So I'm wondering: why doesn't this season of the bachelor have a cheesy tag line? Jake's season was "The Bachelor: On the Wings of Love", Andy's was "An Officer and Gentleman", and on prince Lorenzo's season it was like, "The Bachelor: Romantic Princess Fairy Tale Love Story in ROME" or some shit. Maybe they decided that "The Bachelor: Wait, this guy again? Seriously??" didn't sound all that catchy. I'm just waiting for them to do a season where the bachelor is a telephone customer-service rep and they dub it "The Bachelor: When Love Calls". Which I'm pretty sure is already the title of Janet Oke book.
Today I'm drinking a bourbon hot toddy. Because baby, it's cold outside. And, you know, because...bourbon. Bourbon is a reason unto itself.
In the teasers: Vegas!! Shopping!! Jealousy!! Race car date!! More jealousy! Chantal cries. Michelle continues her reign of terror. Everyone else cries. Brad continues to be hot but inarticulate.
Let's get to it!
Brad arrives to inform the ladies that Things Are About to Get Serious. Because this is the week of...the dreaded 2-on-1 date. Dun dun dunnnn. Groans all around. I'm about to be really disappointed that I can't make fun of Chris' outfit this week, when I notice that he is wearing a seemingly normal shirt with cuffs made by Maria von Trapp from her Laura Ashley bedsheets. Seriously, pretty sure I have a pillowcase that looks exactly like that. Bless you, Chris.
But there's one more thing: there's no date card right now, because everyone is going to...Vegas!! VEGAS!!!! Squeeee. We're treated to a cute little graphic showing a plane flying across a map from Los Angeles to Vegas, for those of you who were completely unaware where Las Vegas was. There's also a shot of the girls' luggage being pulled through the airport and HOLY CRAP these chicks pack a lot.
Lots of exposition about how great Las Vegas is. Brad shows the ladies to their suite and it pretty freaking...sweet. (See what I did there??) He awkwardly leaves them with a date card, because I guess Chris Harrison was getting his nails done or something, and Michelle reads it while wearing the BIGGEST RING EVER, from which she can shoot death rays to destroy her enemies. The date card is for Shawntel, and it says..."let's end tonight with a bang". Oh, the dirty jokes just make themselves. The ladies giggle and pretend to be shocked.
After commercial: lest in the past 30 seconds you forgot where we are...we're in VEGAS. Brad greets Shawntel and they do that picking-up-and-twirling thing that is their trademark now and he tells her she looks Amazing. Turns out Shawntel is the lucky bachelorette who gets to go on the Date Where the Bachelor Buys You Shit. (Did Shawntel put down "limitless shopping sprees" as her worst fear? Clever girl.) I think the lesson to be learned here is - love does not last, but Fendi purses do.
Shawntel tries a on a ton of stuff, including a yellow jacket that I totally covet, while Brad also tries on a ton of stuff, including a purple velvet jacket that makes him look like Willy Wonka. Shawntel tells him he looks great, because in addition to being an incredibly. sexy. woman. (Brad's words), she is also a great liar. Shawntel says that Brad makes her feel beautiful, by which I think she means - Brad buys me a lot of stuff. Gentlemen, take note.
Shawntel is drinking champagne at Fendi and howcome they won't let me do that? Later, Brad presents Shawntel with a ton of awkwardly huge shopping bags and she has the decency to look a little chagrined.
Michelle and her chin, who have made the unusual fashion choice of tank top + impossibly huge argyle scarf, think that Shawntel is beautiful but not woman enough for Brad, and that this could be "the worst date Brad's been on". So of course we cut immediately to Shawntel returning to the suite with her assload of shopping bags. Why couldn't she change elsewhere, you might wonder? Because envy and tears are this show's lifeblood. Shawntel exposits, a little reluctantly, about how Brad bought her everything at the mall, while all the other ladies die of jealousy. Michelle eyes the Fendi bag as if she might devour it whole.
Brad arrives to pick up Shawntel, and she does look pretty amazing in her black dress and heels. Turns out they're going to have dinner on...the roof of the mall! Shawntel is worried about telling Brad that she EMBALMS DEAD PEOPLE for a living, because other dudes have found this kind of squicky. They get to the embalming conversation right away, and Shawntel apologizes because it's kind of weird, but Brad's all like, no, I want to know all about it! So Shawntel tellls him all about leakage and orifices and draining veins, and she keeps eating meanwhile, because this is totally normal for her. Brad calls it "interesting", but by his facial expression I deduce he means "weird as hell". Then she stars talking about molding people's faces, and Brad is no longer able to hold it together and starts laughing hysterically. Then she starts talking about Peaches, her cross-eyed cat, and crazy clown music plays because people who own cats are crazy, y'all!! I think the point of all this is, Shawntel is a weirdo! she might not get a rose!, but honestly, this is the most likable I've seen Brad all season.
