When I agreed to share this season’s recapping duties with my fabulous partner, BritLit, I was secretly hoping to avoid the first episode (too many names to ever keep straight) and secretly hoping to score the hometown dates, as there is usually lots and lots of craziness when we get to see our lovely bachelorettes back home with their friends and families. My bachelor wishes have come true!
What Kind of Masochist Wants to Meet the Parents of Four Different Girls?
When we last left Jake, he had just culled the herd down to the final four lovely ladies. We have Tenley, Gia, Ali, and Vienna, and based on this particular collection, it’s safe to assume that Jake wasn’t lying when he said that he didn’t have a specific “type” of girl that he was looking for.
I still think Jake seems like a good guy, but I’m starting to take serious issue with his potential spouse picking criteria. It started the first night when he cut the two female pilots and most of the women holding professional careers, and has only slid further down as he continues to keep around some truly vapid girls. I know some guys don’t want a woman who is their match, career-wise or intellectually. Insecure guys. Not guys who take ladies out to play trivia at Buffalo Wild Wings on their third date to see if they have intellectual compatibility. Love ya, Mr. LG. You’d never settle for some half-wit, worried that she might out-smart you or figure out that you’re only comfortable in the company of nincompoops.
First we see Jake leaving some non-descript hotel room, packing up his hard sided suitcase, heading off for four hometown dates with his Fearsome Foursome. I wonder if he’s flying Southwest, because they love bags and won’t charge him extra to check that bad boy. Or maybe he’s going to try to pull his “I’m a pilot” card and get to take that hard-sided suitcase as a carry-on, despite it likely being too large to fit into the overhead bin or in front of the seat in front of him. Sadly, we don’t get to see Jake trying to make it through security, and getting to see what a miserable experience airline travel is for mere passengers. Instead we jump right in to our hometown dates.
I Don’t Remember Jay-Z Singing About New York, The Place Where You Can Sit On Your Stoop and Watch Taxis
First up is Gia, looking forward to welcoming Jake into her family home, however, we ironically never get to see their home. Whatever. She wants to “show him my world” and jumps onto him as soon as he gets out of the cab. She revisits the “Jake wears Gia like she’s in a Baby Bjorn carrier” moment from their one on one (OOO) date in the vineyard.
Gia’s date is in New York City, and they are taking a boat tour around New York Harbor and various bays, with great views of the Statue of Liberty. I’m no expert on New York, but I know that from the harbor you’re in smelling range of New Jersey. Wonder what Snooki and The Situation would say about Jake and Gia’s lame date.
Gia mentions that introducing Jake to her parents will be somewhat new, as her previous boyfriends who have met her parents had met them as friends of hers first. I wonder how many times she introduced guys to her parents that were currently dating her and three other women? Yup, it is an unusual situation, which is only made “normal” by multiple seasons of this insane tv show. As a mom, I can assure future contestants on this show that I’m not all that interested in meeting someone that is dating my child and a bunch of other people. You’re parents are a bit loopy if they think that is something to be celebrated. Talk about setting expectations low.
Gia talks about a past relationship fraught with infidelity and sadness. Jake promises that he does not address problems in a relationship by sleeping with all of his girlfriend’s friends. Good to know. And with Jake, I believe that to be the case. He may make poor choice, but does so with honor. So now it’s time to meet the parents.
We get to meet Gia’s mom, Donna, her step-dad (whose name escaped me – reader participation is certainly welcome), and step-brother Erick, who are rather protective of their little Gia who has been hurt by men before. Gia’s mom asks whether Jake will have Gia’s back, and he promises that he would. Her back, her front, Jake is all over that. Jake – take a good long look at Gia’s mom, because Gia will look just like her in 20-something years.
Gia’s mom Donna asks whether he’s really falling for all four girls that he’s currently dating, and asks what he sees in Gia that is different. Jake doesn’t disappoint the fans playing the Bachelor drinking game, and describes her as “amazing” while Gia talks to her step bother, who cautions her to watch herself. Step-brother Erick seems to have Gia’s best interest at heart and doesn’t want this reality show clown hassling his step-sister. Erick seems to have the most sense of anyone we’ve meet all season. Go Erick.
