This week sees the 18 remaining personality disorders head to Ben's Californian home town of Sonoma, which sounds a lot to me like a brand of sleeping pill. Do not visit Sonoma while operating heavy machinery.
Apparently Ben wants to introduce the girls to his winery, despite the events of episode one suggesting that involving these women with more wine-related products is not a good idea.
"I wonder what my father would say to me in moments like this," the Benchelor muses.
"What the HELL are you doing acting like a tool on national television, son?" is my guess.
The babe buffet cart arrives and they all tumble out, trilling sentences involving the words "super", "excited" and "super excited", and because it's only 10.30 in the morning, Ben opens some more bottles of wine.
"I'm gonna need a top up here."
Time for the first date - it's "Kacie B", which sounds rather like the name of a one hit wonder pop star from the 90s. Her one song would have been called something like "I'd Like 2 Love U" and would have had a video filmed entirely in front of a green screen.
Kacie B and Ben head off on their date while all the other girls stay in the mansion to read philosophy and discuss 19th century Russian literature and dissect modern feminism. OK, actually I mean to drink wine.
"Seriously, where did all the wine go?"
"There's something I want to show Kacie that's really personal," says Ben, and I hope he's talking about the contents of his underpants.
"It's something I hold near and dear to my heart," he continues, and for Kacie's sake I still hope he's talking about the content of his underpants.
They head out on the town and gee, doesn't Sonoma look fun?
Now I know why it sounds like a sleeping pill.
Ben shows Kacie all the exciting sights of Sonoma, like the glittering lights of the cheese shop:
The parallel parks on the main street:
An empty courtyard:
And the local pub, where they play the lobby piano badly. Fortunately, like the rest of Sonoma, the place is completely deserted so no one is bothered.
It begins to dawn on me that Sonoma might have recently been devastated by nuclear fallout, a suspicion that gets stronger when two apparent survivors - the only other people in town - stagger out of the darkness towards Kacie and Ben in search of food and water.
"Run! Save yourselves! There is nothing for humanity here!"
Seizing the opportunity for looting, Kacie and Ben head to Sonoma's now deserted toy shop where Kacie enthuses "Ben brings out things in me I haven't felt in a long time!"
Not since the age of about three, I'd say.
Unbeknownst to Ben, Kacie also takes the opportunity to arm herself with a huge stick, which will come in handy when they start arguing over the last of the water.
TRUST. NO ONE.
Sadly it's not a self defense ninja stick, it's a baton made for "twirling". I dunno, it's some crazy American crap girls do at school. Anyway she throws it around a bit and makes Ben walk down the street with it, and after a few minutes of playing with his stick they're at dinner.
"I'm a hopeless romantic, that's how I was raised - in the SOUTH," Kacie winks.
"I need to see THE SOUTH... the REAL SOUTH," Ben smirks.
"You need to COME to THE SOUTH - I'll show you THE SOUTH," says Kacie before they both shout "VAGINA VAGINA VAGINA!"
But all this dirty talk is nothing compared to the thrills that await them at the super popular Sonoma movie theatre:
Even on tight-arse Tuesday no one goes.
The cinema has kindly agreed to interrupt their season of Flubber to screen home movies of Kacie and Ben. Yes, you read that right. Ben has taken Kacie to the cinema to watch videos of herself as a child. Anyone else think this sounds like something a serial killer would do?
"I don't want to spoil the ending... but she dies."
Unsurprisingly, watching home videos of Ben's late father puts something of a dampener on the evening so they go back to the mansion, where the girls are getting ready for a "group date" with Ben. This sounds a lot kinkier than it is. Unless you invite Blakely the 34-year-old cocktail waitress, which Ben did.
"I'm gonna try not to let anything get between me and Ben, but who knows what may come in my way," says Blakely.
Yeah, who knows.
GROUP DATE TIME! Ben takes 11 of the women into the middle of Sonoma, where no one will hear them scream, and executes them one by one. Not really. He actually announces they're going to have to audition for roles in a play written by a bunch of local children.
"Um, is the execution option still available?"
Totally awkward and not fun at all group date in a nutshell:
- "I LOVE children!" enthuses Jennifer, until they ask her to act like a weasel.
