It’s that time of the week again. Armed with Kraken rum, Coke Zero and very girdy loins, I watch The Bachelorette so you don’t have to.
I was going to do a sober recap tonight because I’m already pretty tired, but then I remembered it’s Hometowns and I can’t do watch that without liquid fortitude.
Last week Rachel narrowed the field down to Eric, Dean, Peter and Bryan. Now it’s time for Hometowns aka The Most Awkward Episode Ever where Rachel gets to meet the dudes’ families. That’s right, no one is safe from the wtfery.
This episode looks like it’s going to be too cringe-worthy for Dewey, who has crawled under the sofa to hide.
Take a drink everyone. It’s time for the show!
First up is Eric, showing Rachel around his hometown of Baltimore. He takes Rachel to the neighborhood basketball court where he played as a kid. He tells her that he grew up in a tough neighborhood where drugs and violence were common. He tried to stay away from negative influences and focused on school, but as a result he felt like the guy who took care of everyone else while no one took care of him.
Now remember, Eric has never brought a girl home before. He’s never been in love before, either. Rachel feels a lot of pressure being his “first.”
They go to Eric’s aunt’s house and meet a large group of his family members.
Eric’s Aunt Verna tells Rachel that she has no doubt that Eric is ready for marriage. “He’s not the type of person who’s afraid of commitment,” Verna says. She and Rachel also discuss the pressures Rachel faces as the first Black Bachelorette. Rachel says that she feels like she’s being judged differently by different racial groups, and that she doesn’t feel her journey (take a shot) should be any different than any of the previous Bachelorettes.
In an earlier episode Eric said that he didn’t feel his mom showed him love. They talk one-on-one and she tells him, “Growing up, there was probably a block there for you because you felt like I wasn’t extending the love. But, just like I told you, there’s a lot of great men in our family, but a lot of them didn’t reach their stars because they reached for what was next to them, which was their mother. That was my best way of showing you love, because I wanted you to become the man that you was designed to become.”
Nothing like unpacking a super complicated mother-son relationship on TV.
They have lunch with Eric’s family. Later Eric and Rachel go for a walk alone together and Eric says, “For the first time today it came to me, damn, I really love this girl.”
Cue some noisy kissing and I take a drink because misophonia.
Next up is Bryan who hails from Miami, FL. Rachel has repeatedly said that she thinks Bryan is too good to be true and “too charming.”
Bryan takes Rachel to Calle Ocho where they play dominoes, eat some amazing looking food, and go dancing. He reminds Rachel that he’s an only child and that his mom is very protective. Remember, Bryan said his last relationship failed because his girlfriend and mom didn’t get along.
Boy, that sounds promising.
Olga, Bryan’s mom, starts setting off huge red flags right away by saying, “We really have such a wonderful relationship that for me, a woman who would separate him from me, that would terrible.”
Olga immediately throws down and tells Bryan that he’s dated a lot of women, and she finds it unrealistic and convenient that he falls in the love with the one he met on TV.
Next Olga talks privately with Rachel. “Bryan is my life,” she says. “I just want to give you a warning. You’re marrying the family too. If he’s happy, I’m happy. If not, I’ll kill you.”
HOLY SHIT LADY.
Then Olga cries and says she’s so happy to meet Rachel.
At this point I’m looking at my drink. I just had one right? It’s still mostly full, right?
I hope the contestants on the show get vouchers for therapy.
Bryan and Rachel talk alone, do some noisy kissing (SERIOUSLY WE NEED TO STOP WITH THE SLURPING), and Bryan tells her, “Rachel, I’m in love with you.”
Next up we’re in my home state of Wisconsin to meet Peter’s parents. Rachel runs up to Peter and fucking launches herself at him, adding more weight to my theory that she’s already chosen him.
They go to Madison’s farmer’s market and eat honey sticks and homemade pickles. They meet some of Peter’s friends at a restaurant. “I consider my friends an extension of my family,” Peter says. Privately, he tells his friends that he’s afraid that he won’t be ready to propose.
Next she meets Peter’s family. His family has the most Wisconsin couch ever – the kind with built in drink holders. He tells his mom, Lynn, that he’s afraid he’ll be too reserved when the time comes, won’t propose to Rachel, and will miss out.
