The hometown visits this week should be exciting, even if it’s unlikely anyone’s son-in-law got Russian financing for Arie’s real estate ventures. To help you plan your schedule around any potential Constitutional crises, you should know that next week is the Women Tell All special, followed by the “overnight dates” episode, and then the finale, when Arie chooses a tacky bauble, and there’s more brimming eyes than in any week on This Is Us. No one has been paid $130,000 to not talk about their overnight dates.
Tonight, the former race car driver turned pillowy-lipped dweeb will meet the dubious families of the four remaining gals: 27-year-old Becca in Minneapolis; L.A.’s Kendall, 26; Dallas-born Lauren (can we drop the last initial now?); and 26-year-old Tia, from the now-infamous Weiner, Arkansas.
This brings us to question Tia’s concern that Bekah didn’t have sufficient life experience. She herself has less than half a decade on her former rival, and all of it spent in a place where people’s greatest aspiration is to win the state fair’s Commercial Sheep Showmanship competition.
Ready for spoilers? They can’t be any more shocking than the comments you read on Yahoo News today. Here we go: Kendall does not attend the Tell All episode, although it doesn’t say why and I’m too lazy to look for any info. Bekah has since spoken with Arie and gotten closure. Is that really a spoiler, or just an update for people who cling to the belief that they’ve been monitoring legitimate relationships? Arie tells Tia he “kept her” too long. And finally, there’s some “shady business” that Caroline confronts Arie about. Maybe there were some Russian bankers involved.
If you miss that show, don’t worry. The only thing worth seeing is unaired footage of Krystal calling Arie a “needle dick.” Sounds like Tia wasn’t the only one to gift him with a little weiner.
We open in L.A., with Arie racing to see Kendall. “She’s not your average girl,” Arie says, largely because average girls meet their husbands without TV cameras documenting every moment. She first brings him to see her taxidermy room, which should be grounds to commit her rather than get engaged. She’s got a damn buffalo in there. They proceed to stuff a creature together, bonding over their future and the shrink’s bills. Nevertheless, Arie can accept the animal corpses crammed the basement collecting fleas. Kendall is blond, after all.
Arie will meet her twin sister, brother, and parents. At least these twins didn’t appear together on the show this time. Kendall claims Arie is more compassionate than anyone she’s ever dated. “I love how you feel things,” he tells her. Wait til she gets addicted to IV ketamine.
They arrive to meet her family at their Pottery Barn-bedecked McMansion. Everyone shrieks as they enter the front door. Even the dog is excited. They must have rubbed Arie down with salami.
Mom wants to discuss this whole debacle with Kendall. She tells Mom that she’s pleased that Arie said he’s falling for her. Mom feels that an open heart filled with lightness is a good thing, and she must listen carefully to everything she’s feeling. Mom was deeply affected by I’m Okay, You’re Okay when she was a teen.
Sis tells Arie that she doesn’t feel he and Kendall are connected enough. He reassures her—on what grounds we’ll never know—but she wants Kendall to confirm. “It just feels effortless,” Kendall rhapsodizes, but that might have something to do with their every conversation being written in advance by members of the Writers Guild.
Dad mentions Arie asking for “her hand and such.” Maybe “such” is her inheritance from Dad. The man is not convinced that this can work, and says as much to Arie, who is not exactly rushing to disagree. It would take an orator like Churchill to make that argument stick. Meanwhile, Sis is concerned that Kendall consider that “this is a lifetime,” as if divorce weren’t far more common these days than taxidermy.
The family’s input, along with having watched every previous season’s hometown dates, has made Kendall realize she must move away from her fears and just go with it. She tells Arie that she needs to communicate her feelings, which are scary yet exciting, kind of like when she first cut open the dead buffalo.
Weiner is next, which Tia describes as a close-knit community where everyone helps each other out, like when a hog escapes or Old Lady Kitteredge needs some liniment. Tia greets Arie passionately, telling him that they will spend the day doing something close to his heart: racing junker cars. Arie is pleased that she is doing something out of her comfort zone, which could lead to her acceptance of him chaining her to his basement wall in a leather bikini. They participate in a very brief and tame race around in the Weiner dirt, then smooch in the back of a pick-up truck.
Arie will meet her parents, a brother, a cousin, and an aunt. Apparently, none are named Jethro or Lula Mae. Tia’s family’s home is right out of a West Elm catalog, complete with a single piece of glazed pottery on a bookshelf and graphic cushions scattered artfully on the beige sofa. The crew will replace their beer-can tower and deer head when the scene wraps. The group toasts each other with cocktail weiners.
Arie sits with the big brother first. He is there for his little sister, so he wants to know if Arie is the Kissing Bandit playboy that strangers on Twitter have asserted. Arie gulps as tension between the two mounts. Finally, Arie insists he’s over such Hefner-tinged activities as car-racing and traveling the world. In fact, he’s a big bore now. Brother will remain reassured until he hears how Tia was dissed in the Women Tell All show. Arie’s body, with blue pillowy-lips, will be found in a shallow grave in the cornfield.
While he starts off combative, Dad concludes that Arie is a good man, and this whole relationship has true potential. They didn’t shoot the part where a manila envelope was exchanged. Tia then assures her mom that all is joy and rapture between her and Arie. That makes Mom happy as long as she also pops a Xanax. The couple are ultimately satisfied with the visit, which they review while sitting in a porch swing.
“Tia and I really progressed our relationship,” Arie reports with as much enthusiasm as a project manager narrating a PowerPoint presentation. We all have such high hopes for those crazy kids.
Next it’s off to Minneapolis to see Becca. They’re at an apple orchard to pick some apples. “I hope you like apples,” Becca says, proving herself to be an artful conversationalist. Arie can envision spending the rest of his life with her, eating apples and possibly even baking some pies. For variety, they’ll occasionally switch to vegetables.
