Rick Rowell / ABC

The Bachelor Gets Married!

Seems like maybe Nick cut to the chase and married half the women. Oh, if only that were true!

Honestly, I'm nervous. Last week's episode didn't pack the punch I normally associate with a Bachelor kickoff, and historically that first episode is the doozy that sets the tone for the whole season. So, I'm a bit wary. If that first episode was the best of the bunch, this could be a real stinker of a season. In order to keep that from happening, Nick needs to get weirder and needier and the ladies definitely need to get crazier. But I have faith. I believe in Chris Harrison. I believe in the franchise. I believe in love!

There are two other things I'm prepping to be indignant about. Firstly, if that big slap from the promo turns out to be bullshit, I'm gonna be so mad. And Liz better keep reminding me that she met Nick "at Jade and Tanner's wedding," because I have a memory problem where I can't remember, specifically, where she and Nick met. Was it at Jade and Tanner's wedding? It was? Great. There's no harm in reminding me of that particular fact every ten to fifteen minutes. No harm at all.

Group Date: Wedding Photos!

We begin with more champagne, because always. Always there should be more champagne. Rachel remains giddy from getting her first impression rose on the previous night. Realistically, it was probably only about two hours ago, but I get what she means. Then she adds, "I want to have the chance to continue to make great first impressions with him." You would think an attorney would have heard of the saying, "You only get one chance to make a first impression," but I guess that's not the case. Case closed! Objection! ...Sustained!

Chris Harrison arrives and congratulates the women for being there. He might just mean in that room. It's unclear. But Chris's good-time party quickly comes to an end with this downer of a statement: "There's 22 of you. That means it is physically impossible for all of you to have dates each week." He encourages them to take advantage of any time they get with Chris. Then he drops off the date card. Josephine reads the names of the twelve women selected for the "Always A Bridesmaid…" date. Nail Salon Danielle admits that she doesn't know what that means. Corinne says, "I've never been a bridesmaid. I think I was just a natural-born bride." Yes, Corinne, brides are born, while bridesmaids are grown in fields like asparagus. Oh well, at least she didn't talk about herself in the third person. "Let's go see our boyfriend," someone screams as they drive away.

The women jog quite a distance to reach him: down a driveway, through a big house, out into the back yard, across the grass. It's easily over one hundred yards. Gotta work off those champagne calories somehow, I guess. Nick greets them with a "Heeeeeyyy" he borrowed from the Planet Unicorn theme song. He warns the ladies that group dates are inherently weird, but they do offer an opportunity "to get out of your comfort zone." With that in mind, Nick informs them that they'll all be participating in a photo shoot, where the ladies will dress up as brides…well, most of them will. Four or five of them are relegated to being bridesmaids. Sad trombone! The bridal gowns all have themes, though: '80s bride, shotgun bride, biker bride, bikini bride, Adam and Eve bride, Las Vegas elopement bride, traditional bride, a princess bride

The photo shoot is the brainstorm of photographer Franco Lacosta, who honestly is so over the top that I was convinced he was fake. Even after Googling him, I still don't want to believe he's real. The bride who does the best job of connecting with Nick and having the best chemistry gets a surprise. Corinne remembers that she was the first to kiss Nick, and her name was first on the date card. "I'm just full of number ones," Corinne says. "It's better than being number two. Or going number two." She hardly stops talking for more than three seconds, telling the hair and makeup team to make sure they make her look "phenomenal." She struts and preens in her bikini bride getup. "Honestly, the other girls are super-covered up," Corinne says. "But I'm in a bikini, so I'm looking very sexy. I'm definitely the hottest bride."

Aaaaaand…cue Brittany in her Adam and Eve bride costume, which is just a tiny leafy bottom and hair extensions draped down over her boobs. The other ladies instantly switch their attention away from Corinne to Brittany, lavishing praise on her, paying special attention to her booty. This does NOT fly with Corinne. "She better not steal my thunder or I will literally punch her in the face," Corinne says. While she waits for her photo shoot, she never stops talking, mostly about Nick and how cute he is and how she wants to kiss him again. Did she mention she kissed him already? Well, now she's not the only one, because Jasmine kisses Nick, Danielle kisses Nick, Taylor kisses Nick. Naturally, this makes Corinne want to "throw up everywhere." But it also encourages her to "step up her game."

At the mansion, Liz listens to Josephine, Christen, and Kristina lament Corinne's kiss. She sits on the same couch with a smug smile on her face, because -- ha ha -- she kissed Nick nine months ago! She kissed his penis with her vagina! "I met him at Jade and Tanner's wedding," Liz reminds us. You did?

Back at the photo shoot, Nick comes out in his leafy bikini bottom, and of course Corinne says that she would have looked better in the outfit that Brittany is wearing. "I would have been better for that outfit, because that's more me," Corinne says. "I'm like more sex appeal." And when Brittany and Nick finish their shoot, all the ladies give them a standing ovation…except of course for Corinne, who sits on her ass and drinks some more wine. Yeah, drink it, girl! That's "stepping up your game"!

