“The trouble it might drag you down. If you get lost, you can always be found. Just know you’re not alone cause I’m going to make this place your home.” Phillip Phillips, Home.
Hello all, and welcome to this week’s Bachelor Nick recap. We’ve finally made it to hometowns, which is traditionally either a crazy episode (JoJo’s mom taking that bottle of veuve straight to the face or Kirk’s crazy taxidermist dad from Ali’s season come to mind) or a giant snooze, but somehow, this episode ended up coming in somewhere in the middle. I mean, there were definitely some boring moments, but we also got to see the gene pool that gave us Princess Corinne and we got to meet the famous Raquel, so it wasn’t all bad. So without further ado, let’s dive right in.
We open back in Bimini, where Kristina has just been sent home and the girls are confused about whether or not there is going to be a rose ceremony since there are four of them left. They know that typically four girls go to hometowns, but since Nick is “unpredictable” (their words, not mine. I think he’s been nothing but predictable this season), they aren’t sure. Nick enters with a handful of roses and asks to sit down. He says he sent Kristina home before the rose ceremony because he knew his mind was made up and he had too much respect for her to put her through that. He says that it’s still very much a “two-way street” and wanted to have a private rose ceremony with the ladies at the hotel. He even offers a rose to Raven, who already has one, because he says it has to be a mutual decision. Spoiler alert- they all accept the roses and get ready to head to hometowns.
First we head to Hoxie, Arkansas for Raven’s hometown. She makes this big speech about how she’s ready to tell Nick that she’s “falling in love with him” and correct me if I’m wrong, but didn’t she do that a few episodes ago, without much fanfare or reciprocation? Anyway, she goes on to explain some things that are fun in Hoxie and the only one I can even begin to decipher is “muddin'” whatever that is. This is hitting a little too close to home for me, having grown up in a tiny town myself, and I can think of nothing I would rather do less as an adult than ride four-wheelers or shoot guns or drive around in the mud. Anyway, she rides around on the requisite 4-wheeler and tells Nick about some tradition of climbing some “grain bins” (again, what?) when the police pull up. The cop asks Nick for ID, which he doesn’t have and then asks the same of Raven. It all feels a bit forced and suddenly, the cop deadpans, “She’s been giving me trouble my whole life” and we find out the cop is Raven’s older brother. He leaves and they continue 4 wheeling to their hearts’ content and Raven remarks that they are “about to get dirty.” They splash around in the mud and eventually lie down and make out in it, and all I can think is that it’s really not going to do much for Raven’s already dire hair extension situation. Nick says that their relationship is “moving at the fastest pace” and they continue rolling around in the dirt and the mud, presumably until it’s time to go meet Raven’s parents. They talk a little about Raven’s dad and his cancer and how she’s only ever brought one other guy home. I’m happy to see that a shower and a brush seem to have solved her hair issues, cause she looks pretty. Once they go in, she finds out that “daddy” is in remission and cancer-free and it’s a nice moment. She talks to her mom about Nick and says that he’s the kind of man she would want to marry. Mama Raven wants her to “put her heart out there.” Meanwhile, Nick talks to Daddy Raven and I can’t help but notice how smug Nick always looks when he’s trying to look sincere. He then asks Raven’s dad for permission to propose to her should they get to the end, to which Dad says, “I didn’t expect to like you- but you’re a likable guy” which I’m guessing means yes. Raven wants to tell Nick she loves him, but in the end, she chickens out and says something along the lines of “So…um…I should tell you…that…there’s no hesitation on my end of what becomes of this.” I’m not even sure what that means and I doubt Nick knows either, but he leaves and she wishes she would have told him she loved him.
