Bachelorette Recap: Love Lifts Us Up Where We Be-Gong
Bachelorette Recap: Rachel’s Hometown Dates
I don’t know how you reacted to Rachel’s hometown dates, but I for one am thrilled that she was 4-for-4 on the Jump and Straddle(™) welcome leap. I’ve never been more proud and have never been more concerned over something that made me so proud.
There were four different techniques:
- Dean executed a weird little skip before meeting Rachel in the middle of an abandoned road. I guess that’s what one may expect when one wears girly pants with elastic ankles cinches.
- Bryan managed a Jump and Straddle(™) while sucking Rachel’s face. Impressive. He greets her with a “Hey, babe” which I find telling, and then speaks to her in Spanish, which I find attractive.
- Rachel landed in Peter’s warm embrace with ease. After her dismount, nothing else mattered except Peter’s odd shirt. He chooses to ditch the old man sweaters for scoop-neck t-shirt with an unfortunate hem. To quote Some Guy in Austin, “He looks like he’s wearing a baby onesie.” Agreed. I bet if we inspect the garment closely, we’ll see the snaps.
- Eric was N-O-R-M-A-L looking all sorts of fly in denim on denim.
Seriously. Eric is the most natural acting one of the group. In fact, he’s so normal that his date is a tad boring. From last week’s preview, it looked like Rachel was going to have to repurpose her rather large statement rings for brass knuckles. But Eric’s hometown, in a word, was uneventful. Except for the one time he drove by a corner noting, “Those dudes are selling drugs,” we didn’t witness the seedy underbelly of Baltimore.
Eric takes Rachel to shoot a few hoops. Her four-inch-wedges didn’t deter her from dribbling up and down the court like a baller. She meets Ralph, who is Eric’s “A-1.”
I first heard this term In 1998 when I was a world-famous Jungle Cruise skipper at Walt Disney World. I dressed every day next to A-1 Snow White, meaning she was the Snow Whitiest of all the Snow Whites. If there was a television appearance, A-1 was called. Need Snow White in an advertisement? A-1 was called. If there was a celebrity whose kid wanted nothing more than to meet Snow White, A-1 was called.
From context clues, I gather that Ralph’s A-1 status means that Ralph is Eric’s number one, tried and true, ride or die friend. A-1 is also a steak sauce.
Ralph says some lovely things about Eric and then gets weirded out when his friend starts to kiss his “girlfriend” right in front of him. Like most of us would, Ralph peaces out. Eric keeps it real, reminding Rachel that he didn’t really have a support system growing up. He took care of himself, which is what he was taught to do. Also, he’s never brought a girl home before. All set? Let’s go meet the fam!
What a fam. They endeared themselves to me the minute they started swaying back and forth on the couch shouting, “Hey, oh, hey, oh!”
For someone who didn’t have a lot of people in his family, Eric certainly does have quite the crew now. I especially liked the fabulous woman in the sequins top with hot pink pants. And how gorgeous was Verna? She looked like Dionne Warwick.
Dionne: “How are you dealing with being the first black bachelorette?”
Rachel: “It’s a lot of pressure.”
Dionne: “Keep smiling, keep shining.”
Rachel: “I’m being judged by a lot of people. But I have to be selfish and choose with my gut.”
Dionne: “You can always count on me, for sure. That’s what total strangers are for!”
Meanwhile, Eric talks to his mother who basically tries to convince her son that abandoning him was in her master plan all along. She claims that, in her opinion, there are a lot of mama’s boys out there who are great men. But many of them didn’t reach the stars because they reached for their mother instead.
*cough* Bryan *cough*
Eric is gracious and thanks his mom for making him the man he is today, then has another hard conversation with his father. In this instance, the dad apologizes for not being there for him during his adolescence and praises Eric for what he’s done with his life. He’s sorry it took him so long to say this.
*cough* Paramroop *cough*
Eric toasts the seven women, two men, and one beautiful bachelorette, thanking everyone for playing a role in his story — good, bad, happy, or sad. Then he walks Rachel outside, tells her he loves her, and kisses her good.
I don’t know about you, but I was disappointed that Pitbull didn’t take an appearance during Bryan’s hometown date. That guy is featured in everything. How could he miss this opportunity?
As I mentioned before, Rachel exchanges a comfortable “hey baby” with her “hot, steamy, sexy” man. She even giggles when Bryan quotes Will Smith.
Bryan takes Rachel to a domino park because nothing says Miami like a wicked game of chicken foot with a bunch of old Cuban men. When they miserably lose, Bryan takes her to CALLE OCHO (insert Mr. Worldwide here) where they eat and salsa dance.
Before taking Rachel to meet the fam, Bryan reiterates that his mom is a fireball who loves her only child. All of her energy is dedicated to her only child. Her only child is the love of her life. But don’t worry, because when his mama sees the chemistry Rachel has with their ONLY CHILD, she will love her.
Or threaten to kill her. Details.
