I’ve been there when my friends or siblings brought home a new significant other. It’s a nerve-racking experience for everyone involved. Everyone goes into it hoping for the best. You hope that your brother’s new girlfriend is as great as he says she is. Or if you’re not excited about meeting your best friend’s new boyfriend, you’re hopeful that he surprises you. That he’s not as bad as he sounds. That the vape shop he owns is doing better than expected. It’s been a really busy third quarter and I’m glad. But sometimes, just sometimes, it doesn’t go as well as you would have hoped. Your cousin’s new boyfriend’s profile pictures were from a solid ten years ago and it wasn’t a kind ten years. Your brother’s new girlfriend is actively swiping on Tinder at dinner. Everyone recognizes your best friend’s boyfriend from 90 Day Fiancé. And after dinner, when the happy new couple pulls out of the driveway, your dad closes the front door and he turns to the family and asks “Well?” And then the fun begins. It’s like the group chat has come alive and Grandma is going in on Mike.
I would have paid upward of $10,000 to see exactly what Constance and her Amish-teen-on-Rumspringa husband had to say when Rachel’s mom closed the door and asked, “Well?” Do you think they were just tired by the time they got to the third date of the week? (I mean, Constance was literally 37 weeks pregnant. I just wanted her to go lie down, take off her very avant-garde maternity puffy shirt, and get a Popsicle or something.) Or did they really hate this smarmy guy that much? Bryan didn’t help his case by talking about how positive he felt before meeting Rachel’s family. NO ONE IS CONFIDENT MEETING THEIR GIRLFRIEND’S PARENTS. He’s a phony and a fake and he’s got cheek implants. He’s probably gonna win, but I’m not happy about it.
So let’s get to the first family visit and deal with Bryan later. Rachel picks up Peter at the contesticles’ Dallas hotel. She explains they’re doing things a little differently because her sister is THIRTY-SEVEN weeks pregnant and won’t be going anywhere she doesn’t want to go. Rachel takes Peter to go pick out some baby presents and something for Alistair so he doesn’t feel left out. When we met this lil’ redbone baby, I was losing my mind. Rachel was helping him chase Copper and he was drawing with Peter on the floor. I would have proposed right then and there. Peter takes Rachel aside before they go into the house to tell her that he’s falling in love with her because he doesn’t want to be eliminat— er, he just can’t help himself. The contesticles being left in the hotel room during the family dates leaves for some opportunities for the guys to gossip. I know they’re setting them up to talk smack behind each other’s backs, but for some reason, Bryan seems the cattiest. Do you agree? Discuss.
Rachel’s family is predictably adorable and put-together. Every baby hair that was available to be laid was laaaaaaaiiiiiiidddd. They have a few questions for him about how short the process is, but he’s got a thoughtful answer about how he realized at the last rose ceremony that he’s not ready to lose Rachel. Rachel is surprised hearing all this and decides not to eliminate him … for now. Peter sits down with Rachel’s mom and he doesn’t exactly ask for Rachel’s hand, but asks her mom if he can keep dating her? And then continue on to a proposal? If he feels like it? And Rachel’s mom says she would hope the dating is as serious as marriage? What are these people talking about? Why are they inventing new romantic rituals? Ugh, Peter, you confused salt-and-pepper bird of paradise.
Up next is Eric. GUYS. I’m really into Eric now. I wasn’t before, but his emotional honesty and his all chambray outfits won me over. For some reason, a lot is made that he hasn’t brought a girl home before or been in love, but I don’t see it as the huge red flag that the rest of Rachel’s family does. Eric wants to impress her family, he’s appropriately nervous, and he’s just cute as hell. Rachel’s family does the dance. How does everyone know this dance? It’s powerful. Eric sits down with Rachel’s mom and talks to her about what a marriage means to him and it’s just all the best words: compromise, communication, sacrifice, understanding, happiness, family. Write them down and save them for your wedding vows because them’s the words. He asks Rachel’s mom for the permission to propose to Rachel and he says that he’s going to respect her answer either way. GUYS. Rachel’s family loves how genuine and sincere and honest he is.
It’s time for Bryan’s family date. All the other contesticles joke about his magic watch. For $8,500, it better be fucking magic. The best part of the pre-date chatter from Peter and Eric is when Peter says, “I’m not the biggest fan of Bryan, There’s a lot of fake boobs, fake asses, fake cheeks in Miami.” So this confirms the “Bryan has cheek implants” theory, right? Rachel takes him to meet her two white work friends. They’re stunned by Bryan and this gives him the false confidence that he should just speak in empty platitudes to Rachel’s family and they’ll be in awe. He thinks they’re all a bunch of rubes. But they’re the Lindsays! They’re all lawyers and judges and doctors! You’re a “doctor,” Bryan.
Her family immediately asks him what he’d do if he had to choose between his mother and his wife. Someone told Mama Lindsay what was up and she was weirded out. Even as a mom, she’s weirded out that Bryan is calling his mom his No. 1 woman. Someone needs to talk to him about this weird Oedipal thing he has with his mom and how it’s not cute. He probably thinks it shows family is important or some shit, but it’s weird, Bryan. Rachel snaps at her mom, “HE SAID IT,” when she presses him again about the mom versus wife debate. Rachel’s sister is skeptical that he referred to Rachel as his girlfriend after a week. Something is telling her that Bryan is a charmer and he’s not sincere. Yes. Let’s all listen to that feeling. When Uncle Jeff asks what qualities Rachel accentuates in Bryan, Bryan has to leave the table. That’s not a good sign. I’m uncomfortable, but I know that family group chat is gonna be LIT. Rachel sits down with her brother-in-law to say that she’s not pissed, she’s just extremely not chill right now. Rachel’s mom tells him that if it’s all perfect, you’re not being perfect, but she guesses Bryan has her blessing.
It’s time to jet off to Spain! It’s finally time for the fantasy suites and I feel like Rachel needs to just bang Bryan and she’ll break whatever bizarre spell he has over her. They should move the fantasy suites up earlier if the lead is clearly blinded by cheek implants. They need to move onto the fourth date in their relationship. Up first is Eric: They go on a helicopter ride over the vineyards and they ring a giant bell so their wishes can come true. On the evening portion of their date, Eric is wearing a white T-shirt under a blazer under a coat. Eric. You look like you’re 21 going to your first nightclub and you’re gonna get turned away at the door. He spends most of the dinner working up the emotional courage to tell Rachel he loves her. He says she pushes him and goddamn, he’s so sincere it hurts me. They head to the fantasy suite. I’m happy for these two crazy kids, so that means she probably won’t pick him.
Up next is Peter’s date. They go to some vineyard and a tiny Spanish girl leads them to grapes after an old Spanish man in a beret sings to them. It’s all very Spanish and overwhelming. Now let’s get to where Peter devastates Rachel. They basically have two definitions of the word “propose,” which I have never heard or known to have two definitions. Rachel thinks it means to cultivate a relationship and Peter thinks it means to commit to a marriage. What? What exactly is the issue here? Apparently, it’s so monumental that Rachel breaks down in tears and can’t speak. Rachel, in the words of Tawanna, my old boss at the Walnut Room, I’m gonna need you to get it together.