This week, Ben and his six remaining women are in Belize, where a series of "high-stakes" dates that bash us over the head with their metaphorical significance will determine which four get to take him home to meet their families. Everyone faces their fears, and two girls try to pull off a mini Courtney-intervention.
Lindzi gets the first one-one-one date in Belize, which involves a helicopter (of course) and jumping out of it into pretty water called "The Blue Hole." Lindzi freaks, because she's afraid of heights, because this show is really just a show about women in their twenties who get over their banal "phobias" with the help of a (semi) cute dude and the full legal department of ABC/Disney. They jump (from like twenty feet, tops) and are fine.
"It's kind of like love, sometimes you just have to take a leap of faith" Lindzi muses predictably later that night with Ben. In voice-over, Lindzi checks off all the boxes: She's "definitely falling in love with Ben," but she wishes he didn't "have five other girlfriends" and she wants "a fairy tale." Ben and Lindzi are given a bottle and a piece of paper on which to write a really dumb fairy tale story on one side and "an eternal promise" on the other. The promise is to "always be truthful," which: ha-ha, nice noncommittal, meaningless promise. The nicest thing one can say about Lindzi is that she only pronounced both ts in the word important four times on this date.
"Ben's a prince charming, because he just is a prince charming, he's my prince charming" Lindzi says of their night.
For the next date, Ben takes Emily the Doctor to an island to ride bikes and dive for lobster. Emily notes that catching lobster is harder than it looks "They squirm. They don't really want to end up on your dinner plate." (Metaphor!)
Back at the hotel, Courtney fumes that Emily is on the date and announces for the first of what will be many times that if Ben doesn't give her a one-on-one date, she won't take him home to meet her family, because "the spark is gone."
Ben tells Emily that he always tells her she's smart but tonight he wants to tell her she's pretty, too, and they share a trademark Bachelor Ben Top Gun Kiss.
Courtney gets the next date card, and says, "Smart boy! He listens!" which sends Kacie into a poetic tailspin. "It took every freaking fiber of my being to not spring across the room and punch her in the face. It's not because I'm jealous of her, it's because she's the shittiest piece of person I've ever seen in my life."
Ben and Courtney go off into the jungle and climb the steps of a Mayan temple. Courtney wonders aloud if it was "ever used for human sacrifices." (Metaphor!) Courtney strategically tells Ben her "losing the spark" sob story and how she was going to refuse the rose if he hadn't sent her a date card. That's when Ben actually reveals a hint as to why he's kept Courtney the Monster on the show: "I want a woman with a little bit of edge and I want someone who's kind of weird." He then describes himself as weird! Maybe that's why he wouldn't let them fix his hair for this show? The two weirdos reach the top and look out upon the jungle and sea below, and probably whisper plans to smoke up together when they get back to Sonoma, because, c'mon, you know they're both stoners.
That night over dinner, Courtney tries to look interested as Ben tells her about the "moment of clarity" he had on top of the Temple of Human Sacrifice, where he saw his past, present, and future come together. "Nobody's ever said that to me before," Courtney says. They agree that they both believe in soul mates. Ben seems completely head over heels.
Back at the house, Courtney makes guns with her fingers and shoots imaginary rivals while making "pow" sounds. "Kill shot!"
Ben asks Courtney about the other girls' problems with her and she calls them "boring" and "vanilla," while reminding him that she's a model. "Do you know what my job is like? I'm 'the Talent' and I have to make everyone happy." (Ha!) Ben asks her if she has friends at home. "Yeah, I have friends. I have GUY friends." In voice-over, Ben says his "worst fear is being with a woman who I like but other people don't." (Remember that for later!)
The next morning, Ben wakes the three group date girls up at 4 a.m. and tells them to put on bathing suits. There's a flurry of activity as the women try to shave their legs and armpits as fast as possible. (These women do nothing but sit around a tropical hotel all day! They don't already have their legs shaved?)
The three girls and Ben then go out to "shark alley," a very made-up-sounding area where the concentration of sharks is supposedly the highest it is in all of Belize. The race is on for one of the girls to declare sharks to be "her biggest fear," and the winner is: Rachel! Rachel gets to "conquer her fear" and monopolize Ben by having him hold on to her for the entire shark-swimming part of the date. The other girls sulk because they didn't think of it first, and because it kind of sucks that they're forced to swim with sharks together and not even get any time with Ben.
Later at the hotel, Nicki and Kacie finally do get Ben-time, and both tell them they're falling in love with him. But apparently Kacie does it best, because she gets the rose.
Courtney looks down from her hotel room at the group date and notices Kacie got the rose, and declares that she's not worried: "She's just
like a little girl to me. She's just like a little girl in a little boy's body." (Burn.)
Now that Kacie has the rose in hand, she clutches her totem of immunity and initiates a conversation with Ben about how much Courtney sucks. In what seems like a planned move, Nicki joins in. Neither is mean or specific, but they tell Ben to "tread lightly" and use the "not here for the right reasons" line. Ben looks concerned.
That night, the women gather for the final cocktail party before the rose ceremony, and Courtney causes a stir by saying, "He's not the only guy in the world" about Ben, which is apparently the most shocking true fact a woman on this show could point out. Then Chris Harrison comes out and says that Ben is so sure about his choices that he just wants to get the rose ceremony over with without a cocktail party.
Ben comes out and dramatically asks to speak to Courtney. Courtney prances into the bushes with him and he's all "Are you for real?" and she's like "Of course, what?" and they come back. Ben is apparently satisfied and ready to face his own "worst fear," because he gives Courtney the rose along with Lindzi and Nicki. Thank God, too, because have you ever been more curious about the family of a Bachelor contestant more than Courtney's? They don't show us much in the preview, but it appears that her father is a "generic rich old white guy" from an eighties comedy. Can't wait!