Tonight is sure to be the night everybody cries on The Bachelor.
Tonight's episode finds us in Warsaw, IN, Ben's hometown. Though he now lives in Denver, this is the place he grew up, had his first kiss, went to high school, all that jazz. His parents are waiting for him at the local downtown diner. He needs to catch them up on the past seven weeks. He'll be bringing 6 women to see where he grew up.
Ben tells his parents his quick description of each women.
Becca is here from last season. There's this really good side I can't get enough of, but last week there was a part that got very standoffish.
JoJo. Unbelievably beautiful. I am more myself, I think, around her than anybody else here.
There's a young lady named Emily. Emily is an identical twin. Haley, the other twin, was in this process as well with us. When Haley left, Emily grew into her own, but there's still a lot of questions.
There's Lauren. There's something about her from the moment I met her that sounds out. It will be interesting to see how this week goes for us because last week wasn't a good week.
Caila is beautiful and like really scared that she won't be able to fall in love. That is her fear.
Amanda is extremely beautiful. She has two little girls from a past marriage. She's really an incredible, incredible woman.
His mom asks if he might be falling in love. He confirms that he is.
Because every date involves a boat and water, Ben pulls up to the dock in a barge. As a first impression, they like the town. The women will be staying at a house in the same neighborhood as Ben's parents. They all hope to get lots of time in this week (of course) and take Ben to their hometown next week.
It's time for the first date. There's no date card, but Ben tells Lauren that she has 30 minutes to get ready.
Pouting ensues. They aren't used to seeing him actually ask someone on a date. JoJo says her guard is coming back up.
Lauren and Ben set off in an old truck to drive around town. Something he would do anytime he was back home. They drive past his high school, his church, the old movie theater where he had his first kiss in 7th grade. The story of the girl laughing at him first gets a laugh out of Lauren as he teases a kiss from her. By the way, there's no rose on this date.
Amanda has a big week this week. She needs to feel 100% confident that she wants to introduce him to her kids.
Back to Lauren's date. He takes her to the youth club where he worked for four years. Some of the employees are the same, so she gets some meet some acquaintances. They spend the afternoon playing basketball with the kids, jumping rope, and other activities.
One of the coaches challenges a special kid, Ronnie, to a half court shot. If he makes it, Ben has to kiss Lauren. Ronnie makes his shot. What a set-up.
To make the day even more special, Ben brings in a couple of players (Paul George and George Hill), coach and mascot from the Indiana Pacers.
Ben is pretty great with the kids and even pays special attention to a little boy upset in the corner. All the kids are certain that these two are going to get married.
Back at the house, the other women are waiting for the date card. Becca, of course, would prefer the one-on-one. State the obvious much?
JoJo, let's find love in the windy city... Ben.
But, Emily wants her time too!
So, back to Lauren. She thinks tonight is going to be important. The two sit down to talk, and Ben tells everything that Leah told him last week. Lauren said she didn't know what to say last week that didn't make her come off worse, but none of it was true. Ben looks into her eyes and says, "I trust you." To Lauren, that was like he professed his deepest love to her.
All is well, Ben thinks she's amazing, and they go to his favorite dive bar (his description). After tonight, Lauren knows she's not in love with Ben the Bachelor. She's in love with Ben from Warsaw, IN.
Perhaps I am hard to impress, but I don't see what's so special about Lauren. Of course, I'd say that about most any of them. Amanda's voice gets on my nerves. I hate JoJo's name. Emily is ok except she reminds me of Taylor Swift. Caila is confusing. I like Becca for some reason though.
The come up to Wrigley Field where the marquee speaks to them. The two have the whole stadium to themselves. They put on their Mr. and Mrs. Higgins jerseys. She impresses him with her hitting skills though she's never played or at least that's the story.
Becca and the others continue the pout fest. Becca asks Lauren how she feels watching someone else go off on a date after having her own yesterday.
The storm clouds start rolling in over Wrigley. However, Ben and JoJo are just laying around in the outfield. She doesn't feel safe enough to give him her full heart. On the flip side, Ben feels more himself with her than anyone. He does know she's holding back since she has some trust issues.
Since it starts raining, they go up in the scoreboard. Have I mentioned that I don't get the attraction to JoJo either?
Confession: I usually think, why can't people just be normal on this show? Why does everyone have to be over the top. Now, I'm glad Olivia and the other drama queens are gone, but man, tonight is boring.
At the house, the next date card arrives.
Caila, Amanda, Becca...
Emily will have the last one-on-one. She's crying happy tears.
Back at Wrigley, after the rain, they go back down to the field for a picnic. Ben wants JoJo to open up and not be so nervous. When she gets scared, he gets scared. He wants to know to what extent her feelings are there.
Becca is thinking about this time vs. last time. She feels things she didn't feel last time with Chris, even though she was there until the end.
Right back to JoJo. She tries to explain a little bit more about her issues. She's always felt like she always liked someone more than they liked her back. She always gave 150%, but always didn't get that in return. Of course, by the end of the date, everything is terrific.
This may be the longest date ever.
Finally, it's the next day. The three women from the group date pile into one seat of a very long limo. Caila jumps out first since she is next to the door. Amanda and Becca have to crawl out.
Today's date is at some kind of farm or something. They go out in rowboats. Becca and Amanda in one, Ben and Caila in the other. Then, they fly kites. It's even more awkward as they head into a barn lit up with Christmas lights. He tells the women there is a rose on this date. It's getting personal from being in his hometown to getting ready to go to theirs. The date will be in two parts. Whoever gets the rose gets to spend the rest of the evening with him while the other two go home. He steals Amanda away for a while first.
