The episode opens with JoJo and stewardess Lauren B. gossiping about the person whose name is on everyone’s lips: Donald Trump Olivia. Lauren B. has connected with every woman in the house except her. Hear that Olivia? A hostess of the sky says you have no soul. Consider yourself diagnosed.
Master Date #1
Ben takes Lauren B. to fly in a biplane. Biplanes are known for their stunts, he says, and she’s like yea a lot of people think i’m bi.
They fly directly above bachelor mansion while the women below shake their fists angrily at the heavens. Eventually, the pair lands in a remote location suitable for nuclear experiments. The only infrastructure is a jacuzzi, and Ben tells Lauren “there’s a tree if you want to change.” And it’s like dude you just set up a heated pool in the middle of this H-bomb test site, but you couldn’t arrange for a changing shack? OK fine, she probably wore the swimsuit underneath her daisy-dukes-peasant-top ensemble anyway.
In the hot tub Lauren reveals “I kind of want to get my pilot’s license”– the natural next step for any flight attendant looking to move up in the industry. Ben immediately leans in to kiss her so she stops talking about her aspirations.
Over dinner, Lauren paints us a picture of her life as a simpleton content just to sit in a yard. But when asked why she’s still single, she replies: “I’m really picky.” At that point it becomes clear that her understanding of “simple” is heavily informed by The Simple Life.
Next, Ben reveals that his dad has heart problems, recalling his recent triple bi-pass surgery. Dad’s OK now but I was taken aback like, wait, isn’t the contestant supposed to supply the sad story?
The women arrive at the LA Memorial Coliseum decked out in athleisure. The Group Date isn’t a Lululemon photo-shoot like they’d hoped, but a legitimate sport in Europe & Latin America: soccer. Two players from the US national team offer their much-needed expertise, as none of the women have played before and Lace has never heard of it. One of the Pros notes “I’m surprised how few have foot skills” and Ben’s like, “I’m more interested in the skill sets further up”, while eyeing a woman tittie-bumping a soccer ball.
After some drills, Chris Harrison announces the women are going to be divided into 2 teams that will compete for the opportunity to sit with Ben each other on a hotel rooftop. Rachel the unemployed one says something really intense about her desire to win: “I REFUSE to go back to the mansion tonight. I’m gonna be there and I refuse to accept anything less.” In normal sports narratives, a statement like that would foreshadow her impending victory. But on The Bachelor it actually means she’ll be escorted off the premises (in this case, due to a “leg injury”–but still). Leah says blood will be shed on this field, because they’re already cycle sisters after an unprecedented 2 weeks of living together.
Team Stripes designates Lace as their goalie, who doesn’t even know she’s allowed to touch the ball with her hands to make blocks. When will people learn that goalie is NOT a throwaway position? Scratch that– MVP on Team Stars was twin Emily–the goalie– and they lost anyway.
Olivia interrupts Ben’s post-game pep talk to take him upstairs and feed on his blood. Ben tells Olivia he wouldn’t have given her the first impression rose if he didn’t think she could handle it, like when your 8th grade English teacher assigned To Kill A Mockingbird. Meanwhile, the women use Olivia’s absence as an opportunity to gossip about her body parts. Twin Haley is like, guys, stop picking apart the poor girl’s toes—IT’S HER FAKE BOOBS THAT DESERVE OUR SCRUTINY.
Amber gets her first one-on-one time with Ben, a kiss, and the group date rose in one fell swoop. BUT OLIVIA WON ANYWAY BC WHEN BEN STOOD UP HE LIKE PUSHED OFF ON HER LEG.
Master Date #2
Jubilee has the most–dare I say– jubilant reaction to a one-on-one date card ever. She says it’s the best moment of her life, and it’s like wow this is a woman who was once told she could come home from Afghanistan. But despite her display of excitement, the women don’t think Jubilee is appreciative of this…handout? Here’s why:
Exhibit A: She is Black She has major nerves before the date
Jubilee doubts herself and worries she’ll be socially awkward. Universal human stuff, right? Apparently not! Does Not Compute in a house full of perky. Jami says Jubilee is being “awko taco.” Jami: I’m done with you. Pack your shit and go back to the Degrassi extras break room you came from.
Exhibit B: She is Black She has the audacity to point out her date is 20 minutes late
And the women look at her as if she has two heads. When Ben shows up she jokes about it again, and it’s too much–one woman runs out of the room screaming.
Exhibit C: She is Black She is sarcastic
First, Jubilee deadpans that she’s not excited to go on the date. Then, when she finds out the date involves aircraft, she calls out “does anyone else want to go on my date?” This is the final straw because–not sure how this is possible but–the rest of the women can’t grasp sarcasm and must all be on the autism spectrum? (That Jenny McCarthy might be onto something after all)
“Why would you even say that?”
“It was like offensive to listen to”
“I would be shocked if Jubilee came back tonight. I just feel really bad for Ben”
IDK guys, Jubilee is “deathly afraid of heights” (her words) so maybe we should cut this WAR VETERAN some slack/show her some goddamn respect?
Then they have their date and it’s lovely. Watching their heart-to-heart over dinner, I cried legitimate tears…TWICE. Just in case the first time was a fluke! OK, so there’s a 95% chance it’s because of the ripped-off Titanic theme song music they had going in the background.
Ben opens the party with a Real Talk because he lost two people in a plane crash last night. But Olivia didn’t pay attention during his speech. She was in full-on Anchor Woman mode, mentally reviewing her lines to break the story about her cankles–it’s tough without cue cards! She steals Ben first so that she can control the message before he finds out about her cankles from a blog, tearfully spinning her cankles as the hardship that she has to overcome everyday. Ben looks at her blankly, thinking about how Jubilee’s entire family is dead.
No stranger to dealing with death, Jubilee takes Ben aside to comfort him with a massage. Word spreads throughout the house and women gather to gawk/burn crosses. They decide to intervention Jubilee for—what, exactly? She flees the pitchfork wielding mass and winds up hiding out in the bathroom, shell-shocked. Ben tries to get down to the bottom of the drama because he’s responsible for the emotions & feelings racism in the house. Then Amber goes in and succeeds in making both me and Jubilee sob.
Lace takes herself out of the competition because her tattoo says you have to love yourself before you can truly love someone else. I wish I were embellishing.
Ben takes a strong isolationist stance on international relations and does not offer roses to Russian Shushanna or Canadian Jami. After all, America has to love itself before it can truly love anyone else.