Clearly ABC decided it would be NBD to bore the shit out of us last night with a full two hours of Ben and the women in his hometown of Warsaw, IN, since they figured everyone was probs watching the Grammys anyways. Well not I, friends! This episode proved that Ben is a huge momma’s boy
who couldn’t wait for his parents to come up to camp for Visitors’ Day so he had to sneak in an early visit, and also that Warsaw kind of makes Farmer Chris’s Arlington, IA look like Disneyworld in comparison.
Ben: “This week we’re traveling to Warsaw
by steamer ship. Warsaw is the place where I grew up, survived on a steady diet of kielbasa and boiled eggs, and went to school until daddy started me in the coal mines at twelve.” #WarsawJokes #NeverGoingtoGetOld
Of course now that Ben is back in Indiana so he has to switch over to a podunk gross red truck, probably so he doesn’t stick out too much as the only Warsaw inhabitant to drive a car from this century.
Ben meets up with his parents at a ‘local diner’ where there’s no WiFi and also apparently no concern for modern health codes, I mean did anyone else get a look at that griddle? Mmm, home fries with a side of mouse droppings, please. Ben’s parents we saw your house you guys couldn’t at least swing like a Denny’s or something?
This is the first time the women don’t look ecstatic to be somewhere, they look like they’re parodying Taylor Swift and her squad in the ‘Bad Blood’ music video as they grimly march along a random path, aware they’re about to venture into a land where cable is considered an upper class amenity. Bet that bidet back in Mexico City is looking pretty sweet right about now. Ugh, they’re already being driven to a leaf-throwing fight and we’re not even 3 minutes in to the episode, see this is what happens when there are no Starbucks within 20 miles.
Caila still can’t wrap her mind around the fact that they didn’t go through customs when they landed.
Emily: “If Ben would pick me I would just come to Indiana and make babies and open up a Hooters outpost right away.”
Ben shows up in a boat, which reminds us that his family has more money than probably the rest of the Warsaw population combined, and says he can’t wait to show this town off to the women—Ben, we’re in Warsaw, ‘showing the town off’ isn’t going to take a week it’s going to take literally 7 minutes.
DATE WITH LAUREN B.
Guess all the rooms in the Super 8 were taken, because Ben brings the women to someone’s house, apparently doubling as the women’s accommodations this week. I wonder how the producers convinced a nice Warsaw family to vacate their home so that six women with high odds of getting blackout and vomiting on the throw rugs/ starting an electrical fire could move in.
After getting the women settled, Ben tells Lauren (hooray, he finally dropped the ‘B.’) he’s taking her on the first one-on-one today, which ALL of the other women think is soo awkward and strange for him to do right in front of them. IDK, I think the date cards written by a production intern actually sound a lot more personal than Ben’s spoken invitation but whatevs.
Looks like we’re staying local today so Ben can show Lauren the town, which consists of the following several hotspots:
1) One-room schoolhouse where Ben used to bring his lunch pail every day and bang erasers together.
2) A crappy hotel known only as ‘Z’ (so chic) that used to be a movie theater.
3) The parking lot where Ben finally made it to second base his senior year.
Ben: “This is a date I would do anytime I was home” —Beginning to understand why he’s still single.
Finally they pull up to Ben’s ‘most special place’ in Warsaw, the
local strip joint Baker Youth Club where he used to volunteer. Lauren has to pretend to be excited to jump rope and play foursquare with a bunch of kids for 12 hours which looks boring as f*ck. Watching Lauren interact with these kids is hilars, you can just see her wishing she had some pilot’s wings to pin on them or something so she could ‘connect’ and impress Ben.
Little girl: “Do you loooooooove Ben?”
Lauren: “Shut up, bitch.”
Luckily Lauren and Ben still manage find every possible excuse to grope each other and kiss with tongue in front of a group of impressionable youths, so not all is lost.
Then Indiana Pacers Paul George, George Hill, and Boomer the mascot—jesus, even Indiana’s version of an intimidating cat is super lame—show up to play with the kids and do some nice pro bono work for the Pacers.
George Hill: “I grew up in Indianapolis, which is a metropolis compared to this piece of crap town but it’s still great to be here.”
At some point we see Ben demonstrating his ‘fatherly instincts’ when really you can tell he would much rather just be shooting around with Paul George.
Ben to little crying kid: “Why are you upset?”
Little crying kid: “I don’t know, that guy with the camera told me he’d slip me a $5 if I looked sad.”
Lauren totally falls for it though, you can actually practically see her ovaries throbbing during this entire date. Someone is placing an emergency call to Whitney right after the date is over and asking her for advice on how to get a Bachelor to accidentally get you pregnant.
