July 8, 2019
It’s my least favorite episode of the season: the Dreaded Hometowns — the dates most dreaded by me, your trusty blogger, because they are so repetitive, so predictable and so boring. It’s honestly very difficult to come up with new words to say the same damn thing twice a year: The Bachelor/Bachelorette goes on mini-day dates with each contestant before going to meet the family where they are usually greeted with cautious enthusiasm but occasionally outright skepticism and hostility. I mean, sure, the skeptical and hostile meetings are fun in their sheer awkwardness, but those families are few and far between, usually only one per Hometown episode. Which is three too few per episode.
And this season, it is no exception to the enthusiastic to hostile Hometown ratio.
Hannah begins her hometowns in Los Angeles with Pilot Peter who drives her to an airport. On the drive over, Hannah roots through his car, discovering multiple condoms tucked in the consoles, because Pilot Peter is a grown-ass man who uses protection. GOOD FOR HIM.
They then go for an airplane ride in his little tiny two-seater plane and nope nope nope nope nope. Look, I know he’s a commercial air pilot and operates much bigger, much more complicated aircraft on a daily basis, but NOPE. I’m married to a man who does a lot of air crash litigation and boy, do I know some shit and absolutely nope.
They fly over the McMANsion and his parents’ home and there is some kissing while flying and ABSOLUTELY NOT, MISTER, KEEP YOUR EYES ON THE SKIES.
That evening, Pilot Peter brings Hannah home to meet Pilot Peter Sr., Flight Attendant Mami and his younger brother Jack, who bears a remarkable resemblance to his older brother. The family van a comer some Cuban food, which isn’t much of a surprise as a couple of episodes earlier, Pilot Peter had shared a family saying in Spanish with Hannah. What is a surprise is when the entire family begins simultaneously screaming a German prayer over the food, a prayer that basically translates to “HAPPY HAPPY HAPPY LET’S EAT!”
They then do the thing where Hannah and Pilot Peter split up to chat with the family, and shockingly, everyone in adorable and charming Pilot Peter’s family is adorable and charming. Brother Jack asks Hannah if she’s discussed her feelings with Pilot Peter, and she explains that she hasn’t told him that she’s in love with him, but adds that she wouldn’t be there if her feelings weren’t headed in that direction. She then makes Flight Attendant Mami cry when she basically tells her the same thing.
But the adorablest and charmingest is Pilot Peter Sr., who tells his son that he can see that he and Hannah genuinely care about one another, before becoming all emotional and weepy at wanting his son to find happiness. I LOVE HIM AND WANT TO ADOPT HIM.
But Pilot Peter, he still hasn’t told Hannah that he’s in love with her and he doesn’t do so on this date either, instead loading her up in the Uber with nothing more than a kiss and a goodbye. Good luck Pilot Peter, and Pilot Peter Sr.!
Next up: Jupiter, Florida, where Hannah strips down to a bikini for a boat ride with Footloose — and a boat ride along the Loxahatchee River, this I can 100% get behind as it (probably) won’t end in a fiery crash. (Jupiter, Florida is gorgeous, by the way, and absolutely nowhere near where I thought it was. 10/10 would visit.) After some making out in the river, and an offshore visit to the childhood home that his family lost in the financial crisis, the pair make visit a beach bar featuring a bunch of white guys with dreadlocks playing reggae and Hannah joins them on stage to play air guitar.
That night, they head to someone’s McMansion where Footloose’s entire huge family is waiting for them, including his father who Footloose hasn’t seen since his coma, a coma which has left his father’s vocal cords paralyzed. There is a great deal of emotional hugging and DON’T TELL ME YOU WEREN’T MOVED BY THIS, YOU WERE MOVED. IF MY COLD BLACK HEART WAS MOVED, YOU WERE CERTAINLY MOVED.
