Ben Higgins Bachelor Recap Episode 9: Fantasy Suites
The Fantasy Suite Episode, and from the previews it seems the girls will observe tradition and proclaim their love for Ben. The twist is that Ben is in love with TWO women, and might even announce it to both. That’s a tricky spot to be in, but women on this show might be okay with trying that setup for a while.
We start in Jamaica, where Ben continues demonstrating his love of long sleeves and shorts. Unfortunately we have to listen to him recap his relationship with each of the remaining combatants. Maybe beneficial when you watch on schedule, but very unnecessary when you’ve watched 11 hours of this show in two days.
FRONTRUNNERS: Lauren B, Caila
NO CHANCE: JoJo. JoJo was a strong contestant and definitely had the best conversations with Ben on camera, but her brothers acted like fucktards and Ben probably doesn’t want to deal with it. Pretty sure he’ll go with the other two less complicated ladies. Caila crushed her hometown date at exactly the right time, right as JoJo’s family dropped her in the rankings.
Caila is up first for her audition as Ben’s fiancee. They raft down the Martha Brae river, which is pretty, but they seem to be having some trouble conversing. I can’t tell if it’s comfortable silence or awkward silence, but it is a lot of silence.
They address the weirdness of the Fantasy Suite situation without explicitly saying “this is weird because we’re going to have sex and then you’re going to have sex with two other people and decide who to keep”. Caila has slipped back into a quieter stance, and Ben notices. They stop by a riverside cookery called the Jerk Stop, and go right for drinks served out of a large fruit. This is a very effective coping mechanism in my experience. Caila is concerned about the presence of two rivals, but can’t smooth it over well enough to hide it. The lead she opened up on JoJo is shrinking, but at least her family was nice.
Caila arrives for the evening date prepared to tell Ben she loves him and remove the reservations she was struggling with all day. I’m not always right, but it sounds to me like she had a few drinks while getting ready and feels better about the situation as a whole. This theory is supported by the speech she dives into immediately upon sitting next to Ben. She does get to the key point, though, and tells Ben she loves him. Awwww. This leads to snogging and Caila tells the audience that she doesn’t need to hear Ben say it. That is not how the Love conversation goes in real life, but we’re in the BachVerse. After snogging, Ben presents Caila with the fantasy suite key and she accepts without hesitation. DUH.
They snog in the surf with some fireworks going off before heading to the fantasy suite to snog some more. The door closes, and presumably Bangarang ensues.
Unfortunately we have to watch the awkward, staged, everyone-is-dressed-but-in-bed conversation the next morning. They do have mimosas on the patio
but once again no one touches their food :(
Lauren B gets the middle position of the Fantasy Suite trifecta. Ben still can’t decide on the temperature outside and once again wears long sleeves with shorts. They arrive on a secluded island and get started helping baby turtles make it to the water. SUCK IT BACH PRODUCERS, I’VE ALREADY DONE THAT.
The turtles are really damn cute though. Kat, we have to get back to Holden Beach this year.
Beach chats in the surf, flattery to the max, and some snogging under a double rainbow. If you’re working someone up to the fantasy suite, you’re on the right track.
For the evening portion of the date they hit up an oddly small reggae performance. Lauren is struggling with the same thing as Caila: knowing that two other girls are loving on Ben at the same time she is. They sit down for dinner conversation and Ben tries to throw her some softballs to let her say she loves him. Lauren tells him he’s the man of her dreams, and then trails off…will she be able to tell him?! Sure she can. This whole show is about convincing yourself to love someone over the course of ten weeks.
Ben presents Lauren with the fantasy suite key, and says nothing. Pretty confident move there. Lauren accepts, and Ben says “one thing Lauren and I need is time”. Time in a privately arranged romantic suite. In Jamaica. Time for sex.
Bubbly is poured, googly eyes are made, and Lauren finally drops the L word. Ben again responds with silence. I can’t tell if he’s drunk, also in love, or just playing the strong/silent card. Finally he speaks, and tells Lauren he’s also in love with her. AW SHIT. The Bach is not supposed to say that until the proposal, but that’s out the window now. Snog snog, love love, love love love, snog snog, close blinds, bangarang. Pretty much play #1 of the Fantasy Suite playbook, well-executed.
