‘The Bachelor’ Recap: Ben Higgins Claims He’s Not ‘Evil,’ Doesn’t Script Lines After Disastrous Hometown Date

Ben Higgins visited the hometowns of his remaining four contestants on the Monday, February 22, episode of ABC’s The Bachelor, and so many important things happened. Not only did Ben incur the wrath of JoJo Fletcher‘s brothers, he mused on how he isn’t “evil,” made some small children sob hysterically, and fell even more in love. Which would be cute if it weren’t for the fact that he’s still dating four women.

Keep reading to find out which which achy-breaky heart Ben shattered, plus find out about the shocking letter that caused JoJo to break down in tears.

Ben Gets His Dad On, Fails Spectacularly

Amanda Stanton has made it pretty clear that she can’t fall for Ben unless he falls for her daughters — and the good news? Ben totally hit it off with Amanda’s little ladies during a family beach date in her hometown. The bad news? These kids were completely over their mom’s boyfriend after being forced to spend, like, a million hours in the hot sun with him.

Poor Ben was visibly awkward when confronted with the realities of fatherhood, and didn’t look too thrilled when one of Amanda’s kids had a breakdown in the car. “The kids are a little worn out,” Ben admitted, looking full-blown panicked. “The car ride was a little rough.”

Amanda’s dad seemed worried that his daughter’s boo wasn’t ready for fatherhood, and to be honest, Ben was right there with him. “Amanda’s dad really made me think about what it takes to be a parent,” he said. “And honestly, that makes me a little nervous.”

Ben Cries About His Love for Lauren B.

Look, all Ben’s girlfriends were created equal, but there’s no denying he’s straight-up obsessed with Lauren Bushnell. This couple reached peak cute trolling around Lauren’s hometown of Portland, where they chatted about their love for butter (no, like, really), chilled at a “whiskey library” and eventually met Lauren’s family.

Lauren’s parents adored Ben (what’s not to love?), though her sister raised a few concerns — probably because she realized that Ben is totally dating three other women. “How do I know that you’re not saying this to all these other families, like, ‘Oh, I love your daughter’?” she asked during a private moment. “Obviously, you know, I’m a little skeptical still.”

Ben managed to make Lauren’s sister feel better by sobbing profusely about his feels, and it’s safe to say his hometown visit was a home run. That said, Lauren decided not to profess her love after a wise family member reminded her that Ben has three other girlfriends. “If I don’t get a rose this week, I might not ever have the opportunity to share with Ben how I feel,” she lamented.

Caila and Ben Plan Their Future (in the Weirdest Way Ever)

Welcome to the Buckeye State! Ben and Caila Quinn had a great time wandering around her small town/publicly making out on park benches, which — by the way — is something Caila’s super into. “I won’t have to hold back,” the gorgeous brunette told cameras while reflecting on her future with Ben. “We can just make out in our kitchen or on our front lawn. In our toy house, or in our real house, who knows!”

Speaking of toy houses, Caila and Ben built a tiny version of their future love shack at the family toy plant, and Ben uttered the sentence, “I never thought I’d find a toy factory so sexy.” Let’s pretend that never happened, shall we? Moving on.

Ben was a hit with Caila’s parents, but her dad’s slight hesitation about the whole “falling in love with a celebrity who has a thing for polyamory” thing caused her to hold back. “After he kisses me, all I wanna say is, ‘I love you,'” she told the cameras. “I was ready to tell him right then and there, but I’m scared of getting my heart broken.”

JoJo Fletcher
JoJo Fletcher

JoJo’s Past Catches Up With Her

This week in awkward Bachelor news, JoJo got a letter from an ex-boyfriend, and she most definitely thought it was from Ben.

“No. No. I don’t want to read this,” JoJo said after reading part of the note on camera. “I’m not reading that. That’s not what I want to read. That’s so f–ked up. I didn’t want to go back there. I was so excited about today. For two years, I begged for him. And now that I finally move on? It’s selfish. Ugh. I deserve to be with someone who knows how much I’m worth from the beginning. All of my insecurities came from him. I’m so mad.”

JoJo called her ex to reject him once and for all, and then opened up to Ben, who was surprisingly chill about the whole thing. “I’m just the happiest I’ve ever been,” JoJo said while crying on Ben’s shoulder. “I don’t want you to think for a second that my feelings are elsewhere ’cause they’re not.” #NoScrubs

JoJo’s Brothers Accuse Ben of Scripting His Lines

Thought JoJo’s hometown date couldn’t get weirder? Think again, because Ben was mercilessly grilled by her brothers, who basically hated him. Not only did they question Ben’s feelings for JoJo, they accused him of delivering semi-scripted lines. “I don’t know if you were coached on your answer, or what it is,” JoJo’s bro Matt said while Ben sad-faced. “As a brother, I’m like, ‘Dude, my sister is way more into this guy than he is into her.'”

Poor Ben tried to play it cool for JoJo’s sake, but later revealed his true feelings to cameras. “Am I that evil?” he pondered. “Where I have planned this all out where I just wanna get their sister to the point where she was falling for me and then break her heart on purpose, just because I like watching people get hurt?”

Sorry, Ben, is that a rhetorical question, or . . . ?

And Then There Were Three

Despite a rough night at JoJo’s house, Ben decided to keep her in the sister-wife club and instead sent Amanda home. “As I saw the girls around you, I realized and it started to hit me more than ever,” he explained. “If our relationship wasn’t to the point that some of the other relationships here were, I couldn’t keep you away.”

Amanda handled the rejection pretty well, but questioned why Ben hadn’t let her go earlier. “It would have been nice if you would have let me know then rather than send me back to L.A., just to send me home at a rose ceremony,” she said.

Fair enough, though it should be noted that Ben was super torn up about Amanda’s departure and basically spent the rest of his night sobbing. Poor guy!

Tell Us: Did Ben make the right decision sending Amanda home?

The Bachelor airs on ABC Mondays at 8 p.m. EST.

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