Alright folks. My most sincere apologies for how long this took to write – sometimes being a doctor gets in the way of my true passions – writing about The Bachelor. This week’s episode picks up in Bimini, right where we ended last week. Let’s break it down.
As the reality of Danielle and Kristina’s departure sinks in, the remaining four women contemplate their future in the living room of the villa. “Hold on a minute,” Corinne chimes in. “There are four of us left. There are four hometown dates. Am I still getting sent home? Should I ring for Raquel to come pack my things?” The other three women roll their eyes, unable to muster the fortitude to explain how to count to Corinne. Their judgmental gaze is interrupted by a knock at the door – it’s Nick.
Nick walks in carrying a bundle of roses and stands awkwardly in the middle of the room. “May I sit somewhere?” he asks them. “You can sit on my face,” Corinne whispers, barely audible over the sound of the other women scrambling to make room for Nick to sit next to them on the couch. Nick takes a seat and a deep breath, and explains his actions yet again. “So I sent Kristina home,” he starts. “I loved her in a lot of ways, but even with a barely functioning conscience, I knew it would be wrong to hit it and quit it with a Russian orphan. The rest of you haven’t had to deal with that kind of shit, so I won’t feel guilty not giving one of you a rose less than 24 hours after convincing you to sleep with me. But enough about that! Who’s ready to introduce me to their family?”
Nick continues explain that even though there are four hometown dates and only four of them remaining, he still wants to have the chance to accept a rose, since this is a process of mutual selection. I think Nick and reality may have different definitions of mutual selection. However, in a shocking turn of events, all four of the women accept the roses he offers. It’s like they know how this show works or something.
Hometown Date with Raven
The first date of the week goes to Raven. Wise move on the part of the producer’s to start off with setting the bar low for Nick. The camera pans across the booming metropolis of Hoxie, Arkansas, capturing the entire town in about half a second. I wouldn’t say that it’s a shithole, but if I was driving through and needed to stop to take a piss, I’d probably just hold it. Also, if I’m ever in a situation where I’m driving through Hoxie, please send help because obviously something has gone very wrong.
The date starts as Raven rides up to Nick on a four-wheeler. “What are we going to do today?” Nick asks nervously. Raven smiles, “Well there ain’t a lot to do in Hoxie!” she giggles. “We don’t have anything fancy like a mall or a restaurant or anything like that, so we go muddin’ and frog giggin’. Sometimes if things are really slow, we’ll dabble in misdemeanor level arson or try and tip a cow, but them bitches be fast. Let’s go!” She hands Nick a helmet and makes him climb on the back of her four-wheeler like the little bitch he is before laying on the hammer and flying into the nearest field like a maniac. Nick’s butthole clenches involuntarily as he holds on for dear life.
After Raven is satisfied that Nick believes she knows how to do a donut, and knows that he is terrified of her driving because she’s starting to feel the urine from him pissing his pants soak through her jorts, she drives them to a grain silo. “What the fuck is this?” Nick mutters and he hobbles towards the structure, legs unsteady underneath him as if he just spent a year at sea. The front of his pants are so wet they look like they’ve spent a year at sea as well. “Well,” Raven starts. “Back in Wisconsin, you showed me where you got it in for the first time, so I wanted to return the favor!” She takes him by the hand and leads him up the stairs on the side of the silo. Nick looks nervously over the railing, unsure if he threw himself off the silo where he standing currently that he would be high enough up to die or just end up maimed.
As they ascend higher, the sound of a siren pierces the silence. Hoxie’s one police car slides into the gravel parking lot next to the grain silo, and a squat officer hoists himself out of the car. Nick and Raven freeze on the silo staircase. “Y’all better come down off of that silo, ya hear?!?” the officer shouts at them. Raven adjusts her cleavage a bit before her and Nick head down the stairs.
“Hi there!” Nick says as they reach the ground. “Is there anything we can do for you?” Unlike 30 eligible Bachelorettes, this guardian of Hoxie is not impressed by Nick’s charm. “I need to see some ID,” he informs Nick flatly. Nick reaches for his wallet, but realizes he doesn’t have it – he didn’t bother bringing it since no establishment in Hoxie accepts credit cards and cash is for peasants. He turns to Raven. “Do you have your ID?” he asks. The officer interjects, “I know who this one is. She’s given me trouble her whole life!” Nick eyes dart back and forth between Raven and fat Barney Fife. “She’s my sister!” the officer announces with a smile.
