Wowowowowow! So much predictable drama this week! Honestly, like it was a great episode, but I could have called all of these situations from a mile away, which in Warsaw, IN is far. We’re on our way to my favorite mid-western town this week: Warsaw, IN, a town I have previously referred to as having “the charm of Stars Hollow without any of the exciting people or things”. This episode, especially, solidified the fact that we must all #PrayForWarsaw. Let’s start our journey.
Once again, when we’re whisked away to Warsaw, IN, Ben makes a huge deal about the fact that this is where he grew up, but it is most certainly not his home. I mean, he seems to be really distancing himself from this idyllic town. Ben’s walking around town and showing all the highlights which, again, is just the movie theater where he had his first kiss and his parents’ house, and it occurs to me that Ben might have the worst sense of style. I say this affectionately, of course, because he is proving to be a pretty good Bachelor, but WHAT is this weird leather blazer and dad jeans combo he’s rocking in the first few shots. I mean I understand that like he doesn’t need to be into fashion or really care about style at all, but like he has an entire team of producers behind him, WHAT IS THE DEAL, GUYS? Whatever, I mean, like I have to move on for word count sake, but I sincerely might just create an entire post about how badly Ben dresses. STAY TUNED. Anyway, Ben adorably meets up with his parents in an incredibly busy diner. It’s so cute, it doesn’t even have wifi! (My nightmare, but I digress.) He tells his parents about the women—Becca is standoffish, JoJo is the best and Ben is the most himself around her, Emily is still only a twin, Lauren stands out, Caila is beautiful and scared, and Amanda is shockingly beautiful and a mom. I mean, if you don’t already know who’s going home this week, YOU’RE BLIND. Alright, so while Ben is telling his mom and dad about the four, and only four, women he likes, the women are truly walking through every inch of Warsaw, IN. I mean, really, every inch of Warsaw is covered by these ladies. When Ben finally meets up with the girls, surprise, surprise, he’s on a boat. The world’s fastest pontoon boat in history, to be precise. My immediate next thought was honestly, “Where are these women going to stay, though?” Like, I feel like the producers are not so keen on a Best Western for these women, but who am I to know. Luckily there’s a giant lake house that was apparently available for this week and that’s where they’re staying. So. Thank god. They get into the house and then for some reason Ben just starts talking about his parents doing it? Like that’s literally the first joke he makes this episode? Ick. Might be why Emily felt so immediately comfortable with his parents though, she was picturing them in their underwear the whole. So, immediately following Ben talking about his parents getting it on, he just turns to Lauren and asks her to go on a date with him today, which is cool. Instantly all of the women are just in a super pissy mood and are really concerned about the connection that Ben and Lauren have. Which, fair, but like, at least wait until he leaves to act pissed.
So Ben and Lauren pile into this pickup truck, which apparently has no seatbelts, and Ben takes Lauren on a tour of Warsaw even though SHE’S BEEN FORCED TO WALK THROUGH THE ENTIRE TOWN ALREADY. He, OF COURSE, takes her past the movie theater (now hotel) at which he had his first kiss, because there really are no other landmarks in this town (#PrayForWarsaw). Okay, so they’re parked outside this one point of interest and Ben explains how before he kissed his 7th grade girlfriend, he leaned over and said “I wanna kiss you right now, but I don’t know how” and then she straight up laughed in his face. I mean Ben’s whole emotional baggage thing is that he feels unlovable, and like, mystery solved, I think we know from where that might stem. Lauren coddles him of course and they kiss so he can maybe have a new memory of kissing a girl in Warsaw and then they pull up to the Baker Youth Club, an after school facility where Ben used to work. Ben says this place is super important to him and he still knows a lot of the people who work here and now I’m crying and I’m not quite sure why, but I find this really touching? So they go in and play around in the gym for a while with roughly 4,000 children and it’s all really cute and both Ben and Lauren are naturals with kids and it’s amazing. Then, the chaperone/adult/supervisor guy says to Ben that if Ronny here makes a half court shot, he has to kiss Lauren. AND THEN RONNY MAKES A DAMN HALF COURT SHOT. LIKE WUT, RONNY. YAHS, RONNY. #MAKERONNYFAMOUS. Ben kisses Lauren, the kids think it’s great, everyone is having a great time. Ben mentions, though, that he doesn’t want the kids to remember today just because he and Lauren were there, but for another reason too and then he brings out two Indiana Pacer players and here I am again weeping and I do not know why. And then for the cherry on top, there’s a kid, Eric, crying and Ben is talking to him and helping him and now I’m crying even more and WHAT IS HAPPENING TO ME. It’s honestly like the sweetest date I’ve ever seen on this show and I just love it so much.
