Hello and happy Wednesday Bachelor Bracket!

I hope everyone is just as excited as I am that we are in the final few weeks of the Bachelor – it seems like there is even more drama happening off screen between Chris Harrison’s potential removal, Matt James releasing a shady Instagram statement, and whispers that they have absolutely no clue who is going to be the next Bachelorette.

But as a lie of a silver lining we had Hometowns this week!

Now to be clear, I absolutely LOATHE Hometowns. Maybe it’s because I don’t actually care if most of the leads actually find love, but mostly because it’s absolutely ridiculous. First of all, it’s insane that someone would ever actually introduce someone to his/her parents before being exclusive (although this is my brother’s MO so maybe I’m just not in touch with the Gen Z dating moves??) let alone pretend that they actually wanted to marry any person he/she was dating for what feels like two weeks.

Maybe my issue is that I can’t fathom my parents on this show. My dad would 100% be making inappropriate jokes because he would in no way be taking it seriously and my mom would be the parent getting the bad edit for telling me to come back to reality. I once complained about a dude I was dating for so many weeks in a row my mom full on told me she refused to listen to me anymore and not to call her back until I broke up with him – in what world am I going to get an ‘oh but is he nice?’ on national television?? I would be getting a ‘do you understand Stockholm Syndrome do you need someone to help you escape’ talk.

We start with our weekly Peloton commercial. Matt is showcasing the other ways the bike can be used as rather than straight spinning we see him lifting weights and following along with a video on the twisted away screen. I have to ask two questions – first things first, does anyone actually use this feature of the Peloton (and if so why would you)? I have the Peloton app and will fully talk about how much I love it, but I can just do it on my phone and move it around rather than awkwardly positioning my bike (which for the record is not a Peloton) in a central space for the full 360 experience. And secondly, why in the world is Peloton spending money on this? They have a month-long backlog that is threatening their business – do they really want MORE people ordering?

Excuse my tangent.

We jump right into our first date with Michelle. She talks about how her life in Minnesota is and how she and her family go on bike rides and so she and Matt do a cutesy bike ride into an auditorium where Matt gets the chance to meet her students (as she is a teacher).

They proceed to ask Matt “hard” questions such as ‘are you going to propose to Ms. Young,’ ‘are you and Ms. Young going to have kids,’ ‘will you give Ms. Young a rose.’ Which I will say are pretty low stakes – if you’re going to potentially propose to someone within a couple of weeks those are actually pretty basic?

Here are some of the real questions I would love to have had the kids ask Matt:

·       What’s your credit score?

·       How long was your longest relationship?

·       On a scale from 1-10 how much do you identify with the statement “I have commitment issues?”

·       Can you tell us a bit more about why you thought throwing a giant party mid-pandemic in Florida was a good idea?

·       What did you have to give the devil in exchange for being the Bachelor without having to go on the Bachelorette?

·       Is Tyler really your best friend or are you guys just in it for the clout?

·       Would you reaaaally move to Minnesota if Michelle wanted to?

Michelle then brings Matt to meet her parents (who are lovely) and I need to add another question to the list: has Matt EVER met the parents of a significant other before?

Like even *I* have met the parents before. And I’m not at alllll close to getting married anytime soon. This dude is acting like he forgot how to interact normally let alone toe the line between ‘I really like your child and desperately want you to like me’ and ‘I don’t want to be weird about how much I like your child.’

Alas, he survives and we move onto Rachael’s date!

I would like to preface Rachael’s date by saying how grateful I am that these Hometowns were at the Nemacolin and not in these women’s actual hometowns. The fact the producers of the Bachelor decided to cast a woman with a racist history and from one of the most racist towns in America is appalling and a complete disgrace.

We start the Rachael Hometown date by Rachael taking Matt (blindfolded) for a drive to a surprise.

They arrive at a location for skydiving because nothing says things you would do in Cumming, Georgia like skydiving. Here on the date they each get a partner to go with them (who, for the record wear helmets, even as Rachael and Matt do not) and I couldn’t help but noticing that Rachael’s partner looked like Juni Cortez from Spy Kids…

Fun and unexpected fact about the actor who plays the character (Daryl Sabara), he’s now married to Meghan Trainer.

