The Bachelor Recap: Episode 7 "There's Nothing"

The Bachelor Recap: Episode 7 "There's Nothing"

Do you people want something to blame for this whole “my favorite blogger fell behind” thing? Well, look no further than this inexplicable double header. If weekend mimosa brunch to 2am last-call binge-drinking is unhealthy, then four hours of The Bachelor in two days probably knocks ten years off a lifetime.

In the first of the vicious double header, somehow, we’re still in Deadwood. Again, we’re starting with a rose ceremony at the beginning of the episode because this show is slowly losing its mind.

Rose Ceremony

Meghan doesn’t even let the momentum of the rose ceremony get started before she takes Chris aside and asks him about the lack of their relationship’s forward momentum. Rather than tell her it’s because she doesn’t know the difference between Mexico and New Mexico, he tells her the truth. That yea, they have zero forward momentum.

Meghan appreciates his honesty and walks off with as much dignity as somebody can who doesn’t know the difference between Mexico and New Mexico.

With Meghan gone, the girls think they are going to mercifully be spared a rose ceremony, but Chris Harrison loves to give these girls heart attacks. He tells them one of the girls will still be going home. In other words, Carly, it’s probably you that’s going home. Carly isn’t going to kid herself, “I’m going to freaking puke. Or cry.”

But Farmer Chris comes to the rescue. With all the drama of a fake panic attack, a country concert in the middle of a group date, and a two-on-one, they’re going to bypass the rose ceremony.

Somebody will still be going home, though. Chris explains, “I want all of you to come to a place that is extremely near and dear to my heart. It’s a place that defines me. I call it God’s country.” Yep, Chris will be going home. “We’re going to Iowa.”

Arlington, Iowa

Everybody cheers and the tourism board should show these ladies’ rare excitement in every Iowa ad. Scratch that, this place shouldn’t even waste money on a tourism board.

The most the girls can compliment on the place is that there’s occasionally grass that’s green or leaves that are also, sometimes, green.

First One-on-One: Jade

“Jade, join me in my hometown.” Arlington is so boring, it doesn’t even deserve standard date-card puns.

The Bachelor or Bachelorette typically make it known they aren’t moving for anybody. But Farmer Chris has especially emphasized this. So this date in Arlington is pretty huge, and the rest of the girls know it. Jade knows it too, “I feel like the other girls are trying to be as nice as possible, but they’re all cranky and jealous today.” 

Farmer Chris awaits Jade’s arrival and is nervous how the girls are going to adapt to his incredibly quiet Arlington home. “It catches people off guard when they first see it. It’s not Des Moines.” Wow. I’ve never been to Des Moines, and there’s a reason. I don’t know what it would take to get me to “not Des Moines.”

Jade shows up anyway, looking at the glorious scenery of a couple telephone poles and Chris’ motorcycle. Chris is clearly nervous greeting Jade. He kisses, kisses again, pauses, chuckles, stare silently, goes for another kiss, gets dodged by Jade, and she insists, “show me around.”

He shows her the house that apparently “has a Bachelor feel.” Having a “Bachelor feel” is any lady’s euphemism for “there’s dust everywhere and if it’s hung by scotch tape, it can not be considered ‘wall art.'”

 

After looking at his land and fields, Jade and Chris take his motorcycle into the “downtown.” Jade is shocked at how much nothing Arlington is. The tour Chris shows her consists of a lot of places that “used to be” places. The Market is closed, the bank is closed, and there isn’t a single open bar or restaurant in town.

Chris explains that everybody had to leave because “technology replaced people.” Jade is trying really hard not to act devastated. One time, she put so much effort into faking non-disgust, Chris explained that his dad just goes to some place to get coffee that isn’t an actual working business just because people want to pretend it’s still a working business. Jade, desperately blocking out that Chris was telling a sad story, responds, “Oh yeah! That’s cool!” Chris responds, “Well, it’s sad really.” Yeah, sad doesn’t even really begin to describe this.

If these girls felt comfortable enough they would tell Chris to grow some cajones. Farmer Chris clearly needs to either grow past his nostalgia and move his farm elsewhere or turn his crops into a food distribution company, open a local restaurant, and start playing a role in boosting the local economy. But I’m not sure if any business degrees accompany any of these good looks.

So Farmer Chris and Jade go to the only form of entertainment they can find, a high school football game. Chris shows her around all his old stomping grounds in his old high school. While talking about their high schools, Jade admits to Chris that she was a bit of a rebel.

Jade explains, “Knowing hometowns are next week, I just want to open up about something that I did in my past.” We all know it’s because she posed for Playboy, but Chris and the other girls don’t yet.

They return to the football field, where Arlington is so sparsely populated that football players have to double as the marching band. After the game, Farmer Chris goes on the field and the crowd starts to chant for Jade to kiss him. People blow air horns, cheer and Farmer Chris feels like he won the prom king all over again.