Meanwhile, another date card arrives at the lake house and it reads: “JoJo—Let’s find love in the Windy City…Ben”. Okay, so, so much for subtlety, producers. Also, was there really so little to do in Warsaw, Indiana that they physically have to leave the state? #PrayForWarsaw
So Ben and Lauren are done at Baker Youth Club and then they go up into this weird building thing that is just like a dark room with a couch? I’m not quite sure why they’re here because they leave it pretty quickly, but whatever. Lauren wants to talk to Ben about what Leah said last week and Ben says that he doesn’t see anything she was referring to—he thinks Lauren is the same person with him as she is with the other women. That being said, it freaked him out because he doesn’t want to be blindsided with another side of someone that he just never knew about, which, fair, but also, he’s not really in a position to ask someone not to blindside him, but okay, Ben, sure. So, it’s like a great conversation, and obviously they’re super into each other and it’s all honky dory. Okay so now that they’re done at this weird couch location, they just go to a dive bar? Alright, I like the sentiment, but who are these people with whom they’re sharing a table? Ben doesn’t seem to know any of them, and we certainly don’t, so, like, what’s happening? Lauren says that now she’s in love with Ben from Warsaw, IN, not Ben the Bachelor, which like CAN’T THERE BE A DUALITY OF MAN? Eh, let’s move on, all in all it was a cute, casual date, and obviously I cried and I love Lauren.
JoJo is really nervous for her date now and she’s scared to open up to Ben. She gets driven to Chicago and Ben meets her Wrigley Field and they get to go into an empty Wrigley Field and I’M HONESTLY CRYING AGAIN. I know a majority of my readers are women, so I’m hoping you can understand my sentimental tears. Basically, I love sports, football specifically, so I know how much it means for Ben to bring JoJo to a place that he loves, and gosh, it’s all just so lovely. Anyway, they walk on the field, and there are two jerseys waiting for them, one for Ben that says “Mr. Higgins” and one for JoJo that says “Mrs. Higgins” which is cute, but didn’t make me cry because it was a little too, like, out in the open, ya know? I’m loving though that when they start to play baseball and just goof around, apparently the jumbotron runner and cameraman got called into work at Wrigley Field, which I think is just hilarious. Like Ben and JoJo know what’s happening, they don’t need it broadcast on a television for themselves.
BACK IN WARSAW, the ladies are on a rollercoaster of emotions. Caila, in particular, says that this whole process just isn’t that easy, which like, gurl, have you ever watched The Bachelor? OF COURSE IT’S NOT. (Editor’s note, I will interject with BACK IN WARSAW because it is absolutely hysterical that they had to cross state lines just to find enough date ideas. #PrayForWarsaw.)
We’re back in Wrigley Field and it’s just them laying in the outfield and HAHAH THEY’RE JUST ON THE JUMBOTRON STILL. Like, truly no one is watching the jumbotron if the only two people in the stadium are laying down. Ben and JoJo have a very physical connection, though, and it’s very clear that JoJo’s love language is physical touch. Even Ben notes how passionate their connection is and he also comments that he feels most like himself when he’s around JoJo, which totally seems like a quality she has about her.
BACK IN WARSAW, another date card arrives! “Caila, Amanda, Becca—” THAT’S IT, WE LITERALLY DON’T HEAR THE REST. Emily is all excited, though, because it means she has a one-on-one now, which is kewl. She’s straight up weeping though, so I’m a bit worried about her emotional stability right now.
