**The only spoilers in this recap are what happened in the episode. Everything else is just my opinion.**
After another round of sickness (seriously, is God trying to send me a message and stop me from writing these recaps?!), I’m ready to tackle this episode.
I almost considered skipping it since we’re almost done with this season -- time flies when you’re watching the most boring season in Bachelor history, huh? -- but decided to push through since I have loyal reader. OK, readers if you count my mom AND my dad.
Speaking of parents, we’re onto hometowns! And if the previews are any indicator, this is going to be a great episode. Apparently, if they want something exciting to happen on this show, they just need to make the episodes about anyone but Arie.
Kendall’s Hometown: Los Angeles, CA
“Kendall is not your average girl. She’s very interesting. She’s quirky.” Understatement of the year, Arie.
I’m not sure what he thought he was getting himself into here, but we all saw her sing about dead animals on the first episode -- so get your popcorn out, people! … And then be prepared to throw it up.
Kendall’s like, I’m excited to show Arie where I grew up so I’m going to take him to a place filled with dead animals, all of whom appear to be looking right at us no matter where we stand. Isn’t the hometown the time to bring him to your old school or something?
“Oh my God. Looks so real,” Arie says. That’s because they are.
“This is sexy to me,” Kendall says in front of a stuffed monkey. How Arie doesn’t run screaming out of that room is beyond me.
I’m so conflicted with Kendall. I love that she’s unapologetically herself, it’s the way I strive to be. But also that unapologetic version of herself is kind of weird and a little creepy (lest we forget her feelings on eating human flesh).
It’s not a good sign when someone can’t stop saying they’re terrified.
Yall. They’re stuffing mice. Or “mounting” mice? Is that the correct term? It doesn’t make it any less horrifying for me.
When Kendall talks about how she got into taxidermy -- it started with collecting things and then finding out you can keep them forever -- I can’t help but think about that crazy girl on Animaniacs. You know, Elmira?
I guess I’m just trying to figure out why ABC thought it would be a good idea to try and force us to listen to a conversation while watching two people stuff rats.
“In a way, taxidermy is like a perfect relationship because it’s going to last forever.” Except in this relationship one of you is dead. Sounds totally sane.
No to the rats in Paris. No to making fun of Krystal. No to all of this. How could anyone think this was a good idea?
“I obviously feel a lot for Kendall to be able to handle that dead rat’s skin.” What about the rest of us who feel nothing for either of you? Why did we have to be put through that?
If Arie could stop saying “quirky” that would be great for all of us.
That night, Arie goes to meet Kendall’s family: Her mom Michelle, dad Bob, twin sister Kylie, and brother Colton.
Somehow Twitter was shocked at the fact that there’s a family that’s not the Kardashians that had a set of sisters who are named Kendall and Kylie.
If Kendall and Kylie pulled the ol’ twin switcheroo on Arie, do you think he’d notice?
It’s so weird to me that this whole process is pitched as if it’s a normal “meet the parents” type of thing. When’s the last time you brought someone home and then everyone brought each of you aside separately and talked to you about your relationship with each other?
Kendall’s mom is really wise, and I now understand where Kendall gets her depth and wise words from. And then I remember she said she wanted to try human flesh. I can’t get it out of my head, y’all! No matter how hard I try.
Kylie points out that there’s something between Arie and Kendall, but there’s also space there. Kylie is all of us. She keeps repeating back the things Arie says with skepticism.
“I feel like I’m falling for her.”
“Falling for her??”
Kylie grills Kendall the same way she grills Arie, and I couldn’t appreciate it more. She says the fact that Arie said he’s falling in love with Kendall and she didn’t say it back is telling.
Everyone in Kendall’s family thinks she’s not ready for the engagement.
And by everyone in Kendall’s family, I mean Kendall too. She tells her sister she’s not ready for engagement right now, but she could be by the end of this process. Girl, you have like two weeks to go. What will change other than the possibility of the fantasy suite? (Which I feel might swing your opinion in the other direction.)
“I loved being able to tell Arie that I was falling for him today, that meant so much.” Actually, Kendall, you said you could see yourself falling for him, which is totally different.
Does Arie get Bob’s blessing to propose?
He tells Arie he doesn’t think Kendall is ready, but says if she’s adamant about it the family would support her.
Verdict: Not really.
Tia’s Hometown: Weiner, AR (or if you’re a part of the ABC family, AK)
As someone who used to be a copy editor and who missed a decent amount of errors, I feel for mistakes like this. But also, how many sets of eyes were on this before it went live? You got it right everywhere else. AK is the abbreviation for Alaska. AR is the abbreviation for Arkansas. I know you know this, ABC.
