One Sentence Summary: It’s time to play “Meet The Parents” as Emily heads off on the hometown dates tour.
Rachel: Well, we’re down to the Final Four and I’m glad I didn’t do one of those stupid brackets for this season because there is no way that I would have had Jef “Rick Astley” Holm making it this far. But I have to give the kid credit, he’s kind of a cool dude. And I guess I have to give Emily credit as well for seeing something in him that I was too blinded by his hair to see. I would also like to thank the reader that ‘splained to me that Jef’s parents were not, in fact, super secret double agents out on a special spying assignment for two years, but instead are Mormons that are on a mission. Well, I was close with the mission part. Just the wrong kind of mission. But you can’t really blame me. It was way late in the show, lots of drinking had occurred and the 4 insanely boring “walking around pointing at shit” dates had me coming up with fantastical plot lines to keep myself entertained. That and the whole puppet routine freaked me out. Anyway, I’m hoping that the Hometown dates provide us with some crazy family members and that Chris has found his upper lip stashed at home under his childhood bed. Too much to ask?
Melissa: Say it with me everyone, HOMETOWN DATES!! It’s the week we all look forward to that can make or break the suitors; overbearing Papas, taxidermy and marching bands can send a person running. I couldn’t be more excited to watch it all come crumbling down. I’ve got my glass of Frog’s Leap Sauvignon Blanc (who are we kidding, it’s the bottle) and a yummy left over birthday cupcake (OK, two) ready to go! Oh, and don’t think I’m still not steaming mad about Doug’s departure.
Home Sweet Home
Rachel’s What Happened: Ricki Bobby’s back! And she’s giggling! Ah, and everything in the world is as it should be. Everyone take a sip of their beverage in honor of the sense of calm and peace that they are experiencing at this moment. And poor Emily looks bedraggled tonight. I wonder if that was to let us know that the dedicated mom has had a long journey home via planes ,trains and automobiles to see her daughter. But as warm & fuzzy as this is, the reunion won’t last long because it’s time to go meet the parents. Woot!
Oh wait, first we have to have our deep thoughts moment where Emily tells us what she’s feeling about the last 4 guys. She tells us that she & Chris have had a special bond since the first night. Oh yeah, I totally forgot he was the bobblehead guy. I liked that guy. Don’t like the angry guy that showed up last week or the week of the Highland Games or the week he confronted Doug… OK, I guess I just don’t like Chris. But Emily thinks he’s so sweet & last week he showed that he can admit that he’s wrong. I think it showed that he is a sore loser.
As for Jef, she knows that she saw something special in him from Day 1. She has always wanted a guy with edge and Jef has edge. I will agree with her on that. He definitely has more edge than 99% of the men that ever showed up on this show. Well, the right kind of edge – the interesting smart kind, not the he might cheat on your when you turn your back kind. She loves that she is so comfortable with him. Her life with Jef would be full of adventure and fun. I kind of can’t dog on her break-down of Jef. I think he could be the dark horse here. Well, that is if his family doesn’t disapprove. Yeah, no pressure there.
But then there’s Arie, who she is so clearly head over heels for. I can’t say as I blame her, even if I do hear “Hello, Mr. Kotter” every time I see him. He has the bad boy edge that she likes, which is also true. See, that would be the bad kind of edge. I like Arie a lot, but something about him makes me think that deep down he’s playing her (and the rest of us) like a fiddle. Can someone that hot be that cool? I’d like to think so, but that bitter jaded woman inside me keeps screaming “Oh come on!” But it’s nothing a little wine can’t drown out…
And finally, we have Sean. Still don’t get the appeal but she is gaga over him. I just find him to be so boring! What am I missing? I’m sure he is a great guy like she thinks he is, but yeah, just don’t get the za za zoo with him. In fact, I hear Charlie Brown’s teacher every time he opens his mouth. I feel like there’s a low hum of arrogance with him that only dogs and cynical women like myself can hear.
But enough about the guys. Let’s meet the families!
Sidebar: I need that skull shirt Emily is wearing. Need. Must have.
