The Bachelor cast has hit the rolling hills of Tuscany! What better way to celebrate such beauty than with tears, tension, trauma, and – of course –truffles. This episode has it all – fletti quelle dita a scorrimento e continua a leggere (flex those scrolling fingers and read on)!
My travel angst continues as Episode 7 opens with aerial shots of Tuscany, Italy. My god, it’s gorgeous! I need to go to there. My passport is up to date, now if only my finances would follow. Ahime, un giorno! Nel frattempo, salva, salva, salva. (Alas, someday! In the meantime, save, save, save.)
What’s that? You came here to read about Arie Luyendyk Jr.? Okay, I can do that too! The show opens with Arie strolling the cobblestone streets while musing, “I can’t wait to drink some wine, eat some pasta, and – oh, yeah – go on dates with the women.” Well, at least he has his priorities straight!
Meanwhile, the gals are gathered in front of the Leaning Tower of Pisa, trying to figure out why it leans. Chris Harrison shows up; they shelve the mystery. Chris, ever the voice of doom, lets the ladies know it’s all about whittling this shizz down for Hometowns, with three 1:1 dates and one group date coming their way. That means only four women will be left at the end of this episode. Who will they be? I’ve got money riding on my Final Four – let’s see if I get to stuff my piggy bank…
Chris Harrison, ever so helpful!
Wasting no time, a date card arrives for the first 1:1. It reads, “Let’s fall in love under the Tuscan sun,” and it is for Becca. Of course there is footage of Arie speeding along in a red sports car (again!), because there will never not be B reel of him driving, and I just need to accept that. He picks up Becca and they’re off for a casual day of strolling through the city to gather items for a picnic. It looks like heaven. Now if only Arie and Becca would get out of the picture.
But it’s their big day, and the goal is to reconnect after their 1:1 date from ages ago when he swept her off her feet, Pretty Woman style. It’s a bit stilted, until Becca says she’s still feeling it and wants nothing more than to move forward with him. That’s all Arie needs to fan his flames. Even though they’re on a picnic, he finds a wall to push her against and they make out as he happily exclaims, “We’ve found the passion!”
During the evening portion of their rendezvous, they talk more about Hometowns, with Arie claiming he “likes hard questions.” How he can say this while wearing his 20th cardigan of the season is beyond me. That man has balls. Of course, absolutely no difficult queries come his way. Instead Becca lists off all the family members he’ll be meeting, they kiss some more, and he hands over the date rose. #Official – Becca is the first contestant to secure entry into the Final Four. Vegas odds, I’m coming for you.
Here’s to the rose – the only thing to get consumed on a dinner date!
Though the other women are sequestered in yet another gorgeous villa, all is not well. Jacqueline, realizing she can’t envision a future with Arie, has a tearful meltdown. In fact, she’s having “swirling doubts” and can’t even fathom introducing him to her family. Finally, someone who is willing to be honest with herself about life after the show. She might be the smartest woman to ever grace this program.
Kendall, continuing her run as the cast’s most compassionate member, listens intently to Jacqueline’s concerns and encourages her to confide in Arie. Jacqueline is hesitant, as she’s torn between two voices in her head: 1.) The one full of doubt that tells her she “sucks at happiness and always sabotages good things.” 2.) The one that knows her track and Luyendyk Jr.’s do not match up for the long haul. She finally agrees that she does need to confront the bachelor about her indecisiveness. This should be fun!
Arie warmly welcomes her into his suite. She’s nervous AF and helps herself to a huge gulp of his wine. He laughs and pours her her own glass. At least he can read the room when it comes to booze! Jacqueline begins her tearful missive. She didn’t expect to develop feelings, but found herself falling for him anyway. However, she’s worried there’s not enough of a foundation for the future (psst – there’s not!), and doesn’t want to wake up “married in Scottsdale, wondering what happened,” somewhere down the road. God damn right, girl – thank goodness someone has her thinking cap on.
Breaking up is hard to do. Actually, not really – I’m gonna go earn my PhD!
Arie is understandably taken aback. After all, the show is geared around him getting to make all the choices and it legit hasn’t occurred to him that someone else may have the same options. But he tries to roll with it, asking if she’s sure she’s not just scared of love. Jacqueline doesn’t think so, even though she feels she has bad instincts. (If anything, this proves she has great instincts!) The real crux of the matter is school, for this lovely lady is a PhD candidate and has zero intention of moving to Arizona. So ultimately their relationship is a no-go. Not that that stops them from making out, which they do a lot of before finally saying goodbye. Arie tells her, “If you have any regret, come back to me.” But my guess is Jacqueline will barely pause to wave “addio” in the rearview mirror, before heading off to her promising future.
Now it’s time for another 1:1, and this time the honor goes Lauren – aka Last Lauren Standing. The card says, “Let’s break down our walls,” and Bachelor Nation goes nuts on Twitter. Because if there’s one thing we all know, it’s that this near-mute cutie ain’t giving up shit.
If there’s one thing The Bachelor producers love, it’s a play on words and we soon learn the wall they’ll be tackling is in the quaint town of Lucca, which is literally surrounded by a protective brick ring that dates back to 1545. They hop on bikes and tour the massive architectural achievement that allows for panoramic views of the pristine countryside. I know you’re thinking the one word to describe this amazing experience would be, “Wow.” But that is for Lauren alone to utter, which she does, once. Then they’re off to taste gelato, which LLS claims is “very Italian.” YEP, THAT’S BECAUSE YOU’RE IN ITALY. Holy fuck, what does Arie see in this woman? I am beyond baffled. He claims she’s not saying much because she’s nervous. I claim it’s because Arie loves a vanilla blank slate. That and the fact that he wants to put his penis into her so badly, he’s willing to overlook the fact that she has absolutely no personality.
