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'The Bachelor' recap: Highway to Hell

It’s a road trip gone wrong as Jake tosses Ella, Kathryn, Jessie, and Ashleigh out the window like so much litter

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The Bachelor: Jake | Jake torches an unused rose after booting Ella and Kathryn on the 2-on-1 date
ABC

The Bachelor

type:
TV Show
Current Status:
In Season
seasons:
20
run date:
03/25/02
performer:
Aaron Buerge, Andrew Firestone, Bob Guiney, Alex Michel, Estella Gardinier, Trista Rehn, Jen Schefft
Producer:
Mike Fleiss
broadcaster:
ABC
genre:
Reality TV

”They may all be head over heels for Jake — but he’s over most of them!” That was the blaring announcement in the promos for episode 4 of The Bachelor, and this time, it wasn’t false advertising. If Jake keeps sending this many extra women home, this ”journey” could be wrapped up by next week. Fortunately for all involved, though, our hero — bless his heart — is determined to choose a wife from among the ever-dwindling group of potential mates.

The episode begins with Harrison telling the ”ladies” that ”everything is about to change.” Cut to: Two ugly brown RVs parked in the driveway. Yes, the women are leaving the house FOREVER. So I guess either the lease ran out on Casa Bachelorette, or some ABC exec told the producers, ”This show is fine, but can’t you make it a little more like Rock of Love Bus?” The road trip up the California coast begins, and as the ”ladies” make their way toward the Bachelor, they kill time by speculating about who will get the dreaded 2-on-1 date. Gia stops stuffing deli turkey in her mouth long enough to suggest that it should be Vienna and Ali: ”That would be like Tyson and Holyfield.” (We should be so lucky! But I think these women are more hair-pullers than biters.) When the RVs pull in at the vineyard where Jake’s set up camp, the women are thrilled to see the Bachelor ”all rugged and lookin’ like a man” in his flannel shirt. They aren’t so thrilled, however, to see how giggly and flirtatious Vienna is with Jake — and he seems a bit uncomfortable too. He flees after giving the date card to Gia, whose strong New York accent makes a sudden appearance as she reads the message: ”Let’s go ovah the moon and be undah the stahs.”

Back at the tent, Jake stands by a barrel and shaves with the aid of a hand mirror, all the while wondering how Gia, a ”city girl,” will handle their ”outdoorsy” date. Answer: With a fierce determination to ”look cute.” She greets Jake and trots to his bike wearing stiletto heels, leggings, and a kimono-style top as Vienna looks on with jealousy and disdain. ”She is totally wrong for him! It’s not going to work.” Not so fast, blondie — turns out these two have a lot in common. During a sunset picnic, Jake asks Gia about what she was like in school, and whaddya know? She used to be a ”nerd” who had to be taken out of school because roving gangs of juvenile delinquents kept stealing her book bag and shoes. Jake, surprisingly, relates to this tale of woe: ”In 9th grade,” he confesses, ”they used to call me Mr. Dateless.”

All this talk of childhood rejection seems to be turning them on, because they launch into a grown-up game of spin the bottle — spin one is a kiss on the cheek, spin two is on the lips, and spin three is ”all the way,” but due to network standards and practices restrictions, this means ”with tongue” as opposed to ”fornication on the grass.” For Gia, the experience is super-romantic. ”It was the best kiss of my life,” she says. ”Your heart kinda stops.” (Okay, what she actually says is, ”Your haht kinda stawps.”) Jake thinks things are going well, but he still has an important question he wants answered: Will Gia the New Yorker be okay if the campfire cuisine is hot dogs and s’mores instead of steak? Dude, there isn’t a New Yorker around who can’t handle hot dogs. You do know they sell them on the street corners here right? If we can eat those sidewalk-cart meat sticks floating in dirty water, we can handle your fancy craft services franks.

