Happy Monday, Bachelor-heads! Tonight, Brad and his final eight head to Costa Rica, and Brad is ready to fall in love some more! Just fall, fall, fall. Keep falling, forever, like love is a bottomless pit or a black hole or some sort of eternal vacuum-shaped purgatory-tube. At least that’s how it feels sometimes during these two-hour episodes. Eternal.
It’s been six weeks since any of these women have seen another living man (or gotten any) so, needless to say, they’re in heat, and Costa Rica is only making it worse. “I’m ready to get down and dirty in the jungle with Brad,” says Ashley. Maybe she’s on to something: If there was exotic mud wrestling on this show, maybe more men would tune in! And maybe I would have to write less about feelings!
FLY AWAAAAY, FLY AWAY TO OUR EXOTIC RECAP:
The women pull up to their Costa Rican resort in another Hummer, proving once again how entirely detached this show is from most Americans’ values and lifestyles. Brad takes turns hugging his gaggle of sister wives, and then they take a walk to their villa, which has a hot tub and an infinity pool and overlooks a volcano. “It just feels so organic,” says Ashley without an ounce of irony. Six weeks around synthetic feelings and boobs, and she’s lost all semblance of what is actually organic in this world.
Date #1: Ziplining with Chantal O.
Date card: “Close your eyes, hold on tight, love is in the air tonight.”
What it should have read: “Cover your head, take off your pants, tonight I hope our genitals dance.”
“Whoooo, meeeee? Agaaaaaain?”
The other women are pissed that Chantal is getting her second one-on-one date, especially Michelle, in her now trademark insane, imaginary fashion: “All I can hope is that Chantal gets attacked by monkeys. Or apes.” Really ANY primate will do. Even one of Michelle’s pet flying monkeys! She’s not picky!
Chantal packs her silly hot pink suitcase and tries not to think about the fact that Brad might dump her at any moment and send her on a plane back to the States before she even sees any of the Costa Rican scenery. Brad picks her up and, guess what, they’re going in ANOTHER helicopter! (Drinking Game Players: Driiiink!)
Back at the mansion: Michelle pulls the old “If Chantal’s what he’s into, I’m not right for him” move. She calls Chantal “aggressive, over-confident and egotistical,” and if you don’t see the irony in that, then you must be new here. That’s like Stalin criticizing a puppy for being “tyrannical.” Michelle is projecting so hard that she might actually have split her soul multiple times during that little speech, Horcrux-style. Oh Michelle, what WON’T you say to maximize your air time? I have a feeling we will find out tonight, and I have a feeling the answer is “nothing.”
Chantal and Brad scope the ‘Rican scenery from the helicopter, and Chantal basically talks herself in and out of how madly in love she is with Brad about four times. “I’m not going to let anything stop me from falling in love with Brad,” she says. Including logic, survival instinct, dignity and common sense–just the way The Bachelor likes it!
Now it’s time to zipline, which means now it’s time to use ziplining as a metaphor for falling in love! It starts to rain, and Brad turns into a curious Physics student: “I wonder if I’ll be more scared in the rain? I wonder if the rain makes you go faster?” Chantal goes first to get away from his stupid questions, and Brad is impressed with her confidence and risk-taking attitude. Then they zip in a spooning position, and Chantal is the big spoon!
Two confident ladies in love.
Chantal and Brad have a picnic in the jungle, which is Michelle’s best chance to see her prophecy come to light and voodoo a monkey into ripping off Chantal’s face in pursuit of their delicious dinner. Unfortunately for Michelle, their picnic gets rained out, and all the monkeys are like, “Nope! Not flying in that!” Costa Rica, you ol’ romance-killer, I love you. Thanks for keeping things interesting. You’re a better host than Chris Harrison!
“What is it about Chantal and I and rain? Every time we’re together, it rains!” says Brad, because two times means “every time.” They go back to his place, and that’s where the date turns into the climax of a Harlequin romance novel: Chantal comes out in Brad’s white button-down shirt, and Brad says “Good God, I’m in trouble here,” which means, “Oh crap, we’re not supposed to bone for TWO MORE WEEKS!” But they probably will anyway. This season is a season of FIRSTS.
