Bachelor Sean got physical with the ladies on Tuesday night's episode of The Bachelor — but not necessarily in the way the remaining nine ladies might have hoped. The strapping Dallas native, who has already had the women saw through logs, smash into each other in roller derby practice, and get down and dirty in the sand during a beach volleyball tournament, has another exciting challenge up his sleeve.
But first, the one-on-one date. The ladies have left the clear skies of Montana for the even cleaner air of Canada, and they chat excitedly as they patiently await the arrival of — knock, knock — the date card. Giggly Seattle native Catherine gets the coveted one-on-one, and can hardly keep the grin off her face as she bundles up and gets dropped smack in the middle of the tundra to await Sean's arrival.
And what an arrival it is! The bachelor opts for a snow bus to come and sweep Catherine off her feet, and despite the blustery weather ("We're being pelted with snow flakes and ice flakes and it hurts!" he declares), she loves it. The pair attempt to sled in the freezing temps, but Catherine is game, frolicking and making snow angels and excitedly rolling with the punches, just like Sean had hoped.
At dinner that night — in a castle built of ice, no less — he makes a few googly eyes at her as they snuggle up under a blanket and reveals that he’s "crazy" about her. No new vocabulary here, but Catherine returns the sentiment and gets the rose in exchange.
The next day, seven of the ladies get their turn to play in the cold during the week's group date. Sarah, Lesley, Daniella, Tierra, Lindsay, Selma and AshLee awake bright and early to find themselves having to do some quick math down by Lake Louise. Seven girls, one Sean, three canoes. Who’s going to be with — and it looks like Lesley's already hopped into the canoe with Sean. Should've been quicker on the draw, ladies!
The ladies gripe about the cold as they attempt to paddle their way through the icy water, but the fun doesn't end once the canoes have reached the opposite shore. No, no. Sean has another proposition in mind for the ladies, and it doesn’t involve hot cocoa and group snuggling.
The bachelor tells the women that they're going to take part in the Lake Louise Polar Bear Plunge, which is exactly what it sounds like: Diving headfirst into the icy cold water in bikinis. A few of the women sound doubtful, but ultimately only Selma opts to sit out the challenge. The remaining six ladies decide to go all-out, even though, as Lesley so astutely observes, "my ass is numb and my toes are numb."
And into the water they go! Over a soundtrack of triumphant music, the ladies gleefully plunge into the water and then run back to the tents to warm up — all, that is, except for Tierra, who begins screaming and turning popsicle blue.
"I want to do anything I can to help, but I'm clearly not a professional," Sean says as he cuddles up to Lesley and looks slightly put off by Tierra's theatrics. The drama queen gets taken away wrapped up in an orange bag.
After debating whether or not she should be taken to the hospital (third time's a charm!), the EMTs ultimately decide that the bachelorette's body temperature is warming back up, and she just needs some rest back inside the hotel. As she's pushed — in a wheelchair, of course — into her room, a panicked Desiree and Catherine burst in to see which of their girls was injured.
Oh, her. After saying a few half hearted "feel better" remarks, the girls bow out of the room to leave the mascara-streaked bachelor to her own misery. Sean makes a surprise appearance later in the day to check in on her, and Tierra positively lights up.
"You keep managing to find one-on-one time with me," he grins. Oh, and how.
That night, the rest of the ladies shed their chilly lake-side gear and get dressed for their night with Sean, looking forward to a drama-free evening. And save for the multiple heartfelt confessions, it is drama-free — until Tierra comes knock, knock, knockin’ on the cabin door, dolled up after her bed rest.
The rest of the ladies aren't too thrilled to see her, but Tierra is determined to get the rose. Unfortunately for her, then, Sean awards the coveted flower to Lesley, whom he "turned a corner" with that night. Cue seething looks from the hobo goblin.
Later, after the women have returned to their suite back at the hotel, Sean still has something itching at the back of his conscience, and he decides to come clean with the ladies. Ever the rule-breaker, he pays them a visit and steals sweet Sarah away for a "private talk."
"I'm in trouble," she jokes nervously as he leads her down the hallway. And then what happens next proceeds to be the most awkward, heart-wrenching breakup ever.
"I so appreciate you showing me pictures of your family and everything," he begins, as Sarah gets a knowing look in her eyes. "But if I'm being completely honest, I felt like we were reaching. I don't know if you felt it or not, but … it hasn't been there."
By the looks of Sarah's increasingly somber expression, she's been blindsided. But to her credit, the Los Angeles-based advertising executive holds her own and doesn't break down until after she's said her goodbye to the gals and is packed away snuggly into her departing SUV.
"I just don't want to be told forever how great I am, what I deserve," she says as she wipes away tears. "I just don't want to be told that forever. And it's just sad to think about, like, how did Sean see it and feel it in the beginning?"
After that heavy conversation, Sean's in need of a pick-me-up. Or maybe a drop-me-down. The bachelor's second one-on-one date of the week is with Desiree, whom he'd tricked at an art gallery just a few weeks before. Knowing that her confidence was shaken last week, Sean does the only logical thing any good boyfriend would do — bring her to the top of a mountain in Banff National Park and make her rappel down the side of it.
Turns out, despite Desiree's fears, the date is "a lot like a relationship: You start off worried or scared about what it could possibly be," but then realize that it's not so bad after all. Huh. The things these women are learning on The Bachelor.
After climbing a few trees and smooching at high altitudes, the two retire to dinner in a teepee (complete with a campfire inside, of course). Desiree lets down her guard a bit, admitting that she and her family were once so broke that they had to live in a tent. Sean takes this admission as a sign of vulnerability, and he loves it, planting a big wet one on her and giving her the rose.
At the rose ceremony the following night, Desiree, Catherine and Lesley are safe with their chipper red flowers, while the remaining five women await their fate. Selma, who dared to kiss Sean on national TV against her mother's wishes, and Daniella, who bemoaned never getting a one-on-one chance with the bachelor, are sent home, leaving Tierra, AshLee and Lindsay standing at the end of the night.
"I have had a rough go with love and this definitely does not feel good," Selma sniffled during her final confessional. "I came here to fall in love and I'm leaving with a memory. …it's really hard to leave while Tierra's in there having a glass of champagne and celebrating.
"But," she says ominously, "I hope Sean will figure her out soon. Everything rises to the surface."