Alright, folks. After suffering through two weeks in a predictable purgatory of waiting for JoJo to kick James Taylor and Alex to the curb, we’ve finally made it to Hometown Dates. If there’s anything better than watching these asshats parade around making fools of themselves on national television, it’s seeing the type of people that spawned them. Jesus take the wheel. Let’s break it down.
Hometown Date with Chase
As the camera pans across the frozen tundra that is apparently Highlands Ranch, CO, we see Chase brooding atop a hill. Instead of looking like Jon Snow perched atop The Wall, he looks like he’s fresh off a Carhartt photo shoot. Is that his post-Bachelorette plan? Those don’t seem like right reasons to me.
JoJo shows up and does a great job pretending to be excited to trudge around in a shit ton of snow with one of her four boyfriends. She tells the camera that her relationship with Chase started off hot and heavy, but she feels like it hasn’t really progressed since the beginning of the season. This makes sense, because I’m fairly certain that Chase hasn’t spoken since Week 3.
Since Chase wants to make sure JoJo’s time in Colorado is romantic and memorable, he takes her to a beautiful cliffside overlook. It’s a strong move, up until the point that he decides to spend the date sitting on top of a slab of rock surrounded by snow talking about his parents’ divorce. After about twenty seconds of this, JoJo remembered why she liked it better when Chase didn’t speak. Her mind wanders for a bit, stopping on the moment from Kaitlyn’s season of The Bachelorette when Cupcake nearly threw himself (and his infinity scarf) off the Cliffs of Moher. “Should I do it?” she ponders. “I could get a running start and nope the fuck out of here right now.” Eventually, she notices that Chase has returned to his normal, silent self. “Thanks so much for sharing that. It means so much that you can open up to me,” JoJo tells him. Who says dudes are the only ones that get bored when people talk about their feelings?
Their next stop is Chase’s house. I’ll admit, he’s got some solid digs; I jotted down more notes about how he decorated his place than about his conversation with JoJo. Chase’s dad stops by to meet JoJo. It’s boring. They spend more time talking about the divorce, so I decide to refill my wine glass. I wanted to make sure that the bottle I selected was on par with the classiness of this week’s episode, so I went with a bottle of Kirkland Signature Malbec from Costco. It was a gift, okay? As I poured, I noticed that this particular vintage was bottled in Mendoza, Argentina… the same place where JoJordan smashed all those grapes with their feet. At first, I was repulsed, but then realized drinking wine JoJo had a part in making would actually be pretty hot. I forgo the glass and start drinking out of the bottle.
Chase’s dad offers him some parting advice before Chase leaves to go to him mom’s house like it’s the Christmas of 2003 all over again. “Don’t screw things up like I did, son. Treat her right. Plus, she’s a total smokeshow. If you don’t end up with her, I’m going to make a play for it.” Chase gives his dad a hug, and the couple departs to meet the rest of his family.
When Chase and JoJo arrive at his mom’s house, the first thing I notice is that his mom looks like what would happen if fortune smiled upon us and allowed younger versions of Glenn Close and Sigourney Weaver to have a love child, and I take to Twitter to let our friends at home playing Hometown Dates Bingo know that I would definitely bang her.
Spoiler alert – they spend more of the date talking about this goddamn divorce. I’m over it. Why can’t Chase be over it? He spends some time talking to his sister, discussing how they don’t say “I love you” to people. It seems healthy. Apparently Chase’s moratorium on the L word was short-lived however; as he walks JoJo out, he tells her “I’m falling in love with you. It’s scary for me to say, but it’s real.” Jesus Christ. I’d almost rather be watching the RNC than this shit. Almost.
Hometown Date with Jordan but without Aaron Rodgers
Leaving Chase in Colorado and heading for less snowy locales, JoJo’s next stop is Chico, California. I don’t know where Chico is, and I don’t care enough to find out. Like a true has-been, the first place Jordan takes JoJo is his high school.
Jordan A Bachelorette producer paid off the secretary to put “Welcome JoJo” up on the marquee, and the two walk hand in hand around campus for a bit. Jordan introduces JoJo to his old football coach and a woman who was either his Spanish teacher or his favorite custodian.
