”It’s important to Jake that we all move on.” So saith Bachelor host Chris Harrison, advising the ”ladies” at the start of this episode to put that whole Rozlyn debacle behind them, because that’s what the Bachelor wants. Frankly, up until now I wouldn’t be too inclined to do Jake any favors, but after this episode — seeing how he finally took some control of his Bachelor ”journey” — I might even be convinced to pick up the guy’s dry cleaning. (Once. Maybe.) I don’t know if the Rozlyn mess flipped a switch in his head or what, but this week we saw a whole new Jake: No more Mr. (As) Nice Guy!
The episode starts off on a tense note, as we learn that Vienna will get the first one-on-one date. It’s clear that with Rozlyn gone, the ”ladies” need another target to sink their cosmetically whitened fangs into, so Michelle kicks off the girl-on-girl hate with a statement that’s both insulting and slightly insane (her specialty): ”I think of myself as very attractive and Vienna, she’s totally opposite of who I am as far as what I see on the outside.” The rest of the women glower as Vienna perkily explains how she’s excited for Jake to see her ”fun” side, and Ali, who seems to be having a hard time understanding the concept of the show, says seeing the Bachelor go on a solo date with another woman feels like a ”betrayal.”
Jake arrives on his hog and whisks Vienna off to his house, where — surprise! — the first helicopter of the season arrives to take them on their ”adventure date.” (Of course, they do a quick flyover Casa Bachelorette as all the ”ladies” grouse and gripe about Vienna — if she’s Jake’s type then, like, what-ever!) The copter lands on a bridge, where the Bachelor reveals to Vienna that they’ll be bungee jumping. And it’s totally perfect, because they’re both deathly afraid of heights! While this sounds about as well-planned as sending two germaphobes on a date cleaning toilets at Grand Central Station, there’s a method to Jake’s madness: ”I can’t be strong 100 percent of the time,” he explains, ”and so I need to know that I have somebody there that I can rely on and draw strength from if needed.” At first it doesn’t seem like Vienna is going to be much help, as she peers over the edge of the bridge and starts whimpering ”Oh, God.” But as soon as Jake starts moaning and burying his head in her shoulder, Vienna pulls herself together and tells him, ”Come on — we got this…. We’re gonna do this.” It takes awhile for them to jump, but jump they do. In relief and exhilaration, Jake and Vienna begin making out as they dangle upside down. And you know what? You’ll get no mockery from me here, because there is no f-ing way I would ever bungee jump, even if there was a large diamond ring on the line.
So really, it’s not too surprising that Jake gives Vienna a rose after their post-leap dip in the hot tub. I don’t think I’m alone in saying I don’t really see the connection between them, but even Vienna’s smug satisfaction (”I think the best day of my life ever is going to be when I marry Jake”) is worth it when we get to watch the ”ladies” squirm as she regales them with tales of her amazing date. Ali is so upset she invents a new word! ”I’m a little shooken up,” she confesses, ”because I am just so unbelievably shocked that she came home with a rose — that she came home at all.” Day-um, look who’s getting in touch with her inner bitch!
NEXT PAGE: Comedy isn’t pretty… at all
Okay, it’s time for the group date at Jon Lovitz’s comedy club — where the actor informs them that they’ll be performing stand-up comedy onstage. I can’t decide if I feel worse for the ”ladies” or the audience. Ashleigh is the only one who has the proper reaction to the situation: tears and pure terror. While Jon Lovitz tries to counsel the bachelorettes on the finer points of comedy writing, he’s clearly fighting a losing battle based on the resulting one-liners. A few choice examples:
”Does anybody know why Tigger was looking in the toilet? He was looking for Pooh!” (Ali)
”You guys have all seen My Big Fat Greek Wedding? My family is actually going to be on the sequel — it’s called They’re So Fat I Can’t Even Tell They’re Greek!” (Jessie)
”[Giggling while putting her feet behind her head] That’s all I got!” (Tenley)
”I’ve traveled all over the country looking for love. I thought I found it in Utah. The guy had a big [bleep]… I mean, it was going well, but I got really exhausted, you know? I mean, I only have two [bleep].” (Elizabeth, the ”old-fashioned girl”)
The biggest disaster is Michelle, whose jokes — actually, they’re more like ”random words strung together in something resembling a sentence” than jokes — range from the incomprehensible (her boobs are like coconuts?) to the totally incomprehensible (something about a golf green and waiting for the ”hole” to get her one-on-one). While she makes it easy for the producers to give her the official Crazy Edit, I do think it’s extremely likely that they filmed the audience’s reaction shots before Michelle even went on stage — those groans and grimaces seemed a little too coached. Unfortunately for Michelle, her best soundbite of the night wasn’t part of her set: ”When I finally kiss Jake it will definitely be long and passionate, soft, crazy tongue in your mouth going crazy with it, pulling hair, whatever, ripping the clothes off.” Now that’s a knee-slapper!