Raven and her police officer brother have a good laugh about tricking Nick. “Is he adopted? You don’t look too much alike,” Nick whispers in Raven’s ear. She doesn’t react, so Nick continues, “Because, like, you’re really hot. And he looks like he should be an extra on Trailer Park Boys or something.” Raven giggles. “That’s the nicest thing anyone’s ever said to me!” she tells Nick.
Raven’s brother gets back into his car and goes back to patrolling the three roads in Hoxie as Raven and Nick get back on four-wheelers. There really must be nothing to do in this town. Another four-wheeler has miraculously appeared for Nick to drive himself, so the two of them continue their mudding adventure. Eventually they end up in a flooded swamp, where they climb off the four-wheelers and chase each other around in the water, splashing the cocktail of mud, stagnant water, mosquito eggs, and feces all over each other. Nick gently lays Raven down in the water before straddling her hips like he’s trying to ride her in cowgirl position as they make out. Is there something about Raven’s anatomy or Nick’s bedroom preferences we should know? Pretty much all of Raven is submerged in this cesspool as their foreplay continues; if we’re being honest, it’s less like a romantic moment and more like she’s filming a PSA for how to get a UTI right now.
After Nick and Raven have had enough fun with the myriad activities available in Hoxie, they stroll up to Raven’s house, where she introduces her new communal boyfriend to her parents and once again, to her brother. As the group sits down, Raven’s mom tells her they have important news. It turns out Raven’s father, who had been battling lung cancer, is in remission. It’s a touching moment, and honestly probably one of the happier things that has happened on The Bachelor. Tears flow like Niagara Falls. Raven tells the camera “I was worried my daddy wouldn’t live to see me get married! Well, he may still not live that long, but at least he made it long enough to see his daughter compete in a reality television dating show!”
Raven talks to both of her parents, telling them that she’s in love with Nick. If you’ve ever watched Hometown Dates before, this follows the exact same pattern as pretty much every Hometown Date ever. Initially her parents are like “Hey babe it’s been six weeks maybe pump the brakes” but then after a swift elbow jab to the ribs and another large glass of wine, they drink the Bachelor Kool-Aid and change their tune to “Well whatever makes you happy. If you’re happy, we’re happy. We love love.” It’s touching.
Eventually Nick speaks to Raven’s dad. “So, congrats on beating the cancer. That’s pretty cool. You know what else would be pretty cool? If you would be down with giving me your blessing to propose to your daughter. I know there are three women left and I’ve already asked two other families this question when I was on this show twice before, but I really hope you think I’m being sincere. There’s a 75% chance I’m going to bang your daughter, and after that happens, there’s a 66% chance I’ll send her home anyway with her honor besmirched, but your approval to do all of this is very important.”
Raven’s dad stops to think for a minute. “Well, you’re not the shit bag I anticipated you were going to be, so I guess that’s cool.” Raven walks Nick out to his car as the date ends. Just as she’s about to tell him that she loves him, she pussies out, sending him away with a kiss and a burning feeling when he pees.
Hometown Date with Rachel
Nick’s next destination is Dallas, where he meets Rachel in some park. Rachel tells the camera “Today, we’re going to do something Nick’s never done before!” Is it walk away from a Bachelor franchise show as the winner? I’m intrigued. What mystery activity does Rachel have planned? I rack my brain for unique things that she would take him to do in Dallas, but before I can think of anything, Rachel beats me to the punch: she’s taking him to church.
As they walk into the predominantly African American establishment, Rachel tells the camera, “Church is an important part of my life. I also want to make Nick as uncomfortable as possible. Plus if he can’t clap to the beat, this isn’t going to work out.” Nick plays along, swaying to the beat along with the rest of the congregation, but refraining for shouting any “AMENS” along with the sermon. The camera cuts to an interview with Nick. “Well, this is a little different from my church at home, mostly because I don’t go to church anymore.” He goes on to say that growing up, faith was important to his parents and he would like going to church to be a part of his relationship. He’s definitely going to need Jesus after the number of women he’s banged on national television goes up to five next week.