Jade reassures Chris, “Don’t feel bad about where you love to be, you know. It is enough. Be proud of it.” Then they kiss without the air horns, and Jade is rapidly moving up the ranks.

Second One-on-One: Whitney

“Let’s look for love in Des Moines.” So we go from “Not Des Moines” to Des Moines. Should be waaayyyy more exciting.

Whitney is ecstatic about the date card, but Britt is clearly about to crack. She was upset about Jade getting to go to his home, and is even more upset about not getting a one-on-one at all. Britt, if she’s going to introduce Chris to her family, wants Chris to make her feel special.

Whitney jumps into Chris’ arms as soon as she arrives. They start at the Des Moines social club to look at an art gallery portraying people embracing the ones they love. Saying he feels inspired, Chris asks Whitney if she wants to go take their own lovey-dovey pictures throughout the city. Whitney agrees, as evidenced by this face.

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A photographer tags along as they take pictures embracing, riding shopping carts, giving piggy back rides, and throwing leaves in the air. Surprisingly, they never even needed a selfie stick. Even more surprisingly, Whitney never once insisted on the “skinny arm” pose.

Back at the house, Jade is describing her date and Britt starts to cry. She’s been teetering on the edge this whole time wanting Chris all for herself. Carly doesn’t think it’s so genuine, “Britt thinks this is ‘The Bachelorette’ not ‘The Bachelor,’ and she wants to be number one.”

Despite her insecurity-laced confessionals, Carly immediately transitions to be buddy-buddy with Britt and invites her on a road trip to Arlington. She explains, “I just don’t want to live in, like, dream world. Like, I just feel, like, I can find out a reality that can be my life right now. And it’s right there. Like, to me, that’s crazy that we wouldn’t go check it out.” So apparently, driving to a city to more vividly imagine your life raising a family with a man who probably won’t pick you is not living in a dream world? Cool just checkin.

Whitney is telling Chris that she thinks his sisters are great since she’s a suck-up. But Chris is eating it up, “I think she’s extremely genuine and speaks with her heart.” The two sit by the water and look through all their romantic pictures, and have taken enough cutey-patootie photos to pass as a “Facebook official” relationship.

Back on the road trip. The girls went from screaming “Woo!” at the start of the trip to groaning about the smell of manure as they arrived. All the stores are closed and the streets are empty. Arlington is again so boring, I’m half-rooting for a child to pop out of the corn and scream “Outlander!” They get in the town, drive for maybe a minute and a half, and they’re already exiting the town. Kaitlyn is stunned, “Oh my God. That’s it. That’s it you guys.” Chill out, Kaitlyn, perhaps farm-town Chris is proud of something that lasts a minute and a half.

Guess what, everything is closed in Arlington. When you try to hang out at a Methodist church, you know you’ve reached entertainment rock bottom. Carly looks into the church and sees a Jesus portrait identical to one that was on her grandparents’ wall, and sees it as a sign that she’s here for a reason. I hope so because the reason she’s here certainly isn’t her insistence on wearing rompers.

Britt isn’t as impressed, “People say small town, and you don’t picture it being this small… There’s not even a restaurant in this town. I’m trying to picture myself living here. It’s just so much smaller than I thought it would be.” With nothing to do, Becca admits, “I’d want to pop out babies asap.” I’m not sure virgin Becca knows how babies work.

Back in Des Moines, the apparently big city that’s a short three hour drive that Chris and his future maybe-wife will probably never take, Chris and Whitney arrive at some restaurant. There, some guys come up to Farmer Chris who Whitney thinks are fans, but turn out to be three of Chris’ best friends. Whitney, again, is excited, as evidenced by this face.

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This must be a crazy coincidence, or an elaborate stunt by the producers. The friends start with softball questions “Are you a Bears fan?” Then they get to the good stuff, “Chris said ‘I want a family. I want to do this for the right reasons.’ So how do you know if you love him? I mean, do you love him?” Verdict: an elaborate stunt by the producers.

After a group of best friends reunite with their new C-List celebrity friend, I’m sure there would be some joking or noogies, but not with these guys. Whitney answers the question solidly without saying “yes” because you can’t say the “L-word” for the first time when answering a Shark Tank panel grilling from his friends.

The friends leave, and Whitney tells Chris she thinks his friends are also great because she’s a suck-up. Chris’ sisters and friends might be “great,” but Whitney’s family is not. She already told Chris that her mom passed away, but now she reveals that she never had a relationship with her dad. She goes through the speech very composed. However boring she might be or however high-pitched her voice, Whitney has her emotions together.

Chris has one more thing to show her on their date. So they walk outside to a crowd of cheering fans as Chris reminds Whitney of the pictures they took that afternoon, then reveals the one that he liked the most was blown up into a wall-sized mural in downtown Des Moines. Whitney’s reaction?

