So you know there’s plenty to dish about. Come over here and sit by me!
We’ve already visited Zak and Drew (check out all the crazy and cute over at my USA Today Part 1 Blog!) so now we’re off to Oregon to meet Chris‘ family!
He’s the former pro baseball player, so he takes her to the ball field he grew up on where they play a little ball. And can we take a moment to appreciate how nicely very tall, long legged Chris fills out a pair of jeans? Yeah, he does. Des is very sparkly with Chris but hers is a more sentimental type connection with him and not as rrrorw as it is with Drew. He writes her sappy poetry and she draws him silly pictures of their journey together. (Yes, that makes twice I said it. Don’t judge.) And he’s more excited about the pictures than normal guys would be because he’s all in a hormonal I’m-in-love fog so everything is cute and adorable and she can do no wrong. Later, if he’s not The Chosen One, or maybe even if he is, he will think back on this and then do the facepalm. But right now, it’s still all sunshine and unicorns.
It’s time to meet a whole lot of fam…and even though Chris told her that she had nothing to worry about, he shares with us that they haven’t always approved of his choices so….way to prepare her, dude! Happy times ensue and we blink right over to the dinner table whre Chris reveals that Des tweaked her back on one of their dates. His dad the chiropractor perks right up and offers to take her into his office, conveniently located right there in the house, and give her an adjustment. Which isn’t awkward at all. Except it’s the most awkward thing ever. DUDE. Way not appropriate. Can you imagine if five seconds after meeting your date’s dad, he asks you to go to the basement with him “for an adjustment” while the whole family looks on encouragingly? Oh, and by the way, it’s also going to be on national television? Wow. I’d already be like NEXT! And winging my way to Brooks. Sorry, Chris, but this is where you risk familial discontent by stepping in and politely get all “Dad, that’s sooo sweeeet of you, but Des already has a dr and you know, let’s finish dinner, k?” But because Chris can’t read the situation any better than dad, yeah… Oh, Chris.
So, Dad, Des and the camera crew head downstairs. I cringe. So does Des. My finger twitches over the ff button. Fortunately we get past the weirdness (okay, no we don’t) but the time is mercifully brief. Now Chris goes to find his dad for a little chat and he’s all about how she must be good for him because she’s so aware of her health and eating a good diet and I’m all like RUN DES! RUN NOW! Even weirder is that they’re having their father-son chat in dad’s office where it’s apparently perfectly normal for him to be giving his son a NOSE adjustment while they chat. Do we have to see this show? Now, I’m sure Mr. Chris’ Awkward Dad is a really nice guy and all, but yeee. Definitely not the Pa-in-Law of my dreams, even if I might finally get that crick out of my neck, you know, right in the middle of Thanksgiving dinner.
And, oh look, Des gets to go right to Chris’ speaks-weirdly-softly-and-vaguely-over-enunciating” mom! (And I get this sudden vision of his mom speaking French to his dad, who immediately grabs her arm and starts kissing it a la Morticia and Gomez. Just me? Alrighty then.) While Chris is inside telling his sibs to be nice to her. This, after telling her that hey, no sweat, my family, they love everyone! So his sibs totally throw his former gf under the bus, making sure Chris knows how not a single one of them liked her, even grandma. Then mom gets in a swing about how his former gf lacked self esteem and she sure hopes Des is stronger than those poor losers. Paraphrasing. (Hey, Chris’ ex, bet you’re feeling really wonderful right about now! Look at it this way – dodged a bullet! Yeah, you probably already figured that out.)
Des does give him a very heartfelt kiss before parting, but we just found out that Chris had already told his mom before going on the show that if it was Des, she would be the one and hey, it’s Des, so bingo presto! Then he tells us that there is just no way she can be feeling what she feels with him with anyone else. And….oh boy. I’d almost rather have Zak’s pie in the sky optimism than this blinders-on tunnel vision.
So…if you ask me, maybe this week, maybe next week, but Chris is totally joining Zak on the roseless walk of shame. The difference is I don’t feel so badly for the Addams family, whereas I do for the Von Trapps.
