I miss the sweeping intro, and am plunged right into Bachelor business as JP’s first date card arrives! I still can’t tell any of these women apart, but hopefully tonight they’ll demonstrate enough crazy behavior to sort out the field. Shall we begin?

Date 1: JP whisks First Date Girl [sorry, I started late and missed her intro–and this early, does her name really matter?] out the door to his car while the others giggle like sorority members clustered in the drive. He pulls out a scarf and blindfolds our first rose-hungry victim, and it seems a little early to be busting out the Fifty Shades, no? But JP “planned” a spectacular date and wants to be able to see her reaction firsthand. They arrive at a winter wonderland (which presumably is fake because this is L.A.) and SURPRISE! it’s a fake winter scene for their entertainment. She responds with the appropriate amount of childlike wonder, and I will admit that the sledding hill (with his-and-her saucers) looks fun.

Whoa, meanwhile, back at the hot tub and the appropriate season, Lucy the “Free Spirit” is topless. And not just topless, but standing up in that public way that means to say, “I’m totally at ease with my own nudity” but really says “I am starved for attention and have unresolved daddy issues.” The other girls roll their eyes, which is justified.

Back at Winter Wonderland™, they’re now skating, but I see there’s a matching hot tub here, too! I hope Girl packed her winter bikini. She is falling into JP’s arms and squealing with the appropriate amount of feigned delight. There are a ton of talking head confessionals from Girl, because I don’t think JP has said ten words the whole date.

Now it’s time for the next date card, which the cute dog brings in. (He was also cute swimming in the pool earlier, but I bet that’s bad for the filter. Although, probably no worse than all the weaves these women have in.) The card says, “Kat–Feel the electricity.” Whatever could it mean? Will they be flying kites in a thunderstorm?

Now it’s winter hot tub time, and this time I catch Girl’s chyron–she’s Clare, and oh look–she DID pack her winter bikini! How’d she know? And now she trots out “a little bit of my story” and is talking about her dad…while her boobs are pressed up against JP. This is apparently the first time she’s put herself “out there” since her dad passed away. JP is pleased that she “opened up” for him and gives her the date rose. I can’t help but notice the hot tub jets are not on–it’s probably for sound, but my cynical side assumes it’s so we can admire their mostly-naked bodies.

Clare is delighted to have received the rose, and now it’s time to make out. It’s also time to cut to a talking head interview in which she’s wearing a different outfit entirely. Spoiler alert?

As if a rose and a makeout sesh in a fake frozen landscape weren’t enough, how about a private concert from a dude who looks like he’s been working the coffee house circuit for the last ten years? However, Clare is dutifully “excited” at the serenade from Josh Craggett [???–some post-show research reveals that it’s Krajcik. Still never heard of him.], and at the fact she’s made it another week into the Juan Pablo Follies.

Another cute dog shot later (that dog is getting more screen time than several of the contestants), JP comes to pick up Kat for her date. Can you guess how she feels about it? If you said “excited!” claim your prize at guest services. They head to the airport and get on a private jet, which apparently takes off so briskly that JP falls into Kat’s lap. He then tells her to turn around and he slips away to reveal a hint about their destination. Kat’s imagining New York, San Francisco…but then he comes out in a track suit with a strange glowing heart on the chest. And their destination is more than any girl could wish…SALT LAKE CITY!

JP’s outfit

It’s a sea of people all dressed with neon necklaces and wavy things…it’s the Electric Run, and they’re kicking it off! If this was my date, I’d be annoyed. You want me to work out? No thank you. But then it’s dancing. This is basically what Utah thinks is a rave, but no one has ecstasy.

Back at the house, the group date is announced, and it’s for all but 3 of the girls. Ugh, that sucks. The three are a woman with long curly hair who may be biracial, a dark-haired Latina-looking woman, and a kind of mousy brunette who seems too young for this show. The date clue says only “Say Cheese!” and although if I were there, I would be hoping we were off to a fromagerie, I assume it’s photos because none of these women have eaten cheese in four years.

Sure enough, it’s a photo shoot! With adorable doggies! Squee! Do you think our House Dog is upset that he [oops–end-of-show outtakes reveal that the dog is Molly, and a she. Sorry, Molly!] didn’t get to come? He wasn’t listed in the date card, so too bad so sad. This shoot is a benefit for Best Friends Animal Shelter, and all the ladies are getting matched with dogs. One woman is clearly not into dogs, and I distrust her instantly.

