It’s only week 2 of The Bachelor, and already we’re on the move. We open on the bucolic fields of Sonoma, California, then cut to a home video of teenage Ben Flajnik walking his little dog down the street. Oh, that’s Ben now? My mistake. But in my defense, he’s wearing cargo shorts and tinted sunglasses.

Ben says he’s excited to share his hometown with the 18 remaining women, whom we then see drinking champagne in the back of three convertibles as they drive through the countryside on their way to Sonoma. Wait, is that legal? Maybe there’s a law in Sonoma that says if your passenger is already drunk when she enters the car, she can continue drinking in the car. It really IS paradise!

The girls arrive in their street clothes, and it’s disorienting to see last week’s fancy monsters in t-shirts and jeans. Don’t let your guard down, Ben! A messy bun don’t make her brain any less messy.

Ben presents the first date card to Kacie B., the Southern cutie pie who may just be the Luke Skywalker to our Leia. No, not our secret twin brother. Our ONLY HOPE.

The first date of the season is always a big one. Let’s see what Ben has (sat back and let a bunch of producers) come up with!

Date #1: Kickin’ It Homestyle with Kacie

The date starts with a very dark, very deserted nighttime walk through Sonoma. Uh, what the hell? A walk? Remember when Brad took Ashley Hebert TO HER OWN CARNIVAL OF HORRORS? Now that was a first date.

It takes about three storefronts and Kacie is already like, “I want to move here! Let me move here! I love it, love it, love it!” Here’s a thought: What if she’s being honest, and even if Ben doesn’t pick her, Kacie STILL moves to Sonoma, her new favorite perfect dream paradise? And then they run into each other all the time? It’s weird how that still sounds less awkward than 99% of what happens on this show.

They go into a toy store, and Kacie sneaks back in to grab something. It’s a prop to reveal her deepest, darkest secret:

kacie-baton1.jpgShe used to twirl a baton!!!!!!!!!!!

Haha, look at that face! It earned all those exclamation points. So Kacie teaches Ben how to twirl in the middle of a deserted street, and Ben teaches her how to let go and let love in or whatever, just like that scene in The Notebook!

At dinner, Ben talks about his late dad a lot. It’s one of the few times we see him light up and actually volunteer interesting information, rather than just awkwardly reacting to everything. At the end of dinner, Ben offers Kacie the rose. Then she accepts the rose. Then they kiss.


Then she calls her post office about getting her mail forwarded.

But the date’s not over yet. Ben escorts Kacie to a deserted movie theater (what is this, a ghost tour of Sonoma?) and they have a private screening of their own home movies! Aw, that’s actually a really cute idea, especially for two people who want to get engaged before getting to know each other very well.

ben-kacie-movies.jpgIt’s America’s Funniest Home Videos, starring US!

In the home movies, we learn that Kacie has always been a sweetie pie, and we see Ben’s bare butt for what will NOT be the last time this season. Ben tears up when his dad is on screen, and says that sharing such an intimate experience has bonded them together. More like bonded their MOUTHS TOGETHER!

“I feel like my dad would really like Kacie B.,” Ben says, partially negating the sweetness of the whole thing by using her last initial.

Date #2: Child’s Play with Brittney, Rachel, Jennifer, Blakeley, Emily, Jenna, Shawn, Monica, Samantha, Jamie, Nicki and Jaclyn

“I’ve got 12 women coming on the date today and that is … a lotta pairs of legs,” says Ben. Why does it seem like he’s not taking this seriously? And why the leg fetish? And why didn’t the producers cast any girls with peg legs? I demand ANSWERS!

The group “date” is performing a play by “the best playwrights in town,” says Ben … who are actually a bunch of spunky little kids. Cute! Wait, no — HORROR! There is literally no scenario in which a Bachelor date should involve children, especially one that includes 24 total legs and 40 total boobs (by mass). Where’s the PTC when we actually need them?

The women take turns “auditioning” for the kids, which means that the kids call out difficult dares like “act like a weasel!” or “be a gingerbread man!” or “read a book!” and the women have to do it. Ben enjoys laughing at the women with the children, which means he would be a good dad, and that’s “such a turn-on,” says Nicki.

One of the kids asks for a “sexy dance.” The best thing right now would be for the police to come to this park and arrest ALL the adults.

When it’s Blakeley’s turn to audition, her massive milk jugs almost fall out of her postage-stamp-sized “romper.”

blakeley-romper-ep2.jpg“Be trivial! As a person!”

