Hour 1: Carly
It’s hometown date night! This is always the most boring episode. Parents will be skeptical, but will ultimately give their blessing for their daughter to go to an island and bang it out with a dude in a polyamorous relationship. America!
We’re off to Ocala, Florida to see Lindzi first. She is wearing cowboy boots with actual spurs because OF COURSE SHE IS and keeps referring to Ben as her boyfriend. She says that the last dude she brought home ended up breaking her heart. She also says that after it ended she “literally thought that life wouldn’t go on,” joining the proud tradition of Bachelor contestants who don’t understand what literally means.
She rides her horse over to greet Ben and tells them they are going to go carriage riding, because apparently that’s a thing now. She says that horses have been a part of her life since before she was born, which actually makes no sense at all. They stop and have a picnic and both of them throw around lots of “putting yourself out there”s and “opening up”s and all the other tropes we’ve come to know and love in the 16(!) seasons of this terrible mess. Ben says he likes that Lindzi is being vulnerable as Dennis the horse rolls his eyes.
Lindzi’s parents are Margie and Harry and they are adorable. Harry wastes no time in filling everyone’s glasses with wine because he knows what’s what. Ben finds out that Margie and Harry were married at San Francisco City Hall, which is where he had his first date with Lindzi, so of course it’s destinyyyyyyy.
The rents challenge our young lovers to a carriage race (more of this??) and of course they lose to the oldies. Margie and Harry gloat as Ben and Lindzi drag their carriage back to the house.
Lindzi has an H to H with her mom, and talk about how much neither of them want Lindz to get hurt, which is the same conversation we will undoubtedly hear on the next three dates as well. Now it’s Ben’s turn with mom… he asks if Lindzi is ready to get engaged given her semi-recent heartbreak. She says yes, I say it doesn’t matter because Ben is so obviously going to choose Courtney the Crazy.
Next Ben kind of sort of asks Lindzi’s dad for his blessing if at some point in the distant future he decided to maybe ask her to marry him. It’s all very convoluted and difficult to follow. Harry toasts Ben and says that he’d be happy to have Ben as a son-in-law and I throw up a little in my mouth.
Clarksville, Tennessee. Kacie B. has brought the high school marching band to Buster Boguskie field and does a baton twirling routine before shrieking a lot and leaping into Ben’s arms. Wow. I liked her so much and I think the last 30 seconds just zapped all the goodwill I once had. Just terrible.
They talk a little more about Grampa Boguskie and how he and her grandmother were supah in love and died a few weeks apart. Of course Kacie says that her grandmother died of a broken heart. Ugh. I hate when people say that. She warns Ben that her father is a federal probation officer who doesn’t drink and Ben gets appropriately nervous because there’s no way he’s going to impress anyone without beer goggles.
Kacie is “very sure” she’s in love with Ben, and just wants her parents to believe that this is a real relationship. Well, assuming they have brains and eyes and have resided in the world in the last 10 years, I think you’re in for some trouble, Kacie.
Kacie pulls sister Alison aside and tells her that Ben is her future husband. Alison mainly just sits there as Kacie launches on a defensive diatribe about how her parents need to be supportive of her “relationship.”
Meanwhile, Ben is sitting with Kacie’s dad and the conversation is very stunted and uncomfy. At one point Ben mentions the “sanctity of marriage,” which is really just laughable, given what’s going to happen in hour 2. Dad is unconvinced, and tells Ben that if Kacie isn’t the one, he should boot her soon because she’s already invested. Ben just says “ok,” which isn’t really very comforting to anyone. Mama B. lists off qualities that she thinks are important, including integrity… so, LOL. She also tells him that she doesn’t think that people should live together before being married, and Ben fires off his second non-committal “ok” in as many minutes.
Kacie talks to her dad, who begs her not to rush things. She says she loves Ben and would accept if proposed, and dad says at this point he wouldn’t give his blessing. Kacie is frustrated with her dad and generally stressed out about how terrible everything went. Her anxiety probably isn’t helped by the lukewarm goodbye she and Ben share.