Lauren and Ben start the evening portion of the date off in what seems to be Ben’s apartment. Why is his alleged bachelor pad impeccably decorated, and why does he keep an apartment in Warsaw if he lives in Denver? Honestly the rent is probably $50/month, but still. Is he looking for love or looking to put all of his Indiana properties up for lease, between this and all the shots we get of his childhood home later on this episode is like one extended open house.
Ben and Lauren finally get to have ‘real talk’ about the situation from last week where Leah pretty much threw Lauren under the bus with no just cause or viable reason. Lauren dispels Ben’s concerns right away and tells him not to be such a gullible pussy next time. They’re both back on the same page, which is great, because it would be really awkward to be leather jacket #twinsies with someone you’re in a fight with.
So glad they cleared up the tension from last week so that Ben can take Lauren to “a spot that means a lot to me—my local dive bar” –Actual quote LOL LOL LOL LOL.
Ben makes Lauren sit with a totally rando group of people posing as his friends for, like, 5 hours.
Lauren: “I’m not in love with Ben the Bachelor, I’m in love with Ben from Warsaw Who Luckily Moved Out of This POS Town and Got A Green Card And Now Lives in An Actual City in Colorado. I feel so confident saying that.”
DATE WITH JOJO
After exhausting everything Warsaw has to offer in the span of a single date, the rest of Inidana is apparently so un-noteworthy that we need to actually leave the state for the next one-on-one, so lucky JoJo gets to go to Chicago where we travel through a time machine and find ourselves back in this millennium.
Ben and JoJo are spending the day at an Wrigley Field, home to Ben’s favorite team the Cubbies. Sucks that he had to go out of state to even find a sports team to cheer for. They put on matching Mr. Higgins and Mrs. Higgins jerseys and basically run around an empty field for the entire day, which is probably fun for exactly 10 minutes.
JoJo: “It’s so weird, this jersey is exactly Lauren’s size.”
Yes, I’m sure Ben had a dream, that one day he’d be thrown a pitch in Wrigley Field… by a girl who can’t throw for shit on a reality TV dating show.
In the meantime, back in Warsaw, the women have literally have nothing to do but sit on a bench and nod at each other all day as they wait for the local Arby’s to open. LOL Emily you are ridiculously overdressed for this episode, I don’t think you need to be wearing a cutout top to basically sit in someone’s rural backyard.
The arrival of the group date card marks the one and only time Emily has every prayed—and it works, apparently, since she’s the only one not on the card, which means she got a one-on-one. I would say Emily is drunk but apparently Indiana is a dry state since this is the longest we’ve ever seen the girls go sober, so I think she’s just nuts and/or having some sort of religious epiphany.
Back to the date: JoJo and Ben are for some reason having dinner on Wrigley Field even though they’re in a real city now with actual restaurant options that don’t start with “$1.99 menu special”. Also, it’s grossing me out that they probably changed for the evening portion of the date in the Wrigley bathrooms.
So far they’ve been rolling around on the grass, f*cking with the scoreboard, probably dropping food all over the place… Somewhere the groundskeeping staff is completely losing their shit. Ben for someone who claims to be a die-hard Cubs fan you’re not treating this field with, like, a ton of respect.
It’s time for real talk about how JoJo is scared to commit. Ben: “There are moments when I’m looking at this girl I’m so close to, and then she disappears and it makes me wonder what’s going on.” –Well Ben it probably means you’re seeing ghosts and need to start limiting your LSD intake.
JoJo: “I’m scared, but I don’t want you to think I’m TOO scared.” –This is like ‘JoJo and the Three Bachelor Contestants’, Caila is too scared and Emily is not scared enough but JoJo’s level of scared is juuuuuuuuuuust right.
Big shocker that Ben thinks JoJo is making perfect sense when she’s making absolutely zero sense. This is like the conversation with Caila, Ben is either much, much smarter than the rest of us or just supremely dumb. Either way something ‘huge’ changed for JoJo tonight and now she’s not scared anymore. I also wouldn’t be scared if I had shoulders that could bodycheck an NFL linebacker.
Amanda, Becca, and Caila are on this week’s group date to Marian Hills Farm, which is probably bringing back Becca’s PTSD from her time on Farmer Chris’s season where she had to fake being excited by bales of hay.
