Love is a battlefield. And you have to know the outcomes of your strategic advances, or you'll give up all ground … or worse, lose the whole war.
When it comes to "The Bachelor" and "The Bachelorette," there seems to be only one rule:
Thou shalt not discuss the drama occurring amongst thy fellow contestants. Ever. So say we all.
We see it demonstrated in Sean Lowe's season: One of the women "tattles" on the others. By the rose ceremony, she's gone.
So, Sean's already known for breaking the rules … so why not add records, too? He goes on a one-on-one with Lesley M., in which they try to break the world record for longest on-screen kiss.
They accomplish their task, but in a very cold way. As much as Sean professes his liking for Lesley (and plants his lips on hers for quite a while), it's very obvious that he doesn't feel for her what he felt last week with Sarah and Desiree.
They "talk" (we'd call it first-date banter, except they're not on a "true" first date). They make out, and Sean acts as if he's amazed about the whole thing. But seriously, if he had to choose between Lesley and even, say, Tierra … no contest.
Speaking of Tierra …uh, she fell down the stairs?
Despite the fact that "The Bachelor" houses seem to be on 24/7 surveillance, we didn't get a good look at what happened to Tierra. All we know is 1) she fell, and 2) she got hurt.
A concerned Sean drops by. So do the paramedics. Whatever happened, she seems to have gotten what she craves: attention.
Out of spike
Ah, the dreaded competition group date. Just like in previous "Bachelor" and "Bachelorette" seasons, this date pits half of the women against the other half. This time, the competition is beach volleyball -- sexy ladies in skimpy bikinis being super sexy! Sean's loving it.
But one of them can't just be content with just showing off her bod: During the date, Kacie B. feels a "crisis of conscience" (yes, on "The Bachelor") and tells Sean that Desiree and Amanda were fighting over him. She claims to feel weird about the whole thing, yet she just has to tell him. Sigh!
Sean is flabbergasted that Kacie is gossiping about the other women. "I want you to act like Kacie, not like this crazy person I see," he says. Snap!
It all leads to Lindsay (of the ridiculous wedding dress from the first night) getting the group date rose.
Sean's next one-on-one is with AshLee, a very genuine-seeming gal. They go on a charity event with two teen girls to a local amusement park. Sean looks as if he's thrilled with the entire day, while AshLee seems more hesitant.
Finally, she opens up: Her feelings are all heightened because she was adopted. She never knew whom to trust. As AshLee describes her life, the tears begin welling in Sean's eyes. AshLee barely even finishes a sentence when Sean grabs a rose to give her.
At the pre-ceremony cocktail party, all the ladies who didn't get a date try to trap him into spending just a few of his minutes with them. The competition is really heating up!
But Sean has a surprise for one of them. He takes Sarah aside and tells her that even though he didn't take her on a date this week, he's thinking about her. When he brings her outside, he opens the limo -- it's her beloved dog! Awww!
Chris Harrison announces the beginning of the rose ceremony. But when Sean picks up a rose to hand out, he pauses. He asks to talk to Kacie alone!
Sean very gently tells Kacie that he can't see her as more than a friend. She's not his future wife!. She is crushed, but takes it pretty well -- definitely better than she took Ben Flajnik's rejection!
They share a tender, but final goodbye; then Sean gets back to the rose ceremony. After all, his maybe-future wife is waiting! He hands out roses until the only two who don't get a rose are Taryn and model Kristy. At least you got a three-cover Harlequin deal out of this, Kristy.
By now, it's clear that Sean has picked out his frontrunners. We thought Kacie was one of them, but guess that once you're in the friend zone, you're always in the friend zone.
What did you think of last night's dramatic episode? Check out the Twitterverse reaction and then sound off in the comments below:
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"The Bachelor" airs Mondays at 8 PM on ABC.