Guess what everybody? It’s hometown dates! This week Emily will be visiting the hometowns of Chris Lance Bass, Jef One F, Indy Arie and Sean! Are you pumped?!?!
The episode opens with Emily returning home to Charlotte, reuniting with Ricki, and then going through a recap of the development of the relationship she has “built” with each of the guys.
Emily’s first hometown date is with Chris Lance Bass who hails from Chicago, IL. Chris shares that he’s a first generation American and that his father was born in Poland. He also shares the following gem: “On a scale of one to Polish, we’re Polish.” The first serious topic of conversation is the last rose ceremony in which Chris essentially begged Emily not to send him packing, and Chris apologizes for putting Emily in an awkward position. Chris describes his father as “easy” and having a “Polish accent” and his mother as “overly emotional.”
Side note: Just before viewing this week’s episode, I had seen several articles referenced on Twitter regarding the alleged love affair between Emily and newly-divorced host, Chris Harrison. With Chris now on the market, I couldn’t help but crack up when Chris’ voice announced “If you want to be the next Bachelor…” before the commercial break and my husband chimed in with “Too bad because it’s me!” (In his best Chris Harrison voice.)
Back at Chris Lance Bass’ family home, Emily is introduced to Chris’ mother, father and three sisters. Emily describes the family as “the sweetest people ever!” Emily’s father takes Emily aside to speak with her, and during his on-camera monologue he says “Emily looks like she has that kind of character Chris is looking for.” I’m hoping this is a language barrier thing. His conversation with her is actually very sweet, and he seems like a genuinely nice man. Consistent with the very emotional description, Rose, Chris’ mother begins to cry when she speaks with him “privately” (with a camera crew) and tell him that she loves him with her whole heart. Chris’ blonde sister gives the third degree to Emily and says that she’s concerned for Chris, as she knows he’s put his heart completely out there, and could get hurt. Outside the house, after dinner Chris reveals to Emily that he is in love with her and the two share their first real kiss. It wasn’t awkward, it wasn’t horrible, but it lacked steam. I’ve only seen that steam with Arie so far. The hometown date with Chris ends with traditional Polish dancing and some very glittery, bedazzled vests!
The next date takes us to Utah to visit Jef One F at Holmstead Ranch. The countryside is actually pretty beautiful and expansive, complete with red barn and hills. The pair ride in some sort of fast, ranch-y vehicle (ATV? Dune Buggy? I dunno. I grew up country, but I had a Big Wheel) out to a field to shoot clay pigeons. Jef One F hits the targets like a champ, and Emily looks as though she may crumple under the weight of the shotgun. But then, she totally sharks Jef One F by acting as though she didn’t know how to shoot and then hitting every target. “I may or may not have pretended I didn’t know how to handle a gun.” (And for the first time all season I genuinely laughed at Emily’s joke and kind of liked her.) Jef One F found Emily’s skillful shooting to be quite sexy, not surprisingly. He jokes about it, and my husband interjects (“He’s my favorite. I hope he makes it.”)
Emily feels a tremendous amount of pressure meeting Jef One F’s siblings, as they advised he break up with a former girlfriend, and he did. As Emily and Jef One F approach the siblings, they are suddenly surrounded by a sea of blonde people. Jef One F’s brother (I believe his name is Steve) asks about Emily’s foundation and principles. He also asks her what it takes to stay in love. He says “love is not an investment, it’s an adventure.” I’m not really sure what that means, but whatever. Emily quizzes three of the sisters (or sisters-in-law?) about whether Jef One F is truly ready to settle down and they confirm he is, if it’s with the right person. The sisters ask Emily about whether her and Jef One F match up when it comes to the fundamentals and then they put her on the spot and ask whether she’s falling in love with Jef One F, even though he spells his name weird. (Ok, I added that last part. And really, I’m Natali with no ‘e’ so I should just shut up now I guess.) Emily confirms she is falling in love with Jef One F, after a little bit of hesitation.