Fort Worth, Texas! Ben loves everything about Texas. And because the Bachelor can’t do anything except for play on stereotypes, Ben and Nicki immediately go shopping for cowboy boots and hats. They wander around and have a drink in a saloon, and they do actually appear to be having fun together. They end up on a bench discussing the failed marriage (of course) and she gets a little teary about the end of things. Nicki seems like so much more of an adult than the other girls. She’s totes my fave, but I’m pretty sure she doesn’t have a shot at that final rose. And with that they’re off to meet the rents, and I’m off to let Sarah handle that and all of the weird shit that is about to go down with Courtney.
Hour 2: Sarah
So. This is really late, and it’s completely my fault. Not the first time I’ve put my career before true looooooooove! (*Gagging that turns into a sob*) We’re here now, though, and that’s all that matters!
So, on Monday night, while Carly was finishing her hour of recapping, I was bored and decided to wash my face. I came out of the bathroom and sat on the couch and she stared at me, horrified. “Your face. For a second your expression made you look like Courtney. I GUESS it’s a compliment?” So now I’m trying to avoid pursing my lips basically for the rest of my life.
But enough about me, Ben and Nicki are still on their riveting hometown date! Nicki’s dad seems really nice. Nicki’s mom seems to want to bone Ben, and is way on board with the show’s premise in a way I don’t think I’ve seen any other parent be, ever. You really support this choice of your daughter’s, Mrs. Nicki’s Mom? Mom and daughter sit on Nicki’s bed and giggle about Ben. Hometown dates are so boring, because the conversations in three of them just don’t matter. Mr. Nicki’s Dad sits down with her and expresses regret that he “gave” her hand in marriage too hastily because he trusted her completely, and since she got divorced that was clearly the wrong call. What? I guess he’s saying her judgment sucks? And he didn’t realize it until it was too late? It’s sad to see her dad so upset, but also it has nothing to do with him? “I actually like the guy,” Nicki’s rando brother pipes up after Ben leaves, and everyone laughs. Useless. Nicki walks Ben out and tells him she’s in love with him, which always makes me cringe. Ben, like all shade-ster Bachelors before him, accepts this without saying anything in return. Oh wait, he says “I have great gut feelings about Nicki, and her ability to make me happy for the rest of my life.” BARF CITY!!!!
Courtney’s date. Wait, Courtney is from SCOTTSDALE? Booooooooooooooooo. The producers are trying to sell us on Courtney being all sweetness and light once she’s away from the other girls. I’m so sure. Anyone who has to be taken away from all the other members of her gender/possible competitors for her man in order to seem halfway human sure is a prize. Courtney’s dad looks like every ridiculous city councilman in Phoenix who spends his time trying to legislate whether or not teachers can swear outside of school. Courtney’s mom is pretty normal, except now I see where Courtney got all of her weird facial tics. Courtney’s sister takes her aside for a chat. What must it be like to be Courtney’s sister? She should write a book.
Ben sits down with Courtney’s dad, who is suspiciously old-man-handsome and jovial like the murderous husband in a Lifetime movie. Courtney sits down with her mom and the baby talk gets really upsetting. Courtney and Ben to on a date to The Farm, which Carly tells me is super close to our old neighborhood. BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO. Courtney says she has always wanted to get married there (Carly tells me that some mutual friends got married here, and obviously all I have to say to that is BOOOOOOOOOOO), and so she set up a fake wedding. They are writing fake vows. What is going on??????
I’ll tell you what’s going on.
So, after that mess, Ben meets Harrison heart to heart. There are flashbacks to shit we saw an hour ago. Rose ceremony time.
Courtney. Lindzi. I’m going to leave you with the sentence I wrote on Monday night, since that basically sums everything up:
Nikki. I’m not surprised, but Carly yells.