February 25, 2019
Friends, it’s time once again for the Dreaded Hometowns. Small towns will be walked around aimlessly! Parents will visibly disapprove but be forced to pretend that they are OK with their daughters potentially marrying a dim stranger! Siblings will do their best to not stare directly into the cameras! Patriarchal traditions in which women are treated like chattel to be negotiated over by men will be upheld! The Bachelor will repeat himself to the point that his words become completely meaningless! It’s the worst, but it’s also incredibly boring!
But first, Colton must shower and the camera must linger on his chest and feet long enough to make the entire audience uncomfortable. I was going to include a gif here, but I think we’ve all seen enough of Colton by now to get the general idea.
First stop, Miss North Carolina’s hometown which is in … Virginia?
Yeah, I don’t know. But I am pretty sure I am contractually obligated to mention that her hometown happens to be where FoolishWatcher’s Whitney went to college, and she would like you to know that the ice cream place they go to, Carl’s, only has three flavors and no sprinkles BECAUSE SOMETIMES YOU DON’T WANT TO SPEND ENERGY ON CHOICES.
Carl’s is pretty much the only thing they do on this date: they take a horse and carriage to Carl’s and then eat two of three available flavors of ice cream.
After they load up on ice cream, they go not to Miss North Carolina’s house, but I think to one of the buildings on Foolish Whitney’s former campus, where there are no fewer than 300 people waiting to meet them, including her mother, stepfather, and sister.
Her mother, stepfather, and sister are not impressed. First, her stepfather becomes irritated when he sees Colton feed Miss North Carolina a cookie, “LIKE IT’S A WEDDING CAKE.” Then her sister takes Miss North Carolina aside to be like, “No, it’s cute that you think this is the guy but you’re completely deluding yourself and you deserve better.”
When talking to her stepfather, Miss North Carolina is all, “I hear you saying that you are concerned about how fast this is going and that you think we should just be friends and stop it with this marriage talk nonsense but have I mentioned that you are a wonderful dad and I love you more than my biological father?” Stepdad begins crying and completely forgets what he was saying.
Then Colton chats with Stepfather, he’s already all emotional, so when Colton gets to the part where he asks for Stepfather’s blessing to marry Miss North Carolina, Stepfather gives it on the condition that if Colton and Miss North Carolina were to get married, that they promise to stay married. Which is usually the idea when people decide to get married — few people decide to get married on the condition that they can just get out of the marriage at any time — BUT WHATEVER.
And then Miss North Carolina makes Colton watch videos of herself as a baby, and she tells him that she is in love with him and he tells her that he is “falling” in love with her — which is not the same thing, just to be clear. The end.
Next, Alabama where Empty Gift Box announces they are going to spend the day in an etiquette class to teach Colton how to be a “Southern Gentleman.”
Colton is taught how to balance a book on his head, how to eat bread, and how to pass food. Because that’s what separates a mere “Gentleman” from a “Southern Gentleman:” how he handles a dinner roll. The teacher also shares with Colton a belabored metaphor about umbrellas and parents, the gist of which reduces Empty to a possession to be passed from her parents to Colton.
That evening they go to what actually appears to be a home and not a college building where they have dinner with Empty Gift Box’s mother, father, three cousins, and her best friend. After dinner, Empty takes her cousins and friend aside to ask their advice, but all they want to know about is Colton’s virginity: WHAT’S THAT ALL ABOUT? DOESN’T SHE THINK IT’S KINDA WEIRD? THE FANTASY SUITES ARE NEXT, ARE Y’ALL GONNA, LIKE, DO IT?
Meanwhile, Colton chats with Empty’s father, and makes all the same assurances that he made to Miss North Carolina’s father: his daughter is special, that he can see a future with her, that blah blah blah falling in love, can he have his blessing to propose to her if it comes to that?
After a long hard awkward pause, Empty’s father admits that he didn’t see that coming, but he’s so impressed by the audacity of this stranger coming into his house and asking to marry his daughter that he has no choice to but to grant his permission.