Stakes are super high this week on the group date: Amanda needs to figure out whether there’s enough likelihood of her making it to fantasy suites to bring him home and screw up her infant daughters forever, while Becca is feeling super scared and vulnerable since on the last season Farmer Chris was obsessed with her and this time she actually has to try. I’m honestly not even sure what planet Caila hails from so no clue what’s going on in her head, but it probably looks something like this:
Ben and the women spend the first part of the day doing super-authentic farm things like rowing in janky boats and chasing kites around. The Bay of Swimming Pigs in the Bahamas was more farm-like than this date.
Then Ben leads the women into a barn that looks exactly like where Farmer Chris proposed last season, and announces that the woman who gets the rose on this date won’t just have a hometown locked in, but she’ll get to spend the rest of the day with him and only him.
Each woman is pulled aside in turn to make her own valiant case to be given the rose:
Amanda: “I’m so excited to see my kids that I’m willing to shamelessly exploit them as bait to get you to keep me around for hometowns.”
Becca: “Just because I have the outward emotional display of an AI robot does not mean I don’t have feelings. I need validation. **Robot eyes begin to glow** Don’t blindside me, Ben.”
Caila: “I love lamp.”
Shockingly Ben gives Amanda the rose, probably because he just can’t resist the opportunity to meet small children, and Becca and Caila both have to head back. Caila is having a serious case of #squadgoals insecurity and is worried Ben won’t love her because she’s a nomad and doesn’t have a community or a home. Basically Caila’s hometown date is going to take place in the back of her car.
Caila: “I’m the moss and I need to find the perfect tree to grow with.” –Ew Caila so basically you’re a clingy tree fungus? Hawt. I can’t believe Ben didn’t pick you after that enticing mental image.
Becca is actually shedding tears which we’ve never, ever seen her do before—between Emily’s religious epiphany and Becca’s crying this is a big week for emotions in Warsaw. This is what happens when you deprive the women of a pool and their normal daily dose of alcohol.
REST OF DATE WITH AMANDA
Ben wanted to take Amanda on a typical classy Warsaw outing and also reaffirm in viewers’ minds everywhere that Warsaw sucks with a capital S, so he brings her to McDonald’s so they can have breakfast AND dinner while staying within ABC’s budget. Also he is going to be WIRED after that giant iced coffee.
Woman behind counter: “Amanda, would you like us to assign someone to butter your Egg McMuffin?”
Ben can’t wait to take advantage of his new superstar status to ask to jump behind the counter and serve people their food, something he’s ‘always wanted to do’. Wow, this is really a huge episode in terms of Ben’s Bucket List—Wrigley Field AND working the drive-through window at McDonald’s?! Is it his birthday or something?
Amanda just got a very real glimpse into her future if this whole esthetician thing doesn’t pan out #doyouwantfrieswiththat.
Amanda: “The rose means a lot, but also the fact that Ben paid for my cheapo egg sandwich and I didn’t even have to ask him to upgrade to the large-size soft drink!”
After this extremely upscale start to their date, I can only imagine what’s coming next and it’s either dessert at 7-11 or a private tour of the local hog-butchering factory.
Ah, so not quite, but close. Turns out there’s a ‘huge carnival’ in Warsaw that just ‘happened’ to pop up the week Ben and the women are in town! Various evidence that the people in Warsaw have absolutely nothing going on except for this pathetic chance at fifteen minutes of reality TV fame:
1) The fact that they were able to erect a full-fledged carnival at probably a moment’s notice.
2) The ‘Mayor of Warsaw’ introducing Ben and Amanda to the crowd like he’s actually done something of importance here.
3) The giant crowd of saddos following Ben and Amanda around from carnival game to carnival game.
4) Casual pan to ‘Eric’, the sad little boy from the youth club who’s now smiling and waving on someone’s shoulders and also inexplicably wearing a fringed jacket.
One thing we all learned about Ben tonight is that he absolutely cannot hang with the carnival rides, he’s actually screaming like a little girl. I’m surprised he didn’t wet his pants on the merry-go-round.
Amanda: “I’m very close to falling in love with Ben but I might need to know if he’ll spring for a Big Mac before I seal the deal.”
Ben: “You’ve really seen Warsaw now.” **Amanda throws self off ferris wheel**
DATE WITH EMILY
Emily is soo excited that Ben is taking her to meet his parents, poor thing can’t quite see the forest through the trees here i.e. that Ben is taking her to the ‘rents because he’s pretty much #overit and just needs Mommy to confirm before he can send her home.
Ben: “After Haley left I saw a side to Emily that was more mature and self-aware, but showed a lot less leg so I just don’t think it’s going to work out between us.”
Caila thinks Emily is a bright eyed, innocent puppy who might not be as ready as the rest of the women for this kind of commitment—Caila the last time we saw you, you were literally chasing a kite around and admitting to Ben that you live in the back of a van, I wouldn’t be throwing stones here.