Bryan sucks Rachel’s face one last time before dropping that he’s “obsessed with her smile.”
Bryan walks through the front door and his mom Olga bowls over two young people and her own husband to kiss the cheeks of her ONLY CHILD. She gives a toast, welcoming Rachel to her home, chokes up at the thought of her beloved (read: not her husband) leaving the neighborhood condo he owns down the street, gives Rachel a glaring side eye disguised as tears, and downs her champagne slowly, calculating her next move.
This isn’t Ola’s first rodeo. During her one-on-one time with both with Bryan and Rachel, she exudes love for her ONLY CHILD, claiming he is her pride and joy. In the span of the episode, this is how Olga handles the news:
He’s my love.
We have a wonderful relationship.
He’s gone out with so many girls.
I’m in shock because you have so many girls.
You need time.
Marriage is a serious commitment.
WE ARE BLOOD.
He’s very close to me.
He’s my life.
You’ll be marrying into the family, too.
If he’s happy, I’m happy.
If not, I will kill you.
Rachel also has some alone time with a woman who is not a sister, step-sister or an in-law because, as you may have forgotten, Bryan is an ONLY CHILD. The woman, clearly fearful for her life, makes sure Rachel knows that Bryan’s ex-girlfriend was threatened by the relationship Bryan had with his mother.
Woman: “I mean, it’s his MOM. Of course they are going to be close. They are family!”
Rachel: “I embrace that. I love that!”
Lincee: “Security! We’re going to need a bodyguard to follow Rachel around Miami. Can someone find the brass knuckles in her overnight bag? Thanks.”
Woman: “She wanted Bryan for herself. And that was her demise.”
Rachel: “I would never disrespect Bryan’s mother. I want her to like me, and respect me…”
Lincee: “And not dial that phone number you know she has saved for circumstances that need ‘taken care of’ when certain issues arise.”
Olga plasters on a smile and sends her ONLY CHILD away with a complete stranger who neither feeds him properly nor understands proper hair length.
Bryan takes Rachel outside to say goodbye. He also tells her that he’s in love with her and his elastic ankle joggers.
Peter and Rachel wander around the capitol city, Peter in purple pants and Rach in a sweater tank top, eating honey sticks, buying flowers, and generally trying to look nonchalant as dozens of people attempt to be cool in the background of the shot. Then he takes her to his favorite bar where she meets four of his good friends.
Here they have a weird conversation about how Peter has a bunch of black friends. The women were completely silent, but smart enough to wear cold shoulder tops. The men tell Rachel that Peter is goofy and quirky, which seems to surprise Rachel. The guys split off and sit two hundred feet away so they can talk shop with Peter. Newsflash: He’s nervous about proposing at the end of this journey.
They leave the bar and head to his parents’ house. His brother’s daughter leaps into her uncle’s arms and Rachel is done. The toddler glasses are on and her uterus is exploding. Peter’s mom drags him off to talk about tattoos and then gets down to business with how he’s feeling about Rachel.
In a nutshell, Peter admits that he has walls up. He’s never been engaged before and doesn’t know if he wants to be right now. But he totally likes Rachel.
Naturally, when Peter’s mom talks to Rachel, she’s honest when Rachel asks if Peter is ready for marriage. Nope. He’s ready for a commitment and a family, but not necessarily a proposal.
Rachel is annoyed. She doesn’t want a boyfriend after six weeks. She wants him to like it enough to put a ring on it!
Our bachelorette is clearly thrown for a loop. Peter doesn’t pick up on it at all. He claims the day was wonderful, even a game changer. He’s “very happy” but the world “love” is glaringly absent.
Dean’s pants. No, sir.
I fast forwarded through Dean and Rachel riding ATVs in order to get to the picnic the ABC Intern worked so hard to conjure up. I mean, he needed at least four bales of hay to craft a makeshift couch, and a few horse blankets. That cheese isn’t going to cut itself and be placed on a wooden board, you know. All hail the ABC Intern. HAIL!
The picnic serves as the pre-game. The audience is spoon-fed all the pertinent information we need to know: Dean has an estranged relationship with his dad. His entire family hasn’t been under the same roof in eight years. He hasn’t seen his father in two years. His father’s name is Paramroop which means “divinely beautiful.” He gave himself that name. He is a sikh. Dean has a new mommy who he has met twice.
Rachel asks Dean why he hasn’t talked to his dad in two years. Dean counters with, “Is it my responsibility? He wasn’t there all those years. I don’t see the point in making an effort.” Rachel wants to know if Dean has ever told his father he is upset for him not being there after his mom died. The answer is no.
That’s tough. It seems like the healthiest thing to do is to have this very important, very raw conversation for the first time on national television. Let’s bring them all out so we can handle this Maury Povich-style. Who cares if Dean admits he is legitimately TERRIFIED to walk into his father’s home? Rachel, the woman he has known collectively for about 72 hours, is going to be right there with him, and the cameras, and the producer, and Mike Fleiss whispering sweet nothings into the producer’s ear piece.
