The gist of the thirty second preview of tonight’s episode is that everyone is crying. About what? I couldn’t say. (Maybe they’ve finally realized that their chances of finding true love on this show are slim to none.) But let’s launch into this recap. This week the show takes the girls and Ben to his hometown: Warsaw, Indiana.
In the opening minutes, Ben sits down with his parents to tell them about his experience so far and to tell them about the six girls he brought to Warsaw. Props go to the producers of The Bachelor who found the smallest, most-rustic, diner in all America for this conversation. Here’s a summary of what they talked about for any of you who have forgotten who was still in this competition: around JoJo, Ben is more himself; Lauren is a person who has always stood out to him; Emily had an identical twin in the process who he had to let go; Amanda is “shockingly beautiful.” Becca and Caila receive no mention.
Simultaneously, somewhere outside, the girls play in Warsaw’s finest fall foliage (how ’bout that alliteration) while their voiceovers talk about how excited they all are to be there. As they near the waterfront Ben arrives in a speedboat that he can drive (ahoy, sailor) and drives them to the house that they will be staying at.
Ben’s all like:
At the house they all sit on the couch and Lauren discusses her fears about the fact that Ben might find her “fake.” But do not fear, Lauren, Ben is to the rescue! Ben reveals that Lauren is getting a one-on-one date this week. All of the girls spiral a little bit, you know, because, like, Ben just asked her out on a date RIGHT in front of them.
For their date, Ben and Lauren drive around the town in a giant red pickup truck a la every country love song you’ve ever heard. They drive past his church and by the high school (he was quarterback btw), and by the movie theater-turned-hotel where Ben had his first kiss. Next, Ben takes Lauren by the youth sports club where Ben coached children years ago. Around there he is known as “Big Ben,” and all of the kids gather on the basketball court to greet Ben and Lauren. The director of the youth club calls a boy up to make a half court shot, and makes a wager that if he makes the shot Ben has to kiss Lauren. “Win-win,” says Ben. No comment.
Bet you didn’t see this coming, next, good-old “Big Ben” brings out some of the Indiana Pacers to play basketball with the youth club. You know? Just your average day in Warsaw, Indiana. Ben:
Later, Ben sees a boy sitting on the side feeling upset and he immediately goes over to make him feel better. *Cue Lauren making a comment about Ben’s future abilities as a dad*
At the house, JoJo is relieved when she receives the second one-on-one date. Simultaneously, back on their date, Lauren and Ben sit down for drinks and she tells cameras that they need to have an important conversation. For those of you that missed last week, Leah (lol, who?) called Lauren out for being different around Ben than she is around the girls.
So naturally Lauren needs to clear the air. They talk, she explains how she’s feeling, he listens and Lauren ends the conversation happy that they “are finally on the same page again.” Thank god.
As a final part of their date Ben takes Lauren to meet his friends at his favorite local dive bar. Lauren ends the night: “I’m not in love with Ben the Bachelor, I’m in love with Ben from Warsaw, Indiana.” Okay, slow down. But okay. (I sort of feel for her though. I may or may not be in love with him as well.)
But ABC doesn’t waste any time. The very next day it’s time for JoJo and Ben’s date. Ben decides to take her to Chicago for their date.
Ben and JoJo walk around the city and wind up at Wrigley Field where the sign outside the field says “Welcome Ben and JoJo.” They casually stroll into the field and get to walk right out on to the grass. For those of you who didn’t know (everyone?), Ben is a “huge” Cubs fan. They walk over to the clubhouse where laid out, waiting for them, are personalized Cubs jerseys that say “Mr. and Mrs. Higgins” on them.
Ben steps up to the plate and hits one deep into the outfield. JoJo: “What, I have to chase it?” Yeah, JoJo, that is how ALL OF BASEBALL works.
Ben and JoJo have dinner at the smallest table in the history of dinners, set up all alone in the middle of Wrigley field. It’s a little unclear where the waiters are, and who is refilling the drinks. Unless the camera men are double fisting the camera and a bottle of Chardonnay, I’m not sure how they are getting refills on that white wine.
Back at the house, Emily is super excited to hear that she is getting a one-on-one this week, and the other three girls are super depressed to hear that they are going on a group date. Still eating on centerfield, JoJo and Ben have a super deep conversation about her holding back and not letting down her guard. The gist: She keeps holding back and he wishes that she wouldn’t.
