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'The Bachelor' recap: In a small town far, far away

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Matthew Putney/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

Fun fact, Bachelor fans: When the show promises a “Chris Tells All” special, what they really mean is that Kelsey will tell some, Chris will tell a little more—but essentially nothing—Andi will tell even more, and Chris Harrison will tell the most. Here are the main takeaways: Kelsey still doesn’t believe she’s that controversial, and Chris says his two-on-one date revealed that he knows less about women than he ever thought he knew. (How much did he think he knew?)

Furthermore, during his not-so-revealing stint in the hot seat, Chris tells all that the sky is blue he liked Jillian’s extremely small bikini. Riveting stuff, I know. From there, the next bit of less-than-interesting information is about his date with Becca. Apparently, all we missed from their one-on-one date was an adorable donkey named Sully who nearly ruined everything. In other words, there’s a reason we saw so little of their date and can we please stop revisiting it? (No offense, Sully.)

But it’s Harrison who comes in with the interesting information, such as the fact that Ashley S. liked to wander around craft services and cooked up her own conspiracy theory during her time on the show: That what they were really doing in production/the accounting office was running a betting ring on all the women. And not to sound too much like Ashley S. here, but how many of you actually think she was onto something and that they’re bringing it up to try to make it sound crazy? Because part of me really hopes that this is true. I’d almost respect the production team more for it.

Also, we get to see a bit of Ashley S.’s audition tape, which takes place almost entirely on New York City roofs and has no mention of onions or murder. We get it, producers: You didn’t see the crazy coming.

But it isn’t until Andi comes out that we get some real emotion: Andi reveals that she and Josh ended up being too similar to really work out. After attending this season’s live premiere, she started to really question why they weren’t planning their wedding, and from there, things kind of fell apart. Although she’s grateful for the experience, right now, she’s heartbroken. Chris Harrison, on the other hand, is just happy to be back in the presence of someone who can articulate her feelings.

So from the “Chris Tells Nothing” to the real show, we pick up with a rose ceremony in Deadwood, where things don’t go as planned. After Megan does the smartest thing she’s ever done on the show by confronting Chris about their relationship’s lack of forward momentum, he tells her the truth—that other relationships are moving faster. And in a rather respectable move, Chris walks her out right then and there. Megan’s appreciative of his honesty, but Whitney is pretty bummed she didn’t get to say goodbye. (Yes, because I’m sure Megan and Whitney were besties.)

After sending Megan home in what is probably the most emotional goodbye yet, Chris has a newfound fire in him. Taking Harrison aside, Chris Squared decides that there won’t be a rose ceremony tonight. Chris pretty much refuses to send another woman home, claiming that he wants all of the remaining women to come to Iowa—excuse me: God’s country. Whitney’s reaction? “Praise Jesus!” I mean, this woman is downright excited.

In other news, Whitney has no idea where Arlington, Iowa, is.

NEXT: Jade meets Arlington

[pagebreak]

Upon arriving to the Midwest, Jade—who’s already wearing plaid, naturally—gets the first one-on-one, which includes an invitation to Chris’ hometown. Not only does this make Jade the first woman to get two one-on-ones, but she’s going to see Chris’ house and stuff. As Kaitlyn puts it, “Why don’t you just give her the ring?”

Well, let’s have Jade visit Chris first, because right now, he’s talking to his cows. Yeah, suddenly his speech-giving abilities are making a whole lot more sense. Cows, we know your pain.

Once date time rolls around, Jade hops in a car and starts her long drive to Arlington. Her first reaction? “So much corn.” Yep, that pretty much sums it up. Walking through Chris’ house, Jade is already planning a few little tweaks—which undoubtedly involves a relocation plan—until she walks outside to meet Chris’ real passion: land. And there’s a lot of it.

God bless him, Chris tries to spice things up by offering to name a cow Jade, but she instantly shuts that down. Quick! Take off your shirt and do some push-ups on bales of hay! That’s literally the only thing that would help right now.

Instead, Chris puts Jade on the back of his motorcycle and the two ride into “town,” which Jade claims is “tiny, tiny, tiny, tiny.” I’m going to add one more “tiny” to that considering that by standing in one location, Chris can give her a tour of the entire town, which has mostly shut down. There’s one grocery store—called THE Market—which has shut down, and there’s no bar, restaurant, or movie theater or coffee shop. But really, where do you buy groceries? Is there a doctor nearby? A vet? Suddenly, it makes sense why we went to The Badlands last week—to make this place look populated.

