Episode 9: Meet the Parents Part Deux
This week we watch the remaining three contestants meet Rach’s parents, here’s Josh Allen recapping all the awkward family drama.
Suggested pairing: Keep it all in the fam with Lorenza, a delightful California rosé made by mother/daughter team Melinda Kearny and Michele Ouellet.
JOSH: And then there were three. Rachel had to say goodbye to Dean after Hometowns, a decision I totally support given that Dean tried to use an ABC reality show as family therapy. For now, my money is on him to be the next Bachelor. More on that later.
Interesting that Peter goes first, since he’s the one with the emotional hurdle to clear. I’m sure it was a relief for Peter to see that interracial marriages are far from unprecedented in Rachel’s family. Part of me wants to think Rachel made sure her white aunt and white brother-in-law were there so she could be clear it’s not a big deal. Between this and Peter introducing Rach to all his black friends in Wisconsin, I’m starting to get weirded out a little.
But wait. Wait. HOLD THE PHONE, BABY JESUS. Um, did Peter and Rachel sit at that table with tumblers FULL of whiskey, neat? It damn sure didn’t look like apple juice. If I were Peter, I don’t know that I would be having any alcohol at all in front of Rachel’s mom, who seems to be as no-nonsense as they come.
When Rachel and Constance disappeared for their sister chat on Peter, did you notice that one of the photos was blurred out? Do you think it’s because her dad was in it and they couldn’t get him to sign a waiver? Have we heard what Rachel’s dad thinks of all this?
A little sleuthing turned this up: Papa Lindsay is so big a deal he can’t be on camera.
While the sisters are chatting, brother-in-law brings Peter into the living room to ask the trappiest of trap questions: “tell me what you don’t like about Rachel, while she’s in the next room, IN HER OWN FAMILY HOME.” And as for the whole “I’m not gonna ask for your blessing for an engagement” thing, I’m of two minds. My first mind goes to Juan Pablo and Nikki, which is someplace my mind never wants to go. On the other hand, I do applaud Peter’s pragmatism. However, the fact that he’s so pragmatic makes me think he won’t be the next Bachelor. Right now, my money is on Dean. He has built-in family drama and a million-watt smile, but he might be a little too young.
Next comes Eric, whose fear of heights is matched only by his fear of meeting his girlfriend’s parents. (I empathize, Eric; I do not like tall things.) I was pleased by Eric’s sincerity and maturity throughout his whole home visit. I believe everything Eric says, for some reason. If he doesn’t go all the way, I can’t see him as the next Bachelor, only because it might be overkill for ABC to make history twice in a row. But I’m definitely willing to be proven wrong. Some, like my peeps at The Ringer, think ABC would be wise to skip this season’s contestants entirely and pull a throwback also-ran. That could also be interesting.
Anyhoo, after Bryan’s family not-so-jokingly threatened to kill Rachel if she broke his heart, he’s up next to meet her family. Peter and Eric hit on the same thing that scares Rachel, which is Bryan’s suaveness. I hate to be all red-flag about it, but more and more I’m seeing him as the type who will wine and dine and maybe take you on an amazing trip and then maybe ghost and leave you feeling gaslighted and crazy. I also think it’s very easy to blame an ex-girlfriend whom we don’t know and who isn’t around to tell her side of the story.
Okay, can we talk about why Bryan got to meet Rachel’s besties? How’s that going to go over when the other guys find out they had a boozy rooftop brunch? Was this the only day her besties were avail for filming? So many questions.
And then it gets real at mama’s house. There might have been grilled meats on the menu, but the real skewering was happening inside, as Bryan faced a barrage of questions from the fam about his intentions. Constance sniffs out Bryan’s smoothness and is suspicious, and after Bryan coincidentally “excuses himself,” Rachel goes in on her mom. Brother-In-Law idiotically gets in the middle of it, adding insult to injury by using the E-word (“emotional”) on Rachel. Did this guy just get dropped in from some planet bearing no resemblance to Earth?
Anyway, Bryan seems to weather it all fairly unscathed, and now it’s time to go overseas for some nookie. Her first overnight date is with Eric, and all he has to do is drop the L-word with Rachel in the middle of the beautiful Spanish countryside and it’s a done deal. Did you see how rumpled those bed sheets were the next morning? My guess is it’s not because they’re active sleepers.
Dare I say we have a solid frontrunner heading into the final stretch? I only say that because she and Peter keep running into the same issues, namely their differing ideas on what an engagement means. I was surprised to hear Rach basically say that a fiancé is just a more serious boyfriend. Hate to say it, but I’m #TeamPeter on this one. Do we think Rachel wants to get engaged just so her season doesn’t end anticlimactically?
NEXT WEEK’S DRINKING GAME WORD: “reunite” (Or just drink every time you’re forced to look at Lee’s stupid face)