Episode 4

"I used to make fun of this and, like, the girls on this show for crying. I just didn't understand it but now I do." —Brittany

 

 

LAST WEEK'S ROSE CEREMONY, CONTINUED

As is unfortunately becoming tradition, we begin on the tail end of last week's Rose Ceremony with Vanessa interrogating Nick regarding his actions with Corinne, getting no actual answers ("I care about you and want you to share these things with me" does not an answer make), and of course several clips of the women expressing their frustrations regarding Corinne. The most memorable of these was Raven's astute and mic-dropping remark... 

We're also provided a bit of foreshadowing. I don't think it's any coincidence that, based on how this episode ends, in the first 2 minutes we're shown Taylor using words like "plethora" and "blatant" in her slightly frankenbitten assessment of Corinne:

This Rose Ceremony was mostly unsurprising (no one really thought Corinne would be going home, did they?) but I was sad to see spunky Brittany and expressive Christen go. Christen was really entertaining to me in her reactions and transparency, and she remained true to form with her fabulously silent, cold death glare + hair flick upon exiting...

There was a super weird cut during Corinne's speech which I have no doubt you all noticed. It was so obvious and strange that I'm not sure it was even meant to be hidden...

We get one last shot of the Bachelor mansion before the girls begin their travels and I thought I'd point out how there are indeed no balconies on the front side of the house (the side where the bouncy castle was). If you read last week's recap you'll know why I'm pointing this out...

 

MILWAUKEE

I thought having an early week in Nick's hometown was a nice idea. We practically know his parents and Bella at this point so it was some friendly familiarity. Also, I'm glad Nick's dad said this because now I don't feel bad saying it...

 

DANIELLE'S 1-ON-1

Nick plucks Danielle L from his gaggle of ladies and takes her for a stroll, some cookie-decorating, and a completely unplanned run-in with Nick's ex, Amber. I happened to love Amber and thought she was real and cool, not to mention a decent actress. (Her "surprised" face upon seeing Nick was actually somewhat convincing.) I also loved how in on it all Danielle L was, as evidenced when she mused...

In the evening, Nick points out how Danielle's always very “put together” and I have to agree; there's an "on"-ness to her which (as I said in my The Morning After video) reminds me a bit of Caila. I don't see this as a bad thing, obviously, since Caila's a truly lovely person and friend. In my opinion, there's a big difference between being "on" and being fake. Similar to Caila, Danielle L seems polished and careful, which, when there are a half dozen cameras on you, is more of a smart thing than a bad thing.

What solidly won me over with Danielle L was hearing her parents' divorce story. We seem to have a "divorce contestant" every season and of course that tidbit is always exploited, but as someone whose parents are still together, I found Danielle's story in particular to be really informative and thought-provoking. She distinctly remembered her parents being loving and affectionate with each other—not hating and fighting with each other—yet they ultimately got divorced. Call me dumb, but I never totally understood the impact divorce could have on the children's dating lives because in my imagination, their parents were probably always fighting and the divorce was an obviously good thing. But to hear that things were good and probably were for awhile... I can see how that'd be really scary. Danielle L said she harbors "a fear of not finding the right person” and it makes complete sense. If things can go from so good to so bad, you’d have to wonder how you know.

On a superficial note, YAY for Danielle’s ponytail!

Nick takes Danielle L to participate in a "bucket list thing" which is dancing and making out onstage in front of an audience (sound familiar?) and I'm scratching my head as to how this is a bucket list thing other than that, because Chris Lane is a country singer, this is probably something of a Bachelor rite of passage...

 Danielle L is 2 for 2 in the dancing-onstage-during-a-live-performance-and-in-front-of-an-audience department.

Danielle L is 2 for 2 in the dancing-onstage-during-a-live-performance-and-in-front-of-an-audience department.

 

GROUP DATE

I loved this farm date! People often assume I'm prim and proper with a stick up my ass (probably my biggest annoyance with my own Bachelor edit) but I'm actually the opposite and I would have been totally into this date. (Yes, poop shoveling and all.) While Nick struggled with the dairy cow's teat...

 My favorite facial expression of the episode.

My favorite facial expression of the episode.

... the dairy farmer said something that, based on the context and camerawork, I found to be INSANELY INAPPROPRIATE...

For what it's worth, Andy thought the above comment didn't mean anything.

There was a solid 4th wall-breakage by reigning champion 4th wall-breaker Nick when he openly addressed the producers behind the camera...

I know I've critiqued Corinne's interpersonal behavior with the ladies but I'm the last person to deny her entertainment factor. The girl could be a one woman comedy act... 

.... aaaaand then she cops out and isn't a good sport, best expressed by Jasmine...