At this point, this place feels too quiet even for Jade, which is saying a lot. By living in a small town, Chris clearly meant that he lives in a ghost town. But what about those eight old men he had coffee with in the premiere? At least they could talk to Jade about the weather… but they’re probably at the high school football game. It is Friday night, after all!

In desperate need of proof of life human interaction, Jade follows Chris to the football game to learn that at least 50 people live in this town (or close enough to drive to it). The good news is that Chris cheering for his high school team is probably the most personality we’ve seen out of him all season. Oh, also, of the 50 people in the stands, Chris’ mom and dad are two of them. Say hi, Jade!

While the football players skip halftime to play in the band—because there are clearly 25 students at this school—Chris takes Jade inside his old school to show her his English classroom and then study French in the hallway, if you catch my drift. In other words, they make-out, because if Chris let Jade talk right now, it probably woudn’t be good.

But thankfully, a kiss on the 50-yard line saves the night when the entire town 15 people chant “Kiss Chris” from the stands, and suddenly, Jade feels like she’s back on her princess date. Okay, so she doesn’t even remotely feel that way, but she does feel like she’s falling in love with Chris, so there’s that. And for Chris, it was one of the most amazing nights of his life, which should tell you everything you need to know about his life.

Back at the hotel, Whitney gets the next date card, and thankfully, she gets to hang out with Chris is Des Moines. So while she gets ready, Britt informs us that this week is “shaking me in a part of my soul that I’m not used to being touched in.” Take that as you will.

NEXT: Nothing says love like taking selfies

[pagebreak]

The next day, Whitney gets Kim Kardashian’s dream date—the real one, not Ashley I., though she would’ve liked it, too—which involves running around Des Moines taking selfies. Or in reality, asking other people to take pictures of Chris and Whitney while they kiss in various parts of the city. So either these two are off to a great start with their scrapbooking—which is a hobby Whitney will undoubtedly have to pick up in this town (if she can find the craft store)—or there are going to be a lot of awkward pictures floating around after this show wraps. Either way, Whitney is into it. But not as much as she’s into meeting three of Chris’ best friends.

At a bar—where the bartender is sawing a block of ice in half?—Whitney gets grilled by Chris’ friends, as they ask her if she’s in love and whether she’s willing to move here. Long story short: She doesn’t believe that people can pinpoint the instant they fall in love, and yes, she’s ready to call Iowa her home. (And no, she hasn’t been to Arlington yet.) But his friends seem to love her, and she gets their blessing. Meanwhile, can we go back to the bartender sawing ice?

At the hotel, Jade tells the girls what to expect in Chris’ hometown: corn and corn and corn and more corn. And with that sales pitch, Carly, Britt, Becca, and Kaitlyn decide to take a road trip to Arlington.

What starts as a road trip full of excited screams quickly turns into one of silence when the smells of the country infiltrate the car, and the women realize that Arlington takes a total of 30 seconds to drive through. “Did we just pass downtown?” Yes, yes you did. But can you really hate someplace that has a (closed down) store called The Comfort Maker, along with one spot that sells liquor, pizza, chicken, and frozen yogurt? Arlington’s new slogan: “You can get liquor in your froyo and chicken on your pizza!”

Walking around the town, everything is either locked or shutdown, including the church. But Carly—who came prepared in her overalls—sees everything she needs when she realizes that the ONE photo hanging inside the church doors is the exact picture of Jesus that her grandparents used to have. So with Jesus on her side, Carly has a newfound confidence about this place. That is until the church’s pastor informs them that they have to drive an hour to go see a movie or eat. After that, Britt utters the sentence no man wants to hear:  “It’s just so much smaller than I thought it would be.”

However, when the women return to the hotel, Britt seems to have changed her mind. At first, she found the town depressing, which let’s be honest, is fair. But on the drive home, she claims that she saw a sunset, and just like that, she saw God’s country in all its liquored-up-froyo glory.

