Alright folks. Remember last week when ABC ripped our still-beating hearts from our chests and we were forced to watch Rachel send Dean home after arguably the most emotionally charged segment in Bachelor franchise history? They made a valiant attempt to kill the barely quivering hearts of their audience again this week; however, it seems that the weapon they chose for this round was pure, unadulterated boredom. I mean, my God – there have been terrible episodes of this season but this week brought us two hours of absolutely nothing happening. In a classic Bachelorette bait-and-switch, Rachel informed the dudes that before they got to jet off to Rioja, Spain, for romantic Fantasy Suite Dates, they would instead be meeting her family in Dallas, one by one. You know, execution style. Apparently, her sister was mega-pregnant during filming and wouldn’t be able to travel to Spain for the finale, so this is the dudes’ only chance to meet the Lindsay family before the final rose ceremony. Talk about a boner killer. Let’s break it down.
Peter Meets the Parents
Peter is the first dude up to bat, and before their arrival at the Lindsay manor, Rachel takes him to a boutique shop to pick up baby clothes for her pregnant sister’s unborn spawn and her nephew Alistair. With a name like Alistair, that poor kid never had a chance. Hopefully, Peter gets him something that tears won’t easily stain. They pick out some matching onesies and get the hell out of dodge. I’m already bored.
Before Rachel leads Peter into what ABC is pretending is her family’s house, he stops her outside. “Before we go in, there’s something I need to say,” Peter says, prompting the couple to sit down on the ledge of the landscaping. Seriously, you’re going to have this conversation in the shrubbery? There was a camera in the car. There are always cameras everywhere. Her family is watching you from inside the dining room, all crowded around, peeking through the slats in the blinds like an episode of Friends – you know that, right? Whatever.
Peter starts by saying, “So I feel like the last thing that I told you when we were sitting on the stoop of my family’s house wasn’t exactly what I meant to say, in a way.” For reference – he told her that he wasn’t ready to get down on one knee and propose to her yet, which is totally normal after dating someone for six weeks but also a cardinal sin in Bachelor culture. Real Catch-22. “Maybe you don’t even remember it…” Peter trails off. Bro. Don’t fall into that trap. You think the North remembers? Rachel fucking remembers.
Rachel does make a half-assed attempt to play it cool. “No, I remember our conversation. We talked about a lot of things…I guess I’m just wondering exactly what you’re referring to…” There should be police lights and sirens to alert Peter to Rachel’s tactics. This is clearly a variant of the “I’m mad, and you should know what you did to make me mad” conversation; it’s really the first time that we’ve seen Rachel be remotely passive aggressive this season. It’s a weird vibe, and my balls retract just a little bit for some extra protection during this exchange. “Well,” Peter continues. “What I should have said was that I’m so happy to be with you and that you mean the world to me. And I want you to know that I’m falling in love with you.” As soon as she hears those quasi-magical words, her entire demeanor changes. “Well,” Rachel replies. “In case you didn’t know, I’m falling in love with you too!” Great, exactly what she said to Dean before she ruined all of our lives in one fell swoop. Regardless, they kiss, tongues lightly darting between their perfectly gapped teeth.
As Rachel and Peter (finally) walk into her house, they are greeted by Rachel’s mom, her sister Constance and brother-in-law, her aunt and uncle, and her cousin. Once again, her dad is not around, probably because he’s a federal judge and has better shit to do than this. As Peter sits down to eat with her family, he again announces to everyone that he’s falling in love with Rachel, and also lets everyone know he just told Rachel this a few moments ago. “We could hear all that bullshit through the windows,” Constance muttered.
While Rachel talks to her sister Constance about her experience on the show (translation: her need for a husband right now) thus far, Peter talks to Constance’s husband Alex. Alex is quite possibly the whitest dude ever, and looks like the love child of Zach Galifianakis and Jim Gaffigan, except more ginger and less funny. Literally nothing productive is discussed in either of these conversation so I’ll spare you the mind-numbing details.
The only important conversation of the date takes place between Mama Lindsay and Peter. She grills him for a little while about what he sees in her daughter and his intentions, and again, Peter is upfront with the fact that he isn’t in a place where he feels ready to propose to Rachel just yet. “The way I see it,” Peter explains, “is that I only want to get engaged once. I am definitely committed to Rachel and I want to continue to develop that relationship, but I’m not at a point where I can say that I am ready to marry her just yet, so I am not going to ask you for your daughter’s hand in marriage.” Mama Lindsay slowly nods before speaking. “You’re normal. I like that. Thanks for not buying into this crazy shit. You can stick around.”
