Tractors, Zambonis, and Virgins, Oh My!
Welcome to Episode 8. Otherwise known as Hometown Week. Hometown Week is amazing because it is so utterly predictable. It’s the same dynamic EVERY. SINGLE.TIME.* Every father is cautious but easily swayable, every mother is terrified and slightly drunk, and every sibling is a wildcard no producer can prepare for.
Ok fine, Dean's Dad is the exception.. otherwise the rule stands.
Let’s begin, shall we? Carlos, are you ready?
First date is in Garrett’s hometown of Manteca, California. Garrett’s family owns a farm and Garrett continues to appear to be as dumb as the rocks that his family’s tractor removes from the soil. Garrett’s charming if you pretend that he’s starring as Tom Hanks's character in the sequel to Big. But, he’s not. He’s just a happy idiot who looks like “Destiny” from Finding Nemo.
Garrett and Becca spend time on a tractor and they plant tomatoes and a rose bush. Garrett tells Becca how much he enjoys spending time with her and he says that, “I haven’t laughed so much since I was a little kid and it was family time”. THIS GUY. Becca describes how physically attractive Garrett is, and says he would be a “hot Dad”. Well, sure. If you find Garrett attractive, he could be a hot anything. A “hot bigot”, par example.
After playing “farmer”, Garrett and Becca go to meet the family. The subject of Garrett's ex-wife seems to come up a lot, and his family references her like she’s some kind of Roald Dahl supervillain- as if she were Ms. Trunchbull, Mrs. Twit, and the head witch from The Witches all in one. Can we find this “hot blooded woman”? She sounds exciting.
Yeah, turns out The Witches is even *scarier* than you remember.
Garrett’s mom tells us that she takes family “very, VERY seriously”. Phrases like that make me NUTS. I take meals very, VERY seriously, but I don’t say it to other people to scare them away from eating with me. Because that would be weird.
In conclusion, let’s break down what we learned from this date in terms Garrett can understand: ex-wife BAD, Garrett SAD, Becca NICE, Garrett LAUGH. Moving on.
Becca arrives in Buffalo. Jason’s love of Buffalo reminds me of my family’s love for Philadelphia. Buffalo might be a little rough around the edges, it might not have the vegetable-forward culinary specialties found in other cities. It might need a jail inside it’s football stadium to handle pervasive aggression- but it’s home to the Liberty Bell- I mean, chicken wings! Who wouldn’t love Buffalo!
Jason is the best thing for the future of this franchise. He is smart and charming and kind. He asks Becca to participate in a chicken wing eating contest with him, he takes her to an ice skating rink, and makes out with her on a zamboni. Jason was giving me Milo Ventimiglia as the dad in This Is Us #vibes. He even called Becca “Bec-ster”! Anyone??? Defying physics, my cold heart melted on the ice right there. I’m even willing to forgive Jason’s absurd attempt to find a connection between ice hockey and love, suggesting that both involve “chemistry”. Mhhmmm.
We learn that Jason has a gay brother and brother-in-law. Becca says something accidentally obtuse when she compares his brother’s relationship to being on the Bachelorette- saying that they’re both “unconventional”. 1995 called, it wants it’s talking-points back.
Becca meets the family and they’re lovely. Jason’s brother is great and encourages Jason to tell Becca how he feels about her, suggesting there’s “not much runway left here”. I <3 airplane analogies.
Jason takes his brother’s advice and uses some pretty sexy adverbs to describe his love for Becca telling her that he is “insanely, wildly in love” with her. Jason for Bachelor!!! Why can’t Jason end up marrying Becca? Because Becca has to marry this guy:
Blake proved in this episode that he is not just an adorable sweetheart who loves animal puns, but a full-on never-seen-before character from Friday Night Lights come to life. My heart hurts thinking about how much I love Blake. We also know that Becca loves Blake since she tells us that she does(!) WHY ARE WE STILL DOING THIS? Call Neil Lane’s spray tan technician, get his private jet fueled up, and send him to Bailey, Colorado now!
Blake shows Becca around his high school, introduces her to his teachers, and then tells her a very Sad, very scary story about a school shooting that occurred his senior year. Oy vey. But, before we get too depressed, Blake surprises Becca with a concert by her favorite singer, Betty Who.
