A nor’easter is storming up the coast and New York is cold, wet and wild, like a Bachelor contestant at a waterpark date the episode before hometown visits. So let’s not waste any time getting into tonight’s recap!

We pick up where we left off last week, with Vanessa holding Nick’s feet to the fire about his behavior with Corinne in the bouncy house. (Well, technically they were bouncing. It’s right in the name, people!) Vanessa uses her new status as “holder of a one-on-one rose” to gentle chastise Nick, telling him that if he wants a wife, she’s it, but if he just wants someone to *bleep* around with, she’s out.

Nick arranges his features into some semblance of contrition and mouths a bunch of platitudes about “respect” and “journey” and whatever, but ultimately doesn’t actually tip his hand either way, and asks Vanessa to be patient with him, “especially about Corinne.” Ugh, dude, don’t be so basic. Of course all the other women inside at the World’s Most Depressing Pool Party are slut-shaming Corinne to high heaven, but at least a few of them are all, “He likes her! She’s a threat, which is why we all hate her.” Um, points for self-awareness, I guess?

Daddy Chris comes to pick up Nick until that night’s rose ceremony, and Jasmine G. (leader of the #DumpCorinne movement) expresses her irritation that Corinne has been AWOL from the party the whole time, and seems to think she’s safe. (Post bouncing, Corinne went to take another nap.)

Taylor and Sarah come to “tell it to her straight” that the rest of the house is pissed about BouncyGate, and she should know that she comes off as entitled. Corinne vocal fries that she is “in no way, shape or form privileged,” and social worker Taylor manages to keep a straight face, although in her confessional she’s basically like

Rose ceremony! All the women hope Corinne is going home, but all of us who’ve seen any reality show ever know that her shenanigans will keep her in the house until probably top 3. (Mind you, I’m ready to join #DumpCorinne the minute she whines in a talking head, “Girls are haters.” NO, Corinne, they just hate you.)

As a reminder, date roses have already gone to Vanessa, Rachel, and Danielle L. Nick gives roses to (in order) Raven (I think she’s a dark horse favorite), Taylor, Whitney (who?), Kristina, Jasmine, Alexis (go, DolphinShark!), Astrid, Danielle M. (the neonatal nurse), Jaimi (who has straightened her hair!), Josephine (WHAT does he see in her?), Sarah and…wait for it…Corinne.

All the women have variations on this look michelle obama except for Christen, who looks like she just got punched in the solar plexus. She maintains her stricken look, not speaking to Nick, and staggers out the door holding a pair of heels (although she is also wearing shoes already? guess another girl borrowed heels from her?) to weep in the courtyard about how ready she is to find love. Next girl is also very sad, but I have no idea who she is, so that’s probably part of why she didn’t get picked. She seems very sympathetic in her driveway exit interview though.

Corinne leans into her bad girl status by following Nick’s traditional “thank you for putting up with this nonsense another week” with her own smug toast that I’m sure she feels is very clever, talking about how happy she is “to make out with Nick for another week,” and that “we’re all so privileged to be here.” Then, in case we couldn’t follow her nefarious plan, she explains in a talking head that the other women are fake to her, so she’s going to be fake back to them. Um, how were they fake, Corinne? They told you to your face that they didn’t like you.

Let’s shake off all this unpleasantness, because it’s time for a visit to Nick’s hometown! (Already? This seems rushed.) There will be a farm!

When we return, we’re back on the Taylor vs. Corinne tip. The problem here is that Taylor is (I suspect) more book-smart than Corinne, and thus assumes she is a match for her…but she is definitely not prepared to compete on a mean girl level with Corinne, and I don’t think her “connection” with Nick is strong enough to compete with hands-on-boobs. Corinne is going to come for her, and Taylor is not going to know what hit her.

the-coincidence-of-coconut-cake-9781501100710_hrBut first, it’s a fabulous trip to…MILWAUKEE!!! I would mock this more, given the show’s history of glamorous travel to Europe and Asia, but I’m told by Gallery Books author Amy Reichert that Milwaukee is actually delightful (and quite a foodie town). Check out Amy’s first book, The Coincidence of Coconut Cake, if you want a walking tour.

They all roll in to a very nice-looking Air B&B on the shores of Lake Whatsit, while Nick’s parents wait in a local restaurant for him. Aww, they seem cute! Nick’s dad looks like an older version of him, and his mom looks like Suze Ormond. It takes two minutes before Mom is crying, recalling Nick’s previous heartbreaks. His dad says, “I think I speak for Mom when I say we don’t want to see you on the show again.” Heh.

Next Nick meets all the women at a local park; it seems they were told the color story would be black, white and denim, because they look like an American Eagle campaign. He welcomes them all to Waukesha, WI, and then announces that the first one-on-one date begins now! The lucky gal is Danielle L., and off they trot, leaving the rest of the women behind to wonder what they’ll be doing in the meantime.

Nick and Danielle go on a walking tour of the town, which seems like a nice, ordinary slice of middle America. They wind up in a local deli/bakery, where the poor counter girl graciously offers, “Welcome back to Waukesha, Nick.” They made a special cookie–the Nickerdoodle–with a portrait of Nick on them, and he and Danielle are going to frost some cookies of their own! (Ew, no that’s not a euphemism, you pervs.)

