Ben Higgins Bachelor Recap Episode 7: Ben's Home
Yes, we’re skipping the celebration of love or whatever their bonus episode is. It looks awful.
Quick note – thank you so much for your Hulu information, Mollie O. Watching these without the ABC commercials is incredible, especially at 10 PM.
This week is hometown dates! Six contestants remain, competing for four hometown dates next week. Let’s dive right in!
FRONTRUNNERS: JoJo, Lauren B, Caila-if-she-learns to love.
NO CHANCE: Emily-because-she’s-a-twin, and out of the other two, Amanda. Mostly because she has kids.
Ben explains what his hometown means to him and sits down at a pretty awesome looking old school diner to get his parents up to speed. During the rundown he talks pros and cons, admits that he never thought of marrying someone with kids, and says he’s definitively falling in love.
We cut back to the girls walking through a park and throwing leaves at one another. I would say that’s odd, but I’ve seen similar behavior from Kat. Hi Kat! Look, not every person gets to experience seasons where they live, and that makes lush green grass and falling leaves exciting!
The ladies are set up in a pretty sweet place, and we gain some insight into the minds of our survivors. They are excited, nervous, and everything else that goes along with dating anyone, ever. Lauren B has thirty minutes to get ready for the first hometown dates, causing a panic among the contestants.
Ben picks up Lauren B in a pretty sweet old pickup truck, and mentions that he was a quarterback in high school. Not entirely surprising. Minor snogging ensues, which is somewhat unsafe, but you’re in your hometown as The Bachelor. You’ll probably get out of a ticket.
They arrive at a youth center that Ben worked at when he lived in Warsaw. This is a really serious gesture, because he’s basically showing off what he’s been up to as an adult. Lauren plays along with the kids admirably and receives rave reviews from the young girls. One of the children is asked to make a half-court shot, which if successful will “force” Ben to plant a kiss on Lauren B. The kid comes through (knucks) and they deliver an appropriate-for-the-situation smooch. Ben reveals some members of the Indiana Pacers, which is really awesome. Ben comforts a crying child and talks him into rejoining the group activities. Some discreet and appropriate snogging wraps up this portion of the date.
The pair moves forward to part two of their date, and Lauren B dives right into the weirdness from last week. She responds exactly as she should: befuddled. Ben tells her that he feels great about everything after the day’s date, and snogging commences.
The final stop is a local dive bar, which is really awesome. He also calls her his girlfriend, which is somewhat profound and meaningful in terms of who is going to win. Lauren B is rocketing to the top of the contenders list, and in a confessional Lauren B acknowledges that she’s in love with Ben.
Next up is JoJo. She’s sent off by her fellow contenders, and sounds prepared to do romantic battle.
Ben is walking the streets of Chi-Town in a mottled grey hoodie and jeans that are five shades of gray too light, making him look like he’s wearing a sweatsuit. Good thought, poorly executed.
The date begins at Wrigley Field, which is a great venue but forces Ben to acknowledge his Cubs fandom. The two stroll through the outfield to don matching Mr. and Mrs. Higgins jerseys, and Ben generously pretends that JoJo crushed the ball. She did not, but she did make contact, so Knucks.
In Ben’s turn at-bat, JoJo throws an underhand pitch that makes me think she’s more than a little familiar with softball. Ben hits a weak liner to the opposite field, but with no fielders he’s able to leisurely round the bases. Baseball is not a two-person sport.
The two lie down in the outfield grass for some cuddles and light snogging. The grass is amazing. Fitting for Chicago, a storm rolls in and starts raining on them. Welcome to the Midwest, JoJo! Don’t get too comfortable with the weather at any given time.
I don’t know how long the rain delay lasts, but they’re back in the outfield for dinner. Naturally, food is placed in front of them and is not touched. Ben also appears to be drinking brown on the rocks, so Knucks to him. During the conversation over feelings, JoJo sneaks in a sip of wine. WELL DONE.
