Warning: This recap of episode 3 of The Bachelor contains spoilers.
Welcome to week three, rose lovers! We open on Casa Bachelor’s patio, where Amanda and maybe one of the Laurens are having a hushed conversation about everyone’s favorite big-mouthed villain. “Olivia says she spent, like, $40,000 on clothes,” murmurs Amanda. “It’s insane.” Oh yes, IT is.
“I think that she’s not a nice girl,” continues Amanda, stating the obvious. “But she knows there’s cameras around.” It will never cease to amaze me how reality show contestants continue to be shocked — shocked! — by the fundamental principles of reality TV. A Bachelor season without a mean girl is like Ben Higgi’s haircut — it just doesn’t make any sense.
In walks Harrison, lookin’ sharp in a slate-blue button down, with some news: Two one-on-one dates this week.
Jubilee declares that if she gets the first one-on-one date it’ll be “the happiest moment of my life” (please take a moment to absorb how sad that statement is), but the date goes to Lauren B. You remember Lauren B., don’t you? She’s the one who barely cracked a smile when Ben handed her a photo of the two of them together. (Yes, still holding a grudge about that.) “I am a little bit more reserved,” she admits. “But I need to get to know Ben.” Indeed, the Bachelor feels that Lauren B. is “still a mystery to me,” and that’s probably only 90 percent because he’s had so many Laurens to keep track of.
Ben picks Lauren B. up in a sweet convertible and they hit the road. Spotting a water tower that reads “Camarillo Airport,” Lauren B. wonders aloud, “Are we going to an airport right now?” Excellent guess, toots!
Yes, love is like a ride in a stunt plane — filled with twists, turns, and the ever-present knowledge that you could crash and burn. Though Lauren B. is a flight attendant she’s still smart enough to be terrified, but something about the biplane’s risky tricks gets her in the mood.
Of course, Team Bachelor has the stunt pilot do a flyby over Casa Bachelor, just so the rest of the “ladies” can feel even worse about the emptiness of their current existence.
Eventually the pilot drops Ben and Lauren off in “the middle of nowhere,” a lovely field with a glorious old tree and… a hot tub that looks suspiciously similar to the one from the run-down “Spas” store on the Ride-Along date. That’s right, Lauren B., don’t think too much about how this hot tub got here or why Team Bachelor would want to mar this beautiful swath of God’s creation with a plastic bacteria factory, because the only thing that matters right now is this:
Cue the flamenco guitars — Lauren B. and Ben are making out again! “It feels like we’ve done this before,” marvels Lauren, who apparently suffers from short-term memory loss.
Back at Casa Bachelor, Caila has just realized “there are other girls here,” a revelation that brings tears and an exceptionally high-pitched stream-of-consciousness: “The other people, they’re amazing, and I think they’re all great people, but, like, I don’t want to be guarded, but I’m just acknowledging the fact that it’s gonna be hard…” Reminder: We are on episode 3, which is approximately 9 days in Bachelor time.
The rest of Lauren and Ben’s dinner is unremarkable, except for one exchange.
Awww, I’m just joshin’. Lauren has lots of likes and dislikes. Likes: Her family, her Dad’s pride in his yard, a strong work ethic. Dislikes: Most men who’ve tried to date her. “I’m very picky,” giggles Lauren, adding that her Dad, who is “the nicest, kindest, most sensitive person” she knows, is the reason she’s so picky. Challenge accepted, Lauren B.! Ben sees her daddy issues and raises her with his own Dad’s unexpected triple-bypass surgery, and how worried his mom had been. “It was a good reminder, but also a hard reminder, that that’s what I’m looking for [in a marriage],” he tells Lauren B. She gets the rose, and a private barn-concert by Lucy Angel. (Did they still have this barn on hold from Soules’s season?)
