‘The Bachelorette’: La Quinta is no place like home.

The Bachelorette
December 15, 2020

It’s time for the dreaded hometown dates … except, no one is going home because of, you know, everything. As Chris Harrison explains to the men, they are bringing the hometowns to the bubble, including their families who are currently testing and quarantining. As for who Tayshia will be meeting from each of their families:

One of the Zacs: His mother, father, and brother

Bobby Fischer: His parents

Sukhasana: His sister and a surprise celebrity guest

Bowtie: His brother, sister-in-law, and niece

Everyone becomes very emotional at the thought of seeing their families again, and there is a little bit of crying and a great deal of man-hugging.

The first hometown is with Bowtie, who explains that he’s from a small town where carnivals are apparently Very Important. To that end, there a bunch of kinda pathetic carnival games on card tables placed in one corner of the resort — and honestly, my kids’ school carnival has a considerably more impressive set-up. Couldn’t they have at least kept the Ferris wheel around for this?

Bowtie also explains that they have a chaperone for their date: his niece Aliyah, who is very cute and appears to be about ten or eleven —

 … the point being, she’s just a shade too old for this activity, and her irritation at playing carnival games for four-year-olds is just barely simmering under the surface.

She’s a trooper.

That evening, Tayshia meets Bowtie’s brother and sister-in-law Aliyah’s parents, Daniel and Christie. The group talks a bit about what Bowtie and Tayshia have done on some of their dates, and Bowtie admits to being thrown around in a wrestling ring and taking a lie detector test … and having his answers prove to be “inconclusive.” Answers specifically about meeting the family, which, Tayshia admits freaked her out.

So the brothers go off to talk first, and Bowtie expresses his fear of failing at marriage a second time. Bowtie’s brother tells him that he can see the connection between Bowtie and Tayshia, and then Bowtie starts becoming emotional at the idea of having what his brother has: a wife and child.

Meanwhile, Tayshia is inside talking to Bowtie’s sister-in-law about her failed marriage and how the fact that she and Bowtie both have been through divorces helped them bond early on. Sister-in-Law hopes that Bowtie doesn’t allow the shame and disappointment of having gone through a divorce to rob him of the true love and family that he wants so much.

Tayshia also talks to Brother who assures Tayshia that he thinks Bowtie is ready for marriage, that he’s over the divorce, and that he sees a real spark between the two of them. And if Brother thinks that after being around them for twenty minutes, who’s Tayshia to argue?

The next day is One of the Zac’s turn and he explains he’s taking her to New York City. And by “New York City” he means he’s going to walk her in front of a bunch of painted backgrounds from a high school production of “Guys and Dolls,” run around in a carboard taxi cab, and eat at makeshift bagel and pizza stands made out of the resort’s coffee stands. It’s … embarrassing. Embarrassing is the nicest word I could come up with here.

Also, ALSO at the bagel bar, there were a bunch of toppings set up for One of the Zacs and Tayshia to choose from, and some genius put out bowls of gummy bears and sour worms. GUMMY BEARS AND SOUR WORMS.

GUMMY BEARS! SOUR WORMS! FOR A BAGEL! THIS IS A HATE CRIME.

Oh, and they also jump into the resort fountain for no good goddamned reason and begin to make out in it as if there aren’t perfectly good swimming pools all over the place.

That night Tayshia meets One of the Zacs’ adorable parents and his brother, and One of the Zacs opens the introductions by telling his family just how happy he is.

Tayshia first speaks with his brother who asks her the obvious: in comparison with the other three men who are still in the competition, where are her feelings for his brother? Tayshia is all, “Yeah, I’m definitely falling in love with your brother and can see myself marrying him.”

One of the Zacs’ brother: OBJECTION, NON-RESPONSIVE.

Tayshia also speaks to One of the Zacs’ father who admits this whole TV dating thing is foreign to him, but hey! his son seems really happy, so that’s something, right?

One of the Zacs chats with his mother, where he tells her he can see a future with Tayshia, including children and she nearly bursts into tears. In fact, when Tayshia speaks with Mom, Mom repeats this news to Tayshia and is like “YOU HAVE NO IDEA HOW LONG I’VE WAITED FOR HIM TO SAY HE WANTS KIDS. YOU ARE A MIRACLE WORKER. CAN YOU MARRY HIM RIGHT NOW?” So, I’m pretty sure that went well.