Eric Meets the
It isn’t until Eric’s date that I realize this episode is going to play out like Groundhog Day, except instead of reliving the same day over and over again, we’re going to have to relive the same shitty date over and over again. Eric is the next victim, and in typical Eric fashion, everything he does is insufferable.
Before meeting her family, Rachel takes Eric out for brunch, hoping that she can mask the fact that he’s weird as fuck with champagne. Good luck and God bless on that one, Rachel. There aren’t enough grapes on the damn planet to pull that off. Over their eggs benny, Eric attempts to sweet talk Rachel, saying “You know I’m ready for this. I’ve had a girlfriend before, and I went home with her from college to her parents at Thanksgiving, so like I know what this means.” I want to die. Death come swiftly.
I didn’t take a lot of notes about this segment, because I was too busy hiding my eyes behind a pillow because I couldn’t bear the awkwardness any more. It’s becoming physically painful for me. “It’s very important that Rachel’s family likes me,” Eric tells the camera before sitting down and launching into a ten-minute-long monologue about how most of the men in his family were drug dealers and went to prison and other assorted fucked up things about his family and his life in Baltimore that any normal person would leave for the Lindsay clan to discover on their own at his and Rachel’s wedding reception when it’s too late to apologize. Sometimes honesty isn’t the best policy, and methinks that the first five minutes of meeting potential in-laws definitely qualifies as one of those moments. Dude, if you really love her, lie.
As the date progresses, Rachel pulls her cousin Andrea aside. “So!” she asks. “What do you think about Eric?” Andrea pauses for a moment before answering. “Eric….Eric…which one is he again?” Confused, Rachel replies, “The guy you just talked to that has a 33% chance of marrying me and about a 73% chance of getting it in on his next date!” Andrea gulps. “OH! Eric! Of course. Yeah…uhh, he’s great.” Rachel furrows her brow. “It doesn’t seem like you mean that,” she challenges. Actively avoiding any eye contact with Rachel, Andrea racks her brain for an excuse to leave. “You know what,” she tells Rachel. “I think I left my straightener plugged in, so I have to go!”
The icing on this awkward cake is Eric’s conversation with Rachel’s mom. He starts on a strong note. “I am in love with your daughter because she is a woman who is also in front of me and we have a connection and I would like your permission to propose so we can get married.” The sound of a brief gulp escapes from Mama Lindsay’s throat as she manages to swallow that little bit of vomit that escaped as Eric asked for her blessing before she calmly replied, “Rachel’s father and I love Rachel, and we support her no matter what, so if what she wants at the end of this is a proposal from you, then we would support her in that decision, if that is indeed the decision that she chooses to make, which I suppose is a possible outcome of this situation we have all found ourselves in once again.” She smiles at Eric, who is literally too dumb to realize that she did not, in fact, give him permission to propose to her daughter.
Little Fockers Bryan Meets the Parents
Bryan is the final suitor to meet Rachel’s family, but before she takes him home, she makes a pit stop at a rooftop brunch spot to introduce Bryan the two friends that signed her up for The Bachelor in the first place. Rachel’s friends seem like the type of people who would sign someone up for the The Bachelor, and by that I mean these girls are thirsty as fuck. One of them managed to climb halfway up Bryan’s leg before Rachel managed to shoo her off by spraying her with some champagne. It makes sense that she would introduce Bryan to them, given that Peter is a normal human and she probably doesn’t want to be seen in public with Eric.
They chat for a while and Bryan is his usual charming self. Her friends start with a softball question. “So Bryyyyy, tell us about yourself!” It appears that they may have been hitting the sauce for a while before Rachel and Bryan showed up, nevertheless Bryan launches into a well-rehearsed speech. “Well my name is Bryan, I’m thirty-seven years old, I’m a chiropractor, I’m in love with Rachel, and I’m ready to start a family.” As soon as he finishes, the camera pans to Rachel’s friends. They have stopped moving, their eyes totally fixated on Bryan, pupils dilated like sharks mid feeding frenzy. A small drop of drool escapes one of their mouths, while the other mutters, “You can make me pregnant right now, big guy.” Rachel clears her throat. “Sorry, didn’t quite catch that. What did you just say?” As the silence is broken, her friends snap out of their apparent trance. “What did I say? Oh, nothing. That was supposed to be an inside thought! Damn Rach, you know how to pick them!” Everyone laughs and they toast their mimosa glasses, but Rachel decides to leave shortly after she notices her friend making a piss poor attempt at removing her bra through the sleeve of her blouse to hand to Bryan. “Great to see y’all!” she quips, quickly dragging Bryan from the she-wolves. If she decides to pick Bryan, she better get used to that shit.