Speaking of déjà vu, Team Bachelor has planned a soccer date for today’s group outing. Amanda, Haley, Jennifer, Shushanna, Leah, Amber, Lauren H., Olivia, Jami, [gasping for air] Rachel, Lace, and Emily put on their spandex and tank tops and meet Ben at Los Angeles’ Memorial Coliseum. Of course, Ben doesn’t have any plans to teach the “ladies” soccer himself; instead, US National Team champs Alex Morgan and Kelley O'Hara will do the honors.
Bless your heart, Other Lauren. But she’s not alone — pretty much everyone is terrible.
Meanwhile, back at Casa Bachelor, Jubilee is feeling low — but also, paradoxically, she feels that she’s above everyone else, too.
And just when I was starting to really like Jubilee, too. Girl, a) you’re too hot to need this show, and b) if you’re on this show, ya ain’t that complicated.
Let’s return to the “Stars vs. Stripes” soccer game already in progress at the Coliseum. Everything is on the line, rose lovers, because the losing team is taking the Reject Bus back to “ice, sore muscles, and bruised egos,” while the winners will enjoy a “romantic” party with Ben. Lace, not realizing that soccer goalies can use their hands, let’s the Stars team score early on — but the Stripes quickly even it up and then take the lead. They’re helped by “beast mode” Emily, who simply will not let the Stars make a goal. And Ben LOVES it.
When the clock runs out, the score is tied 3-3, the game goes into “sudden death,” where Amber (of all people) scores the winning goal for the Stripes. Enjoy your evening of disappointment and despair, Stars.
That said, Shushanna is forever a WINNER for carrying the injured Rachel into the Bachelor Mansion — like it’s nothing! They breed ‘em tough in Russia, baby.
At the victory cocktail party, Olivia swoops in (or “slithers,” to use Amber’s phrase) and grabs Ben first. They head to a balcony above the pool, where Olivia can’t help but taunt her competition: “Hey everybody!” It’s unclear whether Ben realizes how obnoxious this is, because pretty soon he’s mashing faces with the newscaster all the other “ladies” love to hate on. According to Amber, Olivia has “fat toes,” while Haley says she has fake boobs and “horrible” breath.
Actually, not all the women are hating on Olivia; Jami — who so far has not said or done anything of note — immediately rushes over to Liv and lets her know what the mean girls were saying about her “appearances.” Naturally, Olivia wants to know all the details.
To her credit, though, Olivia’s already come to terms with her fat toes. The rest of the group date is fairly uneventful — unless you call Lace not doing anything crazy an “event” — until the very end, when Amber gets the date rose. Yes, that Amber. And yes, that means Miss Olivia McHugeMouth will finally get to experience the emotional “journey” that is the rose ceremony. Not that she’s worried — you see, Ben used her thigh for leverage when he got up to leave the party, so that means he wants to marry her. DUH.
The next day it’s time for Jubilee’s one-on-one date, and no one was more surprised than she was to get the card.
And now that Ben’s arrived at Casa Bachelor, Jubilee’s really worried she’s going to be “socially awkward” on the date — and it turns out, that fear is valid. The first thing she does is “jokingly” give Ben a smackdown for being 20 minutes late, in front of the other “ladies.” They are, naturally, appalled. Things don’t get any better when the helicopter arrives, because Jubilee is “deathly afraid” of heights. “Does anyone else want to go on my date?” she jokes, but boy, the other “ladies” do NOT find that funny.
Of course, Jubilee relaxes a bit once the whirlybird is in the air, because Ben’s soothing hand is on her leg. They land at Cal-a-Vie Health Spa, where they indulge in caviar — that is, until Jubilee spits it out. She’s more of a hot dog kind of girl.
Duly noted, honey. They strip down to their bathing suits and sink into the hot tub, where Jubilee confesses to Ben that she wasn’t sure he was going to laugh when she called him “white boy.” Ben keeps his cool, though. "I ain’t that white!“ he jokes. "I’ve got a little…[funky shoulder shrug].” Not sure what this means, but Jubilee does. “So I’ve heard,” she purrs… which makes Ben blush and me feel confused. Is this now the second time this season that one of the “ladies” has implied Ben has a large penis? Perhaps Chris Harrison and Co. can discuss this burning question on the next episode of Bachelor Live.
