Episode 5

Thanks for your patience, dear readers!

I keep meaning to get these out sooner but I'm in the thick of rehearsals right now (if you're in Victoria, come see La Bohème later this month!). Plus, there was SO MUCH to talk about in this episode. I'm particularly interested in your comments this week! :)



“If Arie gives me a rose tonight, it would show me that he is willing to get down and dirty and be stronger for struggle. And if he doesn’t give me a rose, I feel like Arie’s taken the easy way out with me.”

Krystal, whose perspective on relationships is depressing




The show is on the road and now Fort Lauderdale is being touted as "the perfect place to fall in love". Arie greets the women and immediately asks Chelsea on the first 1-on-1, but note her outfit switch...


Having been in this exact position (where the lead comes to your hotel suite and asks you directly to go on the date—except in my case it was Episode 7 and there were 6 of us left), I know producers tell you you have X amount of time to get ready and then you go do an ITM to talk about your excitement. Nothing huge here, but just funny how they skimmed over the middle bits but kept the surrounding women in the same formation (presumably for continuity), yet her outfit is completely different.



Maquel returns and immediately gives us a little 4th wall breakage...


A lot of people assume being on The Bachelor is very cushy, and in many ways it is (in terms of fancy hotels, dates, and all the food/drink you could want—it's certainly no Survivor contestant experience), but one thing that's never discussed is how sleep deprived everyone is. Your ITMs (or waiting to do ITMs) can easily run into the wee hours of the morning, yet you're always woken up early for the next day's activities. 

I addressed this in my The Morning After video, but I give serious props to Chelsea for derailing her early villain narrative and taking control. You can see that she's popular among the women and she's (smartly) laid low ever since they confronted her in Episode 2 about prioritizing her time above the others' because she's got a child. (I'm not saying that's what she was doing but that was the argument.) She's been nothing but a class act since and I'm all about giving credit where credit is due, so kudos to her.

Two things about this date: First, I loved how uncomfortable she was to talk about her past relationship...


There's nothing performer-y or sob story-ish about how she goes about this. It's clear that it's a painful topic, she shares it because it's relevant, but she's not looking for sympathy. Her story is simply about what she's learned and what she values now.

The other notable thing is that money was discussed. Obviously I appreciate her values (she said she'd have been just as happy in a park as on that extravagant yacht with Arie) but I particularly love that the concept of money and the lessons surrounding it were even brought up. This show doesn't touch on topics like this enough.



Man oh man... WHAT AN EPISODE. Obviously much of the rest of this recap will revolve around Krystal so if you're all Krystal'ed out I suggest you just skip to the Fashion section now.

The most major thing that stuck out to me during the day portion was how we caught a glimpse of Krystal's other side (in addition to a frosty Direct-Look-Into-Camera™)...


There seem to be major highs and lows to Krystal. As in, something like basic kindness is SO "on" and SO over the top with her. It reminds me of later on in this episode, in an ITM, when she said she showed Arie "so many shades" of her (the list included "fun, passionate, sad, emotional, futuristic"—ahem). It's like every "shade" is something to be tracked and amplified, making negative emotions and reactions just as extreme.

Back to the above .GIF: Not sure if I've mentioned this before, but as a contestant, you're not allowed to attach or remove your mic packs yourself. (Something about how expensive and delicate they are.) On day one they make this very clear and it's really a non-issue; there are always crew members around to help you with your mic. (It's not like you're ever left waiting long for someone to remove or attach it for you.) So, in terms of those extreme swings, for as too sweet and emotive as Krystal often is, the above moment feels too rude. The tone, to me, feels downright derogatory, like she's woefully addressing "the help". Even in an angry state, a simple, "Hey, could someone take off my mic pack? I'd like to change." would suffice, particularly since the sound guys are hardly responsible for what angered her. (You could argue that she's mad at production as a whole and thus targeting anyone involved, including audio guys, but I don't think that's what this is. There's no shot of her taking things out on a producer—which we'd definitely have seen—and even in her off-camera conversation with a producer, her anger is entirely focused on Arie.) Look, we all have moody and sometimes bitchy sides to us (I know I do), but I (and most people I know) would NEVER speak to a hardworking crew member (or anyone for that matter) in this way. 

A happy side effect to Krystal's angry episode are the reactions we get from the other women. Exhibit A is Seinne's hilarious "WTF" face...


... as well as Chelsea's "Oh for f---'s sake" face...


The above is indeed frustrating. Krystal just CAN'T ADMIT that she was trying to send a message, that she was obviously punishing Arie by refusing to show up and, by packing up her stuff, was threatening to leave. But it really was a bluff, since if she really were done with him, she'd have just left. It's such a rigamarole that feels very high school—think basic relationship manipulation 101—the kind of game you test out on your first boyfriend and quickly realize doesn't work.

