The Bachelorette 6/23 recap: Hometown Showdown
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You know how you’re driving down the road, and you see a car barrel past you, speeding, maybe the driver’s on the phone or fiddling with the radio, and you think, “Well, now, that’s an accident just waiting to happen”? Yeah, that’s kind of how I’m feeling about the Bachelorette now, especially after this week’s episode. This week ends with DeAnna sobbing and telling the man she kicks out that he was the only one she thought she was starting to fall in love with, and folks, that just can’t end well a week or two from now, when whichever
sap lucky man she chooses sees it and thinks to himself (or hopefully, to us, on live television), “Wait a minute.”
Before we get started I must thank the lovely and talented PhoneGrrrl and Yardgnome for covering this cheesefest for the past two weeks. Your boxes of wine are in the mail, ladies. And mine is tapped in the fridge. I didn’t buy any cheese, though, because the show provides plenty of that.
This week DeAnna does the hometown dates, which means roping all kinds of innocent bystanders into this three-ring circus. Well, I guess they’re not all that innocent. Several of them spawned men who would voluntarily go on national TV to be part of a male harem. And one was spawned by such a man, but we’ll get to that later.
Had I bothered to predict which last four men I thought would be left standing, I’d have been right. We’ve got with Nice But Intense Jeremy, Wacky and Lovable Jesse, Jason Who Has a Kid, and Graham’s Abs. Who will be left standing after DeAnna meets the parents?
I Would Like To Give Jesse’s Dad’s Fake Mullet-Hat A Rose
We kick it off with Jesse, who apparently did not kiss DeAnna last week when she WANTED A KISS, BY GOD. This lack of haste to make tonsil hockey has her questioning his entire interest in the whole enterprise. If he’s not ready to kiss her, how can he be ready for marriage? My god, has she forgotten the journey? (drink!). Anyway, she’s to join up with Jesse in his hometown of Breckenridge , Colorado . She hopes he’ll cut loose and have fun, which makes me think I’ve written something down wrong, because c’mon, this is JESSE, who doesn’t seem to have a problem with letting loose.
DeAnna has never snowboarded before, so Jesse gives her a lesson. Despite a few crashes, he tells her she’s a natural athlete and he’s impressed she got back up and kept trying. He’s thrilled to have her there. She says she was a bit scared to try something new, and be in a position like she’s been putting the men. Jesse says it’s important to him for her to see his family and where he lives, and warns her he is just like his dad. DeAnna babbles about needing someone to tell her she’s wrong, and someone she can depend on.
Apparently Jesse wants someone he can depend on too, in case he crashes on the slopes and is seriously injured. So he wants a nurse?
A producer must be prodding Jesse to talk about this non-kissing non-issue, because he reveals to us that while his feelings are in “high gear,” he wants a strong foundation before he kisses DeAnna. He wants to feel like she’s his girl. I guess he’ll be waiting until after the show, then.
Jesse takes DeAnna to see his house, which looks rustic and homey and is basically decorated like a ski lodge, apart from the collection of snowboards decorating his walls. He also reveals something about a charity for kids that he’s involved with.
Then his parents show up. His dad comes in wearing a joke hat with fake mullet-hair attached. Thank god SOMEONE has a sense of humor, even a cheesy one. His mom yanks it off quicklike, but DeAnna says it helped break the ice.
All in all, Jesse’s parents seem to like DeAnna. They also seem to be hippies. His dad talks about how she seems open and honest, and advises Jesse to open up and take a chance. Jesse says DeAnna makes his palms sweat, presumably in a good way. “She makes me feel like I feel when I go snowboarding,” he says. I guess that’s a compliment. Coming from me, it wouldn’t be, as the way I feel when I go skiing is utter terror.
Jesse’s mother wants to see him happy with a good woman, and she talks at length about how what’s meant to be will be. She likes DeAnna, as does Dad. Jesse says he’s not ready to get married in two weeks, and his dad tells DeAnna Jesse is ready for love but afraid, and then he starts crying as he recounts Jesse’s birth. All in all, it’s a big New Agey love fest, but Jesse’s parents are cute.
Afterwards, Jesse takes DeAnna for a carriage ride, and finally plants a kiss on her (quite a good one, from what I can see) and tells us he’s planning to kick it up in the last weeks of this show. “My heart, the key’s in it, it’s unlocked,” he says.
Jeremy’s Brothers: The Only Normal, Skeptical People Here
DeAnna next heads to Dallas to meet Jeremy’s family. He picks her up on a motorcycle that is clearly built for one, as she winds up squatting precariously on the back of it. That just looks so dangerous, but she claims to love it. They go to Jeremy’s house, which is decorated in a very modern, Crate-and-Barrel sort of way, and contains a cute big dog.
DeAnna says every time she sees Jeremy, he’s more affectionate and more personal. He shows her pictures of his family, including his dead parents, and then reads her his diary from when his mother died, making DeAnna cry. He says she reminds him of his mother, who spoke her mind, and says he promised his mom he’d find someone he could really care about and who mom would be proud to call her daughter-in-law.