... which concisely sums up what my entire Flare recap was about.

In the evening, the girls are openly at their wits' end, not even about Corinne, but rather with being made to talk about Corinne...

This is a semi-4th wall moment for me. I distinctly remember this being almost as annoying as the girl friction itself. Being forced to talk about it ALL THE TIME only exacerbates it. Maybe you just want to talk about your real lives or your hair or this neat experience, but it's always steered back to the one thing you're OVER talking about. There's no escape.

Corinne conveniently hears the women talking about her and confronts them. Sarah voices her reservations about Corinne's maturity, mentioning that she and the other girls will manage to remain awake tonight. In what I regard as a maddening confrontation tactic, Corinne focuses only on one of the things Sarah mentioned—the part about her sleeping—and responds with passive aggression...

I also mentioned this in my Flare recap, but to reiterate, it's NOT about the SLEEPING. Just like sitting out of poop-shoveling, it's what it represents.

Don't think I missed this rare DOUBLE Direct-Look-Into-Camera™...

 DOUBLE DIRECT-LOOK-INTO-CAMERA ™ !!  🌈🌈

DOUBLE DIRECT-LOOK-INTO-CAMERA!! 🌈🌈

Kristina really shone this episode, not only because she seemed to really spark with Nick and is in general SO beautiful, but with this fantastic, no-fool response to Corinne's claim that she was medically incapable of shoveling poop... 

The above is Corinne having cried wolf too many times. No one believes her because she's routinely behaved like the rules don't apply to her.

 

RAVEN'S 1-ON-1

Okay, so this wasn't the most exciting date ever—it was during this date that Andy muttered, "This episode is like watching paint dry."—but I really, really like Raven. There's something so NOT performer-y about her, like she is 100% herself, take it or leave it. She's dry without ever seeming uncaring or unenthusiastic, and her pan-faced delivery of her cheating ex story was pretty entertaining...

I know some people took issue with the fact that, upon catching her boyfriend cheating, Raven attacked her boyfriend with her stiletto. Of course, if the roles were reversed and her ex had attacked Raven the way she'd attacked her ex, it would be insanely unacceptable. But I didn't take Raven's recounting of this story to show any pride or satisfaction in her behavior. In fact, she seemed almost embarrassed and was just matter-of-fact about it (her words: "[I'm] being super honest"). In my opinion, the story was more about how she'd learned and grown from that experience to ultimately realize her self-worth. Raven's only 25 years old, so let's say this happened 2 or so years ago. I don't think it's uncommon for a 23-year old woman to not have fully learned how to wrangle severe jealousy, adrenaline, and anger to the point where, in that shituation, she could remain composed enough to just turn on her heel and walk away.

 

ROSE CEREMONY

Corinne, for all her love of confrontation, doesn't handle it productively. She behaves in ways that she knows will raise eyebrows but is then upset and offended when those eyebrows raise. She wants answers but then doesn't actually listen to any of them (she hears them but doesn't listen to them), resorting to knee-jerk responses of passive aggression (above), defensiveness with condescension (unnecessarily explaining to the girls in Episode 2 that things were going to get weird), playing victim (panic attacks, medical emergencies), and steamrolling (calling Taylor stuck-up and raising her voice at her).... 

Remember when I said her family's multi-million dollar company was Corinne's fallback excuse as to why no one could call her X, Y, or Z? Yep. 

Look, I can see how Taylor's response could be interpreted as condescending but I found her to be damn composed given she was caught totally off-guard. I honestly don't know if I couldn't handled that sort of bombardment any better. If I knew the confrontation was coming and had time to think about it, sure. Taylor wasn't looking to argue and only defined "emotional intelligence" when Corinne repeated the term as though she didn't know its meaning.

These two obviously don't like each other (it's not like Corinne liked Taylor either, but you didn't see Taylor verbally attacking her to know why) and that's FINE. It is impossible for all the women to get along. In fact, the environment is MEANT to breed irritation with each other. But my issue with Corinne is that she began the conversation playing victim yet clung on like a leech until she was literally shouting over Taylor. She never sought an explanation or to clear the air; she just wanted a fight. It wasn't necessary and struck me as far more "disgusting" (to quote Corinne's description of Taylor's behavior towards her) than the quiet side-eye Taylor had likely been inflicting on Corinne. (You know if there'd been more to see, we would've seen it.) The most "correct" part of this conversation was when Taylor said, simply, "We're different people." Exactly.

 

BEST DRESSED

***UPDATE 01.28.16: Rose asked in the comments about Raven's 1-on-1 dress...

Raven's off-the-shoulder lace number is by For Love and Lemons. For smaller sizes it's only available HERE. For M or L, it's discounted further HERE, and is also available in white HERE.