Chantal is prancing around coyly in his shirt, and Brad says, “We’re not rained out, baby. We’re rained IN.” But I wish someone would reign in Michelle, who is back at the villa attempting to use her she-demon magic to will Brad into not giving Chantal a rose. But even her dark sorcery can’t overcome the power of Chantal and Brad’s lust I mean LOVE, because they are Really Connecting (their faces and other parts together). Could it be because she’s pantsless? Chantal gets the rose, and they take turns trading superlatives (best date ever! best DAY ever! BEST LIFE EVER LIVED!) in between giggles and Brad’s softest beard tickles.
Date #2: Waterfall Rappelling with Jackie, Michelle, Emily, Ashley, Shawntel and Britt
Date card: “Love springs eternal.”
What it should have read: “Don’t go chasing waterfalls, or go anywhere alone with Michelle.”
Michelle starts her group date day in her usual way: By bitching about Chantal! She’s “frustrated” that Chantal got a rose and came home in Brad’s shirt. “He. Is. MINE.”
It’s yet another date about “facing fears,” says Brad, but really it’s about “how pissed off can Michelle’s face get?” The answer is: VERY pissed.
Fun Bachelor science fact #1: They do not teach you how to convincingly fake-smile at witch school.
She can’t believe that after their super-special rapelling date a few weeks ago, at which she aggressively forced Brad to promise never to rappell with another woman, that Brad would DARE to let his producers pre-arrange this date in Costa Rica without his knowledge three months ago. What a callous jerk! He deserves a good stabbing for this one!
Jackie is scared of heights. Shawntel is scared of looking ugly while careening down a waterfall. Michelle pouts in the back of the line like a 5-year-old. I think she might be waiting until all the other women are safely on the ground so she can push Brad over the edge. Then, just for the sake of being a total bitch, she tells Jackie to “look down” so that the poor placeholder (ADMIT IT, that’s what Jackie is) will flip out some more. “Jackie is … dramatic,” says Michelle, because she has a brain tumor that causes her to say other people’s names when she’s really talking about herself.
“It’s really annoying to see Brad being so nice to the other girls,” says Michelle. So she’s being a total dick for the both of them! Once all the other girls have rappelled, she starts punching Brad and calling him an “a**hole” for breaking his promise. But then he tells her that the two of them are rappelling together, so actually he DID keep their stupid, pointless “pact”! Then she starts to hug and kiss him. This is the definition of an abusive relationship. Again, I hope Michelle’s harness breaks, but again, I don’t see my wish granted.
It’s hot springs time, and Michelle drunkenly tells the camera man that she wants to “go home and f***” Brad!
NOT SOBER. NOPE.
At least I think she was talking about Brad, but it could have been her collection of crystal skulls back home. And I think she said “f***,” but who knows what alien swear words and sex acts she’s capable of describing. Those darn bleeps ruin everything. If I didn’t hate her so much I would love her for her honesty. But then she goes into crazy-mode again: “Not to be a bitch…” followed by lots of bitchy comments about the other women. She’s the most entertaining person on this show, but GIRL HAS GOT TO GO.
Meanwhile, Emily tells Brad that she has a tendency to “sabotage” her relationships, but she doesn’t want to do that with Brad. She can do nothing wrong in my eyes, even while describing her faults!
Back at the mansion: Alli and Chantal discover a beetle in their villa, and Alli FLIPS HER S*** OOOOOUT.
Fun Bachelor science fact #2: The way Alli reacts to a beetle is the way human beings ought to react to being on The Bachelor.
She screams bloody murder so loud that Brad and Michelle can hear her from the hot springs. (Michelle in her head: “ONE OF MY VICTIMS!”)
Michelle then makes the mistake of asking Brad why Chantal got a rose last night, and Brad finally gets pissed off for all her constant picking and questioning. (And punching.) She says, “I don’t see you with her,” and Brad asks her to trust him. He tells the camera, “I really like Michelle, but what I don’t like is when Michelle gets pissed off at me for nothing.” Which is ALL THE TIME. Brad is too deep under her spell to understand what he’s saying. Where is Michelle hiding her evil curse-holding seashell in that tiny bikini? Her powers are stronger than I ever imagined!
