Filed under: Recaps & Reviews
Mother's intuition, dead grandma house tours, uncomfortable dance routines and alligators...yup, it's the hometown date episode.
We start by heading off to the east coast to join Gia and her family for the first hometown date. Jake greets Gia with running scoop hug #1. The date is pretty standard – a boat ride over the Hudson River, cheesy photos followed by a round of meet the parents. Gia's mom convinces her that her intuition is telling her that Jake is really in love with her. Got to give our New Yorker some credit – she's not fully buying it. Gia is fully aware that he treats all the girls like he treats her so she is being a little more cautious than her mother. The two head out for some alone time: Gia tells Jake she likes to sit on dark, random stoops and watch cabs go by – sounds like an episode of Law & Order SVU waiting to happen. They share a stoop-kiss and it is sweet but unlike her mother, I'm gonna give it to Gia straight – I don't think he'll remember her by the end of the episode.
You can't knock a girl for wanting to feel special and Jake really doesn't do that to any of the girls this episode. Formulaic answers, plastered smile and cue....
...running scoop hug #2. Look! It's Ali! I will say that his greeting towards her is the most enthusiastic of the night. Jake isn't used to the cold temperatures of Williamstown, Massachusetts and confirms what many of us have been suspecting all this time: "I'm a big baby". Undeterred, Ali decides to take him on a tour of her recently deceased grandma's house whom she was apparently really close with. At first, I really am moved by Ali's story but I gotta say, towards the end she was laying it on really thick. She claims that her grandma is probably looking down from heaven crying tears of joy that she and Jake are there. C'mon Ali – I'm sure Grams is mostly irked that a strange man is tramping through her house without taking his shoes off. Mother's intuition is in abundance this episode as mother #2, Elizabeth, also claims to see a special spark between the two and says she wouldn't be surprised if at the end of it all, Ali had a ring on her finger. Hold that thought, Elizabeth. However, Jake does ask for her blessing just in case he does pop the question. She and her intuition bless away and...
...cue running scoop hug #3. We've been magically transported to Newberg, Oregon. Tenley is looking awfully cute in some polka dot rubber boots which scores her some automatic points in my book. They talk a little about...yeah, you guessed it: the ex-husband or the EH as I've started to call him. In fact, Tenley mentions the EH a lot this episode. She takes him to her old dance studio and shares that the EH apparently never watched her dance (that bastard!). But since Jake is not the EH, Tenley has taken it up on herself to choreograph a little dance for him. Obviously she is a beautiful dancer (with "bangin' calves", as someone told me this morning) but it is beyond awkward to not only watch her, but to see Jake sit on his stool and smile blankly at her. At the end, she tells us "It was like I gave him a gift" – you sure did, Tenley: the gift of DANCE.
We then meet Tenley's sweet family who seems as fragile as her. They confirm that the EH really did a number on her but they do believe that she's ready to move on and find love. Tenley's dad even says that when he and his wife were watching the Bachelorette, he had seen Jake on the show and realized that he was a man of integrity. Apparently he had turned to his wife and said "I wish Tenley would meet someone like that guy". It was probably more like "why do you keep making me watching this crap?" Jake asks her father for Tenley's hand in marriage (if he decides to go that route) and he obliges.
Finally, we see running scoop hug #4. At least Jake is consistent. We are now in Sanford, Florida and Vienna is spouting off some story about how she lives in the bayou and is one with nature. I picture one of the alligators eating Vienna and Jake and putting us out of our misery so I actually forget to pay attention for most of the boat ride. Vienna's dad has never liked any of her boyfriends and Jake looks a little nervous. The first shot of Vienna's dad is of him holding a tiny dog wearing a t-shirt so I'm not exactly intimidated. Vienna's dad and his Mr. Magoo glasses demand that Vienna be treated like a princess and Jake blankly nods.
Cue major twist... Before the rose ceremony, Ali comes to Jake's room in tears. Apparently if she doesn't go home right away, she will lose her job. Jakes actually provides some sage advice telling her that life is about minimizing your regrets. Which will be a bigger regret: losing her job or losing him? Ali says she'll let him know her decision at the rose ceremony. Jake doesn't like not knowing what she's going to decide – oh Jake, how the tables have turned...
As the four women line up at the rose ceremony, Ali utters the words that no man ever wants to hear: "Chris, can I talk to you for a second?" Chris beams at the prospect of ratings gold and takes her up to Jake.
There are a lot of tears and frantic feigning but it boils down to this: Ali loves her job and isn't willing to risk it for a 1 in 4 chance at love. She could ultimately leave with nothing and Jake can't tell her, for contractual reasons or otherwise, where she stands in relation to the other women. He does tell her that she would have been safe tonight but can't divulge any more than that. So she leaves in a dramatic sniffling, messy hair fashion exclaiming in the limo "what have I done?!"
The three remaining girls stand awkwardly waiting. Tenley has this expression like 'maybe I should dance for them...' Luckily, before that comes into fruition, Chris and Jake join them to let them know that Ali is gone. There is no need for roses to be handed out so by default, our final 3 are Gia, Tenley and Vienna.
Watch me and my fellow panelists dicuss the latest episode here:
Was it just me, or were all the "ladies" wearing really awkward dresses at the non-rose ceremony last night?
most definitely. the top part of ali's dress really confused me. it seemed to defy logic and gravity.