Footloose and his father chat where Daddy Footloose tells Footloose that he’s worried for him — he has a look with Hannah, a look that suggests he might be in love. He then assures Footloose that if it works out between them, they will have his family’s love and support, they just want the best for him and Hannah.
Footloose also talks to his mother who asks him what he’s learned through this experience, and he blahs about how he was forced to open himself up more, and talk to Hannah about things that made him uncomfortable. She asks if he’s ready to propose and Footloose admits that it’s scary, but he could see himself getting down on one knee.
Meanwhile, Hannah chats with Footloose’s brothers — and not to be mean, because they aren’t unattractive kids, but it is straight-up unfair how the looks were distributed in this family. Anyway, the brothers — who I have to add seem like nice boys — talk about how much Footloose grew and matured as a result of their father’s illness and they assure her that they could see Footloose getting engaged.
But Hannah, she’s still not convinced and she asks Daddy Footloose if he thinks his son is ready for an engagement. Daddy Footloose points out that Footloose is 26 years old, and therefore old enough to start thinking about marriage, before adding that he’s ecstatic for his son and that they have all their love and support. So maybe I love the dads more than the contestants themselves this season? Is that a thing?
Before sending her back to the hotel, Footloose sits Hannah down and tells her that he’s falling in love with her. He then tries to climb into the back of the Lyft with her and emerges from the back of the vehicle with his shirt untucked, but his pants still on. Barely.
Next, Gainesville, Georgia to meet … UGH … Shower Jesus and his family.
Upon greeting Hannah, Shower Jesus explains that he goes to Sunday school every week before church, and that’s where he is going to bring her on their date.
They meet his church group in some sort of cafe, maybe? where Shower Jesus gives his testimony about being touched by Jesus in the shower for THE THIRD TIME ON THIS DAMN SHOW.
He introduces Hannah to the group before they break up into smaller groups so that the church members can individually tell Hannah how wonderful Shower Jesus is and how much they all definitely like him and how he does not have rage issues and how he’s just the friendliest, calmest, kindest, most Jesusiest person they all know.
Then the entire group lays hands on Shower Jesus and prays for him.
Look. I don’t want to get too deep into the weeds on the religion question — it’s deeply personal and I genuinely do not want to offend any reader. But. There is a natural tension between fundamentalist Christianity and a program like The Bachelorette, a tension that I am not sure can be happily resolved (and doesn’t seem to be here, based on the previews for next week). And so while focusing so much on Shower Jesus’ faith and how Jesus saved him from the sins of sexytime certainly feels pertinent to revealing who Shower Jesus is as a person it’s also simultaneously bewildering to me that NOT A SINGLE WARNING BELL APPEARS TO BE GOING OFF IN HANNAH’S VACUOUS SKULL IN THIS MOMENT. HE IS LITERALLY TELLING YOU THAT PREMARITAL SEX IS A SIN and you’re just nodding along, and laying hands on him with the rest of his holy roller church. WHAT?
Anyway. ANYWAY. The couple then goes to Shower Jesus’s home where Hannah meets the entire family, and opens with, “Your son is an asshole and no one likes him.”
I mean, not literally, but kinda literally — she tells the family that Shower Jesus: 1. told her he was falling in love with her the first week; 2. was fighting with every other man in the house; and 3. refused to have a real conversation with her for weeks.
Shower Jesus’ father (who has too many teeth and is FREAKING ME OUT, thereby ending the streak of adorable dads in this episode) takes Shower Jesus aside to ask if he really thinks this Hannah person is worth it, and Shower Jesus insists that she is: that they have a “spiritual connection,” he is in love with her, and when he looks in her eyes, he sees Mrs. Shower Jesus.
Shower Jesus also talks to his mother, who has all the right number of teeth and is quite lovely, and who encourages Shower Jesus to show Hannah his “beautiful” heart. When Shower Jesus tells his mother that he can look in her eyes and tell her that he is in love with Hannah, his mother bursts into tears.
