Raquel tells us she wanted to do something different with Jason. Outside, he takes off his jacket and he and Raquel start dancing. This induces a stampede of the other women for the windows, and Molly's the one who puts a stop to it by cutting in, which she acknowledges Raquel probably wasn't too happy about, but "you gotta do what you gotta do to get the one-on-one time." To her credit, Raquel keeps the smile on, but admits she wasn't happy, saying she didn't really get the chance to talk to him. And it's not enough for Molly just to cut in; she also has to steal Jason away inside.
She asks him how his night's going, and he says it's going pretty well, if a little overwhelming. Oh, and "surreal." He asks her about Seattle. She says she's never been, but she's heard wonderful things, and she's open to new adventures. She lives in Milwaukee, which I'm surprised isn't adventure enough for her.
And here comes Raquel, apologizing, saying she wasn't done with Jason and needs to steal him away again. "Okay!" says Molly brightly, smile plastered on. Inside, she tells the other women, "Raquel came in and stole him back!" Hey, don't forget, you gotta do what you gotta do, right? "She didn't get enough time salsa dancing?" yells some other bachelorette.
Outside, Raquel tells him that something feels peaceful and right about this whole thing, and if she's been single up until now, it's been for a reason. Jason yackity-yacks about how you never know what's going to happen and he's glad she's here.
Inside, Stephanie and Megan talk about being away from their kids, and Jason comes in to steal Stephanie away. She says she definitely wants a rose tonight. Sitting down with Jason, she tells him about the heartbreak they've been through, and she tells him about her husband's death, and how her daughter Sophie means so much to her but she feels like she lost a year with Sophie because she was grieving. Sophie was only ten weeks old when her dad was killed, and I can't even think about this rationally, because I think about my own daughter. For God's sake, I cry at the end of Monsters, Inc. when Sully says goodbye to Boo and then she gets out of bed and opens her closet door but it's a regular closet again.
Anyway, the first impression rose is still just sitting on the table, and Nicole considers simply just stealing it. In an interview, she says she felt like it was this "wild feeding frenzy," but this actually seems like a nicer gentler first night than I remember from last season. A lot of the women seem to be actually encouraging each other. Someone says it might be Raquel because she was teaching him salsa, and Raquel demurs and says Molly talked to him a lot. When are we going to get to the fireworks factory?
Lauren, the cute teacher in the leopard print dress, is chatting with him next. He asks if she's cold and gives her his jacket, and I hope that wasn't a nipple-prompted question. They talk about teaching, and she says it's exciting to be teaching seventh-graders about the government right now, and then she quizzes him on the three branches of government (which he easily names). He remembers that it's her birthday, and tells her to wait there, because he's got something for her. He takes off, and she thinks he's getting the first impression rose for her, but turns out he's sticking a candle in a cream puff for her to blow out. Wow, what a sweet gesture. Wow, she's disappointed. The other women, many of whom were worried she was getting the rose, are relieved, even though, as one points out, there are actually fifteen roses that are getting handed out tonight.
So now the women are all assembled and Jason comes in, and then the woman all groan when Chris comes in. He tells them it's not time for the rose ceremony yet. "Tonight, we have something a little different in store for you ladies," he says, in a voiceover that was blatantly dubbed in later.
When we come back from the commercial break, Chris brings in a woman who's got a box on a tray. "There's a box, you guys. A box," says Shannon, who is apparently hoping there's a Stating the Obvious rose to be handed out. Chris says it's a ballot box. And then, dubbed again, Chris says each woman has to cast a vote for someone else, and the woman with the most votes is leaving them tonight. Wow, great. Let's say the women have noticed Jason has already really connected with someone. They now have the ability to kick that woman out. Romantic! The women all groan at this. Jason acknowledges that he doesn't feel great that the women get to vote someone out of the party, but their opinion is really important to him. "This is going to be really interesting," he lies.
Melissa says women's intuition is able to tell if someone's ready to be a wife, or a mom or to move to Seattle. I swear to god she says that. Erica hands out the ballots while all the women start sizing each other up. Nicole says she's going to vote for the girl she doesn't think is right for him. Shouldn't that really be any of the twenty-four other women? She winds up voting for Erica (we see Erica slugging back a drink) just because she doesn't think she's compatible with Jason. Translation: Erica said something Nicole didn't like. Lisa says this was where it became clear that this was a competition. Someone says, "one looks like a bitch" and someone else is all "oh no, you di'in't!" and then Shelby in an interview cuts through the bullshit and says maybe some of the women are trying to decide on someone who's not right for Jason, but there are lots who are trying to figure out who the hottest girl is. She also uses air quotes successfully. I like Shelby more and more.
Jackie confides to someone else that she voted for Melissa because she's her biggest competition. She's a brunette, she's beautiful, she's from Dallas, ticks off Jackie, indicating that all those things are supposedly true of her as well. But here's the real reason: Melissa was a Cowboys cheerleader, whereas Jackie tried out twice and didn't make it.
And now here's Jason talking to Kari and Nicole again, in what was likely the conversation when Kari whipped out the poem, and he asks them about how the voting thing is going, so they're already screwing with the timeline through the editing of this stupid show. They pretend that they voted solely in Jason's best interests, instead of their own.
And now there's Jackie talking about how she was engaged once but left the ring on the pillow in the middle of the night and left, and then married another guy but realized he wasn't the one. And meanwhile the other women are edited so as to look they can't be-LIEVE that she's going on like this when in reality the reaction shots probably came from some totally different conversation. In an interview, Renee says that Jackie was "freer with her words" than anyone else, not to mention drunker. That's why she voted for Jackie. She confesses her choice to Shelby, who says she voted for the same person. Meanwhile, Melissa sits next to Erica and jokes that she can't remember her name, when in reality she voted for her. God, is this painful. Sharon the teacher voted for Raquel for stealing her salsa-dancing gig. Sharon, Raquel is from Brazil. You might as well vote out the Canadian for doing a hot dog thing. Megan the lacrosse teacher says she voted for one of her favorite people. "Was it me?" asks some blond whose name I can't remember. "No!" snaps Megan, seemingly actually pissed that blondie here thought she was one of Megan's favorite people. "Was it Melissa?" asks blondie, and Megan sips her drink. Blondie cracks up.
"I voted for Melissa. Fun, flirty, gorgeous, but is she ready to be a mentor to a child?" asks Natalie. Really, that should be up to Jason, but if he realized that, he wouldn't be on this show in the first place.
Megan lectures the bored women about how being a parent, especially a single parent, is a really big deal. Shelby in particular looks like she wishes she had a sh