The evening portion of their time together is equally as scintillating as the afternoon – which is to say not at all. While they sit in a lovely courtyard, in front of a meal neither will touch, Lauren confesses that she’s terrified of getting hurt again. (Um, aren’t we all?) But she takes a chance and confesses to falling in love with him. How does Arie respond? By excusing himself from the table and walking away! Lauren starts to freak out – here are the most words she’s strung together in front of Arie this entire season, and it’s met with silence. She says, “I regret opening up so much.” Insert cry/laughing emoji here!
Meanwhile, Arie walks around in circles a few feet away. The popular theory on Twitter is that he went to pass gas before coming back to LLS. I agree, because there seems to be no other explanation for the randomness of this moment.
After the owner of the boner returns, he lets Lauren know that he’s falling deeply in love with her. (Or, at the very least, he’s infatuated with the younger version/doppelganger of Bachelorette Emily, who dumped him those five long years ago.) No surprise that LLS gets the date rose and is assured a Hometown date.
Now it’s all about Seinne, whose 1:1 date card says, “I’m searching for ‘The One.’” She gets a super cool afternoon, including truffle hunting with a sweet old man named Julio and his adorable dogs. After a successful dig, Arie and Seinne are invited to Julio’s home for some seriously delicious-looking food and a gentle grilling on the state of their relationship by Julio’s family. It looks like a positively idyllic day. And, bonus for the audience, Seinne can actually hold a conversation.
We’ll always have truffle hunting!
The evening portion of their hang includes more food because it is Italy and you’re legally required to eat pasta 24/7. Things turn serious when talks focus yet again on Hometowns. Do they have what it takes to make everything work? Seinne halfheartedly tries to convince Arie that she’s up for love, claiming she “used to see it as a weakness, but now sees it as a strength.” But she also acknowledges that she’s “struggling to find the deep emotions.” Arie is also not feeling it. He picks up the rose, twirls it around, and then tells her she can’t have it. Dude, that is ice cold!
Honestly it doesn’t seem that Seinne cares much – she’s clearly on a path that will lead her to a more suitable mate, and for that I’m grateful. I’ll say it once again – Seinne for the next Bachelorette please! She hops in the van with no tears, hopefully to be seen again soon.
And that leaves us with the dreaded group date for the remaining women, who are: Tia, Bekah, and Kendall. The card requires them to meet Arie at the Villa Reale, a sprawling estate that used to be inhabited by Napoleon’s sister. It sounds slightly ominous; and it is, because one of the gals has turned bad. That would be (formerly) sweet Tia, who starts laying groundwork to get rid of Bekah. Tia is happy to play dictator/traitor for the day, so I guess the Bonaparte blood still flows through the land!
Arie takes Kendall aside first to again talk about Hometowns. They’re not worried about their chemistry. Rather their main mutual concern is what life would be like after the show. Kendall does not want a long distance relationship and says she’d be willing to move to Arizona. This pleases Arie and they seal it with a kiss.
While Arie and Kendall are off on their talk, Bekah makes the mistake of confiding in Tia that part of her does want to go home. Not for lack of interest in Arie, mind you, but because she is missing her normal life. But it doesn’t matter – that’s all the material Tia needs to pounce. Tia gets her moment with Arie next and wastes no time in expressing her “concern” for Bekah’s intentions. Girlfriend sold Bekah out faster than a Dolce & Gabbana sample sale. Damn.
There might be a snake in that grass….
Bekah has Arie next and, not knowing of Tia’s evil deeds, innocently tries to connect with the bachelor over gray hair (she has three). That’s supposed to assure him she’s mature enough for life with him after the program, but Arie is not convinced.
Tia has no problem being open about her plan – she straight up tells Bekah that she has voiced doubts about her. A frustrated Bekah promptly goes crying to Arie, who gives her a brotherly hug as consolation. Kendall gets the first group date rose and is allowed to exit this wildly uncomfortable situation. That means nighttime will bring a 2:1. God help us all.
As one can imagine, the dinner is painful. Tia all but radiates hatred as Bekah cowers. They each take turns pleading their case to Arie before he decides to give the rose to Tia. He and Bekah say a tearful goodbye out by the van (aka The Depression Mobile). Bekah graciously says, “It’s going to end well for you. I know it is,” before bawling her eyes out as she gets driven away. Honestly, it’s for the best and she’ll surely see that in short order.
Tia celebrates alone as Arie cries in the driveway. These two are off to a promising start!
Tears of regret, or eye drops?
If Tia has her way, Hometowns are going to turn into The Hunger Games. We’re down to Becca, Lauren, Kendall, and Tia. Whose family will “wow” Arie into proposing, and who will get cut loose? Turn in here next week to find out!
Scheduling note: The Bachelor Winter Games started Tuesday, Feb. 13, and will run every Tuesday and Thursday for the next several weeks! (Tuesdays and Thursdays? Damn you, Bachelor producers! I want to have some semblance of a life.) I won’t be recapping, but I will be live-tweeting. Please follow the fun at JennaZine1!
The Bachelor (2018): Season 22, Episode 7 Drinking Game
Take a Drink: every time The Kissing Bandit makes out with someone.
Take a Drink: every time Arie tries to create a personality or excuse for Lauren.
Take a Drink: every time you want to scream, “Go, girl!” at the TV during Jacqueline’s break-up speech.
Take a Drink: every time you want to make Kendall your new bestie.
Take a Drink: every time Tia reminds you of a snake. She must really love Taylor Swift!