A little girl playwright says that she didn’t like Blakeley and her big exposed boobs (future Bachelor contestant in the making!), while a little boy playwright says that she was great. They have just inadvertently illustrated Hollywood gender bias in a nutshell.

Meanwhile, Back at Wherever They Are: Courtney, wearing a heart sweartshirt that’s clearly ironic because she doesn’t have one of those, tries to undermine Lindzi and her first impression rose, saying that the horse got it, not Lindzi. And so her reign of monotone terror begins.

Back on the Date: The ladies get their roles for the fairytale play, and Ben hands out the costumes, which include a hippie, a weasel, a princess, a donkey and a tree. Jenna’s the wizard, because she has the power to make any good vibe magically disappear.

jenna-wizard.jpgNot her first time playing a beard… :{(>

(I tried to make a frowny face with a mustache and a beard. Did it work?)

Blakeley’s a gingerbread man. She’s also a slut who tries too hard, according to the other girls. At least, that’s what I’m gathering from Samantha the bitchy bunny, who says, “What do you get when you cross a gingerbread man and a hooker? Blaaaakeley!” I was going to answer “Christmas in Vegas,” which is pretty close! Both are very shiny and very sad.

It’s time to put on the show! But wait, did they actually ever rehearse the show? But wait, what am I saying? Rehearsal is for things that matter, and audiences that have a high enough standard not to see a Bachelor play in the first place. On with the show!

All it takes is the play’s title, “Prince Pinot of Bachelor-Ville,” to know that there’s no way a bunch of kids wrote it. It’s actually too stupid for kids to have written. And way too much kissing. The play is about a prince (Ben) named Pinot (like the wine, which is illegal for the people who “wrote” this) who needs a wife in order to be truly happy. What a creative and positive message for the kids. I mean, FROM the kids!

The play begins with something about how Emily “the hippie” and Rachel “the valley girl” are supposed to kiss Ben on the cheek, but he runs off stage and ruins their big moment. That is the first scene, and that’s also when I lose the thread of the “plot.” Later, Ben becomes a sheep? Who hangs out with Nicki the donkey and Jennifer the weasel? And he has to kiss them in order to … kiss them? I begin to think that the producers wrote the play Mad Lib style, and then just told the kids to fill in the blanks with nonsense. Monica shows up as the dragon (that’s apt) who sees the sheep-prince and “blows his clothes off.” So now it is seriously offensive that they’re claiming a bunch of children wrote this.

ben-shirtless-forthekids.jpg“And then the dragon blows the sheep, and the sheep rips off his shirt like a craigslist stripper!”

And that’s how the play ends, I guess? “And they all tolerated each other unhappily never after! The end, thank God!” To close out the worst community theater production of all time, and that includes prison plays, Ben, dressed as a sheep who’s dressed as a knight who’s not wearing pants, claps like a seal. Perfect.

Then it’s time for the WRAP PARTY! Right off the bat, Rachel and Emily drag Ben away and force him to make up for those missed cheek-kisses. Nothing’s sexier than a woman who’s so secure that she travels as part of a pair and counts kisses.

Everyone hates Blakeley because, as Samantha says, “she’s such, like, a cougar. She’s so, so desperate.” Blakeley hates them all back because they’re probably right because she’s HERE FOR BEN! So she corners Ben for some alone time, and makes the excuse for her boob-bearing romper, “I’m blessed in certain places.” Well, at least it’s not like she’s claiming it’s in her brain. 

Samantha is so upset by how over-the-top and desperate Blakeley is that she runs away and cries in the bathroom. That’s like the pot running away and crying in the bathroom about how black the kettle is.

Meanwhile, Back at Courtney’s Evil Lair: Courtney says a couple more aggressive and terrible things, including “winning” like Charlie Sheen, and then the date card arrives. Kacie, who had the first date, reads it aloud: “Courtney, let’s spin the bottle… Ben.” 

Courtney brags, “He wants to kissss meee!” and then asks Kacie, “How’d that taste comin’ out of your mouth?” Kacie is like, “Uh, what?” so she asks again. “How’d that taste comin’ out of your mouth?” Then she cackles. But even when she cackles, it’s with this face:

courtney-modelface-ep2.jpgI like my models’ faces like I like my slushees: FROZEN AND SOUR.

That is some bone-chilling bitchiness, y’all. I hope the “how’d that taste?” line gets tied back in later, when one of the girls punches Courtney SO HARD in the mouth that her tooth falls out.