As Rachel and Bryan head back to the Lindsay manor, Rachel preps him on the family members he’ll be meeting. “My mom, my older sister and her husband, my uncle who is an anesthesiologist…” Eric interjects, asking “Oh, your uncle is a doctor too?” Rachel narrows her eyes. “Yes,” she replies. “But like, a real one, babe.”
From the moment Bryan enters the Lindsay household, it becomes abundantly clear that no one in the family buys in to any of his shit. In fact, I would wager that the expression on Rachel’s sister Constance’s face any time Bryan spoke would be the same as the face she’d make if he actually was defecating on the carpet in front of her. Right out of the gate, Bryan shoots himself in the foot by proclaiming that his psycho mother Olga is the most important woman in his life. I love my mother dearly, but when that’s the first thing a thirty-seven-year-old man says when meeting potential in-laws, it’s a huge red flag. Mama Lindsay immediately latches on to this and asks, “So let’s say that
the love of your life your mother and your wife disagree on something – where would your loyalties lie?”
This is an easy question, however Bryan struggles to answer it. “Well the thing is, I love my mother very much. And also she’s going to see this when it airs, so could we maybe move on to the next question?” Mama Lindsay doesn’t budge, so Bryan continues to talk to fill the silence. “I mean, we’re all adults. I’m sure my wife and my mother could figure something out on their own.” Again, Mama Lindsay is not impressed. “Let’s say they can’t reach an agreement. Whose side do you pick,
Oedipus Bryan?” The look on Bryan’s face reminded me of how I felt about six hours in to the second day of testing of my last board exam – you know, that I had to take to become an actual doctor – on a questions that I had no idea how to answer. Except that question was about medicine, not common sense relationship shit. Sensing his struggle Rachel elbows him sharply. “Your wife,” she hisses. “I’M LOYAL TO THE WIFE!” Bryan shouts, his dilemma solved by the voice in his ear, which for once wasn’t Olga.
Bryan continues to dig himself into a deeper hole when he tells everyone that he’s in love with Rachel. “It’s been like a month,” Mama Lindsay interrupts. “Why don’t you snap one off in the bathroom and see if you still feel the same way after that? There’s some fresh towels, and you can just drop them in the trash can when you’re finished. Make sure to wash your hands, we’ll be having dinner soon!”
If you thought we’d hit rock bottom, dear readers, things continue to get worse. Rachel’s family was very pleasant during their time with Peter and Eric, but things get downright confrontational with Bryan as the day progresses. Sister Constance flat out tells him that she thinks he’s charming, but doesn’t see him as being a sincere person. Rachel becomes more and more defensive, growing angrier at each question her family asks Bryan. It’s uncomfortable for everyone involved, and especially us at home because it makes for a convincing argument that Rachel wouldn’t react this way unless Bryan was already the favorite in her mind. Fuck.
Eventually Bryan takes time to talk to Mama Lindsay. Bryan lays down more of his classic bullshit, but this time with a twist. “I just want to let you know that if at the end of all this, if Rachel picks me, I will be proposing to her.” I’m sorry – did I miss something there? No? So Bryan just informed Rachel’s mom that he was going to propose? Cool. Definitely not a total douchebag move or anything. He does backpedal once he realizes that maybe his approach wasn’t the most prudent in this situation, adding “I would love and appreciate your blessing,” but the damage is done. Regardless, Mama Lindsay acquiesces to his request, slipping a Benjamin to a producer on her way out. “You know what to do. Just make it look believable, like a tragic gasoline fight or something like that,” she whispers before turning around to Bryan once again. “Y’all have a great time in Spain now!”
