Hello and welcome to Recapping The Bachelor With a Killer Head Cold! Should my chronicle of this week's events seem even more whacked-out than usual, please address any complaints to the good people at Vicks DayQuil. Then again, this show might actually make more sense when you're high. Either way, on to the "exotic" dates!
Welcome to Denpasar, Bali — home of fierce old ladies, beautiful temples, and insanely gorgeous beaches. Oh, but first thing's first:
The first date goes to Kaitlyn and her booty shorts. Seriously, did she borrow those from Jillian? I mean, they look awfully familiar.
Fortunately, the temple she's about to visit with Chris requires that all visitors don a sarong before entering, so Kaitlyn won't be strolling around the holy grounds with her underbutt hanging out. From there, though, the date gets less formal, as Chris and Kaitlyn wander the streets, hand-in-hand, drinking beer and chatting up the locals… some of whom use the Bachelor as a urinal.
Chris doesn't seem to mind — he's a farmer and is used to coming into close contact with animal emissions. Kaitlyn, like any normal human being, is scared of the monkeys, but she's even more terrified about telling Chris about her feelings. "Why are you shaking?" Chris asks her at dinner. "I don't know!" she moans. "I think maybe it's, like, good nerves, but nerves." Yes, Kaitlyn gets freaked out anytime she and the Bachelor come within shouting distance of intimacy — a fact that Chris understands and doesn't seem to mind. "I'm extremely excited about what we have going," he tells Kaitlyn. You know what comes next, rose lovers.
Thank God she said yes, because man, those Bachelor Interns put a lot of work into pimping out the Fantasy Suite.
It's all just so romantic that Kaitlyn no longer has any reservations about sharing her true feelings with Chris: "I am completely falling in love with you, and it's terrifying, but it's such a good feeling at the same time." And Chris LOVES it — so much so that he actually breaks The Bachelor's No. 1 rule and verbally reciprocates Kaitlyn's sentiment! "I'm falling in love with you as well," he mumbles. What. Is. HAPPENING? Though I expected a S.W.A.T. team to storm the Fantasy Suite and forcibly drag Chris to a secured location for some "re-education," instead Team Bachelor lets their star and his date do what comes naturally.
OK Whitney, you're up! Though Chris has nagging doubts that Whitney would want to leave her job as a fertility nurse and move to Arlington, he's determined to "enjoy the day." That shouldn't be too hard, as Team Bachelor has chartered a private ship to take Chris and Whitney on a romantic cruise through the Indian Ocean. Side note: Did Whitney also raid Jillian's wardrobe?
Despite the idyllic setting, Whitney can't shake the fear that her sister's refusal to give Chris her blessing will cost her the Final Rose. "Kimberly, at a very early age, was having to take care of me," says Whitney of her sister, who "had to grow up so fast" after their father walked out on them when Whitney was just six months old. That's one of the reasons, Whitney adds, that her sister is always trying to "prepare people for the worst" (also known as, "being a realist"). Of course, she shouldn't have worried: "I respect her opinion," Chris tells Whitney simply. Well, that was a piece of cake! Here's hoping the Career Question can be solved just as easily.
At dinner, the Bachelor gets right to the point. "For a career, you've got to drive," he tells Whitney. "Des Moines is two hours away. Chicago is three and a half to four." (What about Iowa City, dude? Based on my cursory — and yes, completely insane — Internet research, there's a fertility clinic in Iowa City, which is approximately 1 hour and 35 minutes from Arlington.) Anyhow, Whitney gets where this is going and assures Chris that EVEN THOUGH she's "worked really hard " for her career, and EVEN THOUGH her late mother taught her that a woman should not put all of her eggs in the wife and mom basket, she's ready to relocate to Iowa and start pumping out kids.
Well, there's no time like the present. And Whitney is definitely ready to take things to the next level.
The next morning, Chris meets Becca in the middle of what appears to be a working farm.
They stroll the grounds and then clown around with some local kids for a while, before finally visiting the town "medium" for some guidance. "Are we supposed to be together?" Chris asks the man, who gives a strategically vague yet satisfying answer: "You are a very good couple." And when Becca poses her own question — "We have a really big date tonight… Do you have any advice?" — the medium tells the duo exactly what Team Bachelor wants them to hear. His advice boils down to two little words: "Making love."
Of course, this is awkward given Becca's whole virginity thing — though her date with Chris did make some cracks in her waiting-for-marriage foundation. "I'm having very new feelings, especially after having such a perfect day," admits Becca. "I think that's very natural to want to have sex… If he genuinely is falling in love with me, then it would seem more realistic that it could happen tonight."
