The time has finally arrived for one of my favorite episodes of the season, the episode where we get a small peek at the source of all our insecurities, neuroses, antisocial behavior and deep-seeded fears – our families. Why is Caila unable to love anyone besides herself? We’ll find out. Why is JOJo afraid to open her heart, or just go by ‘Jo’? We’ll find out. Why does Amanda have the cartoon-like voice of a children’s character? Well, we already know that. And why is Lauren B just…kinda Lauren B? We’ll find that out as well. Tonight! On HOMETOWN DATES! But first, This face:
I saved this picture on my laptop as “ben frazzled”. so good…
I hate to beat a dead horse on this, but I haven’t laughed this out loud since I started watching the show. “I love kids! I can’t wait to be a dad” Uh-huh. For the record, I love my kids, but I also love it when people without children say crap like “Kids are amazing! They’re so honest and loving! Being a parent must be the most rewarding job in the world!” Why don’t you have a couple first and then get back to me. It’s SO rewarding, that every once in a while, I think about running to Mexico so fast, that I leave an Edward-shaped hole in the door. And by ‘once-in-awhile’, I mean 4 times a day. ANYways….
Amanda – Orange County
First off, they can’t let Ben wear a pair of shorts?
Super-tight skinny jeans, rolled up to the knee? That looks comfortable. Which, apparently, it isn’t, because the next scene…
These jeans are killing me! You either do something about these pants, or I’m meeting her kids in my underwear!
…they cut the legs off to give Ben some breathing room. Amanda looks great, despite the fact her top keeps trying to come off. Or maybe because of, I don’t know. Amanda hasn’t seen her kids yet? The Producers can actually keep people separated from their families, even when they’re in the same city? These Bachelor contracts are a like a contract with the devil. The kids show up, and the older daughter (Kinsley?) seems pretty friendly, but Charlie is giving Ben the stink-eye the entire time. Or maybe she’s just pissed that she hasn’t seen her mom in a month, and there’s a crew of 10 people filming her every move. Who knows. They run, play, chase seagulls, fly a kite, cut to commercial.
Meet the parents: Ben and Amanda and (a relaxed) Kinsley and (a torrentially screaming) Charlie go to grandma and grandpa’s house, and Ben is wearing his jeans again, which makes me pissed off that he didn’t really cut the legs off of his pants. One small victory in the prediction department, please; that’s all I ask. Amanda’s dad asks how the kids are doing:
Ben: Well, they’re pretty tired, because it was a really loooonnnng day.
Amanda: Yeah, we just went to the beach. For like 20 minutes. And that’s about 2.5% of the total time they’re awake in a single day, so we haven’t even gotten started yet.
Let the sit-down’s begin. Basically, Ben thinks he’s ready for kids, Mom thinks he’s not, and Amanda just wants to date again. Quote of the evening is from pops: “There’s a big difference between thinking you want children in your life and actually having children in your life.” Amen, brother. And then it’s a goodnight story to the kids starring Ben & Mommy, which is a pretty screwed up thing to do if Ben doesn’t choose Mommy in the end. There’s a special place in hell for people that falsely get a 3-year-old’s hopes up. Kiss goodnight, see ya at the Rose Ceremony.
Lauren B – Portland, OR
Right off the bat, Ben is WAY more excited to see Lauren B than Amanda. Ben gets a tour of Portland, including an homage to the crazy dentist girl he sent home in week 2:
Lauren B: We’re getting our teeth cleaned today! Surprise!!
They visit some food trucks. It all looks very natural and easy, and Lauren B is feeling pretty confident. But, just to make sure that she solidifies her status as front-runner, Lauren takes Ben to the one place he feels most comfortable:
I will always be your enabler, Ben….
All kidding aside, that place looks incredible and if I ever walked in, I’d never leave. Seriously, you’d have to chase me out with a stick. Some relationship talk, kissy kissy, then Ben and Lauren go meet the family, and the sister is already throwing water on the fire. Come on, sis; don’t hate just because you don’t have a man. She is pretty hot, though, and Ben does his best not to stare during their sit-down.
Keep your eyes up, keep your eyes up…
Mollie: What is it about Lauren that stands out to you?
Ben: There’s something about her I can’t put in words. I just feel…really lucky.
And then he starts crying. Again, who else that’s left is taking this from Lauren B? No one. They go through the motions with some more sit-downs (“is he ready?”, “are you ready?”, “what’s different with Lauren?”, “is he the one?”, “hugs!”, etc), but this season is pretty much in the bag. Goodnight, thanks for the wine.
Caila – Hudson, OH
Is Ben wearing the same blazer from Lauren B’s date? Is that his go-to meet-the-parents look? Caila’s rocking the leather pants, presumably made from real sex-panther. Let’s tour Hudson. No, wait, let’s just make out on a bench.
I LOVE our conversations…
Caila’s dad is CEO of a toy company, and she brings Ben there to design their own toy house. Caila says she can’t wait to have her own real house with Ben someday, so they can “make out in the kitchen, or the front yard”. I perk up a little. And then Caila brings Ben onto the factory floor, and they actually build the house they designed. I have to admit, Caila in a hardhat, working power tools, all while wearing leather pants – I know it’s a shallow, stereotypical guy thing, but it’s pretty hot. And there’s no way they re-enacted Officer and a Gentleman.
Wow. Lauren B might be in trouble…
Off to the parent’s house. Ben sits down with mom.
Ben: Do you know why Caila feels like she can’t love someone?
Mom: Yeah, because she has very high standards, and she’s never met anyone that can live up to them.