Melissa: Oh, we get our Ricki Bobby time! Yes, Mommy is back from cruising the globe without you. She feels the strongest connection with lipless?? Interesting. Ah, I get it, she’s just pointing out how special all these last guys are to her. OK, for real I want to pitch the Bachelor with a mole in the group, and I want to be the mole. So when you decide to do the Bachelor Senior Tour, I’m your girl, producers. I have you thinking now don’t I? Wait, she waits until she goes to sleep before locking the doors? Who does that with a little one in the house?
Rachel: People who are in a house with a crew of 50 and that have giant production trucks outside.
Deep Dish Chris
Rachel’s What Happened: First on the list, Chris in Chicago. Let’s see what he’s got planned. Oh hey, they’re walking around! I could not have seen this coming. Chris tells us that he’s Polish; like dad’s fresh off the boat Polish. Hmmm, yeah, it’s just too easy to do the Polish joke thing so I am going to refrain… unless I can’t come up with anything else clever, then all bets are off.
After they walk around for a while, they stop for a beer and a chat about last week’s rose ceremony. He admits that he was upset and feeling unsure, which he doesn’t like. He seems embarrassed for the “moment”, but Emily thought it was sweet. He just didn’t like seeing Sean get the rose instead of him. Yeah, well maybe you should have run through the streets the night before screaming her name like a maniac. Apparently that is a huge turn-on for her. Emily reassures him that she appreciated his vulnerability, but Chris seems like he wishes he could have a do-over. But enough about the cry baby moment, let’s get prepped for the fam…
Chris tells us that Dad has a Polish accent and he’ll be easy to win over, because she’s like his sisters. Mom is overly emotional but super nurturing. He has a great relationship with her, which is a good sign. Renee, one of his sisters, will be the tough crowd. Nice. Bring on Renee!
Well, lots of hugging upon entry. And the awkward dinner with everyone sitting on the same side of the table. I mean I know it’s for the camera, but it’s freaking weird. Besides it’s not like they’re going to actually eat, even after mom broke out the Corningware. Nope, they’re going to let Emily regale them with tales about their wonderful son and how much she likes him until one of them gets wise to the fact that the food is merely for show and pulls her aside for a chat. And that person is dad. He says that he & Chris are very close and he talks to his son every day. Not many sons are like that. Emily agrees then asks if he is ready to be a father. Dad says he loves kids and he will do his best. Marriage is about support for each other and Chris has that. Well, I’m not sure that was the best sales pitch for Chris as a dad, but Emily gets the green light from dad so all is well. I like dad.
Upstairs, Chris tells his mom about the group date meltdown. Mom says that he has to get out there, kick ass and fight for her if he really loves her. Then she says something in Polish, which I think translates to “When do we get to eat the pierogies?”
So far it’s all love and good feelings in the household, but Renee just showed up and has a few questions for Emily. Bring it! She wants to know why Chris? Emily gives the perfunctory explanation of how he’s what she’s looking for in a guy. Sister is like yeah great, but do me a favor and don’t string him along. Don’t drag it out if he’s not the one. This makes Emily feels terrible because she has a brother and she would hate to think of a girl breaking his heart. She’s also feels terrible because her sister is skeptical of the situation. Yeah, that’s weird considering how many successful relationships this franchise has created… Oh wait.
And that, my friends, was a snooze-tastic home visit. Chris does end the date by saying he loves her. He’s taken the peg up a notch from falling in love to full-fledged love. And right as my head is about to hit my keyboard, he surprises her with a Polish uh… polka party? Well, there’s no accordion so maybe it’s not polka… Oh I have no idea but there are a lot of people dancing in lederhosen, or whatever the Polish equivalent would be. It’s pretty hilarious… and in the good way, not the snarky way. OK, not the most boring home visit ever, but pretty darn close.
Melissa: Chris gets the first visit, and since I’m a huge fan of Chi-town, I’m cool with this trip. So far the stop to not eat at the Polish restaurant is the most uneventful visit ever. I think I’ve yawned 4 times so far. I’m going to need to hit a cupcake for the sugar rush. Hang on, since when is Hanover Park in Chicago? What shenanigans are happening here? I thought we’d be cruising around Chicago with the family. HA, what’s with the Last Supper setup at the dinner table? OK, I kind of like Dad. He’s sweet. Emily has a brother? Why don’t I remember that? OMG, I don’t know if I can handle Chris and the whole L-bomb. OK, I’m done with Chicago.