Anyway, Arie (knowingly) plays Krystal's game for a bit and goes up to chat with her. I loved this conversation so much that I transcribed a chunk of it (it was way too much for a .GIF). Every single sentence of Arie's is a direct response to what was just said, and a concrete, constructive one at that. He is articulate and concise and doesn't beat around the bush but is never nasty. Meanwhile, note how much of what Krystal says sounds like stock, unrelated arguments, like she's grasping at straws to maintain victim status and avoid being in the wrong. It's like with each sentence, Arie takes a step towards resolution, and achieving that resolution would require Krystal admitting to at least an iota of fault. But Krystal sidesteps the blame every time and points it elsewhere...

Arie: The simple matter of this whole thing is that you're up here, they're down there, and whatever was said up here could've been said to me directly.
Krystal: I felt... passionate... and I felt very hurt and I said things out of hurt. Um... I wanted to share with you, like, I feel like I've been so, like, open and deep and raw and, like, vulnerable with you, and I feel like I don't know anything about you. And I want you to, like, let me in.
Arie: You know more than anyone here!
Krystal: I know, but like, I need more. Like, that's important for me.
Arie: I know that you need to know more about me. If you were downstairs then we would have, you know, some time to talk about it, but this is exactly what couples can't do, is run away from their problems. This is what I'm trying to get at, is that small things in this environment can turn into really big things outside of it. And when this stuff happens it really causes a lot of—
Krystal: Yeah. Disruption. (she begins to concede here)
Arie: ... disruption in our relationship, and also makes me pull back.
Krystal: I—I totally pulled back today. Um, like... it felt like a lie! (never mind)
Arie: But you're the only one up here—
Krystal: Yeah, okay!
Arie: Are you teaching me a lesson?
Krystal: No, I was just... I was pissed!
Arie: Yeah. I know you're pissed, but here's the thing: I think you should stay up here tonight, I'm going to go down and hang with them, know that I'm not happy about it, and I'll see you in a few days.

At the risk of sounding like a complete weirdo, this solidified a mini TV crush on Arie I've been flirting with having for a few weeks. I'm into a man who—especially in conflict—behaves like an adult, not a child, and who works toward a resolution (instead of wallowing in the conflict, almost relishing it). I've had lovely, mature boyfriends who became petulant, argumentative, fault-diverting boys during fights and am SO glad I never have to go there again.

I've told Andy (MY DARLING HUSBAND WHOM I LOVE VERY MUCH) about my TV crush on Arie. His response: "Oh, I can so see that. He's a bit like me!" :)


This was easy to miss but I laughed out loud when Bekah M joked...


Despite the consensus in Krystal’s conversation with Arie being that she should stay in the hotel suite (that was her choice), she inexplicably decides (perhaps with a little producer rah-rah-ing) to join the party after all. Editing (and suspenseful music) made it seem like she walked in right as Bekah M was making fun of her, but note where Bekah M is sitting during her "prayer" and where she's sitting when Krystal actually walks in...


A few of you have commented that you thought Bekah M was unnecessarily mean in this episode. I don't entirely disagree in that I think it's cruel to say, "may she have the friends and support that she so ridiculously believes she had in us before today". But, I imagine a) watching it back, and having cooled off all this time later, Bekah M probably regrets it, as evidenced by this tweet...

... and b) living with Krystal was likely nothing short of mind-numbingly MADDENING (I mean, I'm maddened even watching a sliver of her behavior through my television screen). I'm not excusing Bekah M's mockery as it did cross the line, but her ability to admit fault goes a long way for me. And I know two wrongs don't make a right, but I personally didn't find it or her impersonation of Krystal any worse than, say, Wells' "scallop fingers"-themed impersonation of Christen in Bachelor In Paradise 3, yet she seems to be getting more flak than he ever did. 

Krystal's return stirred up another LOL-inducing reaction from Seinne...


Okay, enough about Krystal for a moment. I dug the time shown between Lauren B and Arie and wanted to capture a bit of it. Their conversation really feels easy to me (I love that it's rarely about their "connection" and that they seem to make an effort to make it as natural in that getting-to-know-you way as possible)...


First, as I've been pointing out over the last few weeks, I see this as another light-hearted, subtle example of how self-deprecating and not ego-fueled Arie seems.

As for Lauren B, I get a sense that maybe she's the one sizing Arie up, leveling out the playing field, and like she's appropriately cautious, all of which I like. I also appreciate her general way of being. She's very NOT performer-y and just seems low-key and very herself, possibly even a little closed off due to the cameras. I for one WAY prefer this (and can relate), versus someone who's remotely too into the cameras, so yeah, I like Lauren B a lot.


