What a weird bunch of hometown dates. I may have officially given up on thinking that Nick Viall is ever going to find real or everlasting love on this show now that we know Rachel is going to be our next Bachelorette (!!!). Last week, we saw Kristina go bye-bye, Corinne never knowing what’s going on, and Nick being just so unpredictable. Will there be a rose ceremony this week finally????
No. We’re back in the Whitney-of-Islands, Bimini, and thank god we’ve found Vanessa. Spoiler alert, she kinda goes missing again in this episode. WHAT is this girl doing all the time while cameras are rolling??? The four remaining women are hanging around perfectly in frame and talking about how they’re not sure if Nick is going to do something crazy and not have the traditional four hometown dates this year. THE HORROR. Just then, a bellowing knock on their Bimini door. It’s Nick Viall! Such a shock and surprise. Nick sits down and tells the women that he just couldn’t make Kristina sit through a rose ceremony hearing all these other names being called then sending her home. Classy move, I gotta give it to him, but it does make LITERALLY EVERY OTHER BACHELOR IN HISTORY look kinda like a dick. It’s true, though, that is kind of a disrespectful thing to do especially for the light of our life Kristina. So, Nick walks in with 4 roses in his hands, though, I can’t be the only one to think that those definitely 100% were not real roses. Also, instantly, I’m just like, but you already gave a rose to Raven tho. The producers picked up what I was puttin’ down though, and Nick was like “well, it’s been a few days so I have to offer the rose and be invited to these homes”. Look, I’m a Nick Viall fan, so I’m not the person that this episode was trying to appeal to, but like, damn, are they making him look scripted in this episode. He’s not Ben Higgins, nor should we pretend he is so let’s get to the passion, folks. So, an official congrats to Raven, Vanessa, Corinne, and Rachel for taking Mr. Nick Viall to meet your families, and also congrats to the four of you for slightly screwing up my fantasy league results.
We first head to the great Hoxie, AK to meet up with Raven. I believe it was in my first recap for this season, but I put out a plea for us to #PrayForHoxie. After seeing this day, my hashtag still stands. Raven rides up like a badass on an ATV to pick up Nick—she’s got a helmet for him, but she’s driving of course. She says that the things people do to have fun in Hoxie are muddin’ (wut), froggigging (surprisingly do know what this is because my best friend is from Kentucky), and climbing “grain bins”. I mean. They pull up to one of the main attractions in Hoxie, which just happens to be some of these “grain bins” Raven just mentioned. She tells Nick that whenever you needed to have a meaningful conversation, you would go to the grain bins. WUT. I mostly just sit on my couch and cry when I need to have a meaningful conversation, just ask my Kentucky best friend, we’ve cried on my couch more times than I could count. Some girls have furniture, others have grain bins. Alrighty. They climb up to the top of these grain bins (seriously cannot stop saying grain bins to try to normalize it) and instantly a police car pulls up with its lights flashing asking Raven and Nick to climb back down. Also, there is what seems to be a convict escaping the vehicle. The “police officer” does not seem to notice that someone gets out of the back seat of the police car and simply runs out of frame. It is never explained. The “police officer” asks Nick for his ID, but, of course, Nick doesn’t have it on him. The, suddenly, we find out, THE “POLICE OFFICER” IS RAVEN’S BROTHER. CUTE! Well, not really. Is he a real police officer? Because his “uniform” was blowing in the wind like a cheap Party City rental. Genuinely, I’m not sure if this guy is a police officer and who the guy is who fled his car. Also, Hoxie is EXTREMELY windy. I HAVE SO MANY QUESTIONS AND THEY WILL NEVER BE ANSWERED. So, guess we’re done with that because Raven and Nick head out, though this time Nick gets his own ATV because I suppose he found his ID. They drive through a literal SWAMP, perhaps one of the mainstays of Hoxie (#PrayForHoxie) and then decide to remove Nick’s shirt and roll around in said swamp and kiss a bit. It is DUMB. I like Raven, and this franchise as a whole, as all of you know, but I’m sorry, this was the single most boring hometowns episode ever. Like Nick sorta kinda likes all of these women, but clearly not all that much and I’M OVER IT. Anyway, the producers allow them to shower thank gawd. They head into Raven’s home to meet her mom and dad and her maybe-could-be-police-officer brother and sit down—we find out that Raven’s dad just got news that her father is now cancer free and I instantly start crying for the next like 10 minutes straight, it’s such great news. I feel like Nick reacts relatively normally and well, but that is kind of an awkward position to be put in, to meet your girlfriend’s dad for the first time and have to make a good impression by reacting appropriately to a cancer update. Raven and her dad talk and they’re both thankful that one day, he’s excited that he’ll be able to walk his daughter down the aisle at her wedding. She goes to talk to her mom and her mom basically just wants to know if she’ll be able to tell Nick how she feels or if she’ll be too scared to tell him that she loves him. Fair point, but I feel like this whole episode, we’re forgetting that Raven already essentially told Nick she loves him like 2 full weeks ago. While Raven is chatting with her mom, Nick and her dad talk and Nick starts by saying, “First of all, congratulations on being cancer free and also can I plz have your blessing tysm”. TBH, I think I actually probably used more words and took up more time than Nick before jumping into that conversation. I do have to give it to Nick this episode, though, he’s not pulling a Ben Higgins and accidentally not asking for the fathers’ blessings before he’s going to propose. Raven’s dad says that he did not expect to like Nick (same with most of America, likely), but he does and sure, he can have his blessing. What I do love about Raven’s parents, though, is that both of them are pretty much like, “We trust your judgement”. Her dad especially seems on board with the whole thing and even says that there’s a good possibility that Nick is the one that he’s going to be handing Raven off to. They say goodbye to her family and the two of them go outside to talk, but Raven can’t work up the courage to tell Nick that she loves him. Poor girl. And poor Hoxie.