Rachel’s What Happened: Next up, Jef in Utah (aka: The ‘Tah). They’re just going to be hanging out on his family’s ranch. Oh, it’s nothing much to look at. Just a few hundred acres of land surrounded by a national forest. Uh, this is unexpected. And I’m sure as the gate swung open for her, Jef got way more attractive to Miss Emily.
Jef greets her, compliments her outfit and they take off in a dune buggy – which is awesome – for some skeet shooting. Anyone else hear “Thank God, I’m a Country Boy” playing in the background? Emily is surprised that skinny jeans Jef has some country in him. We all are, dear. Now normally, dune buggies and rifles would not be interesting to me, but I’m intrigued by this Jef kid. He’s actually interesting. Like real life interesting. Not faux reality show interesting.
He tells Emily that he’s got a crew of siblings meeting her today, but his parents are in South Carolina doing “charity work”. Now, I have worked in the audio industry for over 11 years now and I can hear when something has been recorded in a studio and dubbed over what was originally said. And “charity work” was an overdub. I replayed it 3 times and I am positive that he said something else originally. Now, I’m not going back into crazy spy land theories, but I am curious to know what the Bravo producers thought was too controversial for us to hear. Hmmm, I say. Hmmm….
And with that, off they go from acre 187 to acre 46 to meet the siblings. And it’s a mighty crew. I think we just stumbled into an episode of 19 Kids and Counting. I actually feel for Emily. That has to be incredibly overwhelming, especially because I bet there isn’t a glass of wine to be found on any of those acres. Yep, lemonade cheers and more food that won’t be eaten. Sorry to harp, but really that drives me crazy and also why I could never be the Bachelorette. Food doesn’t just sit in front of me uneaten. It’s an actual physical impossibility. But we’re not talking about me…
Jef’s eldest brother takes Emily aside as he is the father figure with his parents off doing “charity”. He wants to know if she & Jef have the same goals & why this time around it’s different for her. She says that she learned from the last time to ask more questions and she’s put Jef through the ringer. Bro wants to know from her what it takes to stay in love. She says that you will not like them sometimes but you love them and that the marriage is it – you don’t give up.
She passes the brother’s test, but next it’s a three-on-one with the sisters… and they all start talking at the same time. Oy vey. They say he’s a hopeless romantic and they don’t want his heart to get broken. I’m just gonna state for the record, these sisters scare me more than Chris’s sister we were warned about. I mean the sheer fact that they could hide your body on their property and no one would ever find you is enough to put the quake in the boots. Emily asks if Jef is ready for kids. There is a deafening silence and then one sister says that he will be absolutely ready when he finds the right girl. Safe answer. They want to know if Emily would move to Utah. She says yes. She’d move anywhere for the right guy and to give her daughter a family. Yeah, but it’s The ‘Tah. Think about that one for a minute. And finally, the sister want to know if she loves Jef. Emily does a little hem & haw on this and says she’s slow to use that word but she is falling in love with him. The sisters are starting to warm to Emily, when one of the little girls comes over and crawls onto her lap. Game over, they love Emily.
Jef & his brother are now having the heart to heart. His brother asks Jef the same questions he asked Emily, but also says he’s never seen his brother want the wife & kids thing…. yet. Well placed “yet” so no one thinks he’s never wanted it. Good one, bro. Good one. Jef says he never wanted it before but with Emily it seems so clear. And fill-in-father is on board too.
Jef takes Emily out to the part of the property with the insane views of the valley to read her a note he wrote on the plane home. This is all with the sun setting, mind you. He could recite a cheesy “Roses are red” poem and it would be romantic in this setting. But no, he doesn’t go there. No, he tells her how much he loves her and all the things that he loves about her. Um, I am oozing with jealousy right now. I want a note like that. I’m also slightly misty which is making me uncomfortable as I’m not sure it’s legal to cry during the Bachelorette unless it’s from the sheer agony of the whole thing. Emily says it’s the nicest thing anyone’s ever said to her. And I’m sure it is. It’s the nicest thing anyone’s ever said near me. Amazing.