I like Tia, and while I do think she likes Arie, I also think that she’s playing her cards right to be the next Bachelorette. I mean, who wouldn’t at this point in the game?
“I wanted to do something to make you feel comfortable,” Tia says. So she takes him to a dirt race track.
“I can’t believe I’m about to get into another damn car in the freaking mud.” You say this like he planned this date when you’re the one who planned it, Tia.
The thing is, they’re not talking to each other in this part of the date. It’s clear to me that this was done as a way to win and not a way to get to know Arie or show him what she loves and where she’s from. Tia is playing to win, and I’m not sure how I feel about it.
That night, Arie meets Tia’s family: mom Denise, dad Kenny, brother Jason, aunt Carol and cousin Rhonda.
They’re sitting on the couch drinking beer and eating from a gigantic plate full of pigs in a blanket. This is my kind of family.
It took me a little too long to realize the significance of eating pigs in a blanket while in a town called Weiner.
Tia’s dad: “Let’s have a toast to “Airy” and Tia.” Best toast we’ve seen all season. Completely blows Krystal’s out of the water. Then they toast with pigs in a blanket. How do I marry into this family?? Is Jason seeing anyone?
Jason’s interrogation of Arie is interesting in the fact that it’s not really an interrogation, just a reminder that at one time someone considered Arie to be a player. Or “playboy” as people on this show keep saying. When did that become something we say? Or is it just a term the producers feed to us.
Jason, are you trying to get tips or seeing if he’s good enough for your sister? I was wondering how Arie would do during these hometowns without the ability to end a conversation by going in for a kiss. (Answer: Not good.) But Jason totally gave him an in:
Arie acts like he’s changed, but he’s doing exactly what he said he used to do.
For someone who says “I love that” so much, Arie is having a hard time saying “I’m falling in love.” It’s interesting that he tells everyone within two feet of him that he’s “falling” for them but never uses the word “love.” I wonder if the producers are making him say this because he already told Lauren that he’s falling for her.
Quote of the night from Tia’s dad: "If you hurt her, I can find you on Google."
When Tia’s talking to her mom, she’s like I’ve learned so much about myself and I just want to share that with the world as the next Bachelorette. (OK, I may have added my own thoughts to the end of that.)
Does Arie get Kenny’s blessing to propose?
“I gotta trust her judgement on this one, and she really digs you,” Kenny says, “If that’s the way it works out, I’m fine with it.”
Arie: “I love that.”
Verdict: I wouldn’t call that a yes, Arie.
Becca’s Hometown: Minneapolis, MN
Apple picking. Carving initials in trees. Firing apples from a slingshot. That about sums it up. Did they talk about anything? Don’t know. Did anything exciting happen? I think you know the answer to that.
That night Arie meets Becca’s family: mom Jill and uncle Gary. (There are other people there, but ABC knows we’re only here for Uncle Gary.)
“Here’s what I think: I think that it’s way too fast, ridiculously fast. Becca needs more time with this guy if this is the real deal. She’s not gonna say ‘Yeahhh this is the one I wanna marry him. Yeahh!’” Oh Gary, Gary, Gary. You and all of those other people in the room are in for a rude awakening.
I think there’s been enough time between the rat stuffing and now -- I’m ready for more popcorn!
Becca’s mom asks Arie how this is different when he was a contestant on The Bachelorette. He’s pretty much like “It’s different because this time I’m dating lots of people.” Way to give them a reminder that you’re dating lots of women at one time.
I love the relationship between Becca and Uncle Gary, who became the father figure in her life after her dad passed. I don’t blame him for being as protective as he is.
“We’re her uncles, and since his passing, we’re her guard dogs.” Love him.
Becca asks her mom if she’s ready to bless the proposal, and mama Jill is like hard pass.
“Do you know his feelings for you?” Jill asks Becca.
“Well I think I can gauge them,” Becca responds. Way to put your mom at ease.
I feel like we’ve learned more about Becca in this episode than in any other episode. She’s a sweet, kind, caring person. She’s growing on me. And so that means I want her to run as far away from this show as possible.
Does Arie get Jill’s blessing to propose?
First off, she starts to say she doesn’t know why he’d need her blessing. Let’s start with that. She doesn’t finish her thought but if that’s not a “do what you want” type of blessing, I don’t know what is.
“I would honor whatever her choice is because I trust her and I love her. How’s that?”
