It’s only week 2, but it feels like we’re already in the thick of things. We’d prefer to forget that this is the most relaxed part of the season, because we are already feeling far from relaxed. Chris Harrison seems to agree, as he warns the ladies before the episode this happy feeling won’t last forever; in fact, it’s unlikely to last the next twenty-four hours. Thanks Chris!
Let’s jump right in with Arie’s first one-on-one date card, which goes to… Becca K! If you don’t remember, she instructed Arie to close his eyes and propose to her as her entrance from the limo. While a little more awkward than many introductions go, we’re willing to give her a chance.
“Hold on tight,” the date card says, prompting routine squeals from the girls. Arie shows up a few seconds later, donning a leather jacket and with a motorcycle, which Becca gladly boards with him.
Arie and Becca cruise down the West Coast, passing beautiful ocean. Becca is clearly stunned by the grandeur, yelling in Arie’s ear “I want to capture this moment forever,” as if he can hear her over the roaring motorcycle engine and the wind.
When they arrive at their location for the date, there is tasty food and a rack of designer dresses waiting. Out comes the designer Rachel Zoe, who helps Becca try on all the dresses and pick one out for the night ahead. Arie sits, eats and watches.
Once Becca tries on all the dresses, he tells her he’s gonna give her ALL of them, as if he has the funds to do so himself. She’s shocked, but then Arie leads her outside and gives her Louboutins! We’re talking the real red bottoms, guys. Per our calculations, that’s approximately 185 burrito bowls for the price of a single pair of shoes.
When we think it can’t get any better for Becca, he gives her a diamond necklace and earrings! We can’t say that this came out of the blue though, because the Bachelor always finds a excuse to plug Neil Lane. She kisses him and exclaims that he lives up to his nickname, the kissing bandit, with his pillow soft lips. Bachelor Nation is shook.
When Becca arrives back at the mansion with all of her new swag, she’s greeted with enough squeals and screams to make us turn down the volume on the TV. The girls seem more jealous seeing her new shoes and dresses than they did seeing her with Arie, which is slightly concerning. “Oh my God, they’re gonna get married,” Bibiana says. Optimistic. She then sees the Louboutins and begins to cry, saying, “I’ve never seen them in real life!” So far, Bibiana gets the rose from us for most relatable.
Becca then joins Arie for dinner at a “vintage” location bedecked in her new designer attire. They spend a lovely evening together talking about how much family means to them. The night is capped off with the first private concert by a singer who no one has ever heard of but seems to be Arie and Becca’s favorite artist. Suspicious.
Then we are brought back to the mansion where an infamous knock is heard at the front door. Hardcore Bachelor fans know this can only mean one thing: the first group of the season is upon us. This card however only had one name: Krystal. Two one-ones in a row?!? This has got to be a Bachelor first.
We get over our shock just in time to hear Krystal read her letter from Arie: “Home is where the heart is.” This left Bachelor Nation and all the girls in the house puzzled. Arie could not possibly be taking Krystal to his hometown on the second week, right?
Krystal shows up at the airport to learn that yes indeed, Arie is taking her to his home in the grandeur of Scottsdale, Arizona. When they arrive, Arie immediately takes Krystal on a guided tour of the beautiful suburb and shows her several all-important landmarks. They include the Pizza Hut he once worked at and his old high school. Riveting!
Then, continuing a date that seems to be all about Arie and not at all about Krystal, Arie takes Krystal to his home to show her old childhood photos, videos and mementos.
And of course, what’s a hometown tour without meeting Arie’s parents! Moving too quickly? What’s that? The interactions between Krystal and Arie’s very European parents is more or less yawn-inducing. We feel relief when it’s over.
Krystal finally stands up for herself and talks about her own life at dinner, which is a little bit of a refreshing change considering Arie hasn’t been the least bit curious about getting to know her this entire day. Krystal talks a bit about the hardships in her past, which Arie dismisses with a classic “I have a lot of friends with difficult upbringings.” Comforting, we know.
The two finish off the night with a private concert, where they slow dance much like an awkward couple would at prom. You know, uncoordinated swaying and embracing. You get the idea.
The group date card finally arrives, with the names of 15 women. Four are left out, but trust us, it’s for the best. The girls leave for their date in telltale Lululemon garb, so we know there’s going to be something at least moderately athletic going on. They all cram into an enormous van that looks like a mode of transportation high school students would take to prom. Unfortunately, the women arrive at a much less glamorous locale.
