Previously on The Bachelor: Nick and Dasha slept with the fishes, and Cat proved her skill at being rejected in the middle of a stadium. Tonight on The Bachelor: Nick’s family grits their teeth and pretends not to be devastated by the way their lives have turned out.
Nick is running along a beach. In the background small children search for shells and the cast of Survivor solve a jigsaw puzzle. Today’s single date is with Sophie, who Nick feels is holding back. Holding back is the greatest sin of all in the eyes of the Honey Badger, who likes a woman who’ll spill her guts within three minutes of meeting a man. It’s kind of weird that Sophie hasn’t opened up more, because if you had any capacity for shame or embarrassment, why would you be on this show in the first place?
Sophie meets Nick at the marina, further raising suspicions that Nick is some kind of genetically-engineered dugong – why is he always wanting to hang out in the water? Nick hugs Sophie, lifting her bodily into the air and raising fears that he is about to hurl her into the ocean. “I just love his arms,” says Sophie, cutting straight to the chase to identify what she’s looking for in a life partner.
Nick has “planned” a special day out on the water in a small and extremely fast boat, to see how Sophie deals with the conflation of romance and terror that modern relationships have at their core. They dress up as Michael Crawford and Barbara Carrera from the climactic scene of the underrated 80s superhero film Condorman, and set off to shoot at some Russians.
Back at the mansion, Cass is working out, but no amount of dumbbells can ever be heavier than the great weight on her heart: the weight of being madly in love with a man who still has no idea how crazy she is. It’s just a short visit to Cass’s sad, drab inner world, though, before we’re back on the open sea, where Nick and Sophie are struggling to follow their instructor’s directions and coming closer and closer to a watery grave.
“I love that Nick is willing to give anything a go, and I’m exactly the same,” lies Sophie, because there is one thing she’s not willing to give a go, and that’s EXPRESSING HER FEELINGS.
Extreme sports over, the awkward couple take a leisurely float back to a room lit romantically by nothing but an open fire, several tealight candles, and a TV crew. It’s crunch time: will Sophie open up about how she feels, or will she yet again close up tighter than a clam being trained to withstand waterboarding by the CIA? Nick asks Sophie whether she was uneasy back at their yoga session, when she looked away from Nick’s face, something that has never happened to her before. Nick stresses that if Sophie doesn’t open up soon, he’ll kick her into touch and grab another sheila to chuck into his lineout. Rugby references, you see.
Sophie apologises for not acting like his live-in lover that time they did fake yoga together shortly after meeting each other for the first time. She promises that in future she will allow his arbitrary preferences to dictate her emotional state. Nick is pleased with this, as if there’s one thing he hates in a woman, it’s disobedience. He thinks it might be worth getting to know Sophie, in case Brooke joins the army or something.
Then Nick gives Sophie a full-on kiss on her mouth. It’s extremely reminiscent of the kisses that Romy and Cat never got. “I had so much fun today and I hope that you did too,” says Sophie, while Nick gazes in rapt attention at the carpet, wondering how much it costs to clean. Nick gives Sophie a rose that he happened to have lying about the house. “I’m going home a very happy girl,” says Sophie, living every little girl’s dream of temporarily staving off rejection from a man who is simultaneously dating fifteen other women.
Next day, the bachelorettes gather on the lawn for a demotivational speech from TAFKAAG, who reveals that today they will not be dating Nick – they will be dating Nick’s family. And believe me, Nick’s family expects a girl to put out. Nick’s father, sister and brother show up to run an eye over the assembled women before they beg Nick to please stop doing this to their family.
“The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree,” says Alisha, who continues to suffer from the debilitating nerve disease that prevents her from ever not laughing at anything. “Nick’s dad has Nick written all over him.” It’s true, you can tell that Nick’s father has definitely affixed a pair of fake testicles to a ute.
Nick’s sister is afraid that some of the women might be after Nick for the wrong reasons, but she has nothing to fear: all of these women are definitely on the show to get a headstart in the entertainment industry.
Nick’s dad chats to some of the women. Alisha reveals she works for the Labor Party. Nick’s dad reveals that he is a right-wing maniac. He says he doesn’t want Nick to end up with a Carmelite nun, which is something we were all worried about.
It’s now time for Nick’s sister to sit down with the procession of strangers who her brother is pitting against each other in a contest for the right to mate with him: a task every sister hopes to undertake one day. She is extremely impressed with Brittany, who tells her that she is thirty, a characteristic that she believes her brother is looking for in a woman. Brittany also tells her that some of the women are here for promotional reasons, following which she sits down with Cat to discuss her jewellery line. Cat is offended that Nick’s sister would cast doubt on her motivations based on nothing but her public behaviour, the latest in a long line of outrages Cat has suffered at the hands of people who have deliberately made accurate assessments of her character.