Hold on there, honey — let's get through dinner first. And I say "get through" because at first Chris and Becca's conversation feels strained and stilted.
But as soon as she says those three little words — that she's "falling in love" with Chris — all of the Bachelor's fears about Becca are assuaged. He's all, "What a coincidence! I'm falling in love with you too! Let's do this!"
All right Becca — time to spit it out. No, not the part about how much you want to spend "alone" time with him because it's "very important." Wait, where are you going? Are you seriously gonna wait to tell him you're a virgin until you're IN THE ACTUAL FANTASY SUITE?
And drop it she does.
If I were to guess what's going on in Chris's mind at this moment, it would be something like this: Oh for f--k's sake, first the Playboy model and now this? Stop trying to make the whole "Madonna-whore complex" happen, Team Bachelor! But as we all know, Chris is far too polite to be anything other than a mumbly gentleman in this situation. "I respect that," he says, after a few throat-clearing false starts. "I think that says a lot about who you are." Becca loves the Bachelor's response so much, she may even let Chris change her virginity status from "technical" to "non-existent."
Whatever happened behind those curtains, it doesn't seem to matter once the harsh light of day spreads over Bali. After having a "serious conversation about our future" with Becca, Chris says he's "more confused than ever about where she stands." Whitney and Kaitlyn have both said "I love you" and claim they're ready to move to Arlington — but Becca has some "reservations," says Chris. "I want all of them to meet my family," he laments, tearing up.
Yeah, it sucks to be you right now, sir. But you knew what you were getting into, and it's time to put on your big boy pants and get on with it. And look! Chris Harrison is here to help. The host does his Zen master thing of reflecting back Chris's biggest fears — choosing the wrong woman and/or sending the wrong woman home — without actually offering any advice. "You're not even sure who you're saying goodbye to!" marvels Harrison, who then sits back and listens as the Bachelor talks through his quandary: He wants to give Becca a rose, but she hasn't said "I love you" and she's not ready to move to Iowa, so…? But the host isn't about to finish that sentence for him. "I think you're moving in the right direction," he says cryptically, before leaving the Bachelor to get ready for the afternoon rose ceremony at the Samuan Tiga Temple.
But before you head in, pal, a few rules:
Once inside, though, the last thing that's on the Bachelor's mind is kissing, because he's too broken up about the "excruciating" decision he needs to make. After three very heavy sighs, Chris asks Becca to break formation and come chat with him alone in another part of the temple. Whitney and Kaitlin give each other a mental high five, as they both think Chris is sending Becca home in privacy out of respect for her feelings. What's really happening, though, is a remarkably honest conversation — well, remarkable for this show anyway — between Becca and Chris. They talk about how feelings can be influenced by the trappings of "reality" TV romance, and Becca admits that while she's concerned about moving to Arlington but it's not something she's "taken off the table." Chris doesn't seem any less torn about what to do. "I really care about you," he tells Becca. "I've never really doubted the potential that we have together."
Meanwhile, back inside…
Oh Kaitlin, don't count your corn stalks before they bloom (or whatever) — because here come Chris and Becca, walking back into the temple hand-in-hand. I think we call know what this means.
"What happened?" whispers Kaitlyn as Chris walks her out. The Bachelor doesn't really have a clear answer, other than he had to go with his gut, and he has no idea if he's making the right decision, etc. — you know, all those things a girl wants to hear right when she's been dumped. As he talks, Kaitlyn's emotional shields return to their upright and locked position, though she can't help sobbing when Chris envelops her in a goodbye hug. "That was the most humiliating moment of my whole frickin' life!" she tells the producer once inside the Reject Minivan. Yeah, getting interrupted by a rooster during a breakup — that is rough.
And then there were two, rose lovers. In two weeks, squeaky Whitney and flat-affect Becca will vie for that much-coveted Final Rose. It doesn't seem like much of a contest at this point — but I'm warming to the idea of Becca as the Bachelorette, so that's OK by me. How about you guys? Did Chris make the right choice? Is this going to be a Mesnick situation where he picks the woman he thinks he SHOULD choose (Whitney) when he really wants the one who's "wrong" for him (Becca)? As Harrison said, so many questions! Post your thoughts below, and be sure to check out Chris Harrison's exclusive blog right here.
Now if you'll excuse me, I'm going to investigate whether Bali has a monkey-free resort… because that I would visit.
The Bachelor airs Mondays at 8 p.m. on ABC.