We rejoin Sam out in the field, literally, where he is meeting two potential new recruits to the Shag Mansion:
"Hey, why the long faces?"
Having not had a ride in weeks he's pretty keen, but ultimately decides against the idea after he tries to give them both a rose, and they eat them.
Despondent, Sam leans on a fence in a photogenic way, sighing: "The trick now is to try and see which girls are not just great in bursts, but a woman I can spend the rest of my life with."
Or, in equestrian terms, someone who can run the steeplechase, not just a furlong.
Meanwhile back at the Shag Mansion all the bachelorettes are road testing a new anti-depressant drug for a multinational pharmaceutical company, as per clause 37.1.b of their contracts.
"Woahhh... I feel like an amorphous blob of sunshine!"
"I CAN SEE THE WIND!"
There's a mild panic when Bec announces she might be a chicken, and Heather declares there is no god and that no man or devil can touch the inky darkness of her being.
But then a yellow envelope blows in through the window and everyone cheers.
"Blah blah blah group date blah blah people's names," says Heather, reading from the card.
Looks like a bunch of women are going on some sort of date with Sam!
"'The race is on'," continues Heather, reading out the clue.
"Little athletics!" shrieks Bec, who may or may not still be high from the trial drugs.
Meanwhile, it seems Emily is not happy at having to share a group date with Nina.
"The more I've gotten to know Nina, she's very fake," she says.
Damn, there goes my irony meter.
"I don't know much about Nina, but I know she isn't somebody I'd be friends with," Emily continues.
Meanwhile, in Nina's head:
"Who's Emily again?"
As it turns out, the mention of "racing" in the clue was actually a cryptic reference to racing, so they all pile into some four-wheeled advertisements and drive off to a go-karting track, where Sam is waiting for them.
"Are you ready ladies?" asks a passing tumbleweed, rolling across the track.
It's fair to say no one is more ready than Nina, who not only has come dressed as the chequered flag...
...but has seemingly been preparing for this moment all her life, gleefully announcing that she is into "drifting" and "Japanese imports".
After missing out on the epic tyre-changing date of episode six, this is Nina's dream come true.
Meanwhile, Emily is still talking about Nina to prove how unimportant Nina is.
"I just don't see anything with Nina and Sam, I just don't think he would be really attracted to her, she's a bit crass," says Emily, who is wearing cubic zirconia.
"Emily... Emily... nope, it's not ringing a bell."
"First one over the line is the winner!" yells the tumbleweed as the bachelorettes stride towards their go-karts in their natty orange racing uniforms.
Supercheap Auto's new commercial as directed by Quentin Tarantino.
"I'm going to smash this race and go full throttle," says Emily, before adding "Wait, is 'throttle' the right word? I thought that was like, strangling someone? Isn't it 'clutch'? Or 'gearbox'? I'm going to go full gearbox?"
What follows is five minutes of people in indistinguishable orange suits driving moderately slowly around a tiny race track inside a warehouse, which is as thrilling as it sounds. You can achieve the same level of excitement by taking six oranges and rolling them down your hallway while squealing.
In the end it turns out Nina's revhead boasting was all for nought, as Emily takes home the trophy by a massive margin.
So I can only assume these were the "Japanese imports" Nina was referring to.
Unfortunately due to a mix up involving the pit lane and Nina being blind and/or a bit thick, she incorrectly believes she has won the race, fanging around the track in a victory lap and punching the air... until the tumbleweed sets her straight.
"Congratulations Emily, you won by over seven seconds!" says the tumbleweed.
"The fact that I beat her was awesome. She came across as a gracious loser, but deep down she was probably mortified, especially given I'd just come off the single date and then I got the extra time with him on the group date," gloats Emily, who has clearly never heard of a "gracious winner".
She may not have grace but she does have champagne, so she heads off with Sam for a post-race sip and debrief.
"After yesterday ... it felt a bit weird seeing you again with all the other girls here," Emily says, in an attempt to gain some sympathy for having to be nice to other people for a whole afternoon.
"Ah, you mean the difference between us just being together and a group date?" says Sam.
This is a concept most preschoolers would grasp, but on The Bachelor it is worthy of an entire discussion.
As they enjoy their lukewarm champagne just metres from where the other girls are eavesdropping on the racetrack, Sam decides things aren't quite awkward enough and so asks Emily to recap what happened after yesterday's single date.
"So how did the girls react when you got back to the house yesterday?" Sam asks, adding "You know, with your Zamels jewellery?"
"Oh my god the look on their face was PRICELESS," cackles Emily.
