Last week I ended my The Bachelor recap with this: “They’re all going to Tuscany! That’s where I went for my honeymoon—can’t wait to see if The Bachelor is able to ruin that happy memory for me!” Well, oh boy, do I have some thoughts. So let’s get right to it, shall we? Spoilers ahead, obviously.
The episode begins with Arie prowling around outside the Duomo and musing about the wonders of Tuscany. He keeps talking about the region being so romantic and, yes, it is…if you’re not a 20-something future Instagram Influencer dating a man whose entire personality can be summed up as “cars.” Just, cars.
While Arie is busy in Florence, the women are inexplicably in Pisa—it’s about an hour and a half’s drive away—with Chris Harrison. He tells them there won’t be a rose ceremony this week. Instead, they’ll have three one-on-one dates and a group date, with roses up for grabs at each. The winners will go on to the Hometown Dates and the losers will be sent home, so the stakes are high—if you actually want to introduce Arie to your family, that is.
“I really think I could do it!” – Jacqueline, talking about falling in love like it’s a research project
The first date of the week goes to Becca. She puts on her best off-the-shoulder dress while Arie drives up in a red convertible. (I told you: cars.) They drive down winding roads lined by beautiful olive trees to Barga, a picturesque little town that they’ve apparently cleared out just for The Bachelor. An adorable older gentleman sells them bread, and I wish I could warn Arie and Becca: It’s not as good as it looks! Tuscan bread is notoriously flavorless because they cook it without salt, so they’re going to need some olive oil to pep it up. I know, I know: I should be talking about Arie and Becca’s conversation—not menu planning their picnic—but these two are so boring I’ve mentally checked out. ANYWAY they kiss in the sun against a wall, and Becca doesn’t even set her wine glass down for it. Respect.
Back at the hotel, Jacqueline is emotional about…something? She says a lot of vague things, but the main takeaway is that she can’t visualize what “conversations” Arie and her parents would have on a Hometown Date, and I think to myself, “Good! Go with your instinct!” If your gut is telling you this man with a dozen girlfriends is not a match then GTFO.
On their date, Becca tells Arie she’s falling for him. They kiss and clutch at each other’s faces in way that’s supposed to be romantic but instead makes me feel claustrophobic. He gives her the rose, which means she’s going to have a Hometown Date. Congrats, Becca! My apologies to your family.
That night, Lauren learns she’s getting the next one-on-one, which the other women say is a good sign because it means Arie’s interested. Shouldn’t he be? Isn’t that why they’re still here? Jacqueline, however, is not feeling the good vibes. She’s still crying over all the what ifs, so she decides to talk to Arie about it. Ominous music plays. She hesitates before knocking on his door. Cut to commercial.
When the show returns, Arie is surprised to see Jacqueline at his door. She tells him she was swept away at first, but now she’s not feeling confident about their relationship. Ever since their date she’s had doubts, and she worries that one day she’ll wake up in Scottsdale married to him and wonder how she got there. (What a nightmare.) Arie makes an excellent point that, erm, things don’t have to move that quickly, but Jacqueline still thinks she should leave so other women who are more into Arie can stay. Then, after all of this, she makes out with him. Not just a goodbye peck—this was a full-on, weirdly intense kiss.
“What are you struggling with: being ready or being interested in me?” – Arie, LOL
After one last way-too-long-for-a-breakup makeout, Jacqueline leaves. She breaks down crying in the hallway, which feels like an overreaction for a guy you’ve technically had one solo date with. When she breaks the news to the women, Kendall is really torn up about this. Honestly, this moves me deeply because I love when these pseudo-sister wives become friends.
“I do think I kinda suck at being happy.” – Jacqueline. Getting this engraved on my tombstone.
The next morning, Lauren puts on her best off-the-shoulder top for her date with Arie to the small, beautiful town of Lucca. They bike around around, eat gelato, and spend hours not talking to each other before climbing up a tower to kiss at the top.
“It’s very Italian.” – Lauren about, uh, Italy
After the tower, they share a prosciutto pizza. This is my dream date—literally, my entire honeymoon consisted of pizza and gelato in Italy—just replace Arie with my sweet husband and send Lauren off to whatever storage room they keep all the Laurens at in between Bachelor seasons. Some cute kids kick a ball nearby, so Arie decides they should join their game. The kids 100% did not ask for this, so it must be Arie’s way of avoiding awkward non-convos with Lauren.
That night, Lauren tells Arie she’s starting to fall in love with him. He responds with a deep sigh and then immediately gets up from the table. Yikes. Lauren sheds exactly two tears while Arie paces around in the dark by himself. When he returns, he reveals he’s falling “so deeply” for her that it’s “crazy.” So, why did he leave? Did he have like, a boner or something? Not to be crass—I’m just so confused by his reaction, and that’s the only explanation my brain will accept. They have not talked all day! They have no chemistry! What is going on?!
“God, I’m falling in love with that girl.” – Arie on Lauren. HOW.
The next day, Seinne and Arie meet up with a delightful truffle hunter and his two fluffy dogs for their date. What fun! The delightful truffle hunter even invites them to his home to meet his delightful truffle-eating family. They cook homemade pasta and grill Seinne about love. It’s charming. If I were Seinne, I would tell Arie to leave me there. Imagine living in the Tuscan countryside with cute dogs, a happy Italian family, and an endless supply of wood-fire pizza. The dream!
That evening, though, something seems off between Seinne and Arie. She basically confesses that when she’s not with Arie she’s not really thinking about him—but today’s date changed that for her. Uh huh, sure. He says he’s struggling to find the “deep emotion” he’s found on the last two dates, which I call bullshit on because he and Lauren do not speak. Ever. Oh, and he’s sending Seinne home? Rude.
We barely have time to reflect on Seinne’s departure before it’s time for the group date with Kendall, Bekah (in her best off-the-shoulder top), and Tia. Kendall and Arie kiss and discuss how their lives would be after the show. She says she’d be willing to move to Scottsdale to be with him. No shade to Scottdale but yeesh this made me sad to hear. Meanwhile, Tia’s questioning how serious Bekah is taking this reality show that casts 1,000 women named Lauren. For some reason she thinks it’s her duty to talk to Arie about it. He, however, says she shouldn’t “harp” on it too much, which is such an old-timey man thing to say. Would he tell his bros not to “harp” on something? Nope.
Perhaps sensing this wasn’t her best move, Tia tells Bekah that she talked to Arie about her. Bekah immediately wells up with tears, and her cry face is so sweet and adorable. It makes me want to cry too! When she meets with Arie, Bekah sniffles into his chest and they share a tender moment. Arie’s at his best when he thinks a woman needs him. Problematic, but I’ll allow it for now because it’s making Bekah feel better.
Still, Arie gives Kendall a rose. She leaves so Bekah and Tia can have a two-on-one date with Arie. They take turns trying to convince him to love them which is so depressing. The rose ultimately goes to Tia, and she sighs with relief.
That means Bekah is leaving, but she handles it well. “It’s OK,” she tells Arie on her way to the waiting car. “It’s gonna end well for you, I know it is.” She doesn’t cry until she’s out of his sight, which breaks my heart. So now we have to keep going with this show without Seinne, Jacqueline, or Bekah there? What’s the point of watching anymore? Who do I root for? LAUREN? No.
Next week: Kendall shows off her taxidermy! And angry dads threaten to kill Arie!