The third date is with Bobby Fischer, and he sees Bowtie’s cute eleven-year-old niece and raises him an adorable four-year-old niece who can cook. Instead of making Tayshia pretend she’s wandering around Dallas, and eating tepid barbecue or whatever, Bobby Fischer brings her to a kitchen somewhere on the property where they are walked through a recipe via video for lumpia, a traditional Filipino spring roll, by his outrageously adorable niece, Kehlani.

Turns out, Tayshia can’t cook, and it sure looks like those lumpia are burnt to hell. Good thing she’s cute.

That night, Bobby Fischer introduces Tayshia to his parents: his funny and feisty mother and his father who has survived cancer twice, a heart attack, and who now has pulmonary fibrosis. WRAP THAT MAN IN PLASTIC AND DO NOT LET HIM LEAVE THE HOUSE. THERE’S A PANDEMIC OUT THERE, ARE YOU MAD?

Bobby Fischer does note that unfortunately his brother, who is his inspiration and best friend, wasn’t able to make it, and he’s SUPER BUMMED ABOUT IT.

The producers:

Bobby Fischer’s mother practically tackles Tayshia and drags her to the next room to talk. There, despite all of her enthusiasm, Bobby Fischer’s mom declares herself a skeptic about this whole thing. It’s too fast, and how well does Tayshia know her son, anyway? Tayshia gives the party line about making oneself vulnerable and opening one’s self up to the process and blah blah blah and anyway, Bobby Fischer is mature and authentic.

Tayshia then chats with Bobby Fischer’s father who asks her about her earlier marriage, adding that he too had been married before. Tayshia tells him that she married very young and the divorce was his idea, but God wanted to teach her new things. Bobby Fischer’s father notes that she said a key word: “young.” He also married too young, and it took him a while before he was ready to marry again. He hopes she has really given some thought to whether she’s ready to do this again. Tayshia assures him that she would not be there right now if she was not absolutely certain she was ready to marry again, and that she does feel like it could happen with his son.

Bobby Fischer Sr. is duly impressed by Tayshia’s confidence and just seems like a very sweet man in general.

Bobby Fischer visits with his mother, who, when he’s asked if he’s ready to propose, hedges a bit, but adds that he sees a “path forward.” Mom also notes that the next step is the Fantasy Suites — “if [Tayshia] keeps [him] around.”

But Mom assures Bobby Fischer that if Tayshia makes him happy, they will receive her with open arms. Also, SHE REALLY MISSES HIM, because moms are gonna mom.

The four of them then chat about how much they know Bobby Fischer wanted his brother Gabriel to be there with them and that’s when Gabriel comes out of the back room to surprise Bobby Fischer. Bobby Fischer cries, he’s so happy to see his baby brother. It’s genuinely very sweet because all of these people are very sweet.

The brothers go talk where Gabriel asks Bobby Fischer what it is about Tayshia that he’s attracted to, and Bobby Fischer goes on about her energy and confidence, that it’s easy and comfortable with her. Gabriel agrees that there’s something organic between them, that they “glow” together.

Gabriel then chats with Tayshia, where he notes that his brother probably told her about all “the bad stuff,” but she insists that Bobby Fischer sang Gabriel’s praises. Which true but also true! Tayshia tells Gabriel that Bobby Fischer is a reliable and loyal person who will make a great father, and Gabriel comes back with “loyalty is an action word,” before noting that his brother has demonstrated it towards him his whole life.

THE FISCHER FAMILY IS KILLING ME THEY ARE SO GOOD AND WISE AND PURE.

The final date is with Sukhasana, who takes her on a fake tour of Venice Beach, complete with roller blades, a juice bar, and cheap souvenirs. They end this part of the date by going to “the beach” and swim in the fountain a goddamned swimming pool like civilized adults.

There, Sukhasana explains that she’ll be meeting his sister Madalyn and family friend Antonia. Unfortunately, his parents aren’t able to make it. His dad’s a doctor and COVID and ~waves hands~ and don’t worry about why mom couldn’t come, anyway it’s probably best we don’t ask a whole lot of questions about his family situation because that seems like a really dark area.

That night they meet Madalyn and Antonia who both seem to be as surprised as anyone that they’re there, and like they’d be a fun hang. AND … HOLD UP. I KNOW ANTONIA. THAT’S TOP CHEF ANTONIA! WHAT IS TOP CHEF ANTONIA DOING HERE? OH NO, NOW I LIKE SUKHASANA THAT MUCH MORE. I SURE DO HOPE NOTHING BAD HAPPENS TO HIM!

