Welcome back to The Bachelor where only four women remain to vie for the love of Ben Higgins, noted Hoosier. This week, Ben has to face down four skeptical families all determined to figure out what he exactly has in mind for their daughters/sisters. It will be a rough week, but if Ben makes it through, he heads straight to the Fantasy Suites with three different women. Totally worth it.
Here’s what happened on The Bachelor:
Home Town Date, Number One: Ben heads to Laguna Beach, Ca., to kick it with Amanda who is introducing Ben to her children and her children to the world of reality television. She is a bit nervous to introduce Ben to her kids, but she is very excited to see them, because she hasn’t seen them in weeks (and the first time she will see them is in front of the cameras? Taking a deep non-judgmental breath). Ben tears up watching Amanda with her children, spontaneously impregnating women across America. They romp on the beach and give a seagull something to talk to his therapist about. Later, they head to Laguna Beach to try and spot Kristin Cavallari or Lauren Conrad. Failing at that, they go to Amanda’s parent’s house. Ben admits that the car ride over “was rough” but he’s totally ready to be a parent (or at least keep up the facade for the next 22 minutes). Amanda’s mom notes that this whole dating process is a bit unconventional and, well, yeah. They spend the rest of their time debating whether or not Ben is ready for Instant Fatherhood. To prove he’s committed, he reads the little girls a fairy tale about a boy named Ben who magically pays two college tuitions on The Bachelor residuals.
Home Town Date, Number Two: Ben packs his bags and heads north to Portland, Or., Lauren’s hometown (and mine too!). Hope they run into the Chicken Enthusiast. To prove her Oregon cred, Lauren wears a plaid flannel shirt and a leather jacket. They kiss on the river walk while Lauren debates telling him she loves him. But before that they visit the Keep Portland Weird sign and eats grilled cheese at the food trucks (where everyone assiduously ignores them) and then go to the Multnomah Whiskey Library where there is … no line?! This may be the best reason to go on The Bachelor ever. After getting appropriately sauced on pricey artisanal hooch, Ben is ready to face the firing squad that is Lauren’s family. Lauren’s sister badgers Ben about his feelings about Lauren until Ben actually breaks down in tears. If this was a fair and just universe, she should put Chris Harrison out of a job. The rest of the family likes him well enough, although her little brothers side eye him over the impending Fantasy Suites, which is awkward for everyone.
Home Town Date, Number Three: Ben is on a precipice. No, not in real life but with his feelings for Caila. He feels like he could fall in love with her but hasn’t quite yet, which basically portends her doom, right? If Ben hasn’t figured out if he likes her or not at this point in the competition, it does not bode well for her. Oblivious to her likely fate, Caila is thrilled to show Ben around her Ohio town. She takes Ben to a very special bench (yes, a special bench). She used to watch other couples canoodle on the bench, but Ben is the first suitor she has deemed bench worthy (which is basically spongeworthy for the Amish). Then Caila takes Ben to build a home together … in her dad’s massive toy factory. (Side note: here’s Caila’s dad’s Linked In) Caila slaps on a hard hat and starts drilling (still not a euphemism) and they make a toy house. Ben should send it to his future step children, Amanda’s daughters, so they can compete with Emily Maynard’s kid’s playhouse. Then it’s off to meet Caila’s parents and her clean-cut and quiet younger brother. Her mom put out an entire Pinoy spread for Ben and manages not to get any pork adobo in her braces. Her dad informs Ben that he’s not just dating Caila, but the entire Filipino community. Ben’s cool with that because he has practice after dating 28 women. Later, while her mom grills Ben, Caila tells her dad, “I don’t want you to think I’m getting swept up in my emotions,” and then proves her point by bursting into tears. It’s all just “really real” for her.
Home Town Date, Number Four: Over in Dallas, Jo Jo is thrilled to see a dozen roses and a love letter from Ben … except that it’s not from Ben. It’s from her ex, who wants her back. Man, the producers set her up gooooood. (If you don’t think the producers would do this, watch more UnREAL). Jo Jo realizes her mistake and bursts into tears. She calls this “Chad” fellow and tells him to take a hike. That’s when Ben shows up. He sees her crying and slowly realizes that something is wrong. She swears she has no feelings for Chad and that despite the tears, she is the happiest she has ever been. Ben shrugs and when Jo Jo suggests they go meet her family, it’s clear he wishes they could swing by the Whiskey Library first. Jo Jo’s brothers Hans and Franz are putting the “bro” in “brothers” and determined to give Desiree’s brother a run for the title of Most Nettlesome Relative. While Jo Jo has a father (who looks like a poor man’s Dr. Phil) it falls to her brothers to be Jo Jo’s knights in shining khakis. They are “very, very, very protective” of their sister and simply don’t believe that she could be in love with Ben after two dates. They don’t want her to get hurt and to ensure that, they want to talk to Ben alone. They talk to Ben, they try to talk some sense to Jo Jo, then they talk to Ben some more. After trying to diffuse the situation, Jo Jo’s mom gives up and just chugs straight from the bottle of wine, cementing her status as the patron saint of The Bachelor audience. As Ben says goodbye, he admits to the viewing audience that this wasn’t the home town date of his dreams.
The Rose Ceremony: Lauren, Caila, Jo Jo and Amanda line up to receive roses that will ensure them a spot in the Fantasy Suites next week. First to get a rose: Lauren, of course, because her hometown is filled with grilled cheese, whiskey, and roses. Next is Caila, whose brother didn’t threaten to go all Tommy Devito on him. The Final Rose goes to Jo Jo, because Ben could only pretend that he wanted to be a father to two children for so long. (Hey, that car ride was “rough.”) Amanda concedes defeat with grace, but admits that she’s pissed that he made her drive through L.A. traffic to dump her, which is pretty harsh if you think about it. Ben cries as her limo sweeps her away because he forgot to give her the toy dream house he made and now he has to figure out how to ship it to Denver.
Next Week: Ben tells two women that he love them, because he’s gone rogue.