I’m not sure how to feel about Britt at this point, but Carly certainly doesn’t believe her. More than anything, I’m betting Britt realized that if she can shower once every few weeks while living in Los Angeles, she’ll never have to shower out here. Who would see her to judge?!

Date card time! This week, the group date goes to Britt, Carly, and in a twist, Kaitlyn, which means that Becca is getting another one-on-one so soon after her first one. The one person definitely not getting a one-on-one? Carly’s creepy Britt hand puppet (though her lip color is on point).

Back at Whitney’s date, she tries to tell Chris a little about her family while a bunch of teens press their faces up against the window of the bar. Chris pretends not to notice the fans as Whitney reveals that she doesn’t really have parents. We already knew that her mother died, but here we learn that she never had a relationship with her father, and now, she’s ready and looking to call someone new mom and dad. Chris either loves her story or isn’t listening to a word she’s saying because of all the distractions, but either way, it seems to go over well.

So well in fact, that Chris gives her a very nice, somewhat permanent gift: Someone painted a mural of one of their photos on a public wall in Des Moines. So at this point, if they don’t end up together, Chris is never allowed back to Des Moines? I guess it’s less permanent than a tattoo, though? But Whitney doesn’t care—she’s over the moon. Remember how she told Chris’ friends that she doesn’t believe you can fall in love in a moment? Well, she didn’t realize that personalized murals were a part of the game, so she’d like to take that statement back. She’s in love and doesn’t care who knows it!

NEXT: Britt wants validation NOW

[pagebreak]

On the group date, Chris takes Britt, Carly, and Kaitlyn ice-skating, where they play hockey for a bit before Britt steals him away and tells him about the road trip and the sunset that changed her entire worldview. According to her, she loved Arlington and would like to build a family there. But according to Carly, Britt is full of crap, and Carly’s ready to tell Chris all about it. She informs him that showerless Barbie over there said she could never picture herself in Arlington.

So with that, Chris takes Britt aside to sort of confront her about everything. But first, he wants to know what her hometown would be like: Well, her family will probably eat off of paper plates—to avoid cleaning dishes like she avoids showering?—and then eat off one another’s plates because #love. And when Chris brings up Arlington, Britt says she was hesitant at first but all she wants in life is to be a mom. According to her, she likes to reinvent herself.

Regardless, either Britt is genuine or she’s a really good liar, because Chris buys it. Or there’s always option number three: She’s Poison Ivy and her lipstick is the key to everything.

Once that’s handled, Chris takes Kaitlyn to the world’s smallest couch to catch up. She finally speaks up about feeling nervous and he tries to calm those nerves by reinforcing the fact that she “killed it” the first few weeks. Remembering Costco, Chris can’t help but go and get the rose and give it to Kaitlyn. I mean, do you remember the big plastic ball? If that isn’t the stuff of fairy tales, I don’t know what is.

In all seriousness, Chris gives Kaitlyn the best speech he’s given so far. It even makes her cry. And hearing her say, “you are making me soft,” makes me want to punch myself for how cute I thought it was. It was that adorable.

But Britt isn’t feeling so soft. When Kaitlyn returns with the rose, Britt starts thinking out loud and tells Chris that she feels like she was begging him for validation today… only to have him validate someone else. And because her family is at stake, she’s taking this more personally, and she wants her husband to be someone who puts her first. Chris addresses the biggest elephant in the room—Carly and Kaitlyn’s presence—and tells Britt that they’ll have to discuss it at a later time. He leaves, and Britt apologizes for making Kaitlyn feel awkward. Britt just feels like she needs validation, though Carly chimes in claiming that she just got it last week! If anyone should be worried, it’s Carly.

At least that’s what Carly thought until Britt had her freakout. Now, both Carly and Kaitlyn seem very confident that Britt is going home. But is it just me or do you feel like Britt’s freakout was actually relatively normal? No, she shouldn’t have said all those things in front of the other women, but I feel as if it just proves that she cares and that she takes the idea of bringing a guy home very seriously. Or maybe Britt kissed me when I wasn’t looking and I’m under her spell. Either way, I’m fine with it.

Here’s where I’d typically sign off for the week but considering that we’re going to chat tomorrow, I’ll leave you with my thoughts on tonight’s special episode: It’s just so much smaller than I thought it would be.

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