As a long-time watcher of "The Bachelor" I knew to expect a dramatic Episode 5, but even I wasn't prepared for this one.
The episode begins with a prelude to what we're about to see: Our first sex scandal and the first medical "emergency."
After the dramatic prelude, Bachelor Chris is standing in a field of hot-air balloons in Santa Fe and I laugh out loud at the obvious metaphor.
Back at the mansion, Chris Harrison tells the women they will be joining Bachelor Chris, and Megan, the makeup artist, is excited because she's "never been out of the country" and "can't wait to be on a beach resort where everyone wears a sombrero."
Bachelor Chris lets us know "we're at the stage where it's going to work or it's not" because in real life, five weeks of dating is a sure sign for the future of the relationship.
The first date card arrives and Jade shares the note from Bachelor Chris that reads, "Carly, let's come together… Chris." See also: Sexual innuendo No. 1.
We're given a theatrical shot of Bachelor Chris standing alone in the desert with an eagle flying above. Carly, the cruise-ship singer, exits her limo and does that annoying thing that small girls do when they see their boyfriends as she runs to jump into his open arms.
Bachelor Chris and Carly walk through an empty house desperately searching for a mystery person. When they make their way outside, they see a woman wearing a robe and feathers as earrings meditating by the pool, and we quickly learn she is a "love and intimacy mentor" who uses words like "juiciness" to describe a passionate relationship. That's No. 2.
Bachelor Chris calls her a "love guru" and for the second time, I laugh out loud. We are now forced to watch the most uncomfortable date in the history of "The Bachelor."
The "love guru" tells them that they are going to conduct a few exercises that are important to a healthy relationship as she cleanses them with sage. She then sits them back-to-back as they hum and exhale loudly. Bachelor Chris says his lips are numb, and there's another joke waiting to happen.
The guru instructs Carly to blindfold Chris and to use only her breath and touch to "excite Chris' senses." She begins to caress his entire body, leading up to his mouth. At this point, she dips a strawberry in chocolate, rubs it across his lips and feeds it to him. Like I said, it's the most uncomfortable date to watch in "Bachelor" history.
The next exercise requires Carly in the downward-dog position, while Bachelor Chris is told to rub her hips and thighs. At this point, Bachelor Chris realizes this is not a love guru, but a sex guru, and I'm not sure he's made a more intelligent observation all season.
After the "massage," the guru tells them that they are going to shed each others' clothing to "remove something that has made them uncomfortable in past relationships." They remove each others' tops and after Carly unties Chris' pants, she says she's uncomfortable and I've never been so excited to hear her speak.
After they bare-chested hug it out, the guru tells Carly to sit on Chris' lap, and while she straddles him, they're advised to be affectionate without kissing. Just when I thought this was over, they breathe heavily onto each others' faces and rub each other up and down. Remember that movie "40 Days and 40 Nights" where Josh Hartnett and Shannyn Sossamon have the weird flower sex scene? This is reminiscent of that. And I'm just as uncomfortable at 30 as I was watching that scene at 17.
Inevitably, they start kissing as the guru sits two inches away.
BACK AT THE MANSION
Kelsey, the fourth grade teacher who was stung by a bee in the vagina after complaining about last week's group date, reminds the other women that she is a widow, and elaborates with a story she doesn't seem to remember. Her former husband died from congestive heart failure, which she concludes with, "Darlin', such is life."
The second-date card arrives, and Megan, the makeup artist who thinks New Mexico is out of the country, reads: "Jade, Megan, Kaitlyn, Whitney, Mackenzie, Becca, Samantha, Ashley and Kelsey, I'm rapidly falling in love… Chris."
Kelsey says that this is unacceptable because she hasn't had a one-on-one yet, and I feel more sorry for her students each week.
BACK TO THE ONE-ON-ONE
Chris and Carly are sitting on Aztek blankets in front of a fire. Carly lets him know that while she likes to have fun, she wants to spend some time being serious, too. Which really just means that she is about to use the word "like" over 100 times.
She shares that she hasn't been intimate with someone in more than a year-and-a-half because her last boyfriend didn't want to be physical with her. The admission leads into the fact that she is concerned she's not pretty enough to be there, and if Chris is physically attracted to her, her insecurities will resolve. She tells us that admission was "one of the hardest things for me, like, in the world" and I hope nothing bad actually ever happens to her.
She then asks him what his relationship insecurities are and he stutters that he's concerned that being a farmer in Iowa won't ever be good enough for a woman. Carly responds with a reminder that she's not been in an intimate relationship in a really long time.
In Chris' date confessional, he shares, "Carly would be the best wife you could ever ask for," and in case you forgot, he said the same thing last week about Jillian, the news reporter from D.C. who does flips outside of the White House, before sending her home.
This week's group date is white-water rafting. Megan, the makeup artist, is worried because, "This river could be filled with alligators, dead bodies, who knows…"
Before we take off, Chris tells us for the third episode in a row that it's important he ends up with a woman who can hang outside.
They make their way down the river, until Jade, the fashion designer who also has an organic makeup line, falls overboard. When they hit dry land, she tells us that she has a special kind of hypothermia, which seems confusing because her Playboy video looked pretty chilly.
Mackenzie, the 21-year-old with a child named Kale, thinks that Jade fell out of the raft on purpose for special attention from Chris, and wishes she would have thought to do the same. First she wished that she could have told Chris she was a virgin, and now she wishes she would have fallen out of a raft for a hug and a foot rub. I'm going to guess Mackenzie has gone longer than a year-and-a-half without intimacy. Sorry Carly.
Kelsey goes off on another "Why isn't he paying attention to me" tangent and I'm starting to have questions about the story of her husband.
