by Lauren Piester | Mon., Jan. 18, 2016 7:42 PM
We've said it before but this time we mean it: That was the best episode of The Bachelor ever.
We just could not have called a single one of the twists and turns that were thrown at us tonight to the point where we forgot to pretend we were only ironically enjoying this show, or that we were at all annoyed to have to "work" on our day off by watching and recapping this show. That was straight up amazing.
Let's just start from the beginning, shall we?
Team Lauren started off strong when Lauren B. got the first one-on-one of the week. She's a flight attendant, so naturally her date involved a plane. Ben took her up in a biplane—to which her reaction was "nooo"—to fear for her life in a funny pair of goggles.
"Lauren B is beautiful, there's no doubt about that, but she's still a mystery to me," Ben said before they took off.
Eventually, they ended up in a desert to hang out in a hot tub in yet another strange location, and they had a great time. That's all we remember of this date. Great time, Lauren B. got the rose, and there was some kissing, naturally. Otherwise, boring.
The group date was equally uninteresting, for the most part. It was the most American thing we've ever seen: a bunch of women literally dressed as a giant American flag, exploiting each other's weaknesses for the chance to go to a party and not get sent home.
You get it. There was soccer. Whatever.
The team with Olivia and Lace and Amber on it won, and while Olivia tried to claim her territory during the reward cocktail party, the other women made fun of her toes.
"Am I aggressive? Yeah. Do I have bad toes? Yeah," Olivia said later after she was told what the other girls were talking about. No one, however, thought it necessary to show us Olivia's toes. We just want to know if Olivia's toes are as weird as our toes, or if we have license to make fun of Perfect Robot Olivia for something. (Oh, if only we had known what was coming…)
Amber managed to finagle the rose, but it's totally OK, because when Ben got up, he pushed off of Olivia's leg with his hand, and Olivia totally got what he was trying to say with that.
The week's second one-on-one is where things got interesting, because it went to the absolute last person who was expecting it: Jubilee.
Jubilee then proceeded to reveal herself as the most human person who has ever appeared on this show.
She was not expecting that date card, and the prospect of spending her first real alone time with Ben was just terrifying, so even though we wanted to turn the TV off while it was happening, we absolutely got it. When she made a nervous comment about how late Ben was to their date, we understood.
When she joked about someone else taking her date in a helicopter since she's scared of heights, we would have thought nothing of it, if the other girls hadn't acted like she had just yelled, "Suck it, sluts!"
All of her behavior felt exactly like how a socially awkward person (who is totally not us in any way) would act when they really, really like someone and are suddenly faced with going on an all-day date with that person.
Her date was the first date this season that didn't feel like a date on a reality TV show. Instead, it felt more uncomfortably like a real date, if a real date involved riding in a helicopter to a fancy mansion to sample fancy hors d'oeuvres. The conversations felt real, the nervousness felt real, and the procession from nervous giggles to easy-going make-outs in the pool felt real (ish).
"Jubilee is somebody that intrigues me," Ben kept saying. He told Jubilee that she had been the person to open up the most to him, and he wanted to hear more about her past and why she doesn't want to go back to Haiti. Turns out the reason she doesn't want to go back to Haiti is that she feels guilty for being the only member of her family who's still alive, which, you know, is pretty heavy for a Monday night on ABC.
"You are a strong woman," Ben told her before giving her a rose, and suddenly we could see this show as "Ben Higgins: Confidence Booster." He's like a hotter, sweeter, nicer, better-in-every-way Dr. Phil. He doesn't need to marry any of these women. He can apparently just change their lives with one magnificent day of fun.
When the other girls saw that Jubilee had not been sent home the next morning, they were beyond shocked.
"I know Ben wants to have a wife who gets along with all the other soccer moms," Lauren H said, without continuing to explain that if she were one of those other soccer moms, she would not want to get along with Jubilee. (Stop giving Team Lauren a bad name, Lauren H!)
The previews made it seem as if Jubilee was going to go off the rails and get a little bit arrogant after getting a rose, but that is not even kind of what happened. She sat quietly at the cocktail party, without bothering anybody, and when Ben arrived to say that he had just found out that two of his family friends had died in a plane crash the night before, she got even quieter, while Olivia pulled Ben aside.
"I hate my legs," she told him as he grieved, and we almost threw something at the TV. "Blogs have been written about my cankles," she continued, tears in her eyes. "It's really hard." Girl, we understand and sympathize with your body issues, but this was not the time, or the place, or the way to bring that up.
Jubilee, meanwhile, was trying to come up with something nice to do for Ben. She ended up setting up a table and giving him a massage.
Little much? Sure, but sometimes a good massage is just what the doctor ordered, and at least she wasn't whining about her cankles. Ben didn't even take off his shirt. It was actually very nice and not even sexual at all. In fact, we're jealous, because we could also use a massage.
When the other women saw that Jubilee, who already had a rose, was taking time away from them to comfort the MOURNING Ben, they nearly lost their collective s—ts. How dare she try to do something nice for him when she's already got a rose?! How dare she flaunt that rose by…doing nothing at all?
Ben, meanwhile, said the massage was his favorite thing ever.
Amber led the charge with a few other women to confront Jubilee about something, and it was honestly baffling as to what they thought they were going to confront her about. Despite the fact that Amber also already had a rose, she wouldn't let up. Jubilee retreated to her room in order to avoid the drama, and Ben followed her there to figure out what was going on. Amber also followed her there in order to tell her just how offended everyone was when Jubilee jokingly offered her date to one of the other girls.
Ben handled it like the kindly champ he is, reassuring Jubilee that he had a great time and he was happy she was there and all that. He also likes her jokes, and when she makes him blush, and honestly we hope this is the beginning of a beautiful relationship. Cankle-faced Olivia who?
There were less than ten minutes left in the episode when Lace took Ben aside, and we were definitely not expecting her to quit the show, but that's exactly what she did. She told Ben she needed to work on herself, because if she didn't love herself, how could she expect someone else to love herself? That's a flawed argument, but made perfect sense in her case. We'll miss her, but only a little. We wish her well.
Finally, it was time for a quick rose ceremony. After a whole night of being positively convinced that she and Ben had a secret language consisting leg brushes and waist squeezing, Olivia got the very last rose. She took it as "save the best for last," but we took it as "Olivia could very easily go home next week." Jami and Shushanna were sent home after yet another week where we did not see Ben and Shushanna speak English to each other.
And that was it. We were left with nothing but the internet and our own racing thoughts to mull over for an entire week. Please weigh in with your own thoughts in the comments. Help us.
The Bachelor airs Mondays at 8 p.m. on ABC.
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