I actually know and like Betty Who's music, so take that ironic last-name! And my good friend Jake Wilson directed her new music video. (He doesn’t read this, but I’m just that generous of a person. Like Blake, but without the animals.)
Becca and Blake are so happy together, they even get to dance onstage and do some more dips. It’s becoming their “move”, am I right?
Ok, Becca meets the family- kudos to her divorced parents for all being together. They talk to Blake separately but both seem equally scared for him to get his heart broken. Make me number three in line because I can't handle Blake getting hurt either. Their date ends with Blake once again telling Becca how much he loves her. I wish she could tell him back and we could shut this thing down right now. But we can’t because we have to go see this guy:
(Colton might very well have his driver's license. This is one of the best lines from my personal bible/foundational text, CLUELESS.)
Finally we have little boy Colton. Colton takes Becca to a hospital to play with some children suffering from Cystic Fibrosis. It’s all very sweet- but I don’t know- I wish maybe they had shown the adults that work there full-time, too? You know those kids aren’t just alone waiting for Colton to come by every 6 weeks, right? It felt a little phony. Anyway… the real highlight for me was Becca telling the little girl her about the presents they brought for them/ her philosophy on evening wear when she says, “everyone can use some sparkle in their life”. Operative word being SOME, Becca. SOME.
While we’re on the subject of Becca’s clothing choices, I’d like to compliment Becca and Becca's stylist on her “normal clothes” this week. She looked very pretty in her off-the-shoulder red sweater and her pink hat and scarf moment, among others. I personally like Everyday Becca-Barbie more than Rocker Chick Becca-Barbie or my least favorite, Razzle Dazzle Liza Minelli Becca-Barbie.
After the hospital visit, Colton and Becca discuss Colton’s virginity for the 55th time. That evening, Becca meets 18 of Colton’s closest relatives including his four siblings. At least someone’s having a lot of sex in Colton’s family… Colton’s parents look to be about 45 years old and terrified for their son. Colton talks about his virginity with his mom, Donna. She looks horrified and simply says “it’s very private”. As in, “WHY ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT THIS ON NATIONAL TELEVISION, AND WITH ME, SPECIFICALLY?”
Donna chats with Becca and I spent the whole time trying to think of a good pun for Donna’s shirt. The shirt looks like it was attacked by a sleeve-monster and is held together with safety pins. Perhaps it was designed by Donatella VerSLOPPY?
Colton tells Becca he loves her. Becca tells Colton she's engaged to Blake. I mean- she looks pleased to hear it, (who wouldn’t be), and flies back to LA.
Becca sees her lady friends again for no apparent reason, except the entire reason is so Tia can tell Becca that she still has feelings for Colton. Let’s file this under: INSANE. Tia, honey, you need to deal with that by yourself. Also- it’s completely negating Colton’s point of view in this whole matter. Isn’t that kind of a determining factor? He’s not the last dress at a sample sale. He’s not the final pair of shoes on the sale rack. He’s his own person, remember? A strange, compulsively honest, non-sexual, possibly sexually confused person, but still his own person. He decided to stay on and date Becca, thereby ending his “rela (one-date) tionship with Tia. Tia and her eyelashes need to relax.
This whole thing was annoying, however, we did have a beautiful moment when an exasperated Becca says, “I thought we had put this whole thing to bed”. I think that’s the whole point, right? With Colton, you never can.
Finally we're all back in Los Angeles for some rapid fire rejection. But before we can begin, Colton asks Chris Harrison about the Fantasy Suite. Basically Colton asks Chris if he will be forced to have sex with Becca and Chris says no. This kid may not want to EVER have sex, but he certainly has a fetish for public humiliation.
With that fondled- I mean, handled, Becca starts giving out roses. She gives Blake the first rose despite the heinous red bow-tie/black-shirt combo he was wearing. Who told Blake that bowties are his thing? They’re not. I love you so much, Blake, but stop. Becca sends Colton home.
On to Thailand and my favorite week of the season, FANTASY SUITES! Nothing makes me happier than the heady scent of sex mixed with schaudenfreude. This time Thai flavored! See you there.