'Bachelor' Recap: It's Hometown Dates Week
Parents, crypts, and five-year-olds, oh my!
It's hometown date week, people! How did we get here so fast? We begin with a rundown of the remaining four women: Chantal's beautiful, but a bit of a drama queen. Ashley H.? Well, if you saw last week's episode, you might remember her begging Brad not to kick her off the show, which we're pretty sure tells the whole story right there. Shawntel's awesome but a bit of a dark princess of death (something the promos remind us, Brad is not entirely comfortable with), and Emily -- well, Emily is Brad's perfect woman, except for the part about how her life is dominated by the memory of her tragically killed boyfriend and by a daughter she's not sure if she wants him to meet.
First up: Chantal's parents' house looks like a cross between a museum and something out of "Real Housewives of New Jersey": Hello, super opulent double stairway! "I can see ourselves traveling a lot to this city," Brad says, as he meets Chantal's cat/dog menagerie. He says this because he's already declared that he's not leaving Austin. This reminds me of "Intervention": So he'll do absolutely anything at all for love ... except move? Okay, then. Don't do it, Chantal! This is not lost on Chantal's parents, who nonetheless welcome him for dinner at their ridiculously beautiful home. (Chantal's mom, by the way, looks like her equally-if-not-more attractive sister.) Chantal's dad takes Brad out for some chat, and I swear, they have the best connection as yet discovered on this show; you can basically see Chantal earning all these extra points because Brad wants her dad to be his BFF.
Brad meets Ashley in her adorable, part-francophone hometown of Madawaska, ME, and takes him to lunch. She looks adorable. Man, it must be a relief to be back home after being in all those villas of doom in various Caribbean islands. "Ça va bien?" the waitress asks. "Si," Brad responds, in Spanish. Ashley takes him on a tour of Madawaska, which involves buying lobster and carrots and making out in front of a massive bienvenue sign. Out of the ether, someone starts talking how driven and ambitious Ashley is, and equally out of the ether, Brad starts talking about how he doesn't want to get in her way. That does not sound promising.
Next stop is Shawntel's hometown, Chico. Honestly, this is like a bizarro episode of "Six Feet Under," where Nate Sr. never died and Claire Fisher ended up grudgingly taking over the family business. Brad's only-in-Austin policy rankles severely here, and Shawntel's dad -- who expects her to assume his role, right there, in Chico -- is clearly put out by this entire reality show business. The measure of Shawntel's coolness is that she makes her job sound amazing, sort of like Ed Helms does in "Cedar Rapids" when he talks about how insurance salesmen made his life better.
Finally, we visit Emily and little Ricky in Charlotte. We've heard of mothers and daughters referred to as "Mom and mini-mes," but these two take the metaphorical cake, right? Ricky is adorable but shy, and literally hides behind Emily's back, cajoled out of her shadow only when offered a butterfly kite. Brad says that kids usually like him, and it's clear why. In fact, he uses the same tone of voice that he does when talking Chantal/Ashley H. out of their more dramatic moments. Despite apocalyptic promos all but guaranteeing an evening out of "Supernanny," Ricky eventually opens up to Brad, and he tucks her in. It's all very adorable and appealing, except for Emily. Brad, freaked out that there's a five-year-old in the house, won't make out with her. This is pretty funny, because as Emily points out, she's not going anywhere. Eventually Brad escapes the force field by smooching Emily on the steps.
Thus acquitted of the hometown dates, we retire to the Gansevoort Park Hotel in Manhattan for the evening's rose ceremony. At this point, I was sure Brad was going to use his "I don't want to get in her way" logic to leave Ashley behind, so I was surprised when she ended up with the evening's first rose. Poor, super-hot Shawntel was the last woman standing. Why? "I just didn't feel the way a man's supposed to feel when you tell him you love him," he says. The pain! Shawntel says no one's ever treated her so well before: "He's perfect." Poor Shawntel. She's both too cool and too hot to think that, and that might be the only time we ever thought that watching this show.
Next: Cue the pan-African, vaguely "Lion King"-esque music, because we're going to South Africa!
I found the trip to the funeral home in Chico very unnerving as I'm sure others did, my husband was cremated there, and I had no idea what a crematorium looked like until last night. My husband has been gone for 13 years and this brought back some very sad memories for me, the producers should have realized in a situation like this,a behind the scene showing of this nature was not necessary as should have the Newtons. Shawntel explaining what she did as far as talking to the families and showing the mausoleum would have been fine, the showing of what goes on behind the scenes should have been just that, behind the scenes.