Circus. The girls have to put on fake hair and do a little dance. So does Brad. Then Brad gets the rose from a clown, and presents it to Stephy, which is mildly surprising…and not very romantic, since he has to yell over the ongoing circus-crowd noise to do it. She's excited and squealy. Clowns get shot out of cannons, which as imagery on a dating show goes is rather unfortunate.
Back from commercial, it's time for the one-on-one date with Hillary. She's nervous; we see her getting her hair done in a big old over-sprayed, crunchy, '80s-video-Medusa mess as she says she wants to neener-neener the other girls by getting the first kiss from Brad. Which is awesome, because Jenni already snagged it, plus I hate Hillary. Bradterview: I'm psyched for this date because Hillary always makes me laugh. Yeah, me too. In disbelief. Brad talks about the big surprise he has for Hillary. A poke in the eye with a sharp stick? …No? Dammit.
Inside, the rest of the girls greet him with a plaintive "hiiiiii." Enter Hillary in the dress she received earlier, a sequined black Krystle Carrington number that doesn't really do much for her. She's all "who me?" slumpy body language. Brad nicely says that he's at a loss for words, which is probably the truth -- I can see how the correct words, namely "mother," "of," "the," and "bride," might have escaped him. Shot of a few of the other girls pulling "…ew" faces on the couch. The surprise is a super-fancy necklace that looks like emeralds. Brad puts the necklace on her, and while I review and discard half a dozen jokes about pearls and swine, Lindsey flops around on the couch all "are you effing kidding me with this" and DeAnna VO is like, "Yeah, that sucked."
So, the date: San Francisco for the night, via private jet; dinner; "a few other surprises."
San Francisco B-Roll Cliché-O-Meter: 4 (Golden Gate, TransAmerica building, trolley car, Lombard Street). Hillary VO: I feel like a princess. Sars VO: Huh. Because you look like that time Miss Luboski from fourth-period PE had to chaperone the prom.
Romantic dinner suite. Profusions of white roses; champagne. Bradterview: Hillary is nice and sweet. Hillary talks about how she doesn't need expensive jewelry; she just wants the two of them to be "crazy in love." Brad: Wow, okay then. Hillary starts babbling about her serious side, which Brad says he's cool with, and I think he's sincere -- going on the show isn't the best idea he's ever had, most likely, but he seems like a good guy who tries not to hurt people's feelings and isn't a dick. Unfortunately, I can tell you from firsthand experience that, sometimes, coming across a truly nice man is so unexpected, and such a relief, that you may get overwhelmed and spazz off on him, and I don't like Hillary and I disagree strongly with most of her styling choices, but when her eyes fill up with tears and she's saying she's been ready for a long time to settle down, and she's getting emotional…been there. Had better hair, but: been there. Anyway, Brad feels bad, but Hillary gets a grip and says she's fine. Bradterview didn't expect that reaction from Hillary.