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Alright, folks. We’re made it through yet another Monday and I’ve made it through yet another box of wine as we are slowly pulled along on Arie’s journey to find love or some bitch dumb enough to move to Scottsdale. This season is kind of like drifting in a lazy river – you know that eventually you’ll get to the end, but you wish that it would hurry the hell up and that there was less urine in the water. Unfortunately, we don’t always get what we want. After spending a week in Paris, the crew is relieved to go somewhere less grimy and they jet off to Tuscany. If I were one of these contestants, this would surely be the week I’d be sent home because the only way I’d be bothered to remove my face from mauling the plate of pasta that would surely be planted in front of it at all times would be to pour wine down my gullet and occasionally breathe, although I was a swimmer in high school so I can go a long time without breathing.
After arriving, the ladies stroll about the city of Pisa, taking in the sights. It seems like pretty standard footage, and I zone out until I hear the following question:
“Wait, but like, why is it leaning?” – Lauren B. asks the group as they stand in front of the goddamn Leaning Tower of Pisa.
You know how in some relationships, you have a crystalizing moment when you stop and think to yourself, “You know what? I fucking hate that person.” This was that moment for my relationship with Lauren B. It’s done. I’m over her. She’s dead to me. However, I will say that if you watch any moment of this episode, watch this one, because the look that Seinne shoots at Lauren B. when that particular bit of dumbness drips out of her mouth is absolutely priceless. It’s equal parts “You dumbass” and “I can’t believe I went to Yale for this shit” and makes me realize I’m a little bit in love with Seinne.
As we recover from that gem of a moment, Supreme Leader Chris Harrison descends from heaven to greet the women. “Hello ladies, and welcome to Italy,” His Excellency begins. “If you haven’t noticed, there are seven of you remaining; however only four will receive roses this week, so Arie is going to have to make some sacrifices. I mean, choices. We stopped with the sacrifices after the sixth season. To make things even more interesting, there won’t be a Rose Ceremony this week – instead there will be three one-on-one dates, each with a rose up for grabs, and one group date with the final rose up for grabs, because things have been getting a little too chummy around here.” As Father Harrison slowly levitates and returns towards the heavens, he shouts to the peasants below, “May the odds be ever in your favor!”
One-on-One with Becca The Elder
This week’s first one-on-one date card is addressed to Old Becca and reads, “Let’s fall in love under the Tuscan sun.” Apparently it was too expensive to fly the more creative intern to Italy, so we’re stuck with this shit. Arie shows up to the women’s suite and picks Becca up in an antique convertible and they zoom away into the Tuscan countryside.
Arie tells the camera, “I gave Becca the first one-on-one date, but I’ve touched a lot of women since then, so today is important for me to see if I want to not only continue touching Becca, but also met her family and possibly bang her.”
As a reward for her patience, Becca gets the shitty “stroll around an unfamiliar town with no plan” date. There’s at least one of these every season. Arie attempts to buy a loaf of bread from a street vendor, and after he realizes that this merchant speaks absolutely zero English, Arie repeats the same question, except slower, apparently with the hope that the man standing in front of him will purchase Rosetta Stone and complete it in its entirety before he finishes asking to buy the damn loaf of bread. He did not, but as in most foreign countries, handing the man some cash and hoping for the best finally resulted in them acquiring their precious loaf of bread. This date is stupid. This show is stupid. We are all stupid for our involvement in this phenomenon.
Eventually Arie and Becca sit down and have a picnic and discuss their relationship. It went a little something like this:
Arie: “So we had our first one-on-one and things were like pretty cool and I was pretty into you.”
Becca: “Yeah that was amazing.”
Arie: “But I’m a little worried because after that I didn’t speak to you for seven weeks”
Becca: “Yeah that was hard.”
Arie: “So how do you feel about things now?”
Becca: “I feel really good. We’re on our second date. We bought a loaf of bread. Things are moving along in the right direction. If I weren’t into you, I would go home. I’m totally ready for you to meet my family on our third date, make you wait till our fourth date to have sex with me, and get engaged after our fifth date. That sounds exactly like the love story I’ve envisioned for myself my entire life.”
Arie: “Wow I really care about you.”
Becca: “I care about you too.
They make out in a super awkward position for a while – Arie is sitting on some sort of wall with his back up against an adjoining building while Becca leans back into him, so his boner has got to be pressing right into her kidney. It’s very romantic. After a while they each polish off a bottle of wine and drunkenly dance while holding their wine glasses before Arie pushes Becca up against a wall to make out with her.
“Finally,” Becca whispers. “I’m getting my wall kiss. That’s how you know it’s real with Arie!” The thing I most respect about this moment is that despite being pushed against a wall and playing an aggressive game of tonsil hockey, Becca never sets down her wine glass, nor does she spill any of that precious elixir. Becca is my kind of woman.