Their next stop is the school’s library. “I love going to places I’ve never been before when I’m with you!” Jordan tells JoJo. They make out in the stacks for a while, and I’ll admit, I’m a fan of that. It’s because I’m a huge nerd, but I’m okay with that. JoJo asks Jordan about the girls he dated in high school, and he tells her “I actually never had a girlfriend in high school.” Translation: I was banging a lot of girls in high school.
After their library action, JoJo tries to make a beeline for the projection room above the auditorium, but instead Jordan makes her stop in some office where there are pictures of him in a football uniform plastered all over the walls. Alongside them are even more photos of some other blurred out dude. Who could it be? Possibly Pleasant Valley High School’s most famous alumni Aaron Rodgers who did not agree to be featured on The Bachelorette? Methinks yes. When JoJo asks Jordan about Aaron, he brushes it aside, unwilling to talk about his brother. If Chase’s parents’ divorce was the dead horse that we beat during the last hometown, and an actual dead horse was the dead horse we beat last week, Aaron Rodgers is the next horse that’ll be on its way to the glue factory after this date.
Once Jordan is finished reliving the glory days, they head to his parents’ house. JoJo stops outside the front door to tell Jordan she’s nervous. “Feel how fast my heart is beating!” she tells him. It’s a solid move on her part; she knows that he can’t tell the difference between her heart and her boob. That groping is all the confidence JoJo needs to strut in and greet the Rodgers.
As JoJordan steps inside, they’re greeted by quite the welcoming committee. My attention is drawn first to Jordan’s mom, and even though the skin on her neck looks like a vagina, I definitely would not bang her. Papa Rodgers looks a Snapchat face swap between Frankenstein and Sloth Fratelli from The Goonies. Jordan’s oldest brother Luke and his girlfriend are there as well. I think the more weight Luke gains, the bigger his girlfriend’s hair gets. Thankfully ABC sprung for a wide angle lens to capture the couple for our viewing pleasure.
The group sits down at the dinner table to eat and exchange awkward pleasantries. Mama Rodgers tells JoJo that she calls Jordan her “spicy child” because “He’s a combination of spicy and well behaved.” It literally makes no sense. She must have doubled up on her Xanax for today because she is not partaking in the same reality as the rest of us. As dinner goes on, JoJo tells the camera “There are two empty chairs at this table, and I know their whole family wishes that Aaron were here. To be honest, I only really care about meeting Olivia Munn, but I’ll play along.” Also that assessment is entirely full of shit; I’d wager my left nut the producers put those extra chairs there for dramatic effect.
After dinner, Jordan sits down with
Cool Hand Fat Face Luke. I wonder if Jordan or Luke had the fuckboy haircut first. Luke is completely supportive of JoJordan, saying “As your bro, I want you to be insanely happy. Hell yeah.” Does Luke want to be Guy Fieri when he grows up? If so, he’s well on his way. While this is happening, JoJo is talking to Papa Rodgers, who has incredibly aggressive stitching on his jeans for a man of his age; although given his appearance, I suspect he may be aging in Benjamin Button years, so he’s probably actually only like 6 months old. I can’t concentrate on their conversation because I’m much too concerned that the skin on Papa Rodgers’s face may melt completely off if he gets too excited.
Before the date is over, Jordan spends some time talking with his
spirit guide mother. She asks him about his feelings towards JoJo, and he tells Mama Rodgers that he loves her. “Wow!” she whispers. “This could be your destiny.” I’m beginning to see why Aaron jumped ship.
As Jordan walks JoJo out at the end of the night, he tells her that he loves her and she breaks down a little bit. “I’m scared that at the end of this, if it is the two of us, you’re not going to want this to be for forever.” JoJo may have a better read on this situation than I’ve given her credit for – but Jordan reassures her, saying, “Don’t doubt how I feel. I’ll prove it to you every day.” This seems to help calm JoJo down, but that undercurrent of doubt is still there. We’ll see what happens in the upcoming weeks; in the words of Melania Trump, “It ain’t over till the fat lady sings.”
Keeping Up with the Hayes Hometown Date with Robby
Jojo’s next destination is St. Augustine, FL. The last time I was in St. Augustine, I ended up losing my sunglasses and bowtie at a wedding before ending up blacked out in the ocean in my underwear. I also had a lengthy conversation with a homeless man on the beach before vomming in the sand and stumbling back to my hotel. I would say that college was pretty crazy, but this happened in October. Based on the fact that Robby decided to only button the bottom button on his shirt for this date, I’m going to venture a guess that JoJo’s trip to St. Augustine is going to be about as productive as mine.
