It’s the best week of the Bachelorette – hometowns! You know, when the contestants’ embarrassing family members let their freak flags fly in front of all of America! Who can forget when Chantal took Brad (the second time he was the Bachelor) to the mortuary and made him play house on the embalming table? Or when someone’s grandma wanted to know whether the Bachelor’s any good in the sack? ABC wasted no time getting into it.
First up was Zak, the Drilling Fluid Engineer from Dallas. Des says that with Zak, she never knows what she’s going to get. More Forrest Gump-y, less Love Connection-y, imo. Well, with Zak, she gets a ride in a Sno Cone truck. Yep, that’s right. It’s the family business. They pull into an elementary school parking lot and pass out sugar water to 30 screaming kids (who didn’t pay). Zak gets dressed up in a penguin suit to showcase just the kind of dad material he’s made of – the super cheeseball kind. (When did he complete the transformation from mostly normal to downright cheesy?) Zak said the last girl who met his family was “completely overwhelmed.” His family seemed pretty normal, if a little on the excitable side. His family was shocked (rightfully so) that Zak got out of the limo the first night and asked Des if she would “accept these abs” and he made it this far in the competition. “What a weirdo!” his mom said. Took the words right out of my mouth, Zak’s mom.
Things are going well, until Zak’s brother and sister pulled a Von Trapp Family Singers moment (clearly orchestrated by you-know-who) and sang (another) song Zak wrote for Des. “Oh Desiree we can see, your place among our family.” There was more rhyming, like how they prayed for her and she appeared, but I tuned out at that point. Zak kept talking about how he’d given up on love but Des brought him back and now SHE’S THE ONE. To cement his love for her, Zak takes Des into his backyard and presents her with a promise ring he bought for her in Atlantic City to symbolize the moment he fell in love with her, because he’s 7 and that’s what you do with the girl you like. He told her he loved her in his backyard and said it would be the greatest moment of their lives. In his backyard. Yay.
Next up was Scottsdale, Arizona and Drew’s family. Poor, Drew. Poor, simple, simple (but pretty to look at) Drew. “Today is my day to really throw Des in the deep end and see if she can swim with my family.” Thankfully, we were only subjected to that one Drew-ism, but they did make out in a strip mall parking lot, which was a little odd. Is there really nothing else in Scottsdale but outlet malls? On their way to his mom’s house, they pick up Drew’s sister, Melissa, who is mentally handicapped. And then they pretty much forget about her because she doesn’t appear for the rest of the day or evening. Drew’s mom is a little skeptical about her baby boy, but Drew tells her Des is his soulmate, because you know these things within 3 weeks of meeting somebody, who’s also dating three other dudes.
Drew’s dad takes Des outside and asked about the level of attraction Des has for his son. AWK-WARD alert. He tries to redeem himself by asking whether Des believes in angels, and whether she’d ever met one. Des said no, and Drew’s dad corrected her that she had, she’d met Melissa. (Who, still, is nowhere to be found.) Des says she wants to join Drew’s family right now. At the end of the night, Drew blurts out that he loves her. (Still, no idea where Melissa is.)
The third hometown took us to McMinnville, Oregon, where Chris grew up. He presented her with a handpicked bouquet of flowers from the local Parks & Recreation Department (law breaker!) and they tossed a baseball around, where it’s revealed that Chris used to play professional baseball. Really? A mortgage broker who played pro ball? Way to bury the lede, ABC! Des gave Chris a piggyback ride and then they had a beer picnic where Des sketched their relationship and Chris marveled about how Des could throw a ball. There wasn’t any poetry (thank God!) but when Des arrived at Chris’ house, his dad offered her a complementary chiropractic adjustment in his basement. Because that’s what you do when you meet your future daughter-in-law.
Then Chris hops on the table for some father/son bonding time (seriously, that’s how they bond) and receives a complementary “nose adjustment” which looked like a shoehorn shoved up his nostril. He needed to get his nose realigned and boogers in order, I guess. “And, she plays ball!” Chris is very excited by this development. That seals the deal. Chris’ family didn’t like his last girlfriend, and Chris is a total mama’s boy, so he’s eager to find out what they think of Des. Chris’ mom was the refreshing Greek chorus, asking, “What happens when you are in the real world?” Chris, like Zak, told his family he thinks Des is “the one.”
Brooks’ hometown date is last, in Salt Lake City, Utah. He wore his Brawny lumberjack shirt for the festivities. Des says she loves Brooks and has been looking forward to the hometown date since their first date a few weeks ago. They have a picnic and Brooks confides to the camera that isn’t sure how he feels about her. He’s a little too ambivalent and, if I were Des, I’d cool it a bit on the “L” word. To help him along on his journey, Des made a list of all their special moments together. Sitting on the Hollywood sign. When he broke his finger and was on the ground in pain, “but was still adorable.” This was apparently all Brooks needed to fall in love with her. They went canoeing and, by the time they rowed their boat ashore (Hallelujah!), he’d also drunk the Desiree Kool-Aid.
Des walked into Brooks’ house and everyone was wearing nametags. (How thoughtful!) One of his twenty brothers asked if Des could “hang” with him. What are they? ’80s rappers? Can you hang with this? Can you smell what the rock is cooking? Brooks says he’s “pleasantly surprised” by his feelings. Um, pleasantly surprised? Stop it, Brooks! You’re flattering her! Like Chris, Brooks is also a mama’s boy. And Brooks’ mom said he’s her favorite. (I’m sure the sibs loved hearing that.)
At the beginning of the day, Brooks was like “meh, she’s alright, I guess.” And 7 hours later, he’s all, “I see us closer to the union of marriage than ever before.”
Back in Los Angeles, Des invites her brother, Nate, to her hotel for what could have been an awkward situation but amounted to nothing. She hasn’t seen him since last season when he ripped on Sean during the hometown date and Des was sent home. Nate wants to meet the guys and “get in their heads,” so clearly he hasn’t changed. Her brother vowed to keep an open mind this time around, but on the way out, predicted that, “this is not going to go well for her.” Way to keep an open mind.
Overall, the dates were pretty uneventful: no major creepers. Des tells Chris Harrison that she’s hopeful for a proposal from Brooks at the end of the show. Geez, can we just call it a day already? Put these guys out of their misery.
At the rose ceremony, Des gave roses to Brooks, Chris and Drew. Zak looked pretty shocked to be eliminated. When she walked him out, Des babbled incoherently and couldn’t really articulate a reason why she sent him home. Something about weighing the relationships and the pretty, pretty ring, which she gave back, and he subsequently threw out the limo’s window. Zak needs help getting out of his “love slump.” Somehow, I don’t think that will be a problem. If he’s the next Bachelor, though, I WILL NOT watch. Seriously. I refuse.
Next week, it’s a very special “The Men Tell All” episode where there will be awkward reunions with the biggest douchebags of the season. And, in two weeks, there’ll be an episode where Chris Harrison apologizes to a crying Des, who “just wants to go home.” What will happen? Does a guy flake out, or does the giant sea turtle she’s befriended at whichever island they go to next get trapped in a tuna net and die?