Erika, who didn’t get a date this week and therefore has no reason to live, leans way too far forward and gives the camera CRAZY EYES as she says that Courtney isn’t human and is getting under everyone’s skin. That paints the picture that Courtney is, in fact, a giant tick in a human suit who feasts on sorrow and the [erectile] blood of adult men. That sounds accurate enough. Let’s go with this tick thing.
Back on the Date: The women play a rousing game of Bouncy Implant Chicken in the pool while Blakeley plots her next move. Honestly, she seems too dumb to be an actual threat to anybody.

Jennifer grabs Ben for some one-on-one time. I’m probably biased because I, too, possess the ginger gene, but doesn’t Jennifer seem refreshingly normal? Ben kisses the understated but strikingly beautiful Jennifer in a private alcove of the pool, and then he whispers, “Even our kisses echo…” I think he means they echo … through the halls of HISTORY! (Pop Culture Wing; “What Went Wrong?” Room.)

Blakeley says that, “being a Scorpio,” she’s a passionate, great lover, and she wants to show that off to Ben. She’s making it really hard for me to want to defend her. She corners Ben in the pool and tries to eat him while Jaclyn and Jennifer peek at the action over some bushes. Jennifer feels betrayed, as she was kissing Ben in the pool not 10 seconds earlier. It’s like these women are goldfish, and every 8 seconds they forget that they’re not the only one in the bowl.

The Giving of the Group Date Rose: Ben gives his rose to the woman who “owned the day and the night,” and that woman is … Blakeley? Eww. I mean, whatever. I still think she’s too obviously dumb to be threatening, but Blakeley doesn’t “own the night.” She owns a striped romper that she stole from a Raggedy Ann doll.

But it’s also tough to fully dislike Blakeley, because all the other women dislike her so passionately and so offensively, and they’re all so awful, too! This is a lose-lose for us: Do we go with the mean women who would call another woman “a candy-striping horse-faced tranny hooker,” or do we go with the … one who earned the name of candy-striping horse-faced tranny hooker?

Quick, let’s table that and move on to someone we can ALL get behind disliking…

Date #3: Cuddlin’ Up with Courtney

Ben arrives for his third and final date, and he’s already in putty-form: “She’s one of the most beautiful women I’ve ever seen. I mean, she’s a model for cryin’ out loud!” But he wants to see if this connection is more than skin-deep. Like, what are those things that go deep inside the skin? Orifices! He wants to see if their connection can be orifice-deep.

They drive to a part of the redwoods, where there’s a cute scene in which Ben shows off his adorable dog Scotch’s howling abilities. Can this show be about SCOTCH’s quest for love? Sort of like Wishbone for adults?

scotch-willyouacceptthisrose.jpgScotch the Dog, will you accept this rahhhhOOOOOOOoooose?

During their picnic, Courtney’s majestic hair blows in the wind as she claims that she doesn’t get asked out on dates. LIAR. Then they chat about how they both want to travel and settle down, and other oxymorons that go well together when you’re speaking hypothetically in platitudes.

“Courtney’s the full package,” Ben says. “It’s almost too good to be true.” And you know what they say, “If it seems too good to be true, it probably … is because she’s an evil tick from space who’s come to feast on your guts!”

They make out and, not coincidentally, the sun vanishes from the sky. Ben drives Courtney around on his tractor (not a euphemism) in the dark for a while, and then takes her to a romantic candlelit dinner using a haybale for a table. Aw, no one ever takes me to a romantic candlelit dinner using a haybale for a table!

At dinner, Courtney says “winning” again, which is too awful to bear. I like that she’s evil, but the Sheen thing is TOO MUCH. Ben reveals that he used to be a party boy until The Bachelorette, which was a “cathartic” experience that opened him up to real love. I know he’s being sincere, but that’s one of the stupidest defenses of The Bachelorette that I’ve ever heard. Maybe they deserve each other?

Courtney says she’s too “picky” for the fake and empty guys in Los Angeles (LIKE JESSE METCALFE), and she has “some trust issues” (BECAUSE OF JESSE METCALFE’S BETRAYALS?). This is just a half-true way of saying that she’s really judgmental and superficial, isn’t it? Ben, once again, calls her “too good to be true.” I think he was just staring at her face and nodding.