NEXT PAGE: Ashleigh strikes out

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The date’s only hiccup comes when Gia tells the Bachelor that she wants to a adopt a baby girl from China. ”I think that’s important to provide a family for…a little baby who may not have that.” While he says he’d ”definitely be open” to adopting, the topic is clearly a little outside his comfort zone. Still, ”the complex city girl” passed the wiener test, so Jake gives her the date rose. Meanwhile at the RV, the group date card arrives (someone left it on the windshield — I guess the Accent Table of Doom doesn’t get to go on road trips), and it’s addressed to Ashleigh, Jessie, Tenley, Ali, Vienna, and Corrie. You know what that means, folks: Kathryn and Ella will be the ones battling to the emotional death on the 2-on-1 date.

First thing’s first, though — it’s time for the bachelorettes to get ”extremely dirty” while riding dune buggies on Pismo Beach! (Interesting…I thought dune buggies only existed to be crappy Showcase Showdown prizes on The Price is Right.) There’s a moment of tension as the ”ladies” hem and haw over who will get to ride with Jake — but they’re all too slow for Queen of Bitch Mountain, who calls ”shotgun” first. Vienna is not pleased. ”Have your fun with him, because I’m going to marry him,” she pouts to the camera. ”So have your 30 minutes on a dune buggy.”

The sandy adventure doesn’t go well for Jessie, whose buggy gets stuck in the sand, prompting Jake to describe her as ”timid.” (Hey, buck up honey — at least he finally noticed you!) He’s much more ”drawn” to Tenley, especially after they tumble down the dune together and emerge with a faceful of sand. Corrie, meanwhile, realizes that she hasn’t made much of an impression on the Bachelor, and decides to step it up, even though she doesn’t really ”thrive in group situations.” (A fact she might have wanted to consider before agreeing to appear on a reality dating show…) So when Jake invites the ”ladies” to go roll down the sand dune, she’s the first — and only — bachelorette to join him. After they roll down the dune, they chat about…something, but it must have been pretty boring because producers don’t really show us much of their conversation. Still, Jake is pleased that Corrie’s started to ”open up.”

Once the sun goes down, Jake takes the ”ladies” to the Madonna Inn, a fancy resort with a Pepto-Bismol pink dining room that’s straight out of a 1960s Poconos resort lodge. Ashleigh gets the Irony Edit during her one-on-one time: As she drapes her body over Jake on the couch, stroking his chest, playing with his jacket zipper, and rubbing his knee, the producers intercut footage of this interview snippet: ”I have noticed certain girls are more affectionate than others and I think it comes across as desperate, and I would never want to come across like that.” And though Ashleigh practically mounts him on the blue vinyl couch, Jake simply will not kiss her. ”Ashleigh is smokin’,” he says. ”I’m just not feeling a lot of chemistry with her.”

Having pried Ashleigh off his lap, Jake returns to waiting bachelorettes and invites Vienna for a private chat. ”Actually,” she squeaks, ”I’d like to have the last one-on-one time with you.” Slightly stunned, the Bachelor pauses for five full seconds trying to process this rebuff. ”You’d like to talk to me last?” he asks, attempting to smooth over the awkwardness. ”I can do that.” While Queen of Bitch Mountain is confident that Vienna’s faux pas will get her sent home, she’s apparently not as confident in her own chances; she spends her one-on-one time fishing for proof that she’ll be getting a rose. ”You realize, Gia has a rose, you’ll give one tomorrow, and then you have one tonight, and then you only have three…?” Thanks for the math lesson, sweetie, but Jake isn’t gonna give up the goods. ”I’m just caught in the moment right now with you,” he tells her. ”I’m not going to worry about it.”

NEXT PAGE: No rose for you… or you!