“I love that.”
Verdict: Not a blessing, even though Arie seems to think it is.
Lauren’s Hometown: Virginia Beach, VA
(Do we still need the B. with Lauren’s name, ABC? Hasn’t she earned the right to just be Lauren by now??)
“I’m in a good place with Lauren, you know? I’ve had two really amazing dates: one in Paris, one in Tuscany. And I told her that I’m falling in love with her.”
Read that quote over again and tell me how it makes any rational sense.
This is the first time I’ve heard him say falling in love instead of just falling. Is this a sign??
I think Lauren got the most air on her jump hug with Arie, so she’s got that going for her.
They ride horses on the beach and make out in a lighthouse.
They don’t even show Arie asking who he’s going to meet that night, they only show Lauren telling him that her family will be skeptical of him.
That night, Arie meet’s Lauren’s family: mom, dad, other people.
It’s kind of clear that he’s more nervous about the families of the women he likes the most. He kind of cared about Kendall’s and Tia’s but freaked out a bit about Becca’s and Lauren’s. Will they be the final two??
Somehow the silence makes Arie uncomfortable. Arie, you’ve had two dates with Lauren to prepare for this. How did you not see the awkwardness coming??
Lauren’s dad is like, you don’t play golf and you don’t know any military families, why are you even here?
Lauren’s mom: “So tell me what do you see in Lauren that might be different?”
Arie: “Um I’ve always just been really drawn to her.” Way to win her over.
My favorite is when he’s sweating, airing out his shirt and talking to a producer. Has anyone had to step away more often than when Arie has on his dates with Lauren? Get it together, man.
It just occurred to me that Lauren’s family clearly didn’t want their names on TV.
“Is it always this warm this time of year?” Arie asks Lauren’s dad. No, that’s you, bro.
Way to win over Lauren’s dad by talking about spending time in Iraq with the US military. You should’ve led with that, instead of trying too hard with questions like this:
Lauren’s mom does grill Arie a little and asks him about the other women in the competition. She asks him if he’s saying the same things to everyone else, and he says that each relationship is different. When I first saw this episode, I thought he was kind of lying, but now that I see the difference between “falling” and “falling in love” I know he’s actually being truthful. (Even though that means screwing over the other women.)
Lauren: “He’s so much like me.”
Lauren’s mom: “Seriously?!”
If you watched the episodes we watched where they were both perfectly content sitting in silence, you’d know that’s a true statement, mom.
I love how Lauren thinks she knows what Arie is thinking when they’re in a room with lots of people. Part of me wants her to explain, but a bigger part of me knows it’d bore me to death to hear her explain.
Does Arie get the blessing to propose?
Lauren’s mom: “I have to revert back to I trust Lauren. And I’m trying to have faith in that. I just want you guys to be sure that it’s real before the final commitment.”
Verdict: This is the nicest “no” I’ve seen. Lauren’s mom is super sweet.
The Rose Ceremony
Oh hay Chris Harrison. Way to show up, walk in and out of rooms ,and pretend to give advice like the champ you are.
Arie pretending like he’s having a hard time sending someone home is almost convincing. He’s basically like “Why can’t I keep all four?” Because they’re women and not action figures.
I know we don’t have too much more to go before the end of this season, but I’d prefer not to have a boring Arie walk-out in the remaining episodes. Once he walks back in, he tells the women again that it’s a tough decision and then asks to speak to Kendall. And I’m thinking this is the end of the road for Kendall.
When he talks to Kendall, he’s looking for her reassurance that she’s ready to get engaged and get married. She’s like not right now, but I don’t want this to end.
Why are the ladies who were left behind whispering? If they can’t hear him while he’s talking to Kendall, he can’t hear them.
He goes back into the room with Kendall (I could’ve sworn he’d drop her while they were outside) and gives roses to Becca, Lauren … and Kendall.
So Tia is eliminated and I’m shocked! Safe to say she’s more shocked.
“What did I do wrong?” she asks through tears. Ugh, I do feel bad for her. You didn’t do anything wrong, girl. You did all the right things to tee yourself up for a spinoff. And maybe even The Bachelorette if you campaign hard enough.
The Women Tell All episode is next! I won’t be recapping it because why would I want to pause and rewind the show to write down word for word what everyone says. I love and respect myself too much for that.
What’d you think of this episode? Should Tia have gone home over Kendall? How has Kendall gotten so far without a one-on-one date? Is taxidermy the way to someone’s heart -- have I had it wrong this whole time??
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