But back to the main event of skydiving: while Matt has a rather graceful landing, Rachael does not. As in does not AT ALL. As in if someone had told me she had literally died during this landing I’d believe it. And while I want to make jokes because Rachael seems pretty terrible, I also don’t want her to ACTUALLY DIE to let’s just wrap this up with the Bachelor inserted metaphor that Rachael *literally* fell for Matt on this date.

We then get to the meet the parents portion of the date where everything is honestly pretty par for the course. Is Rachael’s dad totally not about it? Yes. But I have to wonder, how good at parenting are you if you’re totally chill with your daughter getting engaged to a dude she’s been on only two dates with? I feel like as a non-parent even that gives off the reddest of flags.

The only moderately exciting part of the parent stuff was when Rachael got upset that Matt didn’t ask her father for her hand in marriage. To which first of all I’m like, do you want him asking everyone that? Production is surely not going to let him juuuust ask the one girl’s father – they have a show to produce here. I won’t even get into the fact that maybe not everyone wants you to ask their parent for permission to do something that should ultimately be your decision entirely but I’ve been preachy way too many times this email thus far so I shall digress. But I will say I enjoyed that Rachael was smirking at her dad like ‘I know I’m different because he told me I’m special’ and him not asking put her into a little bit of a tailspin.

After this we move onto the third date of the evening with Bri, in which we will meet her mom (who, for the record, is younger than Clare, who Matt was originally supposed to be on the season of) and her best friend, also named Bri.

For the day portion of their date they drive around in a Jeep off-roading as a fun payback for the time Matt nearly killed Bri on the ATV. Now that I type that, I must ask – is there a record for how many times the Bachelor almost sends his dates to death? Because on my count we have Rachael earlier this episode (1), Bri on the ATV (2), Pieper in the murder forest pre-carnival (3), and when he told Heather to go mingle with the other ladies (4).

The date is nothing special until Bri lets him know that she is falling in love with him. Matt proceeds to give his ‘oh shit’ face and thanks her for telling him that. I will give him credit for not telling people he isn’t into that he is falling in love with them or anything that is going to hurt them more later, but dude, a thank you? Not even something that half sounds like you mean it back?

They then go to meet Bri’s family – but I have to ask, what in the world is he bringing as a gift to meet the parents??

Listen, I’m not saying he shouldn’t bring something. Especially since he definitely doesn’t have to pay for anything he brings. And gifts can go a long way for the relationship – the first time I met my ex’s mom I got her a Homesick candle for my ex’s home state since his parents had just recently moved to California. And that woman loved me so much that when my ex and I broke up she wrote me an email telling me how much she’d miss me (and I definitely missed her more than the ex). So I get the appeal of a gift.

BUT WHAT ARE THEY GOING TO DO WITH A DEMONIC BUNNY? Like imagine the hassle of trying to check that on a flight to get it home. Can you even check that? Do you even attempt? Like who in that family wants that bunny that much? Even Bri’s little sister who is brand new to the world isn’t going to be emotionally attached to that bunny so much / is too young she won’t remember it. The fact it’s never addressed I also find oddly suspicious.

AND SPEAKING OF THE BABY, Matt watching Bri interact with her baby sister is spectacular. If there was a single scene that I could use as proof Matt wasn’t ready for all the serious things he claims he is looking for, it would be the pure look of terror on his face.

Bri’s mom has a conversation with both Matt and Bri and you can totally tell that she has no confidence in this. She pre-emptively gives Bri a pep talk for what she assumes is the inevitable breakup.

Proof moms know best.

Finally we end with the only redeemable part of this episode: Serena P’s date (or just Serena? the last Serena standing??)

She starts the date by doing the least romantic date of the four – an introduction to Canada! Much like how Matt met Michelle’s students, today he gets to be the student as Serena quizzes him on all things Canada, which Matt adorably gets wrong. Like thinking a toboggan is a hat when it is, in fact, a sled and excitedly knowing that ‘eh’ is a popular Canadian thing.

They also try some ‘classic Canadian’ foods, which based on my limited knowledge of classic Canadian foods are very much the middle of nowhere Pennsylvanian version of them.

And then they play some hockey, where Serena crushes, and Matt uses this time to remind us he’s athletic because Peloton isn’t out here paying for a wimp as their sponsor.

