First things first, my expectations for this episode are SKY HIGH. If Kelsey hasn’t murdered one of the other contestants or herself before these two hours are up, I’m going to be writing a strongly worded letter to Chris Harrison. I remember just a week ago, thinking of the all-too-soon loss of Ashley S. from this season, mourning the departure of the season crazo. Turns out, like the affable best friend in a romantic comedy, the real crazo has been right in front of us this whole time.
This week, Chris is taking the women to Santa Fe, a very exotic location, per Megan. “I’ve never been out of the country before!” She says excitedly.
Carly gets the first date card. “Let’s come together…” it says. Dirty! They arrive at a gorgeous spa where they meet a love and intimacy mentor. Wait… so the date card really meant that? Ah, show, your penchant for obscenely inappropriately first dates never fails to disappoint.
The love guru, Tziporah Kingsbury, tells Chris and Carly that she’s going to take them through a variety of exercises designed to add more “juiciness” to their relationship. They both put on white outfits and permanent looks of discomfort and we’re off to the races. Tziporah burns some sage and then has them rub each other and “om” together. Prince Farming is like a kid in church trying to stifle his giggles as he runs through the exercises.
Then things really get going. Carly is asked to blindfold Chris and then just rub him all over. And feed him strawberries covered in chocolate, and generally just make everyone painfully uncomfortable. Also Carly maybe doesn’t have the best hand-eye coordination, as evidenced by the fact that the chocolate appears to make it everywhere BUT inside Chris’s mouth.
It’s about this point that Chris “realizes” that this is not a love guru, she’s a sexpert. Or rather, it’s about the point when Carly has her hands on the ground and her ass in the air and Chris is gently rocking his pelvic region in her booty direction. What do you think tipped him off?
As with all first dates, we’ve come to the “unmasking ritual,” where the two will undress each other in silence so they can “go deeper.” After about five minutes, poor Carly (who has already admitted to Chris that she hasn’t been intimate with a gentleman caller in quite some time) admits her discomfort and the ritual stops before any pants hit the floor. The sex guru does her best to hide her disappointment as she tells them to shed their emotional masks instead, and Chris very sweetly tells Carly that she is worthy of love.
Since the sex guru can’t get these two to actually do the deed in front of her, she instead gives them a lesson on dry humping. Carly straddles Chris, and the only rule is no kissing. They breath deeply an inch from each other’s faces (hope everyone brushed their teeth this morning), look deep into each others’ eyes, and gyrate like teenagers. Finally the restriction is lifted and they make out.
Back on the date, Chris and Carly have thankfully vacated the sex spa and are having champagne. We learn why Carly was sent on this date in particular as she shares that her last boyfriend would barely touch her even though they dated for two years. Naturally, this created some insecurities in Carly and made her feel unwanted and not beautiful and all around pretty scarred. Sending the woman most afraid of physical intimacy into a sex dungeon? I see you, show. Chris returns the vulnerability, telling Carly that he’s afraid that at the end of this, where he’s from and what his life is will scare away whatever woman he chooses. This was a terribly awkward date, but I will give these two credit for having one of the very few real, dare I say deep conversations on this show.
Chris gives Carly the rose (thank god, I could not bare it if she was sent home on the physical intimacy date), and they make out some more. And then probably take cold showers.
Jade, Megan, Kaitlyn, Whitney, Mackenzie, Samantha, Becca, Ashley and Kelsey are next up for the group date, on which they are going rafting.
Whitney lands the sweet spot, sitting next to Chris in his raft, and he has some nice things to say about her in his interview. But the real drama for the date (and probably the reason the date happened in the first place, PRODUCERS) is when Jade falls into the water. You see, Jade has a disorder where her body slips into hypothermia at what would be normal temperatures for other people. Do you think they paid one of the other girls to make sure she ended up going overboard this date?
She’s pulled out, and Chris heroically rubs her feet until she regains sensation while Kelsey looks on jealously from afar, giving us another taste of the whole vat of crazy that is brewing underneath that plastered on smile.
As the ladies wait for Chris to arrive at the post-rafting cocktail party, Chris is ambushed by Jordan (the drunk eliminated in week 2), who drove from Colorado to ask for a second chance. Chris very obviously does not recognize Jordan as she approaches, and it’s hilarious. She tells him that she knows she drank too much when she was on the show, and that she didn’t focus on getting to know him because of it and wants a second chance to do it right. Points to Chris for being like “don’t get me wrong, I like to drink.” We know, Chris. We’ve seen your rap sheet.
And so he gives her a second chance and brings her with him to the cocktail party. It’s immediately revealed to have been a terrible decision, as every single girl uses their time with Chris to talk about how annoyed they are that she’s back. Ashley is particularly irked, pulling the “we are so different, if you like her you couldn’t possibly like me” bull on Chris, before yelling at all the other girls for not being mean enough to her.