Then they stroll down the street and “happened to run into” one of his exes! What a surprise! Amber-the-Ex was just minding her biz, chillin’ in the window of a coffee shop, but is totes eager to sit down and have a conversation with her ex and his current date! For a moment, though, I actually start to believe that this wasn’t staged, because the conversation is sooooo awkward. But then Amber remembers her line and invites Danielle to ask her questions about Nick, and I recover my senses.

As dusk falls, Nick and Danielle are reclining in a park, which would be charming except that it’s clearly like, dinnertime, and the place is empty and the two of them have umbrellas nearby and it’s obviously cold and damp. He runs down his misadventures in love and they laugh about childhood crushes before making out some more. I just want everyone to go home and put on another sweater.

But no, they’ve headed into Milwaukee proper, apparently, for cocktails at a hotel. Danielle has changed into a dress, and her boobs are attempting to change out of it, since it’s open basically to her navel. Nick, in a talking head, expresses his hope that they’ll connect on a deeper level tonight, perhaps by answering questions like “Do you have any obvious flaws?” Um, if they were obvious, wouldn’t you know? Of course, Danielle answers that question by saying her parents are divorced, so…I don’t think this conversation was entirely constructed by humans.

Back at AirB&B, the ladies are lounging (and seriously, the place looks nice–I’d be more than happy to spend a day lying around in my sweats drinking wine and watching the lake and not having to cater to the whims of a noncommittal serial dater on national TV), when a date card arrives! Danielle M. opens it and reveals that it’s for Rachel, Alexis, Vanessa, Jasmine, Jaime, Sarah, Whitney, Kristina, Astrid, Taylor, Josephine, Danielle herself, and Corinne. They do some quick math and realize that Raven will be getting the one-on-one, so they’re all doubly thrilled. Corinne pouts.

In Milwaukee, Nick has decided that his day-long date with Danielle has revealed enough to conclude that she could be his wife (who knew it only took 8 hours?), so she gets the date rose! Plus a special surprise–let’s go see! He’s excited about how the date will end, and they head to a theatre–when they enter, the seats are packed with screaming women, and someone is singing onstage. I’m confused, didn’t we already do the Backstreet Boys? Anyway, they stride down the aisle–Nick slapping hands like he’s the main attraction, which I guess he is?–and take their place atop a riser to hear Chris Lane (who?) serenade them.

Farm times! The group date is taking place at a dairy farm, and I predict that Josephine will regret wearing those white jeans. All the women are grossed out by the smell of poop, and Corinne is trying to do Private Benjamin in her talking head. [I wanna wear sandals! I wanna go out to lunch!] Sorry, girl, you’re no Goldie Hawn.

The women enter one of the barns to discover Nick, nestled in straw, feeding a calf from a huge bottle. Dawwwww. (Props to the farmer, because that calf is SPOTLESS. Total 4H blue ribbon quality grooming there.) The women are all pasting good faces on, but none of them want to be there. The connection to Nick is that his “family friends” had a farm so he has memories of playing on a farm, but it’s not like his family is in agriculture or anything. Basically, the producers were all, Wisconsin=dairy=cows=pouting contestants. Whee!

All the women swap out their high-heeled boots for wellies and get to working. After they feed, the farmer brings out a cow so they can try milking. Nick goes first, and as Jaimi says: “Watching Nick handle those teats…he wasn’t good at it.” Heh. Be warned, ladies! Then there’s poop, and lots of it. I don’t even want to watch this on TV…it’s disgusting.

Nick notices that Corinne has wandered off to sit alone on a rock, rather than participate. Cut to Sarah, who says, “I don’t know if it’s the cow sh*t or the bullsh*t, but I smell sh*t.” Heh. She’s my new favorite. Come sit by me, Sarah. But of course, Corinne has Nick’s number–and that of the other women, who are riled that she won’t play good soldier and do this literally crappy date.

Fortunately the producers give us a respite from all the manure with the arrival of Raven’s solo date card. “Raven…Let’s kick it.” Um, soccer? Raven doesn’t care, she’s just excited to have a date with Nick, and she hopes she’ll get to meet his family.

Oh, that’s it? Guess so. Back to the poop-scoopers…

Apparently nothing really came of Corinne’s work stoppage, because now we’re all dressed up and having cocktails in the lobby of wherever the heck. Kristina is anxious about standing out in the group, but she gets some time to chat with Nick alone. I literally cannot understand the crux of their conversation–she tells him she wants to tell him about her past, which was difficult, but maybe they don’t have time, and he says he wants to hear about it, but they have to have time, and she says it’s up to him and then he doesn’t ask her about her past?

Now it’s later on (or actually, could easily be earlier, who knows), and all the women are wearing coats and bitching about Corinne while she eavesdrops nearby. We’re all tired of talking about Corinne. Meanwhile, Vanessa’s students made a scrapbook for Nick all about her. I question the provenance of this gift, which looks a little too professionally assembled to me.