For now, just imagine any cut scene from America’s Next Top Model.  There are batshit hair choices, weird costumes, and Lucy’s dressed like a fire hydrant. I don’t understand the rhyme or reason–some of them are styled to match their dogs, but some are just in bikinis. And Elise the FIRST GRADE teacher has a bunch of talking heads before the reveal that she’s supposed to be nude. I don’t think that’s cool–she presumably has to go back to a job after this. Andi (the ADA) is another girl who’s doing the nude thing (they each have a 1-foot sign that will cover basically nothing). She’s pissed–she doesn’t like this anyway, and now I genuinely think this is an ANTM outtake. If you’ve ever seen an episode where “Christian girl refuses to get naked because morals,” you’ve seen this. If the “Free Spirit” had half a brain, she’d trade her shapeless and unflattering fire hydrant costume with Elise or Andi.

Poor Elise tries to negotiate with the art director, who blows her off…and here comes Fire Hydrant girl! Yay! I didn’t think it would occur to her. And holy crap, now she’s walking the dog naked down the sidewalk. Is that legal in LA? But I guess Elise is smarter than Andi, because she snagged this deal first.

Pics are taken, some much more comfortable than others. Kisses are stolen when the pics are with JP. The dogs are adorable. Andi is still furious and debating whether she’ll pose nude, but she’s moved on from “that’s not me” to “well it’s for charity.” And then they send in JP to close…because he’s going to be naked too! And now she can barely contain her grin because she’s just jumped to the top of the “make an impression on JP” line. (This also gives me a chance to note that her ombre braid looks like ASS.)

Andi and Lucy pose with JP, and of course nothing is revealed. It probably wouldn’t have been a big deal if they’d shown the girls how big a dog they’d be posing with. Faux-controversy aside, I hope this inspires people to adopt a pet…and give it a bath as soon as you get it home from the shelter.

OK, fun’s over and it’s time for everyone to get back in real dresses and get drunk. They’re on some rooftop, sitting around a coffee table with a single rose resting on it. Let the jockeying for JP time begin! First up, Cassandra (I think), who needs to let JP know that she’s a mom. To his credit, when she tells him Trey is with his grandma, JP seems delighted that she also has a kid. I suppose it’s comforting to know that at least one of your Special Ladies (among the other 20 or so) has managed to raise a human creature for multiple years.

Now we’ve switched girls, but I missed who this is. She’s a little bit of a butterface, alas. It’s cold on the roof, so she and JP snuggle while he talks about his daughter. She keeps trying to go in for the kiss, but chickening out, and he seems disinclined to plant one on her. Ah! It’s Renee, Real Estate Agent.

Back on the couch, a girl (Victoria, Legal Assistant from Boca Raton) seems too drunk, and her roommate tells her to pull it together. She insists she’s completely sober, but to me she’s coming off as a bit 420-friendly. Is this our heavily-promo’d Bathroom Drunk who hopes JP dies?

Time for another lengthy commercial break, during which I see that Twitter is blowing up because on Sleepy Hollow, they’ve finally put Ichabod in skinny jeans. Or suggested it anyway.

Oof, back to Victoria, now alone in the hot tub howling for one-on-one time with Juan Pablo. She feels she deserves time because during the group date, she gave him “the Hymen Maneuver” and straddled him. (Well, how else whould you apply the Hymen Maneuver?) After some yammering about it, she leaves the tub to encroach on JP’s cuddle time with Other Blond Girl who might be Victoria’s roommate. (Is it Elise? Not sure.) But all she does is show up, look at them, seem stricken, and then she runs away to the bathroom without saying a word. Well played, Drunkie.

Now she’s in the bathroom sobbing, and Renee crawls under the locked stall door to comfort her. Props to Renee, by the way, for bringing a towel or shawl so they don’t have to sit on that bare floor. Victoria is doing the whine-sobbing (wine-sobbing?) of a child and has decided She’s. Going. Home. Storms out in her bikini and wrap and is now arguing with the producers, who (to their dubious credit) will not let her rush half-naked and drunk into the street. She takes refuge in her bathroom stall, like the dampest, most unsanitary baby bird.