Next we head down to Dallas, TX to meet up with Rachel. They meet up in a park and Nick is simply dressed to the nines. I love Rachel so so much, but I also love that Nick feels like he can be a true adult around her, like he’s trying to be a straight up MAN around her. Rachel tells Nick that they’re heading to a place that’s super important to her and he’s dressed perfectly for the occasion. They end up at her church and it seems like a typical Mega-Church. Their musicians are bomb and Rachel says that she wanted to take Nick here in order to see if he would fit in in her mostly black church or if he would feel uncomfortable. Unsurprisingly, at least to me, Nick seems totally comfortable and is just taking everything in, even though it’s a totally new experience for him. Nick even says that he would love if this is just a regular thing that they get to do as a couple. We spend a lot of time with Nick and Rachel and with Rachel’s family talking about what their struggles are going to be like outside of the show if they end up together because, although it doesn’t bother them, there are still way too many people in the world who would not be entirely comfortable with this interracial relationship. I do love that Nick brings it up and just says that he’s not colorblind, he knows she’s black, and that’s kind of it. No “but”, not “still”, just these are the facts and it might be weird for your family because you’ve never brought home a white guy and it’s different for me because I’ve never seriously dated a black girl, but that’s just where we’re at right now. I also am a straight white woman so I truly have no authority on this, but I am loving their approach. They walk into Rachel’s home, her dad can’t be there sadly due to work obligations, but instantly I’m OBSESSED with her family. As Rachel says, “You don’t need to have black skin, but you gotta have thick skin.” They’re funny as hell. Rachel’s little sister, who is truly the same person as Rachel, asks Nick if he even knows what all the food on his plate is. LOL. My favorite ever was Rachel’s older sister and her husband, who is also white and their entire conversation is GOLD:
Nick: “You have made us feel so comfortable.”
Rachel’s Sister: “Why because we look like you?”
Rachel’s Brother-in-Law: “Ah, two young lovebirds coming for the hometown visit. I can’t help but notice that you are white.”
I was CACKLING with laughter. Rachel’s older sister wants Nick to be aware of Rachel’s race, which is a valid point, it’s definitely something they’ll have to tackle, because, as I said before, many in this world are still learning how to be compassionate and kind human beings. Nick says that he thinks if people do judge their relationship, it will only bring him and Rachel closer. While Nick and Rachel’s sister are chatting, Rachel and her mom talk—Rachel says that if she had a checklist for what she wants in man, she would sure be checking off a lot of those boxes with Nick. She even tells her mom that it was Nick who broached the topic of it being an interracial relationship first, so she takes that as a sign that he’s not embarrassed by anything and is willing to have those hard conversations. Rachel’s mom is cautious, but does say that Nick’s drive and confidence does remind her of Rachel’s dad. YAHS. She’s falling in love with him. It makes me so sad that this was such an amazing hometown and I love them so much, but now we know it’s going to end either this week or next.
On to Corinne. I must say, Corinne has grown on me, certainly. As you all know, I completely and totally hated her at the beginning of this season: she almost made me give up on the franchise. Has Corinne changed? No. But have I changed? Maybe! We head down to Miami to do something Corinne says is a typical day for her. They’re at one of the most exclusive malls in Miami. What does that even mean? Is she involved in some sort of mall membership? Also begs the question: is there an even more exclusive mall? She and Nick walk around all the stores, and as Nick says, the employees react like it’s christmas morning every time Corinne walks in: COMMISSION, BABBYYYYYYY! They end up just shopping for Nick and he tries on a sweatsuit that is $1400, you know TYPICAL TIMES. They end up buying Nick essentially the same outfit he walked into the store with, just fancier. Corinne puts down her AmEx and charges all $3400 to daddy. Nick is anxious and so am I. They sit down at a small cafe presumably still in one of the most exclusive malls in Miami and Corinne says she loves Nick. AW! Not really, she seems to have the maturity and emotional intelligence (lol) of someone half her age, but good for her! They go on over to Corinne’s house, or condo I should say, (BAD INVESTMENT OLYMPIOS FAMILY, YOU ESSENTIALLY OWN NOTHING) to meet her parents, her sister, and the infamous Raquel. They’re all fine. Corinne’s dad is kind of the only one of note here and is what I expect is a crossbreed between Danny DeVito and Janice from Friends. Cute! They force feed Nick an olive just to make sure he likes Greek food—“I don’t eat olives, but this is the best olive I’ve ever had!” NICE TRY, VIALL. Corinne and her dad go into what we I suppose can believe is her bedroom to chat about all the financial stuff. Will Corinne be okay being the breadwinner in the relationship? Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm. Nick sits down with her dad and tells him what she said: she’s more than happy to be making enough money for the both of them. HOW BIG OF HER. How did we genuinely spend like 3 full minutes of network television in 2017 determining if everyone was fine with a woman making more money than a man???????? But of course Nick asks for her dad’s blessing, he says “sure”, and also that Corinne might be the lid to Nick’s pot. Blech.