Ben gives Courtney the rose. They kiss while sitting on a quaint little tree swing, and then, later and in private, she pulls a Michelle Money and rubs the rose all over her face, for its energy shall nourish her inner darkness.

courtney-roseface-ep2.jpgWITH EVERY ROSE, I GROW STRONGER.

And, much like Michelle Money, I am now dementedly obsessed with her.

The Cocktail Party

It’s time for the desperation marathon, when everyone who doesn’t already have a rose tries to hold it together long enough to actually be eligible for one.

First up is Lindzi, who spent her free time this week applying extra fake tanner and eyeliner. “Normally dirt’s my makeup,” she says as a reminder that she likes horses. She likes them so much that apparently she lives in the stables with them.

Samantha the bitchy bunny is in the middle of telling Ben how much she “hates drama” when Blakeley waltzes in and grabs him. But she already HAS a rose, that no-good skankmeister! Samantha runs back to the other girls and they take turns calling Blakeley ugly and slutty. Then Blakeley steals Ben away again, this time from Erika. The laser-like power of their collective disgust could wilt any rose in the vicinity. “Everyone’s about to elbow this bitch in the face,” someone says.

“It’s a war out there,” Courtney says calmly while sipping a glass of red wine that, in her hand, more closely resembles a goblet of blood.

Uh oh, it’s crazy blogger Jenna’s turn to crash and burn with Ben. Again. First, she thanks him for giving her a second chance after her meltdown the first night. And that’s how far Jenna gets before she implodes. One sentence in. “I feel like I’m a guy,” she says. “I’m not a good … girl, if that makes any sense.” She’s talking about how she’s not good with cattiness, but it sounds like she wants a sex change. That was bad. But not so bad as to explain what happens next: All of a sudden, she darts away, too drunk to keep her eyes open or articulate a logical thought. She starts sobbing and saying incoherent, sad things and crawls into her bed. Either this is some masterful, time-jumping editing, or Jenna just broke the Drunk Idiot Land Speed Record.

jenna-before-ep2.jpg9:42: Normal.

jenna-5minlater-ep2.jpg9:43: Slobby Sh*tshow of the Century.

The other girls blame “toxic” Blakeley for Jenna’s second meltdown, but the cameras caught nothing to support that. They just want any excuse to bitch about her. Blakeley pretends to be above it all, but then a lone camera man finds her in the corner and slowly zooms in on her pitiful, huddled frame as she sobs behind a packed suitcase. On the Bachelor Second-Hand Sadness Scale, we’ve officially hit BLEAK.

blakeley-suitcase.jpgSuitcase, suitcase, basketcase.

It finally dawns on Ben that there’s some “tension” in the house, so he asks around and finds Blakeley hiding behind the suitcase and comforts her. Then he finds Jenna, curled up in the fetal position and sniffling in her bed, and literally drags her out of it. He’s not The Bachelor. He’s The Babysitt-achelor.

Rose Ceremony

Kacie the Cutie Pie, Blakeley the Snakeley and Courtney the Cruel already have roses. Ben has 13 to hand out, which means only two women are getting dumped tonight. Only two? C’mon Ben, you KNOW you have more dead weight than that.

The roses go to:

Jennifer the Red
Emily the Rapper
Elyse the Who’s That?
Jaclyn the “I Don’t Want Her Horse Face in My Horse Face” Horse-Face
Erika the Crazy-Eyed
Rachel, One of the Blondes
Lindzi the Horse Girl
Nicki the Spunky Young Divorcee
Casey S. the Who Now?
Samantha the Sash-Slash-Bitch
Monica the Switch-Hitter
Jamie the Nervous Nurse
Brittney the Granddaughter

Which means that Shawn the Mom and Jenna the Soon to be on Oxygen’s Snapped are eliminated. NOOOOOOOOOOO! Just wait until Jenna’s blog hears about this!

Jenna hugs herself and cries so much that it kind of seems fake. Like she’s auditioning for the role of  “Trauma Victim #2” on Law & Order: SVU. “Are you kidding me? I’m in shock! SHOCK, I SAY!” But it’s probably not fake. It’s just Jenna. And she will be missed. But at least we’ll always have her terrible, mostly-empty blog.

Next Week: Ben and his top 16 head to San Francisco, where they go skiing in their underwear. Then Brittney quits for whatever reason, and the SECRET MYSTERY BITCH (Shawntel of the Dead from Brad’s season) shows up and undertakes everyone straight to Hell. Can’t wait!

(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 OfficeIt’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.