Kendall’s Hometown Date
Los Angeles, CA
The second Arie touches down in LA, Kendall whisks him away to a taxidermy storage unit/show room designed for the modern day Teddy Roosevelt. Arie takes the words out of my mouth and calls this whole thing very Silence of the Lambs, especially the part where they stretch rat skin over a stuffed dummy to create an actual taxidermy rat. Don’t worry, there’s also a small diorama of Paris and the Eiffel Tower where Arie and Kendall can play with the stuffed rats and commemorate the time that Kendall beat Krystal. Gotta keep it petty for the morons watching at home, ya know?
Before heading to meet the fam, Kendall tells Arie that his compassion has allowed her to be more vulnerable and has her thinking less logically and more with her heart. I truly am glad that someone unexpected has made it this far, but Kendall and Arie are SO not happening.
Arie approaches the door and hands off a bunch of lilies, flowers typically associated with funerals and Easter time in the Catholic Church, to Kendall’s family. Kendall is so overjoyed to be wrapped in her twin sister’s arms that Arie is forced to take the initiative to introduce himself to Kendall’s mom and dad.
Amidst succulents and jade Buddha sculptures, Mom advises Kendall to pay attention to her feelings. Feeling light and open hearted is a good sign. Great advice. Kylie, Kendall’s sister, is all about reading people’s vibes. She tells Arie that she sees space between him and Kendall. Later, Kendall tells her sister that she feels like her relationship with Arie is effortless. Sis remains steadfast in her questions to keep Kendall honest. She’s calmly trying to mindfuck Kendall the same way Kendall tried to mindfuck Krystal into seeing the way, the truth, and the light. Finally Kylie tells Kendall that she’s just not sensing an outpouring of undeniable energy that Arie is the one. Someone needed to say it.
Arie is really gunning for a fiancée; therefore, his main concern is that Kendall is so logical she won’t allow herself to fully fall, OR, just an idea, she’s so logical that being in a marriage incubator has her thinking extra logically as a defense mechanism to survive this alternate reality/emotional war room. Kendall gets real with her sister and tells her that tbh, she is not ready to be engaged right now, and then for the producers she adds, but at the end of this, i.e.: in another week, who knows! Oh, sweetie. Give it up.
Considering the overall woo-woo vibe from Kendall’s mom and sister, I found it very disturbing to hear Kendall’s father express his need for a suitor asking his permission to marry his daughter. While leaning against a pillow stitched with the word “soul”, Dad tells Arie that none of this shit makes sense, but he will defer to his daughter on this one. Cool, Dad.
Kendall’s Hometown Haiku
Jade green energy swirls ‘round
Fiancée? Not me.
Tia’s Hometown Date
We should have known Tia was doomed the moment she walked Arie to a racetrack where they basically recreate the demo derby date from week 2. There’s no bumper car component this time around, but it’s a last ditch attempt at Tia/the producers appeasing the bachelor’s basic car needs.
Meanwhile the fam is firing up the oven for some wieners in a blanket to celebrate their daughter’s homecoming. Dad is prepared to determine Arie’s manliness based on his handshake. As Tia steps through the front door of her raised ranch she immediately gets choked up upon seeing her mom. Relatable. After the intros, Dad gives a toast to “Airy” and embarrassed Tia corrects him. Dad’s excuse, “I only just met him, sweetheart.”
giving an impression of being unconcerned or not serious, typically about something taken seriously by others
Dad and big bro have their separate time with Airy and bring up all the shit they’ve seen on the internet about Airy being a playboy. Airy assures them that that’s not who he is, he is prepared to put their baby girl first. Tia tells her Mom that maybe all her shitty past relationships led her here, to something really special, an experience that has helped her better understand herself. How nice.
Tia’s Hometown Haiku
Tires churning in mud
Twangs, lil smokies all for you
But we ne’er were one
Becca’s Hometown Date
Things start off midwesternly idyllic in a chilly apple orchard. After dunking some crispy, fresh apples into thick caramel, these star crossed lovers take a seat so Becca can fully prepare Arie for Uncle Gary, the hard pastor, who has taken a fatherly role in Becca’s life since her father passed away. Meanwhile back at Becca’s house we see Uncle Gary emboldened by the ABC film crew, clutching his cane while expressing that this whole scenario Becca has found herself in is moving way too fast. After Arie’s intros to the fam, everyone gathers around the dinner table and sits in front of pressed sammies and soup. Before diving into the meal, Becca makes a quick toast to having everyone she loves in the same room. Uncle Gary takes it upon himself to add his own mini toast to Steve, Becca’s late father.
Uncle Gary then pulls Arie aside for a private conversation. He points out the wooden ducks in the living room carved by Steve while making no eye contact with Arie. Through choked back tears he shares that he was the one who conducted Steve’s funeral. Uncle Gary’s fondness for Becca’s dad has inspired a protective defense of Becca, and he wants to make sure that Becca isn’t being set up for any avoidable pain and heartbreak. Uncle Gary also wants to know if Arie would accompany Becca to church if they ended up together. Arie barely sells his willingness to tag along.
Mom tells Becca that she would certainly miss her if she didn’t come back to Minnesota, but all she wants is for her daughter to be fulfilled and content.
Before Arie jets off to his last Hometown date, he and Becca sit outside under a fur blanket and Becca tells him that he keeps blowing her mind and stealing pieces of her heart. This poor woman.
Becca’s Hometown Haiku
Forlorn flurries flit
Hearts bend, break and mend, repeat
God and Gary know
Lauren’s Hometown Date
Virginia Beach, VA
The pre-fam portion of this date was basically the cover of a shitty romance novel. Arie meets Lauren on the beach and they ride horses along the surf. The eventually climb to the top of a lighthouse and after catching their breath they suck face in a sunbeam. Lauren warns Arie that her parents are going to be skeptical, and Arie is visibly nervous to meet his potential in-laws.
Lauren’s family is the right wing Southern lite family of your nightmares. Dicky dad asks Arie, do you even golf, bro? Arie disappoints Dad with a no, and Dad can’t understand how Arie can simultaneously live in Scottsdale and not play golf. With the same look of arrogant disdain, Dad asks Arie if he’s ever dated anyone in a military family. WOWWWWW. The tape measurer is out, the dicks are on the table.
When the family asks Arie what makes Lauren stand out among the sister wives, Arie confidently delivers an ambiguous response: he has always been drawn to her. When Arie finally has some solo time with Dad, he makes sure to thank the master of the house for his service. He also manages to sneak in a clutch anecdote about he and a bunch of fellow race car gents jetting off to Iraq for a goodwill tour in 2008. Dad’s face lights up upon hearing this.
Mom is tougher to turn around. She can’t understand how Arie is going to be loyal in reality after being in an environment where he is sustaining all these compartmentalized relationships, and nothing he says can change her mind. She shakes his hand and says, “it was a pleasure to meet you.” OUCH. With Lauren, Mom admits that she’s never seen her precious daughter look at anyone the way she looks at Arie, and Lauren confirms that she’s never felt this way about anyone. Arie was most certainly a nervous wreck this entire visit, and he exhales a huge sigh of relief as soon as they bid the fam farewell.
Lauren’s Hometown Haiku I
Silence fills the room
Who’s the most American?
Vet, blonde, Bachelor?
Lauren’s Hometown Haiku II
Saddled with baggage
The coast washes away fear
Nerves and clichés reign
This episode concludes with Tia unexpectedly being sent home. Don’t worry, she did nothing wrong. Arie was just missing that spark. And with that, Kendall, Becca, and Lauren are moving on to the sex portion of this filmed psychological experiment.
Are you having fun yet?