Elsewhere, Empty’s mom is VERY skeptical of this nonsense and says as much, but then Empty starts wine-crying about how much she likes him, and soon, her mother is all “GO GET IT, GIRL!”
Then Colton and Empty Gift Box make out and tell each other that they are falling in love with one another, the end.
Santa Ana, California
Piggyback Ride is waiting for Colton with a blindfold which she orders him to put on before shoving him into a jeep and then driving him into the desert, banging his head in the process.
It’s the highlight of the episode.
Piggyback Ride finally reveals their destination: they are going skydiving, and Colton looks as though he’s going to vomit on her shoes. After a quick lesson (step one: strap yourself to your instructor; step two: jump out of plane; step three: don’t die), the pair are loaded up into the plane and promptly shoved out of it. They don’t die.
But props to a few people: the cameramen who also had to fling themselves out of a plane despite not being contestants on a dating reality show and therefore have no reason to fling themselves out of a perfectly functional plane other than a paycheck and to the guys on the plane whose job it is to open the giant hatch. I’m sure they are strapped in or something, but JESUS CHRIST ALMIGHTY, NO.
That evening, they meet Piggyback’s mother, father and two brothers, and at dinner, Colton, this dummy, brags about how after jumping out of a plane, meeting Piggyback’s family is a piece of cake.
Piggyback Ride’s father decides to challenge this assertion.
While Piggyback has a very boring conversation with her mother that’s not even worth discussing, Colton is outside with her father who is like, “WHAT ARE YOU EVEN TALKING ABOUT MARRYING MY DAUGHTER? WHO ARE YOU? YOU’VE KNOWN HER FOR SIX WEEKS AND YOU’RE DATING THREE OTHER PEOPLE AND YOU THINK YOU’RE READY FOR MARRIAGE? NO, YOU CAN’T HAVE MY BLESSING, YOU DUM-DUM.”
But then Piggyback chats with her father and insists to him that if Colton were to propose right now she’d say yes, and also, too, she’s an adult who can make her own choices in life. He reminds her that RELATIONSHIPS ARE NOT MICROWAVABLE, which is just a very good dad line, but she reiterates that she knows what she’s doing. So in front of everyone, her father officially offers Colton his blessing, but you can tell he’s not happy about it.
Then Colton and Piggyback Ride make out and tell each other that they are falling in love with one another, the end.
Huntington Beach, California
Finally, Colton meets Butterflies on the beach where she announces that she is going to teach him how to surf. Because he is a perfect cube of meat with no sense of balance, this proves impossible.
After fruitlessly flailing around in the water for a while, the couple chat about meeting Butterflies’ parents and Colton tries to pry out of her where her feelings for him stand.
Her actual honest-to-God response:
RUN AWAY YOU BIG DUMB VIRGIN, SHE IS NOT INTO YOU.
Eventually, Butterflies mumbles something about how she knows how she feels but she doesn’t want to say anything until he meets her family and she’s absolutely certain.
Before they walk into her parents’ house, Butterflies’ father is mumbling to her mother that this Colton character is a stranger to them, and they don’t know anything about his family or his background or his values and in short: DO NOT LIKE.
So that’s the atmosphere they walk into, and things don’t improve while Colton and Butterflies chat with Butterflies’ parents and her clone sisters, Butterflies’ father’s eyes zeroing in on how Colton’s hand seems AWFULLY COMFORTABLE ON HER KNEE. “I don’t know him,” her father explains in an interview. “He seems like a, you know, guy.”
Butterflies chats with one of her sisters who tearfully tells her that she doesn’t have to go through any of this, there are “hundreds” of men out there, any of whom might be better for her and for the LOVE OF GOD don’t say yes to a proposal if she’s not 100% certain — and she can tell Butterflies is most certainly not.
