The Bachelor Recap Episode 5: Let The Good Times Roll

Photo: Courtesy of ABC.
We rejoin Corinne and Taylor right in the middle of their cozy fireside shouting match, like two mosquitos who’ve been trapped in chardonnay-infused amber for the last week. To review: Taylor thinks Corinne is dumb and annoying, but she isn’t saying so, exactly; Corinne knows that Taylor thinks she is dumb and annoying and has decided to confront her about it, in a way that I would not describe as un-annoying, but somehow comes off better than Taylor anyway. Got it? Good! Believe me, I just saved you a lot of time.

As usual, future Bachelorette star Rachel proves to be the most sensible adult within a five-mile radius. “Don’t be a part of that,” she advises Sarah of this fight. “Be focused on the person you’re here for, period.”

Corinne takes her frustrations with Taylor to Nick directly, saying those magic reality-TV words: “I don’t think that she’s here for the right reasons.” (The right reasons, of course, being publicly dry-humping in a bouncy house and napping.)

The women shiver in the chilly Wisconsin air throughout the rose ceremony. Is there a relief organization I can donate to that will furnish the Bachelor cast with more substantial outwear? The evening’s last rose goes to Taylor, leaving Sarah (who I was sure would last longer!) and Astrid out in the literal and figurative cold.

The gang is off to New Orleans, which — per the introductory B-roll — is a vibrant city of gators, trolleys, brass instruments, gators, colorful masks, and gators.

Rachel gets the week’s coveted one-on-one date. She joins Nick at the French Market, where they browse preserved alligator heads and try on eyeglasses. Their chemistry is undeniable, even as they down oysters to a less-than-sexy zydeco soundtrack. They swing by Café du Monde for beignets, which leave Nick covered in approximately the amount of powdered sugar you’d need to dust a restaurant-sized crime scene for fingerprints. The couple join a second line parade in their honor as the other women look down bitterly upon them from their hotel room window.

That night, Rachel and Nick dine in a warehouse full of Mardi Gras floats (creepy, yet romantic?). Rachel reveals that she visited NOLA earlier that year to attend a funeral, which inspired her to “live life to the fullest.” Her parents, like Nick’s, have been together for more than three decades, and her dad is a terrifying-sounding federal judge. My only complaint about smart, charming, beautiful Rachel is that she is clearly too good for Nick. She gets a rose and, with it, an intense makeout sesh atop one of those floats.

Back in the hotel, Josephine, Kristina, Alexis, Raven, Jaimi, Vanessa, Danielle M., Whitney, Jasmine, and Danielle L. find their names on the group-date card, which means Corinne and Taylor will fight to the death (well, not actual death) in a dreaded two-on-one date.

But before that carnage begins, the rest of the women are bussed out to, wait for it, one of the most haunted houses in Louisiana. (Let the record show that is the most envious I have ever been and will ever be of a Bachelor date.) Raven is notably not having any of this. If they see a ghost, she says, “I’m going to rebuke that thing in the name of Jesus.”

A caretaker named Boo (sure) explains that the house is haunted by May, a little girl who searches for her beloved doll from the other side. He takes them on a tour, pointing out a mysterious object shrouded in a sheet — which Boo refuses to reveal on the grounds that it would make the spirit mad — and May’s own creepy-ass doll.

They remain in the house as night falls. When Nick and the women pull out a Ouija board and ask May if she’s there, the lights flicker off. Raven and Whitney join him in exploring the girl’s room by candlelight and discover that the doll has disappeared. Jasmine futzes with that forbidden sheet-covered object, whatever it is, and a chandelier crashes to the floor.

The rest of this group date unfolds like an amazingly high-concept horror movie, essentially Paranormal Activity hosted by Chris Harrison. Rocking horses move and bookcases tremble without explanation, as the women seemingly muster the same degree of suspension of disbelief to accept that their date has been beset by ghosts that they do to accept that this television program is an effective means of finding a soulmate.

Raven “accidentally” tells Nick she’s in love with him, a first for the season, but he gives the group-date rose to Danielle M, who’d worried that she and Nick had grown apart in the weeks since she won the first one-on-one date.

Fortunately, May has claimed no victims when the sun rises on the morning of the two-on-one date. Taylor and Corinne share a uncomfortable car ride to the bayou, where they climb aboard a boat with Nick. “I don’t have a nanny. I have a master’s degree in clinical mental health counseling,” says Taylor. “Make America Corinne Again,” says Corinne.

On the shore, the trio comes upon a voodoo ritual in progress. A priestess reads Taylor’s tarot cards — she’ll soon be “moving on from a situation that is emotionally toxic” — as Corinne predictably uses her alone time with Nick to badmouth her rival. At Corinne’s request, the priestess presents her with a voodoo doll that is, ahem, “specific to a person.”

The rose goes to…Corinne, of course, because she makes for much better TV.

They abandon Taylor, who has said the phrase “emotional intelligence” approximately 100 times between this week and the last, to fend for herself in the bayou. The voodoo folks perform some kind of moonlight ritual on the ex-contestant, and it occurs to me that maybe she should just stay out here with them, because they seem cool.

Emboldened with bayou magic and determined to speak her piece, Taylor crashes Nick and Corinne’s dinner date, but we’ll have to wait till next week to see how that goes down.

Under the closing credits, Nick wears a Nicolas Cage mask to terrorize Alexis — her two biggest fears being, lest we forget, the actor and aliens. We have entered a very difficult chapter of American history, but it would all be just the slightest, tiniest bit easier for me to bear if I knew that Freeform was going to give Alexis her own dolphin-themed spinoff. Thank you.


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