Last week on The Bachelorette, Desiree Hartsock separated the last chaff from her man-wheat and chose her final four contestants. This week, she heads to the hometowns of her four concurrent boyfriends to meet their four families. Nothing strange about that at all.
Here’s what happens on The Bachelorette:
First Date: Zak, the fluid-drilling engineer, brings Desiree to his hometown of Dallas, where his family apparently runs a sno-cone truck and not, as we had been lead to believe, a fluid-drilling engineering firm. Zak invites Des on board and instead of making sno-cone/marriage analogies (they’re are icy, can lead to headaches and are occasionally colorful?), they take to the streets and lure children into their clutches. Which I think is the plot of the next installment in Jason Statham’s Transporter series.
Red Flag: Zak sneaks out of the sno-cone truck and reappears in a panda suit.
Best Way to Embarrass Your Mom: Zak has to explain to his mother and brothers and sisters that he came out of the limo shirtless and asked Des, “Will you accept these abs?” Just what every mother hopes for her child.
Best Shortcut: Zak’s mother loaded up the dining room table with roses and suggests that Des give her son a rose now and just end the show. Sadly, Des just laughed off the suggestion.
Best Looking Family Ever: Zak’s family is gorgeous. This does not stop them from jinxing Zak, like when his extremely attractive sister told the camera that she has never seen Zak so happy and she hopes that he doesn’t get hurt. That means that he’s totally getting hurt, right? Right.
Reddest Flag: Desiree announces, “I want the best for Zak,” which is Bachelorette-ese for “I am dumping him later today. “
Important Question: Zak’s family wrote and performed a song for Des. Is having your siblings sing a love song to your lady creepy — or really, really creepy?
Bachelorette Milestone: Zak tells Des he loves her.
Word to the Wise: Never give someone a ring if you have to preface it with the statement, “Don’t freak out.” Zak apparently never got this maxim in his fortune cookie, because before he gives Des his grandmother’s ring, he says “don’t freak out.” Des makes a freaked-out face and then they make out.
Second Date: Des greets Drew in Scottsdale by jumping into his arms and shrieking, “You look adorable!” Is that what a guy wants to hear? Well, maybe Drew does. He is wearing a pink shirt after all.
Family Matters: Drew takes Des to meet his severely challenged sister, Melissa, who can’t communicate verbally at all. He’s never brought anyone to meet his sister before, but he’s willing to bring Des and a camera crew. While Melissa can’t talk, it’s clear that she’s very excited. Drew and Des take Melissa from the home where she lives to his parents’ house to meet the rest of the family.
Silliest Question: Drew’s dad asks Des what first attracted her to Drew. Has he ever seen his son?
Oddest Question: Drew’s father asks Des a question, “Do you believe in angels?” She nods. He then asks her if she’s ever met one before, while this sounds like some wacked out adolescent pick-up line, it’s just Drew’s dad’s way of saying that Melissa is an angel. Des smiles.
Bachelorette Milestone Reached: Drew tells Des that he loves her in the driveway, under the American flag. She kisses him in response. Des wants to join Drew’s family right now. She wants to stay, which is good because…
Most Confident: …Drew tells us that the next time he sees his family he will be an engaged man.
Third Date: Chris brings Des to McMinnville, Or., to the ball field where he grew up. They dress up in matching jerseys and throw some balls around (not a euphemism) and utter not a single line of poetry.
Best Characteristic: With eyes open wide in awe, Chris tells his father, “Des can hit!” which is, of course, very important to a marriage.
A Match Made in Michael’s Craft Store?: Des made Chris a scrapbook of all their time together. He made her a flower.
Most Enthusiastic Answer: Chris’ mom asked: “Do you guys drink wine?” And Des almost shouted, “Oh, yeah!”
Like A Scene Out of Meet the Parents: At some point during dinner, Chris’ dad offers Des a free chiropractic adjustment, which she accepts. He changes into his chiropractor coat, so it’s very legit when she lays down on the table and he grabs some tush. For science.
Worst Cinematography: Then it’s Chris’ turn on the table, for a chat with his dad, who is busy sticking a balloon thing up his nose while we all get to watch since the camera is pointed right up the old snoot. Chris assures us it’s all completely normal as he blows his nose.
Fourth Date: Brooks kicks off his date in Salt Lake City by telling the camera that he kind of forgot about Des while they were apart. Des thinks Brooks is holding back because, you know, she’s dating three other guys. Des made him a rose that transforms into a letter enumerating all of her favorite moments with Brooks. Her favorite moment? When he was writhing in pain on the floor with his broken finger and still being “so adorable.”
Bachelorette Milestone?: Des may or may not have said that she loves Brooks. He does not reciprocate. That means three out of the four men have said the L-word — and Des prefers the one who didn’t. This is the most realistic this show has ever been.
Welcome To Utah: Brooks’ family is so large that they all have to wear name tags so Des has any chance of keeping them straight.
The Tell: Before chatting with Des, Brooks’ mom audibly gulped between the words “they might” and get “married.”
Realest Talk: Brooks’ mother tells him, “You’re my favorite,” ensuring him tons of noogies at the hands of his brothers later. Brooks announces that if things didn’t go well between Desiree and his mom, it would be the end of his relationship with Des. When Brooks asks his mom how it went, she says, “It went okay, I think,” which is not exactly a ringing endorsement.
Sibling Rivalry: Avid fans of this show (all four of you!) will remember that Des’ run on Sean Lowe’s season of The Bachelor, was cut short when Des’ brother Nate showed up and talked so much smack that Sean crumpled and kicked Des off. It was hard to blame him too, because can you imagine sharing holidays with an openly hostile straight talker determined to be a pain in the patoot? Des was not happy with Sean or Nate, but since Nate is family she has to talk to him eventually and it may as well be on national television.
Most Fun: After asking Des how it’s going with the man meat, Nate tells Des, “I would like to meet ‘em, definitely. That would be fun.” Yes, yes it would be.
Rose Ceremony: Brooks, of course, gets the first rose. (Des, don’t look so needy!) Chris gets the next one, leaving Zak and Drew waiting while Chris Harrison comes out and performs his hostly duties and announces the final rose.
Who Goes Home? Zak. He looks gobsmacked as he bids farewell to his rivals and Des walks him out. They hold hands very awkwardly and then drop them the second they hit the lobby. Zak tries really hard not to be the guy who cries on a reality show. Des tries to explain her actions and then gives his grandmother’s ring back.
Most Likely To Regret: In the limo, Zak closes his eyes in dismay. Then he tosses his grandmother’s hope ring out the window. His family is not going to be happy about that. On the plus side, some homeless man could be sleeping in a hotel tonight.
Best Reason To Come Back Next Week: The men tell all!