Episode 8: Hometowns go to BALTIMORE/ Dean’s dad
Suggested paring for this week: Meeting your significant other’s family is always tricky, but you can’t go wrong if you bring a Domaine Tempier Bandol Rosé. Classic. Chic AF. and Delicious.
Below, recap by our beloved Sofia Alvarez rolling solo this week:
Hello Bachelor Rosé Nation – Our beloved Josh Allen is under both the weather and a deadline so I am flying solo this week. And what a week it was! Hometowns are always one of my favorite weeks and this was the hometown to top them all.
I feel as if hometowns are usually largely the same. We are in some version of a suburban McMansion and drama is – will the dad like me? Will the judgmental sister like me? A mother tells her contestant child that they deserve love. Parents are for the most part still married. And if they are not – it’s something that must be commented on. I will never forget when Chris Soules went to Kaitlyn’s hometown and couldn’t believe that though she had divorced parents her home didn’t appear to be “broken”. Barf.
But here we had actual variety in the kinds of families we saw and it made for one of the most interesting hometowns we’ve ever seen. We all know the bachelor franchise is prone to hyperbole (THE MOST DRAMATIC X WE’VE EVER SEEN!). But Rachel’s season is deserving of the hype. Not only is she herself a stunning lead who the world has yet to turn on (no easy feat at this point in the season, when in years past the lead has already crossed the river from beloved to reviled) but her final four men are all quite different from one another and still it doesn’t seem like she is faking emotions with any of them.
We start in Baltimore – my homeland as well. I have little to snark on here. Eric possesses an eloquence when talking about his emotional state that I think is rare for someone who has both never been in love and also received little emotional support growing up. Perhaps we can chalk it up to his career in the self-help sphere? But overall he seems much less guarded than you would expect from a person whose mother withheld her affections. Also, I remember thinking when Eric talked about his mom with Rachel in Copenhagen: “Ouch, how is Mama Bigger gonna feel watching this back?” But then when talking to his mom at home Eric brought up the exact same thing and she was like, “Yep. That’s right. I withheld affection for your own good.” So I guess my shock that she would be offended was misguided and E was just stating the obvious.
I know he is not going to win (seeing the way Rachel looked at Bryan later in the episode when he told her he loved her killed my dreams of any other man taking home the final rose) but I really fell in love with Rachel and Eric this episode. Seeing her lean into his shoulder when he gave the toast at his family table melted my heart. But, it’s prob not a great idea to marry the first girl you’ve ever brought home even if you are 29. (Not counting prom of course – nice dig Eric’s cousin!) Plus, now that he’s grown that sweet post Bachelorette beard that makes him look one thousand times cuter – I have no doubt that Eric will be taking his choice of LA ladies home to pick crabs in Baltimore.
Also, to anyone who was surprised (delighted) by the honest and direct way that Eric’s Aunt Verna was able to talk about race in a way that ABC has been struggling (failing) to do all season – don’t be. It turns out that Verna is a Harvard educated lawyer who has written books on diversity. Perhaps in future seasons ABC can have Aunt Verna come in and run workshops with Bachelor producers to prevent future Lee-asions. Or, they could just play them her Ted Talk.
Ah, Bryan ye of possessive mother. Can I just throw out there real quick that if you are a 37 year old man and still being referred to as the “baby of the family” something is seriously wrong? Rachel has been racking her brain trying to figure out how a “catch” like Bryan is still single at almost 40 but last night we all got our answer in the form of a mother who most likely still cuts his steak. There is just a tad too much “I wanna bang my son” going on in this relationship for me to feel 100% comfortable. Rachel handled it like a champ and even appeared to win his mother over. These are things you try to do when you are mooning over someone as hard as Rachel moons over Bryan.
However – I am just throwing this out there now – Rachel, a PSA – if you do end up with Bryan, good luck ever spending Christmas with your family again. In fact you better start packing your bags, slathering on the SPF and studying for the Florida bar right quick otherwise next time Bryan’s mom throws out a casual, “I’ll kill you” (sans cameras) I doubt you’ll be as easily able to laugh it off.
Peter – not much to say here, I thought this hometown was kinda boring. I do think Peter is next bachelor and Sharleen Joynt has caught on in her recaps (way after us I might add) that a Brooks-ing could be in the making here (though she has yet to use it as a verb, still referring to it as the clunky “pull a Brooks” – so Josh and I are still winning).
Oh, Deanie Babies. I feel for you. I feel bad that production drummed up your whole family and put them under one roof for the first time in eight years just for things to end worse than they began. I feel bad that you suffer a father who uses a faux sense of zen to cover up some seriously repressed anger. The internet is correct and you could all use some family therapy. I doubt, from what we saw Monday, that is going to happen. I also doubt, despite what your producer may have told you, that bringing up all of these unresolved issues with your dad on your “hometown date” was the best way to seek closure and clarity. You could’ve just accepted the feather. It’s been eight years – one more night isn’t going to hurt. Maybe you felt you wouldn’t have another chance to address some of these issues. But I doubt it. Whatever is going on here is deep seeded and it’s going to take more than an on camera evening to get to the bottom of it – sadly this attempt – only seems to have added to the pile of shit to dig through.
However, I disagree with the twitter outrage that none of this should be shown. Guys, this is The Bachelor – everyone knew what they were getting into here. Yes, it’s messy and gross and hard to watch – but that’s the show we all signed up for. It’s messy and gross and hard to watch every week. This episode just lacked the champagne filter. If you watch and love the bachelor you can’t really self-righteously scream, “they shouldn’t have shown it!” because you (and me) are the reason they did. Bachelor producers were probably licking their genitals when all this was going down. If you need proof simply check the screen time given to this section over the others.
And so, Deanie Babies is sent home TO PARADISE.
Start mixing up your Rose Sangria because next week we are headed to Spain where our drinking game phrase will be “should you choose to forgo your individual rooms…”