The question on everyone’s lips at the moment is “who gets eliminated tonight?” That is, besides Milo Yiannopoulos from the CPAC conference and the non-first-place finishers on Jeopardy‘s College Championship Week 2.
Nick gets to meet the families of Rachel, Raven, Corinne, and Vanessa this week. Although we already know Rachel is the next Bachelorette, she still has one more week to leave us guessing. Either that, or the show has plans for its own polygamy series.
Meanwhile, Julia, Lilly, and Alex are about to begin the Final Jeopardy round. Also, Brilinta works better than Plavix, but don’t take it if you have a history of bleeding into the brain or you watch The Bachelor.
First we must endure the “previously, on The Bachelor” clips, which appear for the sole purpose of giving Chris Harrison a line to read so he can buy another car. As the show opens in Bimini, the girls brood over who gets to go on the hometown visits. It’s easier than solving the Mideast conflict. Nick returns to the room after ditching Kristina, bringing four roses with him–there’s one for everyone! If only that would work with Abbas and Netanyahu. The girls are blissful at the prospect of another paycheck and another chance to wear short-shorts.
In the previews of the family visits, Corinne’s dad asks what we all have been wondering for a while now: “Who is this Nick guy?” Scientists are applying for a federal grant to study just that.
Raven gets the first visit in Hoxie, Alabama. She rides an ATV to meet him, and they go off to do things that people do in Hoxie beside marrying their relatives and making moonshine. The first thing is climbing to the top of a grain silo, only to be interrupted by Sheriff Roscoe P. Coltrane. He asks for ID, then accuses Nick of not being from around there. Neither are all the camera people and assistant producers. It turns out the cop is Raven’s brother Crow or Piping Plover or something.
The couple flee the law to go race ATVs through a marsh. What a great way to learn each other’s hopes and dreams and what she looks like in a wet t-shirt. After they frolic in the swampland, where you can just imagine the bug bites, Nick feels he could share his life with Raven. They could have a nest of baby birds.
Time to be introduced to the rest of the family. Her dad, who almost died of lung cancer, will be so happy to see Raven bring home a reality TV show cast mate to meet him. Every family’s house always appears to have been decorated by an IKEA catalog designer.
Mom reveals first that Daddy had a scan, and he’s cancer-free. Everyone sighs in relief, hoping meeting Nick won’t give him an aneurysm.
Raven and Dad sit to talk. Dad wants to be the one to walk her down the aisle, if Nick is the one. He also wants Nick’s parents to pick up the bill for the floral arrangements. Mom implores Raven, “Tell me everything!” Frankly, she thought Nick would be arrogant. After all, she saw the last two seasons. Mom deeply fears Raven’s heart being broken, but what the hell, give this thing a shot.
Alone with Dad, Nick expresses his pleasure that the man is not dead. He asks if Dad is comfortable with Nick asking Raven to marry him. Dad did not expect to like Nick–and he didn’t even speak with Andi and Kaitlyn about it–but now he feels Nick is a viable candidate for son-in-law. At the very least, he should be able to learn ATV repair.
Next Nick and Raven discuss the family meeting. They think it went well, and the Kallax bookcases looked nice in the living room. She wants to tell Nick she loves him, but she can’t do it. Like a scene from a Harlequin romance, Nick thanks her and leaves in the limo. Now she’s worried that he does not know her feelings, despite their having a connection and her being there for the right reasons.
We’re now to meet Rachel’s family in Dallas. She will show him her version of the city, which begins with a visit to her church, complete with a gospel choir. He’s looks whiter than a freshly laundered load of underwear sitting on an asphalt driveway, and some people give him the side-eye. “This is a little bit different from my church at home,” he observes for those of us at home who can’t fathom the experience.
Rachel asks him how it felt to be there. He jibbers nervously, acknowledging that he’s WASPier than a British costume drama from 1935. Nevertheless, he reassures her that the difference in their races is not a concern for him. She declares that she’s excited to bring him home, and he seems nervous. Dad won’t be present, though, as he is away on business. Nick relaxes. He can ask for Dad’s blessing by text.
As they approach her house, Rachel admits she has never brought a white guy home. Greeting them are her mom, two sisters, a cousin, and a bearded white brother-in-law. Those Lindsay girls have a type. As they sit down to eat, Nick is able to recognize the different foods–macaroni and cheese is apparently considered exotic in Milwaukee–although he’s unsure about okra. As are we all.
The two go off to talk with the other interracial couple. The producers are uncomfortable with too many black people in one scene. Rachel’s sister is dubious about the other women involved, as well she should be, but she also wants Nick to be aware of the issues involved in an interracial relationship. Mom also questions him about it.
“I know that Rachel’s black,” Nick reassures her. She must be so relieved. He’s also seen that episode of Star Trek where Kirk kisses Uhura.
Mom and Rachel discuss the issue, too. No one seems to care that he’s a jerk to women of every color. Mom tells Rachel that Nick reminds her of her dad, except for the part where he’s suspicious of white guys dating his daughter. Nick and Rachel kiss goodbye. She is falling in love with him. They’ll marry and buy a home together anywhere but Lakeview Terrace.
Next is Miami, where Corinne’s family lives. She continues to surprise him in new ways, Nick enthuses. Corinne tells him they’re going shopping at one of the most exclusive malls in town. That should seal the deal for him. She greets all the store owners enthusiastically, and they greet her Amex Platinum Card the same way. She’s making him spend more money than he wants, which is apparently a requirement for being with her. He tries to spin her gold-digging and naked manipulation as a positive trait. It worked well for Melania Trump, after all.
