Oh guys. OOOOOOHHHHH guys. This process is getting waaaay too intense. And whoever was working the gold bounce this week needed to CHILL. Like, when people get filmed in shade, they pull out a big shiny circle and one side is silver, one side is gold, and you use it like a mirror to splash light on a subject, like so:
Except damn, someone was WORKING that bounce in all the confessionals. Like Emily and her new besties were TEARING UP in a golden haze. It was like watching someone share their deepest thoughts on family and love from inside a sunbed or something. Look at this!
Anyway, much like the lighting effect, the hometown dates were almost uncomfortably intense. Meeting all these innocent moms and dads and sisters and whatnots is okay when the Bachelorette/her man harem are both on the fence about each other, but now that all four guys are CLEARLY infatuated with Emily, it was actually a little sad and painful. Three of these families will watch their once-glowing son devolve into wearing sweatpants, playing video games, or even worse, appearing on Bachelor Pad in a brutal attempt to drown his sorrows in cheap sexual miscreance. Up first, Poor Chris!
When Chris first walked us inside, I was like, "What an interesting insight into the American immigrant experience that this family has seen fit to frame wallpaper" and then realized that no, ABC just had to cover up the mirrors so the hefty, bored camera guys wouldn't show up in frame. Or like, a VERY explicit painting of a nude.
Otherwise this stop was an insightful window into all things Polish! (Like me!) Getting our drink on:
Looking fetch in lace and red while dancing:
And then getting drunk and dancing some more while looking fetch. Seriously Polish people are the world's most intense partiers. I don't know if you've ever been to a Polish wedding but it's like a fraternity hazing plus a sorority hazing plus 28 bottles of vodka. Also, Chris's sister looks a LOT like Emily,except kind of dusted? Angel dusted.
Then Jef and Emily spent some time doing some of the Manson Family's favorite activities: riding around in a dune buggy and practicing with guns.
Emily was a crack shot, and she blew off some steam before meeting Jef's large family of very attractive people on what looked to be the FLDS compound. Like, INTENSE log cabin, stern older bro! So freaking gorgeous. The ranch was so bizarrely idyllic,the grass as regular as a mini golf park, a toy horse always vaguely in frame, the bounce card shooting gold light into the air. Jef's sisters? Cousins? Were charming but I felt like they were all trying to figure out how to say "Sooo...how do you feel about changing religions because we are all about ours ?"
Jef also dropped his cool in favor of reading from a mini legal pad manifesto. I don't think this looks good on anyone (if you want to make a heartfelt speech, say what's in your heart. If you're afraid to misspeak maybe you're afraid of what you feel?) and Emily was literally roasting next to him. Her poor shoulders were blooming from magenta to fuchsia to violet.
So okay, hold up, Arie speaks DUTCH?!
His mom is a Dutch diva who runs that haughty game on a level I've only seen Lisa Vanderpump and the leads of Dynasty approach. I really don't like to talk about physical appearances but I feel compelled to remind everyone not to use tanning beds. Yes they are relaxing and feel like flying through space in a space pod and the Vitamin D burst feels like giving all your cells a high-five, but it plays hell on your décolletage.
I had high expectations for Arie's home which is why I was shocked at how sinister it felt, almost like he had brought Emily back to the house moments after the sullen sister had shot out a few of the lights. Dark and tense and the artwork was baffling. When Mieke squirreled Emily away in the bedroom for a heart-to-heart, for the first time I felt comforted by the presence of the cameraman, like okay, no matter how weird this gets no one will make Emily cry or hold her over a wood chipper or anything. THERE ARE WITNESSES, Mieke. You diva.
And then there were the jokesters.
I am seriously confused about what the joke was here. Like, his whole family thought it would be hilarious to scatter all of his shoes around the guest room and tell her he lived there? Ha, ha. Where does he live exactly? I mean, now that we've brought it up. Like is the joke that he doesn't live in the room because he moved into the garage or his own mini playhouse? This "joke" took an insane amount of energy and is going to be a real pain in the A for the housekeeper they obviously have. (Although how sadly sweet was it that Emily's knee-jerk reaction was "I can clean…" as her skin visibly crawled.)
Seriously though, I would live in that little house at my current age, no probs. You could see Emily soaking up the specs to recreate this little palace for Ricki. Anyway, if you watched during the credits you also saw that they tried to convince Emily a taxidermied armadillo was dinner. Haha! When does it stop?! SERIOUSLY WHEN DOES THIS STOP? When a member of this family has to break actual bad news to the group I'll bet it's a long, complicated process as they struggle to convince the others it's not a prank. "No, seriously, I got kicked out of school. This is not a prank that I'm telling you this, though if it were that would be SERIOUSLY hilarious."
Here again though was another family where Emily already looked related to most of the family members (good thing? Eerie thing? All white people do not just look alike, I swear, but there was a weirdly high proportion of faux Emilies in the gene pool at these hometowns). But I absolutely adored hearing all their Southern accents playing back and forth together. Southern accents might be my favorite thing for a human tongue to do.
Not so much this. Sweet mercy, that's a lot of tongue for TV. I can't look. Shaun's nice (CRAZY) but he just, he like breathes a LOT around his words and I don't like all the "Give myself, give herself" talk and showboating that he can run faster than an Escalade. He's an impressive specimen to be sure, but think of all that muscle acting in rage, not romance, and I think you'll see why he gives me chills.
So, obviously Emily had a big choice to make picking out her future suicide victim, basically, because seriously all these guys seem in over their heads. (As they should be.)
And unfortunately (but not at all surprising, he thought he was on his way out last week, so I don't know who he thought he was fooling with that "I am just shocked" routine) Chris got the heave-ho. SHOCKED! How? Why? You thought you were out last week, when WOLF was still in the running. Like your family is adorable and amazing but at the end of the day they won't all be piling in bed with you on the fantasy suite, so it's all still very much about you, Chris. (Although you do seem very nice. Just not a match. You'll see. Hang in there. It gets better, Chris.)
So we've got our top three, which I believe I predicted in our first episode, just about: Arie, Jef, and Shaun. I'm seeing Arie in my crystal ball, guys, although secretly I root for Jef. How do you rank our top three?
1. Top three, most likely to least, go!
2. Does "He's a little more country than he wants people want to know" an insult or compliment?
3. Whose family did Emily seem the most comfortable around?
4. Meeting four prospective sets of in-laws: Could you handle it?
5. Was Shaun's prank funny or did it raise more questions than it answered?
6. How much tongue is okay for TV?