Tayshia visits with Madalyn, where Tayshia is still on this whole “Sukhasana is closed off and hiding something from me” nonsense. GIRL. HE TOLD YOU ON NATIONAL TELEVISION THAT HE HAD BULIMIA FOR TEN YEARS AND MADE TWO SUICIDE ATTEMPTS. WHAT. MORE. DO. YOU. WANT?

Madalyn is like, “yeah, he has a past and might be a little guarded, but he’s not the big dumb jock that he appears to be. He’s actually very sensitive.” Tayshia complains that she wants him to be “vulnerable,” BUT MY GOD, WOMAN, WHAT WILL IT TAKE TO PROVE TO YOU THAT HE IS BEING AS VULNERABLE AS POSSIBLE?

Meanwhile, Sukhasana is out there telling Top Chef Antonia that Tayshia is incredible and intelligent and he’s never felt this way about anyone before. And Top Chef Antonia is like, “So, you’re in love with her?” Sukhasana is all, “I mean, I’m not sure I’d go that far …” But Top Chef Antonia is like, “Dude, you’re in love with her.” And Sukhasana is all, “Oh my God, I’m in love with her. I AM IN LOVE WITH HER!”

But then, when it’s time to say goodnight to Tayshia, this dumbass right here, he doesn’t tell her that he’s in love with her. And so, begrudgingly, I have to give Tayshia some credit for her complaints that he’s not opening up to her.

BUT ONLY SOME, because I went back and rewatched her goodbyes with the other three men and I’m here to tell you that not one of them told her that they were falling in love with her. And this is not one of those editing situations where they left that moment on the cutting room floor. I GUARANTEE YOU, if one of these men told Tayshia that they were in love with her, it would have been included. So it’s not like a declaration of love was the thing that was required here, despite the way the narrative was shaped.

What I did notice while watching back was that Tayshia was much more affectionate with the other three men during their goodbyes, compared to her goodbye with Sukhasana where there was definitely some strain. We are meant to read it as all the awkwardness is on his part, that he is struggling to tell her that he is in love with her, but can’t bring himself to do it and it ruins the moment. However, I think the discomfort goes both ways, and that she has made already made up her mind that the connection with Sukhasana is just not as strong as it is with the other three men. It would certainly help explain why she was still telling his sister that he’s not opening up to her when I just don’t know how much more he could have done.

And so, when it’s Rose Ceremony time, the results are hardly a surprise.

Rose #1: Bobby Fischer
Rose #2: One of the Zacs
Rose #3: Bowtie

Which means we must, sadly, say goodbye to Sukhasana.

As she walks him out to the Bye, Now Van, Tayshia seems to be trying to give him space to finally confess his love to her, and appears to be irritated when he fails to find the words, bitching about how he didn’t show any emotion. First of all, that’s called a defense mechanism. THE MAN HAS BEEN THROUGH A LOT, AS HE’S TOLD HER SEVERAL TIMES NOW.

But second of all, honestly, what difference would it have made? Would she have changed her mind and kept him around for the Fantasy Suites? Would that have even been allowed? And frankly, would she have even wanted to? It’s convenient for story purposes to blame him for not opening himself up enough to her, but I’m convinced she knew who her top three were (in fact, based on their goodbyes in this episode, I think she knows who her top two are — Bowtie and One of the Zacs), and she was just as responsible for creating that emotional distance between them that he was never going to be able to bridge no matter how hard he tried.

AND WOW, THAT IS JUST WAY TOO MANY WORDS AND ENTIRELY TOO MUCH THOUGHT GIVEN TO THESE PEOPLE AND THEIR RELATIONSHIPS.

2020 has broken my brain, y’all.

Sukhasana, you are a good man who deserves good things, which is why I want you to avoid Paradise. I know you won’t, I know you’ll be there on the first day, but for your own sake, I wish you wouldn’t. Until it’s time to pack for Mexico, enjoy life on the outside.

And real quick before we leave, some good news: Dr. Joe got the vaccine:

❤️

The Men Who Have Been Dumped by Tayshia and Clare:

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

The Men Who Are Going to Soon Be Dumped by Tayshia:

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

The Bachelorette airs on ABC on Tuesday at 7/8 p.m.

Leave a Reply