TIA'S 1-ON-1

This was a knockout of a 1-on-1 date. It provided the perfect amount of heart to offset all the drama stewing throughout the episode. I mentioned this in my Flare recap, but I feel like there was no way for us to really know how big a player Tia would be based on her Night One showing. That said, watching the way these two look at and banter with each other, I still feel a bit ashamed for not seeing it coming sooner.

Anyway, we know Tia is from a small town but the show really seems to want to remind us of that for some reason. Note her hair at the beginning of this sentence versus at the end...


In case you're not convinced, give the same sentence a listen...

Finally, in perhaps one of my favorite conversations (well, conversation excerpts) ever shown on this show, Tia and Arie touch on a HUGE topic: Religion. Now, this is a big deal because it's the first time (I think?) we've ever seen religion discussed where there were different perspectives. We've seen it brought up as something both parties share and are in agreement on (for example, on Night One of Kaitlyn's Bachelorette season, Britt and Brady quickly found they had this in common). In fact, religious beliefs are addressed quite commonly as a given, like of course it'd be a huge part of one's life. (A few leads who come to mind here are Sean, Ben H. and Rachel.) However, as a non-religious person, I've felt pretty underrepresented on this show for YEARS.

I'm not sure I ever mentioned this (I've written so much in these recaps it's hard to keep track!), but one of my first questions I asked the casting director about Juan Pablo upon finding out he was el Bachelor (at this point casting was complete and they'd officially invited me on the show but I was still a bit on the fence, especially since up until then I didn't know who the guy was), was whether or not he was religious. In fact, on our first 1-on-1 (in the tea room in Seoul), I brought this up to make sure we were at least somewhat on the same page. (This was on camera but never aired.) I'd seen enough of this show to know what the popular opinion on religion typically was and knew it could be an issue down the road. I'm open-minded but I have always known I couldn't be with someone whose beliefs were the polar opposite of mine, or especially someone who wasn't cool with my having different beliefs.

Back to Arie: Not only someone on this show, but the Bachelor himself, openly admits that he "doesn't believe a higher power is leading him" and that feels "he makes a lot of his own destiny". As someone who feels this way but who hasn't ever seen it expressed on a TV show I've been watching for well over a decade, this is a big deal. Also, seeing as how much of this show's audience demographic may not agree with him, it's a risk, and one that I admire and respect.

Tia, too, deserves credit for her fantastic response...

Tia: I'm not going to judge people or not accept people for having a different belief.
Arie: Could you be married to somebody who doesn't have that faith?
Tia: Yeah, like, if I understand your perspective of it. Because, honestly, I tend to go for people that are different from me, to kind of learn from them.

So, yeah. This episode had it all!



Alright, back to Krystalville. What Kendall said last week comes to mind, that it feels sometimes like Krystal is saying what she thinks she should say or what she read in a book somewhere, rather than just simply expressing her feelings. A fantastic example...


There seem to be a lot of keywords that are getting repeated: investing in herself and her relationship, growth or growing, struggles and challenges, etc. As I said on The Morning After, I'm reminded of that slightly hokey yoga teacher who speaks in catchphrases (you know the kind I’m talking about), like they're quoting self-help books or inspirational memes, and whose class you never take again. 

Two things stood out to me in this Rose Ceremony cocktail party. The first was that, out of all the women, I felt Kendall dealt with Krystal the best. When Krystal told the women that she was only interested in private conversations because she felt she kept getting ganged up on (cough, victim complex, cough), Kendall was quick to take her up on that. I felt she was the one who really seemed to try to understand Krystal and made an effort to express her point of view in a way that didn't automatically make Krystal defensive (which we've learned by now isn't easy). Props to Kendall.

The other thing is how Arie wasn't swayed by Krystal's decidedly different approach in this cocktail party versus the last...


Krystal's punishment strategy definitely backfired and instead of making Arie grovel (which I do think was her goal), she became the one trying to patch things up—of course, somehow without admitting fault. This is the problem: the only way conflict can ultimately strengthen a relationship is if both parties can reflect on and learn from said conflict. For someone who seems to generally believe "struggles" equal a "stronger" relationship (never mind how fruitless and exhausting that relationship already sounds), based on the behavior of hers we've seen, I have a hard time believing Krystal has actually experienced much of what she preaches. If you can't accept blame, how can you take in and apply the constructive criticism necessary to prevent the exact same sort of conflict from happening over and over again?


As always, my Top 4 frontrunner ranking can be found over at Flare.




A few of you asked about Chelsea's jumpsuit from the evening portion of her 1-on-1...


Chelsea's Lulus "Thinking Out Loud" jumpsuit sells HERE.

Maddie asked about Becca K's Group Date cocktail party dress...


Becca K's Pretty Little Thing "Norie" dress sells HERE.

Liz asked about Tia's yellow sweatshirt...


