Because format be damned, this week's episode picks up a the pre-Rose Ceremony fight between Corinne and Taylor. They don't like or respect each other and neither think the other is there for the right reasons. It's not as interesting as the suspenseful music tries to make it be. Corinne tells Nick that Taylor is mean, but he takes it with the smallest grain of salt. Both women survive the Rose Ceremony both via roses as well as the freezing temperature in the barn. Sarah and Astrid are eliminated and hopefully get some hot chocolate spiked with Peppermint Schnapps.
Nick and the women ditch his home state of Wisconsin and head down to New Orleans. I guess Nick didn't remember that as the Bachelor you don't need to travel to Bourbon Street to see boobs.
The first date of the week is a 1-on-1 with Rachel where they stroll around the French Quarter. But the best part of the date is getting a big plate of beignets at Cafe du Monde and me salivating at the TV. With their stomachs full of beignets, oysters, and hot sauce, Rachel and Nick join a second line brass band celebration and smooch under parasol before dancing at a club at a setup concert than we'll pretend is spontaneous. The night portion of the date keeps up the kickass New Orleans theme, with a romantic dinner among the Mardi Gras floats in the warehouse. Rachel opens up how the last time she was in a Second Line was for a funeral, which made her re-evaluate life and living her life to the fullest. Nick gets serious about asking dad's for marriage permission since he's done it kiiiind of a few times on TV. Nick "breaks the rules" by confessing he's super into Rachel and she gladly accepts the date rose with a passionate kiss atop a float.
The group date girls head out to an old plantation mansion but not just any mansion: it's a haunted house! The mansion is haunted by an eight year old girl who died of yellow fever, but since there's an open bar of mint juleps it's probably a chill place. There's varying levels of respect and disrespect for the house's alleged spirits, so they bust out a Ouija board and ask the important haunted questions: "Will Nick get engaged?" and "Who will get the date rose?" Eventually they ask Mae a question of the lights in the house cut out and flicker because, of course. Nick and a few girls head upstairs to investigate while other girls sit around the Ouija board talking about Corinne and Taylor, yet aren't smart enough to ask Ouija who survives the date. Nick takes a break from hunting child ghosts to have alone time with the women, where Raven tells Nick she fell in love with him. Nick gives the date rose (in a Beauty in the Beast product placement glass cover) to Danielle M which is pretty disrespectful to child ghost Mae, but I guess appreciative of her.
The 2-on-1 Thunderdome date is OF COURSE Corinne vs. Taylor, bitter rivals until the end. Their battle to the death (OK, to the rose) takes place out on the Bayou where I'm assuming the losers remains will be dumped for the alligators to feast on. The girls are brought out to a voodoo priestess and a reader to get their tarot cards read. Taylor's reading tells her to not engage with toxic energy. Speaking of toxic energy, Corinne tells Nick that she felt "bullied" by Taylor. Corinne's reading tells her that the words she says cause damage, then Corinne asks how to make a voodoo doll to harm a person. Toxic energy! When the girls are reunited, Taylor confronts Corinne about the lies she told Nick. Nick rolls up to the tension-filled table with his date rose and gives it to Corinne which should come as a shock to no one. Taylor gets left behind in the bayou where I assumed Taylor would be forced to spend the rest of her life, but she escapes to return to the mainland and interrupt Nick and Corinne and tell her side of the story.
[All images credited to ABC]