“I’m all out of faith, this is how I feel. I’m cold and I am shamed, lying naked on the floor. Illusion never changed into something real. Wide awake and I can see the perfect sky is torn. You’re a little late. I’m already torn.” Natalie Imbruglia, Torn
Hello everyone. Welcome to this week’s recap of what would normally be the overnight dates, but this time, was a bit of a hybrid of “meet the Lindsays” (minus papa Lindsay, of course, cause he’s a judge and he doesn’t play that fake TV bullshit) plus one and a half fantasy suite dates. Confused yet? Don’t worry. We all were. I’m guessing the reasons for switching up the order of things all season long will make sense in two weeks when we get to the finale, but until then, let’s just talk about what we saw this week, shall we?
This week, instead of straight-up fantasy suite overnights like we are used to seeing, Rachel threw us a curveball and had the men come to Dallas to meet her family before they flew off to an exotic location to spend some romantic time together. Her sister, Constance, is 37 weeks pregnant and unable to travel, so Rachel needed the men to come to her family home to meet everyone. Apparently, Constance is at that point in her pregnancy where she is also unable to fake whether or not she likes any of these guys, and having once been that pregnant myself, I have to say, I get it. Constance is a breath of fresh with every eye roll and every direct, hard-hitting question. She isn’t here to play, and I personally loved every second of it. Her husband, on the other hand, piped in at the most inopportune moments and said nothing of value in any of these conversations, but more on that later. Peter is up first to meet the family. Rachel and Peter go pick out gifts for her nephew Alistair and his baby brother, who’s due to arrive any day now. Peter remarks that he needs to step up in terms of showing Rach how he feels, because he thinks he was almost sent home last week. He tells her that he didn’t express himself properly at his home town date, and that he is falling for her. Meanwhile, back at the hotel, Eric and Bryan awkwardly gossip about how Peter has made it clear that he might not propose at the end. I mean, I get that it’s the point of the show, but am I the only one who thinks Peter may be the only smart one in the bunch? Getting engaged after a few weeks is bananas and often doesn’t work out, so his strategy of just getting to know one another and see how it goes makes a lot more sense. But Rachel has been very clear that she doesn’t want to go home with just another boyfriend, so there’s that.
Anyway, at Casa Lindsay, we find out that Peter’s parents got engaged after a month and have been married for 36 years. Rachel’s sis seems skeptical and Peter seems to pick up on this, as this is the most awkward I’ve ever seen him. Rachel and her sister go talk, and Constance’s husband (no idea what his name is, but again, the producers seem to really want us to notice that he, too, is white) says to Peter, “You know, she’s not perfect.” Come on, bro-in-law- he’s already lukewarm on a proposal. Throw Rach a bone, here. Peter answers like a champ, though, and says that he has yet to see a red flag. When Peter talks to Rachel’s mom, he admits that he’s not sure about a proposal at the end and therefore, doesn’t feel like it’s right to ask for her permission to marry her daughter. I feel like Mama Lindsay gets it, cause she seems to respect him for it. She tells him to just be honest with Rachel and not play with her heart. Peter charms everyone in her family, particularly little Alistair (who is ADORABLE) and Rachel’s cousin, whose name I don’t remember. Proposal or not, I still think he’s her soulmate and will be really sad if she doesn’t pick him. That said, if she doesn’t choose him in the end, I believe her loss will be our gain- Bachelor Peter, all the way.
Eric is next up to meet the family. He admits he’s rarely done this with any girlfriends, so he’s very nervous. They explore Dallas a little and calm their nerves with some pregame champs, which seems to chill him out a little. And just as we saw Eric and Bryan gossiping earlier, we see Peter and Bryan awkwardly making small talk at the hotel. Peter is as put off with Bryan’s cockiness as we all are and flat-out says, “I really don’t want to be sitting here with you right now.” Rachel and Eric make it to her house and I feel for poor Constance, having to drag her heavily pregnant ass over there not once, but three times, to pretend to want to hang out with these dudes. Eric jumps right into the tough childhood talk and tells his story. They all seem to like him, but Rachel admits to her cousin that the red flags with Eric are the fact that he’s never been in a long-term relationship or been in love. Constance, again, seems to have doubts. Eric lays it on thick with Mama Lindsay and ends up asking for permission to propose. I think he really likes her, but I in no way buy that he’s ready to get engaged. But I think it’s likely a non-issue anyway, because I don’t see any way she’s going to choose him. Rach’s mom hesitates slightly, but then gives her blessing.