Vienna’s plan to be the last girl Jake kisses before he goes to bed backfires. She begins their one-on-one whining about how it’s ”getting harder” because she wants him to herself — and in keeping with his new, brutally honest approach, Jake counters by speaking the truth: ”I know the other women kind of a give you a hard time…but I’ve gotta tell you, I think you egg it [on] and bring it on yourself…. Sometimes it’s better just to not say anything.” While the film crew no doubt had to resist the urge to give the Bachelor a round of applause after this speech, Vienna doesn’t like it one bit. ”I’ll be careful what I say, I promise,” she groans. ”Anything else we can talk about that’s not to do with the girls?” [Awkward silence] I guess that’s a no! ”I’ve been pumping the brakes with Vienna a little bit,” Jake explains, ”because I’ve been listening to what the other girls have been saying about her.” As the evening comes to an end, the Bachelor surveys the Handsy Amazon, Girl Whose Name He Barely Knows #1, Girl Whose Name He Barely Knows #2, Queen of Bitch Mountain, and Needy McCrazy, and exercises his only sensible option by giving the date rose to Tenley. (That said, I’m not 100 percent clear about why he thanks her for being ”patient” — the woman got the first impression rose, after all.)

The next day in Big Sur, poor Ella and Kathryn get doubly hosed — not only do they have to suffer through a 2-on-1 date, their big evening involves…a ”quiet dinner” in Jake’s cabin. What follows is a work of editing art. First, it seems like Kathryn is doomed to be the third wheel, as Ella dominates the conversation, steamrolling her rival when she tries jump in with a feeble, ”I think…” When Jake takes Ella away for some one-on-one time, poor Kathryn stares morosely at the date rose and complains, ”As much as I like him, I feel like when I’m around him he doesn’t give me that attention.” But hold up — maybe all hope isn’t lost for the corporate flight attendant. During Ella’s one-on-one time, Jake begins to drop hints that maybe he’s not ready to get engaged to a single mom: ”I feel like with you if I’m not absolutely sure, I don’t want to keep you from Ethan.” Then he tries to smoothe things over with Kathryn by buttering her up. ”I keep getting lost in your eyes.” In fact, he explains, the only reason he’s been completely ignoring her this whole time is because he’s terrified by her incredible good looks. ”I think you are so beautiful. I’m trying not to get lost in that and it causes me to be a little more cautious.”

Because I never learn, I was completely buying the Kathryn-gets-the-rose-in-a-surprise-twist! narrative set up by producers, especially when Jake took Ella out on the porch for the big kiss-off. ”I’m looking for the next 60 years,” he explains, ”and I just feel that I am developing feelings that are just a little bit stronger for some of the other women.” (Am I the only one who thought he was going to follow ”I’m looking for the next 60 years” with ”and since you’re already 45 and unlikely to live until 105, I think it’s best that we part ways now”?) Ella seems to be taking it graciously, but wait a minute…why aren’t they showing us her Reject Limo exit interview? Oh my God, it’s because there are going to be TWO reject limo exit interviews!!! As soon as Jake’s done giving Ella the boot, he returns to the dinner table and launches into his second send-off speech of the night. ”You’re going to meet a guy that’s gonna absolutely sweep you off your feet,” he tells Kathryn, ”and I wanna be that guy — but my heart is just telling me I’m not that guy.”

NEXT PAGE: Rose ceremony interruptus

I normally don’t feel bad for the bachelorettes, but it’s hard not to have a little sympathy for Kathryn. I’m sure if producers had told her the truth — ”Congratulations! For the next few weeks you’ll spend hours on end in the company of annoying women while the Bachelor completely ignores you…until it’s time to send you packing, that is” — she probably would have just stayed home. By the time she gets in the Reject Limo, Kathryn’s gone from stunned to pissed off. ”I really thought I had the rose — I mean, did anyone see that coming at all?” Ella, meanwhile, sounds like a disappointed mother chiding her child: ”If he doesn’t make the right decisions, then God help him. He’s gonna need it!” But Jake knows exactly what he’s doing: ”This is the first of many decisions that I’m going to make that no one’s going to understand, and it’s only going to get worse. For starters,” he continues, ”I will only marry a woman who can weave a waterproof basket out of human hair and who can perform various feats of strength to my liking.” (Okay, so I made that last part up.) The evening comes to a close as Jake sets the unused date rose ablaze on a campfire/funeral pyre for the corpse of Ella and Kathryn’s future happiness.