Finally, Lucy prompts JP to go and check on her. I love that it doesn’t even occur to him to go after her until he’s prompted to do so. He tries, cooing to her through the bathroom stall, but she plays the “Go away!” card too hard and…he does. He goes back to the girls, thanks them for a lovely night, and gives the date rose to…Kelly (the southern girl). He then tells them all, “Ay, Victoria!” and asks them to get her home, and tell her he’ll see her tomorrow. The women all think that’s amazingly sensitive. I think it’s a dude avoiding messy emotions, and pretty much par for the course. But he already has a five year old, so I don’t blame him for not wanting to deal with this nonsense on a date.

Oof. We still have half an hour to go? These two hour eps are exhausting.

The next day, the girls are eyerolling about her sad drunken antics, and tell us that Victoria’s been whisked off to a hotel, where JP is visiting her now. She tells him that she “feels things very intensely” and basically is all, “I loved not wisely but too well.” I am distracted by noticing that both beds are unmade, and wondering who stayed in Victoria’s room with her. But Victoria seems to be saying enough of the right things that JP might buy her apology…or is he calling it off? Yes! He tells her he has to think of his daughter, and gently sends her on her way. Sorry, chica!

At last, we’re at the women’s house for the rose ceremony. JP arrives and tells them that Victoria has been sent back to Boca. No one seems especially disappointed. He starts off with Amy L. (who might have been one of the girls left off the group date?). She’s a reporter, and stages a mock interview with JP, which elicits no information but demonstrates that she is a perfect plastic local news reporter. He says nice things in response, but I don’t see a connection there.

Next up is the woman who got the first impression rose but was then left out of the dates this week. She apologizes for not having responded more graciously about the first week rose, and she sounds about 10 years older and more mature than the other contestants on this show. Basically, she sounds too smart to be on this show.

The cameras wander off in search of more dramatic fare, and find Cassandra (maybe?) weeping about how much she misses her son Trey and how being there isn’t as easy as she thought. She goes crying to Renee, who’s also a single mom, and Renee wastes no time in reassuring her that as a mother, she should go home if it doesn’t feel right. Um, Cassandra, I’m not sure your advice is coming from a completely disinterested party. And has anyone noticed that Renee is a crying-girl magnet? JP’s going to start thinking she’s making the other girls cry.

JP and Cassandra share a whispered conversation about whether she wants to go or stay, but I confess I don’t pay attention because this was the point where I dropped a portion of my burrito down my cleavage. (The perils of eating and blogging!) When I finish cleaning up, it appears that Cassandra has been convinced to stay.

At last, it’s hand-out-the-roses time. Our three rose-bearing girls smile smugly from one side, and JP begins with little fanfare. First up is Cassandra…he doesn’t string her along. Then is Nikki, who tried to save Victoria from herself. Then Nude Andi, finally getting her payoff for being a sport. Not-nude Elise is next, proving that you don’t have to go naked to make it. The camera indulges in a pause to pick up some stressed faces of two women I don’t think I’ve ever seen before.

Next is Charmaine (Charlene?)–First Impression Rose lady. Then Renee, who earned her rose after all the sobbing women she comforted this week. Then Danielle, one of the girls I don’t think I’ve seen before. Our Free Spirit Lucy is next, and happily takes her rose. Then Allison, another stranger. Chelsea, a friendly looking but generic blonde, gets a rose. Lauren, another woman I’ve never seen, gets the second to last rose. And now…the sole remaining rose lies on the table. Chris Harrison appears to explain to us that there are no secret roses hidden elsewhere in the room. And the last rose goes to…Christy! Another generic blonde. Amy L. the would-be reporter is crushed that her interview didn’t seal the deal. No film at 11 for her.

The girls hug their friends goodbye while JP looks with the indifference of someone watching two pigeons fight over a tossed peanut. You don’t really care who gets it, but you might as well see how the fight goes. Our leaving ladies are Amy L., Chantel–and that’s it! Ugh, I didn’t realize we were only losing two out of this group. That does sting a bit.

Next week on The Bachelor, they go to…a soccer stadium! Ugh. These dates suck. But there’s more fighting to be had, so tune in again! Until then, may you always receive a rose.