So that’s the second time on his Hometown that he’s expressed his anxiety around commitment. Yikes.
Rachel asks Lynn if she thinks Peter is ready for marriage. Lynn basically says that she thinks Peter is ready for commitment but not necessarily marriage. Rachel isn’t super happy with that answer.
Unlike Eric and Bryan, Peter doesn’t tell Rachel he loves her.
After a commercial / pee break, Rachel meets Dean in his hometown of Aspen, CO. They ride ATVs and have a picnic with the mountains in the background.
Now Dean’s mom died when he was fifteen and her death broke up the family unit. His family will all be under the same roof for the first time in eight years in order to film this episode.
That’s probably not great.
Dean hasn’t spoken with his dad in two years. Rachel asks him why.
“My follow-up question to that is, is it my responsibility to talk to my dad? Is it my responsibility to reach out to him and make sure there’s a relationship there? If he wasn’t there for all of those years [after Dean’s mom died], then I don’t really see the point in putting in the effort.”
I agree with Dean 100% and I don’t understand why Rachel has to meet his dad when they are clearly estranged. According to Dean, he got no parental support after his mother’s death. It’s not his job to make sure things are okay with his dad now. If their relationship felt toxic or one-sided to Dean, it’s totally fine for him to walk away.
I mean, you know what sounds like a FANTASTIC IDEA? Putting an estranged family together for the sake of reality TV. I bet no one cries at all!
As they walk up to his dad’s house, Dean starts to have a panic attack.
“I’m going to be right here,” Rachel tells him.
Yup, her and all of those cameras.
Dean tells Rachel that his dad converted to “a Sikh of some kind,” six years ago. I’m not sure how to unpack that, and I’m not sober enough to try.
His dad, who changed his name to Paramroop S. Khahsa, is a yoga instructor. He starts off the visit by playing the gong, then giving Dean and Rachel feathers that he says are a symbol of his late wife’s love for her children.
Paramroop asks to speak to Dean privately. He acknowledges that he barely talks to any of his children.
Dean tells his dad that when his mother passed away, everyone fractured and went their separate ways rather than unifying.
Dean tells his dad that he felt abandoned. Paramroop says that he had a lot of anger surrounding his wife’s death, and that he didn’t know how to be the parent he should have been.
Dean clearly wants to discuss the point further, but Paramroop shuts him down.
“You’ve still got one fucking foot stuck in the past,” Paramroop shouts.
“I love you regardless,” Dean says.
“Whatever,” Paramroop replies and storms outside.
Dean breaks down crying.
Rachel asks Paramroop if she can talk to him, but he tells her that he’s done. He says that she’s welcome back, but it’s clear he wants to get the fuck off camera.
So. That was intense. I need an otter. Anyone else need an otter?
Even amid all of this, Dean tells Rachel that he’s falling in love with her.
Next we cut to Dallas, TX. Rachel is struggling with the fact that she has to send one of the guys home. Luckily Chris Harrison is there to talk things through with her, and to tell her which soul he’d most like to devour.
“I’m falling in love with all of them,” Rachel says.
“THE ROSE GOD MUST BE SATISFIED,” Chris replies.
A preview for Bachelor in Paradise comes on.
“What’s the point of Bachelor in Paradise?” my husband asks.
“What’s the point of any of this?” I counter, despairingly, and slam my drink.
Chris escorts each of the men, individually, to The Dreaded Rose Ceremony. They’re less likely to escape that way.
About two seconds into the ceremony Rachel starts crying.
The first rose goes to Bryan.
The second rose goes to Eric.
Then Chris shows up to tell us we’re down to the final rose.
I’m pretty sure that string music that used to be in every Zales commercial comes on.
The final rose goes to…Peter.
Rachel and Dean both cry as they say goodbye. “I hope you find what you’re looking for,” Dean tells her.
Once he gets in The Limo of Sadness, Dean turns bitter. He feels like Rachel lied to him about how seriously she felt for him.
Maybe he’s just really pissed off that he dragged his family through a painful and public reunion.
And that’s where this episode ends. If you like watching families slowly being destroyed by grief and a lack of communication, then I guess it was great. Me? I’m going to watch Game of Thrones because I need something to chill me out.
Next week the remaining three dudes meet Rachel’s family.
Are you still watching? Who do you think the winner will be?
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