The date wraps up with Jef One F reading a letter declaring his love — and the many reasons for it to Emily, and she declares it the sweetest thing anyone has ever said to her, and then there is kissing and more kissing and sweeping views of canyons and a colorful desert. (Again, I’m not a geography buff, but I’m assuming this is what’s known as the painted desert? My bestie’s family is from Utah, and has shown me pictures from trips, and I think it looks the same…)
Emily’s next stop is in Arizona to spend time in Indy Arie’s hometown. The first stop is the race track, where Arie is driving laps. As soon as he’s out of the car, the pair is kissing again (no surprise). If Arie didn’t seem like such a nice guy, I’d be bitching and moaning all season about how their relationship seems strictly physical — BUT he’s actually nice and they do seem to connect too so, I will say their relationship is the most heated, it’s doesn’t seem to be only lust-y-ish. (New word, add that sucker to your iPhone predictive text, you’ll thank me later.)
Arie takes Emily around the track a few times (literally, not figuratively, keep your mind out of the gutter people) and then the two share a picnic. During the picnic, Arie shares with Emily that his family is very laid back, not like a lot of other families. Arie admits however though, that his mother will be the toughest to win over. Oh, also — towards the end of the picnic, water in the scene behind the pair erupts into a super high fountain/geyser type thing that appears to be coming from a giant Reese’s peanut butter cup. (Well, that’s what it looked like at least, which is pretty messed up, because I’m dieting, and now really want a peanut butter cup!)
Arie walks Emily into a beautiful home to meet his brothers, sister and parents. My first thought? (And it’s shallow — sorry.) Arie’s mom has styled her hair in a way very similarly to Emily’s and her face appears, like Emily’s, to have had a good deal of obvious work done. Ok, moving on… The awkwardness continues as Aries mom begins speaking in Dutch, which leaves Emily out of the mix. The family isn’t particularly warm and friendly. During their “private” conversation, Arie’s mother questions Emily about why she is the Bachelorette and why things didn’t work with Brad. Emily shares that she and Brad weren’t fundamentally the same and she didn’t ask the right questions before. (By the way, this episode, if you’re going to watch on DVR and you want to do some sort of drinking game on a certain word, go with “fundamentally” if you’re wanting to finish a drink off. This week’s episode is brought to you by the word fundamentally! Yeah! Ok, I’m all done now, I promise.)
Arie shares with his father that he feels that he could propose to Emily, and his father gives his approval. The date ends, (I can’t tell if the family ever really left the sitting room area, which is kind of odd) but Emily says she was pleased with the way the day went, and couldn’t be happier so whatever. Em’s happy, I guess we are too.
Off to Texas for the final hometown date, this time with Sean. Sean begins the date with a nice walk outside and playing with his dogs. Emily sees this as very similar to her day-to-day life and seems to enjoy the plan. The couple sits down and Sean share a bit about his past relationship and the fact that he couldn’t marry his ex because he just didn’t feel like she was the one in his heart. Emily makes a few comments about how perfect Sean is, how he doesn’t have anything to hide or a big bomb to drop, which clearly means there is a big bomb to be dropped in about 4 minutes. (Sigh, buckling up for the overblown roller coaster to come…)
Sean and Emily walk into a beautiful backyard complete with a beautiful family and a crazy beautiful little girl’s playhouse. After the dust settles, Sean shares that he needs to reveal something, and everyone is silent — he then shares that he still lives at home. Emily does her best to keep it together, and then the two go up and check out “Sean’s room” which is an utter disaster. There are broken cookies on the dresser, stuffed animals and a mess everywhere and Emily says her perception of Sean is totally shattered. Then, Sean drops the next bomb — he’s kidding and he doesn’t live at home, it’s all a prank. Nice one Sean, you officially freaked Emily, and millions of type-A women across the country, out BIG time! I can just hear the collective sigh of relieve coming from every state…
The rest of the date was hard for me to concentrate on, as I was still mentally cleaning “Sean’s room.” But I think it went well, and when Emily tried to leave, Sean chased after the car to steal another kiss. Ok, moving forward — let’s go to the roses!
There is an obligatory chat in the “Room of Framed Contestant Photos” where Emily answers Chris Harrison’s questions as though she’s a pageant contestant participating in the interview competition. Blah, blah, blah.
Ok, on to the roses for real. The sound has been off multiple times this episode, and it’s most noticeable during this segment of the show. Chris and Emily both sound as though they are underwater a bit. Anyway, the first rose goes to Arie. The second rose goes to Jef One F, and the third to…………
(insert incredibly long, drawn out pause here)
Which means, sadly, Chris Lance Bass will be headed home. Kind of a bummer, because I actually liked his family the best.
Tune in next week, we’re down to the FINAL THREE folks! Which means that SOMEDAY this season WILL end!
[featured images via wetpaint and hollywood reporter]