Ben Higgins Bachelor Recap Episode 6: Castaway Olivia
FRONTRUNNERS: Lauren B, Amanda, Caila, JoJo, Emily-if-she-wasn’t-a-twin, and Olivia-if-Ben-was-dumb. I remember Ben Flajnik picking Courtney the expert gamesman, but I don’t know if Olivia is that clever or Ben that stupid.
NO CHANCE: Leah, Emily-because-she’s-a-twin, and Olivia-after-she-falls-apart.
We pick up with Ben’s conversation prior to the Rose Ceremony, where he tells Olivia what he’s heard about the house. Olivia counters with the classic “girls don’t like me because I don’t like doing super girly things and I like to read and I want to talk…smart…things”. Wait, what? Did I hear that right? Sadly, the answer is yes. Olivia attempts to turn on the waterworks but is only mildly successful. Ben walks her back to the party, and regardless of what happens next, a gauntlet has been thrown and picked up.
Victorious this week: Caila, Lauren B, JoJo, Becca, Leah, and Emily. Jennifer is heading home. She gives Ben a hug, holds it together, and heads for the limo. The non-Olivias need to be careful not to push too hard, because they could validate Olivia’s persecution complex. I still think Ben, The Second of His Name is too smart to make the same mistake as Ben, the First of His Name, but something to keep an eye on.
The ladies arrive in the Bahamas on a boat, which again sets expectations for future relationships just about right. Thanks, Bachelor. Leah pops a bottle of bubbly in the kitchen, earning some knucks
Chris Harrison interrupts the mimosaing to give everyone the rundown for the week, including a two-on-one date that of course no one wants to be on. Becca opens the date card after Chris leaves to pursue his other job responsibilities (drinking on the beach?), and Caila is the lucky winner of the one-on-one date. The women who have not had a one-on-one date are not at all happy, but everyone fixes their faces when Ben shows up in an artfully unbuttoned shirt to sweep Caila away.
Ben lets Caila know that they’ll be going deep sea fishing, which doesn’t seem very romantic or relaxing. It does, however, come with high potential for swimsuits and deep sea swimming.
Ben and Caila kiss a fish (gross) before jumping into the ocean. Told you so! At the fancy part of the date, uneaten food once again sits immediately in front of them. Ben asks Caila to open up and be vulnerable with him, which is essentially asking her to drop her backstory bomb. She sidesteps artfully and says “I feel like I love you”, but that her greatest fear is “I can’t totally, completely fall in love with somebody”. This is going sideways quickly, which is what happens when you’re in a time crunch to reveal your reservations to someone you’ve had one date with. Perfectly normal reaction for people dating in real life, but in the Bachverse you have to be ready for full commitment at the drop of a hat!
Ben continues to press Caila for more details, as he is obligated to do given the circumstances. Caila puts together a game-changing understanding and love monologue, which satisfies Ben for the time being. Here he learns the valuable lesson that if you press a girl with the same question relentlessly, you’ll get the answer you want eventually. Do not try this at home. Here it’s enough to get Caila a rose and some snogging while their plates remain entirely and depressingly full.
Back at the house Leah is falling apart, feeling like she isn’t a frontrunner. She isn’t. She says she “looks like a fool”, and I wonder why it took so long to set in. You’re on The Bachelor. Of course you look like a fool.
Lauren B, Becca, Amanda, JoJo, Lauren H, and Leah are selected for the group date, meaning that Olivia and Emily will be on the two-on-one date. This is fascinating, because one is a twin and one is close to self-destruction. Can we fast forward to that please?
Leah continues to be a wet blanket for the group as a whole while they wait to go on the group date. Ben corrects his long sleeve/shorts folly from the last date and wears a short sleeve button-down. By the time we cut to them in the boat, shots are being taken and shirts have been removed. My kind of party! Becca makes a weird segue into the unpredictability of sharks, and the boat continues on towards a private island. Soon they come across that most elegant of seafaring creatures, the pig. Ben explains that they’ll be feeding the pigs, and none of the contestants look properly terrified. Haven’t any of them seen Snatch? Pigs eat fucking anything! This is the part where I’d be out. The result is, however, somewhat cute, and as far as I can see no one loses any fingers.
Ben spends some time talking to Lauren B, which bothers everyone else. There’s a little tension between Ben and almost everyone, and JoJo steps in as the crying shoulder once again. She’s actually very good in that role, and it is an important one in a relationship. Not sure if it’s useful in the Bachverse though.
Leah finally gets her chance to talk to Ben and responds very passive-aggressively. This worked poorly for Jubilee, and Ben doesn’t seem to have much patience for it here either. Leah opens up about her concerns, and Ben politely asks her to suck it up because she’s on The Bachelor. She’s probably going home this week if anyone goes home outside of the two-on-one. In a very ill-advised move, she saves her real concerns for Lauren H, leaving Ben thinking everything is fine. Because she told him it was.
At the group cocktail, Leah whines some more and the other girls sympathize as much as is appropriate. Ben arrives in another Henley looking very proper for the Bahamas. Wisely, he toasts to the tension elephant in the room and begins by taking Becca away for a conversation.
Becca admits that she was standoffish on the group date, and explains that it was because of the very clear chemistry she and the other contestants see between Ben and Lauren B. This isn’t what he wanted to hear because he’s looking for some stress relief. Sorry, Ben, the Fantasy Suite is still a few weeks away. Becca jumps into some snogging, and he seems to feel better.
Next up is Amanda, and Ben essentially asks her to stay positive. He really wants the girls to make this easy on him, but that ain’t gonna happen. Snog snog, drink drink.
