Bachelor 20, Episodes 11 & 12 Finale

Before bringing his girlfriends home, Benlovable tells his parents that he is 100% in love. 50% with Lauren and 50% with JoJo. This is when we find out he inherited his crying skills from his mom, who wonders if maybe they should have had a backup kid. While she reacts to his complete lack of conviction and self-awareness, his dad notices the new twinkle in Ben’s eye. Looks like a double “I love you” wasn’t his only Fantasy Suite first.

We start off with Lauren. Ben’s mom is immediately suspicious when Ben introduces her with, “She loves Warsaw, Indiana.” Lauren says that Ben is perfect. Mom rolls her eyes. Haven’t you noticed his self-loathing and desperation to please? Not really. When it is JoJo’s turn to meet Ben’s parents, she leads off with his insecurities, offering herself as a safe haven. Come on, Ben, JoJo is the fuckable mother figure you’ve been looking for! Both women tell him they’ll say yes if he proposes. Oh good, you wouldn’t want Ben to question your commitment.

Cut to the present day – host Chris Harrison and an ovulating studio audience gasp while Ben’s hometown pastor, a sheepish shepherd flown out to pressure Bachelor People Pleaser into a stunt wedding, buries his head in an LA travel guide. Could be a Bible; I actually only saw a map.

Back in the past, Ben promotes the Sandals resort by flip-flopping between women. Lacking confidence, Lauren turns her last date boat ride with Ben into a fishing trip. Do you feel good? Are you stressed? What are you thinking about right now? He doesn’t bite. Ben calls her beautiful and rattles off Jaden Smith’s Tweets. It’s Weird And It’s Crazy And It’s Good And It’s Life. “It’s life,” she reluctantly agrees. Ben kisses her neck and worries that they haven’t faced many challenges, yet. I don’t know, her acid-washed hot pants are a pretty big obstacle for me. Later that night Lauren begs for reassurance, and Ben goes in for a hug and lingers suspiciously, possibly whispering something in her ear. Back at Chris Harrison’s viewing party, Ben’s pastor does everything he can to avoid making eye contact with God.

Ben’s last date with JoJo is in The Blue Hole, a pretty swim spot with a rope swing made from past contestants knotted jorts and neon crop tops. They kiss and she asks him to touch her heart. JoJo tells us she’s confident, but there is one thing they still haven’t talked about. Birth control? Dating after the show. She does not see this as the clear warning sign that it is. JoJo declares she will do whatever it takes to make a long-distance relationship work. She asks¬†him for a sign that she’s the one, but Ben does not whisper in her ear. We retreat to the bathroom for a private confrontation. If JoJo’s brothers had done their job, there would be a gun behind the toilet, but instead she settles for a quick cry and pee-assist with her romper.

Judgement Day. Neil Lane meets Ben with 6 engagement rings to choose from – one for each type of woman in the world. Benlovable tells us that he cared for Lauren and JoJo equally right up until the moment after he selects an engagement ring on the day of his proposal. Only then, gazing into that Blue Blood diamond, does Ben know which one he wants to marry. This, by the way, is the romantic narrative. The other narrative is, “I’m going to pick Lauren, but come on, have you seen Jojo in a rope bikini?” Looking into the heart of this icy, colorless bauble, Ben finally recognizes his type. One ring to find her.

The Bachelor helicopter sends JoJo to the slaughter then doubles back to pick up Lauren. JoJo reads an ode to Ben that he completely hears out before handing her a pink slip. She gets a limo ride to the airport and the opportunity to finally change back into her Uggs. Lauren rolls in, rereads JoJo’s Ode, and Ben proposes. They climb back into the helicopter and fly in slow, celebratory circles over JoJo’s limo.

AFTER THE ROSE

Chris Harrison promises us also-ran JoJo, Lauren, Ben, Ben’s pastor, and the next Bachelorette. That Green Room must be intense. Ben and JoJo first.