We’re back in Wrigley Field, which is also where they’re having dinner, apparently. The producers do know that Chicago is like one of the major American cities, yes? Like there’s plenty more places to go in Chicago than just Wrigley field. Ben and JoJo toast and apparently Ben is a scotch drinker, which I would not have pegged him for. Ben points out to JoJo that she seems nervous recently even though he always feels super comfortable with her. He doesn’t know why he feels her pulling away and it makes him question whether or not JoJo truly has feelings for him.
BACK IN WARSAW, Becca says it feels totally different this season.
JoJo explains her emotional baggage a little more, and I’ve said this before, but like it’s kinda my emotional baggage, too, so HAI FELLAS! She always feels like she loves or cares about someone more than they love or care for her. She cares about Ben more than anything, but she’s scared because she doesn’t want to feel that way again. So Ben is fine with that as an explanation for everything, though, and just, like, moves on? They make out, as is their passionate way, and JoJo grabs his ass and it’s all beautiful.
BACK IN WARSAW, and this time for the remainder of the episode, but Becca is determined not to let the two other girls ruin the day for her. Caila and Amanda, though might ruin her day though, just because both of them are serious #hairgoals. So they show up at this farm place, and instantly, THERE’S MORE BOATS. Like what is it with this season and boats?! Can we please find something other than anything nautical for the rest of the season? These are row boats, though, and honestly, I don’t think anyone has ever been worse at rowing a boat than Amanda and Becca. So they get off the boats, finally, and then they just like go fly kites, but like really badly? I’m sorry WHAT is this date? They’re done with these weird activities now and Ben sits all three of the women down and just says that there’s a rose on this date and getting the rose also means that the woman will get one-on-one time with him for the remainder of the day. Becca and Caila are pissed about it and Amanda seems cool with it so clearly Amanda deserves the rose at least. Ben grabs Amanda first and talks to her about her kids, whom she is really excited to see next week. I love that Amanda talks about her kids without a guard up. I mean, like, she is so unabashed about how excited she is to see her kids and it doesn’t even seem to phase her that Ben is thinking that he’ll meet her kids, too. I don’t mean it’s like she hasn’t considered it, but in each moment to moment, she just like shares her feelings and when Ben asked her at that moment, she was just excited to personally see her kids regardless of if Ben would be with her. I don’t know. I’m clearly overanalyzing it, but I think she’s a cool girl. I do feel like Ben might be physically too large of a person for Amanda, though, like I’m often worried he might crush her. Just side note, but still. Becca speaks with Ben next and says that she was extremely stressed on the last 2 group dates and she also won’t stop bringing up that she’s been on this show before? I don’t know, like I know it was a big thing in your life, but maybe don’t talk to the current Bachelor about the past Bachelor so much. Becca also brings up that it’s a hard process to go through because the Bachelor can’t say the same things back to her. I mean, I gotta hand it to her, that has to be the hardest part of this process. Yes, you know you’re going to feel jealous or weird about the other women, but to not even know if this man you’re falling in love with is feeling the same way? That’s gotta be scary. Caila is next, of course, and she tells Ben that she’s nervous because she doesn’t have super deep roots anywhere. If she brings him home to her family, she’d just be meeting her parents, but she doesn’t have a real community to return to—basically, she’s worried that her hometown won’t be super impactful. I must say, this, too, seems like a real legitimate sane person’s thought process and I do feel a little sympathy for her. I still think she’s probably a boring person a little bit, but I do still like her, and I don’t know. Caila will forever be okay in my book. Ben ends up giving the rose to Amanda, thank god, and Ben grabs Amanda and they walk out and they leave Becca and Caila and it’s honestly super uncomfortable. Becca starts crying, which, good, because I was starting to think she might be a robot, but it’s also clear that Ben doesn’t like her that much, so I don’t have a ton of sympathy for her? Caila won’t stop talking about her roots now, though, which I’m over. Like it was a real thing the first thing she said it, now I’m just like MOVE ON, GURL.
