Bachelor Ben: “Never A Dull Moment, And Even When There Is…”
Okay, there are three ladies left on this season of The Bachelor. This is Switzerland, land of chocolate and cheese, watches, banks and lots and lots of stolen art. But we can’t get too hung up on any of that stuff, because more than anything else, this is the land of their last chance.
Ben is on his way. His plane is tracing its way from Los Angeles across a giant animated map of the world, and he’s staring out the window every second of the way in order to facilitate comprehensive recaps of each one of them, while voiceovering piles of boilerplate “It is a lot harder than I thought it was going to be” crap about falling in love with everyone and being worried about making the wrong decision.
So yeah – anyone who doesn’t get sent home today has got to stay in Switzerland and have blandly uncomfortable, unsatisfyingly brief conversations with the mother and sister of the man they’ve got slightly better odds of one day marrying than Rafa Nadal, and THEN if they’re not careful, he might must wind up “proposing” to them, and THEN their odds of marrying this guy climb higher still, and even though that’s never really likely to happen, they’re still going to find themselves frighteningly close to such an outcome AND they’re going to have to pretend to be madly in love with him for at least several weeks after that and by then Spring’s going to be nearly over by the time they can start dating for real again. Is that what anyone wants?
Nicki doesn’t start off her Switzerland date very well. As she and Ben fly across a glacier in a helicopter, she’s got all the wrong attitude, being all snuggly and affectionate, going on about how good she feels about telling him last episode that she loved him. A picnic at the top of a mountain provides the perfect opportunity for her to push Ben off, or even just threaten to push him off, but does she? No. Unless she’s using reverse psychology, it looks like Nicki is trying to just rest on her long-established laurels as the most boring person in the world to date or stop just short of marrying. Considering how far she’s gotten already with that strategy, it’s a risky one.
By the time they’re enjoying a romantic dinner in a log cabin, Nicki is seriously running out of opportunities, and yet, apart from some mild talk about family size and plans for the future, it seriously looks like Nicki wants to stick around for next week. Do you suppose she’ll surprise us all and turn him down when it comes time for Ben to play the Pimp Card so they can stay as a couple in the Fantasy Suite? Nope, not that either, and she even caps it with, “I would make you so happy.” BUT WAIT! Did you see that? SHE said she would make him so happy, and then did you see what HE did? Not a goddamn thing! That Nicki, she’s gooood!
Well, now Lindzi’s got her work cut out for her. She and Ben are going rappelling, which makes for all sorts of easy metaphors about bonding experiences and being there for one another*, and that’s quite apart from the several times Ben tells the camera that he loves this woman. She gets some mileage out of repeating the line about getting her heart broken a year ago, and then later, the whole time she’s telling Ben she likes him and she’s falling in love with him and she’s looking forward to a proposal from him, she’s shaking her head ‘no,’ but are these really times for subtlety when she could just cut his rope or tell him to stuff his Fantasy Suite key and be done with this whole mess? I’m worried that Lindzi has underplayed her hand.
But it’s no longer of any concern to us. A person is either driven to get the hell off The Bachelor before it’s too late, or they’re not. And Courtney’s Swiss date with Ben is up next. This should be a piece of cake for Courtney. Has she ever had trouble alienating people and making them hate her? Not really, no, and so now all it’ll take is for her to train all her royal bitchiness right on Ben. The guy won’t know what hit him, and then she’ll be gone, gone, gone. Wait! I’m going to pause it for a second and go and get popcorn!
Oh my freaking god, how wonderful is this? The reigning Queen Bitch of the whole entire Bachelor Universe, who carried this show on her back, without whom nothing worthwhile would have happened, all season long, has reformed, and it’s all for the love of Ben**. So instead of double killshots, smug retorts and weird faces, we get apologies for not treating the other gurls as nicely as she should have, heart to heart talks spread thick with contrition, and sweet games of ‘Hey Cow’***. I’m very resentful of this version of Courtney, but all I can do is hope that it’s part of a master plan.
Speaking of master plans, Time Out! Emily Maynard is next season’s Bachelorette! So if you think Ben’s been boring this season, you’ll want to tune in next season to see all his records get completely shattered! And speaking of completely shattered, here comes Kacie B., choosing the abject humiliation of walking up to Ben’s room and knocking on the door and asking again what (the fuck) happened at last week’s rose ceremony over even 5 minutes more in Clarksville TN, and because she still wants to know what (the fuck) happened last week. Ben’s explanation had about a hundred and fifty times more words in it than it actually takes to say, “I want nothing to do with your goddamn family,” but her retort, “What makes my parents happy doesn’t always make me happy,” would have carried more weight if she had jumped his bones right then and there. Instead she tells him that she doesn’t think he should choose Courtney, and instead of listening to her, Ben gives Kacie the look that’s meant to look like he’s listening when really he’s not. So she leaves the room and goes out and lays down in the hotel hallway, while Ben knocks on the table for the cameraman’s benefit****.
Now Ben’s confused. “I’m so utterly confused,” he says. Chris Harrison shows up and offers to slide Kacie B. into the rose ceremony*****. Nope, the last rose ceremony is held with three people, and Ben crowns Nicki the Queen of Gettin’ While the Gettin’s Good. So why is she crying? Do you suppose those are tears of happiness?
*Wonder if that’s a metaphor that comes up again during Fantasy Suite time?
**Who won’t even get a half-decent haircut for love.
****This was the best segment of the episode, and it still wasn’t very good.
*****Like that would help at all without the benefit of a trip to the Fantasy Suite