This week on The Bachelor we’re treated to a 12-day, 27-part episode EXTRAVAGANZA! First, we start with a four-hour musical special where Chris tells all. In this episode, Chris says some stuff (he likes kissing). Kelsey says some stuff (she still cray). Andi cries, and Chris Harrison just stares into her soul and keeps asking her questions to make her weep harder.
Most important, we find out what happened to Ashley S. Ashley S. Finally, the woman who has been haunting my dreams appears again before me, not dressed as Miss Havisham, as she usually does, but in her natural, true form. Her strongest form, in fact — a drunk blonde in a bandage dress. In behind-the-scenes footage, we learn Ashley S. was dangerously close to uncovering a conspiracy that goes all the way to the top: a gambling ring run by the cast and crew and Monsieur Le Chiffre, banker and terrorist financier. Could Ashley S. have been eliminated and edited to appear as a drunk to discredit her accusations?
Also, home girl found a pomegranate on a tree. I still love her and miss her.
Megan, the woman who did not know New Mexico was part of the United States, takes Chris aside and asks him how he feels about their relationship. I know enough about modern dating to know that asking a man how he feels about you will end up with you in a limo driving away — I made that mistake last year at the NBA All-Star game. Derrick Rose, I still love you and miss you.
Chris tells the women there won’t be another rose — Derrick, I still pine for you — rose ceremony because he ditched Megan, and all of the ladytestants head to Iowa to get to see Chris’s hometown.
The central question of this episode is “Can you live in Arlington?” Arlington’s slogan is “Where hills and prairie meet.” Arlington is slightly larger than one square mile. The population is 429. The pastor wears Call of Duty T-shirts and hangs out with his friend on his front porch. The coffee shop is just a guy brewing coffee in an abandoned warehouse. Arlington is a metaphor for the failing middle class and the decline of rural farming communities.
To get real for a moment, it’s incredibly selfish that Chris (and the show) would expect one of the ladytestants to move here with him. It’s asking a lot of an independent woman to give up her life for a stranger. Being a mother can be very fulfilling, and living in the country can be wonderful and fun, but if there’s no other discussion of any other life together except his way, or any other role for his wife to play except his wife, it’s pretty damn gross. Apologies to anyone who lives in Arlington, Iowa, but there’s nothing there. Your high-school mascot is a compass rose. What is that even?
This question of “Can you live in Arlington?” puts the pressure squarely on Britt. Britt is the only fake-ass bitch left standing, and the girls have it out for her. Carly hates Britt so much that she draws a puppet of Britt on her hand and performs a satirical vaudeville routine about Britt’s lies. She also did a charming rendition of “Surrey With the Fringe on Top.”
Chris picks Jade to be the first one to visit Arlington for the one-on-one date. It’s delicious to watch Jade’s face as she rolls into Arlington. Have you ever gone home with someone and the second you walk into their apartment you see that they have an entire wall of lizard terrariums and you have to act like you have an opinion on climbing lizards versus ground lizards? Just me? Just me on my date with Derri— I mean … some random person who is definitely not a basketball player? Well, that’s the face Jade was making that entire day.
While Whitney is on her one-on-one date, Jade tells the other ladytestants about her date that felt like a homecoming date and Britt begins her slow descent into madness. Britt cannot handle the idea that Chris would like anyone else. Britt is basically a ninth-grade girl seeing her lab partner/crush dance with another girl to K-Ci & JoJo because that’s their song, that’s their song.
Whitney and Chris go to a totally real photo exhibit that a real artist put together in Des Moines and take photos all over the city. (Full disclosure: I once was in a long-distance relationship with someone who lives in Des Moines and hearing it described as a “metropolis” made me laugh … very hard.)
The remaining ladytestants get the brilliant idea to drive three hours to Arlington to scope out the town themselves. Carly peers into this Methodist church and sees the same portrait of Jesus hanging in the church that hangs in her grandparents’ home. Because that’s a sign that two people should get married? Then we watch Britt realize, “Oh fuck, this whole farm thing hasn’t been a cute joke this whole time.”
Whitney gets to meet a series of identical white men in matching gray sweaters who are Chris’s best friends because Iowa. At the end of their date, Chris presents a hastily painted mural of one of their photographs. It’s a sweet gesture, but whoever painted that mural thinks Whitney has a fat face. If that were me I would not be flattered.
Carly, Kaitlyn, and Britt get a group ice-skating date, and Carly takes the opportunity to tell Chris that Britt is a fake-ass bitch. Chris manages to fall down on the ice while standing completely still. Overlooking the picturesque and brown Des Moines River, Britt lies through her lipstick-stained teeth and tells Chris that she could totally live in Arlington on his farm with Chris’s cows.
Later at a deserted wine bar, Chris gives Kaitlyn a rose. Britt’s last shred of sanity slips through her fingers and she starts bitching and moaning. Oh, lordy, does she bitch and moan. She starts crying and glaring at Chris and Kaitlyn because she’s hurt and confused and sad. Is Chris the man she wants to take to meet her parents because he would rather validate some whiny skank’s feelings and not reward her for being the hottest?
Britt complained that she didn’t get a rose this week from this group date and Chris looked at her and said, “I don’t know what you want me to do right now,” which is the universal sign that you are being a drunk crybaby weeping about something that is outside of your control and you need to get over it.
I’m sorry, but does Britt not get how this works? No one cares about your feelings, girlfriend. That’s not how this works. That’s not how any of this works. Chris isn’t your boyfriend. He’s a man on a TV show who is contractually obligated to make out with any women within a one-mile radius. That’s in his contract: Any woman he sees, he can lick her face. Britt does not seem to grasp the fundamental concept that she’s here for Chris, not the other way around.
I feel like Britt would be one of those people who gets upset when she goes to McDonald’s after 11 a.m. and can’t get breakfast. That’s how this works. You don’t get an Egg McMuffin right now.
Next week Jade tells Chris she did a photo shoot with Playboy, as everyone at home Googles “Jade the Bachelor Nude Photos Playboy Boobies.”