Corinne tells us in a confessional that she’s going to face down her detractors head on. She tells the assembled women that she knows some of them have issues with her, and she’s sorry if she offended them by sleeping through the rose ceremony the other week, but that people should come to her if they have an issue. Then there’s just a volley of “you’re too immature!” yada yada that we’ve all seen already. You get the idea.

Instead, let’s discuss this insane commercial for The Cure for Wellness, which seems to be about eels that maybe bring the dead back to life? Or something? It looks TERRIFYING. (Although to be fair, I was once scared by an IMAX movie about sharks–in which they showed the “Jaws” ride at Universal Studios.)

Rachel and Nick are having a little quiet time now, and she tells him she’s finding it hard to be vulnerable, and he appreciates her vulnerability, and they say “vulnerable” about 1000 times. But I’d rather hear it 1001 times instead of going back to yet another woman lecturing Corinne about how much she sucks.

Corinne marches off to tell Nick how mean the other women are being to her, and that she was nothing but straightforward with them. Nick says he knows what it’s like to be in her place, and she says she thinks there won’t be any issues from now on. She expresses concern that he doesn’t kiss her, but smugs off, confident that she’ll be getting a rose. However, it’s not the group date rose! That goes to Kristina, which infuriates Corinne because she feels that Kristina “attacked” her (by not believing Corinne’s claims that she had a panic attack and that’s why she didn’t attend the rose ceremony).

Raven, save us from this endless bickering! (To fully get the experience of watching the show, please read the following portion of the recap in a thick Southern drawl, y’all.)

Holy crap, it’s Bella! Veteran Bachelor watchers will recall Bella from Andi’s season, when she met Nick’s family–but Bella was a wee little 6-year-old (or so) then. Now she’s a soccer-playing middle schooler and they’re going to practice with the team. Nick leads them in warmups, and I am shocked that his tight jeans did not have a malfunction during the “high knees” portion. Then they sit on the sidelines to watch the game for a bit, before Nick leads Raven over to meet his parents. (Ooh, the other women are going to lose their minds over that one.) The folks are polite to Raven, but don’t seem to feel strongly one way or the other.

Ugh, more Corinne talk back at the house. We’re setting up the Taylor/Corinne faceoff. You get the idea. Let’s go to Skateland!

Bella’s team headed to the roller rink after the game (how do they find the energy?), so everyone goes roller skating. (Charmingly, in Bella’s one-on-one talk with Raven, her tongue is totally blue from her slushy.) Meanwhile, Nick skates all alone on the rink, unnoticed by all. He is so smooth on his skates that it goes past cool and back into completely uncool. (Also, somewhere in the filming Raven swapped from skates to rollerblades, fyi.) There is smooching under blacklight.

Night falls and it’s time for the dinner portion of their date, but first I have to stop and gawk at this…art? architectural feature? thing that’s on a building they’re approaching. There’s a bridge that’s like one of those upside down suspension bridges, and then it has…wings? I’m looking it up…

Turns out it’s the Milwaukee Art Museum, designed by Calatrava, and this particular element is called the “Burke Brise Soleil.” Check it out:

They’re having a private dinner in the lobby of the museum, all white marble and blue light. Raven tells Nick about the end of her last relationship–she walked in on her boyfriend and another woman. She got a tip that they were cheating, so she sped home, kicked down the bedroom door and beat the guy with the other woman’s stiletto. I confess I’m growing fond of Raven!

And so is Nick. He likes that she’s overcome relationship adversity but is secure in her own worth. (Or maybe just that she’s really pretty and has a cute accent and doesn’t seem that complicated or demanding. In Bachelorville, same-same.) Anyway, he hands over the rose and some smooching…time for more roller skating! They go skating through the empty halls, and although my rule-following brain has concerns, my heart must admit that it looks pretty fun.

But we can’t let things end on that happy note–we have to hear about Corinne again. Ugh, Taylor, give it a rest. The women are all clad in evening gowns as they walk into a rustic barn done up like an ABC Carpet & Home. This is the final cocktail party, and I notice that most of the women are no longer trifling with wine or champagne, but are drinking serious spirits. I’m sure that’ll keep everyone level headed.

Danielle L. grabs Nick for a minute, which upsets Taylor because Danielle already has a rose. She marches over and stands awkwardly until she can cuddle up by the fire with Nick…which gives us a chance to see Josephine and Corinne bitching about how Taylor’s terrible. Oh, Josephine, girl, you don’t have a chance in hell–don’t get involved in this mess. Go do something productive, like figuring out how to match your foundation to your skin tone. (Also, they have an entire discussion with their mouths full.)

Taylor finishes with Nick, which leaves her open for Corinne to come accost her about having her feelings hurt. Corinne claims that she’s eager to have an open conversation with Taylor, but then of course takes offense when Taylor starts to call her immature, and because the two of them have obviously been drinking, things get shrill…and that’s where we quit! To be continued next week (oh goody).

Next week, more fighting, and one of Corinne or Taylor “won’t survive the week.” Goodness, they’ve really raised the stakes this year! Until next week, wishing you all roses and roller skates, and no cow poop.

Missed last week’s recap? Read it here. For the next episode, click here.

Want more from Amy Reichert? See this post.