March 12, 2012
It wasn’t supposed to go down like this, you guys. When given a choice between good and evil, good is supposed to win out, right? Or, in this case, given a choice between boring and evil, boring is still supposed to win out, isn’t it? Yes, Lindzi the Horse Girl is bland and dull and her only interesting moment in this entire series was when she made her entrance on a horse, but she’s not a terrible human being who is constantly being terrible, and that should count for something, shouldn’t it? But nope. Despite countless warnings from the other women — many other women, despite Sparkle Pony flying herself out to Switzerland and lying prone in front of his hotel room door, despite Courtney the Villainess herself flaunting and hissing and spitting at the other ladies IN FRONT OF BEN THE WINE DUDE’S FACE, he chose SPOILER ALERT! her. He chose the villain! It’s not supposed to go down this way! Did he learn nothing from Jake Pavelka?
How did we get here, chickens?
We begin this ordeal in Zermatt, Switzerland, which is near the famous Matterhorn and quite lovely and based on what I’ve seen of it from this episode, can only be traversed via helicopter. Ben the Wine Dude explains that it’s a perfect place for his “story of love” (gag) to end because: mountains. As is custom on The Bachelor franchises, Ben the Wine Dude’s family — his mother and sister but not his father because his father is DEAD — is flown out to meet him and to give the final two ladies the once-over. And not a moment too soon, frankly, as Ben the Wine Dude has proven incapable of making good choices when left to his own devices. Ben the Wine Dude breaks into sobs at the sight of his family, which is only understandable considering the Gitmo-like torture he’s been enduring the last few weeks while traveling the world with his harem.
Mom the Wine Mom and Julia the Wine Sister promise to take a good hard look at these women, and learn what it is that they like about Ben the Wine Dude, because, honestly, isn’t that really the question? No seriously, what on Earth do you people see in him?
Julia the Wine Sister, she does not appear to be kidding around, she seems prepared to cut someone if it comes down to that. OH SHE HAS HEARD ALL ABOUT THIS MISS COURTNEY THE MODEL WHO EVERYONE HATES, AND SHE WILL JUST SEE ABOUT HER.
But first: Lindzi the Horse Girl, who is perfectly nice and perfectly polite and makes appropriate noises about how “compassionate” Ben the Wine Dude is and how she respects his love for his family and how she’s completely fallen in love with their son/brother and yawn. Julia the Wine Sister is all, Yeah, yeah, you like my brother, great. Now tell me all about this Courtney the Villainess: she’s a nightmare, right? However, Lindzi the Horse Girl, she is much too nice and vanilla and above it all, and only makes some weak sauce noises about how she and Courtney the Villainess are different people. But I suppose not telling the truth about Courtney the Villainess’s awfulness is how Lindzi the Horse Girl made it this far, right, MC Infectious?
Next up: Courtney the Villainess. Mom the Wine Mom and Julia the Wine Sister both make skeptical faces upon learning that Courtney is a model, AS THEY SHOULD. Ben the Wine Dude worries that Courtney isn’t going to get along with his mother and sister, AS HE SHOULD.
But then Courtney the Villainess arrives and works her voodoo on the Flajnik women, offering up her completely insane version of events in which she was the victim: the other women weren’t nice to her, and never made an effort to get to know her, on account of her beauty, obvs. And the Wine Ladies! They buy it hook, line and sinker! They eat it all up! NOM NOM NOM. TELL US MORE, COURTNEY THE VILLAINESS MODEL!
They say things like: “don’t judge a book by its cover” and Courtney is “sweet” and a “good fit for their family.” And I might be more shocked by this had Julia the Wine Sister not demonstrated her remarkable lack of judgment through her choice of hats. I mean, HONESTLY, what was that? (A screen capture shall have to wait until the end of the week — but I am coming for you, Julia the Wine Sister’s hat, OH YES I AM.)
Ben the Wine Dude discusses the women with his mother and sister who dismiss Lindzi the Horse Girl as being “lovely,” but that Courtney! There’s a catch! You can just tell she’s the type of girl who will never make you regret proposing! Again! Ben the Wine Dude sighs an “OH DADS” (~me shaking my fist at his stupid boring face~) and pretends to think hard about his decision even though we know it has already been made, come on.
But instead of just getting on with it and giving Courtney the Villainess the ring already, we have to fill two hours with Ben the Wine Dude’s “final dates” with each of the ladies. Ben the Wine Dude picks up Lindzi the Horse Girl in a horse-drawn carriage, because: horses. He then announces that they are going to go skiing — something that Lindzi the Horse Girl has never done before, because it’s hard to ride horses with 5-foot bits of wood strapped to your feet, and somehow she wasn’t part of that pantless ski party in San Francisco. Hey, you know what is a terrible date? Taking someone skiing for the first time in their lives. This is not a romantic thing to do! Skiing is hard and awkward and not fun if you have no idea what you are doing! And watching someone flail around in the snow? Not sexy! But go on ahead, Ben the Wine Dude. Load Lindzi the Horse Girl up into a gondola with a “romantic picnic” complete with wine (another excellent idea for the novice skier: here! have some booze before strapping deathskis onto your legs!), and take her to the top of the mountain where you will uncomfortably drag her behind you down the bunny slope so she can make a bunch of metaphors about trust and vulnerability. Great date, guys.
That night, Lindzi the Horse Girl becomes Very Serious with Ben the Wine Dude and blah blah blahs about how she’s finally opening up to him and thanking him for being patient with her and ohbytheway, she’s in love with him. Ben the Wine Dude blinks in response. Super great date, guys.