As they stagger away with their purchases, Corinne must tell him something. She is falling for him; she loves him and his credit rating. He seems slightly crestfallen, an expression she interprets as being like a movie. Maybe Fatal Attraction. Now it’s time to meet the family.
I’m strangely aware of all the ads for medications that appear during these two hours. Maybe because the people in them are much more realistic than the ones on this show, even while sedated.
Corinne’s family is concerned about Nick’s prolonged history as a reject. The parents, her sister, and the nanny, who is definitely not from Flushing, Queens, are all present to evaluate his eligibility. Dad, who is drinking heavily, insists they all partake of his homemade marinated Greek olives, which Nick manfully pretends to like.
Next, for some reason, Corinne and Dad discuss Nick while lounging on a big bed from Pottery Barn. She declares that she is very serious about Nick. Dad wants to know why, as do we all. Meanwhile, Nick tells the nanny that he cares for Corinne despite the three other women he’s panting over in other scenes and the lighting assistant he sneaks around with after shooting.
Dad wants to know if Nick can make a living, raise a family, and pay Corinne’s bills. She believes he can. Next he meets with Nick, fortunately on chairs and with a nice single-malt for each. Meanwhile, Mom is concerned that this whole thing is a fantasy, or at least a poorly written season. Nick wants to know if Dad is okay with their getting married. If Corinne is happy, it’s good enough for Dad. He proclaims Nick a nice guy. Corinne is the lid to his pot. She’s probably more like the bong.
The pair part ways with much lip-smacking. Corinne is exuberant, but she hates that she still has competition to contend with. This scene is followed, appropriately, by ads for eyebrow pencil and anti-depressants.
Finally, Nick will be introduced to Vanessa’s family in Montreal. They meet in the rain, where her hair is miraculously without frizz. They will first visit her adult special education students. They clamor to greet their beloved teacher. Nick is touched by their love for Vanessa, which doesn’t even require a producer to confirm. The students are then charged with making a scrapbook of Vanessa and Nick’s memories together. The Canadian Board of Education sanctioned this?
Vanessa’s parents are divorced, so Nick will meet them separately so they can disapprove of him individually. She hasn’t brought anyone home in three years, so the pressure is on. The couple arrives to find all of her mom’s side seated (Kaustby; width: 50.5 cm, depth: 48.1 cm; $49 each) around the table. It’s quite a crowd that welcomes them joyfully, and the food looks great. Vanessa’s aunt is concerned that the two haven’t discussed the future beyond After the final Rose.
Mom takes Nick aside. Why did he choose Vanessa among all the hordes of women in tight dresses? This kind of ruthless interrogation tactic makes Nick tense. Her sister also asks about whether they have considered living outside a TV studio, and doing their own make-up. It appears all of Vanessa’s family and friends will hate him if he hurts her, not to mention her fanbase will rage-tweet him for months.
Vanessa discusses similar practical issues with her brother. He doesn’t want her to have her heart broken, he remarks. They both cry as they consider it. Yet she then assures her sister how great her relationship with Nick is. Her gut is telling her this is it. But her sister wants to know silly details like what Nick will do when he can longer earn a living as an ABC reality show cast member. The aunt is also asking about that touchy topic. What a pile-on of reasonable reactions!
A Hemnes storage cabinet with glass doors, available in black or white, stands in mute witness to Vanessa’s distress. Now she wants to know all those answers herself, but the script doesn’t allow for it. Nick is nevertheless confident that it all went well, and he will eventually see Vanessa naked.
Meanwhile, we’re meeting her dad, who lives alone with his second wife and only serves snacks. Dad takes Nick aside. He demands to know what made Vanessa stand out for him, aside from her push-up bra. Dad wants her to be happy, and for she and Nick to respect each other even when cameras aren’t on them. He seems fixated on the other three women, though. What a picky guy.
Nick asks for Dad’s blessing if he and Vanessa agree to marry. There is a pregnant pause. Dad cannot do it, he asserts. He wants to know: Did Nick ask the other girls’ dads for their blessings? Nick claims he “ran it by them,” too, which inflames Dad. This is one Canadian who is not so polite. Nevertheless, when he tells Vanessa, she is impressed that Nick asked–until Dad tells her that Nick asked the other dads, too.
Vanessa is stricken. She must now re-evaluate their relationship, in addition to finding out if he has a 401k and an updated resume in French.
Nick gazes pensively from his hotel balcony the next morning. He feels all the family visits moved his relationships forward, so it will be almost impossible to make a decision tonight. If only je could see them all in teddies first.
Raven fears she erred in not telling Nick she loves him. Corinne feels their shopping trip was fruitful. Rachel realizes she’s falling in love with Nick, but she never told him either. The writers could only come up with two variations for them to worry about.
Meanwhile, Vanessa needs answers that she can’t find on Google. We are led to presume that it is she who, we next see staggering on stillettos to his hotel room, but no–it’s Andi! In classic villainous female style, she flips her hair and barks a greeting to his surprised face.
What does this mean for the rest of Nick’s journey, Chris asks rhetorically. What does it mean for ratings? What does it matter in a world where Betsy DeVos is running the Department of Education? The drama continues next week. We didn’t even get President’s Day off.