And to think things had been going so well this evening. But hey, you knew all four hometown dates couldn’t be awesome fam’s right? And the editors have already tried to make Brooks’ hometown date seem very awkward and eek, so… Can we just rewind back to the Family Sing a Long and Alpha Drew make out sessions? Also? Des’ brother Nate shows up. In case you wanted a week where you didn’t want to throw something at the television. Yeah, that’s not happening.
We’re off to Utah to meet up with Brooks.
He’s hopping or skipping or cartwheeling toward love with Des, I’ve lost track, but he’s worried that the time apart, without any alternate form of communication, is challenging and kinda reverses the progress they make when they’re together. Because he’s normal and that’s how most people who aren’t idealizing some fantasy world relationship would be feeling. You know, kind of like what James was saying.
Des leaps into his arms, and this is very clearly a different connection. With Zak she’s all partners-in-crime. With Drew she’s all “A fan, I need a fan! Look how cute you are!” With Chris she’s emotionally safe because he would never hurt her. But with Brooks, she has all of that, all in one. She’s been the most herself, the most comfortable, the most trusting and reliant on him than anyone else. She knows she’s already fallen for him, which she hasn’t said about any of the others, not even close. At best they get the “he has many qualities I’m looking for and I can see him as a husband and father.” I just wish the construct of the show would allow her to tell him (or any of them) that she’s falling. Brooks needs to hear this the same way she needed to hear how he was feeling. I hope this disconnect in their ability to be honest doesn’t blow this up before it has a chance to all get out in the open.
No crazy wackiness, Brooks just sets up a picnic where they have the mandatory date wine and he gets to tell her exactly where he stands. And it’s the most honest I think I’ve ever heard a contestant be on this show. He says that he’s falling, he wants more, but then every time they’re together and it’s this great rush of goodness, he knows it’s going to be short lived and then he gets back burnered and they never get to go past that point. It’s frustrating. Typically at this stage guys are psyching themselves out worrying if she likes someone else more, but this is not that. He wants to have a normal relationship with her so they can move past the butterflies-in-the-stomach dates and really get into the are-we–compatible part to go along with the initial attraction and connection.
Des tries to get past the limitations set by the show by showing him a list she made of all the moments they shared that meant something to them. Some of these are the obvious things we saw them experience, and then some are those private kind of in-joke things that only mean something to them. And you can see Brooks relax, thinking “yeah, that is who we are.” So, sappy as it might be, kudos to Des for trying. A regular ol’ Sunday kind of canoe on the pond date follows and gives Brooks a chance to take a breath and let himself go a little more.
She meets an Osmond-sized throng of people who all turn out to be members of Brooks’ immediate family. They cutely put on name tags to help Des figure out who is who. She seems genuinely jazzed to meet the fam, and it appears very mutual. You can tell this is the one that matters to her. Mom notices that her son and Des definitely share that look of love and because this is the one who matters most to Des, it’s a lot apparent how much she’s putting into this, rather than just being along for the ride and hoping for the best.
I like that Brooks notices that it’s the little things, the nuances between them, and not just the broad strokes, the obvious puzzle pieces fitting, that truly matter. I like his sibs, too. You know, I get mail sometimes about the books I write commenting on how “oh, guys wouldn’t talk like that, they wouldn’t communicate their emotions like that.” And you know what? Sure they do! You’re watching it here and I’ve been observing that for years and years, both in my own life and in the lives of those who matter around me. So while not every guy (or gal) might be comfortable expressing themselves, there are those who feel very deeply and aren’t uncomfortable talking about that. And that’s what I like to explore. So I’m enjoying this fam. I love how close Brooks is to his siblings and how he clearly respects them and their opinions. You can see how much he’d been needing this time, both so he could see what they think of Des, but also to give him guidance. I like how he is with his mom. Both respectful and truly close. You start to realize that the reason he’s been as reticent and cautious as he has been is that he understands the magnitude of what this could be…and of all the women he finally falls for, he does it on a reality dating show where she might be in love with someone else.
