The Bachelor recap: Natural Selection

Ben and the "ladies" explore the great outdoors in Park City, Utah, where Kacie and Emily learn that sometimes The Bachelor is all about survival of the bitchiest
Ep. 04 | Aired Jan 23, 2012

CATCH HIM IF YOU CAN Kacie hooked some alone time with Ben on the group date, but Courtney caught the only fish... and the date rose

There ain't no mountain high enough/ain't no valley low enough/ain't no river wide enough to keep Ben from handin' out roses… Welcome to week four, Bachelor Nation, which brings us to the orange-and-gold mountains majesty of Park City, Utah. Now that he's sent that frisky funeral director back to Chico without so much as a "You're amazing, but..." kiss-off speech, Ben has the grateful "ladies" wrapped around his little finger. (Except Courtney, who's wrapped around a similarly shaped appendage located lower on his body.)

Harrison, rocking a cozy high-collared sweater, greets the "ladies" at the Canyons resort and gives them the lay of the land -- two one-on-one dates, one group date -- and drops off the date card. The first solo outing goes to Rachel and her bangs, a fact that sends sweet Kacie into a weepy spiral. "The thought of him spending the whole day with somebody else just drives me crazy," she sighs. "I wish it was over and done and we were going to the grocery store right now." Oh, honey, if it'll make you feel any better you can go to the grocery store with my husband. We need paper towels.

Thwack-thwack-thwack! Ben and Rachel are off to their date in the first helicopter of the season. It drops them off in a picturesque valley, where they glide around a lake in a canoe equipped with a surveillance camera. (Has anyone read my favorite book of all time, An American Tragedy?) Though they immediately begin kissing in the boat, Rachel can't seem to conquer her nerves and the conversation is flat, with lots of pauses as the duo take time-filling sips of champagne. When night falls, Ben tries to draw Rachel out over dinner, but he'd probably get more response from the salmon that's growing cold on her plate. "This fire is hot," she murmurs after he asks about her relationship philosophy. Eventually, though, the emotional dam breaks and Rachel's inner monologue comes gushing out in a flood: "For me, in past relationships it's something that I'm not good at... communication, and like opening up to people. It's hard to do... I'm super honest, I'll tell you anything, but there might be some times where I'm, like, worried about it... I'm really happy to be here and I really like you..." Does this count as "opening up"? Let's go to the judges for a ruling… It counts! Rachel gets the rose, and a marshmallowy kiss from the Bachelor.

Saddle up, rose lovers! The next day, Ben rides up to his group date on horseback, and though he barely manages to hold on as his steed plunges into the river to meet the "ladies," all of the women (Jamie, Casey, Blakeley, Lindzi, Samantha, Kacie, and Courtney) swoon dutifully. They aren't able to feign as much excitement for the post-horseback riding portion of the date: fly fishing in big rubber pants! The Bachelor wades from woman to woman, adjusting their rods and so on, but Courtney doesn't have the patience for the group scenario so she leads Ben farther upstream. If that wasn't enough to irk the "ladies," she also catches the first (and apparently only) fish of the date. Omigod you guys she's such a biiiitch!

NEXT: Samantha, please pack your pink suitcase and go

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