Next, we head to Dallas Texas for Rachel’s hometown, and I have to say, now that I know she’s the new bachelorette, I really don’t care at all about her relationship with Nick anymore. But I like her and I want to get a glimpse of what her family is like, so I’m into it. She takes Nick to church with her and he’s pretty much the only white dude in there. I have to say, I like the way nobody is shying away from the conversation here- she says she wants to know if he would feel comfortable in a predominantly black church and he says he grew up going to a very different kind of church, but that he feels very welcomed. Later, Nick and Rachel talk before going to her parents house and he says, “I’m not color-blind. I know you’re black.” I guess this is his way of getting us to see how “woke” he is. (Are the kids still using that phrase? I can’t keep up.) Anyway, he says he’s attracted to Rachel as a whole and who wouldn’t be- girlfriend is gorgeous, smart and funny- but I do appreciate that Nick sees all of this, too. She tells him that her dad won’t be there because of work obligations and Nick almost looks relieved. She says her family’s approval could bring her closer to falling in love with Nick, so the pressure is on. He meets her mom, her younger sister, her cousin, her older sister, her brother-in-law and her nephew. Younger sis asks Nick if he “knows what all the food is” and Nick says he does. They are giving him a bit of a hard time, but definitely not in a mean way, as it is important (just for the tone of this visit) to note that Rachel’s older sister Constance is married to a white guy. Constance is cautiously optimistic about the relationship between Rachel and Nick, and she and her husband have a talk with him. “I can’t help but notice that you’re white” they say, and Nick admits that Rachel is his first serious relationship with a black woman. Later, Rachel’s mom asks the same question- “have you ever dated a black girl?” I feel like Nick is surprisingly rising to the occasion, though, and the family seems to like him. I mean, they are obviously not opposed to the idea of interracial dating (as nobody should be, ever, but especially not in 2017) because they have a white son-in-law. I think they just want to make the point that some other people might take issue with it and they want both him and Rachel to be prepared for that. I’m actually kind of impressed with the way the producers are handling this- not making it too big an issue but not glossing over it either. At one point Nick says, “I like her for the woman she is. She just happens to be black,” and I think it’s a good answer. Later, Mama asks Rachel how serious she is about Nick and Rachel says she could “see herself falling for him.” Rachel later says the day was perfect and I like her (and her family) so much that I’m really looking forward to next season of The Bachelorette. And I wonder if maybe Rachel makes the decision to leave instead of Nick being the one who doesn’t choose her. That would be a good twist and something that would help explain why they announced her as the Bachelorette so early.
We move on to Miami, and the moment we’ve all been waiting for- Corinne’s hometown. They immediately make out and Nick remarks on their “undeniable physical connection.” She tells him she’s going to take him shopping and they go to a bunch of high-end stores, where everyone seems to know Corinne, and her credit card, by name. “I enjoy the finer things in life” she says, as if that isn’t the biggest understatement ever made. Nick says, “I always thought I had expensive taste, and then I met Corinne” and all I can think is how Nick will never in a million years be able to afford Corinne once his reality show gravy train comes to an end. The shopkeepers really know Corinne well, as they ply them with champagne and tell her how great she looks in everything she tries on. She picks out a bunch of stuff for Nick to try and he gives her a Pretty Woman style “fashion show.” At one point he says the sweatpants he is trying on are $800, while the matching top is a mere $600. Oh, Corinne, if you walk away from daddy’s money to marry Nick, you’re in for a whole world of financial disappointment. She pays for some clothes for him (to the tune of just over $3K) and he tells her that it gives him anxiety because he is usually a “bargain shopper.” But I notice that he clings tightly to the bag as they exit the store, like the good, little kept man he will likely become should he choose Corinne. They talk for a bit before going to her parents’ house and she says, “I love you.” And then they make out some more. We get to her house and Corinne’s mom is exactly what I would have expected- bleach blonde hair, a great deal of work done and a vacant, possibly champagne-induced stare. Corinne’s dad seems like the stereotype of a big, Greek man that would be cast in a movie to scare away the American boyfriend. She also has a little sister, who I don’t think said one word the entire time we were in Corinne’s parents’ house. Daddy Olympios trots out his “famous marinated Greek olives” and they all take one and toast. Nick seems to be spending a long time chewing his and I’m guessing he’s not a fan. But he tells them it’s the best olive he’s ever had, so everyone is happy and the wine is a-flowin’. Daddy talks to Corinne, who says that Nick “sees a lot more in me than other people see” and that seems to make him happy. The famous Raquel talks to Nick and says she loves Corinne like a daughter. Daddy wants to know what Nick is going to do for a living once his fourth round on this reality show ends, and I have to say, it’s a valid question. But Corinne says she’s “fine being the bread winner” which basically means Daddy is going to continue paying the bills for a while, I’m guessing. Then Daddy takes Nick aside and pours some expensive scotch before getting into the heavy convo. “Corinne likes the finer things in life,” he says, and I feel like we’ve heard that somewhere before. He’s basically asking to see Nick’s financials, in not so many words. Meanwhile, Mama Olympios tells Corinne to remember that the past 6 weeks (have they really only known each other for 6 weeks?!?!) have been fantasy. Nick asks Daddy if he has permission to propose to Corinne should it get to that, and Daddy agrees, claiming “I think Corinne is the lid to Nick’s pot.” Everyone seems happy, except poor Raquel, who isn’t enough of a “member of the family” to not have to clean up after them. Nick leaves and Corinne says, “I’m in love with Nick. I just hate that he’s still dating three other girls.”