Emily: “OMG, I can’t believe you grew up, like, here.” **Mentally calculating how much she’ll never have to work again if she marries Ben**
Emily: “Talking to people can be a hard thing for me to do. Usually I just flash them.” Emily needs to rely on her ‘conversational skills’ today so this isn’t looking too good. Luckily she’s been brushing up on her Polish so that should bode well for her at least.
Eeek, it totally doesn’t. Emily is like BLABBERING on and on to Momma Amy about how she didn’t know she could blossom into this sort of woman (so an emotional wreck who shit-talks her identical twin sister), and Amy goes from looking politely interested to nonplussed to downright horrified somewhere around the time Emily decides to confide in her that if she winds up with Ben she can pursue her lifelong dream of becoming a Broncos cheerleader. Emily this is your potential future MIL not your career guidance counselor. Also cool dream.
Emily to Ben’s Mom: “I feel like I’m really average at everything in life.”
Emily to Ben’s Dad: “I just want to watch movies all day long… I like a lot of things but not vegetables.”
Emily to Emily: “Crushed it.”
To be fair, Ben’s dad isn’t not a fan of Emily, as he tells Ben he finds her ‘very attractive’ so we pretty much know what he was focusing on during their entire conversation. But clearly Momma Bear is going to put her foot down something fierce and nip this thing right in the bud.
Ben’s Mom: “Emily is a… fun individual” –LOLZ momspeak for slut ho-bag. She’s literally sobbing at the thought of this bozo being her daughter-in-law, she totally wouldn’t be classy enough to show off at the Junior League or prayer circles or whatever it is the upscale white women of Warsaw do.
Throughout the rest of the visit Emily continues to naively think everything went great, in the meantime Ben’s parents are one step away from grounding him and locking him up in his super-fem room to keep them apart. Ben finally breaks the truth to Emily after they get back from the date. This is like Warner ending it with Elle Woods.
Ben: “Emily, if I’m going to be a rich guy who capitalizes on his reality TV fame and doesn’t do much of anything, I need to marry a Jackie, not a Marilyn.”
Emily: “So you’re breaking up with me because I’m too blonde?”
Why are the women creepily watching from the window analyzing Emily’s facial expressions? See this is what happens when there’s no WiFi.
Emily actually keeps it very dignified as she’s walking away from Ben, so that’s a first. Then she dials the Warsaw, IN operator and asks to be connected to Ben’s dad, stat. Might as well explore all potential options while she’s in town.
We see a montage of ominous shots of leaves blowing in the wind, a clock chiming, and the women possibly lined up in a graveyard or possibly outside the local Piggly Wiggly, it’s hard to tell.
The moody setup is reflecting Ben’s indecision about which woman to send home, which he relays to Chris Harrison: “I thought the decision was going to be clear, but I have no idea what I’m going to do.”
Chris: “Do you see equal possibility of falling in love with all 5 women, honestly?”
Ben: “Nope. K guess I know what I’m going to do then.”
Chris: “So glad the producers schlepped me out to Bumf*ck, Indiana for that insightful conversation.”
Ben to the women: “Being back in Warsaw made me realize how much I’m going to have to pimp out my Bachelor reality fame so I never have to come back to this POS town again. Thank you for being on this journey with me so you understand how vital it is we present a united front to the media, even when we’re not together anymore, so ABC keeps booking us for promo appearances.”
In addition to Amanda, Lauren, JoJo, and Caila (who for some reason was ‘convinced’ something is wrong but as usual is totally off base and in her own world) all get roses and hometown dates, which means Becca is leaving. She’s SO po’ed as she walks away with Ben, she literally grabs her hand away from him and hisses “Why did you do that?” To be fair she did beam her robot laser eyes on him and command him not to blindside her if she was going home.
Ben: “I know you said not to blindside you, but I literally didn’t know until a second before. Like, this was a split-second call. Nothing more than a flash of gut instinct, really. Put no coherent thought into this whatsoever.” –Wow, nothing like a carefully weighed decision, Ben. I’m sure that makes Becca feel so much better.
Becca leaves rightfully frustrated and sad, she just wants someone who loves her back and she doesn’t want to be alone. **Farmer Chris watching this unfold in the only Arlington bar with national cable stations and rubbing his hands together in excitement**
In the previews for next week’s hometown dates, it looks like Caila does have roots after all, and those roots come attached to some pretty serious dough; insta-parenting Amanda’s daughters might not be all Ben thinks it’s cracked up to be; and JoJo’s big, bad brother makes Ben cry without even taking him on any carnival rides. Can’t. Wait.