Gia’s mom Donna declares that she likes Jake and really hopes that she has now met Gia’s future husband. She tells Gia that she think she sees love in his eyes for Gia and that she is a very special person to Jake.
Donna feels intuition that Jake will pick Gia, and that she will be happy with him. The odds are against it, sadly, even while Gia tells her mom that she wants the fairy tale. Have these people never watched this show before? Have they any idea about the track record of relationships from this show? Former Bachelor Bob Guinney announced this week that he’s broken up with the wife that he met after ditching his final pick – if there is no hope for Hot-Tub Enthusiast Bob, what hope is there for anyone else on this show.
Erick and his dad sit Jake down and caution him against messing around on Gia. Gia’s step-dad has a rather awesome ponytail, and Erick threatens to break a couple legs if necessary to make sure no-one breaks Gia’s heart again. Again, Erick speaks the only voice of reason in this sea of insanity.
Jake proclaims Gia’s family “awesome” and they head out for their private date after family time. What could be more exciting than sitting on her front stoop, watching taxis go by. Heck, we don’t have super-exciting evenings in Minneapolis, but I’ve never sat on a stoop watching taxis. We have this extra special entertainment form called tv. Folks in New York should try it some time.
Ali’s Dead Grandmother is Just Dying To Meet Jake
Next up, Williamstown, Massachusetts and time for a hometown date with Ali. She had somewhat of a hometown date already in San Francisco in the last episode, but this is her hometown with her family. Jake proclaims that he is cold while they are sitting out on some park bench. He then proceeds to whine about how cold he is while she tells him to stop being such a Southern pussy. Ok, maybe she doesn’t, but I would have. I had to scrape 4 inches of snow of my car before I headed home from work today while standing out in a parking lot and only wearing my “cute” (ie, not waterproof and not very warm) gloves. They filmed this in the fall. There is no snow on the ground. You can’t see their breath. Anyone who whines and crying about how cold it is in the fall, well, they’ve just lost a couple points off their man card.
Ali tells Jake a story about catching a leaf falling from a tree in the fall, and then making a wish, so he assaults some poor bystanding tree until its leaves are falling to the ground. Then they make out under the tree. Hasn’t that tree suffered enough already today?
As if this trip wasn’t already pathetic and sad enough, Ali now tells us about her dead grandmother, and how she wants Jake to “meet” her. Are we on an episode of Ghost Hunters? Why are we communing with the dead while on a hometown date? Ali spills that she’d lived in her grandmother’s house for a while, and then takes her into her grandmother’s house too peer over her stuff. Hello, creepy! Ali proclaims that her grandmother is in heaven, looking down on them, and is in tears. Then she adds that she is in tears because she’s so happy for them. I think grammy is in tears because she’s just appeared on a reality tv dating show. Death is apparently no escape from reality tv.
Jake meets Ali’s mom, Elizabeth, her sister, and her brother Mikey. Ali claims that the last time Ali introduced her to a boyfriend, her mom pulled her aside and told her that the guy she was with wasn’t right for her. Elizabeth says that she went online to find information about Jake after Ali went on this show, and liked what she saw. Then Ali and her sister meet in the kitchen with the really blue cupboard doors and dish about Jake while Elizabeth grills Jake out on the porch swing. Jake gives Elizabeth the “right” answer that family is “extremely important” to him, and that he wants to know her thoughts.
Ali and her mom get together, and Elizabeth remarks that Jake seems sincere and genuine, and thinks that she saw a sparkle between them. She ends their little talk by hoping that soon they’d be “planning a wedding.” Again with a family that apparently has never watched a season of this show? Where do they find these people, under rocks?
Jake replays Gia Family Wrap-up Speech, Version 2.0, saying that he loves her family, and loves her mom. I think he’s got a formula for these hometown dates. He kisses Ali out on the porch swing while he’s wearing thermal mittens and she has bare hands. He’s a cold weather wimp like that. Things are looking up for Southern Belle Vienna then, as she lives in Florida.