So it’s time for the rest of the date and we zoom in on a sign for the city of Warsaw, IN which proudly displays that it is the Orthopedic Capital? I’m sorry, WUT? What does that mean? What other cities were in the running? #PrayForWarsaw. So, the first stop on the rest of this date is McDonald’s? I’M SORRY WUT AGAIN? WHY ARE WE HERE? They both order Egg McMuffins and Ben also gets a medium fry and an iced coffee and I’m just over here like, WHY Y’ALL AIN’T GET NO HASH BROWNS, THO???? They’d already committed to a breakfast item, who is not ordering hash browns when they’re getting breakfast at McDonald’s? For some reason, they get to work the drive-thru at this McDonald’s? I know this section of the recap is exclusively question marks, but WUT? WHAT IS THIS DATE? So they’re done at McDonald’s and they turn the corner and there’s like a #GreaseLive size carnival in the streets on Warsaw, IN. I kid you not, truly every citizen of this town is at this carnival. Including Eric! The kid who was crying at Baker Youth Club! He’s probably horribly confused because he just adjusted to Lauren! Who is this Amanda person now! Everything is impermanent! They go around and have a grand time at this carnival and go on rides even though Ben is literally terrified of carnival rides because they get set up in one day which is hilarious to me. Watching them go on the rides, though, and listening to Ben screaming, like I GUT LAUGHED. His face, those screams, Amanda’s calmness, it is just everything to me. They end the night on the Ferris wheel and it might be the fastest moving Ferris wheel of all time? I’m legitimately concerned for their safety? Ben’s fear might not be unfounded?
So it’s the day of Emily’s date and we open with Lauren and Amanda debriefing about Amanda’s date and I just love that the two of them are friends. Like they genuinely seem to enjoy each other’s company. Emily and Ben pile into YET ANOTHER BOAT and Emily is learning all about wildlife, including what swans are. Look, I love Emily a whole lot, and I think she’s super funny, but she’s definitely at least, like, a little dumb. And I say this with all the affection in the world, because we’re all dumb about something, but swans seem like a weird thing to be dumb about. Just saying. So, as they’ve clearly run out of all activities in Warsaw, IN, the only option left is for Emily to go to Ben’s house and meet his parents. We all know this is not going to go that great. So Ben’s parents meet Emily and they obviously think she’s really beautiful and sweet, because she is, but they also just like instantly don’t like her? Like maybe don’t give her a chance at all? I don’t know, I get it, she definitely shouldn’t be marrying their son, but they also came in a little hot, I’d say. So Emily tells Ben’s mom that she overthinks everything and that she has dreams including wanting to become an NFL Cheerleader, which I’m happy about because I’m glad her dream wasn’t just being a twin. Ben’s dad thinks Emily is hot and Emily tells him that she feels like she’s average at everything in life. We cut to Ben’s mom and she just describes Emily as a “fun individual” which is simply the shadiest thing I’ve ever heard on network television. I mean we’ll skip through the rest of this date because it’s really just kinda sad and uninteresting, but Ben very bluntly tells Emily that he just cannot see her as his wife. He sends her packing and I love, love, LOVE, how much these women support Emily and each other. Like they all genuinely love each other, which is so nice to see. I’m sad to see Emily go because she is funny and I think she’s a cool person, but she’s not ready to be anyone’s wife. I’m so excited for her that she got to learn more about herself, though, I mean that genuinely, and I really hope she’s gonna be on Bachelor in Paradise.
We cut to the rose ceremony at this weird, ominous bell tower and everyone feels like there’s a weird vibe. Ben pretends he doesn’t know who he’s gonna give the roses to, but he decides on Lauren B., JoJo, and Caila. BAI, BECCA! She gets a little pissed at him, which I guess is a normal thing to be feeling when someone breaks up with you out of the blue, but she also asks why she keeps putting herself in this position, and I’m all, YEAH, GURL, WHY? All in all, it was a slightly predictable episode, but I laughed, I cried, I prayed for Warsaw. Until next week, folks!
Next week on The Bachelor: Hometowns! Amanda’s family is super worried about Ben’s ability to be a dad right away, Caila’s dad is a very small man, Lauren’s family is just simply worried, and JoJo’s brothers go CRAZY. Ben apparently is going to be crying next week? All the women are going to be crying next week? Oh man, am I excited.