The Bachelor Episode 5: Breaking Down Tierra’s Group Date-Crashing Play

Because The Bachelor is running a two-night, four-hour extravaganza this week, this installment of Bachelor School will temporarily narrow its focus. It’s a long semester, and it’s important to slow things down and embrace a more targeted kind of education when such opportunities present themselves. And so today we’re offering a detailed breakdown of one of the season’s pivotal moments: Tierra’s successful infiltration of the group date in Whitefish, Montana. We urge you to study these advanced diagrams with the same level of intensity as any of our other lessons; visual learning and pattern recognition are crucial parts of any prospective contestant’s cognitive toolbox. Let’s get on with it: Two more hours await us tonight, and more lessons tomorrow.

1. Listening and Watching


Tierra wisely positions herself in a place where she can observe, but is unlikely to be observed. While the other girls have just learned that their losing team has been summoned to the bar to join the group date winners — “A lumberjack challenge cannot determine who I spend time with,” decreed Sean, a stunning contravention of the show’s rules that, if followed to its logical conclusion, would result in this Bachelor finishing the season with nine wives — and have begun the beautification/speed-imbibing process in preparation for their unplanned rendezvous, Tierra is biding her time. And her time will come soon.

2. Drafting the Plan of Attack


An unhurried Tierra, realizing that her merlot-addled opponents are scrambling to get to the bar, calmly sketches out her plan, knowing that only fools rush in.

That plan? WIN. Simple, elegant, positive.

3. Getting Ready


A good craftsman chooses the right tools for the job, and these boots were made for stomping on the hearts of her enemies. Those nearby flip-flops, while tempting as a more casual option, would just make an unholy mess of the heart-stomping.

4. Infiltration


Unseen by all but the small camera crew who documents her every move, Tierra penetrates the bar’s defenses with ease. Her target is now in sight, utterly exposed. Victory seems certain now, and it’s no less delicious for its inevitability.

5. Moving with Stealth


Still, it’s important to avoid detection until the last possible moment. A hero cameraman or producer could neutralize the element of surprise with a simple gesture, a cleared throat, a shouted “Incoming! I think she’s got a knife!” Best to wrap yourself in shadows, striking only when you’re close enough to breathe hot death on your prey. Tierra knows this and executes with cold-blooded precision. She bends like a reed in the wind.

6. Eyes Wide Shut


She is upon him. His life flashes before his covered eyes. Will one of those hands suddenly slash across his neck, severing his carotid artery and spilling his essence into crimson pools on the polished floor of that bar? “Sean?” she asks, and he struggles to recognize the voice. This could be the end. Everything is black.

7. Clutch and Spin


Whew. Sean relaxes slightly as he meets his assailant’s gaze. It’s just Tierra, he thinks to himself as he giggles with partial relief. There’s probably only a 20 percent chance she murders me right here. The key, of course, is that the choice is hers entirely; her execution to this point has been flawless. She is in control.

8. Isolation


She must move quickly now, for the producers could intervene at any moment. Time to get Sean alone before someone tips off the other eight women and this opportunity is trampled by a stampede of outraged eventual losers.

9. The Kiss


Sure, there’s some small talk. Insecurities are disclosed, assurances given. But the kiss is the currency of this show — at least until the big carnal spenders check into the fantasy suites — and it’s time to close out this transaction. Time is of the essence.

10. The Escape


Tierra, having preplanned her escape routes like any capable criminal, steals away into the night, leaving behind a Bachelor dizzied by her impulsive charms.

And in that moment, as Sean watched her dissolve into the ink of the darkness, Tierra won her rose.

All according to plan.

Filed Under: Bachelor School, Chris Harrison, Sean Lowe, The Bachelor

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Mark Lisanti is an editor at Grantland.

Archive @ marklisanti