Colton talks to Butterflies’ mother who agrees that they seem to have chemistry but doesn’t think anyone needs to be rushing into an engagement.
Meanwhile, Butterflies is chatting with her father and explaining that yes, of course she knows there are still three other women in the competition and that he is also visiting those families. But the upside to that is if he chooses her, she knows that he will have fully explored those other relationships and harbor no doubts about his feelings for her. This is actually a very crafty argument and I suspect must be what the producers tell the final contestants to get them to cheerfully go on these hometown and fantasy suite dates.
But Butterflies’ father is no Bachelor contestant and as such this argument is less than convincing to him. Butterflies is reduced to whining at her father to trust her while also telling him that he’s scaring her with these mean logical arguments of his that she’s “only 23” and this “isn’t like buying a car” and that marriage is a “forever decision.”
Then Butterflies’ Dad and Colton talk and after doing his usual spiel about how special his daughter is, Colton asks Butterflies’ Dad for his blessing to propose, but Butterflies’ Dad is all, “Nah.”
That said, I have to stop here and lodge my annual complaint that the Bachelor asking for the fathers’ permission to marry their ADULT DAUGHTERS is gross BECAUSE THEY HAVE FREE AGENCY AND CAN MAKE DECISIONS ON THEIR OWN and don’t need their FATHER’S PERMISSION, THANK YOU VERY MUCH. But even if you think that asking for the father’s blessing is a customary gesture of respect towards the bride’s family, can we at least also ask for the mother’s blessing? Does the mother’s opinion not matter, too? Or does it only matter what the father thinks because this tradition is based on ancient laws that treat women as property and not as actual human beings?
Colton and Butterflies go outside where he asks her again where she’s at with her feelings, looking for that all-important, “I’m falling in love with you.”
She finally tells him again that she wants to be 100% certain before she says anything, but that she is excited to see where this goes and she doesn’t want it to end.
HEY, COLTON, YOU DUMMY, REMEMBER HOW THREE DIFFERENT WOMEN SAID TO YOUR FACE, “THERE ARE PEOPLE WHO ARE NOT READY FOR THIS?” AND THEN TWO OTHER WOMEN SAID, “IT’S BUTTERFLIES. BUTTERFLIES ISN’T READY FOR THIS?” SHE’S NOT READY FOR THIS.
RUN. THE. OPPOSITE. DIRECTION. YOU. DOLT.
Los Angeles, California
We go to a beautifully decorated garage for the rose ceremony where we get straight to business:
Rose #1: Empty Gift Box
Rose #2: Piggyback Ride
Rose #3: Butterflies
So to be clear, after all this hand-wringing about making sure he chooses someone who will not reject him, someone who feels for him the way he feels for her, Colton eliminates the only woman who flat-out said, “I AM IN LOVE WITH YOU,” in favor of two women who said they were “falling” in love, and one woman who said:
I guess he likes women who play hard-to-get.
This will not end well for Colton.
And so we must say goodbye to our pageant queen, Miss North Carolina. The upside, Miss North Carolina, is that if the other women were telling the truth and you really were only interested in becoming the Bachelorette, your chances for that have significantly improved. I know Mike Fleiss is out there begging Kardashians to be on the show, but in the end, it will probably be you with your crazy backstory.
After shoving Miss North Carolina into the Go Cry Somewhere Else van, Colton returns to the women, gives them half-hearted hugs and then asks to speak to Chris Harrison, leaving the women to wonder what that’s all about.
And I don’t usually talk about the goofy scenes that are saved for the end credits, but I have to make an exception here because during these end credits, Empty Gift Box shows off her rapping skills — or “rapping” skills — while her father beatboxes. Her white 60-year-old father BEATBOXES.
It’s the second worst thing to happen to race relations in this country this week.
Here are the ladies who were eliminated along with their very not good nicknames:
Here are the women along with their dumb nicknames who are still “dating” Colton:
The Bachelor airs Mondays on ABC at 7/8 p.m.