Hometown #1: My Big Fat Polish Wedding, with Drunkeye Chris
Emily and Chris meet up in Chicago, where these two numbskulls have some really arresting conversations. Such as:
Emily: I'm so excited to be here! I'm really happy.
Chris: I'm glad you're excited. I'm glad you're happy. I'm very very very happy.
People, the producers cut about eight hours of footage down into fifteen minutes for this date, and THIS IS THE BEST THEY CAME UP WITH.
These are the most boring people on earth.
Oh look! Here's something kind of interesting about Chris, which is that he is a first generation Polish American, and everyone in his family speaks Polish. On a scale of 1 to Polish, they are an 11. What the producers imagine to be Polish music plays as Chris and Emily go to a Polish bar, I guess, although it kinda just looks like a bar to me, and then they get beers and Emily says they should probably toast, so Chris toasts to "a good day" and they're pretty much back to being really boring again. They discuss drunkeye's near mental breakdown of last week, which Emily thought was 'so sweet'.
Then they drive to some place called 'Hanover Park', like where the hell is that, and Chris says that his parents are gonna be pumped to meet "their future daughter-in-law". Or else they will be deeply embarassed to see this episode on TV after their son has been publicly rejected. That's also a possiblity. But this show is built on a foundation of false hopes and broken dreams, so we soldier on.
Emily meets Chris' family, and everyone is so happy and honored, and platitudes are exchanged, and then they all sit down to eat, last-supper style, like I guess this show has maybe just given up the pretense that any of this is normal and they're okay showing these people sitting on only one side of a table like a bunch of weirdos.
After a meal, during which absolutely nothing interesting is said and absolutely nobody eats anything, Chris' dad pulls Emily aside. She wants to know if he thinks Chris is ready to be a dad. What matters, says dad, is that you love and support each other. Reading between his lines, I think he is saying this: don't look for someone to be an insta-dad. Look for someone who loves and appreciates you, and the rest will fall into place. Amen, dad. I couldn't agree more. The hometown dates are always a little refreshing, and also surreal, because you remember once again what normal people sound like.
Then Emily says something to dad in Bachelor-speak, like, " I think I may be falling in love with Chris" but dad does not speak Bachelor, so he reports back to Chris and is like, dude, she's in love with you, and Chris is like SHE'S IN LOVE WITH ME and is totally floored. This will not end well.
Hometown Date #2: My Big Fat Mormon Wedding with Anthony Michael Jef
Next up is Jef. His parents are not here to meet Emily, because they are off doing Mormon-y things, I think, but that is more than made up for by the fact that Jef's family owns their own ranch, which probably means they are ludicrously wealthy. Jef fires a gun and shoots some clay pigeons, and he hits them all, even in his skinny jeans, and then Emily fires the gun, and she pretends not to know what she's doing but she ALSO hits all the clay pigeons, because she is secretly awesome at guns (which makes me like her a tiny bit more) and then Emily and Jef tell each other how wonderful they are for a while.
Then Emily meet's Jef's family, and there are like, a billion of them, and they all claim to be 'skeptical' at first, but then Emily charms them with her tiny blond ways and they are totally okay with their brother marrying a girl he met on television.
Later, Emily and Jef are alone, and he reads her a letter her wrote, that ends with "most of all, I'm completely and hopelessly in love with you," Emily calls it "the sweetest thing anybody has ever, ever said to me", and then they make out, and I'm thinking this is gonna be a tough one to beat.
Hometown Date #3: My Big Fat Dutch Indycar Racing Wedding with Race Car Arie
Emily meets Arie at the race track, and he shows her how he drives a car around in a circle and gets paid lots and lots of money. Emily is turned on by that, because she has dated lots of men who drive cars in circles for a living. It's kind of her thing. Later, Arie warns Emily that his mom will be a tough nut to crack.
They meet the family, and everyone's speaking Dutch, and Emily's all like, OH NOES THEY'RE TALKING ABOUT ME, and I'm like, Arie speaks dutch? Because that is hella sexy. At first it seems like Arie's family will be the one to be like, no, don't marry this girl from TV who already has three boyfriends, but alas, it is not meant to be. Emily talks to mom, Arie talks to dad, everyone who was once skeptical is totally convinced, everyone loves Emily. The usual. Arie sees Emily off and says he is DEFINITELY going to marry her, like maybe he doesn't really understand how this show works.
Hometown Date #4: My Big Fat Texas Wedding with Pink Sean and his Crazy Practical Jokes
Then there's a hometown date in Dallas, with pink Sean, and they go to white rock lake, and then to his parents' house, which is freakishly huge. Seriously, Sean's neice, Kensington, has a playhouse in the backyard that is bigger than my house. Taking in Sean's freakishly huge muscles and his parents' freakishly huge house and his freakishly perfect family, Emily thinks everything is perfect. She uses the word 'perfect' about 45 times. But! Sean also has a SECRET. He lives at home with his parents.
They go upstairs to Sean's room, which is a giant mess and is covered in stuffed animals and half-eaten cookies. Adorably, Sean introduces them by name (the animals, not the cookies), and Emily is like, "oh, so cute", but in talking head later she is like WTF NOT OKAY. "He's a mess. And he's really into stuffed animals."
Really, really into stuffed animals.
But then it is revealed that the whole thing is just a big funny joke! Sean does not REALLY live at home with his parents. It's a joke, get it? Hahaha? Emily does not seem amused. Maybe she's thinking, like I am, about how the ABC interns did a really good job with the staging of Sean's fake room. Extra points for the golf clubs. I think that's what really sold it.
Anyway, there's some more of Sean's date, but probably nothing interesting happened, or at least nothing I can remember. Sorry guys, I try really hard, I do, but I've been watching the Bachelorette a whole hell of a lot lately and I'm starting to worry about what it's going to do to me. Anyway, Sean's date is over, and they kiss, and he says goodbye to Emily, and her black SUV drives away, and then Sean decides that he just HAS to kiss her again, so he RUNS after the SUV, and I guess the ABC cameraman runs too, and MIRACULOUSLY Sean catches the car, because of the SUPERHUMAN POWER OF HIS LOVE, and then they kiss again. Vomit.
It's all over! Maybe Emily and Chris talked for a while about how she doesn't want to hurt anyone. I think I kind of tuned that out. Fact is, unless Emily wants to marry four dudes (which would be an entirely different, and probably much better, show), someone is going home.
Emily gives a speech. Blah blah, heart being torn in four different directions, blah blah. Some of those directions are better than others. Emily would like to go in the direction of...
So Chris is goin home, but not before Emily has to try to explain to him why she dumped him. This is not gonna be pretty.
They go outside and sit on a bench. Chris is pissed. This is hella awkward. Chris demands an explanation, and Emily mumbles something about how their relationship wasn't moving fast enough, and Chris is like, WTF, I told you I LOVED you, how much freaking faster can you get, so finally Emily tells him the real reason she's breaking up with him, which is something like, "I just felt like I had a deeper connection with the others." AKA: It's not that I'm not happy with our relationship. I just like my other boyfriends better.
But I don't think Chris is too too broken up about this. In fact, I hear he's moving right along to the cesspool that is Bachelor Pad, where his perpetually drunk eyes and command of the Polish language will surely stand him in good stead.
Next week! FANTASY DATES. Finally, we may get some hot tubs. Finally.