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‘The Bachelor’ Recap: Ben Says ‘I Love You’ Times Two

It seems like only yesterday we were taking screenshots of Olivia’s gaping mouth, and creating photo collages of Lace next to Cecily Strong’s SNL character, “The girl you wish you hadn’t started a conversation with at a party.” But now we live in a post-Oscar Sunday world; Leo has an Academy Award to his name, and the sting of Lady Gaga’s upset still lingers just a little. Still, when “The Bachelor” begins this week, the fate of three ladies remains undetermined.

Ben and the final three head to “one of the most romantic places in the world,” Jamaica, where “the people are friendly” and tribal drummers greet you upon arrival and everything is sponsored by Sandals.

This week is important because, at the end of each date, Ben and each woman have the option to visit the “Fantasy Suite” aka have sex (and also get some precious time away from the cameras, but mostly just have sex). Since there are only three women left, Ben reminds us who they are:

1. Caila: Ben waxes rhapsodic about her beauty, but is she too… smiley? This, for Ben, seems to be a huge red flag. Who wants a woman who smiles all the time?

2. Lauren: Ben says that seeing her for the first time was “The closest thing I have ever felt to love at first sight.” Never mind that Olivia got the first impression rose, this is “The Bachelor,” where logic does not apply and consistency is for the weak.

3. JoJo: The montage reminds us that she was the girl who walked out of the limo on the first night wearing a unicorn head. She’s fun and confident, but she has mean brothers.

Got it? Onward to date number one!

Caila: Climax in the sky

Ben and Caila spend the first part of their date with tons of awkward pauses. Like only “The Bachelor” can pull off, their date’s dramatic arc is spun out of the fact that she’s overthinking how much she’s enjoying each moment, which is in no way a relatable problem.

This week, all three women struggle with the pressure to tell Ben that they love him. Caila goes first. He’s sweating bullets (probably because it’s really warm in Jamaica, but it’s more fun to pretend he’s nervous). He doesn’t verbally reciprocate, but don’t worry — Caila can feel “in his breath” that he feels the same way. Um.

Chris Harrison leaves the couple a note with a key to the fantasy suite. Ben and Caila decide to go for it and sparks fly. Literally, there are fireworks up in the sky (but not necessarily in their eyes and hearts).

The previews tease that Ben tells two girls that he loves them, so when he doesn’t tell Caila, it’s a bad sign.

Lauren: Babies. Sea turtle babies.

On Ben’s date with Lauren, an old man greets the couple and informs them that they will be releasing baby sea turtles into the ocean. “This is… one of my dreams,” exclaims Lauren, who we now know we definitely can’t trust.

Here’s the thing about baby sea turtles: individually, they are pretty adorable. As a group, they look like hoard of giant insects. But while the jury’s still out on whether baby turtles are cute, on a more certain front, Lauren’s date is going really well.

The first two dates are as night and day as Caila’s brunette hair is to Lauren’s wispy blond locks. Lauren, too, struggles to tell Ben that she loves him, but eventually spits it out. This time he says it back to her. The two enter the fantasy suite. Bye, Caila!

JoJo: Leap of faith

This season’s millionth helicopter swoops down to take JoJo and Ben to YS Falls, a waterfall in gorgeous, breathtaking, pristine Jamaica. The two hold hands and jump off a cliff into the water.

Going into the date, Ben hints in a voiceover that he might send JoJo home. But when she says those three magic words, Ben says them right back. Bye, Caila!

Theory: Considering that the dates are filmed in the same order that they air, Ben went into JoJo’s date having just told Lauren that he’s in love with her. So if he doesn’t tell JoJo that he loves her, he’s obviously going to choose Lauren, and the show is over. In the moment, he realizes that he doesn’t want to say goodbye to JoJo (because he still wants to have sex with her). The only way that he gets away with leading her on while still seeming like a remotely respectable human is to say that he loves her too. This reciprocated “ILY” felt different than Lauren’s — it felt forced.

Still, for now JoJo is safe, and Ben knows he has to say goodbye to Caila.

Goodbye Caila (at long last)

The camera hasn’t treated Caila very well for the past few episodes, lingering on her stammering nonsense as she attempts to explain her feelings to Ben. But this episode is especially cruel from the first moment of her date to her final goodbye.

She surprises Ben on what is supposed to be his day off, and the entire scenario is cringe-worthy. We get a wide shot as she runs up behind Ben, making the universal symbol for “shh” toward the camera. She puts her hands over Ben’s eyes, and… does not get the reaction she was expecting. Instead of being excited to see her, he’s uncomfortable, and sends her home on the spot.

“I really did love you!” She storms into the limo.

But then, she hops back out, clearly very hurt. Ben reassures her that he wouldn’t have gone through with the date if he had known he was going to send her home.

“I was ready…” Caila repeats over and over again in the limo home, luscious locks still shimmering. If not love, the girl at least deserves a Pantene contract.

Rose ceremony: Yup, it’s boring

There are only two roses and Ben gives them to the remaining two women. He swears that he is in love with both of them, but in the end he can only choose one. After the show is over Ben is headed back to Colorado, not Utah, so he can’t pick them both. Next week is the Women Tell All episode, so we have multiple weeks to speculate about how this season ends.

Who will Ben choose? Do you agree that JoJo is about to get her heart broken? Will Caila get a deal with Pantene? Weigh in below!

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