The Bachelor Recap, Season 20, Episode 7: Welcome to Indiana
Alright, team, we are headed for some serious drama on the latest episode of The Bachelor (as if that isn't a normal occurrence). Tonight, the remaining ladies vying for Ben's heart are headed to his hometown of Warsaw, Ind., (and apparently also Chicago, because I guess nothing eventful ever really happens in Warsaw, at least not enough for six girls to be hanging out there on a hometown date). The forecast for tonight's episode? 100 percent chance of showers — especially from Emily, our resident ugly crier. Buckle your seatbelts, it's gonna be a bumpy ride.
Let me just get this out of the way before we begin: I'm going to gush about Ben like a freaking lunatic, because I think I might be in love with him just from this episode alone. Actually, we've been building up to this all season, who am I kidding? I get why girls saw him and thought, “I need to audition for this show because this guy is my soulmate.” He's actually perfect. He meets up with his parents having arrived in town from the Bahamas the day before, and as he puts it, it's time to get his parents “up-to-date.” I know he means up-to-date on who the contender for the front runner is, but you've got to wonder if they ever questioned how many times he made out with a different girl in a hot tub. I would have. Well, maybe not if I were his mom. Anyway, I didn't realize how much traveling the cast and crew have to do for this show. I'd be crazy and mean all the time, too if I had to spend this much time on a plane. Jet lag crankiness is painfully real.
Caila is way too eager and Lauren is looking pretty nervous although she's got no reason to be, because she got the first date. I'm so sure she’s going to win — I'd put money on it. This first date doesn't have a rose, so it gives them time to relax and chat. They talk about Ben's high school, how he told his first girlfriend that he didn't know how to kiss (so cute!), and he takes her to a youth basketball league where he used to work. All the kids remember him, know him and love him, so it's important that Lauren makes a good first impression. She totally nails it, getting all the young girls to love her and getting Ben to fall even more for her in the process. Ben also brings in two players from the Indiana Pacers, which is a huge deal and so cute of him, because he made the day not just about him. (Flashback to Chris Soules' hometown dates which was literally him and Whitney riding around on a tractor. Ben is the clear winner here.) Their date ends at a local dive bar (Ben's fave) where they get to hang with the locals and Lauren really seems like a seamless fit into Ben's life. I love them!!!! Blauren forever!!!! (I can't think of a better portmanteau. Send help.)
JoJo gets the second one-on-one (sans rose)… and they're headed to Chicago. I Google mapped it; Chicago to Warsaw is about two hours. That's just a tiny bit bonkers. Couldn't take her to Indianapolis? It turns out that Ben is a huge Cubs fan, so they get a private tour of Wrigley field where they get to play catch, talk and eat dinner on the field. Although they may have been jumping the gun just a tiny bit with her “Mrs. Higgins” jersey, I thought it was a pretty cute touch. However, JoJo's gotta chill on asking these really obvious questions. She asked what the scoreboard is. Like, come on, lady, I hate sports and even I can tell what a scoreboard is. JoJo and Ben get into a ~serious discussion~ about her feelings and inability to open up as much as he'd like her to… and I feel like this is just a nightmare relationship carousel we'll never get off of. We've heard her talk about her problems with past relationships so many times. It's time to pull a Frozen and Let. It. Go.
Back at the house, we find out that the next group date will consist of Caila, Amanda and Becca… meaning Emily is going to get the final one-on-one. I rolled my eyes so hard at this. I cannot stand Emily. The three ladies head out for their group date which consists of some light boating (kayaking? I wasn't really paying attention because everyone was so whiny). I hate that I feel bad for Becca during this date because it's not her first rodeo and she knows what this competition is like, but at the same time it's really got to suck to have these crazy feelings for someone and know deep down that they aren't as reciprocated. She's not getting one-on-one dates and is starting to get super defensive about it, which is not boding well for Becca. I love that Ben tries so hard to make everyone feel included — he really is just the ideal man, even when dating six girls at once — and takes time out on this date to speak to everyone. As soon as Ben makes the reference to family and hometown dates being so important, I knew Amanda was going to get the group date rose, and good for her! While I still can't stand her voice, she seems to be the most genuine and calm out of the three. Since Amanda gets the group date rose, she gets to spend the rest of the night with Ben as Becca and Caila head back to the house to complain to the other girls.
Ben takes Amanda to McDonald's (because in case you hadn't noticed, this show is terrible at seamless product placement) where they order burgers, weirdly share a French fry a la Lady and the Tramp, and work the drive-thru for a bit before heading out to a county fair. God, I love the Midwest. I'm dying to go to one of those fairs, and I'm pretty jealous that Amanda got to do it with Ben. I need to shut up about Ben now.
The next day, Emily and Ben head out on their group date — on a boat — to Ben's house to meet his parents. So, my jaw totally dropped at this part. I guess it somewhat makes sense for her to meet his family since he met her mom, so now it's all even, but I honestly did not think she was a serious contender. She acts like a 16-year-old. Caila refers to her as a “bright-eyed puppy” and she isn't wrong!
And then… it dawned on me. Ben took her to meet his parents so he could get confirmation that she definitely was not the one. His dad looked visibly bored the entire time he was talking with Emily — who unfortunately said her favorite thing to do is watch movies all day and that her least favorite thing is vegetables — and Ben's mom expressed concern that she wasn't ready to get married. As Emily is telling the camera she's “overwhelmed with happiness,” Ben is telling the camera that he's ready to end things which he does immediately after she expresses how much she loved meeting his parents and didn't want the date to end. Ouch. The girl got totally blindsided. It was embarrassing to watch. I had so much secondhand shame during this scene, but at least we got to see her ugly crying face which, according to my friend, rivals that of Kim Kardashian, so you know it was worth it in the end.
We arrive at the rose ceremony, and Ben is expressing serious doubts about one girl left in the house. We're set up to think it's Caila — she's terrified she didn't make a good impression — but as most of the folks at home probably saw coming, Ben sends Becca home. Natch, she makes a scene about being blindsided, but, hello, that's what this show is. Why do you think there's a rose ceremony? We keep forgetting that this is a glorified game show!
I'm really, really excited for hometowns, and I'm secretly praying JoJo gets kicked off soon so she can be the next Bachelorette. I'm gunning for her — she'd be the BEST. What do you think?
Thoughts & Questions
What was Becca's manicure color? It matches a lipstick I own and I need that polish shade.
Was it Ask a Dumb Question Day on The Bachelor? Did anyone else catch Emily asking whether or not those were swans on the lake? Swans are pretty obvious to spot.
Ben lives in Denver, yet all of these girls made it a point to fawn over Warsaw and that they could see themselves living there… even though Ben himself doesn't live there. Shouldn't that be a common point of knowledge for these girls?
Ben's mom says “matured” like a character in an Adam Sandler movie and I love it.
“Becca leading the therapy group bc she's so ~experienced~ … I don't know why, she really gets on my nerves. She's had enough bachelor time … I judge people who whore themselves out to bachelor world.”
“I didn't even know they had all-day breakfast. I learned something. Their advertising worked. Money well spent, McDonald's!”
Meghan is a recent graduate of SUNY Geneseo with a degree in Personal and Professional Communication. You can find her at the nearest Chipotle tweeting about Drake, her sorority little and Project Runway.