The pair of them then go to meet Serena’s family which consists of her sister and parents. I am convinced that Serena told them to give her a sign if they weren’t about it because they were the most appropriately ‘girl what are you DOINNNNNG’ about how much they definitely didn’t see her having a future with Matt.

Serena asks her sister what she thinks and it takes about two sentences for Serena to look like she’s going to cry (a cry for help maybe??)

And then she tries to reassure everyone this is a good choice for her and Matt is just so great on paper. If she mentioned how many boxes he checked off one more time I’m going to demand to see what is on this list in the first place.

I will say my favorite part of the entire date though was them saying goodbye. Her mom said something along the lines of “bye was so nice meeting you” and the sister’s exact quote was “good luck with everything!”

THESE ARE NOT THE WORDS OF SOMEONE WHO THINKS THEY WILL EVER SEE YOU AGAIN. Those are just nicer ways of saying have a nice life. And what the father doesn’t say, he makes up with in his facial expressions.

Now I am sitting at home at this point and I’m like ‘what are they going to fill the remainder 20 minutes with’ and apparently the answer was a fifth date! This time with Dark Lord Harrison. He is like so whatcha think and Matt is like well I thought on it and Serena just doesn’t seem as excited about me as I expected so I don’t know what to do man. So Chris encourages Matt to go to talk to Serena.

The second we see Serena there is not a chance in hell it’s going to go well. For starters everyone else is getting ready for the cocktail party and she’s in breakup blue, the kiss of death on this show. They sit down and have a chat and what’s beautiful is that Serena is SO NORMAL. She’s not like pretending that the issue is the fact that she’s expected to get engaged in two weeks, it’s not that he’s not lovely, it’s just that he’s not her person.

And she doesn’t give platitudes! Serena straight up is like it’s not me it’s you! And we the viewers get to see the exact moment Matt James realizes someone can break up with him. And not just on this show. Ever. Based solely on his facial reactions and response (“that stinks”) I would bet anyone a sizable amount of money that no woman has ever just plain up been yeah it’s not the situation I’m just not feeling you. 28 years. Matt went 28 years and this is likely the first time he has ever been rejected and it gets to be aired on national television for us all.

AND THEN in an absolutely ICONIC MOVE Matt gets walked out and put into a car. And I know it’s because of the way the Nemacolin is set up and Matt needs to go back home to his room so it’s not like they’d have him walk Serena out, but it 100% looks like Matt got eliminated from his own show.

If they need a person to be the Bachelorette clearly Serena is a strong option – she already has experience walking broken hearted men to their cars and sending them on their way. Serena is like oh did you miss last season on the Bachelorette? Let me do a fun little cross-over episode for you.

And I’m sorry for all the memes but I can’t help it, there was just soooo much content for it on the Internet because this was the definitive highlight. Plus the fact that Matt didn’t end up going on Clare’s sham of a season so he has NEVER been forced to do a tour around the block in a black SUV until he gives the appropriate crying ITM scene.

Matt manages to pull it together in time for the rose ceremony and is super depressing about it. Like he’s clearly still reeling from this breakup and now I’m curious where Serena was going to be in his top four – like the way he’s torn up has me thinking she was for sure top three for sure and maybe even top two??

Anyways he does his little speech before giving out roses and is like I want you to think long and hard about what it means to accept this rose because I’m being serious when I give them out. But then he immediately picks up the first rose and I have to ask, how were they supposed to think long and hard when you gave them maybe ten seconds before calling out names? Also if I were one of the women I’d have to wonder if I was really top three material of if I was the default option. (Spoiler alert: I’m obviously Final Rose material in all cases but I’d still stress!)

We then get some shots of everyone looking all happy and cheersing with some ominous voiceover of the women each freaking out about something different (for instance, Bri, being like he gave me the last rose does that mean I was going to be cut? To which I would have to say yes, yes you would have Bri).

But we did it! We finished Hometowns!

ANNNNND next week we don’t have a traditional episode, we have the Women Tell All where we get to hopefully hear why Matt decided he needed this new addition to his face:

As always I still encourage people to fill out their Bachelor Brackets! TBD if I recap (probably, let’s be honest) since it’s not technically part of our season but it’s probably going to be a blast with the seventeen million women we had on this season.


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