We Could Dance To This Song At Our Wedding!
Next up, Jake heads to Newberg, Oregon to meet with Tenley’s family. Jake shows up in a heavy wool jacket and big old scarf. Reminds me of Tom Baker’s Dr. Who character from the 80s, only not as interesting. Tenley’s in a much lighter jacket and doesn’t appear to be half-frozen to death. Let’s face it: Jake is a cold weather wimp, and his affection for neither Ali nor Tenley is enough to keep him overheated.
Tenley asks Jake whether he’s a momma’s boy, as her ex-husband was and never put the two of them before his family. Tenley complains that her ex “let someone else run his life.” Tenley tells Jake this and asks Jake straight out whether he makes his own decisions or whether he defers to his parents. He answers: “I run most everything by my parents. They give good advice.” Is she not listening? That is not the answer she was looking for, but she didn’t seem to notice. My parents give good advice too. They see a lot of movies, so if I’m thinking of going to a movie, sometimes I’ll ask them what they think of it.
Even though Tenley hasn’t seemed to notice that his answer was the opposite of what Tenley wanted to hear, Jake softens his answer and says that his parents put their marriage first, and thinks he would too (some day, when he’s a real man). However, Tenley doesn’t seem to hear what he is clearly saying to her (that he’s a momma’s boy from the word go) and thinks that he is somewhat independent at the tender young age of 31. I know that things have changed since I was a young adult, but the thought of consulting with my parents about my life at the age of 31 – say what? Reminds me of an article I read recently about a “parents’ package” that a major consulting firm send out to job applicants’ parents who are overly involved in the job interview process for their college graduate children. Call me crazy, but if anyone I interview says “I need to talk to my mommy and daddy first” they won’t be getting a job offer. Cut the cord already.
Next, Tenley shows Jake “a little bit of my insides” and takes him to her old dance studio, where she changes into a leotard and tutu. She again mentions that her ex-husband never was interested in her dancing while she “dances her heart” which is some ballet-esque routine to classical music. Not just any music, it’s Pachelbel’s Cannon in D, which is most commonly played at wedding ceremonies. Yes, I’ve been to enough weddings to know that it’s often a prelude, and I’m enough of a music geek to recognize the song.
The two of them then dance around the studio, and I start to despise Tenley more and more as this segment continues. I’m sorry. She seems like a sweet enough girl. But she is still completely hung up on her ex. She mentions him in every sentence on this hometown date. Jake is only mentioned as a comparison to “he who will not be named, but mentioned a bazillion times.”
Jake and Tenley go to meet her parents, and he predicts that they will be cautious. Her dad, Rob, her mom Beth, and her sister Carly are understandably nervous because this is her first time dating since her divorce. Following in the theme of strange colored cabinets, their kitchen has forest green cabinet doors. What on earth is going on with kitchen around the country, that these cabinets are now in day-glo colors and in no way resemble wood? It’s a crime against nature on par with grown adults consulting with their parents on major life issues.
Tenley’s dad drags Jake off to the den which used to be Tenley’s room. Rob says that he and Beth were watching The Bachelorette last season, and mentioned that he wishes Tenley would meet Jake or “someone like Jake.” And now, here they are, meeting Jake with Tenley, wanting to warn him not to break her heart, as it has already been trampled quite enough recently, thank you very much. Poor Tenley, I feel badly that I don’t like her, but honestly, she’s not smart. She doesn’t appeal to me. Tenley’s dad is crying, talking to Tenley about whether or not he’s trustworthy enough for his daughter.
Tenley’s parents are viewers of this show. They’ve seen what happens to all of the “couples” from this show. No wonder they are nervous and crying when Jake comes to visit.
Tenley’s mom takes her turn with Jake. She warns Jake that Tenley is likely to have emotional overflows due to her divorce, but that she’s a great girl and worth all that baggage. Check please!
