We must be getting to the end of the road here folks, because the intro music to this episode sounded like the score of Gladiator or Inception. No offense to Hans Zimmer, but we’re just watching people with low body-fat and very symmetrical faces experience Stockholm Syndrome in real-time. No need for the hysterics. Or perhaps Chris Harrison asked for some extra intense music to distract from the banality of this episode and dare I say it, 2/3 of the men left standing.
But as Paul Ryan must say as he cries into his bathroom mirror every morning unable to see his own reflection now that his soul has been brokered by the devil in exchange for the disintegration of american democracy and a picture of his face in the dictionary next to “spineless”- “you work with what you got.”
So here we are folks.
The men are in Dallas to meet Rachel’s “family”. Family meaning everyone except her dad, THE FEDERAL JUDGE. I wonder why? JK we all know exactly why. He’s a FEDERAL JUDGE. Not a good look for him. The reality show I really want to watch is what happened when Rachel told him she was going on The Bachelor, and then again as The Bachelorette. I’m picturing Chris Harrison as DJ Jazzy Jeff getting thrown out of the house by Uncle Phil. But… everyone can envision it for themselves.
Peter is up first. Rachel takes Peter to buy baby clothes for her niece-to-be. Peter pretends to be interested. Rachel suggests trying to find a onesie that is “one size fits all”. Rachel obviously hasn’t purchased a lot of baby clothes before. Buying baby clothes is like the baking of retail. Very precise, or the kitchen blows up. Sorry, that analogy collapsed. Just like my soufflé! (Guys, guys, please, email me directly for my 10 minute stand-up set about baking.)
On the stoop outside the Lindsay Family Estate, Peter recites a monologue written by robots or google translate that basically says, “Rachel. I is sorry. I do like you. I do enjoy being around you. I do not count the days until this is over and I can go back to my gym in Madison and my therapist and pretend this never happened.” Cool, Peter. Really convincing. Unfortunately, I think Rachel really wants Peter to work out, so I think she’s forcing the content of what he’s saying to win over the lackluster delivery and the small but totally perceivable amount of cold dark fear in his eyes while he’s making his speech. The heart wants the male model the heart wants.
Peter is upfront about how he’s not comfortable proposing. Rachel’s mom seems to find this comforting since you can obviously tell she thinks this whole enterprise is BS. Rachel’s mom tells Peter what she (spoiler alert) tells all 3 men, which is basically, “I don’t know you, I can’t pretend to know you, but I trust my daughter, so good luck to you.” ROMANCE!
The next day at the Harem Hotel- Peter tells Bryan he doesn’t want to be sitting with him in the hotel room. Bitchy Peter is my favorite Peter. In another Harem Hotel exchange- this time with Eric- Peter mentions how Bryan is from Miami- the land of “fake boobs, fake asses, and fake cheeks.” PETER!!! I love me some shady Peter. I, too, have wondered throughout the season if Bryan’s face has a some extra stuff in it- besides Rachel’s entire face when they’re making out- and I think I was right. And Peter should know, seeing as he’s a former male model, and has the facial structure of a JCrew God. Good for you, Peter! This almost makes up for Peter’s entire lack of interest in Rachel and the show.
Next up to meet the family is Eric. Basically any good feelings I had about Peter have all gone to Eric. I continue to really love Eric. He’s been given the most crap and handled it the most gracefully. “So just checking you’ve NEVER brought a girl home? And you’ve NEVER been in love? And your mom DIDN’T LOVE YOU? And you had no parental role models to see how a longterm relationship works? Great just checking, can you pass the pasta salad?”
Also, why does having a history of failed relationships somehow indicate that you would be better at having one in the future? Isn’t not having many relationships basically the same, if not better? As in, “so you’re telling me you’ve had 16 car accidents? And you want to drive this car? Great.” Compared to, “so you’re getting your license now and you’re ready to drive a car after much thought and I’m assuming a lot of high-quality therapy? Right this way.”