Lauren B expresses anxiety over the day in general, and no one seems to care because she gets so much attention from Ben. Leah grabs Ben next, and she wants to get down to brass tacks. Unfortunately, her preferred tack is Ben’s chemistry with Lauren B. She tells Ben that she doesn’t see it working out with him and Lauren B without any explanation of why. Maybe she was seeing something that hasn’t been shown on camera, but right now I’m classifying this one as a Dick Move.
Lauren B is understandably puzzled when confronted with this news. She drops some wisdom in confessional and says she “wouldn’t use her time with Ben to talk about anyone else”. Smart! Lauren B cries at the cocktail table and Leah behaves far too defensively, giving herself away as the perpetrator.
Ben returns to the table to give the rose to Amanda. Not really climactic or anti-climactic. To me it seems more like a political move – until he finds out who all feels jealous of Lauren B, he doesn’t want to exacerbate it with another rose.
Let’s briefly get into Leah’s move. She’s feeling very insecure in her footing, and she rolls the dice on a teardown of the competitor that appears to be the frontruner. Is this wise? It could be, but I think she should have provided more evidence. If she could convince him that Lauren B should go home and why, it would throw the rest of the contest into chaos. Instead, she dropped some messy information in his head and disappeared. Guys usually like things simple, and Leah just made things very complicated.
But her play isn’t over yet! Leah approaches Ben’s hotel room for additional one-on-one time. She says she doesn’t want to talk bad about Lauren, which means she is going to say bad things about Lauren. Again, however, she explains absolutely nothing and suggests that Lauren sometimes doesn’t always come across as the exact same person all the time in the house. No examples are given, few complete sentences are spoken, and Ben allows her to talk in circles for a bit. Ben decides there’s a disconnect between him and Leah (and possibly between Leah’s brain and her mouth), tells her it doesn’t feel right, and they’re saying goodbye. Knucks, Ben. Way to see through the BS.
On camera, Leah says she never would have said anything if she thought he’d be saying goodbye tonight. Prior to attempting a Lauren B assassination, she made it clear she felt she’d be going home without a chance to get to know Ben. Lose with grace, Leah. You felt pressed, you took a shot, you missed. Go home.
Poor Caila is stuck at the house with Emily and Olivia, and for some reason they’re all sitting on the same sofa. This was arranged, right? Who the hell would choose to sit on that couch with Emily and Olivia? Why would Emily sit on the couch with Olivia? Why would Olivia sit on the couch with anyone?
Emily calls up her twin sister to help build confidence for the upcoming two-on-one with Olivia. She doesn’t want to go on a date with a disrespectful person (Olivia), apparently unaware that most bad dates are with disrespectful people.
Emily and Olivia sit in palpable tension on the limo to the dock, and as far as we see there are zero words spoken. Ben shows up wearing what appears to be a zip-up hoodie over NOTHING AT ALL. Stupid sexy Ben. Seriously though, that’s a bad wardrobe choice.
The speedboat ride immediately blows up any hair plans the ladies made, but does save him from the awkward conversations they’d have as a group. Emily wisely places a hand on his leg, while Olivia looks off into the distance (I believe) trying to look unconcerned. Sometimes it is hard to read situations, but hand on leg beats back of head every time. Knucks, Emily.
Ben goes for a nice toast, which leads to an extremely uncomfortable silence befitting the situation.
First to chat is Olivia. Emily has to sit in the sand looking sad while Olivia tries to explain why the girls don’t like her. I know Emily has a lot on her mind, but she could build a sandcastle or go for a swim or something. Hell, go skinny dipping and be naked in the water when they get back!
Unfortunately for Emily, Olivia drops the L word (love, not lesbians) without any qualifiers. This might give her the leg up in Ben’s final decision on this date.
Emily gets her chance to sit down with Ben, and launches into a speech she was definitely preparing while sitting alone on the sand. Ben does his best to take it all in, but Emily is talking at the speed of light, a phenomenon not uncommon in the Bachverse. Ben doesn’t send much back Emily’s way, so I have the feeling she’s going home. Kind of a bummer, but in the back of Ben’s head he HAS to be considering the fact that his future sister-in-law would have been dumped by him on national television.
Oddly, Ben grabs the rose and asks Olivia to take a walk. I say oddly because that again leaves Emily sitting in the sand looking sad. If you’re going to dump someone, you talk to them first. Then again, you should also be obligated to wear a shirt under a zip up hoodie. Different wavelengths, Ben and I.
Once Ben and Olivia get to a respectable distance, he drops a truthbomb. Ben can’t reciprocate Olivia’s feelings of Lesbians (love), and the rose will be going to Emily. They say their goodbyes, and now Olivia is standing on the sand looking sad. Does Olivia get her own speedboat back home? Do they leave her there and come back later? Ben and Emily leave in a boat, and Olivia is still just standing there!
Olivia’s bag is dragged out of the Bach House by the staff, and there is much rejoicing.
Somehow the production team convinces Ben to go stand on a promontory in a storm in his suit. Very dramatic, but not particularly good for organizing one’s thoughts or one’s suits. I hope ABC provides his clothes, because I can’t remember his job, but that might be a significant expense.
There is great consternation when Chris Harrison arrives to let the ladies know that there will be no cocktail party, only a rose ceremony. They’re all nervous that their date with the executioner has been moved forward, but they should be concerned about the lack of courage juice they can imbibe in advance.
Victorious this week: Caila, Emily, Amanda, Becca, JoJo, and Lauren B. Lauren H is out, and after some quick girl hugs she is walked out by Ben, The Second of His Name. Friend Zone strikes again.
I need to get another drink.