This week on The Bachelor, Arie is flung to the far corners of this country to visit the hometowns and families of the four women he’s been barely dating for the last month and a half. Kendall’s numerous attempts to scare Arie off with dead animals are thwarted yet again. Lauren takes Arie horseback riding on the beach to show him that she’s just a relatable girl who can’t help that her ancestors probably owned other people. Becca tricks Arie into doing hard labor on a local apple farm.
Will any of these fathers threatening to kill Arie actually follow through on their promises? Will Becca’s family attempt to beer-batter and deep-fry Arie? How many stereotypes about the Midwest and the South can I fit into this recap? Were Kendall and Kylie Jenner named after Kendall and her sister? Will Lauren’s dad argue that Trump is a great president because “he’s a successful businessman and it’s just sensible economics?”
Leap into your boyfriend’s arms and let’s get started.
10. Tia (Last Week: 6)
Whoops! Tia got eliminated. I’m not shocked but I am surprised at how happy I was to see her go home. I’ve always had a soft spot for Tia but she’s really been rubbing me the wrong way recently. I think the jig is sort of up on this whole thing being nothing but a Bachelorette audition for her. She was just starting to come across as very calculated, what with all her throwing people under the bus and literally going “This makes sense, to me, for the final three” to Becca and Lauren. To backtrack a little bit: Tia took Arie on a nice-enough date to Weiner, Arkansas (did you guys know that Weiner’s population is 98.55% white?) and introduced him to her nice-enough family who toasted him with cocktail franks. Get it? Weiners! Weiner, Arkansas! Weiner is the home of the Arkansas Rice Festival! When Arie sent her home, Tia immediately burst into tears, but she also… sort of… didn’t? I, for one, barely saw any actual tears - no red eyes, no mascara running, no nothing. I’ve done my time on the high school theatre circuit and I’m here to tell you that you can’t fake tears. I think she was hurt, certainly, but to me it seemed more like a surprised kind of hurt. Like, “I know my chances of being the Bachelorette are much higher if I make it to the final three” hurt. Also! When she was saying goodbye to Arie, she kind of gave up on crying and was like “Keep on going with your heart, okay?!” Huh? I don’t hate Tia but I don’t much care for her at this point either. I hope Becca or Kendall is the Bachelorette because I CANNOT deal with the inevitable Raven appearances on a Tia season. Enough is enough!!
9. Arie (Last Week: 7)
What is Arie DOING? Seriously! Seriously. I feel like I know less and less about him every week. I have nothing to say about Arie.
8. Kylie, KENDALL'S SISTER (Last Week: Not Ranked)
So, Kendall has an identical sister named Kylie. I mean. The joke writes itself. Kylie seems cool, but I could barely focus on anything she was saying because not only does she look exactly like Kendall, she sounds exactly like her, too. Her voice and inflection are exactly, exactly the same. I appreciate their efforts to diversify themselves via styling, because if Kylie had some blonde waves I would be completely unable to tell them apart.
7. Kenny, TIA'S DAD (Last Week: Not Ranked)
I don’t mean to be rude, but what is the deal with all of the Southern families on this show that are honestly pretty weird-looking as a group but then have one uniquely gorgeous daughter? We keep getting these hometown dates that feel like the beginning of a poorly-written John Green-inspired fanfiction. Like:
Lacey’s father, Jiminy Bob, was round as a truck and steady as an oar. Her brothers, Karson and Oakley, were rough around the edges and rough in the middle, too. Her sickly mother, Maybelle, had been beautiful once - but years of cigarettes and an immunosuppressive disorder had left her looking like a shell of what it means to be a woman.
But then there was Lacey — lovely as a sunrise and pretty as a hen. She dressed herself plainly, but her beauty was anything but plain. Over the years, many men had expressed their interest, but Lacey knew that her only real love was her horse.
Ok I have to stop. Kenny’s mustache tells this story better than I ever could.