Melissa: Damn, Jef’s folks have a proper ranch! Well there Miss Emily, maybe he didn’t tell you about the family’s ranch because he wanted you to like HIM and not the family funds. OK, I’m loving his idea of a date… Skeet shooting in the back yard! I’m also loving her boots. I literally just spent 20 minutes Googling her boots. As close as I can get to a copy are Frye. I’m ridiculously ‘shake a shiny object’ right now. Apologies. Back to the fam. I like Jef’s brother. He seems skeptical of all the hoopla that is their courtship. Wait, she’s going to go anywhere to give Ricki Bobby a family? Doesn’t she have family back home? What happened to mom & that brother we just heard about? Naturally she won over the family. OH LAWD, did he write the 12 step guide to a wife too? OK, no, that was actually a nice note. Ryan, if you’re watching, that’s how you write a note to a woman. I would really like Jef if he let some of the air out of his hair.
Let’s Go Dutch
Rachel’s What Happened: So before we meet Arie’s family, I want to make sure everyone knows who his family actually is. See, our fair Emily isn’t just walking into the house of some random family. No she’s meeting Arie Luyendyk, two-time winner of the Indianapolis 500 and racing royalty (for more click here: Arie Luyendyk). And I’m sure they got some inside information on their potential new daughter-in-law through the racing circuit. Yes, I do realize that one is Indy and one is NASCAR, but I’m going to imagine they have connections. Let’s see how this one goes…
Emily arrives in Scottsdale and meets Arie at the racetrack where he is showing off his skills. He takes her for a spin around the track in his car, which has got to be so effing rad. Note to self: add “spin around a race track with hot guy” to the bucket list. Finally, a cool date! Only took 8 weeks. After the track, they have a little chat and Arie tells Emily that he is concerned about her meeting his family. She’s “All-American” and they are very European. He’s afraid that they will just speak their minds and they have different values. He says mom is the least open-minded of his family members. Wow, don’t ease her into the situation. Why not tell her that she might as well accept the fact that her family already hates her. I’d be in sheer panic right now if I were her. Way to put the poor girl in full-on defensive mode. Good luck, Emily.
Oh my, they open the front door and the entire family is sitting there staring at them. That’s not at all intimidating. She meets the crew and starts with her y’alls and polite southern twang. I honestly think Arie’s mother is trying not to laugh at her. One of his twin brothers says they like her accent and she says she was worried they wouldn’t understand her. Arie’s mom tells Emily that her first time in the US was a visit to Charlotte. It seems like they’re about to have a bonding moment, but then everyone starts speaking in Dutch, which is so incredibly rude. Oh, I feel so badly for her sitting there knowing that they’re clearly talking about her and she can’t understand a word of it. What a nightmare. Arie stops it – after he answers in Dutch – and mom takes Emily aside for some girl talk. Yipes.
Uh, mom takes her into a bedroom to talk. Yeah, that doesn’t make it more awkward. Were the cameras not allowed in the kitchen or dining room? Tell me there’s no den in that house. And just when you think it can’t get more uncomfortable, mom starts talking about how she watched Emily on Brad’s season and wants to know what happened…. because when you get proposed to, you don’t become the Bachelorette. Wow, ok… This woman isn’t messing. Emily says that she loved Brad, has nothing bad to say bout him, but she didn’t ask the fundamental questions she should have. She’s trying to do a better job this time around. Then she tells mom that Arie is funny and sweet and kind to try and win her over. Mom agrees that Arie is funny. Then Emily asks if Arie is in a place where he could balance his job and a family because racing will have him traveling a lot. Mom says she doesn’t know because it is a difficult life, but she & her husband have been married 31 years. So they are proof that it can work if you want it to. And with that, I think mom is on Team Emily. I think. OK, so mom wasn’t so bad. A little blunt, but not mean.