For the dinner portion of their date, Arie and Becca sit in a fancy room with untouched plates of food set before them, as is decreed by Bachelor edict. Arie asks Becca more about her family, and if she would be nervous for him to meet them.
“I’m not nervous at all,” Becca lies. “Even though I’ve never actually brought a boyfriend home to meet my entire family at once, I can’t foresee anything going wrong if I do that with a camera crew filming every second of it next week. Oh, before I forget, I’m supposed to say I’m falling in love with you. I’M FALLING IN LOVE WITH YOU.”
“Well done,” Arie tells her. “As a reward, will you accept this rose?”
“That would be lovely,” Becca answers, putting a reminder in her phone to pick up a refill of her birth control when she’s back in Minnesota, you know, just in case.
Midnight Rendezvous with Jacqueline
During Becca’s date, ABC inserted a few cut scenes to show Jacqueline having a long discussion with Kendall regarding her feelings towards Arie.
“At the start of this, I didn’t expect to develop strong feelings, you know?” Jacqueline confides in Kendall, as well as several of the small taxidermied rodents Kendall has hidden away on her person. “It was just that I didn’t even speak to Arie until we were in Lake Tahoe, and that was to remind him of my name, and that I was a contestant, not part of the production staff. I literally have no idea why I’ve stayed so long. And I’m on the precipice of having these strong feelings, but I just don’t know what to do. I don’t trust my instincts in these situations.”
Let’s be honest, Jac. My guess is your head is telling you to run the fuck away, your vagina is begging you to stay as if it’s a five-year-old who wants ten more minutes at Chuck-E-Cheese, and your heart has been crushed so many times already it doesn’t give two shits what you do anymore.
Kendall ponders for a moment. “Maybe you should talk to Arie about this instead of me? Not that I don’t care about you, but also I’d like to continue playing the love game and get a rose this week so I can add Arie to my collection. I mean, have Arie meet my collection. Wait, my family. I want Arie to meet my family.”
Jacqueline nods in agreement. After Becca returns from her date with rose in hand, her decision is cemented. A camera crew follows her down the hall of the hotel to the entrance to Arie’s suite. She pauses for a moment before knocking three times.
After a moment, Arie opens the door. “Jacqueline,” he says, a glimmer of hope in his eyes. “It was about time one of you ladies tried to win my love with a midnight tryst.” He invites her inside where she immediately sits down on the couch and polishes off the glass of wine he had poured for himself.
“Easy there, tiger,” he tells her. “We’ve got all night!”
“I just think there’s a few things we need to talk about,” Jacqueline replies, hiccupping slightly from the bolus of Cabernet coursing down her esophagus.
“Is it about blowjobs?” Arie asks playfully.
“Not exactly,” Jacqueline says wistfully, her mind wandering to Arie’s dangling appendage instead of focusing on her apprehensions. She continues, saying, “When this started, I didn’t expect to develop strong feelings, but after our date last week, I was really swept off my feet by you, but at the same time I don’t know that I’m confident enough in my feelings towards you to justify bringing you home to meet my family. I just have a lot of swirling doubts about this whole situation.”
In an unexpected plot twist, it turns out that the girl with the craziest eyes actually has the most rational thoughts. She continues, telling Arie, “I’m just afraid that if I stay here, one day I’ll wake up in Scottsdale, married to you, thinking ‘How the hell did I get here?’”
“This doesn’t make any sense,” Arie tells her.
“This makes complete and total sense,” Jacqueline, me, and the rest of America respond in unison.
“Then maybe you should have asked me on a date during the first, I don’t know, month and a half of this bullshit,” Jacqueline, me, and the rest of America respond in unison.
Tears well up in Arie’s eyes, because he is a little bitch. “I’m just not ready for this to end…” he pleads with Jacqueline.
They continue to look at one another and Jacqueline breaks the silence, telling Arie, “I could completely regret this in ten minutes. I don’t know. I’m actually just so attracted to you that I don’t think I can look at you anymore” before attacking his mouth with hers. They make out amidst their tears for a few moments, confusing their sadness with arousal before Jacqueline pulls away.
“I have to go,” she tells him. As he walks her to the door, he whispers, “If you have any regrets, you come back to me, okay?” before kissing her goodbye one last time.
As soon as Arie shuts his door, Jacqueline sits down on the floor sobbing. The camera cuts to her exit interview, as she continues to second-guess her decision to leave. “I mean, maybe I just kind of suck at being happy?” It’s in this moment that I realize that Jacqueline is actually all of us, and we are all Jacqueline.
