I can’t be cute. I can’t come up with a little intro where we all snicker and giggle at some long-winded analogy I’ve cooked up while I write this, eating a giant piece of cake, in my bra and my Jockey slip-shorts. You all need Jockey slip-shorts. Go buy them now. It’s too damn hot out there and our thighs are too damn thick. BUT I DON’T HAVE TIME FOR ALL THAT. Because we have to talk about Dean’s dad. There are a few things about Dean’s dad that I’m not going to entertain. Knowing now that he converted to Sikhism, I’m not going to entertain cheap shots about his turban or his appearance. What I will do, however, is read his old ass for conveniently finding a religion that allows him to say, “I’m rubber, you’re glue” whenever his actual son, the fruit of his loins, comes to him and says, “You abandoned me after my mother died.”
“That sounds like a personal problem” IS NOT THE APPROPRIATE RESPONSE. Dean’s father also managed to find religion and spirituality at the same time he was rude as hell. His chief quality is rudeness. A disregard for other’s feelings. THAT MAN IS RUDE, AND I DON’T LIKE HIM. That old-ass white man is RUDE. How the hell you find religion and come out more selfish?
Also, WHY IS THE BACHELORETTE DEMANDING THAT DEAN SIT DOWN WITH HIS AWFUL FATHER AND HEAL THIS RELATIONSHIP? I don’t think The Bachelorette is the proper time to solve an almost decade-long rift between a truly adorable man-puppy and his awful father. No one is remotely qualified to deal with this. Not Dean. Not that mung bean of a wife. Nary a sibling. And certainly not Rachel, and that bitch tries. She tries to take Dean’s father out by the fire and open up to him. His response? “Okay, I honor that. I honor that whole thing” re: her and Dean’s relationship.
“I honor that whole thing”? Anyone going, “Yeah, I honor that whole thing, I guess,” doesn’t come across as a real compassionate character. “Yeah yeah yeah, I honor that whole thing. Whatever. Get out of my face.” Anyone calling a relationship “that whole thing” doesn’t give a single solitary fuck if you’re happy or not.
I hate Dean’s dad.
Let’s get to the other hometowns. First up is Eric. I think I’m all in on Eric. He probably won’t win, but I’m all in. I’ve been to Baltimore a couple times and I’m not afraid to say I had a garbage time and it might be a garbage city, but I’m rooting for Eric anyway. He wanted to have his Love & Basketball moment with Rachel so they went to a basketball court. While they’re playing basketball, his cousin Ralph shows up and I love Ralph too! I love all these weirdos with their Baltimore accents! Ralph tells Rachel how proud he is of Eric for being an inspiration. When your cousin, a person whose sole purpose on this Earth is to give you shit and remind you of when you peed your pants at a family reunion, says they’re proud of you, you’re a really, really good person. Eric says that he’s finally willing to accept love and accept help in his life and he’s evolving.
Then Eric takes her to his Aunt Verna’s house. Rachel is nervous that she’s the first girl Eric is bringing home. Girl, you’re a black lawyer. You’re gonna be fine. She arrives at Aunt Verna’s house and Eric’s family is so damn cute. Every wig choice and coordinated skirt set is on point. Aunt Verna and the gang stay lookin’ TIGHT. There’s one aunt just wearing head-to-toe rhinestones in the afternoon. I’m here for this bitch. They all also do that li’l dance that Eric does. I’m all in on this family.
There are some really great emotional conversations that show how Eric and his family are starting to work through the relationships and choices that they’ve made. He sits down with his mom and she explains that maybe in the moment when she distanced herself from him, she was allowing him to stand on his own two feet and not rely on her in an unhealthy way. Put a pin in that. That he was able to open himself up to the possibility of this great love because it wasn’t filled with an inappropriate relationship with his mother. Put a pin in that. Eric tells his dad that he loves that Rachel grew up with structure and that he can be honest and open with her. His father tells him that he’s proud of him and that he always has his support. I was tearing up. These are some of the most genuine, sincere family conversations I’ve ever seen on a hometown date. Seeing a black family express love and gratitude and pride on this show was pretty damn awesome.
At the end of the night, Eric tells Rachel that he’s falling in love with her and that means that he cares about her and her well-being and who she is. Eric’s love definitely seems pretty holistic and that’s also amazing to witness.
Up next is Bryan.
I finally figured out what it is about these two. It feels like they’re on a perpetual third date. When Bryan tries to tell her how much she means to him, he says, “I’m obsessed with your smile.” That’s not some “in love” shit. That’s some “third date do you wanna go back to my place” bullshit. It’s what someone who is actively trying to be romantic says. They’re stuck on a third date. They just need to bang and get it over with.
Also, I had some weird déjà vu because I’ve been to the bar where they go on their date and watch a woman in a fringe bar-dance. I went with my college girlfriend and they make chicharróns to order. In addition to that, I’ve actually met Bryan’s cousin. That unnamed dark-haired woman? Yeah. She dated my college friend’s uncle and she came to a family breakfast when I visited Miami. This is not a bit. I’ve met this woman. I’m getting too close to this show.
Then there’s Bryan’s mom. This bitch crazy. I’m all for a close-knit family, but she burst into multiple tears discussing her 37-year-old son. There’s gotta be a little bit of objective distance on a 37-year-old. Your son is old and he can take care of himself. Bryan tries to tell his family about how he was the first one to kiss Rachel. See? Third-date shit. When Rachel sits down with Bryan’s mom, she warns that some wives want to take the place of the mother and take the husband away. And she literally says, “If he’s happy, I’m happy. If not, I will kill you.” Rachel laughs. Mama Bryan “laughs.” I don’t trust this woman. I don’t even want to hear the shade they’re going to throw when Rachel leaves the house. Bryan tells Rachel that he’s falling for her. Ew. Creepy third date.
It’s time for Peter’s hometown date. This is one of the pretty uneventful hometown dates. Rachel is worried that Peter isn’t ready to get married. He’s good with kids. All his friends are black. Blah, blah, blah. Peter keeps putting Rachel to the test and getting feedback from his friends and family. He only wants to propose once in his life and he isn’t ready to get down on one knee if it’s not right. I can’t fault him for that … if he wasn’t on this show. Them’s the rules, kid. Although he doesn’t end up telling her that he’s falling in love with her, she swoons seeing him with kids and that can just about do it for some people.
At this point, I feel like enough ink has been spilt over Dean’s weird and selfish dad. Unfortunately, Rachel didn’t get any chances to ask his family or talk to Dean about a future together. She also was weirdly insistent that he deal with this issue today. If someone has a weird, shack-living, mung-bean-eating dad, maybe you don’t have to meet them. Just go hang out with his middle-school friends or something. Let’s skip it altogether. While Dean is lying on the floor, weeping about his dad walking out on him, he tells Rachel that he’s falling in love with her and she says it back. This is about to get messy.
It’s time for the rose ceremony and, boy, does Rachel love a pewter metallic. Bryan, Peter, and Eric all get roses. Rachel sits down with Dean and tells him that she doesn’t think he’s in the same place she is. He fires back by asking why she said “I’m falling in love with you” back, if she didn’t mean it. She says she meant it. I believe she meant it, but if the guy you’re dating is weeping on the floor because there are no chairs, you say something back.
Also, Dean? It wasn’t your fault. It was 100 percent your weird, rude dad.