Finally we head to rainy and lovely Montreal, Quebec, Canada! Do we think Vanessa was missing for so long last week because she had to leave early because Montreal is really far away? Me either. Vanessa and Nick meet up in the rain and start to share an umbrella and it’s really cute, then they walk away and SUDDENLY HER UMBRELLA IS MISSING. I’m more and more convinced the ghost of Mae possessed Vanessa in New Orleans and this creepy 8 year old is controlling this woman’s movement. Vanessa takes Nick to meet her class: she’s a special education teacher for adults over 21. I don’t want to get bogged down with sincerity, but people that do what Vanessa does have been an absolute gift for my family and the families of friends. Corinne may not think that Vanessa has any depth, but it’s amazing what she does every day. Her students are the best, they so clearly love her so much and she sits them down to introduce them to Nick and they just instantly love him. That’s the other thing: these kids would not have any hesitation if they hated Nick Viall. THEY’RE NICK FANS, TOO, WELCOME TO THE CLUB, MY FRIENDS! Her students help make this scrapbook of Vanessa and Nick’s love story and then we sort of just never see the finished product? Her students give Nick their stamp of approval and they’re on their way. They’re on their way to two houses, by the way, Vanessa’s parents are divorced, but do not speak to one another, so Nick will have to meet them separately. First, they go to Vanessa’s grandparents’ house to meet roughly one thousand people. My favorite part of this date is that Vanessa brings her best friends to the hometown. WHY IS THIS NOT ALWAYS HAPPENING. Y’all kNOW if I was ever on my own hometown I would bring all 14 of my best friends. THEY HAVE TO KNOW HIM. Anyway, Vanessa’s whole family is generally skeptical and mad at Nick and Vanessa for not talking about real stuff. Fair point. Her mom even is like “What do you like about Vanessa?” and Nick starts with that she’s beautiful and no one is having it. They don’t care that you think she’s hot, Nick. We’re led to believe that Vanessa’s last breakup was super bad, so bad in fact that apparently all of her siblings and her parents are terrified something like that is going to happen again. I would like some more info on that PLZZZ. They finish up on a weird note with Vanessa’s mom and siblings and everyone else in Montreal and head over to Vanessa’s dad’s house. I suppose we are to assume that the woman with him is Vanessa’s stepmom, but we never really cover it. OH ALSO. WHAT is up with the inconsistency in accents in this family. Her dad has a very thick accent I can’t place, her brother sounds a bit like her dad, her sister has a semi-Jersey accent, and her mom a relatively neutral American accent. I’M SO CONFUSED. Vanessa’s dad can apparently be awkward and boy oh boy do we find that out right away upon them entering the home. Nick pretty instantly asks her dad for his blessing and his dad is NOT interested. He, rightfully, asks if he’s already asked 3 other fathers this—he sure has! I guess Nick sort of convinced him to give it because eventually he literally says, “K sounds good”, but yiiiikkkkesss was that uncomfortable. To top it off, Vanessa hears from her dad that Nick has asked other fathers and she’s crushed. I mean, you knew what you were getting into with this, right Vanessa???? I do have to give it to them, though, as they were leaving sort of silently, clearly Nick saw something was up and grabbed her and said, “Stay outta your head, okay?” UGH, HE KNOWS HER.
We end up in New York, New York, Nick Viall’s favorite city and also mine! All of the girls converge to this cool looking hotel: Raven is scared she hasn’t told Nick she loves him, Rachel and Corinne have to share the same balcony to gaze off of, and VANESSA IS MISSING AGAIN. WHY ARE WE NOT KEEPING TRACK OF THIS GIRL? Thank god, she’s back, and looking fierce and seemingly about to head up to talk to Nick—she has no luggage! Ahhhhh! Feet are walking, then KNOCK, KNOCK. Nick turns, answers the door, and OH CRAP. IT’S ANDI DORFMAN.
Next week on The Bachelor: Andi wants Nick to be honest, Nick is going to cry a lot, and he might even be the first Bachelor in history to get rejected! Until then, KEEP AN EYE ON VANESSA!