Jake wants to know if Rob would give his permission for Jake to propose to Tenley. Good lord, Jake, you’d better mean it if you are going to ask her dad for permission to propose. These folks may be cautious viewers of the show, but they’re still parents and you don’t miss around with engagements of their kids. Tenley informs Jake that her family thinks he’s “pretty awesome” and then they make out in her front yard. She proclaims that she is falling for Jake and that “her heart feels safe” with Jake.
Will Jake Wear a Parka In Florida?
Next up, a visit to the freak factory that produced Vienna. There are alligators and strange looking birds, we’re in Stanford, Florida. Finally, Jake is not bundled up like an arctic explorer, as it must be boiling hot in Florida. Vienna and Jake head off in a pontoon boat, looking for manatees and gators. Vienna asks if Jake knows how to pilot a boat. I’ll give him this- Jake knows how to operate motorized vehicles. Boats, motorcycles, planes and cars – Jake is your guy. Have any clue about how to make good life choices and figure out what he wants in a wife – our man Jake is clueless, and not in a good Alicia Silverstone way.
Jake shows up to meet Vienna’s dad Vincent, step-mom Lisa, and sister Kayla. Her dad is crying the minute they walk in the door. Wait a minute. What did I just see???? Wood toned kitchen cabinets. Ok, Vienna just climbed up ten notches in my book for having kitchen cabinets that resemble actual wood. But she’s still a negative 100 based just on her cluelessness.
Vincent takes Jake out to the shed to look at his motorcycle, and tells him that Vienna deserves to be treated like a princess. He tells Jake that Vienna will keep a nice clean house and raise the kids right and treat him like a prince, but that Jake would need to treat her right too. That is a very nice attitude to have about a century ago, before women started working outside of the home. So pretty much Vince is saying that Vienna has absolutely no skills to hold a job and contribute to a family, but she can clean the place and take care of kids. Jake promises that if he proposes to Vienna, that he will treat her like a princess. So, is it the prince or the princess who needs to pick up poop from that annoying little dog that Vienna is toting around like she’s Paris Hilton of the Everglades. That dog better stay inside and not just to avoid the gators – I think the turtle they saw might make a snack of him.
Maybe they are a match made in heaven, then, if that’s all Jake wants in a spouse. Some type of housecat that is nice and sparkly. I was disappointed when Jake eliminated both of the female pilots in the first episode, thinking that he didn’t want to compete in the career department. It’s all coming through clear now: Jake doesn’t want someone who is his equal in career ambitions, intelligence, or personality. He wants someone who will pat his back while he cries on the edge of a bridge, contemplating bungee jumping. Wow, what a disappointment.
He makes out with Vienna while on a couch in her dad’s house. Good lord, that is so tacky. Her dad comes in to break it up, telling them to stay 12 inches apart. I don’t think you’d need to keep more than a 6 inch buffer zone for our height-challenged bachelor.
Why Is There So Much Time Left – Manufactured Drama Coming Our Way.
Ok, there is still 40 minutes left in this show, and we’re already done with all four hometown dates. What on earth are we going to find as filler for more than half an hour? Will Jake cry little a sissy boy, causing my hubby to proclaim him “Dorkus Maximus” his Roman title for wimpy guys? Will the girls end up fighting over him at the rose ceremony, perhaps in a huge pool filled with jello? Something is going to happen – I hope it is interesting.
Back in Beverly Hills, Jake is hanging out at his hotel, looking forward for the next rose ceremony. He proclaims that he has “fallen for all four women for different reasons.” Meanwhile, Ali shows up at his door. She’s wearing a hot pink tank top and is crying.
Ali tells Jake that she just found out that she needs to choose between staying on the show or going back to work, implying that she’ll lose her job if she doesn’t get back to work now. Sounds a little like Ed last season, doesn’t it. Going to the well again on that one already – well, it did make for some great drama last season.
Jake doesn’t cut her any slack and let her know whether he was planning to let her go THAT NIGHT. Jake is a complete pussy and tells her that she needs to decide which she’d rather not regret, losing her job or losing out on her chance with him. Ok, maybe the producers were telling him that he couldn’t give her an inkling of whether she’s be his final pick or not, but good grief, that is cruel. Jake tells Ali that he’d like her to stay, but he can’t guarantee her that she’ll get a ring if she stays, or even a rose that very evening.