DeAnna has never had with any other man the common bond of a dead parent, and it’s a bond she’s taking very seriously. Jeremy tells us he has opened up a lot with her, for the first time since his parents died, and that he needs her and is falling in love with her. Oh my.
Since Jeremy’s parents have died, DeAnna is going to meet his two brothers and a sister-in-law. They come in the door and it’s clear they’re huggers. The sister-in-law, Meredith, says DeAnna is very welcoming and seemed glad to meet them. The brothers regale her with stories of their childhood fights, and DeAnna talks about how her life was similar, losing her mom and having siblings. Meredith agrees that that was a huge bond between her and whichever brother she married, as her dad died when she was young too. She tells DeAnna that it’s a big deal that Jeremy has opened up to her, as he hasn’t done that since his parents died.
The brothers tell Jeremy they like DeAnna, that she’s down to earth, but they don’t see how he can forget there are three other guys in the picture. Jeremy says he just has to pretend. The brothers tell him they’ll be there to pick up the pieces if she breaks his heart, but they warn him they’re warier than he is of the whole situation.
The brothers give DeAnna the third degree, telling her they’re not on her side, they’re out to protect their brother. They also tell her that if she winds up with Jeremy, she’s committing to all of them, not just him. She’s a bit taken aback, but promises them that she’s serious, and that she has feelings for Jeremy and that she values family as much as they do.
DeAnna tells us she’s scared because Jeremy has every attribute she wants in a man. Apparently he’s too perfect. Jeremy says it’s a big deal to have her there, and see how she’d fit into his family. They kiss and both of them seem to feel like it’s all meant to be. Jeremy tells her she’s the girl he wants to spend his life with. Good lord, didn’t those brothers shake some sense into him? He’s one of four men she’s dating on TV!
Leapfrogging Through the Tears
Anyway, moving on, to Jason in Seattle. DeAnna tells us she’s ok with Jason having a son, yet also scared of the idea of being a stepmother. And while she likes Jason, she says she’s hoping “for something to be there” on this trip, which suggests to me that so far, something isn’t.
They visit Seattle’s Space Needle, and then Jason prepares her to meet his son Ty, explaining that Ty is in a pirate stage at the moment. They then talk about future children, agreeing that both want three total. Jason’s excited about seeing Ty, and I can’t believe the producers didn’t let him go see the kid before dragging this strange woman and a camera crew along. Instead, they join up with Ty at a local park, with the poor kid screaming “Daddy” and running to Jason for a hug that makes DeAnna cry. I’m pretty sure everything makes DeAnna cry. And I’m not even going to talk about what would possess a parent to allow their three-year-old to be on national TV meeting a strange woman friend of daddy’s.
The three of them feed ducks, and DeAnna raves about how she wouldn’t have to wonder if Jason would be a good father, since she can see he is. Apparently the experience of spending an hour with a man and his son “have made me a different person,” she says, and she felt like they were a family just spending the day at the park.
Whatever, it’s time to meet the rest of Jason’s family, who seem to be fairly numerous. Jason makes a big deal out of giving Ty that certificate where
the producers DeAnna had a star named after him, but frankly the rest of the family looks more impressed than Ty does. She thanks them all for welcoming her, they toast and do a Greek dance, and then for some unknown reason everyone goes outside and plays leapfrog. I don’t even know what to say about that. Perhaps it’s part of a family mating ritual.
Jason’s mother seems pretty earthy-crunchy herself, and she tells us she thinks DeAnna would fit well into the family. His dad, an emotional type, thinks the same thing. He asks DeAnna how she feels about Ty being a priority in Jason’s life, and she says she wouldn’t replace his mother but would be there for Ty. Dad decides she’s special and that she’s not the norm. What the hell kind of woman has Jason been dragging home, anyway?
Mom asks Jason if he feels the “va-va-voom.” I don’t know about y’all, but I don’t ever want to talk to my mother about my va-va-voom. She wants Jason to be open to love again, even if he gets hurt. She tells him to show how he feels and shed his body armor.
Finally it’s time to go, which means Ty throws a crying fit, which is what any normal kid would do when they miss their dad and he leaves again. Ty’s crying makes the whole family cry, and this is just a really uncomfortable scene.
DeAnna says she could see herself spending her life with Jason now. This from the same woman who at first just wanted there to be “something there.” They kiss, of course, and Jason says the way things are going, “I am falling in love.” What is with these men? Off-camera, I can’t get a regular man to say that within two months. Yet these guys think they’re in love in a matter of a few dates? Whatever.
I Love It When You Ignore Me
And now we come to Raleigh, to meet Graham. Graham, for whom DeAnna has the hots more than anyone else. She thinks this is his chance to open up, since none of the other guys will be around. They meet at his old high school, since basketball was such a big part of his young life. What? I would be embarrassed to death to show up at my old high school with a TV crew and a man for whom I was competing. My mother would never hear the end of it in town. I guess Graham’s lucky Raleigh’s a bigger place.