Tia's Stateside French Terry sweatshirt is sadly sold out in Mustard (HERE) but it's still available in a pale pink (or Sorbet), HERE. If you love the yellow, there's a very similar option HERE, one with a lace-up detail HERE, and a velour version HERE (these are all looks-for-less, too!).

Sheila asked about Tia's date from the evening portion of her 1-on-1...


Tia's Saylor "Flora" dress sells (super on sale!) HERE.

Best Dressed

A bunch of little Honorable Mentions this week! I loved Becca K's dainty crescent moon necklace (a few of you requested this as well)....


Becca K's necklace is by Etsy seller SimpleLittleThingsco and sells HERE, and it's 15% off until Feb 5!

Seinne's unique bodysuit from the bowling Group Date caught my eye….


Seinne's Free People "Wowzers" bodysuit appears to be a bit older and is sadly sold out (HERE and HERE), but there are a couple available on Poshmark, HERE.

I thought Seinne’s ruffled lounge shorts were super cute…


Seinne's Brandy Melville "Vodi" shorts sell HERE.

I kept finding myself staring at Bekah M’s fabulous beaded statement earrings from the Rose Ceremony…


Bekah M's earrings are from Nordstrom Rack and while I couldn't find her exact ones, I did find super similar ones, also at Nordstrom Rack, selling HERE.

I’m a completely obsessed with Becca K’s tee which I think has the perfect amount of interest (especially in a basic like a white tee)…


Becca K's tee is by Missguided but since it's no longer available, there's a very similar one by the same brand selling HERE.

I have three second runners-up for Best Dressed. First up is Krystal with her blush maxi dress…


I’m not sure I could pull this off but it looked SO good on her. There’s obvious sex appeal to this dress yet with the color and silhouette, it feels very easy and flowy and effortless. Krystal's Dolce Vita "Finley" dress sells (ridiculously well-priced) HERE.

Next is Lauren B with her Group Date LBD…


It took me a double take to catch the lace detailing on this dress but when I did, I loved it. It has a very subtle lingerie vibe while being understated and in excellent taste. Lauren B's LBD is the "Only Want You" dress from Lulus and sells HERE.

I was impressed with Bekah M’s off-the-beaten path combo, also from the Rose Ceremony…


There’s a fabulous mix between hard (a black leather skirt) and soft (a white, lace bustier) here, and she looks downright incredible in it. Not anyone could pull this so well and I love risks, so even if I don’t know if I’d wear this ensemble, I respect it! If you want to own this look, I’m afraid you’re on your own; both of Bekah M’s pieces are vintage (the skirt is vintage YSL!).

There’s a tie for runner-up and they’re both floral. First up is Kendall with her Rose Ceremony maxi dress…


I’m not sure any piece has ever been requested as much as this dress. I’m a sucker for anything in Periwinkle, and that color paired with the cut and print make for a gosh darn PRETTY (and very wearable) dress. Kendall's dress is by Olivaceous but since it's a wholesale brand I couldn't find it for sale online. There are similar options HERE and HERE.

My other runner-up is Seinne with her floral Rose Ceremony dress…


This girl has insanely good taste in clothes. I love the almost girlish silhouette of this dress while the florals, with that color palette, feel somehow grown-up. This has got to be the most sophisticated off-the-shoulder, mini, tiered, frilly, floral dress in existence. (Seriously, how bad could this have gone??) Seinne's For Love and Lemons "Flora" dress sells HERE. It also comes in a berry color (on sale!) HERE.

My Best Dressed this week is Seinne (like I said, insanely good taste in clothes) with her Group Date cocktail party dress…


Oh my goodness. I love this. It feels masculine but is still downright sexy. It has that dichotomy of exposed skin and covered-up-ness that I always go on about. It has a very on-trend pajama-like feel while not being sloppy. It's different, edgy, and I want it in my closet. Seinne's Reformation "Graphite" dress is sold out in her navy color but is still available in burgundy, HERE.


Worst Dressed

Sigh. I hate it when my only mention of someone is to name them Worst Dressed but this look is just not good…


I don’t even know where to begin with this top. It feels so old-fashioned, like something you’d buy at a thrift store, but not in that cool, vintage-chic way. It’s also insanely impractical, with the fishnet, the full bell sleeves, yet the extreme crop. Like, when would this top ever make sense? I’m actually trying to imagine it. Like, maybe your arms got sunburnt while you were wearing a one-piece and you’re trying to even out your tan by exposing your midriff? But even then, the sun would make its way through that fishnet. I just can’t understand why someone who looks like Jenna (I mean, just look at her—she is INSANELY gorgeous) would wear this when she could wear and look incredible in just about anything, including something super basic. It’s like she went out of her way to to find the one thing in this world she can’t pull off. Argh. Sorry, Jenna! :(


Thanks for stopping by, fellow pandas!