Naptime, Part IIOne-on-One Date with Lauren B., Part II
The second date card of the week arrives and is addressed to Lauren B. I immediately set my alarm to wake me up in twenty minutes, because there’s a zero percent chance that I can maintain consciousness through another segment of this snoozefest. As the remaining women realize that this boring blonde bimbo is getting two one-on-one dates in a row, they lose their collective minds.
“EVERYTHING IS FINE!” they all assure each other, loudly, ignoring their internal screaming. “HE MUST REALLY JUST WANT TO SEE WHERE YOUR CONNECTION IS GOING.”
“Nahhhhh,” Tia drawls from the corner of the couch, sunglasses on, four whiskeys deep despite it being 8:30 a.m. “He wants to fuck that one, for sure.”
This segment of the episode begins with Arie explaining his decision to take Lauren on yet another one-on-one date. “I really just wanted to see Lauren again. During our date in Paris, it took her until the very end to be able to open up to me, and I want to continue building on that. Throughout this whole process, all I can think about is how badly I want to fu…. I mean, how much I am drawn to her. Very drawn. Rock fucking drawn to her.”
This date is somehow even dumber than their last one. It beings with a bike ride, where Arie peacocks by standing up on the top tube of his bike, riding it like a surfboard. Maybe if he crashes we won’t be subjected to any more of this shit. As they arrive in the town center of Luca, Lauren remarks, “Wow, this place is so, like, Italian!” Nothing gets past this one.
They get some gelato, which they eat in silence. They truck up to the top of some bell tower, and then eat some pizza in the city center. Literally five minutes of the episode pass by without Lauren uttering a single word. The tension is broken by a group of children kicking a soccer ball at their table, and Arie jumps up to play with them, beckoning for Lauren to join. She does so, begrudgingly, and spends the game standing amidst the other players. I’d wager she was an outfield daisy picker on her tee-ball team growing up.
The evening portion of the date opens with Arie telling the camera he has reservations about giving Lauren a rose because he feels like he hasn’t had a breakthrough moment with her. “It’s because she’s not that into you,” I say aloud, to no one in particular. Their fake dinner progresses much in the same way as every other date they’ve been on thus far; Arie asks questions while Lauren nervously gulps and answers with vague platitudes.
“How do you feel about me potentially meeting your family next week?” Arie asks.
“I hate to say that I’m scared or I’m terrified, but those are possibly emotions I may be experiencing in this moment,” Lauren replies. She continues. “I have a hard time making myself vulnerable, and I have a hard time connecting my words with my emotions when I’m with you. You’re not like anyone I’ve dated before.” I have no fucking idea what any of this means. I don’t think Arie does either, as he sits there, wearing such a dumb face it looks like he stole it off Eli Manning himself. Lauren senses his unease, and decides to pull the trigger on those magical, rose winning words. “I think I’m starting to fall in love with you.”
Instead of reacting like a normal human, Arie stands up, telling her he needs a moment, and briskly walks off screen. Either that gelato ran through him very quickly, or this is a poor sign for Baby LoLo 2.0. Lauren wipes a few tears from her eyes while Arie is away on his field trip and tells the camera she regrets opening up so much. At what point did she open up? Did I miss it?
After a few moments, Arie returns. He sits down, takes a deep breath, and says, “Sorry about that. I am nervous as hell, because I really think there could be something between us. When you are open and vulnerable with me, I feel open and vulnerable too. Lauren, you make me feel feelings I haven’t felt in a really long time, and I know that I am falling deeply in love with you.”
“What the actual fuck is happening right now?” I yell at my television before I chug the remainder of my wine and decide to switch to whiskey. Did Arie mean to say “I want to be deeply inside of you?” because that I can understand. Lauren B. is a total snack. But in love with her? She is slightly more lifelike and slightly less intelligent that Kendall’s good taxidermy. Seriously folks, what are we missing here?
Arie gives Lauren a rose, secure in his decision despite the all signs pointing to him being way more into Lauren than she is into him. This has Desiree and Brooks written all over it, and I can’t wait to watch it implode.
One-on-One Date with Seinne
The final one-on-one date this week goes to Seinne. Saving the best for last, I see. Arie meets her on a deserted gravel road where he informs her that their date will begin by searching for truffles. They are met by Giolio, a truffle hunter, and his fluffy truffle-hunting dog, Miga. After introductions, he asks Arie and Seinne if they know what a truffle is.
Without missing a beat, Seinne answers, “A truffle is a type of subterranean fungus that is often used as a seasoning. Its rarity in nature has made it a delicacy in Western cuisine.” She winks flirtatiously at Arie, who is dumbfounded. “I just thought a truffle was something you could shuffle…” he whispers to a producer standing just off camera. Seinne pats him on the arm. “It’s a good thing you’re cute,” she says with a smile.
Following Giolio and Miga, Arie and Seinne walk around nature, finding truffles and shooting the shit for a while before Giolio invites the couple back to his house for lunch. They join his family and eat pasta and drink wine and have what appears to be a damn good time.