There were a lot of casual pieces that caught my eye this week. They'll make up this week's Best Dressed Honorable Mentions...

First up is Sarah's Group Date daytime ensemble...

I did a double take at this sweater as I've never seen anything quite like it. She looks comfy and, with the statement of a blanket scarf, stylish. Sarah's fringe sweater is by Love Stitch and sells HERE. While her Zara scarf is long gone, it's still available on sites like eBay (HERE) and Poshmark (HERE), and there's an identical one selling (for only $12!) HERE.

Another around-the-house piece...

I'm not usually one for graphic pieces, but I dug Jasmine's sweatshirt. She looks adorable and casual in it, and I love the off-the-shoulder and raw hem neckline detail. Jasmine's sweatshirt is from Sun Lovin' Roots and sells HERE.

When exploring their Milwaukee digs, Corinne wore a neat bomber...

What I love about this piece is that it marries two things I love: a bomber and tencel. You guys know by now what I fan of tencel I am. It gives that denim look while being super soft and comfy. Corinne looks so effortlessly cute in it. Her AE bomber is sadly sold out but there's a near-identical and equally affordable one by Dynamite selling HERE.

Jasmine again stood out in the sweater she wore during the Group Date...

This sweater, especially in white, has that "wow" factor. She looks really glam which is impressive for a sweater (I also credit the hoops!). Jasmine's sweater is from Brooke & Arrow and while her exact one is only still available in red (HERE), there's an identical white one (also available in grey and green) selling (for only $37!) HERE.

Second runner-up for Best Dressed is Taylor in her evening look from the same date...

She looks so Wintery-chic here and successfully balances being really covered up with that flash of skin. I love how wearable this is and how most of us could easily replicate this look with pieces from our own closets. As I said last week, Taylor really excels at choosing budget pieces and making them look expensive. Taylor's dress is from Express but is sadly no longer available. The most similar option I could find in the Express price range (this combo was a surprisingly hard task considering how common you'd think this piece would be) sells HERE. In my search I found a great cold-shoulder one (sort of a like a marriage with Jasmine's above sweater) selling HERE as well as an option with a cutout in the front (which I've just picked up for myself), HERE. Her boots are from Charlotte Russe but also (frustratingly) no longer available; there's a similar pair by the same brand HERE.

Runner-up for Best Dressed is Corinne in her red two-piece dress from the first Rose Ceremony of the episode...

Okay, so most of us (myself included) couldn't get away with wearing this dress, but DAMN if Corinne isn't a knockout in it. This is a shameless sexpot dress but is also interesting, a pretty rare combo. My only wish? You know what's coming... If her hair had been up the overall effect would have been more polished and a perfect 10. Corinne's "Cleopatra" dress is by Femme is surprisingly well-priced considering how well it resembles an Hervé Leger. It sells HERE and there's also a cool copper color HERE.

Drumroll, please... Best Dressed this week is Vanessa in her unique sweater dress...

This dress combines a few dichotomies I love: Covered-up yet skin baring, dressy yet effortless, and knit yet in an unexpected color. The color is fantastic on her and she looks just cool in it. Also, I have never seen anything like this piece EVER. Vanessa bought her exact dress around 7 years from a boutique in Montreal and it no longer has its tags (she was sweet enough to send me photos so I included the shot of the hemline since we never got a good look on TV), so suffice to say this proved impossible to find. I couldn't find anything on the interwebs that had that exact unraveled detail along the front neckline. However, in my hunt I discovered tons of super cool pieces with the same distressed knit idea, all of which are on the carousel below.

WORST DRESSED

I adore Raven but I'm sorry to say I did not adore this dress...

There is just too much going on here. Maybe if the off-the-shoulder "sleeves" were gone (leaving a simpler high neck), or if the sleeves remained but the neckline were simplified, maybe by axing the ruffly neckline. The ruffles, the lace (which in that color looks strangely old-fashioned and a bit like brocade)... there's just too much going on here for my taste. To Raven's credit, she wore this at the "throwaway dress" Rose Ceremony. (On my season, we all knew that because of the pool party, the dresses we wore for that Rose Ceremony would get a lot less camera time. One girl had to wear a dress a boutique had gifted her but that she didn't love, so she chose this occasion to wear it. I wore a dress which was more of a risk than my others. The dresses are a constant gamble. You want to make sure that, if you make it far, you've still got decent dresses left, but that if you leave tomorrow, you've been well-dressed.) Sorry for the tangent! If you disagree with me, Raven's Scarlet dress sells HERE.

 

Until next week, fellow pandas!