The Bachelorette is ready to take her men home to meet mom and dad — minus dad, because he is the living embodiment of Uncle Phil from the The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air and won’t deign to appear on The Bachelorette’s cameras. Ultimately that’s a good thing, because no one wants their federal judges appearing on reality TV — unless it is a reality show, which in the current political landscape is not outside the realm of possibility. While normally the star’s family only meets two of the suitors, because Rachel’s sister is extremely pregnant, they are bringing Rachel’s Top Three to Dallas for a meet-and-greet with the family. Since Rachel’s dad only exists off camera, her poor mother will have to bravely handle three men asking for her daughter’s hand in marriage.
Peter Meets the Family
Peter’s most swoon-worthy characteristic is not his gap-toothed smile or zaddy good hair, but the fact that he is incredibly good with children. So, grab your smelling salts, because Rachel and Peter kick off their date with some baby present shopping, where Peter struts his stuff and his baby knowledge. They load up on gifts and head to Rachel’s house for the meet-and-greet. Peter tells Rachel’s family how he is falling in love with her, which is news to Rachel. He also explains that he doesn’t really want to get on one knee at the end of this whole thing, because he wants a real relationship, not a made-for-TV one. Rachel’s family applauds this dose of reality, but Rachel looks skeptical. Peter doesn’t ask for Rachel’s hand in marriage and her mother likes him even more for it. Wanna bet the judge is off-camera applauding?
Eric Brings Charm City to Dallas
Poor Eric, can’t win, though. He is nervous to meet Rachel’s family, because he has never really met a girlfriend’s family before, because as you may have heard multiple times and will a few more times to come, he’s new here. He’s never been in a serious relationship before. However, as soon as he opens himself up to love, Rachel’s sister tells him that he’s not “on the same playing field” as Rachel, because he has never been in love before, which is a real chicken versus egg problem. He faced down the doubters, though, and asked Rachel’s mom for her daughter’s hand in marriage. Her mother sighs that Eric can’t be more like Peter and then begrudgingly says Eric can go ahead ask Rachel whatever he wants.
Bryan Does Dallas
For some probably foretelling reason, Bryan gets to meet Rachel’s friends before the family. They size him up and grill him and seem to agree with Rachel that he’s extremely charming, which is both a pro and a con. Rachel’s family seems to see through Bryan’s charm offensive. They seem fully cognizant of the fact that Rachel is gaga for Bryan, but don’t believe it’s possible to be fully in love in such a short amount of time, pointing out that they are outside “the bubble” of The Bachelorette and think she’s acting cuckoo. They are also aware that he’s a total mama’s boy and are concerned that he would prioritize his mother’s needs over Rachel’s, which is a very valid concern to everyone except Rachel, even though Bryan’s mother very recently told her that she would kill her if she hurt Bryan and she wasn’t really kidding. The whole family seems to accept what they are up against and gives up fighting, because Rachel is getting frustrated. Finally, Bryan asks Rachel’s mom for her daughter’s hand in marriage, and she sizes him up again and mutters something about trusting her daughter to make the right decision, which is good as Bryan is going to get.
The couples head to Rioja, Spain, which naturally is the perfect place to fall in love. If you watch enough of these shows you realize that anywhere — or at least anywhere who’s tourism board shells out enough cash to bring The Bachelorette to town — is the perfect place to fall in love. Just fall in love anywhere, kids! Finland, San Antonio, Rioja, it doesn’t really matter so long as you bring at least two potential life partners.
Eric Gets Some Alone Time
Because Rioja is known for its wine (if you didn’t know that, Eric and Rachel will tell you several times) the couple spend their date ogling grapes. They also talk about Eric’s time in Dallas, Rachel’s family, the fact that Eric doesn’t have much relationship experience, etc. Eric finally gives up fighting the inevitable and tells Rachel that he is definitely kinda sorta falling in love with her, and with that moment of honesty and vulnerability he earns an invitation to the Fantasy Suite. Doors shut, cameras out, see you next week.
Peter Kisses the Girls, Makes Them Cry
Rachel and Peter know that the secret to true love lies in wine. In vino veritas and all. So they head to a vineyard where a charming old man gives them their very own wine cellar and, hopefully, soon their Raquel y Pedro wine will be coming to a Trader Joe’s wine store near you so you can pick up a few bottles for your next Bachelorette viewing party and bring this whole thing full circle. After some wine and grape stomping action, Rachel gets down to business — she has a few questions for Peter. Basically, she has no intention of going through all the malarkey of The Bachelorette to come out on the other end with merely a boyfriend. That’s what Bumble is for. The Bachelorette is for a Neil Lane diamond ring and a proposal and an appearance on Dancing with the Stars to keep you warm at night while your engagement crumbles in the spotlight or turns into a televised wedding where your uncle has to walk you down the aisle because your father can’t appear on camera. That’s what Rachel wants. Peter however actually likes Rachel and wants to make this work in a real-world sense. You know, the real world where you don’t propose to a girl you just met nine weeks ago and who is still dating two other guys. Rachel cries at the impasse — and then the show ends, because this season needed another cliffhanger, apparently. Will Peter get a trip to the Fantasy Suite? Find out in two weeks after The Men Tell All.