Brad gives Shawntel the rose, cross-eyed cat notwithstanding, and he calls her beautiful and "unassuming", which is a word I'm surprised Brad knows. I'm such a meanie. Then all of a sudden there are FIREWORKS!!!, which I guess is what the date card meant by the night "ending with a bang". It's hard to imagine Shawntel not being a little disappointed. Back in the suite, the other ladies see the fireworks and start to FREAK OUT. Sheesh. It's not like it's a helicopter or anything. On the roof, Brad and Shawntel kiss and it is Perfect.
The next morning, a date card gets slid through the crack in the door because I guess Chris Harrison can just no longer be bothered. The group date is for: Jackie, Emily, Lisa, Marissa, Alli, Chantal, Britt, and Michelle. Meaning the 2-on-1 date is going to be...Ashley vs.Ashley. They're both really sad because they've been so close up until now and I'm sad because the producers of this show are EVIL.
So of course the group date, which has been hinted at in the teasers for like, ever, is at the Las Vegas motor speedway, and they're gonna race cars! Aka "the date specifically designed by the producers to make Emily turn on the waterworks". See what I mean? EVIL. The girls race cars for a while and suddenly Brad notices that Emily is kinda not okay. He pulls her aside to ask her what's going on. Emily is having a lot of Feelings, because her dead fiance, Ricky, was a Nascar driver, and Brad didn't know that before but now he feels like a huge jerk. Brad promises Emily they can leave if she's feeling uncomfortable, and she says that she appreciates his concern but that it's okay.
Emily gets in the car and starts crying and fingering her giant engagement ring (which she still wears?). Brad comes over and offers to help, but once again she insists she's fine. She starts racing and triumphant music plays and Emily decides she is ready to Move On and Find Love. I am ready for...a beer. And maybe an ice-cream sandwich.
Nascar afterparty! At...a pool! Although we never see anyone swimming, just huddling under blankets in bathing suits. Brad pulls Emily aside almost immediately and Alli starts complaining that Emily and her dead husband (okay, dead fiance, but I already started calling her dead husband Emily so let's roll with that, shall we?) are taking up all of Brad's time. All the other girls look at her like she is SUCH A HUGE BITCH, because I guess having a dead fiance trumps the girls' odd "we must share Brad equally" ethos, and Chantal drunkenly explains that Brad is paying so much attention to emily because he like, CARES ABOUT PEOPLE.
Brad and Emily are alone. Emily is pretty and Brad is awkward. He's worried that she keeps saying that dead fiance was the love of her life, and he's never gonna be able to follow that up. Emily wants it to not be an issue anymore. Brad is still intimidated.
Chantal tells Brad that she's a little jealous that Brad's spending so much time with Emily, but it makes her love...er, like him even more, because it proves how much he CARES ABOUT PEOPLE. Brad makes a point of calling her out on saying "love" so he can be awkward about it, and Chantal cries about highs and lows and how this is so hard and scary and they are cute and nonsensical together.
Emily and Lisa debate who will get the rose, and Emily's worried it won't be her because of the earlier awkward conversation, and she explains to Lisa that she's met a billion guys who can't handle her story, because Emily has dated roughly 40 percent of the male population of the planet. That woman is efficient.
At the suite, a date card arrives for Ashley H and Ashley S, and as Shawntel reads it creepy music plays like one of them is going to die.
Back at the pool, the girls are debating about who Brad likes the best and Chantal is so, so drunk. Brad butts in, awkwardly, and it is Awkward, and Michelle steals him away, because the antidote to Awkward is CRAZY. Michelle is sure to let Brad know that the other girls here aren't good enough for him and she is a Real Woman. Brad tells her he doesn't want to talk about the other girls, like, enough drama already, and Michelle is like, oh, I don't either, even though she JUST BROUGHT IT UP about two seconds ago. So Michelle tells Brad she has a crush on him, and he says, awkwardly, that he feels the same way, and Michelle pulls his face in to fix all the awkwardness with the sweet, sweet magic of her tongue.
Brad gives Emily the rose because he is Falling for her. She is Falling, too. We drink.
To be continued in Part 2!