By the time it's her turn for her photo shoot, it's obvious Corinne has had enough wine, because she slips into third person. "I feel I need to one-up her," Corinne says, "and make him feel the more Corinne side of Corinne." So while they're shooting their bit in the pool, she takes off her bikini top to press her boobs up against his chest. Then she has Nick "Janet Jackson" her boobs. So that's the Corinne side of Corinne. Your boobs! Got it. The other women are scandalized by Corinne's behavior, especially Hailey, who might very well be a Parker Posey character from the late '90s.

Taylor doesn't think the Boob Ploy will be enough to give Corinne the win. In fact, Taylor thinks that her connection to Nick might be even stronger. Jasmine also thinks Corinne doesn't stand a chance, because her pictures looked awkward. They are, of course, both completely wrong. Corinne wins the surprise, an extra photo shoot, with Nick.

Group Date: Cocktails!

"No one has ever held my boobs like that," Corinne says. "No one ever will." The cocktail portion of the evening has hardly started and already she's shitfaced. Well, the ladies were drinking wine and champagne and, judging from the copper mugs, Moscow Mules at the photo shoot. After Nick welcomes everyone to the cocktail party, Corinne steals him. The other potential Nick-Mates start to boil a bit over Corinne's overall behavior. But she's around the corner, pouring her drunken soul out of her mouth to him. "When I feel something," she says, "I feel it with my whole heart. I wear my heart on my sleeve. And I feel so much." It's a beautiful sentiment. And it brings to mind: a) feelings, and b) a whole human heart beating on her sleeve.

We return to the mansion just long enough for Other Danielle to get the one-on-one date card and for Liz to remind us, again, that she met Nick at Jade and Tanner's wedding.

Back at cocktail central, Nick spends some time with some of the ladies, kissing a few of them. Corinne says she already misses Nick and decides to interrupt Alexis the dolphin lady. This sets the ladies off. This is not how these things are supposed to go. They hate her. When she returns, while they're still shit-talking her, Corinne lets it drop that "my nipple might have been out when I was talking to Nick, but it's fine." If Corinne is here to make friends, she's going about this completely backwards.

As Nick is trying to settle on the couch with Taylor, he proves that he actually does NOT know how to sit on a couch. Holy crap. Before he settles into a human pose, Corinne comes to interrupt AGAIN. This is truly amazing. This is what I wanted from the first episode. I wanted a crazy energy like Corinne. But now I'm afraid she's going to burn too brightly, too quickly. Taylor stews about the incident for a moment before deciding to give Corinne an authentic Corinne-ing. "She re-interrupted me," drunk Corinne says. "I find that very rude. The way she did it was very directed toward Corinne." But then, this: "If you take a direct hit at Corinne, I'm going to say something." And there it is. Proof that she and Corinne are actually two different people. Taylor's confidence is high that she's got what Nick wants. "Maybe his heart's coming to me and my brain. Coz he likes it," she says. It's possible. But she did also say their conversation was "intellectual stimulating," so maybe it's a wash.

Corinne tries her best to start a fight with Taylor, but it doesn't take. Instead, Corinne lectures the other ladies on how The Bachelor works. Most of them stare at her like what the fuck, especially Vanessa, who has perfected the "bitch, don't even" look. Taylor is certain that she's getting the rose…but everyone else knows he's gonna give it to Corinne, which he does. And a little bit of fire comes out of Taylor's eyes when he does it; Vanessa's eyes also. Nick exits, leaving the ladies on the rooftop…to fight it out until dawn, I hope. While gloating over her rose, Corinne says she stepped out of her comfort zone today, but I'm not sure I believe that. I feel like all of that behavior was EXACTLY in her wheelhouse. Especially when she tells all the other women that she was just herself. That's all she did. She was just Corinne.

Champagne For Breakfast!

Over breakfast champagnes with Lacey, Corinne finds a way to talk more about herself and her boobs and her big win the night before. Corinne's antics confuse Lacey. Is that the type of behavior it will take to win Nick's heart? Corinne then turns her attention to the one-on-one date Other Danielle is on right now. She's excited because Other Danielle is like the nicest person! I sense a crisis of self-esteem in Lacey's future, sooner rather than later.

Elsewhere, Liz explains that she's been carrying around a secret. "I met Nick at Jade and Tanner's wedding," she says, "and we had sex." Neither of these things qualifies as a secret. Not to us watching at home. But she feels the need to open up to someone, so she chooses Christen. After beating around the bush for a while, Liz spills the beans. And the beans never stop spilling. Liz apparently spares no details and talks long enough, three or four hours maybe, that she and Christen both change clothes. Liz's explanation of why she refused Nick's number after boning him doesn't hold water for Christen; she's like, why the fuck didn't you give him your number? And even though Christen assures Liz she won't tell anyone, the look on Christen's face says it all: She's totally gonna blab that shit around.

Nick And Danielle M.'s Helicopter Date

In the early part of the date, Nick and Other Danielle ride in a helicopter, land on a yacht off the coast of Newport Beach, drink champagne, and spend some time in the yacht's hot tub. But these are boring people having a boring time. Thankfully, night falls, and it's time for the traditional Bachelor table for two, set up in the middle of a town square or wherever the fuck. Nick walks Other Danielle through his two appearances on the Bachelorette. I'm pretty sure this is a solid move. Ladies love hearing the deep details of your past relationships.

