On The Bachelorette, Rachel Lindsay has now winnowed her flock of suitors from two dozen to a mere four. Only Eric, Bryan, Peter, and Dean remain and they are all eager to bring her home to meet their moms and dads. Well, in Dean’s case “eager” isn’t exactly the right word, but he is willing to cross the burning bridge that is his relationship to his father in order to earn himself a rose and a trip to the Fantasy Suites.
Here’s what happened on The Bachelorette season 13, episode 8:
Eric Brings Rachel to Baltimore
Eric gives Rachel the tourist version of Baltimore—and then he takes her to where he grew up, taking her to play basketball (a bold move, considering our lovely Bachelorette dated NBA star Kevin Durant in college). Later they meet one of Eric’s friends, who makes sure that Rachel and the audience at home know that Eric was always better than most of the other kids in the neighborhood.
While Eric has never really brought a girl home before, he then brings Rachel to his auntie’s house to meet the family. They adorably sit in a giant family circle on the sofa to pepper Rachel and Eric with questions. Eric’s auntie jumps right into a conversation about race and Rachel replies, that “love doesn’t have a color.” On the sidelines, Eric and his mom have a deep talk about her tough love and his truant father. His mom doesn’t exactly smile when she meets Rachel, either. Eric raises a glass to Rachel saying, “I have been running from love my whole life, but I’m not running anymore.” It’s going to be so sad when Rachel sends him running in the opposite direction.
Rachel and Bryan Go to Miami
To make sure that viewers at home know that Bryan lives in Miami, they more or less recreate the Miami Vice opening credits and then swing by Little Havana for some dominoes and arepas. Rachel and Bryan make out while Bryan finally admits that there was a family issue in his last relationship that ended the whole thing. Instead of seeing this as a giant waving red flag, Rachel gets an even bigger bouquet of flowers than she brought Eric’s family and goes to meet Bryan’s mom, whom he euphemistically calls a “fire ball.” (Girl, run!) When they arrive Bryan’s mom doesn’t smile at her. In private she tells Bryan that he has had so many girls why would he need to find one on a TV show?
Meanwhile Bryan’s cousin fills Rachel in on the fact that the last girl didn’t get along with his mother, so their relationship imploded. (Rachel, leave now!) Bryan’s mom sizes Rachel up and chugs some wine. When she’s done with her drink, she tells Rachel that she better not try to take Bryan away from his family, adding: “If Bryan’s not happy…I will kill you.” Rachel laughs, but mama has been watching a lot of Liam Neeson movies. As Rachel leaves, Bryan tells her, “Rachel, I am in love with you” and she squeaks and they make out some more.
Peter and Rachel Get Cheesy in Wisconsin
While it’s clear that Rachel really, really likes kissing Bryan, Peter still has a few cards up his sleeve to prove that he is the perfect future husband. When Rachel meets him in Wisconsin, he takes her to the farmer’s market to wander around and buy produce, which presumably is just how they would spend their Saturday mornings if they were a real couple and lived in a J. Crew catalogue. Rachel, however, doesn’t share the fantasy. She’s worried that Peter isn’t ready to propose. She wants more answers so goes to meet his friends — and they are a delightful bunch who should probably star in their own sitcom. (Wisconsin Friends anyone?) Then it’s time for some real talk and Peter admits that he’s not sure he can propose to a woman he has only known on a reality TV show, because proposing to someone you just met is weird and you should have doubts.
Basically, Peter is perfect and will ultimately be a great Bachelor when Rachel chooses Bryan and leaves Peter for the rest of us to fight over. When Peter takes Rachel home, he cuddles the babies while his mom torpedoes his chances by telling Rachel that he may not be ready for marriage, but would be committed. Rachel is not into that, “I don’t want a boyfriend at the end of this.” Peter tells her “he is hopeful” and “ready to see where things go.” But, he didn’t say the L word. Bryan is so winning that Neil Lane diamond ring.
Dean Gets Low in Colorado
When Rachel rolls up to Aspen, Dean greets her with a casual, “What’s up Rach?” which is not exactly romantic. They ride ATVs through the Colorado wilderness and have a picnic and basically Dean does whatever he can to avoid taking Rachel home to meet his dad. If you don’t recall, after the death of his mother, Dean and his father have no relationship. His dad has become a Sikh, changed his name to Paramroop, and does a lot of yoga, none of which Dean really has a problem with (at least according to his Instagram post). Dean has not talked to him in two years, until ABC made him. Rachel suggests Dean tell his dad that he loves him and see what happens, but Dean is totally scared to see him. They walk in and Dean notes that there is no table, so they sit on floor and his dad hits a gong softly to “let things go.” Dean’s dad talks about his wife who died and he shares some symbols with Rachel and Dean, but Dean is so angry he wont even eat the meal his dad has made. Dean has clearly not processed his grief, but his dad has regrets the harm he caused his son and admits he was angry. His father is ready to heal, pointing out that he is here now and opening his house, and celebrating Dean and Rachel. Dean just can’t though.
The Bachelorette producers are clearly reveling in Dean’s dismay, because ratings! You do have to feel a bit bad for Rachel, too. Most people don’t relish the idea of spending what is basically their third date with a guy helping him navigate the deep rift in his family. It might all be a bit much for her, especially when she could just be making out with Bryan or Peter.
The Rose Ceremony
Rachel tells Chris Harrison that she feels particularly selfish tonight, crying as she realizes that she is going to have to dump one of the guys after meeting his family and talking about marriage and thinking about whether she will spend Christmas in Miami or Baltimore or whatever. As the four remaining men stand in front of her looking hopeful, she apologizes to them all, even though every single one of these people (Rachel included) should not be surprised by this turn of events as it has been exactly the same on every season of The Bachelor.
She hands a rose to Bryan and then to Eric, leaving Peter and Dean in suspense. Ultimately, handing the final rose to Peter. Dean is sad, of course, and frankly ABC should be a bit ashamed of themselves for putting him through this. The moral of the story is on your third date, don’t take a girl to visit your estranged family. Well, that, and don’t sign up for a reality show.