There are just eleven women left, and if you thought things were serious before, Chris Harrison has some news for you: things are about to get EVEN MORE SERIOUSER, seriously. Also, EVERYTHING IS ABOUT TO CHANGE, because they're leaving Los Angeles, he tells them, and they get all excited even though they have no idea what's going to happen. Brad has already left Los Angeles, Harrison tells us, and half of the women are excited about THAT for some reason, and the other half gasp like Harrison said Brad DIED for god's sake. These women have the attention span of particularly dense squirrels.
There's lots of shaky travel footage as the women go to Vegas, and they are all excited, which makes sense, because when you think "lifelong commitment to your romantic partner" you think Las Vegas.
They're staying at the Aria, and the limousine with the women pulls up and they get all giggly because Brad is there waiting for them, which seems to come as something of a surprise for some of them. You know, maybe they're not so much like squirrels as they're like dogs who, when their owner leaves the room, they have no idea if their owner is ever coming back. But there's Brad! Bradly braddy Brad!
"They're happy, I'm happy," Brad tells us, after they check into a suite that probably costs more for one night than my wife and I spent on our entire vacation there last summer. The date card arrives, and Michelle reads it, probably expecting that it's for her, but it's for Shawntel. "Let's end tonight with a bang," reads the date card, and thankfully these classy broads make jokes about fucking. And then in an interview Shawntel expresses the legal opinion that tonight HAS to end with a bang because it's printed on the card, and maybe she could explain exactly what she wants in terms of the date ending with a bang.
Brad's going to have fun in Vegas, but he's taking it seriously, y'all! He's excited to go out with Shawntel, says Brad, who then gives himself a compliment by saying, "Every time I'm around, she lights up." You idiot, you're supposed to reverse the subject and the object of the sentence to make it a compliment for her.
And then he takes her to a mall for a shopping spree, albeit "one of the nicest malls in the world," he says. And I saw some sad people in Vegas, but none so sad as the crowd of gawkers watching these two pinheads, with some actually filming their shopping spree on cell phones. Brad says it's every woman's dream to go from shop to shop to pick out anything she wants. I guess if Brad's going to make statements like that, he's going to end up with women like the ones on this show. Shawntel goes nuts. Are we all supposed to believe that A) Brad is paying for any of this or B) even if he is, that money equals romance?
Well, it does for the rest of the women, because Shawntel goes back to the hotel to show off her loot. "It's the perfect Pretty Woman that every girl dreams about," says Ashley S., who doesn't get to compare herself to Julia Roberts yet because at least Julia Roberts' character got paid for being a prostitute.
The rest of the women prove Brad's sexist "women be shopping!" statement correct by drooling over everything that Shawntel picked out, and by mercenarily trying to figure out just how much money Brad spent, I mean, how much he loves Shawntel. Michelle actually seems to like Shawntel, even though she thinks Shawntel isn't right for Brad. Nobody's right for Brad except for Michelle, is how the theory goes. Her thought process on deciding who should marry Brad is roughly equivalent to the editorial meeting at Oprah's O meeting to decide who should be on the cover this month.
And now that it's a little later, the women are drinking and discussing what the rest of the date is going to be like. "Something fancy!" chirps one of them. They're not allowed out of the suite, right? I mean, is there any reason why they would stay in their hotel room unless they weren't contractually obligated?
So what's the capper to the evening? Oh, of course. Dinner on the roof. OF THE MALL. Brad says it's the perfect way for them to see all the lights of Las Vegas, but this building is much smaller than the surrounding buildings, plus there's actually a tower, the Stratosphere, that they COULD have gone to. Plus they could have rappelled from the top and maybe had tragic accidents?
And then Brad and Shawntel discuss her profession, which is funeral director, so this goddamn awful show plays this Addams Family-esque music the whole time, and Brad lies and says he really wants to know what embalming is like, and then we get several interviews where he acts like this is the most messed up conversation he's ever had. It's sad that for the first time he has a conversation that isn't "Are you ready for love? I'm ready for love" that he acts like a dick about it.
And then his champagne cork pops prematurely (not a euphemism), and he calls her the hottest funeral director he knows, which is supposed to be a joke but is really kind of a dickish thing to say, and he gives her the rose, and then fireworks go off on the roof of the Aria, and the women in their hotel suite throw themselves against the window trying to see the fireworks, and get all glum about the Brad and Shawntel on the fireworks date, instead of realizing that fireworks go off every night in Vegas.
Next day: group date time: "Let's go speed dating." The women clap and giggle like they have any idea what that means. Jackie, Emily, Lisa, Marissa, Alli, Chantal, Britt and Michelle are the ones going.
That means that the two Ashleys are going on a two-on-one date, which means that only one of them will be coming home. The two Ashleys cry and hug and carry on about it, like the woman who doesn't get the rose will be put to death. The other women act similarly shocked -- one of them says something like, "That's awful, you've come so close!" and you kind of want to remind her that it's either them or you. Michelle can barely hide her glee at the prospect of separating the Ashleys. Say what you will about Michelle, at least she knows that every woman who goes home is a step closer to her winning. She's so excited that she hopes BOTH Ashleys go home, which then gives her an orgasm.
So what's the group date? It's a trip to the Las Vegas Motor Speedway, a NASCAR track. Finally, we're going to combine the excitement of a "sport" that involves watching traffic turn left for two-hundred laps with The Bachelor! Brad arrives in a racecar and is somewhat surprised not to be immediately fellated by all of the women in his sexy racing-car-guy suit. Then we watch some corny shots of Brad and his harem dressed in race outfits and walking shoulder to shoulder through the smoke of a NASCAR track, and then we watch the women drive slowly around the race track while the edits try to make it seem like they're racing each other at the same time, instead of for the most part just taking turns doing a lap around the track.
And as we all know, Emily's fiancé was a racecar driver who died. Not racing, mind you, but in a plane crash (which is why the plane ride was tough on her). But since racing is what he did, this is tough on her too. Look, I'm no bereavement counselor; take all the time you need. But if everything you do reminds you of your dead fiancé -- and you're wearing what looks like an engagement ring on your left hand -- maybe you're not ready to date again. Emily tells us that Brad knows her fiancé died but not that he was a racecar driver, which I'll have to take her word on, because whenever I've finished an episode of this show, I delete it from my DVR, then I go all Office Space on my DVR and have to get a new one from the cable company. So I can't exactly verify it.
After the commercial break, Brad has finally figured out that Emily is not OK with this, and he takes her aside to talk to her about what's going on, and she tells him that Ricky was a driver, and it was actually a crash at this speedway that ended his career. Brad