Finally, some action! Though not the kind Bachelor Ben Flajnik might have been hoping for: the girls are getting cattier with eachother in the competition of his affection, a verbal feud erupts during the cocktail party and an unexpected departure proves that Ben is pretty sure of what he doesn't want in a girl.
In this episode, Ben and the women jet off to Park City, Utah, home of the famous Sundance film festival, where Rachel gets picked for a one-on-one date. In true show-y Bachelor fashion, a helicopter whisks she and Ben off to what was probably supposed to be a relaxing and romantic picnic by the river, but ended up being pretty awkward, with conversation lagging so much at one point that Ben, scrambling for anything to talk about, points out a beaver dam. Rachel's response? "Oh! Yeah." Scintillating! But after getting more aqcuainted during a dinner, Ben offers her the date rose, keeping her safe from the elimination ceremony and showing her he understands it's hard to open up right away.
Next on the list of surprises: horses make their return! Ben takes the women on his group date riding to their destinaton: fly-fishing! Every woman's dream date. Courtney, the model from Los Angeles, muses: "Let's be honest - it's not really about catching a trout. It's about catching Ben." She seems to be an expert on turning group dates into opportunities to either snag alone time with him, or showcasing how easy-going she is, which is the exact opposite opinion every other woman in the house has about her. And guess which one of the girls catches a fish? Yup - Courtney!
This epsiode reveals how emotionally attached Kacie B. has become to Ben. She's shown in various states of distress over the fact that he has one-on-one time with the other women, and mentioning her need for reassurance that they still have a connection. He chats with her breifly during the date, which seems to tide her over. Courtney's the opposite - declaring that her connection with Ben is so strong that she isn't at all threatened by any of the other women. Meow!
Later in the date, 26-year-old advertising account manager Samantha pulls Ben away to talk. Her high voice and aggressive tone make Ben visibly anxious - he looks like he's anticipating a lecture - and she delivers! After grilling him about why she's only been on group dates, Ben starts to stammer. With a touch of the Crazy Eye, a voice over of her reveals: "I have such crazy feelings for this guy. I feel like I should already have a ring on my finger!" Wow. She interrupts all of his explinations to her questions and giggles uncomfortably until he admits: "The group dates you've been on... You've kind of been highly emotional! I wonder if you can continue to hang, and be a part of this?" By the end of the conversation, he takes that option off the table by telling her "I don't think I see this going much further, to be honest with you." She cries, and leaves, but he doesn't seem too bothered afterwards: "I realized that this girl is not for me."
Courtney gets some hot-tub time with Ben and tells him she has insecurities and gets uncomfortable on group dates, causing her to lose sight of what they "have". Unlike when the other women confess their problems, Ben seems worried that she's slipping away, and reassures her that he's very interested by giving her the rose of the evening. Courtney's reaction? "Winning."
Jennifer, the redhead from Oklahoma (who Ben has dubbed the best kisser in the house!) scored the next one-on-one date, and in keeping with the outdoors-y theme, they rapelled into a crater, ran through the rain in a storm, and ended with dinner and dancing. She gets a rose at the end of the night, but their chemistry on the date seemed mediocre in comparison to some of the other connections he's made.
During the pre-rose ceremony cocktail party that night, Emily pulls the move that has proven to be a surefire way to get eliminated: sitting Ben for a serious talk about That One Girl who "doesn't have his best interests in mind" and is "different around you then she is around us". Of course, it's Courtney. It's surprising that after 16 seasons, there is always someone who thinks this is a great move. All it's accomplished in the past is making whoever says it look jealous, insecure, and meddling. Even though Emily has a point- Courtney is aggressive and mean-spirited to the other women, and sweet and innocent when around Ben, but trying to convince him of this isn't going to work. He almost scolds her by saying: "I don't know who you're talking about, and I don't want you to throw anyone under the bus." Igorning his warning, she tells him that the girl in question ended up with the date rose. Ben is not impressed, and Emily can sense it.
Inside the house, Emily makes another mistake by telling Casey S. what just happened, and Casey responds by hightailing it to Courtney to spill the beans. Her reaction? "I'm a nice person. Don't **** with me!" Yikes! It gets freakier: "I just want to rip [Emily's] head off. And verbally assault her. Or shave her eyebrows off in the middle of the night." A tense exchange between the two follows, but with Ben out of earshot, of course. Thankfully, before any eyebrows can be shaved off, the rose ceremony starts.
Monica is the unlucky lady sent home this week. Though we've barely seen anything about her since the first episode- where she flirted with fellow contestant Blakeley and stirred up trouble with the emotional wreck blogger Jenna- she must have had some feelings for Ben as she seemed genuinley upset to be leaving. And Emily seemed genuinley surprised (and thankful!) to be staying.
Thanks to the now very open feud between she and Courtney, tensions are high in the house. The sneak preview of next week's episode shows that Emily is still talking about it! How does Courtney deal? By bringing Ben skinny dipping in the ocean, of course. Let the games begin!