Fantasy Suite Date with Eric
After sitting through an hour and fifteen minutes of pure hot garbage, we finally arrive at what we wanted to see during this episode in the first place:
Conjugal Visits Fantasy Suite Dates. Was it worth the wait? Just like everything else in this franchise, absolutely not. If the first two thirds of this episode were hot garbage, Eric’s date in Spain was more like a well-used Port-O-Potty at a State Fair on a muggy summer evening when the demolition derby coincides with dollar chili dog night. This shit was unbearable, y’all.
Rachel and Eric get in a helicopter and fly over northern Spain. Eric remarks to the camera “Every time we go over a mountain, it’s like there’s more on the other side.” Yes, that is indeed how living on a spherical planet works, Eric. Spheres do not have edges or corners. Eventually they land at some coastal castle that looks like it belongs in GoT and mosey their way across the bridge leading to it. They don’t really talk; instead they just make out and look wistfully into the distance. It’s stupid. They’re stupid. This is all so stupid.
At dinner, Rachel tells the camera that she needs to hear more from Eric about what he’s feeling if he expects to
get it in be invited into the Fantasy Suite. Their conversation went a little something like this:
Rachel: “Tell me how you’re feeling.”
Eric: “I’m feeling good, you know?”
Rachel: “Tell me how you’re feeling about me, then.”
Eric: “I feel good about you!”
Rachel: “But what does that mean?”
Eric: “I feel like this is the real deal. You know, like love.”
Rachel: “How do you know that you love me?”
Eric: “I had a girlfriend before so I know things, you know? And with you, I feel things, like feelings.”
Rachel: “What specifically about me do you love?”
Eric: “You’re strong and beautiful.”
Rachel: “Anything else?”
Eric: “You are here right now.”
If I had an icepick, I would have used it to give myself a lobotomy right then and there. Rachel apparently did not feel the same way that I did and was so impressed with Eric’s words that she invited him to the Fantasy Suite so she could spend the night with something besides just his name in her mouth.
Fantasy Suite Date with Peter
Peter’s Fantasy Suite date started with approximately seven minutes left in this week’s episode, so we already there was some fuckery to be had. The couple go to a vineyard, where they pretend to understand Spanish while the proprietor tells them the story of meeting and falling in love with his wife. “That’s so bueno,” Rachel replies. “But we’re going to go leave and bebemos vino ahora. Gracias!”
They sit outside and toast to some bullshit with a nice red that I wish I was taking to the face currently to numb the pain of sitting through episode. Seriously, Chris Harrison, why have you forsaken us? As the afternoon progresses, Peter tells Rachel, “By the way, I didn’t ask your mom for permission to propose. Actually, I specifically said that I wasn’t going to ask for permission yet.” Just as Rachel is gearing up to have a fight, she is distracted by a small Spanish child holding a flower. Ovaries aglow, she follows the child instead of informing Peter once again that she’s not looking for a boyfriend. We get it Rachel, you want to be two knuckles deep in that Neil Lane ring before this is over.
Somehow Rachel and Peter end up near the vineyard fields and start stomping grapes like they’re in I Love Lucy because why the fuck not. They make out and it’s a tender moment, and for an instant I think maybe everything really will work out just fine.
That evening, Rachel finally breaks her silence about wanting a proposal. “I’m not…” she starts, before Peter finishes her sentence. “Here to find a boyfriend. I know. But here’s the thing. I see engagement as a big deal – to me, it’s basically the same thing as marriage. When I propose to someone, I see that as saying ‘I’m marrying you and now it’s just a matter of figuring out when,’ not just a symbol of a more serious commitment. I want you to know that I’m committed to you, Rachel, but I’m not at a place where I am ready to marry you just yet.”
Rachel ponders for a moment, compiling a list of every reason why Peter is wrong. “I guess I see it differently. I see engagement as just that – a commitment. We don’t have to get married right away and it gives us more time to figure things out, but it says that our love is real, and that’s what I want at the end of this. And unless one of us bends, I don’t know how where we’re going to go from here.”
Peter responds gently, saying, “I don’t really know what to say.”
“I don’t either,” Rachel replies.
The camera cuts away to an interview with Rachel, where she says, “It was that moment that the future that I could see with Peter just disappeared, and with that, the episode ends.
This wedding is horseshit. Everything is the worst. I hate this show. We’ve got two weeks left folks – Men Tell All next week and the finale after that. Stock up on booze because I feel like we’re in for a bumpy ride. See you then. .
Image via Twitter / The Bachelorette