Welcome to Peru, Arie's favourite place. I haven't seen him this excited since the last time he saw a car. He's hitting the desert with Kendall, Lauren, and Becca following Tia's surprising elimination last episode. We know from Sunday night's Women Tell All that some sort of drama is ahead for our Bachelor, but for now, this episode is all about a different big moment the show has been teasing since literally January. A scorned ex returns, but who does he belong to? In true Bachelor fashion, we're not getting to the exciting part until the very end. Let's start with the dates.
Arie's date with Kendall begins with him saying these words: "Dune buggying is like a relationship, there are ups and down." Okay!
Our two lovebirds are, you guessed it, dune buggying! It's fun, it's cute, but Kendall is feeling unsure. She describes previously feeling like a novelty when it comes to relationships. She's definitely one of the quirkier contestants, thanks mostly to her interest in taxidermy, but she's more than a caricature. She's certainly falling in love — and Arie says he is, too — but they're not quite there yet. That doesn't stop him from offering her the key to the fantasy suite, which she accepts. Maybe this night together will give them what they need to take things to the next level.
The next morning, their progress is unclear. Arie knows how she takes her eggs, and they definitely hooked up. As they eat breakfast, Arie asks Kendall how she's feeling, "emotionally, not physically." Mom! Dad! Gross!
Just as soon as it began, it's over, and Arie's onto the next. He and Lauren hop on a plane to look at the Nazca Lines from the sky. Arie is loving it. I don't know if anyone's ever been as thrilled as he was to point out the window at a drawing of a spider and go, "Look!" Unfortunately, Lauren doesn't seem quite as into it, prompting Arie to voice something I've personally been feeling this whole time: Lauren is so quiet that it's hard to gauge what she's thinking.
This hesitation comes from her nerves, and Lauren explains that she's wary of falling further for Arie because that means the risk for hurt is higher. She's so torn up about this, in fact, that she's actually contemplated giving up entirely, something that really throws Arie off.
A quick time out — I just want to say that most of the women's issues with their relationship with Arie stem from the actual concept of the show. Kendall says there hasn't been enough time to get to know him, Lauren is insecure about sharing him with other women. Right! Because this is not how normal relationships work, and it drives me insane to watch them grapple with problems that could easily be fixed were they not on a reality TV show. Sorry, just needed to get that off my chest. Consider this my own personal talking head.
That night at dinner, Arie eases Lauren's nerves by telling her he loves her, a first for him so far this season, and offering her the key to the fantasy suite. She accepts, and things seem to be back on track for this couple I can't for the life of me understand.
Last but not least, it's time for Becca's date. Arie takes her sailing on a catamaran, and the two spend the whole time just being big ole goofballs, thanks to that famous Arie Luyendyk Jr. wit. Becca says she likes that they can be weird with each other, and later confesses that she's decided she's going to tell him she loves him. Arie can't possible be in love with two different women, right?
Wrong! After Arie takes her to a yurt in the middle of freaking nowhere, Rebecca finally confesses her feelings, and Arie says it back. For the third time in a row, our Bachelor gets a yes for the fantasy suite, but I have to be honest, this time around feels a bit like drawing the short straw. Rather than staying in clean and well-stocked hotel rooms, the two instead go glamping, sleeping on a bed under a tent with no actual bathroom in sight. Was their first night together punctuated by them having to periodically duck and out pee in the sand? If Becca was thrown off by this, she didn't show it. She was absolutely glowing until the next day when — dun, dun, dun — the plot twist finally happened.
Becca's ex Ross, who was with her for seven years, shows up, saying he's not there to be on the show, he just wants "his girl" back, but somehow he's still dressed to the nines in a suit. He interrupts Arie peacefully drinking tea to declare his intentions, and it's a surprisingly civil conversation considering one of the men involved believes his ex-girlfriend is his property.
Ross goes out in search of Becca, and when he knocks on her door, he does not get the welcome he was hoping for. Becc takes out the trash, basically, calling him out for being selfish and for this stupid, stupid, not-at-all-orchestrated-by-producers idea.
"I have no business being here," Ross says as he leaves, something he maybe could have realized before shooting himself in the foot on national TV.
Worried that this will cause Arie to hesitate, Becca goes to him to debrief. He's understandably shaken, and while she assures him things are over, Arie is worried about the presence of a seven-year relationship being in Becca's not-too-distant past.
This is a problem only a rose ceremony can solve. After having said "I love you" to two women, it's not surprising that the one he pulls aside is the one who didn't reach that milestone. Instead of proceeding with the ceremony, Arie once again asks Kendall to chat privately, where he ultimately things with her. I think it was a classy move to do this away from the other women, and to not put her through the ceremony. While she's definitely sad, Kendall seems to be on the same page.
That leaves us with Becca and Lauren. On Sunday, Chris Harrison said he meant it this time when he claimed it was a finale like none we've ever seen before. All I know is it ends in tears — and a very angry Caroline.
The Dearly Departed: Kendall
Lauren Count: Still one (1).
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