Ben has a tummy ache over how he treated JoJo. She’s had her minimum 39 days of breakup recovery, though, so she lets him off the hook. Ben told her she will always be one of the best things about his past. He will for sure whack it to her. She purposefully stresses that she’s moved on and Caila-as-Bachelorette shippers everywhere begin to panic. No wonder JoJo is so chill. Chris Harrison announces in front of her engaged ex-boyfriend that JoJo’s about to punch 28 Chads loose as Bachelorette.

Lauren shows up and we learn Ben was totally honest with her about also loving JoJo. He just wanted to tell her at the right time – after he proposed to her on national television and she said yes. They giggle together, promise to watch JoJo call other men “Babe,” and politely decline to get married on air. That leaves five minutes of dead time that Harrison expertly fills, the goddamn pro.¬†

Bachelor 20, Episode 10 Women Tell All

17 out of 28 of Ben’s recent girlfriends sit reunited on the Women Tell All stage, their emotions heightened by the familiar terror of farting while miked. Host Chris Harrison starts them out with a softball- Night one. What are you thinking? Caila jabbers predictably about Ben, but then the meanest Canadian alive, Jami, pivots to how immediately she hated the other women. This is the perfect segue into the Villain-bashing segment, peppered with the cartoon reactions of the tragic chorus/audience. The villains are:

Leah. Leah tries to explain herself for the whole Lauren B. incident, but no one wants to hear it. This has the pleasant effect of making her angry and confrontational with the Terrible Twos (Amber/Jami and Twins) throughout the show.

Jubilee. Lauren H., protector of the Guild of White Soccer Moms, accuses her of not fitting in. Jubilee says she repeatedly checked in with the women and no one said they had a problem with her. How to dispute this? Shushanna offers that no one likes her. Jubilee, Shushanna learned English just so she could say that to you. None of the crimes are sticking; then Amber and Jami bring up the issue of race. By calling herself “full black” or “real black,” they felt Jubilee dismissed them as not black enough, a double rejection on a show that clearly sees them as too black. I’d say The Bachelor comes just shy of putting “Black One” as a job descriptor, the way they do “Twin” and “Pantsapreneur,” so it’s pretty shitty that the only people answering for their transgressions are minorities. Jubilee apologizes graciously, and Amber accepts sort of graciously. Jami’s a dick.

After this, Jubilee is invited to the other hot seat to watch herself get dumped and then explain why she’s crying. Chris Harrison offers her this utter bullshit piece of validation:

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“If nothing else,” he continues, “you are that person.” That person that human spongecake saw and understood. Oh, since the show she’s made Sergeant in the military; no word yet on Ben’s take on that. CH tells her she is appreciated despite her past, and we move on.

Lace was on this season. Oh yeah! She tells us she’s working on herself, when she is interrupted by a dangerous man that had a little work done on himself, too.

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Harrison redeems himself by telling the stalker to keep his distance, and then makes the game time decision that they’re going with strip club rules. Look, don’t touch. Getting a photo of the two Lace faces together is a struggle because Chris Harrison is the man.

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After this first in a series of incidents to come, Lace agrees to work on herself in Paradise.

Olivia. Brunette Whinypants accuses Olivia of cockblocking. Whatever. Brunette stayed a brunette for the show, so she clearly didn’t care about finding true love. Olivia stands trial for snarking at (m)Amanda, being more substantive than Twin 2, and trying to make Ben like her. Twins call her a bully for criticizing their appearance, and Leah points out they did the same thing. “That’s beyond the point!” shouts Twin. Brunette says if Olivia had taken the time to get to know the women, she would know that many of them can read, too. Twins nod aggressively.

Future Bachelorette Caila and Lame Duck Ben come out next, but are too boring to discuss. The real winner of the episode is the chicken enthusiast, who somehow in 6 hours of taping never got shit on by her lap bird.

Bachelor 20, Episode 9 Be Us, Do Us

This week three women in denim underwear tell Bachelor Ben they love him. Bachelor ‘Copter #FlightReasons drops Ben off in Jamaica, a really great place to fall in love. Ben, who also said McDonalds is a really great place to fall in love, breaks down his final three girlfriends for us.