After Nick proved his moral fortitude by not being smote as soon as he walked into a church, Rachel takes him to meet her family. She tells him that her dad won’t be there because of “work obligations” which I’m sure is code for a point blank refusal to be associated with this dumpster fire of a television franchise. Everyone greets Nick politely, albeit with reservation, except for Rachel’s older sister’s husband. “Look! Another white guy! Hey! I’m white too!” he exclaims, in typically embarrassing white person fashion. I’m sure he’s well intentioned, but he looks like what would happen if Jim Gaffigan fucked Ed Sheeran and they had a love child. You’re going to be stuck with that image in your head forever, and I’m not sorry.
The family sits down for dinner, and Rachel’s mom asks Nick if he recognizes the food she served. “I sure do,” Nick tells her. “I read about okra in a textbook about the Civil War once. There was a chapter on it right before the story of the old wooden ship, Diversity.” As they try to eat dinner, different family members keep breaking off to have side conversations, as per Bachelor Hometown Date tradition.
The first of these conversations is with Rachel’s older sister and her husband, and they mostly discuss the challenges of interracial relationships. Rachel’s sister is pretty aggressive about it, while Nick and Rachel sit back and are just like “Yeah we’re pretty cool with this arrangement.” It’s uncomfortable. I’m uncomfortable.
The next conversation we see is with Nick and Rachel’s mom. She starts off with a statement everyone loves to hear when they’re meeting their potential future in-laws for the first time. “Let’s talk about the elephant in the room,” Rachel’s mom starts. “You’re white. Have you ever dated a black woman before?” Nick’s eyes dart from side to side, as if he’s searching for a bus to throw himself under. “I have dated black women before. In fact, I dated like 5 this season. That counts, right?” She doesn’t seem impressed, so Nick keeps talking to fill the silence. It’s cool, I do that too. “With Rachel, I mean, I’m not colorblind. I can see that she’s black…” he continues. Mom appears even less impressed than before; it seems that keen observation skills are not an important characteristic for potential sons-in-law. “…but with Rachel, things just feel right. I care about who she is as a person. Being black is part of that, but I see so many of the traits I’d want in a wife in your daughter.”
After talking with Nick, Rachel’s mom finds her daughter for a private conversation. They beginning of it focuses on about their racial differences (again) – to be honest, I tuned out because I was bored with that particular conversation…especially because we already know Rachel is going to be the Bachelorette and we’re going to be hearing this conversation a lot next season. However, Nick’s monologue was evidently enough to assuage Rachel’s mom’s fears; while she was initially very skeptical of Nick, she told Rachel that as long as she was happy, their relationship had the blessing of her parents. Heartwarming. Can’t wait to see more of her next season.
Sidenote – apparently Nick met Rachel’s dad off camera, which is a total power move. Not only does he refuse to bend to ABC’s requests, he gave himself to opportunity to say whatever the hell he wanted to Nick with no repercussions. Well done, good sir.
Hometown Date with Corinne
Corinne and Raquel are the next to get a Hometown Date. When Nick arrives in Miami (bitch), he tells the camera “My relationship with Corinne started from our physical connection, which was undeniable. I never thought I’d get hard inside a bouncy castle, but after that little adventure I had to flip it up into my waistband like it was sixth grade all over again. I don’t think I want to marry Corinne, but I definitely wanted to bang her more than Danielle M, and even though I was really hot for Kristina, I was too scared that she might cry after doing the dirty. Corinne seems like the logical choice to drop after the Fantasy Suite. If I have to meet her parents to get it in, it’ll still be worth it.”
If you’ve ever seen Clueless, you’ve seen Corinne’s hometown date. She picks him up in her convertible jeep with a smile, shouting “Get in loser, we’re going shopping!” Before you hit the comment section in anger, I know that’s not from Clueless. Anywho, Corinne tells the camera she’s taking Nick to one of the most exclusive malls in Miami to show him what a day in her life is really like. I have several questions. Since when have malls been exclusive? Is this a thing I’ve been missing out on? Are there bouncers? Is there a guest list? Is it only open twice a year during an eclipse? Or is in exclusive in that if you don’t have money, you can’t shop there, because that’s how stores in general work, Corinne.
Once they’re in Corinne’s natural habitat, she walks into each store like she owns the place, which we soon learn is because shortly after arriving, she does indeed own most, if not all, of the things in that place. She makes every shop attendant her bitch as they carry around clothes for her to try on and bring her champagne. I need to figure out how to get this to happen in my life. Did she pick up some tricks from How to Win Friends and Influence People, or does she have her own method? Maybe she should write a book. I’d buy it. Twice.