6. Lauren (Last Week: 2)
I feel like I understand Lauren so much more after this episode. I mean I knew she was white but damn. Lauren and Arie arrive at what can only be described as “an estate” and the first thing her mom says is “I hope he knows how conservative the family is.” Zoinks! Lauren’s family are, predictably, just a larger group of tepid blondes. They’re very interested in Arie’s Dutch background in a way that almost feels… investigative? It feels like Lauren’s aunt in particular is trying to trap him in a lie. Are they just trying to make sure he is the Dutch kind of Arie and not the Jewish kind of Ari? Am I going too far here? Anyway, Lauren tells her blonde mother that she and Arie are so much alike (?) and that she can tell what he’s thinking, which is interesting considering how much Lauren talks about how she doesn’t know how Arie feels about her. I think she needs to brush up on her psychic skills. Lauren’s mom asks if she’s falling in love with Arie and Lauren just responds “it’s weird.” Lauren’s dad describes Lauren as “a very smart lady” and says that she can make her own decisions about marriage, which is giving a lot of credit to someone who’s been engaged twice at 26. Is it going too far to say that her family remind me of the girlfriend’s family in Get Out? No? Maybe? I’m just saying.
5. Kendall (Last Week: 5)
Kendall takes Arie to what I’m going to call a “dead animal display garage” and they mount taxidermy together. Literally, Kendall hands Arie the intact skin of a dead rat and instructs him to stuff it and dress it up in a little costume. They make their dead rats kiss each other in some kind of sick rat puppet theatre. Arie makes out with Kendall despite the fact that they are both holding actual dead rats. Can you imagine? Can you imagine being that hot? I can’t.
4. Dave, Lauren's dad (Last Week: Not Ranked)
Dave is a #MilitaryMan and by gosh, everyone should know it. He’s pretty rude to Arie until Arie mentions that he went to Iraq with his… driving team? Racing squad? To entertain the troops? Or just hang out with them? I couldn’t really understand what Arie was saying, honestly. Dave is very impressed by this and I’m kind of like alright Dave, you were actually in the army. You don’t have to thank Arie for his service here. Maybe I’m way off-base with this (no pun intended) - I’ll admit that the exact mores of military life are a bit of a cultural blind spot for me. Anyway, Dave and Arie start talking very quietly and intensely about planes and car models. It’s so.....… “boring” is not the right word because I get that everyone has their hobbies and it’s fine to bond with people over a shared love of engines or oppressing marginalized groups or whatever, but the way they talk about it just sounds so masturbatory to me. I know that feminism is not about hating men but it’s moments like these that make me realize that sometimes I really do hate men. You heard it here first: misandry is IN!
3. Becca (Last Week: 3)
Oh, Becca. You sweet Minnesota apple. Becca takes Arie apple-picking at an orchard where her dad used to take her and her sister and it’s very cute and nice and all but I am so worried about her. I know that there have been contestants with deceased parents in the past and that we shouldn’t discriminate against anybody’s right to make a fool of themselves on reality TV, but it feels so wrong to me to put Becca and her family through this particular Bachelor rite. It adds a whole level of painful nuance to have Becca introduce her family to Arie with one family member missing and I don’t think this show is equipped to deal with nuance of any kind. Becca’s family seems sweet and tight-knit, obv, but each family member has to bring up Becca’s dad when talking to Arie (Uncle Gary hilariously describes him as “a great guy, a great hunter, a great fisherman,” which is the most Minnesota compliment I’ve ever heard) and every one of them gently emphasizes that Becca has already been through a lifetime’s worth of heartbreak, so, y’know, be careful with her and all that. Arie could have sent her home this very episode!! I mean, he didn’t, but can you imagine?? I’m very lucky to still have both of my parents so maybe I’m just making some very wrong assumptions here but I feel like introducing Arie to her family had to have been a bigger deal to Becca than to the other girls. And if not a bigger deal, certainly a different deal. Becca better fucking win, is all I can say.
2. Jill, Becca's mom (Last Week: Not Ranked)
Jill is incredible. I loved her. Arie is like “Well, since Becca’s dad ISN’T HERE, I guess I’ll ask your permission to propose.” She clearly thinks that this whole thing is ridiculous (right on, Jill!) but respects her daughter enough to understand that it’s her choice. I hope my parents would respond similarly to this kind of nonsense. I, like Jill, think the whole idea of asking a father’s permission to marry his daughter is a little nuts. Maybe my family is different from most but I truly think that if someone I was dating asked my dad “Can I marry Grace?” he’d be like “I don’t know, can you?” Why is it up to him! Or anyone! I guess asking for a family’s blessing is nice but geez. The concept of permission feels so spooky and antiquated to me. Guess I’m just open-minded as hell.
1. Lauren's House (Last Week: Not Ranked)
What a beautiful WASP nest!
See you next Monday!