets” is that Ben really likes when she puts on a high-pitched, fake girly voice and flatters him. Barf. Barf all over this river and Courtney’s stupid floppy yellow hat.

courtney-hat-covers-the-horns.jpgIt covers the horns.

OF COURSE, Courtney is the first/only girl to catch a fish, and everyone else is super pissed, so I guess that means she wins the engagement ring, the end? They take turns kissing the fish, which by Utah law makes them legally married. I hope Courtney’s annoying baby voice and Ben’s willful ignorance will be very pretend-happy together.

It’s time for the fly-fishing wrap party! Courtney is insufferably confident that she’s getting the group date rose that Ben is hiding under his hair flaps. I hope she does, and I hope a bunch of girls walk out when they realize what an idiot that makes Ben. Also, he’s wearing a hoodie. At a certain point, a man’s lack of effort on a date becomes rude. It’s when there are eight women there for him in fancy cocktail dresses, and he’s in a freaking hoodie.

Samantha steals Ben away from Nicki, who was really connecting with him on a “let’s pretend this is our last day on Earth and make out” level. Samantha constantly sounds nasally congested, which makes everything she says extra-annoying. And everything she says is super annoying to begin with, like “I feel like I should already have a ring on my finger!” Has she even TALKED to Ben before? Samantha pouts that she’s on yet another group date, and Ben basically scolds her like she’s a child, saying she seems too emotional and isn’t “here for him.” He wonders if she takes this seriously. Maybe because she’s always smiling like a creepy sex doll, even when he’s breaking up with her:

samantha-beforeep4.jpgBEFORE GETTING DUMPED

samantha-afterep4.jpgAFTER GETTING DUMPED

I might actually feel bad for how slow Samantha seems, if she hadn’t revealed what a vicious little bitch she was every other time she was ever on screen. Mean girl. Bad voice. Good riddance.

Of course, Courtney finds a way to make this about her. “He’s making choices for both of us,” she swoons. Courtney’s a master manipulator who is turned on by suffering. If she and Ben end up together, I wouldn’t be surprised if we find out a few months down the road that she’s convinced Ben to murder someone for her. What? It happens ALL THE TIME on Snapped.

Ben tells the women that he dumped Samantha because he “takes this serious,” and anyone who doesn’t should get the hell out. So why didn’t he also eliminate Blakeley for her stupid hat? That hat is not taking this seriously enough. I was too busy laughing at it to get a picture. MY KINGDOM FOR A SCREENSHOT OF THAT HAT!

Kacie’s alluringly exposed left breast is thrilled to get some “real” one-on-one time with Ben, FINALLY. Ben admits he really wanted to kiss her in the river, but he didn’t want to make the other girls jealous. So they kiss in private, just them and the secretly jealous camera man. (He follows Ben around all day every day. You think he’s not discovering some feelings, too?) Ben worries that he’s “in trouble” because his relationship with Kacie B. is growing faster than his relationships with the others. (Well, something’s growing pretty fast…) “She’s wonderful,” he says. Aww.

But good is quickly followed by evil. Courtney and Ben escape the group so they can grab each other’s faces and smush them together a bunch. Courtney basically says the exact same thing that Samantha did about how much she hates group dates, but says it in a way that flatters Ben, which we’ve established is his favorite. He feels bad for how she’s having such a “rough time” so he gives her the reassurance she needs … in the form of the rose.


Is Ben some sort of android? Can he literally not see the difference between a blatant lie and the truth? Because even when Courtney is saying that she’s “having trouble” and “questioning” his feelings and blahbedy blah, she’s smiling with her lemon-sucker lips and playing with her hair. It’s so obvious that she’s full of sh*t and just wants the rose. WAKE UP, BEN! You just gave a rose to the evil step-mom character in The Parent Trap. If only a precocious young pair of Lindsay Lohans were there to reveal her true colors and set Ben straight.

Date #3: Choosing A Love Song with Jennifer

It’s finally the diversity redhead’s chance to shine. Bennifer jump a fence that says “NO TRESPASSING” to get to a secluded, dark and terrifying crater, which they are going to rappel down because it’s not a season of The Bachelor without a date that reminds you of The Descent.

ben-jen-scared-ep4.jpgMeanwhile, back at the compound: Courtney walks in as the women are discussing how she shouldn’t have gotten the group date rose, and would never see her and Ben together in real life. The room goes quiet. End of scene.

So Bennifer drop themselves down into the crater and then, on the count of three, detach the rope and “dive into the unknown.” I mean, into the water. They know that it’s water. This show is just lies on top of lies!

Jennifer’s date feels like a real afterthought, at least for the show’s editors. All of a sudden they’re out of the crater and looking at some deer, and then they’re sitting by a fire and talking about heartbreak. Maybe because Jennifer’s so normal and grounded and sweet. Makes for terrible TV. Thankfully, nature comes to the rescue and brings some excitement into the mix. They run in the rain and say how “sexy” it is.

Meanwhile, back at the compound: Everyone’s talking about Jennifer, until Courtney again finds a way to make it about her. She naturally “gets along better with guys” (because she’s a model with no discernible emotions?) and has “always had a boyfriend.” (UNTIL SHE MURDERS EACH OF THEM?) In the bathroom, Blakeley is dyeing Emily’s roots while she complains that she desperately wants to save Ben from falling for the “vegan-raw doe-eyed model.”

