We’re back on the long slog of Bachelorizing, as Nick has sent Kristina packing. Rather than bothering to make everyone get all dressed up and stressed when they can already count, he comes back into the house with four roses for the four remaining women, who sigh with relief (or resignation?). Hometowns for all! Nick is particularly excited to meet Raquel, Corinne’s “nanny.”
The coming-up clips already have me grossed out as Raven and Nick ride ATVs and then LIE IN A SWAMP to make out. Ick ick ick ick. Vanessa and Nick kiss in the rain, and she has about a billion people in her family. Rachel’s family sits him down to speak truth about race relations in the current climate, while Corinne’s father is reprising his audition reel for The Sopranos as he tells Nick “Daddy’s” going to determine whether he’s “solid.” I don’t feel good about any of that.
Dateline: Hoxie, AR
We’re in Raven’s hometown, and she’s already firing up the ATV. I appreciate that she’s wearing a helmet (safety first!) but do not understand why she felt the need to slit her white t-shirt halfway up the back. It flutters in the breeze, waving to camera before it steps into its starring role as “item of clothing most likely to become sheer when wet.”
She picks Nick up, and damn, she drives fast! This does NOT look safe. Then we cut to the town grain bins, where you climb to have your important conversations. It’s clear that they’ve already done their kiss-in-the-swamp bit, because they’re both gross and muddy, but whatever. As they’re climbing the grain bin, the cops pull up, sirens blaring! Nick genuinely seems freaked as the cop starts interrogating them, but since you and I have seen this show before, we know that the cop is a relative…in fact, it’s Raven’s older brother. Now we’re back doing more messy ATVing that actually happened earlier, and the kissing is the least sexy smooches that I’ve ever seen. Bending spacetime with the Bachelor, whee!
At Raven’s home, Nick meets the family and they learn the good news that Raven’s dad is cancer-free! How wonderful that Nick was there with many TV cameras to share this deeply personal moment.
Nick awkwardly asks Dad Raven if he’d feel OK if they were together at the end, and Dad Raven awkwardly gives his blessing. I think you could probably just insert “awkwardly” in front of all my descriptions this evening. Also awkward? Raven and Nick’s farewell, where Nick fishes for an “I love you” and Raven withholds it.
From Hoxie to Dallas we go, as indicated by longhorn cattle wandering by a freeway. Yeah, that’s basically Dallas in a nutshell. Rachel meets him, assesses his wardrobe (button-down and pants) and declares him appropriate for their first outing…church. Rachel says church is important to her, and she wants to know he’ll be comfortable at a black church. Remember that “awkwardly” from above? Yeah, you’re gonna want to keep that handy. (Incidentally, their church is bigger than many theatres I’ve seen. Wowza.)
Nick is nervous for the home visit, and asks if he should be most worried about Rachel’s dad–she has to drop the bomb (well, cherry bomb) that dad’s not coming. He has work obligations. Nick mouths platitudes, but I see irritation behind those eyes. They all sit down to dinner, and Rachel’s siblings all look like her, plus they seem like a lovely, boisterous family. I’m already happy that she’s the next Bachelorette!
Also, props to Rachel’s brother-in-law, who is also white (and ginger!), and who is kind of hilarious as they sit down for the initial interrogation. I’m kind of loving the way Rachel’s family is all, no, SERIOUSLY, this is a thing you need to engage with. This is the most authentic hometown date I’ve ever seen. If only the Bachelor weren’t one of the most inauthentic they’ve ever had.
After Dallas, we’re off to a Miami mall, Corinne’s natural habitat. All the store staff knows Corinne by name, and she just wanders around conspicuously consuming. Nick tries on a $1500 tracksuit. The two of them seem terrifyingly well-suited here, and are reminding me of that old SNL skit, “The A-holes.”
After shopping they go to eat in the food court and Corinne says she loves him. She’s all thrilled and whatever. Let’s go meet the presumably horrible people who spawned this horrible person.
Raquelgate: Nick and Corinne come in to squeals of glee and hugs all around, and Nick makes a point to hug Raquel, about whom he’s heard so much. Then they all sit down to dinner–well, the family sits down, and Raquel serves them, which feels extra awkward now. (Awkwardly! Drink.) Corinne then says that the other women held Raquel against her, and lies that they called her Corinne’s “nanny.” I just can’t with this bitch, I’m sorry. YOU ARE A SHALLOW GROSS LIAR. OK, moving on, sorry.
Corinne and “Daddy” go off for the True Confessions portion of the evening, and curl up on someone’s bed together. I am so uncomfortable. Nick remains in the living room talking to…Raquel! What even is happening now. I’m fast forwarding…now Daddy is sharing a Scotch with Nick and determining whether Nick can keep her in the style to which she’s accustomed. Although then he says that Corinne said she’d be happy being the breadwinner, and she said yes. Nick is a bit deflated by this vote of no confidence. But not deflated enough to skip making out in the street as they say goodnight.
At last, we’re leaving the country and heading to beautiful Montreal! (Which is experiencing the same weather as the Caribbean, it seems.) Vanessa takes Nick right away to her school to meet all her students, who greet her with roses. They scrapbook together and then head to meet Vanessa’s mom & extended family (Dad is separate). Nick says with absolutely no feeling, “I love that you’re close to your family.”
Everyone is already seated at the table, set with an array of homemade Italian food, when Nick and Vanessa arrive. The questions come quickly, and there’s some awkwardness (drink!) when it’s clear that Nick and Vanessa haven’t had any real conversations about the future. The family interrogations have more of a “Who the F are you?” vibe than the others did, and I feel like Nick is mentally checked out already. Then the home visit becomes just a series of relatives saying to Vanessa, “But seriously, are you really going to move to another country for this guy?” Also, how bad was that breakup three years ago that Vanessa’s family is still traumatized?
Then Vanessa takes Nick to meet her dad and stepmom, in a much quieter, calmer reception. There’s some chit-chat before Dad takes Nick off to sit uncomfortably close on a love seat and go through his paces. I wish this were taking place in French. We do get a delightful Gallic shrug in place of a blessing–and Nick gets called out for asking all the fathers for their blessings.
Vanessa is shocked–simply shocked!–to learn that her dad isn’t the only one to have his blessing solicited, and it’s as though she only just discovered that Nick is dating 3 other women. Sigh.
Time for our status recap, as the women return to New York (or more accurately, a hotel in New Jersey with a nice view of the NYC skyline). Suffice to say that all are worried and their hearts are involved. Nick remains “confused” and “nervous.” However will he make this decision?
We see Vanessa step out of a limo in tears, not knowing what she’s going to do, and then we see stilettos walking down a hallway. Is Vanessa going to pull herself out of the game?
Nooooo, it’s Andi! Of course the editors let her say “Hi, Nick” and then we’re out. To be continued, indeed…
All this moping around? I’m guessing Andi will say that IT’S NOT OKAY.
Missed last week’s episode? Our recap is here.
Ready for the rest of Andi’s visit? Next recap is here.