When it’s Corrie’s turn, she takes the classic tearing-others-down-to-build-yourself-up approach, and spends her time making fun of the other bachelorettes. Her Vienna impression involves ridiculing the bachelorette for talking ”crap about every other girl in the house.” How that’s different than performing an insulting stand-up routine about every other girl in the house, I’m not sure. Anyhoo, the jokes get Jake thinking. ”She made the bulk of her performance about Vienna, and the other women — they were laughing and cheering,” puzzles the Bachelor. ”These women are seeing a side of Vienna that I don’t. That worries me a little bit.” Finally, Ashleigh gets on stage and tells a series of perfectly passable blonde jokes that almost certainly were the result of a harried PA’s trip to Barnes & Noble.
After the yuks, it’s off to another rooftop cocktail party, where Tenley tearfully reveals her previous marriage and betrayal. While I find her pretty annoying, with the tears and the heartbreak and the virginity martyrdom, most of all I just find her boring. In fact, I tuned out her conversation with Jake and spent the time wondering how she got such nice definition in her arms. Free weights? Yoga? When it’s Ashleigh’s turn for one-on-one time, she uses it to trash Vienna. Jake isn’t pleased: ”I’m realizing that she’s the controversial figure in the house, and bless her heart, she’s not even here to defend herself on the date.” That’s because she’s too busy defending herself from the pack of angry lady-jackals back at Casa Bachelorette, where Gia (who’s got quite the Meredith Grey lisp, doesn’t she?) and Ella are emotionally wailing on her for starting drama. ”I don’t care what these girls think of me!” Vienna tells them, but within minutes she’s tearfully calling the women ”fake” and running upstairs to get away from the hate.
NEXT PAGE: Premature evacuation
Back on the roof, Ali — who’s revealing herself to be quite the little Mean Girl — toasts Corrie for her ”hilarious” jokes about Vienna. When Michelle doesn’t raise her glass, Ali is not pleased: ”You don’t want to cheers? It’s like a pact,” she sneers. ”Are you in on it?” Watch out, Michelle — if you don’t do what Ali says, she’ll start rumors about you in her slam book! I’m not saying that Michelle’s laser-focus on marriage and kids doesn’t come across as psycho — because it does — but her refusal to take part in the anti-Vienna mob mentality showed a level of maturity the other ”ladies” have yet to display. Of course, that modicum of maturity isn’t enough to keep Michelle from sabotaging herself: She starts yet another one-on-one with Jake by informing him that she’s been crying, this time because she’s the only one who’s truly there for love. ”I really, really, really want a husband,” she tells Jake, who responds in his best talk-the-jumper-off-the-ledge tone: ”I believe you.”
It only gets worse from there, as Michelle veers from weepy to angry to pitiful to demanding within seconds. She then launches into a demonstration of the alien mating ritual on Planet Crazy: ”Would it be awkward if I asked if I could kiss you to see if I really feel something, for me?” Jake spends six long, silent seconds desperately trying to come up with a reason to decline before giving up and reluctantly leaning in. (Is this The Bachelor‘s most awkward, passionless kiss ever? I think it’s second only to Tooth Nazi’s snotty post-Kleenex kiss with Jason last season.) Just when I think Jake can’t get any wussier, Michelle demands that he give her ”something more than that,” and something inside of him snaps: ”I’m almost ready for this night to be over,” he tells her. ”I just want to go home.” She interrupts him with a ham-handed ultimatum — ”I can’t stay…. If you want me to stay I will stay, but…” — and that’s about all it takes for the Bachelor to grow a pair: ”Michelle, I think it would be better if you did leave.”
Consider your bluff called, bitch!
The next day at Casa Bachelorette, Vienna tries to apologize to the ”ladies” for annoying them, but Ali — who will heretofore be known as Queen of Bitch Mountain — refuses to accept it. ”I was upset not because another girl went on a one-on-one with Jake, but because you went on a one-on-one with Jake, and you came home. And I told Jake that!” Ugh, just shut up you unpleasant skank. Okay, let’s put all this ugliness aside and turn our attention to Ella’s one-on-one date. Helicopter No. 2 arrives to carry them across the mountains to…Sea World? While that may not be a surprise worthy of Ella’s ”spirit fingers” celebration, Jake’s next belated birthday present — a visit from Ella’s son Ethan — might qualify. The makeshift family spends the day seeing Shamu, feeding the seals, swimming with dolphins, and exploring the penguin enclosure. ”In normal situations I would never let a man meet my son this early,” says a teary Ella, ”but seeing them together there is no doubt in my mind whatsoever that he would make an unbelievable father.”