As is this one, in response.
"And what did you say?" Sam asks, looking decidedly unimpressed.
"About what exactly?" asks Emily.
"Oh you know, about advanced physics or the ozone layer or the state of the Dow Jones or why cows have four stomachs, anything really," says Sam.
"ABOUT THE DATE YOU BLOODY MORON."
"I'm just SO HAPPY I beat Nina!" she shrieks, making the very common mistake of thinking men are ever interested in bitching about hot chicks they like.
"Never mind, I'm sure she's celebrating anyway," says Sam, shifting uncomfortably in his seat.
"I'M SURE SHE'S LICKING HER WOUNDS, ACTUALLY," guffaws Emily, knocking back another pint of Moet.
Things get really weird when Sam suggests he's worried for Nina's well being after losing the race to Emily, because you know, she likes cars and stuff.
Emily is typically sympathetic.
"I don't know how I feel about Emily," Sam says later.
"I'm not sure if she's here to find love or if it's just about winning."
No, it's definitely for love.
In other news: maybe stop pitting everyone against each other in stupid competitions and you'll find out?
Back at the Shag Mansion, everyone is discussing Emily's epic win by seven seconds.
Which is coincidentally the same amount of air time Rachel has had this entire series.
"I reckon this one's for Hey Bro!" says someone.
"I've got a feeling it's for Sarah, because hers was just so long ago," says someone else.
"Banana!" says another.
Meanwhile, in the corner.
"I'm worried I haven't made enough of an impression," says Rachel, while everyone else gives her side eye and whispers "Who is that blonde girl hanging around with us?"
"OK guys the clue is 'la dolce vita'," says Nina, reading from the date card, before adding "Can anyone speak Italian?"
"Or has anyone been to the movies ever?"
"The beautiful life," says Emily, who is wrong.
"I think this is the first time that none of us have any idea what it is," gasps Banana, who might actually have some idea if any of them understood that "la dolce vita" actually means "the sweet life".
Presented without comment.
So anyway Banana wanders off down to the jetty to meet Sam, who is on yet another boat because this show is fucking obsessed with boats, and thus begins this season's obligatory Ray Ban commercial.
HEY THESE SUNNIES ARE COOL AREN'T THEY WELL GO ON AND BUY THEM YOU BRAIN DEAD TELEVISION ADDICTED DICKHEADS.
After turning his head from left to right a few times to show off all angles, Sam zooms off with Banana to some garden where the producers have spent a good 20 minutes setting up the world's ugliest marquee.
"I'm thinking 1960s Rome, I'm thinking Fellini, I'm thinking Italian Vogue..."
"All we've got is this red gingham, will that do?"
"Yeah, stick it up then."
Even though it looks like the "highly commended" Pooraka P-7 Primary School garden display at the Royal Show Banana politely reacts as though it's the most beautiful thing she's ever seen, sighing and gasping all over the place.
She's particularly impressed by the trestle table full of giant blocks of supermarket cheese and whole tomatoes.
"Oh raw asparagus, my favourite!"
"This is our little Italy," Sam announces triumphantly.
I think I speak for all Italians when I say:
Apparently there's a wood oven somewhere and the two of them will be making pizzas to shove into it, which is funny because I DON'T SEE ANY MOZZARELLA ON THAT TABLE. Ain't no way I'd be making no pizza with no tasty matured, NO SIR.
But Banana doesn't seem to care, making her pizza with fetta (ugh - deal breaker right there).
"Terday is all abart the swoit loife, the doltchee vida. Oy naow yer not eye-talian but there's jarst sarmthing abart ya," says Sam, so overcome by Banana's beauty he breaks into pure footballer-ese.
Or, in other words: "Geez you're fully exotic looking, ay."
Meanwhile back at the Shag Mansion everyone is talking about how much Sam wants to get his banana near Banana.
"That was obvious with their pash on the group date," laughs Nina.
Apparently Banana and Sam's pash at last week's barn dance is news to everyone except Bec and Nina, who were sworn to secrecy.
Emily declares this transgression as proof of Nina being "as two faced as they come", rather than what I naturally assume: that it's proof of Nina getting an extra $2500 in her reality TV paycheck.
"Nina can say things that come across quite catty and nasty," she says.
Oh, there go the remnants of my irony meter.
Back at the Home Brand Little Italy, Sam and Banana are about to tuck in to the tiniest pizza of all time:
Which is probably a blessing as it's been made with bloody FETTA.
Meanwhile, watching at home:
"HOW CAN YOU EAT IN FRONT OF HIM?"
