What the hell happened last night? Dean’s dad was a situation.
But before I can get into that, I have to run through the other contestant’s hometowns.
Rachel visits Eric’s hometown of Baltimore first. This was the most boring part of the episode, primarily because Rachel and Eric have friend-chemistry and there’s no wacky reunion with an estranged father. When Rachel first touches down in Baltimore, she and Eric head to the basketball court. This girl plays basketball in wedge heels! HOW? I took my heels off at prom as soon as my pictures were done.
Eric’s family is adorable. He brings Rachel to his Aunt Verna’s house and they welcome her with open arms. The family is happy to see that Eric is opening himself up to the possibility of being emotionally vulnerable with a woman. The family also asks Rachel about the pressures of being the first Black Bachelorette. I’m glad the show featured such a reflective and self-aware scene. I was always under the impression that shows like The Bachelorette are 100% staged, but there is something about Rachel and the interactions she has with the other people on the show that seems so genuine. Nothing about Rachel’s visit with Eric and his family seems forced or contrived. However, Eric definitely isn’t going to win. And if he does, I’ll be floored. I do not think Eric is ready for marriage, but I hope that after his experience with Rachel, he knows that there is a woman out there for him.
If you just tuned into The Bachelorette and didn’t know anything about Bryan the Sexy Chiropractor or Miami, Rachel pretty much sums it when she says, “Miami just screams Bryan. It’s hot, it’s steamy. There’s something sexy about it. Sometimes it speaks to you in Spanish.” All of this is true and all of this is very appealing. However, this is all Bryan is. He’s really good at romancing women, he talks a good game, but there’s nothing deeper than that. The highlight of Rachel’s hometown with Bryan is when they go dancing and he accidentally smacks her head against an old man’s shoulder. I feel like this is emblematic of who Bryan is as a person – romantic on the surface, but messy in practice.
What would an argument between Rachel and Bryan look like? As of right now, it seems like it would just be him telling her how pretty she is until they bang. A marriage can’t just be all compliments and wide eyes. It needs a level of depth that is completely absent from Bryan and Rachel’s relationship as of right now. Rachel is looking for a man to be the father of her children. What would Bryan be like as a father? I can’t even guess because we know so little about him.
What we did learn this episode is that Bryan’s mother is a wackadoo. This bitch seriously says, “If he’s happy, I’m happy. If he’s not, I’ll kill you.” She is talking about her 37-year-old Don Juan of a son. What! How can you be so fiercely protective of a middle-aged man? I get that he’s her only child, but this level of attachment is creepy. Rachel laughs it off.
Rachel heads to Wisconsin to visit Peter and his crew. Though Rachel still seems apprehensive about Peter’s willingness to commit to her, this segment only made me even more confident that Peter is going to get the final rose. Peter proudly declares that eight of his ten friends are Black. Check. His family really likes Rachel! Check. (How could they not?) Rachel practically dropped her panties after seeing Peter play with his niece. Annnnd check. He is everything Rachel is looking for in a husband – a stable, warm guy who is going to make a great father.
I found Dean’s hometown to be really upsetting. Rachel starts out by insisting that Dean reconcile with his father, who abandoned him emotionally after his mother died of breast cancer. That’s some heavy shit and I don’t think Rachel has the right to push Dean into dealing with this deeply personal issue – let alone on national television. But of course, this is a reality show, so the producers are going to milk this conflict for all that it’s worth.
Dean’s father converted to Sikhism, which explains why he wears a turban. However, it doesn’t explain why he’s a total dick when Dean confronts him about not being there for him after his mother died. Dean’s dad continuously accuses Dean of living in the past and never takes responsibility for the way his actions impacted his son.
Rachel attempts to have a conversation with Dean’s dad, but is rejected. She goes into the house and finds Dean crying on the floor (Dean’s dad doesn’t have any chairs, just cushions to sit on). She lays down beside her and Dean tells her that he’s falling in love with her. She tells him she’s falling in love with him too. AND THEN SHE SENDS HIM HOME DURING THE ROSE CEREMONY.
I will admit that I have a soft spot for Dean, but I trust Rachel to make the best decisions for her. However, I think this was bad form. Why would you make this guy deal with a decade-long family feud, tell him you love him, only to send him home immediately after? It seems cruel. Rachel told Dean in last week’s episode that she didn’t care about whether or not he had a tight-knit family. This week disproved that. There was no legitimate reason to eliminate Dean other than the fact that he has a bizarre family dynamic. I’m really bothered by this! Dean vocalized his fears to Rachel – he told her that he didn’t want her to think his family situation would be indicative of their future together and Rachel said she knew that. But then she kicks him off right after meeting his family! I really hope Dean doesn’t leave this experience thinking that he is doomed to repeat his childhood or that he’ll never find a woman who is okay with his family’s circumstances.
I never thought I would be so emotionally attached to a Bachelorette contestant. I’m beginning to sound like Bryan’s mother. Until next week, Bachelor Nation!