As for Hannah, she visits with Shower Jesus’ brother and sister-in-law who insist that Shower Jesus is the single most humble person in the whole world …
… and Shower Jesus’s father claims that Shower Jesus isn’t the kind of guy who starts fights, but rather tries to break fights up.
Gaslighting appears to run in the family.
But it works because the next thing you know Hannah is saying in an interview that she’s falling in love with Shower Jesus like a goddamned idiot.
The final hometown is in Knoxville, Tennesse, where Guitar Guy takes her to SURPRISE! a recording studio where together they write a song about their relationship. This is going to shock you, but the song, it is not good. Almost as not good as Hannah’s singing, bless her tone-deaf heart.
They then head to his home where his family appears to be having a barbecue, and his mother offers a cryptic toast: “Here’s to everyone trusting their intuition and their gut every day. When you stick to your truth, it’s beneficial to everybody.”
Guitar Guy first talks to his father who patronizingly says that Hannah “looks like a hoot,” before shitting all over the relationship and the notion of Guitar Guy becoming engaged to her. He has his music career to think of, after all.
As for Hannah, she is having an even more difficult time with Guitar Guy’s mom who smiles tightly when Hannah explains that she is excited about meeting all of them and discovering what makes Guitar Guy, Guitar Guy. Guitar Guy’s mom notes that Guitar Guy can’t really be all that special to Hannah, he’s just another guy and she’s The Bachelorette. Hannah’s like, “Well, I mean, he’s not just another guy. I told your son that I’m falling in love with him,” and Guitar Guy’s mom is like, “Uh huh, and how many other men have you said that to?” Hannah, TRYING HER HARDEST TO BE POLITE TO THIS STRAIGHT-UP BITCH, is like, “Um … none? NONE OF THE OTHER MEN HAVE I SAID THAT TO.” Hannah tries to ask Guitar Guy’s mom about Guitar Guy’s previous relationship only to be told that Guitar Guy is “human” and has “lived his life before The Bachelorette,” whatever the hell THAT means, before launching into a lecture about how important music is to Guitar Guy and that he is on a “different path.”
And then, Hannah faces Guitar Guy’s sister who to her credit is just straight-up: “I think Guitar Guy falling in love with you is not a good thing.”
Finally, Guitar Guy visits with Skeptical Mom who is like, “I don’t know how I feel about her, I just met her. And she asked me if I thought you were ready to get married and I told her ABSOLUTELY NOT.” Then in an interview, she admits being surprised to see Guitar Guy considering marriage, before shrugging and literally quoting Jaime Lannister: “the things we do for love …”
And on that note, Hannah goes back to Los Angeles completely confused and dispirited, but she didn’t get shoved out a window, so she should count her blessings.
So when it’s Rose Ceremony time, Hannah passes out two of the three roses …
Rose #1: Pilot Peter
Rose #2: Footloose
… Before freaking out and leaving the set. Chris Harrison heads backstage with her where she whines that she just has not had enough time to make a decision and that she cannot hand out a final rose.
And so instead, when she goes back out to face the men, Chris Harrison brings out TWO roses, because TWIST! everyone gets a Fantasy Suite date! YOU get a Fantasy Suite Date! YOU get a Fantasy Suite Date! YOU get a Fantasy Suite Date! YOU get a Fantasy Suite Date! EVERYBODY GETS A FANTASY SUITE DATE!
Rose #3: Shower Jesus
Rose #4: Guitar Guy
But, Guitar Guy, he can’t believe Hannah was unable to choose between Shower Jesus and himself, A Good Man Who Only Came on this Show to Advance His Career. HOW COULD SHE BE SO CONFUSED?
Yeah, it’s a mystery for the ages.
Say goodbye to the men who have been eliminated:
Here are the men along with their dumb nicknames who are still “dating” The Beast. All nicknames subject to change when I — or one of you — think of something better:
The Bachelorette airs Mondays on ABC at 7/8 p.m.