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'The Bachelor' recap: Everyone's having a 'Tierra'-ble time

(ABC.com )
January 30, 2013|By Adam Lukach, @lucheezy | RedEye

"Trust" is a word that gets thrown A LOT on "The Bachelor." According to Sean Lowe it was the theme of this weeks episode, to get the girls to trust him, and oh, did he ever carry it out in classically "Bachelor" style. Trust is not earned here; it is manufactured, maimed and generally manipulated so not to look like the desperate, high-stakes romanticism it is. It's the currency running the show.

Sean says he needs to earn the girls' trust this week, which resonates on the level of, say, Jay-Z saying he needs to become a better-looking half of his marriage. Everyone knows it doesn't matter, and, moreover, no one cares. Beyonce's the better looking half of the Carters, and it will always be that way. It's fine. Same thing with the girls: their trust of Sean doesn't matter. He's in control. They need to earn Sean's trust, and he just gets to do what he does.

At one end, Tierra knows how to use it, ensnaring Sean's trust in the gamliest way possible, combining her "vulnerability" with the other girls' (warranted) distrust for her and parlaying it into an (unwarranted) deeper trust with Sean. By demonstrating to Sean that he's "the only person she can trust," she plays right into his empathy to form a more "special connection," as they say on the show. Daniella gets it--she knows Tierra is "good at this game." Unfortunately Daniella is not.

At the other end is Leslie H., whom I confused the other Lesley for the last two weeks, so sorry for that. But anyway, I did about as good a job getting her name right as she did earning Sean's trust or providing any spark. On her big chance, her literal one-on-one Date of Diamonds, their conversation feels more like a lecture. There's no opening up (a la Ashlee), there's no manipulation (a la Tierra), no intrigue (a la Selma.) Sean sends her home, which is rough, but wasn't she kind of a terrible player?

Speaking of terrible players, Amanda, this week's roseless one, is an interesting case. We know her as being slightly more bearable than Tierra, but in Sean's eyes, maybe she too openly played herself against the other girls. Kacie B., in all her insane ramblings, did mention her by name, and Amanda was the one who fulfilled that stigma by actively setting herself apart from the rest while Tierra played herself as the victim. Between her arrogance, her lack of a facial filter and shit like the roller derby thing, she was outrightly "different around the girls," which happens all the time, but not in Sean's plain sight.

Selma plays this episode well too, and fosters perhaps the most important kind of trust, proving that she can definitely do the things Sean likes but she hates, which is not a blowjob joke. Sean wanted to take her somewhere "not glamorous" as he tells us about a million times, because Selma is glamorous, and Sean must see if she can handle the unglamorous. So when he flew her out to the desert, naturally I was hoping for a recreation of the final scene from "Se7en," complete with severed heads and a desperate Brad Pitt impression. But, instead, she climbs up the rock and into Sean's heart.

You spend most of the rest of Selma's date staring at the underside of her chin and up her nostrils, because sitting next to Sean, she does this thing where she just goes limp and barely moves. She also shares that she is Arabic, thus, will not kiss Sean on camera, which leads to this exchange:

Sean: "I want to kiss you."
Selma: "I can't kiss you, but I want to."
PAUSE
Sean: "So, your parents are pretty strict, huh?"
Selma: "Yeah..."

Throw on some My Chemical Romance and get me my inhaler, because this middle school kiss-or-not has me feeling all angsty and stressed. Trust though--Selma gives him something after proving herself, reeling him in.

Let's get to the roller derby game for a second, as it's a perfect example of all of this. You have Tierra, a regular Tonya Harding who is ready to "knock some biotches down," but comes out looking good because she plays it close to the vest. You have Amanda, who convinces all the other girls she's done this before, and laughs, nay, cackles at the other girls falling over her master web of lies, but gets sent home. Then you have Sarah and Ashlee, who have already formed the "I'll let you into my life" connections that remain resonant--the awkwardness of the situation even reinforces that for Sarah.

As bad a date as it was, the roller derby actually showed a lot. Sean decides to forego the roller derby game, and they all free skate to "Foolish Heart" by Steve Perry. That wasn't a joke, they really skated around the track to "Foolish Heart" by Steve Perry. "I can't wait to take off these stupid pads and this stupid helmet," Jackie says as they leave, an inspiring reflection on a date that made a one-armed girl cry and sent another to the hospital.

MISC.

"Falling in love with him" count: 3
Did anyone else think Leslie picked the worst dress she tried on?

Quotes without context
"He took the Iraqi to a desert."-Selma
"I feel puffy, so this should be interesting."-Selma
"I don't need no chaperones anymore."-Tierra
"The date card said we have to roll. with. the punches! *sing song voice* And I don't know what that means!"-Amanda
"Today I think we are getting into those giant hamster ball things and rolling down a hill."-Lindsay
"I'm your typical girly girl. I don't do anything adventurous."-Ashlee
"I want to win. What's the point of going on a date? To lose? That doesn't feel good."-Amanda
"I just want them to let loose, spend time with me, and not worry about cracking their jaw."-Sean
"I am breaking down inside. I can't be tortured like this."-Tierra
"She's 'Tierra-ble!'"-Catherine

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