Next? It’s time for Brother Nate. I didn’t have as hard a time with him last season as many did, he had his opinion on how he perceived things and that was fair, no matter how it bunched up Sean’s skivvies got over it. Nate saw it as protecting his sister. And he might have been a little rough around the edges in how he went about it, but…he wasn’t wrong, was he? This time? I don’t know, I worry that he’s being trotted out for the sole purpose of throwing a wrench in the process. And that’s manufactured drama we don’t need. Like this isn’t already going to be wrenching for a few of the folks involved. Des explains she hasn’t seen him since that night, but then her family doesn’t live in close proximity and we already know they don’t actually lay eyes on each other all that often, despite being close emotionally. She’s been on her own a long, long time. So, since the Final 3 will meet her folks next week, she wants to meet with bro separately to make sure he won’t be an ass. And what you see is that he trusts his sister. This time she’s in charge of the situation, so it’s not like some guy is going to toss her to the curb and break her heart. He doesn’t have to play vigilante bro this time around, which is more or less what I tried to say about him last time.
And….we’re back at the Bachelor Mansion in LA and it’s Rose Ceremony time. Hey, look! It’s my bestie, Host Chris! He has a sit down with Des and they go down the list of the men who, in Chris’ words, have “thrown themselves at her feet.” In an interesting departure, she says she sees it ending with a proposal, which, given they’ve all proclaimed their love except Brooks would seem like a slam dunk. But she then goes on to say she was hoping it ended with a a proposal from Brooks. Which….wow! Has anyone come right out and named the guy when it was still Final 4? Does this mean Brooks is doomed? Because why give it away, right? Only then she qualifies it by saying that after Chris’ home date, she was more torn. Really? Wow. There must have been more to that that date we didn’t see. Or it’s not about the fam, but about the guy himself. And he does project the big, strong, confident, good at everything, I’ve got your back kind of guy who also writes poetry and isn’t afraid to express what he’s feeling. So you know, there’s that ultimate fantasy fulfillment, which, I get. I thought Drew would rate a bigger mention, but maybe he’s more the sentimental favorite she would love if it wasn’t for the other guys. And Zak is still the bestie she makes out with occasionally but is still, at heart, more friend than beau.
So…who goes home tonight? I thought it was obvious it was Zak, but now I wonder… Did Drew’s strong proclamation of wanting to have her in his life, and his incredibly great family make her realize she couldn’t lead him on another week, given she loves Brooks more? And if so…how can she keep Zak, for those same reasons?
Brooks gets the first rose in the least surprising selection ever. Chris is next. Host Chris comes out to state the obvious….and then? She picks Drew. So…no surprises here after all. Whew. Awww. I’m sorry Zak. Even more, I’m sorry Zak’s family. She gives his ring back, which is the right thing to do, but what can you really say? Nothing is really going to make it better. He’s total class in how he handles it. He’s in shock, but then he’s really been living outside reality this whole time. I think he’s more focused on not being alone than he is on building something realistic and true. Eventually it will sink in. Or maybe it took watching the shows to really get it. But you know many sad songs will be written.
Now? We’re down to three. And I think the writing is on the wall for Drew, which is really going to mess with his head and his heart. And boy, will his family be heartbroken, too. Dammit. I mean, I get it, and life, it goes on. Still? Awww, sorry Drew’s family.
Next week on The Bachelorette… Whoo boy, things get really tough. Many man tears will be shed. Words will be exchanged. Yes, it’s The Men Tell All!! I’ll be tuning in!!
Before you dish it up, don’t forget to enter this week’s Faboo Book Giveaway! An advance review copy of my October Christmas anthology, SUGAR COOKIE SWEETHEART SWAP is up for grabs! Check out Part 1 of my recap over on USA Today for the easy entry details! Then tell me how you really feel!
Who do you want to be last man standing? Whose family did you want to move in with? Did the right guy go home? And maybe most importantly of all….who from this tribe of three would make the best Bachelor this fall??