By Melissa Locker
February 7, 2017

Welcome back to The Bachelor where noted optimist Nick Viall is hoping that his fourth quest for love on national television will be the time that works. When we last saw Nick, he had narrowly escaped a cat fight and a recreation of True Detective (season one, naturally) in the swampland outside New Orleans. He had taken Corinne and Taylor on a two-on-one date, and after seeing Corinne’s way with a voodoo doll, decided to choose her. That meant Taylor was left alone, creeping through the woods as though she had watched The Revenant a few too many times. Is that the path to Nick’s heart? Maybe!

Here’s what happened on The Bachelor this week:

The Drama, Continued: Taylor makes it out of the woods with a newfound determination to have her say with Nick and doesn’t appear to mind the impact on her counseling career by seeming like a woman possessed on national television. So she storms into Nick’s and Corinne’s romantic dinner and demands an audience with Nick. He sighs deeply and takes her outside to talk. He assures her that he doesn’t think she’s a bully, but did she see how low cut Corinne’s dress is? He thanks Taylor for her time and goes back inside to make out with Corinne, with whom he sees “a connection.”

The Rose Ceremony: Nick canceled the Cocktail Party, because his mind is made up. Corinne clutches her rose and goes to take a nap while the rest of the women clutch their pearls and fluff their hair. Nick hands the first rose to Kristina, then Raven, Vanessa, Danielle, and Jasmine. Nick gave the Final Rose to Whitney (has she been here all along?)

The Biggest Mistake: Jaimi was sent home, but probably just so the producers wouldn’t have to spring for return airfare. Nick also bid farewell to Alexis, noted dolphin enthusiast, leaning in and asking her one last time, “Dolphin or shark?” Well, presumably that’s what he whispered in her ear. Honestly, she and Nick had better chemistry than anyone else on the show—they laugh, the tease each other, and he will totally miss her.

The Bachelor Milestone: Nick is taking his harem on the road and is headed to St. Thomas, so the women can wear their cut off shorts and bikinis and he can find himself a wife.

The First Date: Nick swoops in and whisks Kristina off in a seaplane, which is no helicopter, but close. They sit, talk, and then make out in the waves. Nick hopes their day and night will be filled with “intimate moments” which sounds like the name of a Julio Iglesias album your mom insists on playing after two glasses of wine. Over a lobster dinner, Nick asks for details about her personal life, her horrifying childhood in Russia (she ate lipstick to avoid starvation), and her adoption by an American couple that brought her to the land of opportunity. He grills her until she cries. Mission accomplished, he hands her a rose and then they are serenaded by a steel drum band. They make out while a bunch of grown women, dressed in white gowns, flit around them. Hopefully it’s not the weirdest way they have ever made a buck.

Side Note: Get yourselves a partner that looks at you the way Corinne looks at the hotel’s housekeeper (which is almost as good as her nanny, but not quite):

The Group Date: Rachel, Raven and Jasmine take a boat ride. They play some beach volleyball. They frolic in bikinis while the censors are busy blurring out body parts that aren’t PG-friendly. The friendly competition becomes less friendly and all the girls start crying and storming off the court and Nick looks like a polygamist whose seven wives all had their periods sync up. He begs Rachel and Vanessa and Raven and even Corinne to be patient and not leave him until he can deny them a rose at a later date. Jasmine hasn’t had a one-on-one date and has never gotten a rose on a group date and is feeling neglected and overlooked. During her time with Nick, she talks over him and threatens to choke him out of love, and even though she calls it a “choke-y” he is not interested in being on the receiving end of it. While she cries about how much she likes him, he realizes he is just not that into her—or being choked—and bids her farewell. Dear humans: If you ever find yourself choking someone on a date, either playfully or really, it’s probably not working out. (Unless you’re into that sort of thing.) Oh, and Raven got the Group Date Rose but everyone was too shocked by Jasmine’s departure to notice.

Two-on-One Date: Danielle and Whitney are sent out on the second two-on-one date in a row. The lousy Group Date made Nick feel bad about himself, so to prove he still has game, he rubs Whitney’s knee and says, “I don’t know if you know this, but you’re really beautiful.” She rolls her eyes at him because she hasn’t heard that line since the 9th grade dance. So Nick goes to talk to Danielle and they talk about how they had great chemistry on their date in Wisconsin and they both smile and agree and thought it was nice. With that, Nick decides that Danielle likes him better and dumps Whitney. She’s shocked, because at least as far as the show is edited, she and Nick have never had a conversation together and, in fact, she may have just shown up here today. Nick and Danielle climb into a helicopter and leave Whitney on an island to Robinson Crusoe her way out of there, although they didn’t even leave her a volleyball to make into a new best friend.

The Bachelor Milestone: Nick and Danielle go eat dinner and talk and she tells him he is falling in love with her. After her big pronouncement, Nick is awkward and silent and just stares glumly at the table for awhile. Then he tells her that he’s not feeling the same way. She looks stunned, because she thought she won. Nick looks as miserable as she does as he sends her home, making it all about himself and his journey and his heart. Danielle has gone catatonic as he loads her in the limo of shame for repatriation.

Man Tears: Nick is so sad that he had to reject three beautiful women who weren’t quite up to his very high standards. He is feeling very sorry for himself and decides to go tell his remaining six suitors that he is feeling all the sads and is not sure if looking for love on national television will actually work for him. The women stare at him as he starts crying while trying to explain his life choices and telling them how terrified he is that his fourth time on the show is not going to work out either and he won’t get invited to be on Dancing with the Stars. Before any of the women can comfort him, he bolts out of the room. The women stare at each other in dismay, wondering if Nick just sent himself home from his own season of The Bachelor. (Now, that would be the most dramatic episode of The Bachelor ever.)

Next Week: Corinne promises to save the season as only she knows how.

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