Last but not least, the family gets to meet Bryan, and of course he’s overconfident about it. There is just nothing about him that seems genuine and I’m starting to suspect that he may have had some facial work done- namely cheek fillers, which is ironic, since Peter and Eric talk smack about Bryan’s hometown of Miami and the abundance of “fake boobs, fake asses and fake cheeks.” Rachel and Bryan meet her friends for brunch before they go meet her family and he charms both of her friends straight away. Rachel admits that when she first met Bryan, she thought he was a “douchebag” which may well have been true, but it didn’t stop her from heavily making out with him on night one. Bryan says he’s “in love with her” and her friends seem to buy it. Good on them, cause her family doesn’t seem to share that sentiment. They all seem a little unsure about him and Rachel gets pissed because she thinks they are giving him a harder time than any of the other guys. After professing that he’s a bit of a mama’s boy, Mama Lindsay asks him where he would stand if a conflict came up between his mother and his wife. He says he would side with the wife, but nobody seems to believe him and they keep grilling him. He excuses himself and Rachel lectures them for giving him a hard time. Just then, bro-in-law pipes up and chides Rachel for speaking harshly to her mother. The whole moment is so awkward and strange. Though all of it, Bryan and his puffy cheeks remain calm, cool and collected and that makes the family distrust him even more and Constance even remarks that his answers are “too perfect.” But Rachel sticks up for him every step of the way and her bro-in-law notes that her reaction to them shows him how much she really cares about Bryan. Bryan of course asks Mama for permission to marry Rachel and she somewhat grudgingly gives it to him, only after noting that she “trusts” Rachel’s judgment.
After the family stuff, we fly to Rioja, Spain for the overnights. Eric gets the first date and quite frankly, I didn’t pay a whole lot of attention cause it was pretty boring. They helicopter around and skip along the path and make out and they really start to bore me when they talk feelings. They just have no palpable chemistry as far as I’m concerned, but she seems kind of into him, or at least seems like she thinks she should be, so they decided to “forgo their individual rooms to stay as a couple in the fantasy suite.” I notice that he only has two basic looks- shirtless or wearing that blue wool jacket. First it’s the jacket, and then the morning after, he’s shirtless (I guess to alert us to the fact that there may or may not have been some hanky panky) and then he’s back to the wool jacket. Even after spending a night together, I still just don’t see a spark between them.
Peter’s one-on-one date is next and just like every season, when I watch the fantasy suites episode I always find myself wondering if it’s literally hours later or if there’s at least a few days in between these dates. Whatever the case, I hope she’s at least had time for a shower and a nap. They go to a gorgeous vineyard, where a guy speaks to them in Spanish that they pretend to understand and then he breaks into song, for some odd reason. He gives them the key to a mini-cellar for “Raquel y Pedro” and they pretend like that wine will forever be in that spot, waiting for Raquel y Pedro to come and retrieve it. The wine looks delicious and she looks super pretty at “dinner” where he tells of his family tradition that you save the cork of wine from a special night and write the names and dates on it. They cheers “to many firsts.” But things go from good to not great when they start to talk about getting engaged at the end. She again states that she didn’t come this far on her “journey” to leave with another boyfriend and he says that for him, engagement is pretty much the same as marriage- he only wants to do it one time and take it seriously. He says they may not be able to find common ground on this one, and she calls this “devastating” so of course, it is TO BE CONTINUED.
So that’s where we stand. Peter may or may not propose should he be the last one standing, Bryan will definitely propose but may or may not be doing so with a face freshly plumped with cheek fillers and Eric may or may not get engaged in that blue wool jacket. Next week, we have the Men Tell All, followed by “the most dramatic finale ever” in 2 weeks, and then it’s on to Paradise, where all the real action happens. And to think, BIP almost didn’t even happen this year. I mean, I probably could have found something to do with all that free time, but it just wouldn’t have felt like summer without those drunken fools trying to get more Instagram followers so they can sell more hair vitamins and flat tummy tea and Diffy eyewear. See you all next week for the Men Tell All.