When he finally hands the talking stick to Other Danielle, BOOM! She drops the bomb that she was engaged to a guy who overdosed and she found his body. Also, she didn't even know he was an addict. Great work, producers! Great work filling your favorite niche in the casting of this show: the lady with the tragic story. Just once on this show, I would love to see a woman open up with a story like this and then NOT get the rose. Like, "Wow. Sorry. But shit like that seriously BUMS ME OUT!" But that's not what happens. Nick gives her the rose. Then they ride a Ferris Wheel and kiss. It's all boring, though.

Group Date 2: Breakup Practice!

The next group date card is handed out and Liz speculates that her name might not be on it. Like it will be everyone BUT her? What is she even talking about? But of course her name is on there, as is every other woman who hasn't been on a date yet. Like, duh. The date card says, "We need to talk…" And Josephine can hardly contain her excitement. "The anticipation is pumping through my blood," she says. They meet Nick in Hollywood, where he's arranged to take them to The Museum of Broken Relationships, a museum filled with relics and mementos from relationships that ended. Like the photographer from the last date, this is a real place. It is also a terrible place for a date. By total happenstance, the museum displays the rose and the ring that Nick picked out for Kaitlyn. What a surprise!

But there's another surprise, a couple has a huge argument right there in the museum. Finally something that looks fake that actually is fake. Of course, the couple is part of a live symposium the museum is holding called "The Art Of The Breakup." So now I know for sure that the slap in the teaser is bullshit. I mean, I knew it deep down. But I hoped I was wrong. Liz in the meantime is melting down, because she really wants to have that one-on-one time with Nick so she can move on. I hate to break it to you, Liz, but this show is about Nick's journey, not yours. Life isn't Jade and Tanner's wedding, 24/7. No matter how many times you say it.

Finally, it's time for the "fun" part of the date, the part where all the women take turns pretending to break up with Nick in front of a crowd. IT'S NOT AWKWARD, GUYS. Josephine does slap the shit out of Nick. Which is great. She should do that more often. When it's Liz's turn, she doesn't go with fiction but with fact. "I saw you at a celebration of love and friends," she says, "at Jade and Tanner's wedding." It's a long and meandering letter she reads and it confuses everyone. Except Christen, who is like, "I can't believe she's saying all of this!"

Group Date 2: Cocktails!

Because of Liz's weird performance, Nick really feels like he's gotta come clean with everyone about what went down between him and Liz, and whether or not it's a good idea for her to stick around. He can hardly stay engaged with the one-on-one time he's having with the different women. That is, until Jaimie Nose Balls admits she dated a girl. That perks him right up. So she'll probably get a rose. Just as he's starting to relax and have fun, he chats with Christen, who admits that she knows. And Christen jumps on the bandwagon, saying, "She says she met you at Jade and Tanner's wedding." I should have never made this a drinking game, because I'm fairly certain I have already blacked out. Guess I'll find out for sure tomorrow! Surprises!

After hanging out with Christen for a bit, Nick then pulls Liz aside to have THE TALK and even he's saying "Jade and Tanner's wedding" now. I guess we're all going to have to do that now. Nick wonders if Liz just came on this show because she wants to be on TV. It's surprising this is a question he's only considering asking Liz? So Nick asks her to basically explain her behavior that makes zero sense.

"Maybe you did ask for my phone number, but you didn't really know me. You know what I mean?" Liz says. "I mean, you knew the inside of my vagina. But giving out a phone number, that's intimate stuff." Okay, maybe I made up that last part. Somehow she tries to spin this like she wanted a chance to get to know him. And Nick says, "The more I talk to Liz, the less she makes sense." Which makes me uncomfortable, because I agree with him one hundred percent. Nick gives Liz the boot and watches her walk the long lonely way through the empty mall, down to street level by herself. Then Nick comes back in and drops the bombshell on the ladies: "I met Liz at Jade and Tanner's wedding, and Liz and I had sex." Surprised faces! Gasps! To be continued!

Bonus Scene

As the credits roll, Alexis asks Nick to help her celebrate the one-year birthday of her new boobs -- by eating boob-shaped cupcakes. They talk about her boobs a lot. "They're just one year old," Nick says. "They're like just fresh young babies." Which is gross. Then they take bites of the cupcakes, which taste terrible and Nick hopes that Alexis's boobs taste better than that. She assures him that they do. It's all so gross, you really must watch it so that I don't have to suffer alone.

Verdict

Such a great comeback episode. All of the promise of The Bachelor completely fulfilled. While it is sad to see Liz go home, I kind of respect (?) that Nick made that call. Is that a thing I can feel for Nick? Respect? Nah, doesn't feel right. Anyway, I am a little sad that her brand of crazy, which was just getting its sea legs, will not be seen any longer. And that I will never again hear the phrase "at Jade and Tanner's wedding."

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