Can it be that we’re just a week away from hometown dates for the finalists? Or is it that I had Mexican food for lunch? On tonight’s episode, the seven remaining women will be whittled down to four, after Arie consults with the producers, his mom, and a really blasé Ouija board.
Seinne, Tia, Becca K., Bekah M., Jacqueline, Kendall, and Lauren B.—that’s five brunettes vs. two blondes, making this the Season of Garnier Nutrisse Ultra Color Nourishing Color Creme in Dark Golden Brown #37—will join Arie in Tuscany. In the stunning rustic countryside that embodies centuries of history, they will discuss connections, vulnerability, and whether American pizza is superior. There will be three one-on-one dates, a group date, and a collective IQ matching that of the subjects of a PBS nature documentary.
According to the usual sources, in addition to the more scientific method of me picking names out of a hat while drunk, the final four are predicted to be Lauren B., Becca K., Tia, and Kendall. That would mean that Bekah would be forced to find
The first ciao bella is uttered in the pre-caps. The gals discuss the place they’re in with Arie romantically, what it requires to move forward, which does not include medical histories or ancestry.com profiles, and how anxious they are. IKEA instructions are more compelling.
We open to scenes of Tuscany, accompanied by a soundtrack straight out of a spaghetti Western. All that’s missing from the footage is an organ grinder named Giuseppe. The gals greet Chris, who tells them Arie is excited about how big this week is, although for us at home it’s more about the new infrastructure plan.
There is no Rose Ceremony this week. Everyone gasps as if they just heard about another wife abuser in the White House administration. Whoever gets a rose this week gets to bring Arie home to meet their family.
At the hotel, Becca K. earns the first one-on-one. Hasn’t she have like four already? She meets up with Arie, who yells ciao bella again, like an Italian. As they drive off together in a tiny convertible, Becca exclaims that she feels like they’re in an old movie and she needs a scarf over her hair. That’s reminiscent of Grace Kelly in To Catch a Thief, which took place in France and with Cary Grant, but yes, just like The Bachelor.
Arie envisions Becca as someone he could marry. But was a picnic and making out while a guy directed them enough to be sure, he muses. He’s not certain she’ll get a rose. He’s not even sure if her full name is Rebecca.
At the hotel, Jacqueline is upset. She tells Kendall (Lauren?) that she has “swirling doubts” about whether she’s ready to have Arie meet her family, although she’s apparently fine with making out with him before he’s told her his religion. She cannot trust her feelings in such an accelerated situation. It’s almost as if the whole relationship has been engineered by third parties. Kendall (Lauren?) advises discussing the issue with Arie, possibly in a clandestine late-night visit to his hotel room while a camera crew shadows her.
That night, Becca and Arie review her past relationships. I continue to wonder what any of this rehashing accomplishes besides compelling Bachelor Nation to stalk the ex-boyfriends on Facebook. Becca reveals that Arie would be her first “real boyfriend who means a lot” to her. Before now, she only brought home the Tinder dates that wore nice underwear.
Arie hands over the rose. “Today was incredible,” he tells Becca, making Cary Grant look preferable while exhumed after 30 years. He needed to see if there was a passion there, and not just in the script. Indeed, he reports, he’s falling for her. “You’re coming to Minneapolis!” she cries, something Al Franken didn’t want to hear fairly recently.
The next one-on-one date is for Lauren B., who just had a date last week, or do I have her confused with Kendall again? That makes Jacqueline more upset than ever. When Becca shortly returns in triumph, clutching her rose and with the imprint of pillowy lips on her neck, Jacqueline is convinced she must consult with Arie stat. They really have to revise this gimmick. Have the woman text the guy or interrupt him in the shower or something.
Arie answers the door to the beleaguered Jacqueline. They proceed to drink wine while she pulls her sleeves over her fingers. She explains she has been completely swept off her feet by the race car driver and his doofy hair, but when she considers a hometown visit, her confidence flags. Her family are either real hardasses or they’ve already appeared on Hoarders. She repeats the “swirling doubts” comment, which maybe by now are “eddying convictions,” and despairs that the other girls seem surer about how they feel about Arie.
Jacqueline is going to leave the show, and use the accumulated paychecks to pay off her Hyundai. Before she goes, Arie wants to know if she struggles with being in love, or being in love with him, or being in love with the offer to write a blog post for People magazine. They bid each other goodbye. She pauses outside his room to collapse into sobs and question her decision yet again. Her doubts are now performing on the high wire.
Finally, she goes back and tells the others. Only five more women are left, with three roses to be won. Agatha Christie knew a good formula when she saw one, too. “I kind of suck at being happy,” Jacqueline concludes. She better not be getting her PhD from clown college.
Arie feels Jacqueline was brave to be aware that their relationship couldn’t work, which he respects since he has a bunch of other girls lined up. Next he meets Lauren for their date in a little town called Lucca. They will ride bikes while pointing excitedly in random directions. Handlebar Cams reveal their enjoyment, although Lauren is concerned whether all will go well. They get some gelato, as you do.
Arie must determine today whether Lauren is ready for a hometown date. “It’s a big step,” he tells her, although not as big as what the Mueller investigation turned up this week. She agrees that bringing home some dolt she dated solely on TV could be an important factor in whether her family sincerely welcomes him. Concerned, Arie hopes there’s a breakthrough tonight, which might require electroshock therapy.
The gals at the hotel are discussing their feelings using the pre-approved glossary when the next date card arrives. Seinne gets the third one-on-one. Meanwhile, Lauren and Arie go to dinner. He must tell her how he feels, but they haven’t had the big progression he hoped for. There must be an app to measure that kind of thing.