JoJo tells the camera “One of my favorite things about Robby is his ability to be emotional and vulnerable. It’s like having a gay best friend. Wait…” When Robby arrives, the first thing he tells her is that he doesn’t know how to whistle. Well, Robby, I don’t know how to ride a unicycle, and I don’t expect anyone else to give a shit about that. Regardless, JoJo whistles for him, and on cue, a horse-drawn carriage arrives to cart them around St. Augustine. Seriously ABC, enough with the damn horses. What have they done to you?
Once they finished rolling around the city, they head to a beach front bar, where JoJo blindsides Robby with a few serious questions. “So you’ve been broken up with your girlfriend for three months and now you’re in love with me? Do you have some personality flaw or dependency issue I should know about?” JoJo asks. Robby seems shocked that she’s asking this super reasonable question. “I haven’t even thought about my ex. Why would I? I mean look at you.” It’s smooth, and I hate him for that.
After getting loaded on Mai Tais and braiding each other’s hair, Robby takes JoJo to meet his family. His mom, Holly, seems like she spends a lot of time trying to be a cool mom. She’d probably get along pretty well with Momjo if we’re being honest. Robby’s dad apparently goes by “Coach,” which makes me want to rip my ears off my own head so I don’t have to hear another word he utters ever again.
It appears that Robby’s two brothers are also fans of the single bottom buttoned up look. Is this some fashion forward trend I’m missing out on? Scratch that, even if it is, I’ll never do that shit. He spends time talking to them alone. It’s super bro-ey. Just kidding, they talk about feelings and panic attacks. Robby’s voice also jumps about an octave when he’s talking to them. It’s a real hen party over here, folks.
While the boys are dishing, JoJo talks to Cool Mom Holly alone. She asks her about Robby and his ex as well. Holly sidesteps the questions, telling JoJo, “Well, there’s always a chance that you’ll get hurt in anything you do. But, if Robby envisions you in his future, he’ll go in full force.” After telling JoJo this, Holly leans back and whispers to herself, “Good thing I know she won’t be a part of his future. He’ll be mine forever. FOREVER.” JoJo clearly doesn’t hear Holly’s sinister plan, because she continues, telling Robby’s mom “I’m falling in love with him.” I spit out my wine. What the actual fuck. Robby? ROBBY? This is why we can’t have nice things.
Robby and Holly spend some quality time chatting. As Holly lovingly caresses Robby’s upper thigh, she reveals that she has some bad news for him. Apparently his ex-girlfriend’s roommate has been telling people that Robby dumped his ex simply to go on The Bachelorette, which is probably true. Upon hearing this revelation, Robby freaks out. He brushes his mom’s hand off his half chub and storms into the room where JoJo is talking with his sisters, demanding to speak to JoJo alone.
Robby sits down and takes JoJo’s hand. “Out in the world, there is some chatter going on about my past relationship that is being spread by my ex-girlfriend’s roommate that insinuates I’m not here for the right reasons. I would very much like to be excluded from this narrative, one that I have never asked to be a part of, since three months ago.”
JoJo takes a more rational approach. “Why the hell would your ex-girlfriend’s roommate make shit up about you, you asshole?” She backs him into a corner, demanding that he tell her right now if there is any truth to the rumors. He continues to deny it. I’m guessing that Robby has gotten a lot of practice denying certain rumors. “My relationship was over 9 months before it actually ended.” Robby assures JoJo. “I didn’t have the capacity to end it when it should have ended and I have her the benefit of the doubt. It ended up in a blow-up fight and she slapped me. It’s over and I will never speak to her again.” The image of Robby getting bitch slapped makes me really happy, so if anyone can hook me up with his ex’s contact info, I’d like to send her a bottle of wine or something.
Robby walks JoJo out as the date is ending amidst a torrential downpour. The symbolism this show can conjure out of nowhere is nothing short of magical. Thankfully, Robby has a clear umbrella to shield JoJo from the storm. I wonder if he borrowed it from my grandmother, because she has one just like it that she uses every other week after she gets a perm. The date ends with JoJo telling Robby that she trusts him and me rolling my eyes so hard I think I saw my brain.
