Stop reading now if you don’t want spoilers on episode 9 of The Bachelor with Ben Higgins (original air date: Monday, February 29, 2016).
Ben and his final three ladies are in Jamaica, and overnight “fantasy suite” dates are on the table. If some random dude was about to go on three dates with three women in three days and probably bang at least two of them we would hate him, but this is The Bachelor where the only thing we hate is women who “didn’t come here to make friends” and people named Lace. Remember Lace???
Caila and Ben have the first date of the week, and Ben describes their relationship as the “deepest.” Caila is feeling “anxious” despite a solid hometown date and as a result their conversation stalls during a river boat cruise. Ben senses that she’s holding back but Caila claims she’s over-thinking things and really wants to just enjoy the moment. Despite their open discussion about the awkwardness, this relationship still feels a few steps back from what he has with Lauren and JoJo. “It’s really important that tonight goes well,” stresses Caila. She course corrects for the evening part of their date and is visibly less “distracted.” Ben really wants to talk more about her weirdness earlier in the day. Caila likes that he noticed she was acting strange, and admits to being scared given that there are two other women who are also likely falling in love with Ben. “Every time I’m with you…it just feels right,” she tells him, adding that she’s in love with him. I thought she told him a few weeks ago so this seems somewhat anti-climactic. Ben pulls out the overnight date card and it’s all systems go on her end. “There is no other place I’d rather be in the world than in his arms,” Caila gushes in her voiceover as they make out in the ocean with fireworks in the background.
God I hate fireworks. Reason #56,928 I would never be on the Bachelor. I feel like it’s gotta be part of the screening process: do you like fireworks, helicopter rides, and awkward impromptu serenades from bands that you’ve only heard of if you live in the American mid-West? Yes? You’re in.
“It will be him and I at the end of this!” Caila declares. The next morning, Ben and Caila are all adorable and sweet over coffee and she loves that they woke up as a couple. Ben loves how great she looks in the morning. She has that awesome hair that makes me hate myself. With a parting kiss and “I love you,” Caila leaves.
Date number two is with Lauren, who is leaning towards confessing her love to Ben because “she’s had these feelings for awhile.” According the University of My Eyeballs, he’s head over heels for Lauren too. It would appear that Ben doesn’t even get a day off between overnight dates which is kind of skeevy (or just editing) but not surprising for the Bachelor world. On their date, Lauren and Ben get to hold and then release newborn baby sea turtles (I WANT!) into the ocean for a “date full of cuteness.” Lauren compares the lives of these baby sea turtles to her love for Ben (yeah, it didn’t make sense to me either). Ben tells Lauren that he loved her family and admits to crying while talking to Lauren’s sister during his hometown visit because, as he states, “you’re too good for me.” Lauren says the feeling is mutual and they hop in the ocean and there’s a goddamn double rainbow in the background I’m not even joking. I can practically hear the Bachelor producers giving eachother crisp high fives at catching that moment.
Later that evening, they dance a bit and talk about how hard the week apart has been between hometown dates and this week’s dates. “I’m obviously very invested in you,” Lauren tells Ben, adding that she can see a life with him. Lauren tells him that he’s the man of her dreams but still no L word. Ben silently hands Lauren the overnight date card. I love how they are all signed by host Chris Harrison, America’s most charming pimp. Speaking of, just me or does it feel like Harrison has been mostly absent this season? I love when he bros down with the Bachelors and gives them advice and is all serious head nodding and sympathy eyes. Lauren finally fesses up to being “completely in love” with Ben. He knows that she wouldn’t still be there if her feelings weren’t strong, and then BREAKS ALL OF THE BACHELOR RULES by telling Lauren that he’s known he’s been in love with her for awhile. “I seriously didn’t think someone like you existed,” she states. Ben closes the blinds and we have to listen to the mics pick up the sounds of them kissing.
“Honey, I made breakfast,” Ben says the next morning, as all over North America women throw their underpants at their television. “Last night, I was really able to get confidence…in my feelings,” declares Ben. That’s the cutest euphemism for getting laid I’ve heard in weeks. “Ben’s my person,” says a euphoric Lauren.
“Telling Lauren I love her complicates things,” Ben declares and then meets up with JoJo. Ben finds her “uplifting” and reiterates he felt an immediate connection with JoJo. She is a bit worried about what went down between Ben and her family during hometowns while she was, I have to presume, locked in the basement so that she wouldn’t hear the grilling her brothers were giving him. JoJo is hesitant to tell Ben she’s in love with him because he can’t say it back (well….). “The thought of losing him is terrifying,” she moans. They swim at a waterfall and kiss a bit and JoJo says that everything she’s felt leads her to believe that she does love Ben and she tells him how terrified she is that she just said that. And then HE TELLS JOJO HE LOVES HER TOO. Yes, I’m shouting.
Insert screeching tires sound. Oops, he did it again.
JoJo’s response is perfect: “What?! Are you allowed to say that?”
