The Bachelor Season 20 Episode 7 Recap: Back Home in Indiana
L.A., Mexico City, and the Bahamas are fine and all, but know what’s really the sexiest place on Earth? North-Central Indiana. Welcome to our weekly recap of The Bachelor.
Strap in boys and girls, we’re headed to the cradle of America, the nation’s crossroads, the home of the KKK and Peyton Manning’s wife’s totally legit HGH clinic. That’s right, we’re headed to Indiana!
Warsaw, Indiana, to be more exact, the so-called Orthopedic Capital of the World, if delusions of grandeur are your kind of thing. Warsaw’s also our fierce Bachelor Ben’s hometown, not to mention a near-perfect stand-in for Pawnee, Indiana. It’s unclear what’s more out of place in wholesome Warsaw — Ben in the leather jacket that the producers made him wear, or the women forced to walk through town tossing leaves at one another. We meet Ben’s parents at the local diner, who in true Bachelor fashion don’t eat anything but instead both look on as his dad attempts to mask his disappointment that his son didn’t try to bang two twins on the show.
Ben picks the women up at the lake that Warsaw’s 1% live around, and Emily boldly declares to the camera that, “If Ben were to pick me, I’d come here and just make babies all day.” Dream big Emily. Dream big.
Ben asks Lauren B out on a date to see his hometown, because showing the girl I’m dating along with five other people my middle school, high school, and church is always my go-to second date idea. They make out on the bench front seat of a Chevy pickup truck Ben almost certainly stole from Chris Soule, before visiting the Baker Youth Club where Ben worked as a kid. It’s a pretty sweet time that showcases Ben’s roots and future as a Republican Congressman, especially when he loses a halfcourt shot contest to a the white, pudgy, frosted-tipped 12-year-old Hoosier version of Steph Curry. The day is capped off by Indiana Pacers stars Paul George and George Hill showing up, because clearly ABC didn’t think about how bad of an idea it would be to let Paul George meet your potential future wife.
Afterwards, Lauren brings up last week’s conversation where Leah accused Lauren of acting differently in front of Ben as she does towards the rest of the house. The two quickly toss aside that arbitrary conflict, and jump right into the couch make out sesh. Later they go to Rex’s Rendezvous, Ben’s favorite dive bar, which pulls some rave reviews on Yelp. As the
locals visitors from Sterling, VA say,
“What can I say LOCAL LOCAL LOCAL, in the best possible way. Love it. Burgers are amazing yum. It’s the best dive ever. People are cool and chilled. It’s a fully stocked bar. Steak fries yum. I went with the mushroom Swiss with bacon. . Bartender RAE is very cool. If you are ever in WARSAW IN come here worth every bite.”
Next up Ben asks JoJo on a date to the Windy City. The girls are a little confused as to what city is the “Windy City,” which is fair considering the wind farms located off I-65 in West Lafayette. The two visit Wrigley Field, home of Ben’s favorite perennial disappointment the Chicago Cubs, although considering they’re not ripping cigs and Old Style or vomiting onto Clark Street, they don’t look like any Cubs fans I’ve ever met.
JoJo and Ben get to walk out onto the field at Wrigley, wearing Mr. and Mrs. Higgins jerseys, because it certainly wouldn’t be the first time that the Cubs ever jumped the shark with a team offer. Ben gets to walk up to the plate like a less articulate Kyle Schwarber, and the two spend time lounging in the outfield watching themselves projected onto Tom Ricketts’ UNHOLY ABOMINATION OF A VIDEO SCOREBOARD.
The two get to pretend like interns didn’t put their names onto the scoreboard, and share a dinner that they don’t touch in the middle of center field, as if Chicago didn’t have thousand of other restaurants that they could not touch their food at. Ben questions if JoJo’s feelings are actually there, JoJo says she’s worried to care about somebody who doesn’t reciprocate those feelings, and the whole thing feels like a missed opportunity for a much better date.
The next day, it’s time for the group date, which pits Becca The Virgin, Amanda, and Caila against one another for one group date rose. Amanda tries to fly a kite while wearing heels, which is only slightly less hilarious than watching BTV and Amanda try to paddle a rowboat while sulking that Ben is sharing a boat with Caila. Ben continues being withholding towards BTV in a seeming attempt to push her away before breaking up with her, while Amanda talks about her kids in a voice that has to sound more kid-talk than her own girls’ voices.
At the end of the group date, Amanda gets the rose and more time with Ben, because the producers will not be denied their god-given right to broadcast Amanda’s daughters on national tv.
After the group date, Amanda and Ben head to “you know, just do normal things,” like a totally-not-corporate-tie-in with McDonald’s as the two work behind the counter. Later the two continue doing normal Indiana things by making out in their McDonald’s booth.
After their trip behind the curtains of working class America, Amanda and Ben are treated to the Warsaw Carnival, which apparently the entirety of north-central Indiana has shown up for (although Li’L Sebastian is conspicuously absent). The whole town cheers on Ben and Amanda’s dissolution of the institution of marriage in America, and generally treat the two like the biggest thing in Indiana since meth first came over the Canadian border.
Emily’s one-on-one date with Ben is next on the agenda, which ends up being a trip to Ben’s house to meet with his parents. Ben’s MILFy parents don’t even bother hiding their lack of respect towards Emily, who tells his mother that her greatest goal in life is to be an NFL cheerleader. Ben’s parents, not impressed by Emily and trying to maintain his father’s apparent bid to be the next governor of Indiana, passive aggressively tell Ben about their disapproval with Emily in the way only midwestern parents know how.
Ben, convinced that he can’t keep Emily around any longer while feeling nothing but revulsion towards her, decides to break up with her in the most savage way possible: on the dock outside the house, where all the other women can spy on them. Emily takes it well, because she is a vicious, backstabbing monster capable of no emotion but spite, and is probably excited to finally take some time off and focus on her occupation as a twin.
Before the rose ceremony, things take a turn for the emotional, as Ben breaks down on leaf-covered church steps that feel vaguely reminiscent of Halloweentown, because subtlety is something reserved for networks who broadcast the Grammy’s.
Finally, it’s the rose ceremony, where Ben chooses the four women whose homes he’ll invade next week. Amanda already has her misbegotten rose, and Ben gives his remaining three roses to Lauren B, JoJo, and Caila. Becca, now dubbed a two-time loser in love on national tv, doesn’t react well, considering she very specifically asked Ben not to blindside her at their group date.
Poor Becca. May she find love and somebody willing to date a virgin some day before it gets weird.