This episode's dates are set in MONTANA, the most romantic place in the whole universe! Actually, I have been there, and it is very pretty, but 'romantic' might be stretching it a bit. But anyway! YAY MONTANA.
The first date card is for wedding dress Lindsay, who cries a little, a sure sign that she may be taking this a little too seriously. Sean takes Lindsay out in a helicopter, you know, as you do, and Lindsay thinks holding hands with Sean in a helicopter while flying over snowcapped mountains feels 'real', demonstrating a less than clear understanding of the word 'real'.
After the helicopter ride, these two dolts hang out in front of a fire in like, their own mountain lodge somewhere, which is even realer, and chitchat about their families, which you guys should know by now is what really gets Sean in the mood. There's something I can't quite put my finger on about Lindsay's voice that irks me, like maybe she's kind of babyvoicing it all the time, but I hate to nitpick because she seems like a nice enough kid, and also Sean seems to be digging it, because this:
So Lindsay gets the rose, duh, and Sean thinks she would make such an incredible Wife (drink!), and then they make out some more. And then there's a SURPRISE! What is it? A hot tub? No, because I guess that would make Sean look too slutty. Instead, it's a concert by...Sarah Darling? Yeah!!! Sarah Darling! Lindsay and Sean dance awkwardly on a platform in front of a bunch of people, and she says it's a 'dream come true'. This girl has some weird-ass dreams.
Group Date! There are like 15 girls on this group date. I don't even know, because it's way more like summer camp than like a date. Case in point: everyone has been divided up into the blue team, and the red team, to compete with each other in canoeing, and archery, and basketweaving, and goat milking, and log sawing, and other like, outdoorsy shit, for the love of Sean, the hot counselor. The winning team will get time with Sean, and the losing team will go back to the lodge. TO DIE. No, I made up the death part. But it's that urgent. True love. TRUE LOVE is on the line.
The competition opens with canoeing. Remember the roller derby where nobody could skate? Well, this is like that, but about 10 times worse. Nobody can canoe. Is canoeing...hard? Look, I'm no Pochohantas, but even I understand that if you both paddle on the same side of the boat, the boat turns. Same side, straight ahead. Right? But not in the Bachelorverse, where canoeing is a strange and incomprehensible art. The red team quickly falls behind, because their canoeing skills are even more remedial than those of the blue team, but then the blue team falls behind because the bales of hay they are supposed to carry fall apart. Um... what? This shit is rigged.
Then there is a log-cutting competition, and it's like, The Bachelor: Lumberjack edition, and that would be a way better show than this one. Then there is a GOAT MILKING competition, and it's like, the Bachelor: GOAT MILKING edition, and that would also be a way better show than this one. "Des, get the right nipple!" yells someone, urgently. You just know the team of minions responsible for editing this show had a memo something along the lines of "KEEP ANYTHING WITH THE WORLD NIPPPLE."
Turns out, Des has a way with goat-milking, which she totally could've turned into a lucrative career 100 years ago, and then post goat-milking she has to drink the goat milk, like, indignity of all indignities, but it is totally worth it because the red team WINS. They win eternal glory and Bachelor honor, and also the right to spend the evening with SEAN. YAY.
The red team has barely had the chance to savor their success when Sean decides that he is like, too magnanimous to let the blue team feel left out. One of these women could be his WIFE! How could he let this stupid competition get in the way of true love? Oh, I don't know. Maybe because it is part of another stupid competition? But never mind that! Sean is taking this SERIOUSLY, and also he is Rogue Bachelor and he is Bending The Rules. Sean sends Chris Harrison back to the lodge to recall the rejected ladies of the blue team. Hooray! What a wise and courageous decision on the part of SEAN! YAY SEAN.
The rejected ladies happily troop back from exile, but the ladies of the red team are not so pleased. This is NOT FAIR. They drank goat's milk, dammit. They are not gonna take this lying down. But it doesn't even matter, because TIERRA has realized that now is the time to continue her reign of tierror. (That's an original. It's true, I'm the best.) TIERRA troops over to the bar where the date is going down, irregardless of the fact that she neither won or lost at the goat's milk drinking competition, because she like, DESERVES some time with Sean. Or something?
When TIERRA arrives, Sean is, conveniently, engaged in some sort of awkward expository conversation ("How did you feel when the ladies of the blue team walked into the room?" "When the ladies of the blue team walked into them room, I was excited to see them!") with one of the producers. TIERRA walks up and 'surprises' him, and they go outside and talk about how she like, wants more attention or something, and all the while Sean has that faintly bemused smile that makes me like him a whole lot more, like he's thinking of how ridiculous this shit is but also how much he's getting paid.
Somehow, Sean manages to talk TIERRA off the ledge, and she feels better, and they kiss, and Sean is like, can't wait to see you tomorrow! Also, sorry you're insane.