Sam and Banana start talking and for possibly the first time in Bachelor history have a real conversation about a real world topic that might feasibly affect their relationship, as opposed to just saying the word "relationship" over and over again like people on this show usually do.
This time they're broaching the subject of Banana's daughter, and how Sam feels about potentially becoming her step father.
"I feel like on our last date I got to know you as a mum, and it didn't scare me off at all," he says, because Sam is a cool, progressive guy who totally doesn't get scared off by sexy mums who go hot air ballooning on a whim and have romantic picnics in fields and never have their children around them ever.
"This stepdad stuff is easy as shit!"
Banana tells Sam she loves the fact that he is very busy with work and can leave the child rearing to her, which I think translates to "PLEASE DON'T BE SCARED OFF BY THE FACT THAT I HAVE A KID OH PLEASE GOD."
She's all doe-eyed, he's starting to slur his words - it's almost as if this date couldn't get any better.
Until Sam brings out the piece de resistance: a dessert shaped like the Death Star.
That's no moon.
"I did a bit of homework and discovered you were a Star Wars fan!" he beams with pride, despite the fact that it looks more like a melted cricket ball than the infamous Empire killing machine.
"I can't believe you made me a dessert like the Death Star, that is the sweetest thing anyone has ever done for me," gushes Banana, who has clearly led a joyless life until now.
He gives her a rose, then this happens:
Yeah yeah, we get it.
Then Sam says "Mmm, you taste good," so I throw up, and then Banana says "Mmm, so do you," so I throw up again, and then this happens:
I'm already feeling queasy, this is not helping.
Back at the Shag Mansion everyone is dolled up and looking glamorous for the cocktail party.
Except for Heather.
I don't know what Heather is doing.
While everyone else does the usual milling around, gasping "ohhhHHHhh!" and pretending not to be drunk, Emily turns to camera and launches into part 637 of her debut Psychic TV series "Love Predictions with Emily".
"I couldn't see Sam and Snezana having a successful long term relationship, no. I could see them having a fling. I can't see them being life partners," she says.
"Frankly I don't know why anyone else is bothering to be here, do you?"
Just then Snezana walks in with her rose, and everyone's like "aww" but also "errr" because Nina spilled the beans on her pash secret and like, oh my god, this is totes awkward.
Meanwhile in the room next door, Bec and Emily are discussing How Awful Nina Is.
"If there's one personality trait I hate the most, it's people that are two faced," says Emily.
Oops, there goes the... Well, you get the point.
But then Nina takes Banana aside to apologise for not keeping her secret, and Banana's like "Pfft, care".
So that's that.
Anyway while all this is going on Sam is in the garden asking Heather to move in with him, but I'm too distracted...
Because seriously Heather, what the hell is this?
But enough of all this malarky because...
IT'S ROSE TIME!
* "I didn't have a lot of time with Sam at the group date so I'm a bit nervous," says Bec.
"I haven't seen Sam all week, so I feel nervous," says Hey Bro!.
"After the group date I'm definitely doubting my connection with Sam," says Nina.
Meanwhile, all of them have forgotten that Rachel exists.
* "For the seven of you without a rose tonight, Sam has six roses to give out," whispers a gust of wind that's just come through the window.
Heather tries counting on her toes, but fails when her white lace hot-pant romper cuts off circulation to her legs and she can't feel them anymore. Banana tries to imagine how many pieces of pizza it would be but gets distracted by all the imaginary fetta. Rachel just shouts out "HELLO, CAN ANYONE SEE ME? ANYONE AT ALL?"
Eventually Sam slaps his head and shouts "Jeez, one of youse dickheads is garn home, orright?"
* Blah blah blah rose rose rose Hey Bro! rose rose.
* "I just don't see anything between Nina and Sam, I just don't think he'd be attracted to her, she's a bit rough around the edges," says Emily, just in case we didn't get the message the first 17 times she said it.
"Nina," says Sam, holding out a rose.
"Oh what's that? I've just got something in my teeth."
Finally it comes down to two: Bec, the one who sort of looks like Snezana but isn't, and Rachel who is... Nope, sorry don't know her.
Bec ends up getting the last rose by virtue of the fact that Sam actually knows her name, and so it's farewell time for Rachel.
"Rachel, is it? Nice to meet you."
"You're an amazing, amazing woman," says Sam as he shuffles her out the door.
Translation: "I didn't spend any time with you in eight whole episodes because I wasn't really attracted to you but you weren't batshit crazy so here we are".