The Bachelor: Episode 9 - Those Six Little Words
February 29, 2016 by Matt
Welcome The Bachelor Quick Hits for Episode 9 – a/k/a Fantasy Suite Time.
Ben’s Fall From Grace
During the Modern Era of the Bachelor (again, defined as seasons 14-20), we’ve turned on each of our leading men at some point in the season, with the exception of Sean, who somehow succeeded at the impossible task of navigating the entire 17th season of The Bachelor without repulsing or boring the American viewing public. Season 14’s Jake Pavelka infuriated viewers with each rose he delivered to Vienna. If you had to pinpoint a specific moment when America turned on Jake, it was probably episode 5 when Vienna snuck back to Jake’s room following a two-on-one with Gia (may she rest in peace). Brad Womack navigated the following season pretty well, but the many viewers were turned off from the start at the very notion that they were being forced to watch another 25 women pursue the Texan bar owner. They really were. Like Jake, Ben F. upset America by proposing to the season’s villain. In episode 4, he began to burn through the goodwill he had earned while pursuing Ashley H. when he ignored Emily’s warning that Courtney was “not there for the right reasons.” But he torched it all the following week when he secretly joined Courtney for skinny-dipping and intercourse in the ocean. In season 18, Juan Pablo seemed like a promising choice. From his small amount of screen time on Desiree’s season of The Bachelorette, the Spaniard appeared to be mysterious, funny, and charming. However, by episode 2 when Juan Pablo pressured Andi to participate in a photo shoot in the nude, America realized that when it came to Juan Pablo, less was more. Unlike with Juan Pablo, America knew exactly what it was getting with friendly, but boring farmer Chris Soules as the Bachelor. And, as expected, he bored us from the first second of the first episode until the last second of the last episode.
That takes us to Ben. Until last night, he was poised to eclipse Sean as the most likable Bachelor of the Modern Era. And, then, just like that, in the ninth episode he gave America ample reason to turn on him. Sure this happy-go-lucky all-American boy could have handled the Amanda situation better last week and let her go before meeting her kids. But we gave him the benefit of the doubt. Maybe he truly didn’t know if he was ready to be a father until he met Amanda’s daughters. Maybe his feelings for the other three women grew more than he expected them to over hometown week. He’s still a good guy down deep, we concluded. And then, this week, he did something so utterly unthinkable and brutal, not to mention absolutely idiotic, that it is hard to even process. Something so insane and cruel that Chris Harrison couldn’t do anything but smirk when he learned about it. Something that the worst and/or stupidest guys we know in real life have never done. Something that Juan Pablo never did. Something that Kanye West and Donald Drumpf wouldn’t even try to pull off. Yep, on consecutive days, before sleeping with them both, Ben Higgins told two separate women that he loves them on national TV. That’s on top of sleeping with Caila knowing full well that he prefers the other two enough to say that he loves them over the next two days. Don’t be fooled by his smile and his earnest plea that he really doesn’t know what to do and genuinely cares about them both. This was simultaneously a dick move and a moronic move – no other way to see it. In the show’s history of dick moves, only Jason Mesnick hurting Melissa the way he did stands up to this one. We eventually absolved Mesnick for his cruelty only because Melissa went on to a successful post-show career and he and Molly are still in a loving relationship with children. Time will tell if Ben will similarly redeem himself. Either way, congratulations, Sean Lowe. You can rest easy and pop the champagne, Mercury Morris style. Another season is in the books, and you remain the only Bachelor in the Modern Era to escape the season unscathed in the court of public opinion.
Ben's Episode 9 Grade
A for who he gave the roses to. He couldn’t go wrong.
F for the way he did it. He slept with all of them, blindsided one of them, and told two of them he loved them, only to send one of those two home in two weeks.
A for drama and creativity. With all of the criticism lodged above, this was the single most enjoyable fantasy suite episode to watch in 20 seasons.
Best Fantasy Performances
Jo Jo emerged as the points leader with two more kisses than Lauren B. and a helicopter ride and hot tub experience to boot.
See you next week for the always glorious Women Tell-All.