The house takes a trip to Mexico on episode 5 of The Bachelor season 20

The Bachelor Episode 5 Recap: Beer In Mexico

February 01, 2016 / by / 1 Comment

On episode five of The Bachelor, the house participates in the most important televised popularity contest of the night, which in this case is located in Mexico City, not Iowa. Welcome to our weekly recap of The Bachelor.

Episode five of The Bachelor kicked off, not with our usual household smarmy face of Chris Harrison, but rather with a cut to the household smarm of George Stephanopoulos. George very thoughtfully reminds us that there’s another televised talent show going on in Iowa, and that Steph and the rest of the ABC News team will be on hand to keep us updated with news reports and reminders of the slow, painful demise of network television news. Because there’s nothing like watching midwesterners awkwardly mill about in middle school gymnasiums and church basements to put you in the right adolescent emotional state to get pumped for The Bachelor.

After a weekend in Vegas, this week the house heads to Mexico City, probably because Spectre was Ben’s favorite Bond movie. As Ben notes in his voiceover, the city is the political and cultural capital of Mexico, so the women take advantage by staying inside the Four Seasons and downing champagne. We find out that Amanda was chosen for the one-on-one date with a message to “put all our eggs in one basket,” which might not be the best thing to say to a single mother. Olivia feigns happiness, and tells the camera that she’s certain that Ben is not interested in dating a single mother.

Ben kicks the date off by waking up all the women at 4:20am — yeaaaaahhh buddy, didn’t know that was your thing — because it’s important to see how your potential future wife will react when you wake her up in the dead of night by shining a flashlight on her and the 10 other people she’s sharing a room with and loudly asking who’s weave this is to the room and the camera crew behind you.

Amanda and Ben’s date is pretty dope, as this time they take a totally new form of air transportation: a hot air balloon tour over Mexico City and the ancient city of Tenochtitlan. Ben does a pretty impressive job of re-stating facts and the proper pronunciation of ‘Tenochtitlan,’ but the major drawback is hearing Amanda’s baby-talk voice as they picnic outside of the ancient pyramids in a stunning display of American cultural imperialism.

Later, Amanda opens up to Ben about her past divorce and what it’s like to be a single mother, because, in case you hadn’t heard, a major (only?) portion of Amanda’s identity on this show comes from the fact that she is, in fact, a single mother. To be fair, her past marriage did sound pretty shitty — especially finding out about your husband’s infidelity while pregnant with your second child — and Ben responds with some well-delivered platitudes. Good work Ben.

Next it’s time for the group date, which this time features Jubilee, The Notorious B.T.V., JoJo, Caila, Emily, Lauren B., Jennifer, Leah, and Olivia (which also means that Lauren H gets the second one-on-one date). The group date is supposed to be a “cultural immersion,” so naturally the house heads to the nearest mall in Mexico City.

To start things off, the group takes a crash course in important every day Spanish phrases that might be useful for the women, like “I’m falling in love with you,” “I love you,” and (presumably) “Oh. My. God. I cannot believe Olivia just did that.”

Then we find out — from a team of chefs, one of whom looks suspiciously like H. Jon Benjamin — that the challenge will be for the women to split up into teams and use their knowledge of Spanish to purchase ingredients for their own Mexican recipes. Olivia and Jubilee fight over who gets Ben on their team, BTV and JoJo bro out with some beer instead of shopping, and Olivia and Ben absolutely pound mezcal. It’s fun to see Jubilee pumped af when her dish wins out of all the food prepared, but nothing is better than the look of satisfaction on Ben’s face when he unleashes “I’m no longer The Bachelor. I’m the Spatula-r” to the camera.

At the after party, Olivia immediately endears herself to the rest of the house by grabbing Ben first, and although no one’s happy about her boxing out of them, nobody’s yet to come forward with a viable solution to stopping her. She’s like the Trump of the house, but with slightly more disregard for her fellow women.

Most importantly, however, Jubilee confronts Ben after he and Leah snog on the street. Her insecurities flow out, which is pretty reasonable and genuine considering the toll of competing with 9 other assertive and spiteful women on a reality dating show. It’s the first emotional confrontation that trends towards genuine feelings, and unfortunately results in Ben telling Jubilee that he doesn’t see their relationship progressing and Jubilee breaking into tears. It’s a bummer because Jubilee did both legitimately seem interested in Ben and equally poorly suited emotionally for a show like The Bachelor (really only a positive credit to her), and she closes her screen time by saying she “feels like the most unlovable person in the world” — oh wait, where have we heard that one before!?

Ben then has to give a heartfelt announcement to the rest of the group date that Jubilee has left, which they all take with feigned sadness and inner glee. JoJo sneakily uses the moment as an excuse to get some personal time with Ben, because nothing eases the pain of a breakup like making out with one of your 10 other remaining girlfriends. Olivia ends the group date with a rose, because sometimes unlikable try-hards do win arbitrary popularity contests — just ask Ted Cruz.

For their one-on-one date, Ben and Lauren H. head to a design studio, where Ben tries on one of the most incredible fedoras seen on television since Michael Jackson in the 1995 MTV Music Awards. Lauren H. continues her bid as one of the stronger remaining women in the house, getting invited to walk in the Mexican City fashion week and having a blast. Although to be fair, she’s had a lot of practice these past couple of weeks with hanging around catty, emaciated women. Lauren stands out as pretty fun-loving and energetic, but the most impressive part of the date is Ben’s stoically straight face while wearing this goddamn shirt:

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Later that night, Lauren H and Ben share a dinner that, per usual, they do not touch. Instead, Lauren reveals that her ex cheated on her, further putting Ben’s listening face through the paces. To Lauren H’s tremendous credit, she ends up actually talking about her life experiences and how they shaped her, rather than just talking about the concept of opening up to somebody like some other contestants we could mention.

Meanwhile, an anti-Olivia coalition is growing in strength, spearheaded by the cold-hearted sister-killer Emily. That resentment is fueled by Olivia describing Amanda’s situation with her children as being like an episode of Teen Mom, which seems to genuinely hurt Amanda, who counters that Olivia is just like Jersey Shore‘s Snooki. Olivia ends up crying tears that could rival only Hillary Clinton’s in terms of authenticity, although that’s probably just because she’s upset that so many references were made to tv shows outside of the ABC family.

Emily ends up snitching on Olivia to Ben, which brings other women out of the woodwork to talk about their negative view of Olivia and serves as a reminder that holy shit maybe Emily is a force to be reckoned with.

At last it’s time for Ben to caucus with Chris Harrison, and out of nowhere Ben asks to speak privately with Olivia. We’re left with a cliffhanger, to be determined if Ben will — or procedurally even could — take back a rose from Olivia after giving her one after the group date. We’ll need to wait until next week, but one thing’s for certain: the only thing stronger than a good Iowa ground game or Mexican blanco tequila is the advertising demographic reach of The Bachelor.