JoJo finally gets into her backstory bomb, and mentions a history of giving more than she gets in relationships. Not remarkable compared to some of the others this season, but valid. Snogging ensues.
Back at the house, Caila, Amanda, and Becca are chosen for the group date. They’re taken to a farm where they jump into some rowboats and head out onto a small body of water. Kites are flown, and they move into a barn containing untouched fruit platters, the Holy Rose of Antioch, and some wine. Ben and Amanda go off together first, and they gloss over the significance of marrying someone with kids. That’s not a good sign, sorry Amanda.
Becca is up next, and raises a pretty valid concern: her lack of breakdowns and crying fits might be reducing the attention she gets. It’s certainly possible, because Ben feels obligated to comfort every girl who starts crying. Sometimes it just doesn’t pay to be emotionally stable.
Caila gets the chance to talk to Ben on a very old-looking bench, and they cuddle up to discuss their future. She admires his hometown roots and explains that she moved a lot growing up, preventing her from forming the same sort of roots. She makes a fairly eloquent and composed analogy to moss growing with a tree, and they head back inside for judgment. Caila, nice analogy work. Knucks.
Ben gets right down to business and gives the rose to Amanda. Becca and Caila are left with two untouched appetizer trays and I assume mildly sprained hearts. In the limo, Amanda is barely excited about Ben’s light snogging, which is strange given the circumstances. Caila medicates with champagne in the limo. Good choice.
Ben and Amanda go to McDonald’s, which is disappointing. They order Egg McMuffins, in an obvious plug for McDonald’s relatively new all-day breakfast. Horrible, horrible date. They pull a little Lady and the Tramp with a McDonald’s French fry, and Amanda seems happy with the date, but I think she’s lying. How is the only food eaten on screen in this show McDonald’s?
Back in Warsaw proper, a carnival is arranged in honor of Ben’s return. They win more carnival prizes than I ever have, because obviously this is rigged. They ride a Tilt-a-Whirl, which seems to make Ben genuinely excited and Amanda…well, nothing really changes in her face. I’ll give her the benefit of the doubt; maybe she’s thinking of her kids when she reacts with only mild excitement.
Back at the house, Amanda demonstrates discomfort with counting as she estimates “thousands” of people at the carnival last night. Sorry, Amanda, they all fit in one shot. Not thousands.
Ben and Emily get started on their one-on-one date, and they ride the boat over to his house while Ben is wearing ANOTHER GOD DAMN CARDIGAN. Sweaters on sweaters on sweaters. Give it a rest, man.
Ben gives Emily a little tour of the house, and then brings out the family. Emily meets his parents and is quickly invited to have a chat with Mrs. Ben, who includes their beverages (nice) and Emily launches into a speech. Slow down, Emily. It’s cute that you’re so nervous, but you have to defer to the parents.
Emily tells Mrs. Ben that she still dreams of being an NFL cheerleader. Look, it’s not a bad goal by any means. It is also not what you tell your prospective mother-in-law. Mrs. Ben is unimpressed, and she walks Ben away to discuss her findings. She prompts the right questions, as moms always do, and within five seconds Ben knows that Emily did not win over his mom. They wrap up the date, and head to the boat. Tragically, Emily says she is “on cloud nine right now”. She’s about to be eliminated.
Ben has to break up with Emily in sight of the house where the other contestants are staying. Using the sandwich approach, he compliments her eyes, drops the hammer of not seeing Emily as his wife, and finishes with some “incredible” talk. I’m sorry, Emily, but you and your twin both came on the show so this was really inevitable. On the bright side, you seemed like one of the nicest people on the show, and maybe you’ll find someone better in the universe where the rest of us reside!
Bachelor Ben, the Second of His Name, departs on his boat. The girls are left to consider their positions heading into the rose ceremony.
This week’s survivors are: Lauren (the B is dropped now that Lauren H went home), JoJo, and Caila. Becca is heading home, and she is pretty pissed. Good for you, Becca, get out of that very gender-imbalanced pond and into the friendlier ocean. We’ll head into next week for the four hometown dates.