After white-water rafting, we head to a cocktail party. There are a lot of leather jackets on this date and I wonder if these women were told what to pack before the season started.
As Chris heads to meet the women on the group date, a sort of familiar face stops him. It takes a minute for him to figure out it's Jordan — the student who was also probably a sorority president, who he eliminated during Episode 2 — because she's sober for the first time since they met. Apparently, she has driven from Colorado to see if Chris is willing to give her another chance.
As they chat, Chris tells Jordan, "Their time together wasn't valuable because she always had too many drinks," to which she thanks him for being honest. In their five-minute conversation, Jordan brings up love, happiness, God and second chances. Jordan asks for a second chance, and shocker – he gives her a one. I wish I could fast forward through commercials, because I'm going to bet Kelsey is about to lose it.
When Chris walks hand-in-hand with Jordan to greet the women of the group date, they are noticeably angry and the next 30 minutes is spent listening to them share their frustrations. With each other, with Chris, with the cameras … basically with anyone who will listen. I feel like I'm back in high school, fighting with the cheerleading squad over the football team captain.
Out of all of the women, Kardashian goes super-mean girl, telling the other women that they shouldn't be nice to her for any reason. She's definitely the head cheerleader.
ONE-ON-ONE DATE CARD
Carly and Britt, the girl who stands on Hollywood Boulevard with a sign that reads "free hugs," are back at the house, away from this horrible group date and hanging out on a circular love seat. Britt shares that she doesn't like to shower or shave her legs, and I like her even more. The card arrives, and Carly shares that the it says, "The sky's the limit… Chris"
Britt immediately starts crying because she's terrified of heights and for the first season in years, I wonder what happens if someone were to refuse a date card.
BACK TO THE GROUP DATE
After stretching this Jordan thing out for way too long, Chris tells her that he can't do this to the other women and sends her home. Hopefully there is a cocktail waiting for her in the limo.
When the women find out that he's sent her home, they all cry and as a woman I'm kind of embarrassed. Whitney, who should be a Disney princess, gets the group date rose and I hope we're finally done with this night.
Chris decides that he's going to surprise Britt early in the morning by waking her up unexpectedly, and I hope she still hasn't shaved her legs. I'm disappointed and confused because when he wakes her up, she is wearing glitter eye shadow and hot-pink lipstick. Girls who don't shower or shave also don't wear makeup to bed.
Chris tells Carly, the girl he just took out on a one-on-one date where he made out with her, to be quiet and then makes out with Britt as she watches.
On their limo ride to the date, I am yet again confused. This time because one, Bachelor Chris is wearing a huge diamond-encrusted watch that I don't think they sell in Iowa, and two, the armpits of his shirt are so sweat-stained that I wonder how he survives working on a farm.
We arrive at the same field I'm assuming Chris stood at during the opening credits, and are told that today's one-on-one is a hot air balloon ride. Britt is overly excited about this, especially for someone with such a grand fear of heights. I guess all it took for her to get over said fear was Chris holding her hand.
After their hot-air balloon ride, they go back to Chris' hotel room where he gives her the rose right away. We see them make out on the couch. And then the bed. And then under the covers. And then Chris closes the bedroom door. You know, to imply they also took their clothes off.
After the date, Britt heads back to the mansion and tells the other women that they went on a balloon ride, and then back to his hotel where they ordered room service, had dessert and coffee and took a nap. Obviously, this didn't resonate well. Even America's Sweetheart had a nasty look on her face.
Kelsey, who has really shown her true colors this week, let's us know that she will not stand for this and heads to Chris' hotel room unannounced. She says it's because she deems it necessary to tell him that she's a widow. I am not a love/sex/porn guru or anything, but I don't understand why all of these confessions are required. Is there a sympathy rose this season? She then tells Chris she is a widow.
After this confession, she gets her first kiss. This leads to a make-out session, where after the heavy petting, she kisses the tip of his nose, looks up at him and whispers, "Hi." At this point, I have no further questions about Kelsey. That "hi" explains everything.
During a confessional, Kelsey asks, "Isn't my story amazing? It's tragic but it's amazing. I love my story." And for the third time tonight, I'm not so sure she's telling an accurate account of her past.
Kelsey continues, "This is a show about Chris, but this is my love story, too. This is the unfolding of somebody who's been through something so tragic and you get to watch her pick up the pieces and grow into another person and into another relationship. And I'm so glad the first kiss is something that can be written in the story books."
Nothing else needs to be said at this point.
Chris walks in and gets emotional after telling the women that he and Kelsey had a tough conversation that caused him to think about things. He winks, which is hot, and then says he needs a second. When he goes outside, Kelsey tells the women that she and Chris believe, "Time is so important, value the ones that you love," followed by, "I hate that I have to say goodbye to someone tonight" and a slew of other bizarre sentiments. This entire time, Britt is rubbing Kelsey's arm, and I don't understand why. When someone rubs your arm in one place for that long, it starts to hurt.
Host Chris Harrison comes back in to tell the women that Chris had an emotional week, but that he knows what he wants to do and he's going to do it. That being said, there is no cocktail party tonight.
This sends Kelsey into a panic attack. You hear her sobbing loudly as she lies on the floor screaming that she's having a panic attack. The medics arrive and as they show the oxygen mask, we see "To be continued…" in black and white on the screen.
ABC, how you toy with my heart.
My Hometown Guesses:
Kaitlyn, because she's the funny/pretty one, because a woman can be both.
Becca, because she's America's Sweetheart.
Jade, because the family likes her and she was the only one to biff during rafting.
Britt, because they "took a nap" together.
Chris' Best Line From Episode 5:
"This is really, really hard. I don't always know what to do when it's hard."