Awkward fully-clothed morning is followed by coffee (I hope Irish) on the patio. Maybe it’s the edit, but Ben seems committed to the stoic look this episode. Maybe he has a lot on his mind, maybe he’s tired, or maybe dating 20 girls at a time has taught him when to keep his mouth shut.
JoJo starts her date with a kiss attack, and they take off in a helicopter to a very picturesque waterfall. Definitely in the top 3 most snoggable natural environments.
Into the water they go, then onto a rock for snogging. After jumping about 7 feet into a pool, JoJo is feeling ready to tell Ben she loves him. Hooray for metaphors! Ben reacts with silence, as is his new norm, before telling her he loves her too. Guess my rankings were wrong! Looks like Caila is boned now, and not like she was in the Fantasy Suite.
A nice candlelight dinner is set with food that at this point I’m assuming is plastic. It’s the only explanation. They put some fake food out there, the contestants sit and ignore it but drink the wine, and as soon as they’re off-camera they stuff their faces with real food.
Ben goes red wine, JoJo goes white – good move. You’ll almost certainly finish a bottle each before the fantasy suite, and if you leave some in the bottle, who cares? You didn’t pay for it.
Ben and JoJo get into the difficulties of her hometown date, also known as the Brothers Bro. JoJo tries to assuage Ben’s concerns, and intentionally or not plays a sneaky card by telling Ben they just don’t want to see her come home heartbroken. Now Ben knows that picking anyone but JoJo is essentially validating the Brothers Bro. No one wants to do that!
JoJo reads the fantasy suite card, accepts, and they enter an awesome room with a private hot tub. Bottles are popped, snogging commences, and wait what is Ben wearing in the hot tub? Is it an ugly swimsuit or boxers and shorts? Why is anyone wearing anything in a private hot tub?
They draw the blinds and we return for the morning after shot. They actually eat on camera, making me far happier than it should. Ben puts on his backpack (two-strapping it) despite not heading towards any school that I’m aware of.
Ben takes a walk through the scenic resort he’s staying at and ponders his dilemma: he’s fallen in love with two girls at the same time over ten weeks, and still has to send Caila home. This takes all of the drama out of the rose ceremony, but if I know ABC they’ll find it somewhere…
That didn’t take long at all. Caila is going to visit Ben ahead of schedule, which makes me wonder again if there are any rules for contestants on this show at all. Caila strolls up to where Ben is pondering in a scene that definitely feels over-produced.
Can Caila change her fortunes?! Nope. Ben gets down to business and tells her that he’s in love with two women here, and Caila isn’t one of them. Caila allows Ben to walk her out, tells him she loves him, and heads off into the sunset. BUT WAIT! She gets out of the car to confront him about when he had made his decision, basically asking if he knew before they spent the night in the Fantasy Suite. He says no in a way that actually seems somewhat believable. More tears and hugs, and Caila is off once again. This feels like a mistake to me, but only because JoJo seems less and less sane by the week.
Ben continues his assault on fashion sense with his long-sleeve/shorts combos. JoJo catches up with Chris Harrison, telling him about reciprocated love before waiting for the rose ceremony. Lauren gets to the house and tells Chris that Ben reciprocated her feelings of love. Chris Harrison is now caught up and prepared to counsel his Bachelor when the moment is right.
Ben arrives and tells the ladies what happened to Caila. For some reason he still has to ask both girls if they’ll accept the roses. They do, and both think they have the edge on the other. An awkward three-way hug/champagne toast ends the episode. The best part is definitely JoJo’s murderous gaze for Lauren.
In this scenario, it seems more appropriate to finish an entire glass of champagne with each toast than a small sip. Doesn’t anyone know how to react in awkward situations?
Heading into the finale, we have Lauren B as the frontrunner and JoJo as the likeliest victim. Is there a possible sneak return for Caila in the cards?! Probably not, but it would be awesome.