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You may have guessed that, but this time, Whitney’s gasp face is very well deserved. This is a crazy large, pretty permanent gift. The only way a Bachelor could top it is by tattooing one of the remaining girls’ name on his buttox.

Whitney told the friends earlier she thought it was impossible to find an exact moment where you fall in love, but she changes tune, “I can honestly say I fell in love tonight. In a moment.”

Group Date: “Icy Our Future Together”

The girls think Kaitlyn is going to get the last one-on-one since her entire one-on-one date was hijacked by Jimmy Kimmel. But then, the card is addressed to Britt, Carly and… Kaitlyn. Poor Kaitlyn.

Britt talks about how she is horrible at skating and Carly quips, “You always say that and you end up being the best person there.” Carly may be fueled by insecurities, but she’s fed up with Britt. This stems from their earlier road trip, during which Britt was clearly let down by Arlington, but then came back to tell Jade how amazing the sunset was and how it changed her mind.

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Carly isn’t buying that the girl that sleeps with makeup on could live in a city where this isn’t even paint on any of the buildings. Between the sleeping in makeup, not showering, almost besting Carly in country singing and always saying the right things to Chris, Britt has officially drove Carly insane. Like, talking to a lipstick hand puppet insane.

“Hey Britt. Tomorrow you’re going down. The only thing you’ll be left with is your rose-colored lipstick because I am getting the rose,” Carly taunts her hand-puppet. Sure, she might be schizophrenic,  but at least we know Carly will be able to entertain herself in Arlington.

Whitney returns to brag about her date, and all the talk of other girls compels Jade to tell her room mates about her Playboy photos. Everybody thinks that once Chris finds out, he won’t be happy. Well, after he Googles the pics, he’ll be briefly happy, but it will fade during his refractory period.

The group-date girls show up at the Wells Fargo Arena, the home of such historic franchises as the Iowa Barnstormers Arena Football Team, Iowa Wild of the American Hockey League, and the Iowa Energy of the NBA Development League.

Speaking of minor league athletics, Chris can’t skate. He can’t skate at all. They grab some hockey sticks and he falls every time he tries to touch a puck. He even stumbles when Britt tries to grab his hand and skate away for the first one-on-one time.

Britt tells Chris about the girls road trip to Arlington, and Chris is very nervous about his tumbleweed town. And even though Britt seemed disgusted with the town while on the trip, she tries to ease his nerves by retelling Chris her supposed revelation while watching the sun set over the corn fields on the way back.

Carly clearly can’t stand it, “I can’t go from watching Britt say, ‘I don’t want to live in Arlington,’ with me and Kaitlyn standing freaking right there to what I know she’s freaking telling him right now.” Carly is quickly transitioning to the dangerous “Chris deserves to know” stage that always blows up in everybody’s face.

Carly doesn’t think she has as much of a connection with Chris, so she becomes a martyr to make sure she can protect the man she briefly had a crush on for a couple minutes weeks ago when rubbing chocolate all over his face. She warns, “Be careful Chris. Because I’m really freaked out for you.”

So at the night date, Chris re-confronts Britt about Arlington. Britt says she likes reinventing herself and has been so many things in her life, and that ultimately no matter where, she just wants to be a mom. Chris loves it and Britt is either a really great liar, or a super deep, genuine girl.

Kaitlyn elaborates, “I don’t think Britt is being honest with herself. I think she is just confused in her own brain about what she wants… So she’s molding herself to be that person that Chris wants her to be.” But Kaitlyn doesn’t want to focus too much on Britt. She feels a little behind in the process, and tells Chris her anxiety about bringing Chris to her family when the other girls have seen his home, his sisters, his friends and all she’s seen is Jimmy Kimmel and Costco.

Chris understands, “I don’t want her to feel this way going into hometowns.” So he grabs the group date rose and brings back to a increasingly-softer Kaitlyn. “I crumbled. I was a nerd. I was all the sudden this soft little… *sniffle* I feel on top of the world.”

150212_gma_bachelor1_16x9_992If Kaitlyn is on top of the world, Britt is at the bottom. Chris tries to talk about how tough this is and Britt instructs him “stop.” Then Britt explains, “I’m just having trouble. I’m not mad, I’m just confused, and really really hurt right now.”

You can’t call out the Bachelor in front of the other girls. Britt wanted the group date rose to feel wanted, but no Bachelor wants to have the inherent absurdity of the show thrown back in his face. The girl falls in love with the one guy who is falling in love with seven other girls at the same time. It’s an impossible dynamic. Britt keeps challenging Chris, who defends the attack, “I don’t really understand the position you’re trying to put me in right now.”

He gives an exit speech and leaves quickly. All the girls drink their wine and try to reconcile and discuss who should feel validated. At least Carly feels good, “I think she’s going to leave because she knows what an idiot she made of herself.”

We’ll wait to find out next week.

Power Rankings

1. Whitney

2. Jade

3. Kaitlyn

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