Ben is pulling out all of the stops and it’s getting a little bit too much like Never Been Kissed, except without the bleachers of fans. (And without the journalistic expose or the subtle but slightly troublesome teacher-student relationship.)
The next day, the three girls arrive at their group date, which is some sort of outdoors day where they ride in row boats and hang out in barns. They arrive to find two row boats, one for Caila and Ben and one for Becca and Amanda.
Caila and Ben:
Becca and Amanda:
But hold up for one second. I refuse to believe that ABC can summon the Indiana Pacers to be on the show but they can’t track down a row boat big enough for four people. No.
Back to the date, Ben reveals that there is a rose on this group date and everyone freaks out. Getting a rose this week would mean that that girl is going to get a hometown date. For Amanda, this would mean that Ben would meet her kids. In her one-on-one time, Becca tells Ben how worried she is that he might not be into her. He reassures her a little bit, but I’m honestly not sure she’ll make it until next week.
Caila and Ben take a moment to chat, because Caila is insecure about her roots and whether or not he would find her hometown impressive given the deep roots he has with his community. Snooze.
Ben to all three girls: “I hope when you hear me say that I have some amazing women here, you know that you are the ones I am talking about.” I think they get it, Ben. Who else would you be talking about? The camerawomen? The women passing by on the street?
Ben ends up giving Amanda the rose and they continue their date, leaving Becca and Caila alone in a barn. They both look pretty upset about not getting the group date rose and Becca cries on camera. Becca cries more when she gets home and questions why she is still there. I’m sort of asking myself the same question, Becca. Maybe this show isn’t the best way for you to meet a husband. You deserve to find someone, but this is your second go on television. Maybe you ought to try something different. Have you tried Tinder? (JK, Becca, don’t try Tinder.)
Amanda and Ben start their individual date where I finish most of my Friday nights: at McDonalds. Ben admits to Amanda that he has always wanted to go behind the counter. I’m sorry, like as an employee? Am I hearing this right, Ben? You’ve always wanted to be an employee at McDonalds? This super awkward product placement definitely only transpires because this year Ben is an official sponsor of McDonalds. Nearby Amanda’s rose sits on one of the meal trays. But Ben has more. Ben tells Amanda that he has another surprise for her after McDonalds. I’M SORRY, THERE’S MORE? HOW CAN YOU TOP THAT?
Ben walks Amanda over to the center of town where they have set up some sort of carnival/parade just for them. Ben introduces the town to another woman. “Warsaw, meet Amanda. No, not the woman you met two days ago. A different woman.”
Amanda and Ben ride a roller coaster and Amanda comments that she doesn’t want this night to end. Well, Amanda, McDonalds is open 24 hours. So who knows where this night might lead?
The next day it’s time for Ben and Emily’s date. Ben and Emily’s date is a boat ride around his neighborhood, where Emily seems genuinely shocked that he grew up here. I guess she’s not fully grasping the concept of a hometown. Ben brings Emily to meet his family at his house where Emily is really worried about impressing his parents. She goes on and on about how worried she is about her conversation skills and then proceeds to ramble in front of his mom. The only thing that I’m walking away from this date sure of is that she really isn’t ready for marriage. Ben’s mom is not sure that Emily has “ma-toured” enough to be a wife. Aside from the pretentious pronunciation of the word “mature”, I would say his mom is pretty on-point.
When Ben drives Emily out in the boat again he takes her home. She says to the cameras, “this is just the beginning.” Except, Emily, this is really just the end. Ben sits her down and tells her that he doesn’t see her as his wife. He sends her home and she is welcomed by the rest of the girls in the house. She talks to the girls and they all cry in each other’s arms.
The other girls:
Emily leaves and it’s finally time for a rose ceremony. Leaves blow across the ground (that fall foliage though), and Ben sits on the steps of his town hall completely broken up. Cue Chris Harrison, who comes over to try to make him feel better. Chris Harrison gives him some lackluster dating advice and Ben feels slightly better. He walks away from their conversation ready for the rose ceremony. Here’s the gist:
Hometown Honeys: Lauren B., JoJo, Caila, (and of course Amanda)
Fallen Tribute: Becca
Woah nelly, hometown dates are next week. I can’t believe we’re here already. You can count on a few more weeks of these recaps, but for now I’ll leave you with my pics.
My pics: Lauren B., and JoJo (But I’m honestly leaning a little more toward JoJo this week. Maybe it’s not “too little too late.”)