Ben is off to "magical" Switzerland, which I hope means he's going to turn Courtney into a frog while he's there, but probably not. But Ben is too busy feeling all sorts of emotions. He's felt happy and sad and vulnerable and... well, other stuff, but I'm so bored by this guy that I started sorting my sock drawer and stopped paying attention. Really, the only thing making Ben even passably interesting as the latest bachelor is his bizarre fixation on the baby-talking mean girl Courtney. Although i can't really say I care that much if he decides to run off into the sunset with this nightmare, I hate to see all these women who seem otherwise sane get kicked aside for Widdle Coohdney and her endless lower lip sucking, skirt twirling and weirdly immature behavior (that is, when she isn't trying to get Ben to rip off his clothing -- she really has just two speeds). I'm sure that's for the best, but still.
Ben thinks about the girls. He thinks Nicki is super sweet and he can picture himself with her. He thinks Lindzi is real and looks a lot like Marsha from "The Brady Bunch" (okay, that's just me) and he can picture himself with her. He thinks Courtney is the kind of batcrap crazy that he likes and he digs chicks who talk like babies and he can picture himself with her. But wait! He still has concerns about Courtney! Ben likes to toy with us by pretending not to be an idiot sometimes.
We get to see a probably misleading promo in which Ben seems to have grave doubts about Courtney, Kacie B. flies all the way to Switzerland to warn him about Courtney, and we can assume he dumps Courtney, although I am fairly sure the producers will insist on keeping her for the final two no matter what. Get used to this promo, because you will see if before EVERY COMMERCIAL BREAK. Plus, a snippet of Emily Maynard preparing for "Bachelorette" fun. But really, this promo will make you crazy, so I hope you can fast forward a bit.
First up, it's time to canoodle with Nicki. Guess what? They're getting on a helicopter! Nicki is so excited! They look at a glacier. Ben thinks their relationship is reaching new heights (punny!) but it's grounded. They have a picnic on a mountain. Nicki tells Ben, again, how much she loves him. Ben hopes she'll agree to an overnight. Of course he does!
Just as an aside, my colleague Dan Fienberg has a name for these overnight "dates" I can't reprint here, but it starts with an F and you can figure out the rest. Really, it's far more apropos than the vague and seemingly innocent "overnight," which sounds like a middle school slumber party, so I'm going with F-dates.
Nicki's had the best date she's ever had with Ben! She wants to know how many kids he wants. He'd like four kids. Nicki only wants two, but she is really into this relationship, which I think means she's willing to pump out four kids. Hey, might as well get started! Here's the invite to the Fantasy Suite! She accepts it in a flash. Ben thinks these moments are really important, because you get to know a lot about a person. By seeing them naked.
Anyone else notice that Ben looks a great deal like a sad-eyed St. Bernard puppy? Is that what these women dig about him? Because otherwise I'm at a loss.
Nicki does not take the Fantasy Suite lightly. She feels they have an emotional and physical connection, so she's ready to look a little slutty on national television. Time for a tubby! They kiss in a tub full of bubbles while wearing underwear and a camera guy captures the love. Aw, so romantic.
Then, it's time for intense fun with Lindzi. They will be rappelling. They're going to drop 300 feet off a ledge into a gorge. Ben thinks it will bring him and Lindzi closer together. Hey, that's what the F-date is for! They dribble down the line so slowly I suspect ABC will have to give the guy running the rappel line extra money.
But dribbling down a cable into a gorge is apparently an important bonding moment, because Ben loves this woman. Next, they hot tub. Ben notices more openness and vulnerability in Lindzi, which may be due in part to her sitting on his lap in a bikini.
Time for a fabulous dinner! Lindzi isn't going to settle for a jerk, so that's why she keeps up walls. Unless there's a camera crew and lots of fabulous foreign travel involved, then the walls come tumbling down. Lindzi tells Ben she's falling in love with him. Time to present the F-date invite! She wouldn't normally accept an invitation to spend the night, but Ben is special. Ben feels honored. And probably frisky. "We're really moving forward now!" he declares.