On the first night, Seductive Caracal Caila pounced into Ben’s arms and heart. She won him over with her bright smile and enthusiasm, but her strategy of playing easy to get grew boring, and Ben wants to see a quieter, more emotional side. This is like when guys say they prefer no makeup on a woman. Let’s see how far into the episode he stops wishing for that.

Next up, Flight Attendant Lauren B. is Ben’s dream girl, but he worries she’s too good for him. I want to assure Ben that she’s absolutely not, without it coming off as a compliment to him. They are equally unremarkable. Unlike Caila, Lauren B. alternates cold and hot treatments, declaring how scared she is one moment and then sing-songing “Beeeeeen” coquettishly the next. He is mesmerized.

Finally, there’s JoJo, who is so hot even her family wants to sleep with her. Ben keeps her around because there is no greater revenge on her brothers than taking JoJo to a Fantasy Suite. She tells us she’s also scared, for the record.

On his first date, Ben meets Caila for a scenic raft ride down a river. What’s that intoxicating scent?

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Napalm? She wears jorts and a dour face, and Ben suspects something’s on her mind. I don’t think that’s it. While it is great that Caila can feel more emotions than “exuberance,” Ben would rather not see a serious Caila, after all. She catches on by dinner, flips the bubbliness back on, and promises not to get distracted by her own emotions again. Caila tells Ben she loves him, and he responds with a strong embrace, breathing, and a formal invitation to his Pants Party. Fireworks go off as they enter the Fantasy Suite for the night. The next morning, Ben calls her beautiful, says I love you with his eyes, and then he’s off to tell the other women I love you with his words.

Lauren B. tries to walk out a denim wedgie before meeting Ben at the pier, but doesn’t quite get it.

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They boat out to a quiet beach where a nest of baby turtles brave the open sea to escape her vocal fry. In the evening, Lauren and Ben catch a reggae concert, which is disorienting because it’s not in a barn. Lauren is terrified to say I love you, but disregards her better judgement and goes for it. Then Bachelor Ben breaks protocol, and says it back. She immediately assumes a horizontal position. They I-love-you their way to the bed, and then Lauren has exactly 10 hours of camera-free time to lock it down. In the morning, Ben heads home for a quick dick rinse before his date with JoJo.

Ben and JoJo ride a chopper to an Herbal Essences commercial set. They swim under a waterfall and their hair smells like tropical orgasms. JoJo declares that this day is all about risks, and she is not kidding.

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Modeling a foil and hemp bikini from a Project Runway “untraditional materials challenge,” JoJo comes clean and says I love you. Ben puts the final nail in Caila’s coffin, and says it back. Again. JoJo accepts Chris Harrison’s invitation to sleep with his proxy, and they demonstrate dramatic irony by entering the Romeo and Juliet Fantasy Suite.

In the morning, Caila decides to surprise Ben with a visit. Ben has a surprise for Caila, too! The endangered wild cat prowls the grounds of his compound while murder music plays in the background, until she finds Ben brooding in the gardens. He tries to calibrate the perfect break up blend of warmth and distance, but Caila is fluent in evasive nonsense talk. She tells him his line- “It’s really hard to imagine saying goodbye to you”- sounds like a line, then gets into the Dump(ed) Truck. Two feet down the driveway, Caila remembers the stuff they did in the Fantasy Suite, takes out her earrings, and jumps out of the car to fight Ben. He talks her down, and she finally leaves.

In her exit interview, Caila nails The Bachelorette audition. She pretty cries, then declares:

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People. Very subtle.

At the Rose Ceremony, first JoJo then Lauren confide to Chris Harrison that Ben said he loves them. Chris deliciously shares the moment with us.

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There is a little tension between JoJo and Lauren while they wait to confirm that Caila is out, and then a lot of tension when Ben asks for a group hug. In two weeks, he will commit to just one (cast)mate, but first, he has to survive the Women Tell All episode.The horror, the horror!