Jake talks to Chris and says “if she stays, I’ll do a backflip, and if she leaves, I’ll be devastated” but again, he can’t say whether he’d even keep her around through TONIGHT. Good grief, what a wishy washy guy. He claims that Ali leaving would “break his heart” but then he starts on about his great love for all of the other girls.
And now for the Most. Dramatic. Rose Ceremony. This Week.
The ladies come in and line up for the rose ceremony. They’re all wearing cocktail party dresses and balancing on high heels. Jake stares at the table with the three roses, while Ali asks to talk to Chris Harrison. The other three girls stand frozen, teetering on their really high heels, wondering what is going on.
Chris brings Ali back, and then she leaves to talk to Jake. She tearfully tells him that he looks really handsome, but she’s crying. Ali begs him to let her know whether he’s seeing her as “final one” material, but like the huge pussy that he is, he pushes it all back on her, and forces her to make the choice without giving her any inkling of whether she’s first or fourth on his “bucket list” of girls. She tells him “If you were mine, the choice would be easy.” But, to be one of four, and to possibly (75% statistical probability) leave without him, it doesn’t seem worth throwing away a good job for. Jake finally tells her “you weren’t on the line tonight.” Chris Harrison runs in a tazers Jake for revealing information about the rose ceremony before it was revealed in all its glory. Ok, he doesn’t, but it’s always a threat. Don’t let that calm and pleasant demeanor trick you. Chris Harrison will cut a fool who tries to mess with the sanctity of the rose ceremony.
Ali cries while Jake seems to be smirking at her. It’s the only time all season that he’s not crying, apparently. Chris shows up to break up their little pity party. Ali shoos him away, saying she needs more time. Jake reiterates that he doesn’t want her to go, and that it’s hard to say goodbye to one (of four people) that you’re falling in love with. Ali remarks that she has to go, smears some tear-soaked makeup onto his suit, and then she is gone.
Jake walks her to the front door of the hotel and put her into a green mini-van. Oh wait, that was some of the other abrupt exits. There is actually a limo waiting for him. Jake says “I feel like you are slipping through my fingers and I don’t know what to do.” Well Jake, if she really is the one that you want, you know what to do. You tell her “you’re the one that I want. Stick around. I promise.” And then, eliminate the rest of the girls as quickly as the show allows. But no, he doesn’t. He doesn’t know what he wants, and after this episode, the reason is obvious: His parents haven’t told him who to pick yet. D’oh.
He pulls a “half Mesnick” and is leaning over of the railing outside the hotel and is crying. It is only a “full Mesnick” if you’re leaning over a hotel balcony several stories up, not a railing on the ground floor. Poorly done, Mr. Pavelka. No-one is going to name a pathetic crying maneuver after you with such a weak effort. Jake thinks that the easiest thing would be to give up now. But then he feels that he wouldn’t be “worthy of love” if he gave up this “love journey” at this point with three women who are for some reason totally into him.
The remaining three ladies are smiling at the news that Ali has taken herself out of the competition. Vienna was the last to start smiling, but I think it’s just because she needed someone to explain it to her. Jake announces that tomorrow they depart for St. Lucia, and that they can put their cold weather clothes away. I’ve heard those hotels can be rather drafty, Jake, so maybe you should bring your long johns just in case. What could be sexier on a fantasy date than a man decked neck to ankle in waffle weave?
We see one final scene of Ali leaving in the limo, wondering if she did the right thing leaving. Will we see her again, like our friend Ed from last season, who also came back after leaving for “work” *cough, other girls, cough* yeah, work, that’s the ticket. I’m sure this isn’t the last that we’ve seen of Ali. Or the last we’ve heard of Tenley’s ex. Or the last person that Ali will introduce to her dead grandma. Or the last guy who Gia’s step-brother Erick will need to break his legs. Tune in to see whose dreams of meeting Jake’s family will be crushed next week, when my partner BritLit will be doing the recap heavy lifting.