Finally, it's time for Courtney to eat Ben alive. They take a train to a beautiful little village. It's fairy tale land! According to Ben! And they will be eating a picnic! That little wicker basket is getting a hell of a workout. Courtney thinks this would be their life, traveling together. She must say "cute" about a thousand times in this segment. Ben's cute! The bread is cute! The cows are cute! Cute, cute, cute! Becawse she's just a widdle gurl and she don't know any big wowds!
But then, it's time to eat, and Courtney mentions how badly she feels about being a mean girl. Ben isn't thrilled she was a mean girl, either. She feels terrible! It's like a dark cloud over her! She doesn't want to lose him! She's not sure if they can recover from all the bad things they've been through. Oh, yeah you can. Ben has never banged a model, so you're fine. Creepy and mean, but fine.
Time to get into a wine cellar and talk. Courtney admits she was bratty and immature, and Ben admits he's worried she won't get along with his female friends. Um, yeah, she won't. But Courtney is working on herself! Who she is with him is the real Courtney! Ben is so glad she's held herself accountable for being a mean girl, so he's wiping the slate clean and he's ready to get her out of her clothes. Time for the F-date! Yes, yes. They hot tub and make out. Courtney feel like she's in a fairy tale! Again! We get it!
We will now take a break to familiarize ourselves with new "Bachelorette" Emily Maynard. She goes to L.A. and watches "Titanic" in 3D with the last bachelorette, Ashley. They get their make-up done and try on clothes. This is just as boring as you'd suspect.
Back to Switzerland! Kacie B. knocks on Ben's door. She doesn't know what happened when he dumped her! She wants answers. Ben tells her their lives are too different (read: her parents are crazy) and their backgrounds are too different (read: her parents were super bossy and clingy), and he realized he couldn't give her all the things she needed from him (a really boring life in a small town with horrible in-laws). He eliminated her to save her. Kacie B. tells Ben she respects her parents and tries to make them happy, but what makes them happy isn't always right for her (read: she knows her parents are crazy, too).
Ben doesn't seem to be taking the bait, though, so Kacie B. changes the subject. Moving on, she makes her plug for him to dump Courtney. Why, Kacie B.? Oh my, Kacie B. is actually going to tell him. She tells Ben Courtney is in it to win it, and that she's commented that there are other fish in the sea. It makes her sick to think Ben could be hurt again if he picks Courtney. Kacie B. cares about Ben and just wants him to be happy. Ben blinks. He does not seem grateful to hear Kacie B.'s confession. In fact, he seems annoyed.
Hey, Ben? You got your chance to nail Courtney, so you can now say you did it with a model. Walk away, fast.
Ben escorts Kacie B. to the door, looking irritated. Kacie B. lies down on the floor of the hallway. Kacie B. is not dealing well with this break-up. But good for her for saying what she needed to say.
Ben is now confused. He's been thrown for a loop! Ben wonders if he's being played by Courtney. Ben, having gotten naked time with Courtney, can't possibly think straight, you know.
Ben sits down with Chris Harrison. He's questioning himself. He's not questioning his feelings, but he doesn't know what to make of the situation. He didn't have any doubts before stupid Kacie B. showed up! He's so confused!
Ben yaps about life, then hands out roses.
The first rose goes to… Lindzi.
The final rose goes to… COURTNEY. Ben is, yes, a big old idiot.
Courtney gives Nicki a hug and best wishes, of course. Ben tells Nicki this has nothing to do with her. Well, that helps not at all. He cried a little bit! But he started to have doubts. Nicki fears he'll be hurt one day (read: Courtney will walk all over you).
Nicki feels like a fool for falling so hard and so fast for someone who didn't love her back. Oh, Nicki. Let's just agree you dodged a bullet.
Next week we have the reunion show, and the week after Ben gets the chance to redeem himself by picking Lindzi. But I'm not betting the farm on it.
Were you surprised Kacie B. came back? Who got the best date? And why do you think Ben is still stuck on Courtney?