Hour 1: Carly
I must disclose that due to a DVR malfunction, I actually saw the second half of this episode before I started the first, and WHOA YOU GUYS THINGS GET SO GROSS. Sarah will have the pleasure of walking you through the sexy gross sexy disgusting sexy vomit-inducing probably unsafe definitely unsightly nightmare in hour two – so get that hand sanitizer and lye ready, because you are going to want to dive headfirst into some antibacterial and then burn your eyes off.
But first! The ladies are in Puerto Rico because Chris Harrison once saw the Governor murder someone, I assume. Everyone is excited about how beautiful it is, and how it is the perfect place to fall in love… just like Sonoma… and Park City… And San Francisco. Wow, these location scouts are REALLY good at their jobs!
Ben says that this is where things are going to get serious, despite the fact that there are still 11 women in the game. We watch as the ladies frolic through the sand and join Harrison in their super swank hotel. I love when Harrison goes on vacation and puts on his casual-wear, though I’m distracted by the oversized ring he’s wearing on his right hand. I guess it’s good to have, though, for when he’s threatening physical violence in order to gain access to the seedy underbelly of Puerto Rico, where I can only assume he’ll be spending the rest of his time this week.
The first date goes to Nicki, but the card is in Spanish, so there are blank stares all around. Luckily, Emily is able to translate that Ben wants to find “new love in Old San Juan.” Courtney is mad that she now has to spend more time with Emily who is on her… I think she says “fuck list”? That is confusing for a number of reasons.
Ben picks up Nicki and takes her on a helicopter ride to Old San Juan. Nicki, if you recall, is the one who was married before, and Ben is looking forward to talking to her all about it. As they are walking through the town, it starts pouring rain. Luckily, Ben and Nicki are true adventurers, and manage to not give up and kill themselves even despite this tragedy. “This is exactly what happens with travel, something always goes wrong so you have to roll with the punches,” Ben ‘don’t call me a hero’ Flajnik says.
They decide to buy some new “traditional” clothes, and Ben ends up in a terrible all white linen outfit with a “sweet Colombian looking hat.” They happen upon a wedding in progress, so they take this opportunity to chat about marriage and the future. “I want to walk away at the end of this with a woman,” Ben says. Well, crack Nicki over the head and throw her over your shoulder, Ben! Problem solved.
Dinner time! It’s time for Nicki to open up, which means that it’s time for Ben to grill her on her previous marriage. Also, he’s wearing suspenders that are just hanging from his waist. Who does he think he is? A 19 year old hipster girl? Nicki doesn’t seem to mind this, as she tells him she wants her second chance at a fairy tale. Even as Ben pries well beyond what seems appropriate for a first date (“Did you guys even try couples counseling?”), Nicki manages to talk about her marriage in a pretty mature, but boring way.
Back at the hotel, Elyse is whining about how she better get a one on one this week. The date card comes, and it’s a group date with something about diamonds in the clue. The producers didn’t want any of the girls to suffer an aneurysm, so they put this one in English. It’s a group date, and everyone but Elyse is going, leaving her for a solo date later on. Blakely is really jealous about it, and is sad that she can’t show Ben her “fun side.” Ew, Blakely.
On the date, Ben rewards Nicki for opening up by offering her the rose. I don’t really see any chemistry between these two, but she seems nice so whatever. Mack attack on the papasan and we’re off to commercials.
Group date! The diamonds reference is to baseball, not jewelry, which I’m sure the girls are actually just as thrilled about as they all pretend. Some coaches take them through some drills, and it does look pretty fun. [Just going on the record that this date is also straight out of my nightmares. – Sarah] Harrison has crawled out of whatever hole he’s been hiding in to tell the women that they will be competing for a chance to have a romantic beach date with Ben.
Because there are nine ladies, one gal gets to play both sides as the MVP. Ben selects Lindzi [I’D RATHER DIE! – Sarah] for the honor, and the rest are split to teams. Red team: Courtney, Kacie B., Casey S. and Jamie. Blue: Blakely, Emily, Jennifer and Rachel. Ben is the “designated pitcher,” which even I know is not a real thing. All the girls appear to be pretty decent, with Blakely being a standout. “Who knew strippers could play baseball?” Courtney says, of course. However, in the end it’s the red team that ends up taking the prize.
Blakely, in particular, is absolutely devastated by the loss. She yells at her teammates for not being as good as her, and they all look like they are going to commit to a suicide pact as the red team and Ben shower themselves in champagne and hop onto a helicopter. OK, the champagne is a little bit of overkill, guys.
Ben and the winners settle around the bonfire, as the blue team silently weeps on the bus ride home. Oh my gosh, ladies. Pull it together!
Back on the beach, Courtney narrates what is wrong with all of the other women as Ben has some alone time with each of them. She admits that Kacie B. is a threat, which proves to be true as Ben quickly gives her the rose after (another) chat about their previous relationships.
Courtney thinks that Kacie is too much of a baby for Ben, and that he needs a “woman, not a girl.” The best way to prove her maturity, it seems, is to take Ben to the beach and try to get him to get naked with her when they are presumably a stone’s throw from the other ladies and literally three feet from the camera men. Nothing communicates worldliness like the threat of a public indecency charge! Ben turns her down (for now DUN DUH), and the group date wraps.