What could go wrong?
Straight out of the gate, Dean is upset that the furniture has been removed from the living room and replaced with every throw pillow Amazon offered on Black Friday. Dean greets everyone with a cordial spirit and then dives deep into himself, refusing to make contact with anything but the floor.
Immediately Paramroop instructs the entire gang to lay down for some light gong therapy. Rachel is game. Dean works to not throw up. After the final tap of the mallet, Paramroop extends a token to Rachel and Dean. Both receive feathers, which represents his late wife. Paramroop weeps buckets of tears, saying that she was the most amazing woman in the world, no offense to his current wife sitting right beside him. Dean nearly loses it.
Next up is lunch on the floor consisting of a hearty bowl of freshly sprouted mung beans. Paramroop notices that Dean isn’t eating. He has no clue his kid’s stomach is in his throat and the idea of swallowing is a challenge. Dean wishes he hadn’t eaten before he came, but Paramroop isn’t buying it. He told Dean they would share a meal.
Things just went from awkward to uncomfortable.
Paramroop asks for some time with his son. Everyone leaves. Dean, still watching the ground, listens as his father touts blessings that Dean is doing something he loves to do — hanging out with a beautiful woman. This irritates Dean enough to let his voice raise above normal and Paramroop wigs out that his chakra is all out of whack.
Meanwhile, outside, Dean’s sister sings Dean’s praises. He’s the strong one. He’s the one the siblings admire. She breaks down in tears and Rachel has to comfort her.
Back inside, Paramroop rejoices that he is a “pretty great dad.” This makes the vein in Dean’s head pop. Is he serious? Paramroop gets defensive when Dean challenges this declaration with a laundry list of not-so-great things his dad has done. He chastises Dean, claiming there’s no way he (Paramroop) could know what it’s like to lose a mom.
Worst defense ever.
He goes on to say how angry he was that his wife died, and that he couldn’t stand to watch her heart stop beating. Guess what? Dean is angry too! Finally! An adult conversation!
Whoops. I spoke too soon. Paramroop reminds Dean he was the bread winner. Dean thanks his dad for helping out financially, but continues to bring up the fact that Paramroop was emotionally absent. In fact, there were times when Dean felt abandoned.
Paramroop: “What you think of me is what you think of you. If you think that was my purpose, there’s no need to continue.”
Dean doesn’t let his father walk out without one more attempt. He no longer wants his father to be stubborn. He doesn’t want him to close himself off. Dean barely recognizes the man! Paramroop pops off that Dean has one foot in the past before wishing him blessings. Deans calls out to his father’s back that he will love him regardless of their relationship.
Like me, Dean hides behind a mountain of cushions. We are both horizontal at this point, in desperate need of oxygen.
Rachel intercepts Paramroop outside with the hope that they can have a lovely powwow by the fire. When she starts to list all of the things she appreciates about Dean, Paramroop stands up and says, “No, no. I regret it. This doesn’t work.”
And he walks off into the darkness.
Rachel finds Dean, still horizontal, and joins him on the floor. Paramroop watches them like a creeper through the window. Dean is an emotional wreck, and chooses this time to tell Rachel that he may not know much, but he knows he loves her. And that may be all he needs to know.
Then he makes out with her, amidst the gong pillows, and I am once again convinced that Dean is the best kisser on the show. The camera angle was legit. Someone had to be hovering over them to get that shot.
Our Host Chris Harrison (FINALLY) arrives looking like he just walked out of the men’s section of a Bloomingdales magazine spread. I’ve missed him. And don’t worry about that hundred dollar pocket square he offers Rachel so she can wipe her tears. He’s got a million of them.
Rachel looks amazing in her dress. She has killer arms. Eric looks, of course, completely normal. Bryan is decked out in all black. Dean has on the tightest pants I’ve ever seen on a man. And Peter looks phe-nom-en-al in a blue suit.
Thank you to IHGB reader Cathy who sent me this gem yesterday. Fair warning: it’s swoon-worthy.
All the boys line up with the Dallas skyline behind them. In an unprecedented move, Rachel says good-bye to the loser BEFORE she hands out roses. It was torture for all involved, including me.
The first rose is given to Bryan. He’s a safe choice. She knows where she stands with him. The second rose goes to Eric. Again, safe choice. Rachel hands the third rose to Peter, sending a message that home slice better drop the “L” bomb, or things will go south.
Poor Dean is shocked and his pants are too tight for him to get horizontal on the floor. Bless him. Rachel can barely look him in the eye. He calls her out for telling him that she was falling in love with him too, which she quickly retorts that she was falling in love. She just fell for the other three, too. She puts him in the rejection limo and he is visibly angry.
I think he’s more upset about the fact that he did all that family stuff on national TV, only to be booted off that week. If I had to guess, I’d say Dean is going to be invited to Paradise. He has too much stuff to work out to be the next bachelor. Am I wrong?