Ben gives Jennifer the rose, and she calls it the “best night of her life.” And that’s even BEFORE she gets to the not-really-but-kinda-personal Clay Walker concert that Ben kinda-but-not-at-all “planned” just for her! Jennifer clutches her prized rose as the crowd parts and she and Ben make their way to the front row.

ben-jen-rose-ep4.jpgThey slow dance to a song about “never saying goodbye,” which, statistically speaking, they’ll probably do very soon. But not tonight.

Cocktail Party

Ben says it’s been a “good week” and that he thinks his future wife is in the room. Another classic case of speaking too soon and/or straight outta your ass.

Emily is fixated on Courtney and can’t let it go. She compares her to a marble statue that’s beautiful, but cold and hard on the inside. Though Emily’s been warned not to talk about another girl in her alone time with Ben, she decides to do it anyway. Ben doesn’t seem interested, but she goes ahead and tells him that “the girl who got the rose” on the group date shouldn’t have. (WAY TO NOT NAME NAMES! NO IDEA WHO YOU’RE TALKING ABOUT!) Ben says Emily is willing “her own demise” by focusing on someone else instead of him. He means that she’ll ruin their relationship and not get a rose, but what I hear is, “Courtney will murder you.”

Emily’s second mistake is to tell Casey S., who is Courtney’s “friend” I guess who cares whatever, that she told Ben that Courtney is “mean,” but that Ben didn’t take it well. Casey tries to stand up for her partner in ridiculous skinniness, but Emily isn’t having it. So Casey runs to Courtney and TELLS. HER. EVERYTHING. “What an idiot,” Courtney says of Emily. “She sh*t in her own hat with me. And let me tell you, once you get on my sh*tlist, it’s really hard to get off.” She wants to shave off Emily’s eyebrows in the middle of the night and “verbally assault her.” (She threw in “verbally” to throw us off.) Courtney says she’s “fired up,” and yet she says everything in the detached, whispery monotone of a seasoned killer. Or an anemic, malnourished model. Or BOTH?

It’s snowing outside, so Ben and Nicki laugh and hug and kiss in it. It’s also snowing inside … flakes of HATRED and BITTERNESS! Kacie asks the group who’s learned more about themselves in the last two weeks than they have in the last two years. Some of the girls say yes. God help them. Courtney says no because she “knows herself so well.” Somehow this leads to Courtney laughing in Emily’s face and calling her out. She repeats the lines about sh*tting in the hat and getting on the sh*t list. Is the sh*t list INSIDE the sh*t hat? (I really wish I didn’t have to put those asterisks in, but them’s the rules. Gotta put the bad curse words in super-secret code, 4 ADULTZ ONLY!)

Emily pretends that she doesn’t know what Courtney is talking about, so Courtney stomps off, caresses her rose and says “WINNING” for the 897,694th time.

courtney-crazyeyes-rose.jpgEmily runs off and cries about how she didn’t want anyone to be mad at her.

emily-crying-ep4.jpgThis is a tough one. Courtney IS a monster, but Emily is a fool to think she can play the game that way. And they both could have been meaner or at least more honest in their little fight. Despite Courtney’s obnoxious insistence upon tirelessly quoting Charlie Sheen, there are no winners here.

Rose Ceremony

ben-forest-rose.jpgBen stands before them in front of a creepy indoor forest. Each leafless dead tree represents the soul of a women who’s been chopped down along his path to love. Courtney, Jennifer and Rachel have roses. And the others who will not be sacrificed to the volcano of forever-alone on this snowy Utah eve ARE …

Kacie B.
(where was SHE this week, besides inside that stupid hat?)
Casey S.

Which means that the whole Courtney vs. Emily feud was a red herring, and instead it’s Monica who’s going home. She shall be fondly remembered as the one who picked on Jenna the blogger and tried to get inside Blakeley’s romper that first night … and then did very little after that. Monica cries in the limo that she wants her happy ending. But tonight she gets the world’s saddest ending instead.

Ben announces that their next stop is Puerto Rico, and Courtney says that she was “just there two weeks ago.” But isn’t this the fourth week of this show? And isn’t she just THE WORST?

Next Week: Emily continues her doomed crusade to reveal Courtney’s dark insides to Ben. But it’s no use. He is Gollum, and Courtney is the Ring, and they are going skinny-dipping together in the Puerto Rican surf. So, it’s a done deal. It’s already over. Introducing Mr. and Mrs. Courtney Flajnik, everybody!¬†¬†

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(Images courtesy of ABC)

Meghan Carlson

Senior Writer, BuddyTV

Meghan hails from Walla Walla, WA, the proud home of the world’s best sweet onions and Adam West, the original Batman. An avid grammarian and over-analyzer, you can usually find her thinking too hard about plot devices in favorites like¬†The Office,¬†It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, and¬†How I Met Your Mother. In her spare time, Meghan enjoys drawing, shopping, trying to be funny (and often failing), and not understanding the whole¬†Twilight¬†thing. She’s got a BA in English and Studio Art from Whitman College, which makes her a professional arguer, daydreamer, and doodler.