Corrine finally picks out an outfit for Nick to try on, since up to this point I’m fairly certain Corrine had forgotten Nick was even there; Corinne was like a shark in a feeding frenzy; her dead eyes focused on nothing but buying more shit. You can see the sheer panic in Nick’s face once he enters the dressing room. “I’m trying on sweatpants that cost $800,” he says as he pulls them on gently, as if they are made of fairy wings sewn together by unicorn eyelashes and glazed by angel tears. Actually, that shit would probably be cheaper, unless it was free range and fair trade, of course. “At least the sweatshirt that goes with it is only $650.” Corinne eventually throws down a pile of clothes on the cash register, and the cashier informs her that the total is $3400. Nick nearly strokes out, and coming from someone who feels immediate remorse for paying the upcharge for guac at Chipotle, I feel for him.
After their shopping spree, which appears to be a normal occurrence for Corinne, they sit down for a romantic lunch at the exclusive mall’s exclusive food court. They catch up over Sbarro before Corinne tells Nick that she loves him, and he pats her on the head as he looks over her shoulder to figure out if there’s an Auntie Anne’s or a Cinnabon up in this bitch.
The last part of their date is the part of this season I have dreamt about many times. Corinne leads Nick into her home, where he meets her parents, sister, and most importantly, Raquel. It’s an interesting group. Corinne’s dad looks like Jon Lovitz and her mom looks like a melting Barbie, so I’m not sure how Corinne ended up being hot. Her sister looks like she would murder Corinne in her sleep and then wear her face like a mask, so I’m glad she didn’t get much screen time. I have enough nightmares already.
The group sits down for dinner, and Corinne’s dad makes a big deal about these olives that he made. I’m confused – olives grow on trees, but if we’re being honest, I couldn’t pay attention to any of the conversation at the table because I was too busy watching Raquel serve lunch. Raquel is a gem. She barely speaks English, but it’s immediately clear how much she loves Corinne and her family. Melting Barbie Mom tells Nick that Raquel has worked for them for seventeen years; she’s a part of their family, which is actually really sweet. Weird, and probably contributing to her daughter’s failure to launch, but still sweet.
Eventually the family breaks off to have awkwardly taped conversations. The first conversation we see is with Nick and Raquel. I’m on the edge of my seat. She asks Nick what his intentions with Corinne are, and I melt. I’m 100% sure Raquel loves Corinne more than Corinne’s parents love Corinne. I can’t handle this shit. Raquel 2020, Raquel for Bachelorette, Raquel for everything, Raquel forever.
Corinne and her father talk as well, and his first question is “So will Nick make enough money to support my baby? What does he do anyway?” Corinne tells him that prior to his Bachelor franchise debut, he was a software salesman. Her dad chuckles. “Yeah, that won’t pay for your lifestyle. Are you cool with making more money than him?” Corinne also laughs; she knows this is an empty threat, because there’s no way Daddy will ever cut her off.
The last conversation we see is with Corinne and Melted Barbie Mom. Corinne tells her that she’s in love with Nick, and MBM responds with the most coherent statement of the episode. “That’s fine, honey, but this is fantasy. What happens when you come back to reality?” Even I’m scratching my head at that one. Corinne, however, is not about to talk any of this shit. “This is not fantasy!” she shrieks. “This is real! This is so real! We’ve been dating for almost six weeks!” Eventually MBM gives in to Corinne like everyone else in her life has always done before, and tells her that she’s happy for her.
Hometown Date with Vanessa
Since this is The Bachelor and we can’t ever end things on a high note, the producers saved Vanessa’s date for last. As it turns out her family is even more of a wet blanket than her. Maybe it’s genetic, or is it a Canadian thing? More on them later.
The date starts out with Vanessa taking Nick to the school where she works as a special education teacher for students over the age of 21. As the couple walks into the school, Vanessa’s students greet them with applause, roses, and hugs. They go to her classroom, where her student’s immediately start calling Nick her boyfriend. This is a power move on Vanessa’s part, because if she doesn’t win this thing, the heartbreak of this classroom is going to be on Nick’s conscience forever. Together, they all work on a scrapbook of memories of Nick and Vanessa’s two dates. Nick shows them photos of them floating in the zero gravity plane. “Look!” he says. “It’s like we’re in outer space. Just ignore the vomit floating through the air. Vanessa missed the barf bag a few times. It got in my hair…”
After leaving school, Nick asks what their next destination will be, and Vanessa replies, “Well, my parents are divorced, so I’m going to make you live through the hell of every holiday celebration like me and split time between my mom and dad’s side of the family. We’re going to Nona’s first!”