They go sit on a hay bale and talk about the fact she'll get to see her kids next week. And she will, one way or the other. They talk a little of the importance of meeting her kids.
When it is Becca's turn, she's not putting her best foot forward. She laments to him about how hard the last two group dates have been, especially since it's so different for her this time. She tells him that she has been stressed out deserves someone that has the same feelings for her. What is it that the other girls have that she doesn't?
As much as I am team Becca, I think she blew it. Either that, or she's trying the "I'll whine like all the others and get my reassurance" move. It's not working for her.
Ben is off on a mental wellness break while the women discuss how this rose is a sign of confidence in whose family he wants to meet.
Caila and Ben start their private time with a kiss. She smiles, saying she's thinking about taking him home. She doesn't have meaningful places with roots to take him because she moved 17 times before college. Her parents are all she has. She's been molded to be adaptable. Ben asks her about settling in one place, and she thinks she can.
When it comes time to hand out a rose, Becca looks like a sour puss. Ben is confident and ready to meet Amanda's family. She accepts the rose. Caila and Becca are left behind as Amanda and Ben go off to finish their date.
Awkward moments follow as the limo leaves with Ben and Amanda.
Becca FINALLY shows some emotion. She doesn't know what else she needs to do. She feels like she's gotten nothing from him. As a number of people on Twitter are pointing out, that's how Chris felt last season with her when she would show no emotion and couldn't say how she felt for him.
When Becca and Caila get back to the house, they let the others know that Amanda got the rose. Becca, very uncharacteristically for her, breaks down in tears.
Because it's such an awesome (sponsored) date, and it's something he would normally do, they go to McDonald's. They work the drive-thru a little bit, then sit down to their egg McMuffins. They talk more about meeting her kids and how it's a really big deal since she's never introduced anyone to her girls before.
Thankfully, something bigger than McDon'ald's is in store for them. The whole town greets them as they exit McDonald's and walk down a couple of blocks to a carnival. They play midway games, he wins her a giant donut (#random). They go on a ride sure to make me sick. He screams like crazy while she says it wasn't as bad as she thought it would be.
I would never go on one of those dinky Ferris wheels that gets toted from town to town. (I go on the big ones that are permanent.) I don't want to know how many screws are loose.
The next day, Lauren and Amanda go out to the lake, and Lauren asks how their date went. She seems to genuinely want to know.
Back on the barge boat, Emily and Ben start their date. Emily asks if that's swans out on the water. He tells her they are swans and that when they kiss and their noses touch that their necks form a heart.
At the house, Becca thinks that Ben may very well take Emily to meet his family today. JoJo would be like so jealous if that were to happen.
Caila thinks Emily is a bright eyed puppy and everything is new. She doesn't think Emily's mature enough for a real relationship.
Meanwhile, Ben does take Emily to his parents' house and shows her his childhood room. She gets to meet Mom, Amy, and Dad, David. Talking to people is hard for Emily. Being from Vegas, she doesn't get to see things like ducks, so it's a big deal for her.
Amy takes Emily off to talk. Emily is uber chatty and won't stop talking so that Mom can say anything. She talks about being young, but she's turned into a person she didn't know she could become. Dad and Ben have a conversation with fewer words. They talk about how things grew once her sister left.
So, Emily reveals that she always wanted to get married young, but she's always wanted to be an NFL cheerleader. She's ready to be a young mom too. Oh. My. Mom thinks that Emily is a little young.
Emily tells Dad that her favorite thing in the world is to watch movies all day long and that she hates vegetables.
Mom isn't sure how much Ben wants her to share about her thoughts. Mom questions Emily's maturity and how she has dreams she may need to seek out before settling down.
While I thought Olivia was being horrible last week when talking about being the much more mature one on their date, I don't think Caila is wrong. At least Caila was less mean about it. Emily is so Taylor Swift hyper.
Ben takes her back to the bench out behind the girls' house. Right now they are both smiling, but Ben's camera interview says it's not fair to keep anyone around he knows he doesn't have feelings for. While at first they are smiling, Ben tells Emily that at this point, he doesn't think he can see her as his wife. He doesn't see the next step for them.
ALL of the rest of the women are inside watching and see laughter turning into sadness on her face. As Emily walks back to the house, the women go out to meet her (at least Becca, JoJo and Amanda do). Emily tells them what happens before she packs it up to go home.
When it comes time for the rose ceremony, Ben is conflicted. He doesn't know what to do. Chris Harrison comes out to chat with him. While the women are waiting around, they know something feels off. Caila and Becca aren't confident.
Harrison asks Ben if he sees potential for all five women to be his wife. He admits there is one person who hasn't gotten to the point that the others have. He finally gathers himself together.
Ben thanks the women for coming, and again states this means he wants to meet their families.
And then the roses...
We knew those were coming. Who will get the last one? The women are shivering in the cold. It's about to get worse for one of them.
As expected (at least by me), it's Becca going home alone. As instructed by Chris Harrison, she says her goodbyes. She hugs each woman and tries to walk by Ben without speaking. He grabs her hand to walk her out. She asks, "why did you do that?" She shakes off his hand and puts hers in her pocket. She is mad. Becca tells Ben she begged him to not put her through a rose ceremony. He just couldn't put her and her family through next week at this point.
So, the parental grillings are on next week.