Hour 2: Sarah
Well. Puerto Rico is a sweaty mess. When Ben arrives to pick up Elyse (inexplicably — did they ever speak before this?) for her one on one, a bunch of the girls are lying on the lawn, perspiring. They board a yacht that is idling nearby, and everyone is jealous. Elyse looks like the prettiest mob wife. She reminds us, and Ben, that she quit her job to be on this show. SHE QUIT HER JOB TO BE ON THIS SHOW. She tells him that, at 24 years old, she has done “everything she wanted to do,” which included college, a masters degree, and moving to Florida. That’s the dream! She also gave up being in her best friend’s wedding to be on the show. SHE GAVE UP HER BEST FRIEND’S WEDDING TO DATE A DUDE WHO HAS 10 OTHER GIRLFRIENDS. Then she proposes to Ben. I feel excellent about my own life/choices right now.
Ben jumps off the boat in order to avoid answering Elyse’s proposal. Commercial.
Did you know the next Bachelorette is Emily Maynard? Good lord, that is going to be a boring season. I took a glance at the applicaton and they ask “Have you ever had a temporary restraining order issued against you? Have you ever filed for bankruptcy or chapter 11? Have you ever been arrested, charged or convicted of a crime of any type?” Boring Bachelorette, boring contestants. I should really just enjoy this time with Courtney while I have the chance.
After the break, Elyse and Ben have dinner on the beach. Elyse is wearing a white dress, and Ben is wearing some kind of beach tuxedo? He asks Elyse about her earlier assertion that she has done everything she wants to do already, and she backpedals that she meant everything she wanted to do as a single girl. “I’m sick of being single” she says. He presses the point a bit and she tells him that it’s not that she’s sick of being single, she’s just sick of being not married. Or something. What a spin doctor! It’s Ben’s fault for picking her for a one on one date — otherwise, she could have faded into obscurity and it would’ve been fine. Instead we have to see her face crumple when she gets kicked off the show in the middle of dinner. I always wonder about that. Do they get to finish their food?
They walk along the shoreline in the dark, and Ben breaks her neck and throws her into the surf. JKJK, this is “The Bachelor,” not “Law and Order: SVU”! It’d be great to put those things together sometime. Elyse sort of sadly begs for a second chance but Ben is unmoved. She wades out into water, but rather than getting revenge Virginia Woolf-style (literary!), she climbs into a rubber boat and cries into the camera while another, embarrassed dude steers and tries to stay out of the shot. That stupid David Gray song begins to play, as Ben turns and walks back along the shoreline holding the rose. I was hoping he would throw the rose in the water, because we’re already being way more melodramatic than is warranted, but it looks like the show is going exercise some restraint for once OH WAIT, he totally threw the rose in the water! Let’s pour one out for Elyse, who Ben clearly didn’t like and who clearly didn’t like Ben. I just feel terrible when these things don’t work out.
Back at the hotel, the girls are sitting around talking about how something isn’t right. That chill in the air? That’s Elyse’s soul traveling through the hotel suite! A PA comes in and grabs her suitcase and leaves without speaking to anyone. “Another one bites the dust” Courtney says through her perma-pursed lips, and then tells the camera that she has some shit planned. She stalks Ben in her robe and surprises him outside of his room with a bottle of wine in tow. Ben, despite trudging along the beach like his dog had just died after eliminating Elyse 2o minutes ago, is soooooo down. “I hope I’m a vision for him after a long day,” Courtney says (?????????????????????), then offers to draw him a bath and massage him? I really didn’t know that people did stuff like this. She suggests that they go to the beach and get naked, and Ben is like “YES LET’S DO THAT.” They walk along the beach and then THEY TAKE ALL OF THEIR CLOTHES OFF IN FRONT OF THE CAMERAMEN AND RUN INTO THE OCEAN. AAAAAAAAAHHHHHHH!!!! Carly and I are just screaming at this point. They totally had sex. I always suspected that stuff like this sometimes happens on the show and gets edited out, but there is no hiding this. Yuck! Gross! Everyone should be ashamed! “I just really need to clear my head and go for a Temple Run,” Carly says. I don’t know, man, this episode was sort of boring but also totally disgusting. I was not feeling it. Unlike Ben. (Sorry.)
At the cocktail party the following night, Courtney is being twitchy and weird, just begging for one of the girls to notice her behavior and ask her what’s going on. She even gets everyone to talk about places where they’ve gone skinny dipping and fully says “the ocean in Puerto Rico,” but no one takes the bait. This makes me happy because she shouldn’t get to have the satisfaction, but also sad because dem gUrls R DUMBBBB. Ben rolls in, feeling guilty that he got it in last night. If he’s going to bang one of them, he should bang ALL of them. It’s only fair! What? The logic of this show is so bizarre. Blakely takes Ben aside and CRIES about how much she likes him. Oh, this is sad. Emily takes Ben aside to tell him that she’s done worrying about Courtney, and then immediately starts talking about Courtney again. Ben basically threatens her with death if she keeps yakking about it. Cool!
Ben says words and then gives out roses to everyone except Jennifer and Emily. And just when I think I know how this is going to go down, he picks Emily! He must not hate all her shit talking that much. Or the producers interfered to keep the feud alive and Ben was like “I don’t care what you do as long as I can continue to be naked in front of a camera crew with Courtney for the rest of my life.” Jennifer is very sad and sweet about her elimination, but really, is there any doubt after Ben’s behavior this week that she’s better off?
Next week: Panama City, where we can apparently look forward to helicopters, snow, beaches and SOBBING.