At Nona’s house, Vanessa’s mom’s side of the family ambushes Nick and Vanessa as soon as they come through the door. There are a shitload of them. Her mom is a sad shell of a woman, who has a personality slightly less optimistic than that of Eeyore. Her sister is eerily reminiscent of Janice from Friends and it turns out that her brother is Seth Green.
The entirety of their time at Nona’s is filled with rapid first questions. “What does he do for work? If you get married, will Nick move to Montreal? Does he put the end of the toilet paper over or under the roll? THESE ARE THINGS YOU MUST KNOW!” Vanessa’s sister tells Nick “I’ll literally hate you if you break Vanessa’s heart.” Nick nods slowly before leaning over to ask one of the producers to remind him of the sister’s name.
The entire segment of the date is aggressive and depressing and by this point in the episode, I don’t have the endurance for it. Apparently neither does Vanessa, because as she talks with Seth Green, he tells her that he is afraid her heart will get broken again and starts crying like a little bitch, which prompts Vanessa to start crying like a little bitch, which prompts me to start refilling my wine glass like a bored, cranky bitch.
After having her family remind her of what a terrible idea going on the The Bachelor was, Vanessa and Nick ditch Nona and her crew of party poopers and head to Vanessa’s dad’s place. There is a raging party going, and by that I mean her reserved father and his mute wife are silently sitting in the living room, awkwardly trying to not pay attention to the four cameras pointed at them. After introducing Nick, Vanessa talks to her dad and stepmom. It’s more of the same shit. I’m over it.
Things get interesting when Nick talks to Vanessa’s dad. He asks Nick what is so special about Vanessa compared to the other women, and he gives the same canned answer he word vomited to Rachel’s mom. At least he’s consistent. He goes on to ask her father if he would give his blessing for him to propose to Vanessa. Her dad follows that up with the question of the night. “Have you asked the other families that question?” Nick freezes. He was not prepared for this. He hems and haws like a donkey in heat before finally admitting that Vanessa’s father was indeed the fourth (sixth if you count the previous seasons, seventh if you count Nick’s actual previous engagement) father he had asked for permission to marry his daughter. Her dad is like “Yeah man, nah. Try again later”
After shooting Nick down, Vanessa’s dad tells her that Nick asked for permission to propose. She’s ecstatic. “I can’t believe it! This is going somewhere! He wants to marry me!” she exclaims, nearly beside herself. “He asked everyone’s father that question. Didn’t I mention that?” her dad interjects as Vanessa is furiously browsing the Neil Lane website with a phone she stole out of a producer’s pocket so he could accidentally show Nick the exact ring she wants. Her face falls. “What? I’m not the most special after all?” Her dad gives her a hug. “Oh, baby. You’ll always be the most special to me.” Over Vanessa’s shoulder, he makes eye contact with Nick as he slowly drags a finger across his neck, mouthing “I’ll fucking kill you” while Nick stares, wide-eyed in horror. As Nick and Vanessa depart, her dad whispers to his wife, “It totally worked. There’s no way he’ll be able to get it up next week without thinking about me. Cockblock complete.”
Nick decides to go to New York City for the Rose Ceremony because it’s his favorite city in the world. You do you, man. This segment of the episode starts at 9:53, which means we’ve got 7 minutes for Nick to get his ass out of the shower, get dressed, and start handing out roses. My heart rate starts to tick faster and faster. The camera is showing each of the girls arriving in NYC, pregnant with anticipation and not with Nick’s baby, which they hope they’ll have the opportunity to change within the next week.
There’s a commercial break from 9:55 to 9:57. I scream at the television. Vanessa reappears, telling the camera she has questions that need to be answered. I tell Vanessa that I don’t give a flying fuck about her questions; the only question I need answered is who is going home this week. As 9:59 rolls around, we see a woman in heels walking down the hall towards Nick’s suite. The camera cuts to Nick, flexing in the mirror when there is a knock at his door. He slowly walks over and opens the door. “Hello, Nick,” says a familiar voice that is not nearly whiny or Canadian enough to be Vanessa. As the door swings open, Andi Dorfman is standing outside. The screen cuts to black and the episode ends. That’s all we’ve got until next week. See you then. .
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