Outside, Arie tells his dad that he’s ready to propose should it come to that and hopes that doesn’t freak him out. Dad says that he is not surprised as Emily is beautiful and sweet. He says there’s not a lot to talk about because he can see all the great qualities in her. Well, looks like the Luyendyks are on board too. That was a lot of unnecessary build-up Arie. Next time you tell us there’s going to be a showdown, we want an actual showdown.
Melissa: I love that she’s at a racetrack in heels. I’m thinking the boots would have been better on the asphalt. Do you think his crew is totally annoyed missing out on a day with their family so he can show off for Emily? Really, they’re just going to start speaking Dutch right in front of Emily? So uncomfortable. No wait, Mom asks what happened with Brad. Now, it’s uncomfortable.
Sean Who Lives At Home
Rachel’s What Happened: Sean and his two dogs greet Emily and she is just so excited to see him. And we’re back to the walking tour date. This is what he does on a typical Saturday – wander around a park with his dogs – and she does the exact same thing, so clearly it would be a great life for her and Ricki. OK, am I watching a totally different show that everyone else? I just don’t get how that is the recipe for the perfect realationship Really walking around a park with his dogs gets you excited and makes him even more perfect? I don’t get it. I just do not get it.
Sean says he hasn’t brought many girls home to meet his family. The last real girlfriend he had was a girlfriend of three years whom he broke up with for what seems to be no real reason other than he wasn’t into it. He didn’t see himself with her forever so he ended it. I guess that’s fair, but I still don’t like him. So, from that he made a promise that he won’t allow a woman to give herself to him if he’s not willing to reciprocate it. Yeah, that seems fair. It also seems like that’s just how it’s supposed to work. You know, that whole mutual respect thing. But Emily swoons and we hear again how perfect he is. I actually think her school girl crush on him makes me dislike him more than I would on his own. I also think he thinks he’s so perfect too. And all the smiling and swooning and perfection makes want to hurl. The whole thing bugs me. BUGS. Shut up, Emily! He’s not perfect. No one is. Please stop saying it.
Time to meet the family. His niece & nephew are named Kensington & Smith – come on. But this is part of what Emily thinks is the most perfect family in the perfect home with the perfect toys in the perfect backyard for the perfect grandkids. I’m going to scream if she says it one more time. Seriously, if we had included the word “perfect” in the drinking game, we’d all be in the hospital with alcohol poisoning at this point. It’s nails on a chalkboard annoying. No, it’s worse. It’s a kid kicking your seat on an airplane the entire flight annoying. No, wait, it’s worse than that. It’s the jackhole in front of you in a movie who keeps lighting up the theater with his cellphone because he can’t go two hours without a text annoying… Wait, what are we talking about. Oh yeah, perfect Sean with the perfect family in the perfect yard.
And just when the world is about to explode in a ball of perfection, Sean makes an announcement that could forever wipe the word “perfect” from her vocabulary. He tells her that he still lives at home. Emily keeps it calm and says “cool!” Says she wants to move in too. Impressive response. Meanwhile, deep down she’s freaking out and wondering how she missed that piece of information. Sean takes her inside to show her his room, which is a pig sty with stuffed animals that have names everywhere. Now, I’m cracking up. There’s no way that’s real and I hope she catches on. I mean there’s a half-eaten m&m cookie on the dresser. You look at his family and can’t possibly believe that his mother would let that just sit there for almost 2 months. So, you have to at least ask if it’s a job. But no, she’s in full panic. But before she runs down the stairs with her hair on fire, he tells her it’s a joke. I love that she plays like she was still all crazy about him and nothing would have changed. Cough cough, bullshit, cough. OK, I do like that he played a joke on her, but he’s still at the bottom of my list… No, Chris is. No, Sean. No, Chris. We don’t have to decide this now.
Sean & dad go to have a chat. Dad wants to know what it is about her that he likes. Sean says that it’s that you can tell she’s a sweet sweet woman. He doesn’t give himself to girls – he’s not open – and she’s changed him a lot. Dad thinks that there is a switch flipped in his son’s heart and he now believes in love at first sight. All kinds of sweet daddies tonight.
