The women settle into the Bachelor Mansion and Chris drops by to kick things off. He explains that they will only interact with Alex on "Fantasy Dates". Chris then tells them about a journaling room in the mansion where they can leave Alex video messages he'll see just before handing roses out. He emphasizes that it's "important you speak from the heart" aka say whatever will guilt him into keeping you at the last second.
Chris explains they'll receive gift boxes at the front door that include hints to each date and a card saying who is going. He sends Trista to pick up the first box because, duh. It's literally a giant box with a bow on it filled with shit from Party City's Vegas theme aisle. Questioning ABC's budget in 2002.
LaNease, Shannon, Katie/Power Tools, Burgundy hair and a girl that was so boring I don't remember her are chosen for the Vegas group date. We get a montage of them using straighteners to make their hair extra flippy and applying blue eyeshadow. LaNease wears every 00's trend possible and I am here for it. Pleather flares? Check. Choker? Check. One armed shirt? Check. #TrendQueen
The women make their way towards Alex who is standing next to the private jet they're taking to Vegas. He smiles and says "a lot of leather" while giving a thumbs up to the camera. He is also wearing a leather jacket that makes him look like the Terminator.
A slow mo shot of the group walking into a hotel plays in time with a voiceover of one of the women saying it was "so rockstar" to be one of five women walking in with Alex. I'd say it's more TLC's Sister Wives but sure.
They play pool for awhile before Burgundy pulls Alex away for some 1 on 1 time. She makes a joke about how she's "getting the ball rolling". Get it? Pool? Ball? Shannon makes a face like she might vomit which I deeply appreciate.
Shannon and Alex go on a romantic walk by slot machines because he wants to make sure she knows he's interested. The next person to get some alone time with Alex is LaNease who joins him for a Gondola ride. They literally don't talk once but they make out under a bridge so she's probably in the top 5.
The next group date box comes filled with sand and toy shovels and I'm convinced filling the box was just a task given to ABC interns who had nothing to do. Trista, Amanda/Kansas, Melissa, Angela/Hooters and Burgundy #2 are chosen for the "desert date". They roll up to a spa in matching bathrobes and all squeeze into 2 mud baths.
Alex strokes Trista's arm in front of his 4 other dates like a gentleman. Hooters randomly brings up the topic of cheating and it becomes the focal point of the date. Trista reveals she was cheated on and asks Alex if he has ever cheated. He is silent looking for an escape but realizing he's trapped under pounds of mud admits he has cheated multiple times. Don't worry though, he wasn't like "drunk with the guys" when it happened, he was totally lucid and consciously cheating every time! The women "admire his honesty"/are also stuck in mud and signed contracts to be here.
They get out to shower off and Amanda takes this opportunity to "help Alex" which really means rub each other down while the 4 other women huddle under one shower head next to them. Later on the tour bus they take back to the mansion (maybe voiceover gal was right he is a rockstar) Amanda is "disgusted" by Melissa sitting on Alex's lap fully clothed. LOL OK.
We never see the theme box for the final group date probably because it makes no sense. The final five women stop at a gas station with Alex to buy lotto tickets and ice cream sandwiches before boarding a yacht where they are all shown shooting guns but we're never told why??? Party City doesn't have that aisle change your kid's birthday invitations now.
Meanwhile the women at home are sitting around the mansion gossiping about who they think is in the lead. Everyone agrees with me/ABC that Trista is the best. Amanda/Kansas gushes about Alex's sense of humor and I am very concerned for her and wonder if she swallowed some bad mud at the spa. Everyone giggles that Amanda is in loooove and the camera pans to Shannon looking HORRIFIED at the realization that other women also like the man they're all here for.
Finally the rose ceremony where Melissa is 100% certain she's getting picked and Shannon has come to terms with getting sent home so clearly Shannon is staying and Melissa should pack her bags. There isn't much shown conversation wise before it's time for Alex to head to the hall of frames. This time he also gets to watch the video journals left for him that all sound the same since none of them know this guy. He does a lot of heavy breathing and some very ominous music plays.
A whopping seven women are sent home including both Burgundy #1 and #2 AND Hooters which shocked me. Melissa is sent home to no one's surprise but her own and everyone else is forgettable. There are only 8 women left and I'm so confused by how quickly things moved this season. At this rate he'll propose to someone he's hung out with 3 times as opposed to 20 his mom and dad approved.