Jake is indeed very patient and sweet with Ethan, but it doesn’t change the fact that he and Ella have zero romantic chemistry. While Jake quizzes Ella about whether she could see herself being engaged at the end of ”this process” and if she wants more children — turns out she’s modeling her happy ending after Bachelorette success story Trista and Ryan, who met on TV and now are married with children — his actions don’t lie, specifically when he gives Ella the rose, then leans in and gives her…a long hug. When they finally do lock lips, it’s a little stiff, and Jake cuts it short with a nervous giggle. Not that Ella picks up on any of this. ”I believe with all my heart that I’m going to be the last girl standing.” Awww, there’s our little stalker from the premiere!
NEXT PAGE: Lizzie learns her lesson
At the cocktail party, Jake is feeling ”serious” because while he only has to send two women home (thanks, Michelle!), he doesn’t want to let anyone go. Don’t worry, Jake — Elizabeth is about to make it easier for you. While she’s feeling inexplicably righteous about her absurd chastity demand (”He needs to be a man and hold true to his convictions and not try to kiss me!”), she spends her one-on-one time trying to get him all hot and bothered, shooting him sultry looks and asking if he’s good at back rubs. Jake is clearly tiring of the Queen of Mixed Signals. ”I feel like you play little games with me,” he tells her. ”Don’t tease me…. I felt like we were sitting on that bench and you were teasing me.”
Elizabeth is shocked — shocked! — to hear Jake label her with the scarlet T. Before she can dig herself out of this whore hole of her own making, Vienna — who we first see standing in the doorway, as though she’s waiting for a producer to cue her when it’s time to enter the room — arrives and cuts the awkward one-on-one short. Oh man, does this piss the ”ladies” off! Queen of Bitch Mountain (not to be confused with Queen of Mixed Signals) goes so far as to corner Vienna in the hallway: ”If you don’t care that you hurt people tonight, then that’s…You may not understand, but you did.” Meanwhile, Elizabeth is holding some poor camera guy hostage, ranting endlessly about how she’s been so very, very wronged. ”The only thing I’ve been guilty of is being flirtatious!” she seethes. ”I am not just vanilla! I am all different colors of the rainbow.” (Pssst, Elizabeth, vanilla is a flavor, not a…oh, never mind.) ”I’m not here because I’m desperate for a man. I can get a date any day of the week. I’m here to find love. And I don’t understand why he’s pressuring me to kiss him.” The only thing she says that makes sense is this: ”By the way, I’m still choosing him.” (This might be the first time in Bachelor history that one of the ”ladies” has managed to have this epiphany.) Eventually she pulls Jake aside again to tell him she’s ”very upset” about how their conversation ended — and bless his heart, he doesn’t apologize or back down. ”I think that Elizabeth is scared,” he tells the camera later, ”and felt like if she controlled the situation it would be less painful.”
Say it with me now: Consider your bluff called, bitch!
When it comes time for Jake to put an end to his ”rough week,” he gives a little speech about how ”horrible” the decision was for him, and then gets down to business. Once again, Jessie and Kathryn — who must be incredibly boring because they never get any screen time — both manage to get roses, as do dateless Gia and divorcee Tenley. That means Valishia gets the boot, and even though I don’t think we’ve seen her speak four words to Jake, her depressing exit interview — ”I’m used to things not going my way, and that’s something I’ve learned to live with” — made me feel pretty bad for her. Elizabeth? Not so much. Don’t let the door hit your sweet ass on the way out, babe! Seeing her go was almost as exciting as the promos for next week’s road-trip-gone-awry episode — has a Bachelor ever asked if he had to give out all the roses? Can. Not. Wait.
What do you think of the new and improved Jake? Hit the comments board now! And as always, be sure to check out Chris Harrison’s exclusive blog on PopWatch — especially if you want to know how long it really took Jake and Vienna to jump off that bridge. If you’re still hungry for more craziness, click on the deleted scene below from tonight’s episode, in which Tenley — in an effort to soften Jake up before telling him about her divorce — plays a completely bats— practical joke on the poor guy. Okay, folks, you know what time it is: Time to talk Bachelor!