This week is one of the more pivotal ones every season — that’s right; it’s hometowns. A chance to see which Stars Hollow-esque towns birthed our Final Four and their families who are constantly rethinking every life choice made to date that led them to this hellfire. But remember kids: no matter how bad it gets, there’s no way it’s worse than Green Book winning Best Picture. Let’s go.
First up is Caelynn in Fredericksburg, Virginia, which sounds about as old fashioned as it looks. In keeping with that theme, Caelynn and Colton hop into a carriage ride to see all the sights in Fredericksburg — most importantly her pediatrician’s office. This tour is about as exciting as a colonoscopy. Then she tells Colton that her favorite place in town is the ice cream shop. *clears throat* BULLSH*T. She’s a beauty queen for Christ’s sake; she probably hasn’t even looked at a dairy product in about six years. Caelynn saying she loves the ice cream shop is like when Victoria’s Secret models eat Arby’s to seem relatable. Unless you pound an aggressive amount of tater tots while watching concurrent marathons of Law and Order: SVU and Say Yes to the Dress, I’m voting you off the island.
Once they’ve finished the town tour, it’s time for Caelynn’s family to grill Colton. And quelle surprise, they’re all skeptical. She has a nice bonding moment with stepdad John, who eventually gives his blessing to marry Caelynn. More on this later. Upon their farewell, Caelynn tells Colton she’s in love with him, and he barely reciprocates anything, which is honestly fine with me. There’s just something about her face that I do not trust at all.
Next up is Fancy Hannah, aka The Last of the Mo-Hannahs, aka Hannah with the Good Hair. Walking through Nowheresville, Alabama, Hannah eventually tells Colton they’ll be going to…an etiquette class? Absolutely not. The only etiquette class I recognize is one taught by Kathy Bates out of pure necessity.
Etiquette lady makes Colton and Hannah walk with books on their heads before they sit at the table for the main event. That’s when the instructor utters the worst sentence ever spoken below the Mason-Dixon line: “Bless your heart.” For those who aren’t aware, “bless your heart” loosely translates to “you f*cking idiot.” I was half expecting him to jump the fence out of pure fear. But before I can focus too hard on this, Colton then pulls an apparently egregious move in front of the etiquette coach — he improperly handles the rolls.
SOUND THE ALARM. HE HATH MANHANDLED THE ROLLS. AN UNFORGIV — alright I’m done. Colton did what all of us do. He took the basket. He picked a roll. He started cutting it to appropriately butter the roll in order to consume it. In the words of Robert Randolph and the Family Band, “Ain’t nothin’ wrong with that.” Whilst Lady Buzzkill explains the appropriate way to consume bread, Colton drops his most relatable sentence and our Quote of the Week.
Colton: “Who has time to break off a piece of bread and then eat it? All I know is just eat the food.”
Remember when Arie ordered a small piece of bread on a picnic date? Well, Colton wants to hoover the full bread basket himself and that, my friends, is progress.
We move on to meet Hannah’s family, and it’s a fairly run-of-the-mill event. Hannah’s dad gives Colton his blessing, she tells Colton she’s falling in love with him, and Colton reciprocates. Meanwhile, we meet Hannah’s mom who looks like a prime candidate for Munchausen’s by proxy by way of Kate McKinnon’s SNL character, Debette Goldry.
The next date goes to Tayshia. I don’t care what the Internet mafia says about Tayshia — I like her. A lot. She seems confident, fun, and all-around great. Kicking things off in a batsh*t crazy kind of way, she blindfolds Colton and takes him on her own Bird Box challenge to go skydiving. I have to hand it to her. That’s literally the only way to make meeting a tough family seem like a cake walk. Also they have a ridiculous amount of chemistry. Team…Colshia? Tayton? We’ll workshop that one.
At Tayshia’s family’s home, we get one of my favorite hometown dates in recent memory. I love a reasonably cautious family, and hers was no exception. Her dad was so pragmatic it was alarming — logic? On the Bachelor?
Much like the other women, Colton asks her father for Tayshia’s hand in marriage. And he says…no. My dad would be proud. He was incredibly gracious in doing so, saying he thought Colton seemed like a kind and genuine guy, but they just met a few hours prior. Bring this dad back every season. Forget Colton and Tayshia — I’m Team Tayshia’s Dad.
The final hometown belongs to Cassie. And this one went a bit more off the rails than I thought it would. After surfing in Huntington Beach, Colton and Cassie head to her family’s home and they are less than pleased at the whole situation — and I think it was getting to Cassie. During a conversation with her dad, Cassie begins getting defensive of her feelings for Colton. Her dad says, “This isn’t like buying a car.” And he’s right. At least you test drive the car before driving it off the lot.
Anyway, Cassie is clearly doubting some things in her head. Regardless, she and Colton clearly share something special and he makes it known to her family more than any other woman. It is honestly shocking the lengths Colton goes to to ensure her family knows his feelings.
But alas, as this isn’t Sister Wives, one woman must go. And the unlucky cast off this week is…Caelynn.
I was legitimately shocked — I’d been fully prepared for Tayshia to go, and the pleasant surprise that came to my face was equivalent to Olivia Colman winning Best Actress last night. Pure joy. As Tayshia went to accept her rose, we see Caelynn turn to Cassie and whisper, “This is bullsh*t.”
I’m no psychologist or body language expert or whatever, but that’s not a normal reaction. It felt like Caelynn was less pissed that she was going home and more upset that Tayshia was staying. Like I said, there’s something shifty about this girl. I don’t have the budget or the time to go after her, but I will support whomever decides to do some digging on this conspiracy theory.
Now, finally, to this week’s Personal Victimization Award. Or, as it should be called this week, the Patriarchy Victimization Award. Look; it happens every season. When The Bachelor goes to visit women’s hometowns, he inevitably asks each girl’s father for her hand in marriage. And yes, I’d like my parents to be on board with whichever potato I decide to hitch my wagon to. But making this massive deal about requesting a woman’s hand in marriage, when the tradition itself was born of treating women like property and something to be traded from man to man, is just played out. It’s old, it’s anti-feminist, and it’s stupid. Now, apparently, as Colton mentioned via Twitter, he also asked the mothers for their blessing. So why didn’t we see that this episode? The moms were like Easter eggs in Pixar movies — you only noticed them once it was all over. Well, except IRL Debette Goldry. You couldn’t miss her if you wanted to. TL;DR, Bachelor producers: stop making the blessings/permission/archaic bullsh*t a centerpiece of the episode. I’m so tired.
Next week is a double-header — Monday we have fantasy suites, and Tuesday is the Women Tell All. It’ll be a double column week, so I hope you’ve blocked your calendars. And if Chris Harrison is to be believed (he isn’t) we might also see Colton jump the fence. Place your bets and prepare to lose some money, kids — should be a good ol’ fashioned head banger.