Cass sits down with Nick’s brother to beg him to make Nick marry her, and to sound him out on the possibility of them hooking up if it doesn’t work out with Nick. Meanwhile Romy sits down with Nick’s sister to smile like a cartoon witch and tell her how awful and stupid and babyish Cass is. Out of nothing but the goodness of the gaping void where her heart should be, Romy is letting her know that if Nick picks Cass, he will be in real danger of dating someone who isn’t Romy.
But there is devilry afoot! Behind a nearby window, Blair stands, by complete accident, not intending to eavesdrop at all but by pure chance and against her will hearing what’s going on. She can’t believe it, and immediately relays to Cass that Romy, against all expectations, is being a douchebag.
Meanwhile Nick’s family has chosen Brooke to have one-on-one time with them and Nick that night, because having more than one functioning brain cell, they can tell she’s already won this thing. His sister explains that she liked how Brooke talked about herself rather than slagging off the other women, and that she’s not that impressed by women throwing other women under the bus. No idea who she’s talking about there, to be honest.
Back at the mansion, Romy and Cat and Alisha have gathered for their daily “every woman on earth is a bitch except us” debrief session. Romy is OUTRAGED that Blair would pass on the details of a PRIVATE CONVERSATION to the person whose character she was ASSASSINATING in that PRIVATE CONVERSATION. The three of them come to confront Blair. “Game on, molls,” says Cat, which is a violation of trademark law.
Romy tells Blair that she didn’t actually hear the conversation properly, because she wasn’t dissing anyone, suggesting that maybe Romy didn’t hear the conversation properly. “Romy calls a spade a spade,” says Alisha, although this is more a case of Romy calling a spade a mentally unstable child who will ruin your brother’s life. Romy heaps abuse on Blair, accusing her of having “no class” the way she runs around giving verbatim accounts of Romy’s smears to people. It’s like everywhere Romy turns, there’s someone else providing reality-based descriptions of her, and it’s a terrible betrayal.
It’s cocktail party time, and Nick has a private chat with some woman or other, reassuring her that even though nobody is quite sure who she is, she remains uppermost in his mind. Inside, Cass is entertaining everyone with Nick’s biography. All the other women are disturbed by the strong feelings Cass already has for Nick: why can’t she be more like them, ruthlessly trying to cut each other down in order to win the affections of a man they have no feelings for whatsoever.
As Nick is chatting to another random woman and she is showing him a weird bit of folk art she made for him, Cass walks out and demands her propers. Alisha expresses her confusion. “It doesn’t make sense,” she says, referring either to the Cass-Nick situation or the fact that she is still on the show despite apparently never having spoken to Nick or showed any interest in wanting to win the game at all.
Cass chats to Nick to find out why, despite the fact she went to the trouble of writing down something stupid in a journal, he hasn’t proposed to her yet. Nick explains that there’s a bunch of hotties here and she needs to calm the frig down. Cass is devastated and returns inside to mourn and weep and plan what dress she will wear when her corpse floats down the river past Nick’s castle.
Now Nick is talking to Cat, and you can’t help but admire his courage. Cat is angry she’s been thrown under the bus – usually when people are run over by buses Cat is the driver. Cat assures Nick that she’s not here to spruik her jewellery, which is handcrafted and available at very reasonable prices, PayPal accepted. Vanessa Sunshine chimes in to observe that Cat and Romy treat the others like crap but kick up a stink when they get some of their own medicine, and also that she’s barely been in this episode so far, what the hell?
Time for a rose ceremony, and Romy is hoping that Nick will recognise that Blair, via her “listening to things” and “saying facts to people”, is just a troublemaker. Cass is scared because at the last rose ceremony she got the last rose, and she thinks this is a bad sign because she still doesn’t understand how this show works. Blair wants Romy gone because she’s bitchy and always causing drama, which is something TV producers hate.
Sophie has a rose already. There are thirteen roses left, and fourteen women. Someone is going to cry tonight. It’s going to be me. But also, one of the women will go home.
Tenille gets a rose because it’s the first name that popped into Nick’s head.
Brittany gets a rose because she’s thirty.
Cat’s inner monologue interjects to say, “I think I deserve a rose because I spent so long building my business”, which should really put to bed any suspicions she’s here for the wrong reasons.
Rhiannon gets a rose because she’s great doing odd jobs around the house.
Brooke gets a rose because DUH.
Dasha gets a rose because she is some hot goulash.
Romy gets a rose because there are still a few buses with no one under them.
Cass gets a rose because when you got ‘em on the hook, it’d be a shame to not watch ‘em squirm for a while.
Shannon gets a rose because of the big sponsorship dollars she brings in.
Emily gets a rose because…who’s Emily?
Vanessa Sunshine gets a rose because she’s packing heat.
Ashley gets a rose. Ashley? What?
Alisha gets a rose because the world is not necessarily a logical place.
And finally…Cat gets a rose, because Nick is really interested in big savings on bulk bangle purchases.
This means Blair has to go home, proving the truth of that old Bachelor adage: snitches get stitches. Romy is very happy at this development, even happier than she usually is when she sees another woman feeling sad.
Tune in tomorrow night, when Rhiannon turns out to have the power of speech and disgusting things happen in a tent.