The Bachelor recap: Whine Country

The "ladies" are overwhelmed with stress as Ben takes them to visit his hometown of Sonoma. Meanwhile, Courtney feeds on her rivals' fear and becomes even stronger.
Ep. 02 | Aired Jan 9, 2012

WHERE'S PETA WHEN YOU NEED THEM? Ben tries to get his trusty dog Scotch to perform for Courtney. The poor dog's face says it all, doesn't it?

It's week 2, rose lovers, and the hills are alive with the sound of Team Bachelor's plane capturing a Sound of Music-style aerial shot of the beautiful vineyards in Sonoma. As Ben walks his cute little terrier, Scotch, he explains that he asked the "ladies" to come to his hometown because it's such a big part of his life, and whoever gets the final rose had better be comfortable there. "I wonder what my father would say to me in moments like this," muses the Bachelor, as snapshots of an endearingly dorky young Ben and his late dad flash across the screen. (That bow-tie shot is definitely worthy of Awkward Family Photos.)

The "ladies" roll up in a convoy of white Rolls Royces, where Ben meets his harem and leads them out to the pool, and awkwardly presents Kacie B. the date card. (No! Ben, have you forgotten the long-standing Bachelor First Date Curse?) Of course, Courtney is not pleased ("She's kind of annoying," she says of Kacie), and to be honest neither am I. Where is Harrison? I don't like sending our sweet Southern belle off in a car at night with a strange boy without Harrison giving her the get the rose or you're outta here pep talk first. (Also, he might have been able to talk her out of those short-shorts.)

The date begins with Ben leading Kacie through the nearly deserted streets of downtown Sonoma. "Kacie B. seems like a down-home girl," Ben explains. "What I get from Southern women is that they're very family oriented, and that's a big part of their culture." (Their culture? She's an administrative assistant from Tennessee, not a Mursi tribeswoman with a plate in her lip.) Having picked up a baton in a local candy shop (as one would), Kacie surprises Ben with her skills as a twirler as they march down the eerily empty main street. "Everything here is so quaint," sighs Ben fondly, as though that's a good thing.

Over dinner, Kacie and the Bachelor talk more about Sonoma and Ben's beloved dad. While Kacie feels like her chemistry with Ben is "so natural and easy," to an outside observer there seem to be fewer sparks than on a wet campfire. It doesn't help that Kacie says she'll "up and do anything" for love. "Wherever I need to go, I'd go." Sweetie, try to play a little hard to get, won't you? But of course, he LOVES it, and Kacie gets the rose. To celebrate, Ben takes her to the local movie theater to screen home movies of Kacie as a child. Creepy much, Mr. Flajnik? Eventually the reel changes to footage of Ben as a baby (bare butt and all), as well as some film of the would-be Bachelor with his dad. Okay, yeah, that's sad. Go ahead and cry, Kacie. You're surprisingly only human.

NEXT: Out of the mouths of babes


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