And so much for Lauren B being in trouble. Statements like that are not things that guys who worry about being heartbroken like to hear. As for Caila, she cries a little and tells her dad that it’s frustrating that Ben can’t tell her how he feels, but that “this is the one.” Exactly, because this is the first time in your life a guy hasn’t blurted out “Iloveyou” by the 3rd date. I guess that’s all Caila needed – someone that plays just a little hard to get, even if it is contractually obligated. Caila can never be the next Bachelorette, by the way. You put her in a room full of guys, falling all over each other to win her heart, and she’ll never pick any of them.
JoJo – Dallas, TX
JoJo comes home to find a dozen roses and a handwritten note. Awwww… It’s from her stalker ex-boyfriend. Ewwww…. Worst acting job ever, by the way. Anyone who thinks JoJo didn’t find that note 2 hours earlier and went on a non-airable, expletive-filled rampage is delusional. She calls up Chad the Ex to get the lowdown:
JoJo: Dude, what’s your deal? We haven’t talked in 6 weeks, and you drop this crap on my doorstep?
Chad: I’ve grown so much. I want to know what love is. I want you to show me.
Chad sounds like a douche. You didn’t lose her, pal; you let her go. And now that ship has sailed, so try to have a little self-respect and quit begging on national tv. It drives me crazy to see guys grovel like this. Ben shows up and sees JoJo crying, she explains the whole situation, and then we see Ben’s Theater-Face:
Yeah, I’ve had times in the past where a girl got caught up with an ex…and I ended up standing by myself outside a movie theater in downtown Warsaw, wondering why the hell I just wasted $32 on 2 small popcorns and a pair of tickets for The Notebook.
But Jojo does the right thing and shuts the door on Chad the Douche, and Ben feels much better about letting JOJOJ move on to a fantasy suite. By the way, jojo looks good and she’s a cool girl; whoever this Chad guy is, he dropped the ball big time. Then again, as we shall see, maybe Chad got chased away by a couple over-protective family members. Let’s meet the family and find out!
Holy crap. Who’s her dad? JR Ewing?
The brothers are awfully kissy with their sister, no? It went from endearing to a little creepy real fast. And then one of them says “we’re really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, REALLY attached to Joelle. To the point that ma’s a little worried that Billy Bob and I ain’t gonna let Joelle date anyone. Ever. ” And now Ben looks more like a deer in the headlights than he did with Amanda’s kids. at least he covers it well by saying he can see a life with Jojojj, and that he has a special connection with her. Wait, no he doesn’t: “Yeah, ummm…there’s a lot of time left. And, I don’t want to make any promises, but Jojo – I mean Joelle – and I are going to have some more conversations. And uhh – look, it’s really hard to talk with the two of you staring at me like that…” And then it’s JoJo’s turn to get stared down by the Brothers Grimm. I’m starting to see why JoJo always ends up with guys that run roughshod over her; it’s the only thing she’s ever known growing up around these two. What a couple of dicks. “You’re an amazing girl, Joelle. And you are so amazing and wonderful, that we don’t trust you to make your own decisions, so let us tell you what to do.” And then older brother berates Ben, while younger brother glares and generally looks ready to throw down:
You sure got a pretty mouth, boy….
I’ll say it now, if Jojo ends up in the finale, and Ben says he’s in love with two women, what he really means is “I’m in love with Lauren B, and I’m scared shitless of JoJo’s brothers.” She’s an awesome girl and all, but the thought of spending Thanksgiving and Christmas with those two clowns every year – fucking forget about it. I’m not spending the next 70 years of my life walking on eggshells.
Rose Ceremony – Bachelor Mansion
Ahh, it feels good to be home. Ben vomits in the parking lot and joins the ladies. Let’s hand out some roses.
Lauren B – winner
Caila – every guy loves a factory girl
JoJo – Ben better keep those brothers in the back of his mind on Fantasy Suite night.
And Amanda has a look on her face like “I put my kids on camera for this? I better be the next Bachelorette.” Though I call bullshit on her being pissed at Ben for making her come “all the way back to LA” just for a rose ceremony. It’s not like you had to cross the international dateline. You’re from Orange County; it’s like a 45 minute drive to Bachelor Mansion. You can still send your babysitter home early. (Was that a low blow? I feel like it’s not, since I have kids and I can relate to babysitter jokes.) To his credit, Ben looks legit broken up about sending Amanda home. Man, he’s going to be a mess over the next couple weeks.
Next week: Jamaica, fireworks, waterfalls, a lot of girls saying “I love you!”, and breakfast in bed for every single one of them. See ya then!
And now, Lauren B’s brothers’ awkward Fantasy Suite questions somehow make it off the cutting room floor. Where they should have stayed.
This is why I always look forward the most to your take on the week. Besides having the best snark:empathy ratio, you’re able to pinpoint and articulate key moments.
Such things like why is JoJo afraid to open her heart, or simply go by “Jo”. The question about are the producers able to keep family members from each other while in the same city, because that is crazy that Amanda hadn’t see her children yet. The fact that the goodnight story starring Ben and Mommy was pretty screwed up. Caila not being a good pick for Bachelorette because she’d never be able to pick from a roomful of eager men falling over her. Ha, hadn’t thought of that – that she just needed Ben to play a little hard to get. Spot on, all of it.
And it’s just fun to read. Thanks for doing it, it probably takes a bit of time and effort to put together.
P.S. Lauren has to be the winner, right? I mean. Right?
I’m gonna have to go with the rich half Filipino sex panther. She seems like she’s all in, she’s got the whole package, and she seems to be the most intelligent of the bunch.
It’s basically come down to a sex contest at this point – don’t bet against the panther!