After an afternoon of making out in the pool, Ben and Jubilee get cleaned up and go to dinner, where the Bachelor applauds Jubilee for enduring all of her life’s struggles. What follows is perhaps the most human conversation that has ever occurred on this series.
Ben: “You mentioned to me that you haven’t been back to Haiti because of the fear of bringing back those memories… I want to hear, like, a little bit more about what that means to you.”
Jubilee: “I have, like, a love/hate relationship with my past. I had a bad past… But at the same time, I came out okay… Like, my fear of, um, not being loveable and rejection and all that stuff kind of comes from my past, and it’s because my whole family died, except for me. And I deal with, like, a lot of guilt.”
Ben: “What kind of guilt?”
Jubilee: “I’m just, like, I’m the only surviving person that I know of with my bloodline.”
Note to self: NEVER COMPLAIN ABOUT ANYTHING AGAIN, EVER.
Ben, bless him, takes all of this in without flinching, and does his best to offer a response that approaches the gravity of what Jubilee has just told him. “You are a strong woman,” he says, stroking her hand. “There’s a lot of depth to you. I want to get to know those layers.”
Of course she gets the date rose — what kind of asshat would send a girl home after hearing that story? (Okay, maybe Juan Pablo.)
When the “ladies” find out that Jubiliee’s still around the next morning, they all pout into their cheerios.
Lauren H., especially, can’t imagine Jubilee hanging out with the other “soccer moms” and “setting up playdates” for Ben’s future children. Her statements make me feel vaguely uncomfortable — are they laced with a subtext of racism? Or is she just observant? I can’t decide.
Just when you thought the intense emotional trauma was over, though, Ben arrives at the cocktail party and announces that he just found out that two family friends died in a plane crash. Good God, universe! Knock it off! The Bachelor explains all this with his characteristic aw-shucks understatement. “I’m just a little down,” he tells the women. “I’m here to find somebody, when stuff like this happens, to just, like, sit with and talk to.”
Oh, game ON! Olivia is (naturally) the first woman to present herself as Ben’s shoulder to cry on. Actually, scratch that — she decides to use her one-on-one time to tattle on the other women for making fun of her toes!!! She actually, truly, for serious tears up when talking about her cankles. Like, for REAL.
And Ben does NOT love it. “I came in here a little down, and this is not exactly what I want to talk about,” he sighs. Could this furrowed brow mean that Ben is starting to realize what we’ve all known since day one — that Olivia is hella annoying?
Jubilee succeeds where Olivia failed by leading Ben to a semi-secluded area by the pool, where the Bachelor Interns have set up a massage table. While getting a rubdown while wearing a shirt, tie, and suit pants seems pretty uncomfortable if you ask me, the Bachelor says Jubilee’s relaxing gesture is “exactly what I needed on a night that I’m stressed.”
Do I really need to tell you that other “ladies” are not pleased by this development? Becca and JoJo are the first to spy Jubilee grinding on Ben’s knots, and of course they hustle back to the group to tell everyone what’s going on.
Yep, everyone’s pissed, including Lace — whose special brand of crazy has been disappointingly absent from this episode. Indeed, Lace isn’t even the one who goes to confront Jubilee about her insouciance; instead it’s Amber who marches off to give Jubilee the what-for. But this is Amber we’re talking about, so of course she can’t really get the job done. “I don’t know what you guys are doin’ but this ain’t cute!” huffs Jubilee when Amber tries to fetch her. Rather than stay for a “girl chat,” Jubilee runs upstairs and shuts herself into the bathroom.