Yeah, we can’t believe it either. Actually, I can believe it because JoJo is awesome sauce but, as Ben states in his voiceover: “I don’t know how I can be in love with two women but I am.” I guess I know how he feels. Today I fell in love with two mini cupcakes at work. If you’re the mathy sort, that’s two women. So, like, bye bye Caila. While I have no doubt that Ben is in love with both of these great gals, I suspect he never would’ve been able to say it without the explicit, likely written, permission of the Bachelor powers-that-be.
“I just told JoJo I love her,” Ben reminds us, heading into the evening portion of their date. “But in the back of my mind I’m flashing back to telling Lauren the same thing.” Um, yeah, probs because it was less than 24 hours ago. Ben tells her that today meant a lot to him because he knows where she stands now and JoJo, now confident and secure in their relationship, seems more at east and happier than ever. Finally the topic of JoJo’s brothers gets some air time, and Ben admits to sensing a lot of tension and feeling “uneasy” after their hometown date. JoJo wants to scream I HATE THEM THEY RUIN EVERYTHING but she manages to keep it cool and say she loves her brothers and knows their concern is coming from a good place. She insists that they will love Ben too. Remember her brothers? I don’t think they love anything aside from JoJo, lifting weights and wearing bracelets.
“I do feel like her family will support us,” Ben lies to himself convincingly before presenting JoJo the date card. She bails. Joking, obviously. They tour their fantasy suite which has a pool and a hot tub of course. If I was a heartless monster (if?) I would say that Lauren has the slight advantage over JoJo because JoJo would make a better Bachelorette. You can yell at me in the comments. I do feel like Ben is sliiiightly more into Lauren than JoJo but find JoJo more interesting than Lauren. It’s a real Sophie’s Choice. It’s not. I way overuse this phrase and it’s one of the main reasons why I’m probs going to hell. There’s also this thing where I used to steal cheese like three times a week from the place I bought my morning coffee and muffin. Also, there’s some mild treason in there but I promise it was adorable.
The next morning JoJo and Ben eat watermelon (or so they think) in bed and are all lovey dovey. These women look better first thing in the morning than I would look if I lived with a makeup artist who painted my face on in lieu of rent. There’s a slightly nauseating round of ‘no, you’re the cutest’ but I can’t hate on these two because it’s pretty sweet or maybe I have my period. Also, if any men are reading this (?) and are looking to sleep with a bunch of women on their next vacation you may want to google this resort.
Cut to Ben walking along the ocean and trying to figure out how to dump Caila. He is “not looking forward to it.” Ouch, he’s going to make her go through a rose ceremony? Luckily, spunky Caila just misses Ben so darn much that she can’t wait to see him again and surprises him, catching him totally off guard on his day off from sex and sweet morning-after banter. Ben’s face when he sees that it’s Caila is basically ‘ah, fuck.’
“It means a lot that you really tried to come over here,” he begins, and tells her it’s been a crazy week. You can actually see the exact moment when Caila realizes she’s getting dumped. “I am in love with two women here…and I just couldn’t say it back to you,” Ben tells her. “You are literally what I describe…as my perfect wife…” Ben says, confusingly, adding that it’s hard to imagine saying bye to her. “That sounds like a line,” Caila says, starting to cry, and tells Ben that he doesn’t have to say that and adds through her tears that she’s enjoyed getting to know him and that she loves him but really can she just go now? Ben asks if he can walk her out and for a second it seems like Caila will say no but she agrees and they hug and Ben wants her to know that he’s really going to miss the crap out of her.
A heartbroken Caila climbs into the SUV of Broken Dreams™ but hops back out because she wants more information. “Did you know this week?” she asks him, and they go for a walk to chat some more. Our Bachelor admits that the other two women also said they were in love with him but swears he didn’t know who he was sending home until he heard affirmations from all three women. Ben wants Caila to know that their relationship was important to him.
This may be one of the most civilized-but-could-easily-have-gone-really-bad breakups of a second runner-up in Bachelor history. The bar ain’t that high.
Back in the SUV, Caila is really crying now and confesses to thinking she was going to be engaged soon and claims she “was ready” to start a life with Ben. “I thought this was it.”
Ben is gutted at sending Caila home but knows that he just had way stronger feelings for Lauren and JoJo. Chris Harrison greets JoJo and Lauren, separately, heading into the rose ceremony. They quickly realize that Caila isn’t coming, which Ben confirms. “I’m more confident in this than I’ve ever been,” he tells his final two and then there’s a super weird group hug full of uncomfortable laughter. With each woman secure in the warm cocoon of Ben’s love confession, they both strive to feign coolness yet each wonders if Ben has told the other woman that he loves her too.
We’ll have to wait two weeks to find out who Ben chooses because next week is the ‘Women Tell All’ special which will likely turn into an “everyone hates Olivia” fest. Can’t wait.
Thanks for reading!