They unload the van to find an old dirt race track, where Arie is showing off his one and only talent (besides real estate). The girls find out that they’ll be participating in a demolition derby. We’re getting Grease flashbacks.
Speaking of flashbacks, the derby atmosphere brings Annaliese back to a traumatic event in her childhood. When she was little, she got stuck in the middle of a bumper car moshpit, causing lasting trauma. None of the girls take her seriously, especially when her breakdown lands her some one-on-one time with Arie. We, however, are sympathetic. Let’s be honest, you can’t call yourself a high school student if you haven’t had similar claustrophobic trauma in the halls. Have you seen those crowded groups of freshmen?
Once Annaliese pulls it together, the girls get suited up in their racing gear. Suddenly, they’ve all forgotten how to use a zipper! Don’t worry though, Arie comes to the rescue. 15 times.
They each decorate their own junkyard car with spray paint and phrases we can’t repeat here. Then, all the cars are placed into a small square area, and the girls are cut loose. It’s open season out on the course, with the women mercilessly destroying each other’s cars.
It’s a tough fight between Sienne and Arkansas native Tia, who claims that people in her hometown do this for fun. Sienne, the Yale grad, ends up pulling through, proving that she has both brains and brawn. Unfortunately, Brittany gets hurt during the chaos. Who would’ve guessed that pitting 15 women operating heavy machinery against each other to compete for a man would end up in injury?!
The women quickly change from derby attire into cocktail dresses for the after party. Before Arie even finishes addressing the women, Chelsea asks to speak with him. Hey, at least she’s consistent. She reveals that the reason she is so aggressive about getting time is “the other man in her life,” her son. Arie is totally chill with the fact that he’s dating a single mom. It makes sense because Emily, whom he met on a reality television show in a completely organic and authentic environment, also had a child.
Meanwhile, the girls inside are creating a schedule of who gets to talk to Arie. Bibiana consistently gets her time snaked, leading to a slight meltdown at the end of the night.
Sienne ends up with the rose, a seemingly simple feat after taking down 14 women and a professional racecar driver in a demolition derby earlier in the day.
Then, it’s time for the pre-rose ceremony cocktail party. Before Chelsea has a chance to snake Arie, he asks Brittany for the first chat of the night. He checks up on her to make sure she’s okay after the derby injury. He even presents her with an award for “most hardcore.” We’re not positive that an injury is necessarily the most indicative of being hardcore, but we gotta give it to Brittany for taking it like a champ.
Kendall finally reveals her love of taxidermy, even bringing Arie a pickled bat and a stuffed seal. Arie claims that he isn’t freaked out by it, because he has a friend who collects doll parts. “Now that’s weird,” Kendall says. No comment.
Drama ensues when Krystal, who already has a rose, steals Arie for a chat. As always, there are multiple girls who still haven’t had time and retaliate by gossiping about Krystal behind her back. The tensions overflow once Krystal interrupts Bibiana for a SECOND chat with Arie. Once Krystal returns, she comes and sits down next to Bibiana, who is absolutely not having it. In between calling Krystal fake and implying her snake-like tendencies, Bibiana utters the most iconic quote of the night: “If I’m trying to talk to my man, you better back up.” Keep in mind we’ve left out a few choice words, but you get the gist.
At the rose ceremony, the producers strategically place Bibiana and Krystal next to each other. Classic. Of course, Krystal already has a rose, and Bibiana receives the last rose of the night, meaning there’s more drama where that came from.
We say goodbye to Valerie, Lauren G. (only two Laurens remaining!), and Jenny. Jenny isn’t leaving without making a scene. When she doesn’t hear her name called, she immediately skrts out of there, bypassing a goodbye hug from Arie.
Arie follows her out to apologize and attempts to hug her at least two more times. Take a hint, bud. She remains still and stone cold, saying that she’s not upset about their relationship ending. Rather, she’s sad that she has to leave her friends. Looks like Arie made the right choice. Unable to leave without at least one bitter comment, Jenny states her incredulity that Arie picked a taxidermist over her.
Well, folks, it’s been quite an episode. We’ll see you next time for more drama and taxidermy.
Amy, Andrea and Josie