Brad tells the women that he’s not going to hand out a rose, because he wants to make sure that he makes the right decisions at the end of the week. “I had a lot of interesting conversations tonight, I had a great time with you all,” he says robotically, comma, insincerely. Michelle ruined everything, as usual.
“If he can’t make a decision, I’ll be forced to take matters into my own hands,” Michelle says like she’s reading it straight out of the serial killer manual.
Date #3: Cave of Wonders (bugs!) with Alli
Date card: “Meet me at the altar.”
What it should have read: “Meet me for basically the first time.”
Alli is excited to go on a date with Brad and “come back with that glow” (that no-pants SEXED glow?) that the other girls have. Which, in Bachelor editing, we know is code for “She probably won’t come back at all.”
Brad shows up with a couple horses and a mule, and they go for a leisurely ride through the countryside.
Normal date stuff!
But this is just to lull Alli into a false sense of enjoyment before the Fear Factor segment begins again. Brad sets up the date: “A little bit of fear involved, a little bit of anxiety, but when you do end up at the altar, it’s all worth it.” Uhh … OK? Are you going to kill her at some sacrificial pagan altar, Brad? IT LOOKS LIKE A YES: He leads her into a cave, and they climb down, The Descent-style. Will it be filled with deadly, flesh-eating zombie vampires? Alli is more afraid it will be filled with icky bugs, her biggest fear! (Besides imminent rejection.)
It’s way too dark for us to really see what’s going on, but the Psycho music lets us know that this is the Cave of Wonders, and someone has DARED DISTURB HIS SLUMBERRRRRR. Bats and spiders almost panic-attack Alli to death, but they manage to make it to the “altar,” which is a stone that “makes stairs” inside the cave. Brad sets up a little picnic for them on the altar, and they toast to to the angry ancient god who rules over that sacred spot that they’re daring to film a dating show on. Luckily, Abu isn’t there to touch any cursed gold pieces like a monkey CHUMP, so they make it out alive.
We come back from commercial, and Alli and Brad are magically out of the cave and sitting in the middle of the blue lagoon, and it turns out the biggest danger today is that Alli and Brad might bore each other to death. “This conversation with Alli is going nowhere,” says Brad. “We’re making small talk!” Which, seeing that they’ve really only spent two or three total hours together, might be normal–but The Bachelor needs to be speedy. No time for small talk, move straight to the love stuff. (That’s what I always say on my first dates!)
Back at the mansion, the women predict that Alli won’t come home, and they seem to be right. Brad attempts to find ANYTHING interesting to talk about with Alli, and fails. She confides in him about why she dumped her ex-boyfriend, and inadvertently feeding him the reason he turns around and uses to refuse her the rose: He can’t see her face at the end of his wedding aisle. It’s his first one-on-one that has led straight to Dumpsville, and Brad handles it well, considering. I mean, he doesn’t so much break up with Alli as he fires her. He doesn’t seem to care too much, but you can’t blame him when he’s got so many other women still waiting in the wings, pantsless and ready to pounce his junk.
Alli cries in the car on the way to the airport: “I’m really, really gonna miss him a lot.” At least she’ll always have these episodes to look back and cringe at!
MICHELLE HIJACKS THE SHOW
Brad just wants to go home and “process what he’s feeling” (call his therapist), but then a mysterious knock comes at the door, and guess who it is: MicHELLe!!! She’s ready to make her dream of “going home and f***ing Brad” a terrifying reality!
The curse continues.
Michelle says she just wanted to “talk” with Brad, and he says it’s a “nice surprise,” but he really means, “Where’s your handler? THEY’RE FIRED!” Michelle reassures Brad that he made the right decision to send home Alli, and then Brad mockingly asks if she has any other directions for him, and she tells him that keeping Chantal is a “huge mistake” and she’s mad she didn’t get the group date rose. She’s pissed about everything he does! “I want you to figure it out on your own,” she says, and he says, “Apparently you don’t.” She then gives Brad a LIST of who should go home and when. Her list is in this order: Britt, Jackie, Chantal, Shawntel, Emily, Ashley. (Leaving her at the end.)
OH MICHELLE! Girl, as right as you might be about those first two, you are going down in flames. Or water. Whichever one gets rid of you. I’m not picky either.
“I hate so much about the things that you choose to be.”