The cocktail party finally arrives, and the ”ladies” — who wept crocodile tears upon Ella and Kathryn’s departures — now have hope in their black little hearts that Vienna is the woman who will be going home. Jessie, clearly desperate to make an impression on the Bachelor before it’s too late, wastes her one-on-one time warning Jake about Vienna. For the love of God, woman — you get maybe 15 minutes alone with this guy, do you really want to use it talking about someone else? But she plows ahead, telling Jake that Vienna is a ”very self-centered and spoiled” woman who ”talked about all the cars that she crashed and that her dad just writes checks for her as if it’s nothing. Like, I don’t know if you really want to be that daddy…” Will it work? Doubtful. While Jake seems to appreciate the intel, he describes Jessie as ”sweet” and ”a good friend” — doesn’t sound too romantic, does it? That said, I really hope all the rumors about Vienna aren’t true, because damn is she annoying. In her cutesy, daddy’s-girl voice, she tries to wear Jake down with baby talk and giggles. ”I feel like I’m the only girl in your life,” she coos. ”None of the girls like me, so I’m hoping your family will like me though!” Because of course she’s going to make it far enough to meet Jake’s family. I’ll say this for Vienna: She may be skull-explodingly irritating, but she’s certainly consistent in her hubris.

Ding ding ding! Oh, God bless you, Chris Harrison, with your bread knife and champagne flute! Let’s get this painful evening over with. After the requisite ”it breaks my heart” pre-rose ceremony rejection speech, Jake gives Queen of Bitch Mountain the first rose (not too surprising), then he hands Corrie rose number two (definitely more surprising), and then, after staring at rose number 3 for a bizarrely long time, he puts it down and walks out. (Very surprising!) As cameras rush to follow him, a female crew member speaks to Jake in soothing tones and summons the Bachelor‘s voice of reason, Chris Harrison.

NEXT PAGE: Spit it out, man!!

The host meets Jake in the courtyard, where the Bachelor begins sputtering something about needing advice, but all that comes out is a completely disorganized word salad. Herewith, a transcript:

Jake: ”I need some advice. Um, there’s, um, um, I, I, I, there’s a couple of women tonight, that I just uh — what, what would do you if you were in this situation and you just knew that you know, tonight that it should only be one girl going home, but if it were two… I’m definitely sure on one girl, but I’m pretty sure that the other one, you know —”

Chris: ”What are you asking?”

Jake: ”Do I have to give out two more roses?” [Editor’s note: Jesus, Mary, and Joseph, was that really so freaking hard to spit out? Wow.]

Having finally deciphered the Bachelor’s rambling request, Harrison brings Jake back to the rose ceremony and calmly lets the ”ladies” know that the Bachelor thinks two of them are definitely not wife material. And then, because this show lives to crush my spirit, Jake gives Vienna the final rose. Poor Jessie is sent home with this piece of cold comfort from the Bachelor: ”I can’t tell you how much I appreciate the advice that you gave me,” while Ashleigh gets a gentle explanation about their lack of ”chemistry.” All the while, Queen of Bitch Mountain clutches her rose and hisses at the other ”ladies” about how very, very angry she is that Vienna is still there: ”How could he look at her and think she could be his wife?”

Okay, folks, when you’ve poured yourself a stiff drink and worked through your anger/shock/surprise, let me know what you think of tonight’s rose ceremony implosion. Is Jake doing the right thing by withholding roses, or is he going to regret his haste later? What does he see in Vienna? And how long can Gia survive in this battle of the blondes? Once you’re done posting, head over to PopWatch for Chris Harrison’s exclusive behind-the-scenes Bachelor blog, where he gives us more insight on Jake’s rose-related meltdown. Finally, check out the deleted scene from tonight’s episode below, in which Vienna and Corrie find a very creative use for those hand-held cameras producers gave them for the RV road trip. What a week. Let’s talk Bachelor!