Back at the house, Britt and Carly are talking about Britt’s upcoming date. Carly helpfully tells Britt that it would probably be a good idea to shower and shave her legs, because apparently Britt has not bathed in WEEKS? At first I thought maybe Carly was just trying to be mean, but Britt gleefully joins her, saying she might even wash her hair. The fun ends when she receives the date card, saying “Sky’s the limit.” She immediately starts sobbing because she has a crippling fear of heights. Hope she doesn’t pee her pants on the date or she’ll definitely be forced to shower.
Chris, having had enough time to read the room, swiftly sends Jordan home once again. He gives Whitney the rose, without even having seen her maturely explain to Ashley that just because you’re not happy about someone, doesn’t mean the solution is to be an asshole. Get it, Whitney!
Chris leaves and Ashley retreats to her boudoir to cry to Mackenzie because HOW could Whitney get the rose?! Everyone else is on Whitney’s side, including maybe Mackenzie, who quietly says that she’s never really seen anything bad in Whitney, as she strokes a distraught Ashley’s hair.
It’s 4:30 in the morning and Chris is going to surprise Britt for their date. Carly immediately wakes up and he shushes her (how romantic) before gently pulling a fully made-up Britt out of her slumber. Carly chimes in later to let us know that Britt not only sleeps in makeup, she actually reapplies before going to bed “just in case.” Well, I guess it paid off. Chris marvels in an interview that Britt looks just as great fresh out of bed as she does fully done up. Um, Chris, she is fully made up. That’s why she looks so good. You do know that eyes aren’t naturally smokey, right?
That tear-inducing fear of heights seems to have fully evaporated in the light of day, because Britt all but throws herself into the hot air balloon that Chris has procured for their date. She screams about how amazing it is the entire time, probably pissing off the producers who so carefully chose this date for her based on the false promise of a tearful breakdown.
After the disappointingly dull balloon ride, Britt and Chris return to Chris’s suite. Footage of the other women discussing how Britt has said that she isn’t sure about kids is intercut with her telling Chris that she wants like a 100 babies at least. Then, because there is no time like the present, Chris and Britt disappear into the bedroom behind closed doors to
get a head start take a nap.
The next day, learning that Britt and Chris may have “delve[d] into the wondrous land of physical affection” the night before, Kelsey decides that now is her moment to share her sob story. She sneaks away from the other ladies to surprise Chris in his hotel room. Despite previously discussing her husband’s death with the same emotion one might display while talking about an undercooked piece of meat, Kelsey now manages to muster up tears as she clues Chris in to her widow-hood. Chris is appropriately sympathetic, and almost doesn’t flinch when a tear-stained Kelsey jumps in for a make out.
Listen. If I didn’t Google the shit out of Kelsey, I would be one thousand percent convinced that this story is entirely false. But there are pictures! There is an obituary! Does anyone else know Sanderson, though? Is there a P.I. in the house? I have so many questions about this relationship, for real.
Later, in a confessional, Kelsey fully transitions to the dark side of the moon, speaking straight to the camera: “Isn’t my story amazing? It’s tragic. But it’s amazing. I love my story.” GIRL. She continues by saying that while this might be a story about Chris, but it’s also her story too. “This is the story of somebody who’s been through something so tragic and you get to watch her pick up the pieces and grow into another person and into another relationship. Everyone stay tuned, Monday nights at 8, to watch the love story unveiled.”
At the rose ceremony, everyone is on edge. Everyone but Kelsey, who confidently tells everyone that she feels great. Chris appears, immediately tells all the other women about his conversation with Kelsey, and then disappears to have a man cry with Harrison.
Kelsey tries to act like she was TOTALLY planning on telling all the women about her sob story rendezvous, she was just waiting for the right moment. She’s being all high and mighty about everything as the ladies try and figure out what the heck is going on with Chris. How she does not realize that Chris running off is totally about her and how he’s stressing about having to tell the emotionally disturbed widow that it’s time for her to GTFO. She definitely does not get it though, as evidenced by her outburst of “He knows what he needs to do… it means I have to say goodbye to people” as in, the other girls who are getting sent home. OKAY, Kelsey.
Harrison comes back to let the ladies know that Chris has decided to cancel the cocktail party. He knows what he wants to do, and doesn’t want to have to face the women before he boots them. Do you think he’s afraid to be alone with Kelsey? I would be.
Ashley is upset, which is VERY surprising. She weeps to the camera that Kelsey is for sure going to get through now because her story is so much more traumatic than Ashley’s. Ashley. Being a virgin is not even a little traumatic. Be upset because Kelsey will probably smother you in your sleep, not because your fake backstory can’t compete.
Meanwhile, Kelsey is finally starting to realize that Chris’s behavior could also point to her being sent home. She walks away, and within seconds is on the floor, screaming and writhing around. She tells the medic that she’s having a panic attack, and then continues moaning…
TO. BE. CONTINUED.
I mean that is a fake panic attack. For sure. But I support it. Keep on showing those crazy colors, gals! I love you all exactly as you are.
Closing tag goes to sweet, sweet, dumb as rocks Megan, dancing around in a sombrero. I hope the producers at least pretended to stamp her passport at the airport.