Finally, we head to Montreal, for Vanessa’s hometown. They are on their way to meet Vanessa’s students. She teaches special needs adult education classes and wants to introduce Nick to her class. Once the students see Vanessa, they all start to cry. It’s very sweet and they help make a scrapbook of Vanessa and Nick’s time together. It takes a special kind of person to do that job well and Vanessa seems great with her students, even though I’ve read somewhere that she’s really an actress who has a reel floating around to try to get work. Whatever- I live in LA, where everyone is an actor, so I can’t hate on her too much because she seems like she’s particularly good at this job, whether it’s a side gig or not. She tells Nick that her parents are divorced, so they will need to meet both sides of the family separately. They go to her mom’s house first and it’s her mom, sister, brother-in-law, her aunt, three cousins, her uncle, grandparents and her two best friends. So just a small gathering. No pressure at all, Nick. Vanessa is from a big Italian family and the first thing I noticed was how amazing all the food looked. But like Vanessa, the rest of the family seem to enjoy busting Nick’s balls moments after meeting him, because he was really grilled on the topic of where they would live post-show, should Vanessa be his final pick. Her mom and sister really push the issue of whether or not he would relocate to Montreal and someone (maybe sister, maybe friend? Unclear) says, “I’ll hate you if you break her heart.” Apparently Vanessa is prone to heartbreak, based on all accounts by her family. It’s too much for Nick, who cries AGAIN. And I’m struck by something that I can’t quite wrap my head around- why are there so many different accents among the members of Vanessa’s family? She sounds straight Jenny from the Block, her mom and sister sound vaguely French Canadian and I’m not sure what accent her brother has. It reminded me of a guy I went on a few dates with in college who had cultivated a fake southern accent even though he grew up in Germany. But I digress. Anyway, she and her sister kind of go head-to-head and bicker (in decidedly different dialects) and Nick tells Mama Vanessa that he’s “falling for” her daughter, but that they still have a lot to figure out. And then Nick and Vanessa are off to meet her dad. I notice that Vanessa is really negative and complains a lot, and, dare I say it, I kind of miss Corinne and her delusional optimism. Nick talks to Daddy Vanessa and again asks for permission to propose if they were to “get there.” Dad basically nixes the idea, and while he’s not wrong, she clearly comes from a long line of difficult people. Eventually, Daddy Vanessa acquiesces and says he just wants her to be happy and doesn’t want her to be (you guessed it) “heartbroken” anymore. When she finds out that he asked her dad’s permission, she sees it as a good sign, until she learns that he asked all the dads for permission and then she turns into a straight-up pain in the ass again. Nick leaves and she says, “I’m terrified of not ending up with Nick and I’m scared I’m going to regret all of this.” Calm down, Vanessa. It’s not that dramatic. You’ve spent what, like six weeks with this guy? And you got to travel. And it’s Nick, for the love of God. If you don’t end up with him, I think you’ll be just fine. I mean, clearly “heartbroken” is a familiar state for you, so you probably take a quick pass through that, but you’ll live. And there’s always Paradise if you want another go-round. (I still think this is all for dramatic effect and I am still calling her as the winner, btw.)
We head to Brooklyn, where Nick has chosen to have the rose ceremony. He says his decision is going to be very difficult. Raven laments that she didn’t tell him how she felt (except that she did, a few weeks ago. I think maybe she was drunk and doesn’t remember) and Corinne has finally gotten some much-needed maintenance on her extensions, both lash and hair, cause girlfriend looks flawless. Rachel shares the same concerns as Raven because she hasn’t told Nick she loves him. And then we hear a knock at Nick’s door, and it’s (gasp) someone from his past, and wouldn’t you know it- it’s TO BE CONTINUED.
The previews from next week show us that it’s Andi at his door, and the only reason I can think of for this is that she has a new book coming out and ABC is throwing her a bone so people remember who she is after so long. I believe next week will be the fantasy suite dates, which are typically a big bore, but if Princess Corinne sticks around, that could definitely change. All in all, I’m ready for this season to be done. Nick wasn’t a great choice, but I still like most of the remaining ladies (including Corinne, but not so much Vanessa), so I will keep watching. Until then, may your champagne glass always be as full as Corinne’s and may you all have a Raquel in your life who will clean up after you and occasionally make you some cheese pasta. See you all next week.