Whatever. I like Eric. Her family seemed to like him but they seemed to hate everyone at first and then like everyone after. I don’t know. I’m bored.
Speaking of boring- here comes Bad Hombré. Please, PLEASE tell me everyone noticed when Bryan walked in the door and watched Rachel hug her mom and said to himself, “Mom always gets the first kiss.” That moment was GOLD. Delicious. Poor Bryan. Also- I really appreciate the producers forcing Rachel’s mom to ask the question about who takes priority, “the wife or the mother.” What a coincidence that she should ask that question of her own volition?
Bryan says “my wife has priority" with the same amount of believability as Peter’s, “I enjoy sitting here with you Rachel, there’s nowhere else except 1000 other places I’d rather be right now” speech.
Sorry, one more Bryan moment- when Bryan tells Rachel’s sister that he can already tell he loves Rachel’s family, and Rachel’s sister laughs and says, “it’s been an hour and a half.” This episode might be boring, but it’s shady and I like it.
Now I hope everyone has their frequent flyer mile programs set up, because we’re back to Europe. This time we’re in Spain. Rachel checks into her hotel with her one small carry-on bag, and that my friends, might be the fakest thing we’ve seen on the show all season. How many floor-length metallic gowns fit into that suitcase? Not enough, honey.
Eric is up first. They get a pretty special Spanish date- complete with a helicopter, a private monastery, and even a wish-making bell. It’s all happening, folks. We get to the evening portion of the date and Eric tells Rachel in no uncertain terms that he really is in love with her. Turns out I guess my whole interpretation of his “I love you” speech last week was wrong. Or that he didn’t really say “I love you” until this moment. Whatever, I don’t see why the L-word on this show has to be turned into some kind of cockamamy 7 layer-dip metaphor with multiple meanings.
Rachel and Eric spend a night in the “fantasy suite” and I swear the producers must get a thrill every time they force the contestants to speak using the same obviously sexual metaphors re: “deepening their relationship”, and “opening up more”. WE GET IT!
Now we’re back to Eeyore. I mean Peter. I mean, his new nickname, Peyore. They go to a winery since gap teeth- I MEAN wine seems to be their “thing”. They’re accosted through song/serenaded by winery owner Vitorino (married 95 years) and are even treated to their own squishing grapes moment. Anyone else reminded of one of the first and funniest viral youtube videos ever? Cause I was. (skip to :50)
We get to the evening portion of the date and suddenly we’re confronted with Engagement-Gate. Rachel wants to be be engaged at the end of this. Peter only wants to propose once and he’s not ready to propose to Rachel. Better call Jared Kushner, because we might have ourselves a Peace In The Middle East type of stalemate here.
I think I have the solution. They’re both being dumb about this. Hear me out- I totally understand why Rachel wants to be engaged at the end of this- that’s how this show works- and she strikes me as someone who goes after what she wants and gets it. Why should this situation be any different? Oh, because we’re dealing with the nuances of the human heart? Overruled!
Peter, on the other hand, is also being a total idiot. No one is really ready to be engaged at the end of this show. But that’s what has to happen for us, the audience, to feel validated after watching 700 hours of cocktail parties, repelling off of buildings, and sloppy kissing. If we wanted to watch people slowly develop from a first date to a monogamous relationship we’d go to random restaurants and stare at people on third dates. We need a bended knee, a giant Neil Lane sponsored rock, and breathless excitement. Break up 6 months later, we don’t care! We have the attention spans of - something I don't even want to take the time to google to find out has a short attention span because I barely care enough to write this sentence! I think the truth is that Peter wants to parachute out of this situation and the only way he can do it is by forcing Rachel to push him out of the plane herself.
Only time will tell… Also, next week is the reunion “Men Tell All” episode, so gird your souls for the return of Hilly Billy and Waboom, and rev your love engines for Will, Dean, and… maybe that cute marine who got the boot after the first night?? The heart wants the rejected marine that the heart wants...