"BITCH YOU BE PLAYIN'?"
- Jenna is instructed to act like a gingerbread man and fails miserably, but her tan gets good reviews.
- "Wait, a PLAY? Didn't you say we were going to be in PLAYBOY?" says Blakely.
Vote 1: Citizens Against Rompers.
"Mom told us to stay away from women like you."
- Seizing the opportunity to watch some jiggling boobs without having to lock themselves in their bedrooms first, the kids tell Blakely to "jog in slow motion". Ben high fives them all.
Blakely is a woman of many talents.
- "It's really important for Ben to see me in a different light today, so I'm going to put my trust in the kids," says Jenna.
Yeah. You might want to rethink that.
- Blakely answers the question "What do you get when you cross a gingerbread man and a hooker?" with this:
Don't put it in your mouth, you don't know where it's been.
- Finally the play - "Prince Pinot of Bachelorville" (of COURSE this was written by kids) - gets underway at the town hall, and the audience goes wild.
Their faces say so much.
- Somehow every character in it is scripted to kiss Ben, including the weasel, the pig, the donkey and the tree. So, just like The Bachelor then.
- Through some sort of plot twist, Ben has to dress as a sheep and then take all his clothes off (of COURSE this was written by kids).
"Holy shit, this is better than Flubber at the Sonoma cinema!"
- "This is the first time I've ever been attracted to a sheep," says Jaclyn.
I'd say the feeling is nearly mutual.
Back at the mansion it's been at least two hours since anyone had a drink, so the Benchelor pops some champagne and Samantha immediately runs off to the toilets, perhaps to hide from the giant phantom meringue that's started haunting the place.
Run, don't walk.
Meanwhile, Ben displays his stunning lack of perception by telling Blakely "I feel like everybody really likes you" at exactly the same time as everybody is bitching about her around the pool.
"I'm just blessed in some places," Blakely says.
Yes, we've seen both of them.
"For someone like me who hates *BEEP*, it's just very difficult to be around Blakely all the time," bitches Samantha. Fun game: Fill in the blank! Did Samantha say:
b) "horse-faced cocktail waitresses",
c) "Hilary Swank lookalikes", or
d) "vaginas" ?
Back to Ben, who is busy pashing Jennifer in the spa - it seems her Tony-worthy performance as "the weasel" really WAS a turn on. Grandmas, empty movie theatres and rodent impressions, that's what gets this guy going.
Oh, and boobs. Which is why he also pashes Blakely, and then gives her a rose. Jennifer cries, because she doesn't understand that she's on a reality TV show where one guy makes out with 18 women for three months.
No time to wonder about that now, it's time for another solo date - this time with Courtney. Hey Ben, what does Courtney do again?
"She's a model, for crying out loud!"
Oh that's right.
"I've decided to bring scotch along today," announces Ben, which I think is advisable given he's going on a date with Courtney - I hope he has at least a litre.
Unfortunately for everyone it turns out he's talking about his dog, Scotch. Never mind, I'm sure wine will be involved at some point.
Ben, Courtney and Scotch head off leaving all the other women to bitch about how she's fake and rude and how Ben will soon find out for himself what a cow she is.
Ben and Courtney, meanwhile, pick up their highly intelligent "You have great hair, no YOU have great hair" conversation of episode one.
"You look really hot driving this car!" laughs Courtney.
"You look better riding shotgun!" fires back Ben, pithily.
They sit down on a riverbank, the Benchelor pops another bottle of wine, and all of California considers stockpiling pinot grigio in case the state's supply runs dry by the end of the week.
"Courtney's the full package, it's almost too good to be true," sighs Ben in what a cynic might describe as FORESHADOWING OF THE PLOT.
Even Scotch knows Courtney is a bad idea.
Ignoring all the warning signs, off they pop to dinner which tonight is being held in a local fire hazard:
Candles and haybales - the perfect mix for a fiery night of passion.
The Benchelor tells Courtney all about his wild past as an "internet advertiser".
"I had money, and my life was all about excess and partying and travelling and I got to live it up..."
