The Bachelor Season 20, Episode 8: Big Brothers Are Watching

the-bachelor-beachWe certainly had A Night on tonight’s episode of The Bachelor: it’s hometowns week! I love hometowns, it’s by far my favorite episode of each season. I love watching how everyone’s families interact with a potential suitor, and we were not let down tonight. From Lauren’s sister running a Spanish inquisition on Ben to JoJo’s brothers almost getting into a fight with Ben (and I really wish that had happened), this may not have been the most dramatic episode of the show, but it was definitely the most tense hometown episode I’ve ever seen. Grab your merlot and let’s recap!

First up is Amanda’s hometown date in Laguna Beach. First of all, why don’t I live here? Second of all, I like Amanda, but her interactions with Ben seem so unnatural. The best part about Amanda’s date is her two kids who are true-to-life munchkin nugget babies. They are adorable, and Ben falls for them the minute he meets them. He may or may not cry when he sees Amanda with her kids for the first time. I may or may not have cried as well. It’s going to be a long night, folks.

Amanda’s parents are concerned that Ben is going to turn out to be another deadbeat, and although he clearly isn’t, Amanda’s parents plant some seeds of discontent in his mind you can tell. He’s not ready to step up to the plate and be super Dad — and who would be? Hello, you can’t just step out of the Bachelor role and into the loving and supportive father role. They are leaps and bounds apart. Something to think about for the rest of the episode, yeah?

Lauren’s date is up next in her hometown of Portland, Ore. Ben is so in love with Lauren that it’s basically not even a competition anymore. She takes him on a tour of Portland: the classic “keep Portland weird” sign, a massive amount of food trucks and a whiskey library. She’s officially the coolest girlfriend ever and you can tell Ben thinks so, too. Once she brings him home to meet her family, her sister takes Ben to the side and interrogates him about his feelings for Lauren so much so to the point that he cries about it! Just kidding. Well, kind of. He does cry, but only because he’s super emotional when talking about Lauren which is all her sister needed to hear. Ben cries a lot in this episode. Lauren’s dad seems mostly concerned with hearing what Ben thinks makes Lauren special because everything needs to be perfect for his “baby Lolo.” Ugh. Bye. Next!

Ben heads next to Hudson, Ohio, Caila’s hometown. It’s super quaint, super Midwestern, in other words, super Ben-centric. He goes gaga for the town, as expected. She takes him to her dad’s office — apparently he’s the CEO of a toy company — and just as she wants them to build a house together, they build a toy house together. What a way to bring your dreams to life. It’s really a great week for hamfisted symbolism here on The Bachelor. This whole date seems like a regular stupid schtick date, not a hometown date, but I digress. Ben and Caila head back to her house where her dad expresses concern that he doesn’t know what he’s getting himself into, presumably because their family is super into their Filipino history? But the dad’s white? I wasn’t really sure what that whole thing was about, but Caila tells her father not to worry, she’s convinced that Ben is the one.

Finally, the fourth and single most intense hometown date I’ve ever seen arrives: JoJo’s hometown of Dallas, Texas. She receives a gorgeous bouquet of flowers and a handwritten note which she thinks is from Ben and upon further inspection, we find out it’s actually from JoJo’s ex boyfriend, Chad. The Chad who JoJo has spent a million years trying to move past. The Chad who JoJo repeatedly brings up that she’s been hurt by in the past! Chad! How dare you? Ben shows up and sees that JoJo’s been crying, which leads her to admit that she received flowers from her ex but that she called him and told him to leave her alone forever, which Ben takes as a good sign. However, I can’t say that the rest of this date was a good sign, as it’s basically a disaster.

JoJo’s mom cries, JoJo’s dad seems uninterested in anything Ben has to say, and her brothers absolutely hate him. Maybe hate is a strong word but they definitely don’t like him. They go out of their way to make him feel awkward, unwanted and even unworthy of JoJo’s time. Granted, these guys are super protective of their sister but she’s so clearly into Ben that they still won’t even give him a chance. They even say Ben sounds robotic and fake, that he was coached to say all the things he tells them. Look, I know this show is super scripted and super fake, but Ben is the only Bachelor in recent history that has actually been able to pull off these lines and make them sound plausible. Give credit where credit’s due, boys!

Since hometowns are pretty boring, these two hours both fly by and drag at the same time. Funny how that works. Sadly, tonight we say goodbye to our resident mom (Teen Mom, if you’re Olivia). Ben sends Amanda home, back to her kids. She handles it really well and even calls him out on not preparing her. I mean, hey, at least you live in Laguna Beach. Doesn’t take that far to get from the Bachelor mansion back to the OC. You could be living in Ohio. (Sorry, not sorry, Caila).

Thoughts and Questions

  • Have you ever cried on one date as much as Ben did on tonight’s episode? Spoiler alert: I totally have.
  • If you went on this show, would you hire fake actors to be your family? Especially if they were as crazy as JoJo’s brothers?
  • Quote of the night: “I feel like Ben’s, like, my person.” –Lauren to her sister. And with that meta tie-in to yet another ABC hit show (Grey’s Anatomy, anyone?), I think Lauren has either clinched herself an engagement ring or a spot on the next installment of The Bachelorette.

Photo credit: ABC.com

Past Weeks:
Episode 7: Welcome to Indiana
Episode 6: Bahamania
Episode 5: Viva Mexico
Episode 4: Stop Referring to Ben as Your Husband
Episode 3: I Hate My Legs
Episode 2: I’m Not a Crazy Girl at All
Episode 1: Are You a Chicken Enthusiast?

meghan-kennedy-bio-picMeghan is a recent graduate of SUNY Geneseo with a degree in Personal and Professional Communication. You can find her at the nearest Chipotle tweeting about Drake, her sorority little and Project Runway.