The Bachelor Recap: Intrigue on the Santa Fe Express

Photo: Lewis Jacobs/ABC
The Bachelor
Episode Title
Week 5
Editor’s Rating

Where is New Mexico? Just where is it? Find it on a map ASAP, because dear, sweet, simple Megan sincerely believes that New Mexico is outside the United States. Megan. A grown woman. Believes. That New Mexico is not part of the United States.

Okay. Okay. I'm done.

The ladytestants and Chris are going to Santa Fe for a romantic weekend because Chris has never seen a mountain and it’s the perfect place to fall in love. The Santa Fe Tourism Board sure thinks so. Unfortunately, instead of being a romantic locale, Santa Fe becomes the site for manipulation, surprises, and—

I said I was done, but I’m not done talking about how Megan doesn’t know where New Mexico is. I don’t think we will ever be done talking about Megan. She said she’s looking forward to the beach resort and models her bikini as she packs for the trip. BEACH. RESORT. She thinks it’s going to be a culture shock and asks if people are going to be wearing sombreros. This woman holds down a job and wants to raise children and she’s unclear if she’ll need to go through customs to go on this romantic trip with Chris.

If The Bachelor was a Boyz II Men song, this episode would be the spoken-word breakdown. Drama, emotions, Chris cries like a little bitch, people banged, interlopers, Sanderson.

Kelsey, Kelsey, Kelsey. I cannot remotely tell if Kelsey is real. She’s taken the place of Ashley S. for No. 1 Most Batshit Insane Ladytestant in my wicked little heart. Kelsey turns this romantic trip to Santa Fe into The Kelsey Sob-Story Variety Hour. She sings! She exploits her late husband’s congestive heart failure to win over a country mouse! She faints on cue!

Now, I do not doubt that Kelsey was affected deeply and profoundly by her husband’s sudden death. I do not doubt that she has had to work through his death to find some peace about his untimely passing.

I also do not doubt that she is a stone-cold, manipulative bitch who sat at home before filming began and crafted a narrative for herself that she thought would win sympathy and create opportunity after opportunity to get alone time (read: camera time) with Chris. Anyone who looks at the camera and talks about how her story will have a storybook ending and wants people to tune in every Monday at 8 p.m. watches too much reality TV and knows what will get her noticed. I imagine every time someone hugged Kelsey at her husband’s funeral, she shed a single tear and thought: “Soon.”

(I also doubt, in the deepest, darkest corners of my heart, whether Kelsey's husband is even real, because Sanderson is a made-up-as-hell name.)

Beyond Kelsey’s sob story that turned into a make-out session and subsequent cliffhanger-inducing fainting spell, it was a pretty typical Bachelor epis— MEGAN. NEW MEXICO. I CAN’T EVEN.

Chris starts the week by taking Carly on a one-on-one date to meet with Tziporah Kingsbury, a white lady wearing feather earrings and lots of scarves. Oh, she’s a love and intimacy mentor, too. Carly and Chris stare into each other’s eyes, breathe each other’s breath, and smear chocolate on their bodies. Tziporah smudges them with sage and probably culturally appropriates something in the process. Carly and Chris are encouraged to tell each other the things that are keeping them from being open and honest, explain the fears that have kept them from accepting love into their lives. Chris struggles to put a sentence together.

Carly talks about how she feels unworthy of love because she doesn’t feel pretty and beautiful. Her ex-boyfriend wouldn’t be affectionate, and that made her feel like she wasn’t good enough to love. Walking into The Bachelor mansion on the first day, she felt insecure and wants a man to validate her self-worth. I’m all for being in a relationship that makes you feel fulfilled and happy, but if the majority of your self-worth is coming from a relationship, and if that relationship is being filmed and you’re sharing the man with ten other women who are also kissing him left and right, this might not be the place to gain self-acceptance. But Chris eats it up with a spoon, jumping at the chance to validate both a ladytestant’s feelings and her desire for his approval. They end up making out all over each other’s faces. Carly gets a rose.

There’s a whitewater-rafting group date, but nothing exciting happens. The real excitement comes when Chris gets back to the hotel to have a hangout with the ladies from the group date but Jordan shows up after driving to Santa Fe from Colorado. Jordan was eliminated in episode two for being a sloppy, un-fun drunk. (Totally not an Ashley S. drunk. Come back, Ashley S.)

Chris parades Jordan around the other ladytestants for an hour or so before he realizes it might be uncool to parade extra women around just because they drove a few hours. He only realizes this because every other ladytestant has a frowning emoji for a face the entire time Jordan is strolling around on his arm.

Whitney gets a rose, for some reason. Ashley I. hates Whitney.

Britt gets a one-on-one date with Chris. He wakes her up before sunrise and comments on how beautiful she looks when she wakes up in the morning.

This dumb brick of a man doesn’t notice that this broad has been sleeping in her makeup. Does he think some women wake up with glittery eyelids and hot-pink lips and brows that are the definition of “on fleek”? Chris is real dumb. Britt’s face is gonna look like hell in a few years when all that heavy coverage foundation clogs up all her pores.

Britt and Chris go for a ride in a hot-air balloon, but most important, they bone. Oh man, do they bone. They bone for a couple of hours and then tell everyone that they took a nap together. Carly freaks out. Ashley I. flutters her fake eyelashes at everyone. Kelsey corners Chris to tell him about her husband dropping dead.

We all deal with tragedy in our own way.

After Britt’s date and Kelsey’s skillful manipulation, everyone is eyeing each other like it’s the climax of a thriller, and the lights have shut off and come back on, and the person who was just telling us to keep calm and work together is now lying dead on the floor in the middle of the room. Who did this? How did we get here? When can we leave? Trust no one. Sleep with one eye open. And with your eyebrows on fleek.

Chris knows what he has to do. There won’t be a cocktail party this week.

Kelsey has a panic attack outside the bathroom.