Ben’s Spidey sense starts tingling — somewhere, a “lady” is in distress! — so he hastens to come to her rescue. “How I look at this is, I am responsible for the emotions and the feelings in this house,” he explains. “So if somebody’s hurting, I want to be there when they hurt.” He’s busy consoling Jubilee when Amber, of all people, interrupts to fill Ben in on why all the other “ladies” are mad. “When she said that little comment, 'Anyone else want this date?’, a lot of girls were pissed about that,” explains Amber, who should be damn thankful she ahs a rose at this point because otherwise Ben probably wouldn’t even wait for the rose ceremony to send her packing. When will these women learn — badmouthing the other women to the Bachelor always gets you sent home!!
But just when Ben thinks he’s put the drama behind him — after all, he’s seated with all the “ladies” on the couch in the standard pre-rose ceremony formation — Lace stands up and mumbles something about needing to talk to him. Ben’s mouth says “Yeah, yeah, definitely,” but his mind is clearly saying…
Then, rose lovers, something amazing happens. Lace tells Ben she’s going to leave, because she still has “a lot of work” to do on herself. “Like my tattoo says, 'You can’t love someone else until you truly love yourself,’” she says through tears. “And I don’t know if I truly love myself just yet.”
Let’s all just take a moment to admire Lace for her historic “journey” from cookie-cutter “crazy girl” to woman who maybe, just maybe, will someday recognize her own value as a human being. Take that, Mike Fleiss! As a fan, of course, I’m sorry to see Lace go. As a woman, I feel slightly better about watching this show now — but not much.
The Bachelor, for his part, feels a lot better about life having Lace say goodbye — the poor guy has been keeping her around to appease Team Bachelor, and his relief at having the charade end is palpable.
Chris Harrison and his Butterknife of Bad News arrive to clink-clink-clink the arrival of the rose ceremony. “Things are happening here that sometimes I can’t put words to,” says the Bachelor. “And I’m really excited about that.” Ditto, dude! Let’s get to it. Robot roll call: Lauren H., Amanda, Becca, Haley, Emily, Rachel, Caila, Jojo, Jennifer, Leah will stick around another week. Without Lace around for cliffhanger fodder, the final rose goes to Olivia, who clearly was feeling the pressure.
Which means we say goodbye to Shushanna, queen of the side-eye…
…and then Jami, who was allegedly a contestant on this show. “I don’t know what to do anymore when it comes to liking a boy,” groans Jami. Here’s an idea, honey: Maybe start speaking like a grown woman rather than using 7-year-old girl phrases like “liking a boy.” Not all dudes are into the infantilzation of women. Then again, Jami does leave Casa Bachelor with a very valuable lesson.
Nihilism FTW! (Kids, if you’re reading this at home, please remember that one romantic rejection does not mean you’re doomed to a life of Cat Ladydom.)
On the opposite end of the attitude spectrum is Olivia, who has now started communicating telepathically with Ben through a complicated system of squeezes and pushes. “When he hugged me, he just squeezed my waist a little bit, and to me that was him saying he can’t give me everything all the time,” she informs Team Bachelor. Major props to whatever producer Olivia was talking to for not laughing audibly at this insanity.
And it’s a wrap on week 3, rose lovers! Next week Ben and the “ladies” will fly off to romantic Sin City for fireworks, helicopter rides, fake weddings, painful gambling metaphors (“I’m ready to go all in on love!”), and an Olivia-vs.-a-twin showdown. But let’s not get ahead of ourselves — what did you think of this week’s adventure? Can you imagine life without Lace? How do you feel about Jubilee after learning about her past — and seeing how she deals with the other “ladies”? And the most important question of all: Who farted in the hot tub? Post your thoughts below. And be sure to check out Chris Harrison’s exclusive behind-the-scenes blog as well. Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go start a tumblr dedicated to Olivia’s cankles.
The Bachelor airs Mondays at 8 p.m. on ABC. Bachelor Live airs Mondays at 10 p.m. on ABC.