DeAnna can’t keep her hands off him, and says she missed him. They go to the gym, where they’re forced to play basketball – her in a jersey with his last name on the back. “It’s subliminal,” Graham jokes. Yeah, everything with him is. It sure ain’t overt.
They shoot some hoops and DeAnna says she’s seeing a side of Graham that she likes. Of course, despite his standoffishness, I’m not sure there’s anything about him she doesn’t like. “There’s just something I feel for him that I don’t feel for the other three guys,” she says. Yeah, DeAnna, it’s called “lust.” I’m sure the other three she just kissed and gushed over will feel GREAT about that.
They kiss on the court, and Graham says it’s easier to talk when it’s just the two of them. DeAnna’s delighted by new chatty Graham.
They head to his parents’ house, where his parents remind me of a typical middle-upper class southern couple. Graham says it’s been years since he brought a girl home. Mom starts quizzing DeAnna about how she’s handling the show (i.e. all the boys her son is competing with) and she and Graham’s dad talk about how a couple has to make it through ups and downs and also be friends, etc., cliché, etc.
We spot a very dorky teenage picture of Graham before mom shows DeAnna Graham’s room, still decorated as a shrine to Graham’s young sports successes. Mom says that she thinks Graham is attracted to DeAnna, but DeAnna admits she’s worried that Graham isn’t ready for all the commitment DeAnna wants. His mom admits he hasn’t had a lot of serious relationships, and says Graham doesn’t bring people totally in, he’s a bit of a loner. This does NOT comfort DeAnna, whose greatest fear is being hurt and/or left by a man. She thinks Graham’s mom wants him to be ready, but she’s not sure he is.
The couple go out and sit on a bench outside, where suddenly New Chatty Graham vanishes and the silent, sullen Graham comes back. He’s quiet, DeAnna asks what’s on his mind, he won’t talk, and she’s frustrated. She says he handles things differently from her, and he says he just handles problems internally. She says he’s closed-off, and asks if this is how he’d be if it were just them together. He says this is how he is. Clearly that’s not a good answer, because if this is how he is, this is not what DeAnna wants. Leaving in a gloomy mood, she tells us he shut her out, yet she falls for him more every time. Yeah, that makes GREAT sense. But she does have the sense to add that she doesn’t know if she can spend her life begging Graham to fall in love with her. Um, PSA to DeAnna: YOU CAN’T.
Second-Guessing Mr. Stoic
Back in L.A., now, DeAnna must choose one of the men to go home. She calls it an impossible choice. She says her relationship with Jesse has progressed the most like a normal relationship, with a friendship first, and now romance starting to bloom. Of Jeremy, she says her life would be perfect. Perfect man, perfect house, perfect life. Fine if you want to be a Stepford wife, I guess, but things can be too perfect on paper and not in life. DeAnna says she needs to be in love, which suggests to me that she isn’t with Perfect Jeremy.
On Jason, she says falling in love with someone with a family is strange, she wonders if there’s really rom for her. And of Graham, she says she feels comfortable with him. Why, I don’t know, if she has to drag every emotion out of him. She claims that when you struggle as a couple, you grow as a couple. Sure, that may be true when you struggle with something like household bills. Probably not when you struggle over the very basic feelings one partner has over the relationship and his inability to articulate them. She believes he has feelings for her, he just can’t express them. I just want to shake this girl.
The rose ceremony is short and sweet: Jesse, Jeremy and Jason get to stay, silent Graham gets the boot. DeAnna walks him out, and he snidely tells her she did what she thought she needed to do. She’s crying, trying to explain to him why this is so hard for her – basically, that she wants to choose him but he’s ignoring her pleas for overt attention. She goes into some spiel about Brad, and Graham says if it makes her feel better to believe that he doesn’t care, that’s fine. Snide. DeAnna says he isn’t getting what makes this hard for her. “I am saying goodbye to the one person I thought I was falling in love with,” she sobs. Again, I’m sure the other three are going to feel great once they see this.
This troubles Graham, who reveals his feelings by turning his head away from her. She says that she couldn’t take the chance that in the end, he wouldn’t choose her in return. Now they’re both crying. Finally Graham hands her a note, which he apparently wrote earlier (EARLIER, which would have been a good time for him to give it to her, as obviously it would have changed her mind), and asks her to read it eventually. He says it’s “for you alone, not for any show, not for any person but you.” He gets in the car, giving her no hug or anything, and is gone.
Left alone, DeAnna cries more, reading the note (no one tells us yet what it said; I think that’s a tease for next week). She says it was heart-breaking to let him go, and all he had to do was open up. Now she’s second-guessing her choice, and worrying she won’t fall in love with anyone now.
Overnight dates with the remaining three in the Bahamas. Jeremy thinks he’s in love, Jason can’t take the fantasy suite fast enough, but Jesse says he’s not sure he can spend the night with her before he’s met her father. Is he for real?
Also! The Men Tell All! The only part I might actually be looking forward to.