Lauren toasts to breaking down their walls. Arie notes that she observes and thinks carefully before she speaks. Maybe they should conduct this relationship via term paper. She tells him that she is starting to fall in love with him. Is that a wall coming down, or maybe just some paint peeling?
Arie suddenly gets up and walks away. Uh oh. Did Lauren say too much too soon? Was he taken aback by her raw honesty? Did he need a bathroom break? When he returns, he tells her he’s nervous because he wants to meet her family. None of it makes any sense, but evs. He gives her the rose, describing how he feels vulnerable with her, which is so much more important than shared values or whether his 401k is meeting expectations. He is falling in love with her, he reveals. Lauren is blown away, as was described in much of Elizabeth Barrett Browning’s work.
Next day, Arie galumphs along considering his encounters with Lauren and whoever the first one was, I forgot already. Now he must see what Seinne has to say about the dimensions of her walls. They meet up with Giulio, the truffle hunter, which is also a pilot for a new ABC series. They go with his Italian-barking dogs to dig up the delicious fungi. Guilio then invites them for lunch at his home, where a bunch of colorful locals welcome them with glad cries and broad gestures. The scene was verified authentic by the script consultant whose expertise is ethnic stereotypes.
Arie wants an authentic Italian lunch with lots of pasta and yelling. As they horse around in the rustic kitchen with flour and sauce, he is impressed with how Seinne is so comfortable, and that they’re enjoying each other’s company. Fortunately, nether of them suggested putting pineapple on the pizza. Meanwhile, the Italian family passes earthen platters of anti-pasto and argues politics.
Arie worries about making the right choic now that two girls already have roses. Seinne marvels how love was expressed so freely at the lunch, which she is unused to. Usually there isn’t a union crew to wash the dishes afterwards. Arie loves how the Italian people are free about love and talk about it openly, just like in all those Prince Spaghetti commercials.
But he expresses concern that even if he and Seinne hit it off, how will they reconcile their currently separate lives? Maybe like every other person in history who got married? Seinne is ready for that, but Arie hesitates. Seinne is fearful now. And she’s chilly, so she puts on her jacket. The angst!
The remaining gals wonder how the group date can advance their Arie connections during the crucial moments they’re not waiting for the lighting to be adjusted. At least one person named on the date card will go home, although that person will likely appear on Jimmy Kimmel. The angst!
Back to Seinne. She tells Arie she is not ready to end this relationship. But Arie feels something is off. There’s not the deep emotion he felt on his other two dates, or perhaps not such deep cleavage. He is not feeling what he should at this point in their 12-day relationship. She does not get the rose. The angst!
The other girls are shocked at Seinne’s departure. Now only one person is going home from the group date. The angst!
Arie awaits the group daters at an old villa once occupied by Napoleon’s sister. He greets them by yelling ciao bella again. The two roses are waiting next to some cheese and crackers. Arie takes Kendall off to talk alone first. She wants to know what their lives would be like together. Probably a lot of open houses on the weekends.
Kendall is extremely close to her family. The two live in different areas, though, which could be an issue since no one has ever figured out a way to relocate to another city. Kendall is willing to move, but Arie doesn’t make the same offer. I guess race car driving can only be practiced in certain areas.
Meanwhile, Bekah and Tia review their situations. Naturally, Bekah’s relative youth and presumed immaturity are proffered by Tia as evidence that she should go home today. She is determined to share that startling revelation with Arie. If she also suggests he has to move to Wiener, she’s sunk.
Tia claims her family thinks she’s a weirdo, always a wise thing to mention to someone you want to impress. But she has strong feelings for Arie, and is glad to have the yokels meet him. Maybe they’ll host a barn dance in his honor.
After their talk, she goes back and tells Bekah that she doesn’t want the slip of a girl to break Arie’s heart. Bekah starts crying. She feels hurt, misunderstood, and that she is not seen for what she really is, which I guess is 22 in dog years? Arie finds her and dispenses hugs. Without any make-up left, she looks like a 17-year-old who will have to tweet #metoo in a few minutes.
She confides between sobs how Tia has hurt her by suggesting she’s not ready for marriage. He asks her for more details as he strokes her arm and gazes lustfully at her. Did her family object to her being on the show, at least when they finally found out she was on it? She feels they are A-okay with the whole absurd arrangement, although they would have preferred she went on The Amazing Race. Afterwards, she is relieved. “I think he really likes me!” she crows, bouncing up and down while holding up both hands with fingers crossed. She passed a note to Susie in homeroom, too.
Finally we learn who won’t receive a rose. Kendall gets the first one. She really needs some deep conditioning on that hair. Tia now feels less confident as she sits awkwardly with Bekah, waiting for Kendall to come back from making out under a pergola once visited by Napoleon’s sister, only she was wearing much more clothing.
Night falls over the villa. Tia and Bekah arrive to join Arie for dinner in a stunning hall with painted frescos and intricately carved woodwork. They’ll decorate their McMansion similarly when they get married. Tia and Arie go off together first, as she explains she has his best interests at heart. That’s always a winning line —from your great-aunt. She describes her strong feelings for him. He can picture her family having a good ol’ time playing the fiddle and square dancing at the community center.
With Bekah, it’s mostly the two of them making out in between her insisting she’s given up listening to One Direction and buying her accessories at Claire’s.
But now, the final rose of the week. It goes to Tia, the steady, mature, thoughtful one without a flat chest. Arie walks Bekah out for a final liplock. She sobs in the limo, wishing her boo-boo teddy were there with her.
Next week its hometown visits that are not in Europe. The dads seem out for blood. They’re aware of the #metoo movement, too.