Michelle leaves, feeling “confident” that she will have more time with Brad, and Brad looks like someone punched him and stole his mule. “Sometimes it feels like I’m being pulled in a million different directions, and Michelle is the largest contributor to that,” he says. I literally picture her tying ropes to all his limbs and ripping him apart in a torture chamber. It seems more plausible than them ever getting married.
Brad walks in and tells the women that he’s “hit a bit of a wall” today. But, as Brad is so fond of saying because it means both everything and nothing, “it is what it is.” (OR IS IT? Inception horn!)
Brad grabs Emily and she tells him that she woke up feeling like “the biggest idiot” for telling him that she’s a love-sabotager. “Why in the world would anyone want to hang out with me after that?” Um, because you’re AMAZING. She says she feels vulnerable, but she just wants Brad’s help to overcome that tendency. “She’s worth the fight,” says Brad, who at least has a good read on SOMEBODY here.
Brad pulls Michelle out and tells her that she’s “scaring him,” but he doesn’t mean in the psycho-killer way that we all are scared of her. Michelle claims that Brad “asked” her to talk badly about Chantal and list out the women who should be eliminated, because apparently they don’t teach sarcasm-reading or facial expression recognition at Witch School, either. Brad is exasperated but then Michelle starts to cry, proving (at least in his mind) that she is, in fact, human. WILL HE SEND HER HOME ANYWAY???? Can’t dreams EVER come true?
“I don’t know if I’m crazy [YES] or if I’m not understanding the way he communicates [ALSO YES],” says Michelle, and then she lies straight to all the girls’ faces when they ask if she was the one who “gave Brad grief” about not giving out the date rose. She says she “gave him a look,” but Detective Shawntel decides to investigate further, and finds out someone talked to him. But she wants to help Brad relax, not dig into his business, so they decide to play “The Silent Game,” which is actually “The Makeout Game.” Brad wins! (He’s The Bachelor. He wins all kissing-related games on this show.)
Chantal figures out that Michelle snuck out and talked to Brad about the group date, and they ask her again. She finally owns up to the fact that she went over to Brad’s and spent 20 minutes with him. Everyone is all:
APPROPRIATE RESPONSE FACE
“I think that’s probably what he’s referring to,” says Michelle (YA THINK?), and then she lies again and says she didn’t badmouth any of them to Brad. Crickets. Literally. (Fun Bachelor science fact #3: There are a bajillion crickets in Costa Rica.) “I’m not apologizing, I am just trying to keep it real,” says the unreal-est Bachelor contestant in the history of ever.
Chantal goes to Brad and tells him that she has fallen in love with him. She says she felt a change where she stopped worrying about herself and started worrying about him. He can’t say it back, but he says “Thank you very much. Made my night.” They smush their faces together in solidarity.
HEY LOOK IT’S CHRIS HARRISON! Don’t blink or you’ll miss him earning his keep by reminding them there are roses to hand out. What has he been doing this whole week in Costa Rica?
We’re back from commercial and immediately zoom in on a praying mantis, the insect whose females rip off the heads of the males and EAT THEM after they mate, as a symbol of the grief that Michelle has put Brad through tonight, and what she will inevitably do to him if he keeps her around until Fantasy Suite time.
High-five, Bachelor editors! I got your message loud and clear.
Chantal’s got that special pants-off rose! And the rest go to:
Ashley (Her crazy, by comparison, is totally attractive again.)
Britt (The ol’ seen but not heard act. Good strategy, Rapunzel!)
Shawntel (The Makeout Game was a good idea!)
Michelle (UGGGGGGGGH, the reign of terror continues)
Eliminated: Jackie. And so her Pretty Woman fairy tale comes to an end. Brad walks Jackie out and says she’s “one in a million.” (No Brad, I think you mean one in thirty.) Jackie SAYS she was in love with Brad (or sort of says it?) but I don’t think she means it, because you can actually understand what she’s saying because she’s not sobbing uncontrollably. That’s dignified and abnormal for a Bachelor reject. We’re not buying it, Jackie!
Next Week: Brad and his final six are going to Anguilla! Brad asks Emily if he can meet her daughter (hometown dates, ahoy!) and all the women freak out when Michelle attaches her deadly mantis legs to Brad during a swimsuit photo shoot.
(Images courtesy of ABC)
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