What's supposed to happen on the famed Fantasy Suite episode of each season of The Bachelor is sex.
This part of Monday night's episode went as planned. Well, they don't film the sex, so we don't know for sure, but ABC used its "they had sex" formula three times. Ben and three remaining contestants went to Jamaica, Ben brought each one into a fantasy suite, he commented on how nice the room was three times -- you got your end of the deal, Sandals Jamaica -- the cameras left three times, and three times ABC played romantic music over a shot of a hotel room's lights or curtain closing to indicate that it's sex time.
No, we don't have video of the sex. Yes, we do have this clip of fireworks going off as Ben and Caila spent the night together. FYI, fireworks equal sex.
I can only imagine how much this confused everybody else at Sandals Jamaica. "Fireworks? Is today some sort of holiday?" "No -- the guy from The Bachelor is doing sex here. With his penis!"
What's not supposed to happen on the famed Fantasy Suite episode of The Bachelor is the bachelor is not supposed to tell the contestants he's in love with them. In fact, the bachelor is never supposed to do this, until there's just one person left.
This part of Monday night's episode did not go as planned! Ben tells both Lauren B. and JoJo that he's in love with them. That's one more than the amount of people he's supposed to tell he's in love with!
In fact, The Bachelor is kinda never supposed to tell people he's in love with them, up until the last episode, when he's eliminated everybody but one person. It almost seems like everybody is briefed on this beforehand, to prevent the TV show from being ruined. Every contestant seems to be under the impression that even if Ben does love them, he couldn't possibly say it until the very end.
Just look at Monday night's episode. First, Caila explains that Ben probably isn't telling her that he loves her because he "can't say" that he loves her:
When Ben tells JoJo he loves her, her first reaction is shock. I can't quite make out what she says, but I think it's "are you allowed to say that?"
(ABC's closed captioning just says "honestly?" which is very much not what she says.)
Finally, Lauren B. explains her story to Chris Harrison, expressing her bewilderment over Ben's requiting of her love:
Let's examine the facial expression Harrison makes when he realizes Ben's situation:
lmao chris harrison's face when he realizes Ben told both girls he loved them pic.twitter.com/mZuDm9Yx9f— Mina Kimes (@minakimes) March 1, 2016
At the beginning of every season, the bachelor gathers the 30 or so contestants and exclaims "I BELIEVE MY WIFE IS IN THIS ROOM." It's pretty much the same speech detectives in 1800s murder mysteries give after locking the doors to the mansion to ensure the murderer stays in the house. He can only love one of these people, and he's going to investigate the clues and find out who it is.
With that premise, you can see why it's an essential ground rule for the bachelor to never say he loves a contestant until the very end. If the bachelor can only love one of these 30 or so people, and he tells one of them he loves them, the show's over. Either that, or he's a big lying jerk, right?
But Ben doesn't seem to be a big lying jerk. He actually seems pretty good-natured. But he's dull, completely devoid of personality, and maybe a touch of stupid. These traits combine to make him giddy and dumbfounded that all these beautiful women like him simultaneously, and he doesn't have any emotional response to all that besides falling in love with all of them.
A few weeks back, we noticed Ben has a kinda hilarious trait of just repeating whatever a woman says to him, because he's not very good at formulating his own thoughts.
Jubilee tells Ben that she has many layers. Ben tells her he likes that she has layers. Later, Jubilee tells Ben she feels like she has to walk on eggshells around the house. Ben explains to her housemates that Jubilee feels like she's walking on eggshells. Like many parrots, Ben is very pretty, but his conversational capabilities are limited to the things you just said to him.
Ben the handsome parrot is back at it again. The most beautiful women he's ever met told him they loved him, and, uh, might as well just say it back, so, uh, hey, he loves you -- and you, too!
So now Ben has already told two women he loves them, and Caila is the third. Unfortunately, she doesn't know this, so she goes over to surprise Ben.
At first, she walks into an empty room, searching for Ben, only to find nobody.
I couldn't stop thinking about Joe Pesci's death in Goodfellas. (This post is advertised as containing Bachelor spoilers, apologies if I just spoiled Goodfellas for anybody.)