Then he talks to Emily who tells dad that one of the things she likes most about Sean is his relationship with his family. Dad tells her how surprised he was to hear his son open up so easily about her. And that he told him more about Emily than he’s ever said about anyone else. She’s done in a few weeks what they couldn’t do in 28 years. Damn, how closed off was he? But dad’s smitten and he doesn’t know if his heart can take it all. Well, that’s a lovely sentiment, but let’s not have any coronaries on the show, shall we? That would just ruin Emily’s perfect view of your perfect family.
Mom tells Sean that she’s surprised at how much he likes her. She thinks Emily is wonderful and he would be blessed to have her. But make no mistake that she is looking for a father and a husband. She needs to know upfront how serious he is. If he pulls out a ring, mom will know how serious he is. Well, another family loves Emily. Not shocking. She gives good family. And of course, she can’t wait to come back with Ricki. Well, wasn’t this just the perfect home visit?
Sean walks her out and we get a close-up of some tongue action which actually made me throw up in my mouth a bit. I literally had to look away. BTW – notice he’s the only one she calls “honey”? And as Emily rides off into the sunset, we get another round of Sean running down the street screaming her name. Seems he needed yet another kiss. Insert extreme eye roll.
Melissa: Now what would have been funny was if his dogs charged her and started jumping all over her. Damn well behaved dogs! Now see girl, as soon as you say he’s perfect and can’t have anything wrong, you’re setting yourself up for a big slap in the face. Once again we have a hometown date that is not where they say and we’re off to the Dallas ‘burbs. Say what? OK, you still live at home at 28 and don’t even bother to clean up the room knowing the woman you’re courting is coming over? Yeah, and THEN comment that you wish you mom had picked up your room? Please let this be a joke… He can’t be all Failure to Launch. OK, I had paused my tv to rant… That was funny!! Plus his family were all in on it? I like this family. They’re as mad as mine is! Well played chasing down her car, Sean. Well played indeed.
La La Land
Rachel’s What Happened: Emily arrives in LA and is greeted by Chris at the Peninsula Hotel in Beverly Hills. Man, they really spared no expense for this girl. I can’t even afford to walk into the lobby of the Peninsula. Anyway, we relive the dates and I’m dying to fast forward, but I shant lest there be some shocking and revealing moment. Nope no news. The only minor thing is that Sean’s the only one that hasn’t said I love you. But that’s ok because he’s perfect.
Melissa: Is she going to almost cry through this whole conversation? Maybe I need another hit of wine and cupcake to make it through the ceremony.
Rachel’s What Happened: So, someone’s going home tonight, obviously, but I have no clue who. I think it might either be Jef or Chris… It’s clearly not Sean. And I don’t think she’d bail on Arie at this point… Oh, I have no idea and I hate that I have no idea and I hate that I hate that I have no idea because it means I’m involved…
Staying: Arie, Jef, Sean
Emily walks Chris out and she doesn’t know what to say. He says he’s shocked and would like to know if there’s an explanation. She says she has none and he says it was just him. She says no and she thinks that it’s just that her other relationships grew faster than her relationship with him. He doesn’t understand. How much faster could it have moved since he told her he loved her… Yeah, but she didn’t say it back now did she? And the sore loser has returned. Maybe this is why you’re going home. Or maybe it’s because you’re on a dating show and she had to send someone home because them’s the rules. Chris lets us know that he is ten times the man of any of the remaining guys… Mmm I respectfully disagree.
Melissa: Isn’t each rose ceremony THE hardest? OK, for real I’m putting this out there… If she picks Chris at this point, I’m done. OK, if she picks Chris over Sean, I’m done. I will forever close my MacBook to her!! Oh she’s lucky. It’s not that I hated Chris, I just disliked him and his whiny side strongly. OK Chris, just let it go and move on.
Rachel: OK, so I kinda knew it was Chris even though I didn’t know. And I can’t say as I’m sad to see him go. He’s got an ego the size of Texas and I think he’d last about a month with Ricki Bobby. Now, about Sean…
Melissa: OK, now I really like Sean’s family after the steamed armadillo dinner we got to see during the credits! They really like a good joke. And watching Emily try and polite her way through them is awesome.