"The Bachelorette" Recap: 808
As the crowd of bachelors finally thins on television’s most popular dating show, Bachelorette Emily Maynard travels from the hustle and bustle of Chicago, IL to a sprawling dude ranch in Utah to a racetrack in Arizona to a nice, normal-looking home in Dallas.
First, Emily goes to visit Chris, who recovered from his mini mental breakdown last week just in time to welcome Emily into his very crowded home. He tells Emily that he is a first-generation Polish-American and that “on a scale of one to Polish, we’re POLISH.” Then he takes her to a Polish bar to hammer the whole foreign thing home.
Before Chris introduces Emily to his parents, he giddily tells the camera, “My parents are pumped to meet their future daughter-in-law!” To this, my grandpa, who is loving his weekly Bachelorette fix, yells, “He’s not gonna win!”
Chris has a very nice, close-knit family, and his sweet parents show no signs of the possible rage blackouts that seem to befall Chris from time to time. Emily’s dad tells Chris that he thinks Emily is falling in love with him. His sister Renee, though, is less warm and fuzzy. She tells Emily to “end it sooner rather than later” to spare Chris’ feelings if he’s not the one. Yikes.
After Emily impresses Chris’ parents – although not Renee, who could have really used some hair coloring tips from Emily – Chris tells Emily he loves her and they share a romantic kiss. Then he takes her to a not-so-romantic Polish dance party. Emily looks less enthused than the boys at my fourth-grade Cotillion.
Once Emily’s gotten a glimpse of what it would be like to have a big fat Polish wedding, she goes to visit Jef in Utah. Instead of taking her to Salt Lake, though, he takes her to his family’s HUGE Holmstead Ranch. The place is massive, and Emily looks right at home in the country-like setting.
Before she meets his family, Emily and Jef go shooting. Even though Jef still doesn’t look old enough to hold a gun, he’s started to look a little more mature since he’s relaxed at home and since that really questionable haircut is finally growing out.
Emily is REALLY good at shooting. She hits every single target without breaking a sweat. Katie Holmes should totally have her on hand just in case Tom Cruise and his evil band of Scientologists try to kidnap Suri.
Jef remarks that, “Emily looks really hot holding a gun. She should hold a gun allll day.” Wow, someone is really looking forward to those fantasy suite dates.
Once Emily meets his siblings, it’s apparent that Jef has a very interesting family. There’s pretty much no way they’re not Mormon. Jef grew up in Salt Lake City, has about a billion siblings (seriously, I gave up after counting five) and his parents are off in South Carolina doing “charity work”/missionary activities that ABC didn’t want to call missionary activities because that would be politically incorrect or something like that.
Seriously though, I wish they would actually film Jef talking about his Mormonism. Religious diversity is interesting and cool, and this show could definitely use some heterogeneity since Emily inexplicably kicked off “The Bachelor” / “Bachelorette’s” only black contestant the first week.
Probable religious differences aside, Jef’s siblings may not look much alike – where did the tan girl with the lowlights come from? – but they are all welcoming and compassionate to Emily. She looks right at home talking to Jef’s sisters, although she squirms a little bit when one sister asks whether or not she feels like she’s falling in love with Jef. (She says yes but she’s hesitant to throw the L word around. Hmm.)
After Emily has met Jef’s family, the two share a touching private moment together and he reads her a long list of things he loves about her. It’s pretty much the sweetest thing I’ve ever heard, and Emily says it’s the nicest letter anyone’s ever given to her. She later tells the camera that being with Jef feels “perfect,” and it’s clear that he’ll be getting his fantasy suite date.
Next, Emily meets Arie at the racetrack and actually goes racing with him. She justifies doing an incredibly dangerous activity while caring for a six-year-old by saying, “I wouldn’t do this with anyone but Arie.” Um, that’s good. I love Jef, but I can’t exactly picture him driving one of those things.
Arie’s family is eerily intimidating. Although his two twin brothers both look very dateable – they should come to USC – his mother scares me, and not because of her unfortunate plastic surgery. She wears an extremely formal dress and flashy jewelry, and practically the second Emily arrives, she starts speaking in Dutch. Listening to people talk about you in foreign languages is pretty much expected when you get a manicure, but when your potential husband’s parents are doing it, it’s downright awkward.
Speaking of awkward, when Emily goes to have a private conversation with Arie’s mom, the mother immediately asks her why she ended things with Brad. (Thankfully, Emily goes for a simple “I didn’t ask the right questions” rather than “He cheated on me” or “I fell in love with Chris Harrison instead.”)
Meanwhile, when Arie asks his father what he thinks of Emily, he responds, “I like her little Southern accent.” Um…ew.
Thankfully, Emily escapes Arie’s father and possible Dutch mail-order bride long enough to visit Sean’s family in Dallas, TX. Before she meets his parents, though, Emily and Sean have a conversation in which Sean tells Emily he won’t give himself to a girl unless he knows he’ll love her for eternity. If Sean loses “The Bachelorette” and becomes the next Bachelor, I’m definitely trying out.
Sean’s family, from his father to his mother to his niece Kensington and her little cottage, are absolutely adorable. They are warm and kind, especially in comparison to Arie’s parents.
No family is perfect, though, and this one has a knack for bad jokes. They tell Emily that Sean still lives at home and even go so far as to make up a room for him, complete with way too many stuffed animals and cookie crumbs. “I wish my mom had picked up in here,” Sean says, before cracking up and telling Emily that, no, he doesn’t still live at home in his thirties. No Failure to Launch here.
This is probably the kind of thing that is hilarious if you’re actually in the family but just seems weird to anyone outside the clan.
Anyway, after Sean runs two blocks just to give Emily one last kiss, it’s time for the rose ceremony.
Thankfully, Arie, Jef, and Sean receive roses and Chris goes home. Predictably, he stops just short of turning into the Hulk in the limo, swearing and claiming that he is “ten times the man of any one of those guys.” Whatever, buddy.
Next week, Emily and the final three are off to some beautiful Caribbean island I can’t pronounce for the fantasy suite dates, which, as always, should be interesting.
Reach reporter Lindsay Dale here.