Tonight he will meet her mom, some other relatives, and an uncle who’s a pastor and Becca’s dad-replacement since hers died. Wise beyond his years, Arie comments sagely on the need for family support, especially if they have money. However, it appears Uncle Gary is suspicious right out of the gate.
Mom wants to know from Arie how this franchise is different from when he was on The Bachelorette, just what any loving mother would ask a potential son-in-law. Then Gary drags Arie away. He immediately brings up her dead dad, who was a great fisherman and hunter. Gary still has his guns, you know. He wants to learn if Becca is “the real deal” to Arie. Arie nods pleasantly, concerned about the prevalence of dead animals during this season.
Mom tells Becca she likes Arie, but warns about allowing her daughter to get to know him without the distractions of being drunk or dancing half-naked at the Moulin Rouge. Gary wants to know if Arie will go to church with Becca. He says he will, despite not being the least bit interested. Sharing religious values is so critical to achieving marital harmony, Gary affirms, but he’ll settle for his nephew-in-law snoozing in the pew next to Becca. Mom wants only for Becca to have love, be fulfilled, and not name their son Arie, Jr.
Mom then interviews Arie. What does he think makes a relationship work, she asks, as if reading the Harley Quinn Valentine’s Day Special issue makes you competent at relationships. He describes how his parents’ have had a long marriage, earning points for an answer more related to math. Mom agrees to honor any choice Becca makes, even if it’s Arie. He finds it all quite awesome and feels accepted, even by grumpy Uncle Gary. He and Becca discuss how well it’s all gone, if you don’t count the presence of Tia, Kendall, and Lauren.
Arie goes on to meet Lauren in Dallas. They go horseback riding on the beach, then climb a tower similar to the one the University of Texas sniper shot students from. Following that is a sunset-lit scene of the two kissing. Lauren is nervous about Arie meeting her family, and so is he. For its part, the family is determined to evaluate Arie as husband material. Their house appears to be the same one the show used for Rachel’s hometown visit from Nick, also in Dallas.
Arie senses a tense vibe in the room. Getting right down to the important topics, Dad asks if Arie plays golf, which he does not. It’s not a good start, as Dad needs a caddie. Overwhelmed, Arie excuses himself to mop his brow. Lauren goes off to talk with her aunt. “We have something, like, special,” she insists.
Dad is deeply suspicious of Arie’s motives. He meets with the young man, who thanks Dad for his service and asks what kind of plane he flew while in the military. Arie then describes visiting the troops in Iraq, which Dad is very impressed by. He is a simple man, all about God, guns, and reality TV.
Mom asks the important question: How can Arie be committed to one woman after macking on three others at the same time? He babbles something incoherent, since what the hell defense is there for that situation, then asks for her blessing. Mom trusts Lauren, and that’s all she’ll allow as a form of blessing.
Next she sits with Lauren. Lauren claims she’s falling in love with Arie, which Mom frowns on. “We could be sitting in a room with 15 women, and I know exactly what he’s thinking,” Lauren confides in Mom, whose eyebrows leap northward. Please. We all know what Arie is thinking in that room, and with which head.
Afterwards, Arie whines that Lauren’s mom was hard on him. The woman should be pleased that he’s swapping out her daughter with three other girls like they’re a collection of watchbands.
Now it’s back to the mansion for the Rose Ceremony. Becca feels confident, but is freaked out by the competition. Still unsure, Kendall is nevertheless unready to end things, while Tia is wearing a dress that screams “wedding gown in an Elvis chapel.” Lauren does love Arie, and feels they are connected.
Arie arrives looking as featureless as a dollar-store Ken doll. He feels things changed when he met all the families—now any one of the four women could work. He must be fun to shop for appliances with.
Making this decision is impossible, Arie admits. He goes into the room with sighs, a frown and clasped hands. Then there’s a pause. He is so fraught that he is suddenly compelled to leave the room, something we’ve seen only once before during this half of the episode. The women wait, distraught; the mic guy develops a sore arm. Arie returns quickly, though, and asks to speak to Kendall. The others are confused and worried. Go to commercial, which is more entertaining.
“I need to know if you can get there,” Arie implores Kendall. “I need to know if you can be engaged and be comfortable.” She can’t say at this moment that she is ready, but she sees a lot in him that she can love. They did this exact scene with Peter in the last Bachelorette, and it was lame then, too.
Kendall pleads with Arie to be allowed to stay. She talks about being safe with him and feeling vulnerable and all that crap. He says he’s just trying to gain clarity. The producer is trying to fill in some extra minutes.
They both return to the room for the ceremony. The first rose goes to Becca, of course. After that, he calls Lauren. And now for the final rose. Suspense! Tension! Fear! Loathing (on my part)! Who will Arie send home? Who will get another chance? Can he stand to listen to that Petticoat Junction twang for another episode? Apparently not. Kendall gets the rose.
Arie walks a sobbing Tia outside. He assures her she didn’t do anything wrong, except maybe have a threatening hulk of a brother whom Arie doesn’t ever want to anger, ever. “There was just something missing,” Arie tells her, such as a few IQ points. They embrace tearfully and bid each other goodbye. At least she got a free trip to Paris. Arie watches the limo depart, sniffing.
Tia is sad that she told Arie her feelings and they were not returned. Now she’s afraid to try love again. We’ve all been there, hon, especially the Kardashians.
Next week is two back-to-back nights of show, starting on Sunday with Women Tell All. Be there for Krystal if nothing else. Then on Monday, the three gals and Arie to Peru, where they surely play with some llamas. Also, someone’s mysterious ex pops up (did he just happen to be in Lima?) and Arie opens a door dramatically. It all looks so thrilling.