From lunch, we are quickly transported to the evening portion of the date. Arie quickly turns the conversation towards Hometown Dates, as well as how Seinne would envision their future together. Unlike Becca and Lauren, she doesn’t immediately tell him she’s falling in love with him, nor does she say that she’d be willing to move to Scottsdale, instead saying, “If we got to that point, relocation is a conversation I’d be willing to have with you.”
Arie doesn’t seem impressed by this, which is total bullshit. I get that this is The Bachelor and everything is accelerated, but doesn’t anyone else think that the girls who aren’t willing to throw away their lives for a man they barely know are the ones worth pursuing, not the ones who are willing to drop everything and be obedient? Just me? Cool. He tells Seinne that although he enjoyed his time with her, he feels that their relationship hasn’t progressed as quickly as some of his others, and that he can’t give her a rose.
I’ve said it before and I’m sure I’ll say it again – Arie is a fucking idiot. Seinne, if you read this, your boy Crick is very single.
Three-on-One Date with Pixie Tits, Queen Wiener, And Stuffed Carcass Enthusiast
With Jacqueline and Seinne eliminated, there are still two roses up for grabs on the final group date of the week. It’s as if the producers are begging Arie to play “Fuck, Marry, Kill” with the three remaining women, and since you asked, gun to my head, I’d go with fuck Queen Wiener, marry Kendall, and kill Pixie Tits.
Unfortunately, we don’t really see a ton of the conversations Arie has with the ladies as they stroll around Villa Reale, a chateau apparently owned by Napoleon’s sister. He asks Kendall about her family and how she felt about a long distance relationship, but her answers were difficult to understand between all the face sucking that was occurring.
The bulk of this segment of the episode focused on Queen Wiener and Pixie Tits. Determined to get a rose, Tia decides to exploit some of her concerns about Bekah M. to Arie during their conversation.
“First of all, I don’t like feeling like I’m petty or that I’m talking about people, but I’m going to do it anyway,” Tia begins. “I just think that Bekah is on a different page than the rest of us. It’s hard, you know. She’s twenty-two, so she doesn’t have the experiences that I do, as a very mature twenty-six year old. Those four years are monumental in development if I remember my psychology textbooks correctly, since I’m a doctor of physical therapy, you know.”
Once Tia returns to the rest of the women, they ask about her conversation with Arie. “It went really well!” she tells them. “Hey Bekah, by the way, you should know I mentioned that I think you’re immature and not ready for marriage to Arie, so that may come up. I only did it because I feel like your big sister and I’m trying to protect you and protect Arie and also win myself a husband to take back to Wiener.”
Once Pixie Tits processes Tia’s sabotage, the waterworks are unleashed. It’s actually really sad to watch; I think the two of them probably got along well and I’m sure this feels like a huge betrayal. Pixie Tits spends the entirety of her time with Arie sobbing. Despite wailing her mascara off, Arie continues to make out with her. I don’t know if that’s what she needs right now, but that’s what he offers.
As her tears ebb, Pixie Tits and Arie return to the other two women. Arie tells them he had an amazing date, but one woman in particular stood out to him, and he’s excited to meet her family. Arie picks up a rose and says, “Kendall, will you accept this rose?”
I spit out my wine. “Are you serious?” I yell at Arie, on my television screen from my couch, alone. As Kendall collects her rose and departs, Queen Wiener turns to Pixie Tits and says, “Well, I guess it’s a two-on-one now…” I am shook. The only scenario I saw these two facing off head-to-head would be the finale, but here we are. Hold on to your butts, folks.
Arie, Queen Wiener, and Pixie Tits change clothes and return to Villa Reale for the evening. Arie speaks with Queen Wiener, and she reminds him that she told him she was falling in love with him on their first date, and she still feels the same way, so obviously she is mentally stable and the correct choice for him. During her time with Arie, Pixie Tits also says she’s falling for him, although they spend way more time licking each others’ tongues than conversing.
After these conversations, Arie sits back down with the two remaining women. He picks up the single rose that sits between them, and says, “This is by far the hardest rose I’ve had to give out because it means so much with hometowns next week. I haven’t taken this decision lightly, but on the advice of my lawyer…Tia, will you accept this rose?” With a smile, Queen Wiener pulls the flower from Arie’s hand, victorious.
That’s it folks – after all of this, the pack has been thinned to our Final Four. Next week brings us Hometown Dates, which is arguably the best episode of each season because we get to finally see where each of these girls got their crazy. If you’re a long time Dude’s Breakdown fan then you know that it’s the time of the season where we start playing bingo to keep from going mad – so keep an eye out for Hometown Dates Bingo Card, out later this week. See you then..