Perhaps exhausted by the emotional calisthenics required to calm the storm that is TIERRA, Sean returns to the party and steals Catherine away for some surreptitious makin out. Believe me, there is something going on with these two. Even Daniella senses it - when she goes outside to steal Sean away for herself, she sees Catherine sitting in his lap and decides to leave these two alone. It's a very decent thing to do, and unfortunately results in Daniella almost immediately having a near-breakdown. Finally she gets some time with Sean, and explains to him, helpfully, how seeing how your boyfriend has 11 other girlfriends can really shake your sanity, and he's all sweet and understanding about all the other women he's making out with, and then he makes out with her, because Sean doesn't want anyone to feel left out, and everything is better, I guess. Oh, and Daniella gets the date rose (just like crazy TIERRA did with her histrionics last week). So basically, crying = date rose. Sometimes Sean seems less like everybody's boyfriend and more like everybody's cool babysitter.
Speaking of things that are totally absurd! It is time for the dreaded TWO ON ONE date. Which, of course, is Tierra vs.... somebody. Actually, it's Tierra vs. Jackie, an auburn-haired beauty who is ostensibly the sweetest girl in the house, but who I swear I have never seen before now. We all want TIERRA to go home, naturally, because she is awful, but probably it's poor Jackie who's getting the axe, because TIERRA gets higher billing. Oh! And on the date card, of course, Chris Harrison has penned that immortal poem:
TWO WOMEN, ONE ROSE
ON STAYS, ONE GOES.
Lord Bryon could not top that shit.
On the date! Everyone rides horses, and Jackie's horse is an asshole and keeps falling behind so Sean and TIERRA are riding horses next to each other, like on the front cover of some terrible romance novel, and we're all painfully reminded that two women and one translucent dude is possibly the most awkward setup for a date known to man. Then things get even MORE awkward, because they go to dinner, but nobody can bother to eat anything because it could be their LAST MEAL EVER, and TIERRA and Jackie voiceover awful things about each other, and Sean takes turns stealing each of them away for alone time, so the other girl has to just sit there all by her lonesome and stare at her half-eaten food.
Then finally! It is time for Sean to make his decision, and he gives a speech that lasts for approximately my entire life about how much he respects each of these women, blah blah, blah blah blah, but we all know he will pick TIERRA because she is totally awful, and also because we've already seen her in the previews for next week's episode. Which is sloppy as hell, ABC. So Jackie goes home in tears, while TIERRA cackles maniacally and then stares at the rose until it spontaneously bursts into flames. Evil will always triumph over good, because good is dumb.
Cocktail party! In which everyone tries to warn Sean off on TIERRA. Yeah, good luck with that one. Also: more stupid drama! Sean tries to get Des to tell him that she's pissed at him for keeping TIERRA over Jackie, but she won't come out and say it. Sean is worried that they're not as close anymore. Uhh...okay.
Then Fleiss throws like, a TWIST our way, because TIERRA is the bad girl, right? But then we see all the ladies sitting around in a room, with Des talking about how Jackie was the sweetest girl in the house and how could Sean possibly send her home? Not-so-subtle implication being: TIERRA is a nightmare, and Sean is an idiot for not seeing this. TIERRA, naturally, gets up and leaves the room, and Des is like, what's going on with her? Weird, cuz I love sitting in a room while people say bitchy things about me.
Sean paces around moodily in front of a fireplace. I just keep hoping that this is over, and then is it still not over. Sean pulls DC Lesley aside, hoping to get to the bottom of the TIERRA ridiculousness. What EXACTLY does everyone object to about TIERRA? DC Lesley spells it out: basically, TIERRA is a cold bitch when Sean's not around. But Sean's still all pissy because he wants SPECIFICS about Tierra's awfulness. Like what? She kicks puppies? Eats pickled babies for breakfast?
Then Chris Harrison comes, banging on his wineglass, and it is sweet music to my weary ears. Save me, Chris. Save me.
But wait! Now Chris and Sean are having a heart-to-heart about the DIFFICULT DECISIONS he is about to make. Wait, about what? Doesn't TIERRA already have a rose? Can Sean TAKE AWAY HER ROSE? No, not even Sean can do that. I know he is dashing and blonde and BREAKS THE RULES, but if a rose cannot guarantee immunity, the very foundations of the Bachelor universe will crumble.
So this whole conversation is stupid. Sean isn't sure his Wife is here. (Drink!) This was a bad week blah blah blah. Whatever, Sean. Rose ceremony! Lindsay, Daniella, and TIERRA the succubus already have roses. So the rest go to:
It's overrrr! No, wait. Haha!!! You wish!! Voiceover dude would like to remind us that there is two more hours of this crap, because this week marks a back-to-back, two-night Bachelor MARATHON. And it's going to be every bit as ugly, and gut-wrenching, and exhausting, as an actual marathon. Kill me.
