The Bachelor Season 20, Episode 3 Recap: High Times & Fat Toes

Photo: Courtesy of ABC.
Welcome back to The Bachelor, a fascinating alternate universe where hot tubs appear out of nowhere, Time With Ben is the new Powerball, and Olivia’s Fat Toes somehow trump both Olivia’s Mouth and Jubilee’s Horrific Past in a stunning attention grab during Week 3.

First up, flight attendant Lauren B. gets the first one-on-one date: a stunt-driven biplane tour of L.A. “I’m nervous, but I’m also, liiiiiiiike, relaxing?” Lauren B. tosses into the breeze. It works: The pair’s conversation and accompanying voice-overs are a magic carpet ride of vague, noncommittal statements such as, “Ben is someone you could really see yourself falling for” and, “It was nice just to sit by you — it’s fun to share stuff like that.” These his-and-hers robots seem like a perfect match, and neither of their mainframes are destroyed by the potentially dangerous contents of a hot tub plopped into the middle of a canyon. They make out vigorously to celebrate. Dangit, she’s cute. Is this it, then? Does Ben see his wife in this hot tub?

Not before Lauren B. passes the dinner/philosophy test. “What does life look like to you?” Ben asks his favorite new piggyback partner. Is it, like…a shape? A color? A strong feeling? The wind rustling through her carefully maintained day planner? Not exactly. Lauren B.’s worldview revolves around her yard-obsessed father: the simplest, kindest, most sensitive person in the world. The reason she’s so picky with the men she dates is because she wants a husband who can basically play the role of her dad for their future kids. Hey, you know what? Ben understands family. His dad recently had triple bypass heart surgery, and until Ben helped his mom work through the fear of losing his old man, he’d forgotten “the depth at which that love can exist.”

Lauren B. pauses nervously, and I wonder if she’s about to admit that unfortunately for Ben, she’s still waiting for her dad to work up the nerve to finally ask her out. Instead, she confesses something even more honest: “I want to meet your family.”
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No worries, girl! This sudden burst of humanity ends up winning Lauren B. an immunity rose.

The next day, a dozen of the restless shut-ins zombie-walk into the Los Angeles Coliseum to sweat it out with U.S. Women’s Soccer standouts Alex Morgan and Kelley O’Hara. No one wants to play soccer — duh, this is America. But as TIME WITH BEN is at stake, the ladies segue into beast mode in a fierce Stars vs. Stripes battle for exclusive after-party privileges.
It’s a great way to let off steam after being cooped up at Depression Manor for days. Scrappy goalie Emily (job description: “Twin”) quickly emerges as MVP, but the Stripes outsmart their compromised enemies in sudden death, leaving the Stars to shuffle offstage, back to a life of misery and mimosas. Only on The Bachelor would such a paradoxical existence make any sense.

At the after-party, Olivia leads Ben up to his hotel room and right out onto the balcony, so all her underlings can admire her prowess — and probably because she knew the guardrail would shield her despicable lower half for the time being, that sneaky bitch! But Olivia can’t hide her flaws forever — not if Amber has anything to say about it.
Jami (there’s a Jami?) tattles on Amber for calling out certain elements of Olivia’s “appearances,” but Olivia and her incisive, hard-hitting-newscaster face are ready for a crisis. She’s always known about her calves. No, her cankles. No? Wait. You mean…her…toes? They were talking about her toes?!

Later on, desperate for a new target, most of the ladies gang up on 23-year-old war veteran Jubilee as they all wait for Ben to show up for her one-on-one date. Clearly uncomfortable under the female gaze, Jubilee lashes out at Ben for being late and jokingly wonders if anyone else wants to go on her date, which gives the rest of the ladies something to freak out about for the remainder of the day. They themselves would NEVER joke about…well, anything, probably, but certainly not something as sacred as Time With Ben. “I would die to be on that helicopter,” Jojo assures the camera and society. Oh, yeah? Prove it, lady. Die for Ben. Bachelor Nation dares you.
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Jubilee is just not a princess, okay? She prefers hot dogs to caviar (and would never spit those out, just for the record). It takes a while for her to warm up, but as soon as Ben LOLs at her calling him a “white boy” on the spa’s shuffleboard court, it’s smooth sailing in a sea of bubbles. Plus, there’s wine, and that always helps. Ben and Jubes eagerly caress each other in yet another hot tub, her dagger-nails loosening up his various stress areas. Ben had been on his feet for at least a few minutes, so he really needed this.

Now that they’re finally relaxed and comfortable with each other, Ben prompts Jubilee to expand on why she hasn’t been back to her home country, what that means to her, and why that “kind of holds you back.” Jeez, Ben. If you must know, Jubilee feels she can’t go back to Haiti unless it’s with someone special. Also, her whole family died there, so she deals with a lot of guilt. “I’m the only surviving person I know of with my bloodline,” Jubilee whispers through tears. How do you not give a rose to that?

Ben loves, loves, loves, loves that Jubilee “has so many layers. That’s what I want,” he claims before sealing the deal with the magic words: “I can definitely see myself falling in love with Jubilee.” Do you think production makes him recite that line for each of the ladies? I don’t know why they wouldn’t!

Jubilee returns to Depression Manor to negative fanfare. The others can’t believe she’s back after making the disgusting insinuation that she’d give up Time With Ben. Kindergarten teacher Lauren H. goes so far as to warn viewers that Ben is probably looking for a wife who’ll get along with “the other soccer moms” and “set up playdates,” etc. So, NOT JUBILEE. Good god, this kindergarten teacher is a nightmare. Are all women nightmares?

Let’s not worry our pretty little heads about that for now. At the pre-Rose Ceremony cocktail party, Ben announces that two of his family friends have just died in a plane crash. What the hell? He’s crying. Shouldn’t he just take the night off? Nah, it’s cool, he’ll use this as a learning opportunity to see whether any of the ladies give a crap about his well-being. First up is Olivia, who attempts to provide comfort the only way she knows how: yapping about herself in front of a camera. As Ben slowly analyzes all the data he’s receiving (people have written blogs about Olivia’s cankles), the truth hits him like a thick calf in the face: the comfort she’s casting into the universe right now is for her, not him. Plus, bitch has fat toes. Screw this! Ben moves on. Amanda the single mom knows what’s up. Emotions, etc. Baby voice. Yawn. She’s here for him.

Amber, however, seems to be here for DRAMA as she confronts Jubilee about hogging Time With Ben when she already has a rose. But Amber has a rose, too, so her emergence as a mean girl right in front of the Bachelor is extra tragic. For someone who prides herself on teachable moments, this returning contestant has no clue what she’s doing. Maybe her programming is faulty? Either, or.

Suddenly, Lace, who along with all of her alter egos has been quiet all week, pulls Ben aside to wrench herself free before he can cut her at the Rose Ceremony. Classic Lace! “Gotta go work on myself, bye!” I love it. Cheers to the drunkest one on premiere night for getting her priorities straight. Lace comes first, love Lace, always be Lacing, etc.

Meanwhile, Ben’s official rejects of the week are Shushanna and Jami, who’s learned a valuable lesson from her time here: “Don’t ever expect anything from humans.” Wait, which humans? Wasn’t she supposed to be here for Ben?

To sum up: It’s all complicated. Cankles kill. And if you’re still single at 23, isn’t it about time you gave up, too?

See you next week for Olivia’s meltdown in Vegas! #VivaLasCankles


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