Do you have a favorite holiday? Or just any old day of the year where you feel pure joy and euphoria?
For me, that day is Hometown Date Day on The Bachelor/Bachelorette.
Honestly what could be better?
You see moms, dads, siblings, and the occasional weirdly-present aunt just fawn over their children's suitors.
Maybe a brother gets a little too protective.
Maybe a dad places too much pressure on the validity of the relationship.
Maybe a mom knocks back a few too many, turns pink, brings out embarrassing baby photos, unintentionally says something racially insensitive, spills pinot on a producer and SWEARS to pay back her cousin (whose house they filmed at because it looks way nicer for TV) for the rug she trashed with said pinot.
Eric makes it very clear that he did not grow up in a good part of Baltimore, MD.
Rachel feels 112% at home after walking through the door and the Baltimore accents are HEAVY and FLOWING.
Aunt Verna is coming in HOT with the conversation on race, upstaging Eric's mom who is so visibly uncomfortable on camera it hurts.
She seems like a nice lady and has a more subdued conversation with Rachel,
I've never been this happy with a girl, like, ever.
He's also never dated any girl on TV, like, ever.
Overall the hometown visit went great and Reric is growing stronger.
Bryan the Hot Colombian Chiropractor greets Rachel Will Smith style before they hang out with poquito abuelitos playing dominoes.
He preps Rachel for meeting his mamacita vibrante, the Yoko of his last relationship.
Bryan's mom is essentially obsessed with her son.
This is like a reverse Norman Bates kind of situation.
"Did they hire her?" - Beth, the roommate.
If he's happy, I'm happy. If he's not.... I'll kill you.
Olga has friends in the cartel, and Rachel knows.
Bryan professes his love, taking a note out of the Book of Jojo, remembering Broody Luke's demise when he clammed up during his hometown.
Petey and Ray are looking matchy-matchy as they stroll through a quaint farmer's market, eating pickles and giggling.
Peter's friends (2/4 are black so we know he's not racist) arrive at a completely empty restaurant.
The guys leave the booth to the ladies and reconvene 6 feet away to have a "guy time."
His friends give great advice.
Peter's family is precious, despite his mother's I-Need-To-Speak-To-A-Manager haircut.
...And the fact that she may have just endangered his chances greatly by discussing his love of commitment.
Are prepared for the trash fire that is Dean's family?
I know you saw his dad wearing a lavender turban in the promo.
I know you heard his high-pitched meth-addict voice squawking at his son about being mainstream.
But first, some light quadding.
Dean hasn't spoken to his dad in 2 years and is petrified as they approach the shack.
Throughout rigorous gong playing and heartwarming feather-giving, my first impression of Dean's dad may be proven wrong.
This may be the first and only time we see people eat a meal on this show.
This feels less like an opportunity for Rachel to get to know Dean's family and more like a very publicized therapy session (where no one can make eye contact or speak at a regulated speed).
Just going to leave this here for those who need a refresher.
There are tears, awkward encounters, embarrassment, and hair grabbing.
Do not grab her weave, Dean. DO YOU KNOW HOW EXPENSIVE THAT WAS?
The Rose Ceremony
Four remain, but one must go.
Hasta NUNCA, Deano.
May you work out your daddy issues and keep tweeting shade.