Oh, I just can't with the "I hate Ben" routine anymore. Every episode with this. Fast-forward, good god. Now they're mad at him because he didn't go far enough away with Desiree for their chat.
Back at the hotel, James is enjoying having the place to himself, and he's poured a bubble bath and is lounging with wine and chocolate. Didn't I just see this in Behind the Candelabra? His date card arrives: "Can our love weather the storm?"
Zak W. has brought along his guitar since he didn't get to finish his song at the talent show for some reason? Now we have to listen to him singing it and explain to us what it's about. He's confident that he's getting a group date rose, and it turns out he's right for once, but come on, when the competition is Chris's poetry? Bryden mutters darkly about how he didn't get to spend time with her.
The next day, James has his bags packed in preparation for his date. He sits around chatting with the other guys about his upcoming date, and there is not nearly enough attention paid to the fact that Kasey is apparently still shirtless and wearing his Mr. America crown and sash.
They head out on their date, where it turns out they're going to take a helicopter ride to gawk at Hurricane Sandy destruction, with a woman from the Red Cross educating them on the damage down. "It really is to take a moment and shed some light on what's important," Desiree sanctimoniously tells us. Listen, Des: We already know that literally EVERY OTHER THING IN THE WORLD is more important than The Bachelorette, let alone a natural disaster.
So Red Cross Lady's Operation Buzzkill Cockblock goes off without a hitch. "The destruction of Hurricane Sandy is way worse than I could have imagined," says Desiree. Well, watch some news or read a newspaper once in a while! The two of them make appropriately sad statements about the level of destruction, and then Zach decides that looking at the carnage has bonded him and Desiree. Well, that will comfort the people whose homes were destroyed! You know, if they're not already feeling psyched about serving as a Reminder of What's Important for shallow people.
And then they land so James and Desiree can gawk at a couple who were personally affected by the hurricane, and they tell their story, which naturally exposes any and all of the shit on this show for how trivial and inconsequential as it is. And then Desiree tells James that she had something planned for their date, but maybe they could let the other couple take it instead? Sandy actually happened on Manny and Jan's anniversary. Well, what's James going to say? Then we get to watch beneficent James and Desiree bestow their evening in Atlantic City on the nice couple, who have been married longer than all of the couples on any iteration of The Bachelor combined. And James again says that witnessing the destruction took him and Desiree to a whole new level, and it's utterly gross that these narcissists can only view a catastrophe through a lens of what they can get out of it, and then they kiss and decide to get something to eat because being holier-than-thou makes a person hungry.