Ben's Bachelor Blog (People)
Being the Bachelor can be so cool and so crazy, traveling the globe and doing all these amazing things but being back where I spent my childhood really just made me feel like me again. And the house the women were staying in is literally four houses away from where I grew up! It is a family friend's place, and it was so incredibly kind of them to let us use it (they even brought the ladies a home-cooked meal one night while they were there. I love Indiana!) But it also felt just so normal driving over to their dock.
Chris Harrison’s Blog (Yahoo! TV)
It’s no longer a matter of whether Ben enjoys being around someone anymore. It’s gotten much more serious than that, and Ben needed to start making decisions about which of these women he could really see as his wife — and the women in turn, need to decide if they can see Ben as their husband.
I really like Emily—she’s endearing, can make fun of herself, and seems to really get along with the other women (a good sign)—but never for one second did I think she and Ben stood chance as a functioning, romantic couple. Her date felt stilted and stunt-like, taking her straight to the house in which Ben grew up and meeting his parents when she hadn’t even had a real one-on-one date yet. I am aware that a mere fraction of the conversations shared ever get aired, but what meaningful conversations have we seen between these two that didn’t involve Emily selling herself as a stronger contender over either Haley or Olivia, or that didn’t involve her dislike of Olivia and, um, vegetables?
I feel like Ben sent us a very clear message right off the bat during this episode. What was that message? That at this point in the show, he is most into Lauren B.
Amanda is a sweet girl, but she's become a bit of a bore, meanwhile, Caila's overly poised, cutesy act is coming across as fake. If it's possible, she's thinking too much before she speaks. So for me, this date is all about Becca, who's freaking out because she likes Ben so much, and doesn't know if those feelings are being reciprocated.
Meanwhile, back at the cottage, the “ladies” are sitting around discussing how much it sucks not to be on the one-on-one date. But really, I just wanted to take a moment to acknowledge Emily’s t-shirt.
Ben brought poor Em home to meet the parents, and let's just say she didn't give off wife vibes. This is possibly because she uttered the sentence, "If I could sit around and watch movies all day long, that would be my favorite thing in the world."
Looking around at Warsaw, the ladies are — for some reason — falling in love. JoJo thinks it’s a great place to raise a family, and as far as Emily’s concerned, she’s ready to pop out a few babies right here, right now. (You guys do know Ben currently lives in Denver, right?)
While Ben comforted crying children and melted the hearts of America, we started to think Lauren's the frontrunner here. She's not our frontrunner, because the editing hasn't really given us much of a sense of her being an interesting person, but she's clearly Ben's top choice. We're more partial to Jojo, but whatever.
While he may live in Denver now, home is where the heart is, and Ben is totally obsessed with Warsaw. He spent much of this episode driving himself around the town, either in a red pickup truck or in a boat across a local lake, and the women were quite literally beside themselves when he pulled up to the dock to greet them. (No joke, Caila actually reached out and tried to grab the boat – not quite sure where she was going with that, but it should give you an idea of how excited they all were.)
There's value placed on the women being vulnerable, and being forced to expose that vulnerability and trusting the Bachelor before he actually does anything to earn it. He's dating other women in front of them. That's a pretty good reason to hold back a bit.
Caila is super weird. I don't think it's been talked about enough this season, but Caila definitely exists on a different plane than the rest of us earthlings. The constant smiling and the precise diction (precise diction is an indicator of overcompensation) and the fantasy-tripping really should indicate that something is off about Caila. She's obviously intelligent, but her grasp on reality seems shaky. She gets upset over weird stuff, like the time she cried when she realized other girls were competing with her, and in this episode, when she worried that Ben wouldn't pick her because she moved around a lot growing up and doesn't have roots in a community. That isn't a thing to get upset about? It's a problem that's easily solved by settling in one place for an extended period of time? Unless she's actually worried that she can't relate to other human beings but she can't articulate that. That's a valid fear for Caila. Her metaphor, "I picture myself as moss and I've always been trying to find a perfect tree to grow with," is uncommonly literary for a Bachelor contestant, but it's also a head-scratcher, like, "really?" Ben's response -- an uncertain "OK" -- was perfect. She's only made it to the final four because he thinks she's a sex panther.
Becca is beautiful but was standoffish last week so he’s probably gonna punish her by not giving her a one-on-one date OR a rose this week; he feels like he’s most himself around JoJo, which could or could not mean anything; Amanda is beautiful and also a mom and also she’s not THAT beautiful I mean her forehead is kind of high imo and she definitely needs to up her roots-touch-up game; Caila is sweet but also crazy and also kind of rehearsed and definitely wants to be the next Bachelorette; Lauren B’s his favorite but they had a hard week last week so it’s anyone’s game this week; and Emily is a “young lady” who’s also a twin which means she’s definitely going home before the week is even over.
He decides to take her to his favorite dive bar for a few rounds of Jose Cuervo. We have no idea if the fellow shot-takers were friends or charming towns folk ABC invited to liven up the b-roll footage. Whatever the case, they end up on the roof of a building adjacent to the courthouse with a clock tower. We’re one town gazebo away from being in Stars Hollow, folks.
It's every mother’s dream: Her hometown hero of a son bringing a “professional twin” from Las Vegas home for brunch.
Ben’s mom pulls Emily aside to chat and Emily just biffs. She says things like, “I feel like I’m so average at everything in my life” and “It’s been my lifelong dream to be an NFL cheerleader” and “I am super, super young but I’ve really blossomed through meeting Ben.”
Ben's obsessed with his hometown and he shows this by casually waving at strangers on the street who don't know who the f*** he is. The girls obviously have to act excited about it by doing dumb s*** like throwing dirty leaves on top of each other and pretending to be chill with it even though deep down they're all thinking this town is disgusting and wondering where the SoulCycle is.
Let's get real for a second. This show is nothing without Olivia and Lace. Remember Lace? The girl who ran around telling everyone she wasn't crazy, when she was in fact bat-shit? Remember Olivia? The girl who did the very awkward strip-tease, sobbed about her cankles, and is probably still chilling on a deserted island? I can't live without them. The remaining ladies are far too nice to each other and they simply don't bring the drama. This was quite possibly the most boring episode of the season.... and not just because it took place in Warsaw, Indiana. Okay, fine. Precisely because it took place in Warsaw, Indiana.
Reality Steve *Spoilers!*
Probably the best news to come out of “Bachelor” world last week was Chris Harrison saying in an interview with Glamour Magazine, that he just signed on for 5 more years of hosting the show.
Jennifer Weiner's Video Recap:
Us Weekly Breakdown featuring Ashley I:
Us Weekly talks to Nick, JJ, and Benzie:
Here to Make Friends (Emma + Claire PLUS Chris Harrison, Nick Viall, and JJ Lane)
Bachelor Party with Juliet Litman (Channel 33)
The Most Dramatic Podcast in Bachelor History (Jensen + Melissa)
Coming up Roses (Barstool Sports)
Will you Accept this Podcast? (Bustle)
Bachelor Nation News:
Claire Fallon went too (Huffington Post)
An update on Kaitlyn and Shawn (People)
Sad news: Bachelor Nation mourns Lex McAllister