"...and I didn't really cope because having fun and partying was my escape, so I gave it up..."
Suddenly Courtney can wait no longer to hear her the sound of her own voice, so starts banging on about exes and "trust issues" and "being genuine" and "a-ha moments" - thus creating her own cue to yell "A-HA!" and kiss the Benchelor.
"I would have said 'abra-cadabra'."
He gives her a rose, she moons over it in her stupid three-year-old voice, everyone consistently fails to kick over one of the 57 candles and set the vineyard alight and we move on, bitterly disappointed, to the rose ceremony.
Rose ceremony in a nutshell:
- Lucky Courtney already has her rose, as it looks like she's become possessed by that phantom meringue that's been menacing the house.
It's coming for YOU.
- The Benchelor says "near and dear to my heart" for about the FIVE MILLIONTH TIME THIS EPISODE. Late drinking game - grab a bottle of pinot grigio and drink it down in one.
- Lindzi reminds Ben that she likes horses. WE FUCKING KNOW.
- "It feels nice to wear real makeup because usually dirt is my makeup," farm girl Lindzi continues.
As opposed to this makeup, which just LOOKS like dirt.
- Meanwhile, who invited RuPaul?
You better WERK.
- Not to mention,
- Not content with already receiving a rose, Blakely sets her phasers on stun and begins stage one of Operation Dignity Destroy, repeatedly hunting Ben down all over the house and locking him into awkward conversation. The first mission is a success, with the Benchelor telling her "I was impressed with you on the group date, I thought your audition was perfect."
Just a reminder.
- The Benchelor somehow finds someone other than Blakely to talk to for a while but his plans are soon foiled when she uses her superhuman hearing to track him down to the hallway.
"Sorry, didn't we just talk like, a second ago?"
- Fortunately for Ben, Blakely soon finds someone willing to talk to her all night:
"So, do you come here often?"
- At long last Ben sits down for a chat with our favourite crazy blogger Jenna, who immediately attempts to rectify the sad lack of accidental fires in this episode by throwing her fur coat onto a candle. Sadly her plan is foiled by Mr Safety Conscious. Darn.
- "I want to be honest here," says Jenna. "I feel like a guy."
The correct accompanying sound effect for this photo is: CRICKETS.
- "I don't want you to think that I'm not, cos I might appear as if I'm not, I mean it's hard like, you know, there's only you so, it's like waiting around for you and it's totally worth it but it's not like a girl, if that makes any sense," says Jenna.
- Fortunately Jenna is interrupted by someone else who's possibly not a girl:
"STEP OFF, IT'S MAMMA'S TIME TO SHINE."
- Jenna runs off crying for the second episode running, everyone blames it on Blakely who then tries to impersonate a piece of luggage:
Blakely is virtually indistinguishable from an old bag.
- Detective Ben shows off his superior perceptive skills for the second time this episode by musing: "I don't know what it is but the mood of the party is shifting, these women seem to be getting a lot more emotional."
Hmm, I wonder why that could be...
Under direction from the producersEntirely of his own free will, Ben seeks out Blakely to judge for himself whether her suitcase impression is good enough to go on The X Factor.
"I don't think Simon Cowell will dig it."
- Next stop on Ben's crazy tour is Jenna's bedroom, where she has thrown herself under a doona to cry about not being a girl. Or something. Any sane man would run out of that house as fast as possible and not look back, but not the Benchelor. He's not sane.
- Meanwhile, IS THIS SHIT STILL GOING? CHRIST.
Everyone gets a rose except for some blonde girl I've never seen before and... oh god no, NOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!
"I'm in shock! I came here looking for love! I feel sick! ARE YOU KIDDING ME?" she shouts into the night sky, tears streaming down her face.
"NO REALLY, ARE YOU KIDDING ME?" Jenna cries at exactly the same time as me.
Yeah really Ben? You're going to turn THIS down?
"I'm MORTIFIED. I CAN'T BELIEVE THIS IS HAPPENING," she shrieks, before spontaneously combusting in a puff of Vicodin and ash.
We're gonna miss you, you crazy blogger.
GO BACK IN TIME TO Episode 1 | OR GO FORTH TO Episode 3