Hometown Date with Luke
The last hometown date of the episode goes to Luke. JoJo arrives in Burnet, Texas, and takes one look around before asking a producer “Where the hell am I? Is there a Target here?” She tells the camera that it’s important for her to see more of Luke’s emotional depth on this date. She’s had plenty of opportunities to see that before, but given that any time they’re alone she jumps his bones, I can understand that she may have not been paying attention to that particular facet of him.
When Luke arrives, JoJo climbs up into his truck and they take off. After driving for a while, she remarks, “Wow…we’re really in the country.” Luke nods, and makes a right hand turn. “Wow…” JoJo continues. “This is an actual dirt road.” Nothing gets past this one.
As they arrive at Luke’s house/farm/la estancia, JoJo asks “Luke, why are there so many cars here?” Instead of an intimate gathering with his family, Luke invited the entire population of Burnet to show up to meet his TV girlfriend. On the outside, JoJo says “It’s so cool to see all these people who support Luke!”, but on the inside, she’s saying “Seriously, who the fuck are all these people?”
Luke introduces her to his parents and his sister. They all have the same hamster face and smile as Chris Soules. Luke spends some time talking with his dad, who appears to be quite the voice of reason. “Don’t make this decision under pressure. We support you,” he tells his son. Luke confides in his father that he thinks he’s falling in love with JoJo. Their conversation continues, with Luke’s dad reminding him of how proud he is of the man Luke has become and how grateful he is that Luke came back from fighting overseas. I don’t know if it was the Costco foot wine, but this exchange really tugged at ole Crick’s heartstrings.
After introducing JoJo to the rest of Burnet, Luke takes her on yet another horseback ride. JoJo really needs to lay off straddling things before the Fantasy Suites; I’d imagine there’s going to be a lot of mileage put on her lady parts in the next week. When they arrive at a stack of hay bales with blankets and pillows on them, they enter “serious conversation” mode. Luke tells her “I want this future. I want it to be us.” I want that too, Luke. You’re my boy, blue. (Just kidding Wells, you’ll always be my #1, fam.)
The date ends as Luke leads JoJo down a candlelit path to a heart made of rose petals. They make out and slow dance around and whisper sweet nothings to each other. I don’t even know what’s happening, but this seems like a gamechanger. I know the producers pull this shit to manipulate my emotions, and goddamn is it working.
The dudes roll up in separate limos to an airplane hangar decked out in with a private jet and a red carpet. Shortly after, JoJo arrives in a stellar blue dress; her breasts have never looked better. Come on now, we were all thinking it. Before walking into the hangar, JoJo stops for a chat with Chris Harrison. She tells him that she could be happy with any of these guys, but as the camera pans to her walking into the hangar we hear her voice saying, “I know what I need to do tonight, and I think I have to say goodbye to Luke.”
As my world comes crashing down around me, time seems to slow down. JoJo picks up the first rose, slowly twirling it between her fingers. I cannot fathom what is happening right now. She can’t send Luke home. I was not emotionally prepared for this possibility. I take a moment and pray to Chris Harrison that she changes her mind. As she looks up to meet the gaze of the dudes, I hear Luke’s voice. “JoJo, can I talk to you for a minute?” he asks. She drops the rose in her hands like its made of molten lava before answering, “Absolutely. Please.” Tentatively, my heart starts beating again, and I realize I’ve been holding my breath for like 50 seconds and am nearly unconscious.
Stepping outside the hangar, Luke finally tells her that he loves her. “Thank you,” JoJo responds. “The one thing that you’ve been wanting to say to me is the one thing I’ve been waiting to hear” She seems relieved; I hope this isn’t too little, too late.
As Luke walks back into the hangar, we see JoJo break down in tears. She tells the camera now she doesn’t know what to do, and that she’s afraid she’s going to make a mistake. Overcome by her emotions, she squats down, sobbing and actively losing her goddamn mind. With bated breath, America watches her, waiting for her to put on her big girl panties and let us know which three dudes she wants to bang, but instead the unthinkable happens.
“To Be Continued…” appears on the screen as the show cuts to black. Fuck you, ABC. Fuck you.
Next week promises us some big moves – we finally see the end of this fiasco, we have our three
conjugal visits Fantasy Suite dates as well as the Men Tell All Episode on Tuesday. Restock your wine and get ready for Fantasy Suite Bingo. See you then. .
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Image via John Naffziger