For some reason mobsters in mob movies always tell people they're about to kill they're about to go do something nice and fun when they're actually getting whacked. In The Godfather Fredo Corleone thinks he's just on a fun fishing trip when he gets shot in the back of the head. Michael's brother-in-law Carlo is told he's going to Las Vegas, and they even let him pack his bags and somebody carries them to the trunk of the car before somebody strangles him to death. With Pesci in Goodfellas, he's becoming a Made Man, and he gets dressed up all nicely for the ceremony. But when he walks into the room? Whoops! Boom.
It seems unnecessary. Why lie if you're just gonna kill the dude? First of all, it makes them let their guard down and go to a place they otherwise wouldn't. Secondly, it gives the killer the satisfaction of knowing that in their victim's last moments, they got their hopes up, only to have their last worldly thought be "SHIT."
The Bachelor is great at this. It's why the shows producers apparently told Caila it would be a nice and fun idea to surprise Ben on his off day, knowing full well that the scenes of her happily sprinting to her boyfriend would lead to an especially weepy situation five minutes later when he dumped her. The show is designed to make people think they're falling in love with each other -- beautiful romantic vacations! Amazing dates! Roses and stuff! -- but also designed for all but one person to lose.
And it's why I'm sure the show's producers are fine with Ben breaking Rule No. 1 -- DON'T TELL THE PEOPLE YOU'RE IN LOVE WITH THEM. Right now we have two women who think they're The One who is going to win this reality show and marry the handsome guy who keeps taking them on fancy trips to exotic places. It's a fairy tale!
One of them is about to have their hearts broken in spectacular fashion, and it's going to be spectacular television.
The Bachelor Power Rankings, Week 9
(Remember, these aren't power rankings of who will win, but rather power rankings of who will actually win by getting invited onto further Bachelor-related TV shows and therefore continue living in a semi-vacation with free booze and appear on TV often enough to get enough Instagram followers that you can make side money hawking beauty products.)
First things first: I waited two months to hear Ben say "I'm in love with JoJo" to roughly the same cadence as OT Genasis in his hit song "CoCo" and HE FINALLY DID IT. Of course, Ben is not In Love With The CoCo, because in real life he once found several kilograms of cocaine on the beach and CALLED THE COPS ABOUT IT, so this is as close we'll get to him endorsing Mr. Genasis.
Second off: Ben's date with JoJo was to a waterfall.
JOJO, YOU FOOL! DID YOU NOT LISTEN TO LISA "LEFT-EYE" LOPES??!?!?!?!?! THIS IS THE EXACT MOST DANGEROUS PLACE FOR LOVE.
Third off: I feel like JoJo could be the bachelorette if she loses? She seems more interesting than Lauren? Her brother was already on a reality TV show of the exact same type so maybe she wants to do it, too?
2. Lauren B. (who is the only Lauren left but we keep the initial for some reason)
Ben took Lauren B. to a beach where they released baby turtles into the sea:
I hope they don't get eaten by the seafaring pigs from the Bahamas!
Last week Amanda brought Ben to the beach with her real human kids, and then she got eliminated. Fool! Ben is not romantically stimulated by your ability to reproduce your pathetic human flesh; his heart only melts when witnessing the propagation of the cold-blooded masses. Somebody else start a conspiracy theory blog about how Ben is a reptilian and this show is placed on our TV by the illuminati overlords to teach us to find love for our reptilian leaders.
Later they went to a bar where people were playing reggae, the only evidence this episode took place in Jamaica:
Can you find them? It should be easy!
The depths to which Lauren and Ben are not enjoying this concert are profound. We already knew Ben didn't like cocaine, but now I'm convinced he has never ever ever evereverevereverevereverever smoked weed, either.
For the past few weeks I've been convinced Lauren would win this show, but now I have second thoughts! The people who made this show did a good job making me have second thoughts!
All the way back in Week 1 we told Ben to marry Caila because dangit, you're a handsome boring software salesman and this woman is a pretty, slightly more interesting software saleswoman. He needed to marry this woman because quite frankly everybody else will realize he's boring as all hell within a year.
Maybe she realized he was boring too quickly?
Of course it's possible the show's producers edited this raft ride to look more awkward than it was, but boy, that's a lot of uninterrupted silence!
Remember, Ben eliminated every non-blonde girl besides Caila pretty much as soon as he possibly could, so she was beating the odds by sticking around. But Ben just wasn't going to let a non-blonde girl win this show.