The next day, Ben the Wine Dude and Courtney the Villainess get into a helicopter so as to fly around the mountains and talk about how their relationship is reaching “new heights,” because this show will never miss an opportunity to make an obvious metaphor. The helicopter eventually deposits them on top of a mountain where they have a picnic next to an icy lake, and no one is wearing nearly enough clothing. Rule of thumb: if it’s cold enough to sled towards an icy lake or make snow angels, you should be wearing a coat. Probably some gloves.
That night, Courtney the Villainess, taking a cue from Juggz, presents Ben the Wine Dude with some sort of scrapbook of their adventures together, and reads to him a letter that cleverly reiterates that whole “past present future” nonsense that he said when they were on top of that temple, sacrificing goats and the dignity of Ben the Wine Dude’s father’s memory. Ben the Wine Dude, he tries to make some concerned faces. He shakes his head and talks about being confused and worried about Courtney being defensive, and it’s almost convincing! For a moment, it seemed like his decision had not already been made!
We then get to endure the women yammering about their feelings for Ben the Wine Dude and the potential proposal awaiting them. In short: terrified, excited. Bonus Lindzi the Horse Girl feelings: horrible for Ben the Wine Dude if Ben the Wine Dude were to propose to the wrong person.
After Ben the Wine Dude assures Chris Harrison that this is a Very Difficult Decision and that Both Women are Incredible, he meets with Neil Lane whom The Producers flew out to Switzerland so that Ben the Wine Dude could pick out another engagement ring and assure Neil Lane that this time he proposes, it’s going to be for realz. Neil Lane kinda shrugs his shoulders and is like, “Great?”
Everyone gets dressed: Ben the Wine Dude in his suit; Lindzi the Horse Girl in some sort of crow befeathered evening gown; Courtney the Villainess in full-length opera gloves; both ladies in helicopter capes.
As Ben blathers about how in love he is with the woman he has chosen — that this is the right woman, the one he sees his future with — the ladies are loaded up into the helicopters. Lindzi in her feathered mess emerges from the first helicopter so we all know what that means: WELCOME TO DUMPSVILLE! POPULATION: YOU. Lindzi the Horse Girl shrugs it off and is like, “Whatever. When it doesn’t work out with The Awful One, give me a call.” And with that, she puts back on her black helicopter cape over her black crow dress and flies out of Ben the Wine Dude’s life. Dark wings, dark words and all that.
Which means: sometimes the bad guy wins. Courtney the Villainess lands, doffs her helicopter cape, and marches over to Ben the Wine Dude where he blurts out a proposal: Courtney the Villainess is pretty, she is really very very pretty, and he wasn’t going to propose again until he knew it was going to be forever, and he knows it’s going to be forever with her because she is so pretty. And Courtney the Villainess, she accepts — WITH AN “OH MY DAD” NO LESS — because she hasn’t come this far to not get some bling out of the whole deal, come on.
And were that the end.
Instead, we get to enjoy an “After the Final Rose” special, wherein we learn where it all went wrong. Ben the Wine Dude explains that the stress of being kept apart from Courtney and then watching her villainy play out over the course of the season, made him freak out and break up with her. Which it should! Because she is terrible! There is some talk about him cheating on her and Courtney trying on wedding dresses as a tabloid diversion and whatever. Courtney then comes out alone, and offers that Ben the Wine Dude broke up with her before Valentine’s Day, and didn’t even send a card! She then tries to claim that they are still together? Before admitting that she’s not sure if they are still together? And it is very confusing and there is a lot of crying and she accuses him of abandoning her, on account of her being terrible.
Ben the Wine Dude comes back out to join Courtney the Villainess and Chris Harrison asks them Very Serious Questions about their relationship. Courtney the Villainess has the gall to say that she doesn’t trust Ben the Wine Dude — because he dumped her when he saw how truly awful she is. And while I’m impressed with her audacity, it is actually very in character with Courtney who always manages to turn herself into the victim of her own bad behavior. But whatever, Ben the Wine Dude and Courtney cry over the proposal and Ben the Wine Dude then insists that they are still engaged and Chris Harrison, he has the engagement ring for some reason, and Ben the Wine Dude puts it back on her finger and announces that there will be a wedding. That, or a special interview with Chris Harrison in about, oh, I don’t know, 6 weeks, or however long it is before St. Emily’s stint on The Bachelorette begins, wherein Ben the Wine Dude explains, again, where it all went wrong a la St. Emily did that one time; or, preferably, where Ben the Wine Dude and Courtney the Villainess both come out and glare and hiss threats at one another and make false accusations of domestic abuse and accuse the other of shipping Scotch the dog away because Ben the Wine Dude refused to clean up after him, ever, a la Jake and Vienna. A girl can dream.
Dr. Tube Socks and J.P. are also dragged out onto the stage to assure The Bachelor audience that yes, they are still getting married. No, seriously. It’s going to happen. They throw in a few teases about Dr. Tube Socks (who is finally a real dentist, I’m obliged to point out) being pregnant, just to really shore up the relationship. I, for one, hope it works out for those kids, but I shall not be holding my breath.
And that’s it! We are done! No more hairdo! No more crocodile tears! No more “OH MY DADS!” No more helicopter rides! No more dates as metaphors! Not with these terrible people, at least. I hope to see you in May when St. Emily leaves her child behind to spend several weeks dating a passel of dimwitted bohunks in an effort to find “true love.” Here’s to hoping they give that Bentley another shot! (dot dot dot)
The Bachelor airs on ABC Mondays at 7 p.m.
This post originally appeared on the Hearst site Chron.com.