This week, Sean has taken the ladies to the most romantic place in the world to fall in love... Canada!!!! Banff National park, specifically. The ladies are in near-hysterics over how pretty is it. I can't believe I'm still watching this.
Group date! With all those bimbos not going on the one-on-one dates, I guess. The first part of the group date is...canoeing! Way to make the girl with one arm paddle a canoe, you assholes. (And wasn't there canoeing last week? Enough with the canoeing. I mean it. Anybody want a peanut?) And if that wasn't bad enough, the second part of the date involves jumping into the freezing cold water of Lake Louise. The women look less than thrilled about this, with the exception of Lindsay, who seems genuinely psyched about freezing her ass off. ("This is like, a memory to remember and not ever forget!" That's a direct Lindsay quote, you guys. I can't make this shit up.) Sean assure the women that this activity (known 'polar bear diving' or some such) is like, totally safe! Canadians do it on dates all the time! But there's still an EMT and a lifeguard around. You know, just in case.
Tierra is not down with this. She thinks she might DIE. OMINOUS MUSIC.
But they all go for it. (Except for Selma, showing some semblance of sanity.) Because LOVE is like taking a plunge into freezing cold water. Or something. It is an amazing memory to remember and not ever forget.
At the polar-bear diving after party, eveyone toasts to what an awesome day it's been. Except, you know, for the part where Tierra nearly died. Sean and Lesley have this amazingly stilted conversation about how she's like, maybe possibly beginning the process of starting to fall in love with him, and Sean, by way of response, tells her that he's so glad she's there and that he appreciates her so much and 'loves her energy'. That is exactly what you want to hear... from your summer camp counselor. But then they make out, so I guess everything is saved through the magic power of Sean's tongue.
The next akward run-in is with one-arm Sarah, who has brought a bunch of adorable pictures from growing up. Of course they are adorable, and Sean oohs and ahs over them, but privately he says that Sarah talking about meeting her family is a 'reality check'. uh-oh.
Speaking of reality checks, here's TIERRA, who has survived her brush with death and is going to go to that party to claim her man. Of course, when she walks in, all the other girls are talking shit about her and it is like, massively awkward. Sean sweeps in to claim TIERRA and like, congratulate her on being alive or something, while all the other girls return to their snark. "Everybody watch your back. We have a Tierra-ist on our hands," says Lesley. Lesley. Let's go for drinks and make bad puns together. We are soulmates.
Sean talks to TIERRA about like, whether she would want a proposal at the end of this, or something, but I'm pretty sure it's all smoke and mirrors because the one he can't wait to suck face with is wedding dress Lindsay. Yowza. But then at the end of it all, the camper of the day award goes to... Lesley! Tierra is pissed. SHE ALMOST DIED, DAMMIT.
Everyone goes back to their rooms. But then, in a SHOCKING turn of events, Sean pops back in on the ladies to issue a very special rejection. He just doesn't see a forever with Sarah, he says, and he'd rather send her home now than have her suffer through another moment of this bullshit. Sarah reluctlantly agrees. "It's totally okay, she says, even though it's totally not. In the limo, Sarah cries and rambles inarticulately. I would like to give her a hug.
Cocktail party!!! Almost done, you guys. Almost. Done.
Elsewhere, Selma, the hot one whose conservative Iranian family will freak the hell out if she kisses anyone on national TV, has decided to throw caution to the wind. She and Sean share a sweet kiss. Sorry mom and dad!
Speaking of kissing! Here's Lindsay, who insists that Sean not kiss her. This shit is serious! They need to get to know each other. She starts asking Sean questions, but all the while her face is about four inches from his. Non-kissing fail! So then they talk some more, and then, of course, this happens:
Next up: AshLEE. She has trouble 'relinquishing control' to Sean. So she has brought... a blindfold? So Sean can... blindfold her? And like, be the leader, and carry her around, and then set her on a couch, and then kiss her, and I think it's supposed to be sexy? But I'm actually kinda icked out by it. I think this is one of the most deeply heartfelt and deeply disturbing things I've seen on the Bachelor in a while, because I think AshLee is actually really into it, and it speaks volumes about the way these people think about relationships. Darn you, show. Darn you for making me actually think.
But fortunately this is almost over. I'm gonna make it! ROSE CEREMONY. Catherine, Lesley, and Des already have roses. And the other roses go to...
Oh hai, thanks Chris.
Final rose goes to...
TIERRA. I guess it pays to be EVIL. Chris comes back and is all like, Selma, Daniella, sorry you weren't awful enough to make the production decide to keep you for another week. See you on Bachelor Pad!
Both Selma and Daniella are super sad, but it's hard to believe that either of these incredibly beautiful women will have any trouble finding love. Hugs, girls! You were meant for someone with more skin pigmentation.
Inside! Sean congratulates the remaining members of his harem. "I knew that...you six were the six for me." Sweeter words have never been spoken. Until next week, my friends.