The Bachelor Recap, Nick Viall Episode 8: Hometown Dates
When we left off last week, Nick sent Kristina home well in advance of the Rose Ceremony. Will the last four contestants all get their shot at a hometown date? Of course! They have to fill two hours of airtime! Still, there are only four women remaining, and Nick has only three more episodes to choose a fiancee (again). Let's see who stands out and who goes home this week!
Raven, Rachel, Corinne, and Vanessa are reeling from Kristina's extra-ceremonial dismissal, but their fears prove to be unfounded when Nick gives them each a rose. They all accept; no surprise there.
Raven's Hometown Date: Hoxie, Arkansas
Nick's first visit is to Raven, who greets him on an ATV. She hands him a helmet, he jumps on, and they take off. This already has the potential to be the best hometown date I've ever seen.
The pair rides to a grain bin to exchange secrets (Hoxie tradition), but they're interrupted by the police. After a bit of razzing, the cop introduces himself as Raven's brother and drives away. It's very Super Troopers-esque, and Raven does a great job keeping a straight face.
A second ATV is procured for Nick, and they set off to do some mudding. It looks absurdly fun:
After some muddy shirtless snogging, Nick and Raven join Raven's parents and brother. Her mother announces that her father was recently declared cancer-free; we'll give the most deserving knucks of the series to Raven's dad.
Raven has a touching one-on-one with her dad and a conversation with her mom, and eventually Nick asks Raven's father for a quasi-blessing, which he gives. They say farewell to her family, and Raven takes Nick outside with the intention of saying "I love you." She comes up short, but I think she's already destined for the next round.
Rachel's Hometown Date: Dallas, Texas
For the first stop of her hometown visit, Rachel leads Nick to...her church! This is definitely a first in my history of watching the show, but Rachel wants to see if he'd be comfortable in a predominantly black church. The vibe is considerably more joyful then the catholic churches I attended growing up, but I'll let you decide if he looks "comfortable":
After church, they discuss implications of being an interracial couple, because Rachel doesn't believe in wasting time with smalltalk. At her parents' house, Nick meets Rachel's mother, sisters, in-laws, and nephew. Dinner kicks off with some good-natured ribbing around the table before advancing to a separate room with Rachel's sister and brother-in-law. Again with no words minced, they dive into the complexities of interracial relationships, and Nick seems to pass muster for a first introduction. Rachel's mom raises the same concern before asking a tricky question: does Nick see any red flags in Rachel? His response is bland and uninteresting, but enough for Rachel's mom to convey her approval.
Corinne's Hometown Date: Miami, Florida
Nick and Corinne spend the first portion of their date shopping at an "exclusive" mall, which, based on Corinne's behavior to this point, would provide a good preview of a life with her. Nick plays along quite well, but seems to be doing some mental math in the back of his head:
She foots the bill for both of their clothing, including a peacoat for Nick. Two important things to note about this outerwear:
- It looks like a knockoff of the Bond Peacoat from Skyfall, which thanks to my girlfriend I can confirm feels as good as it looks, and
- Why are they even selling peacoats in Miami? There's no way he would need it (or the above sweater, for that matter) on this trip.
Before going to dinner, they stop at a cafe and Corinne becomes the first contestant of the season to say, "I love you." Drink.
Quick aside: a Corinne-sponsored shopping spree might look like an unfair advantage, and you might be right as it pertains to the other contestants. It's perfectly fair in the context of this specific relationship, though, because Nick has basically taken her on an all-expenses paid vacation for the past six weeks. Oh yeah, all these people falling in love have known each other for just six weeks.
Corinne introduces Nick to her parents, sister, and nanny. Dinner consists of house-marinated olives and some appetizing dishes no one has a chance to touch paired with some of the largest wine glasses I've seen used outside of college:
Corinne and her father discuss Nick's qualities and concerns over the combination of his income and her spending. With no evidence to support her confidence, Corinne emphatically affirms Nick's ability to support her. After a brief conversation with the nanny, Nick gets some one-on-one time with scotch and Corinne's father. He doesn't press Nick too hard, and offers conditional approval for a potential proposal. In the other room, Corinne's mother reminds Corinne her relationship is a fantasy to this point; Corinne immediately refutes her suggestion. After some snogging and another "I love you", Nick is off to the fourth and final hometown date.
Vanessa's Hometown Date: Montreal, Quebec
The final adventure of the week begins with a visit to Vanessa's school and an introduction to her students. With their help, they create a scrapbook of their relationship to-date before heading off to meet her family in two separate stops.
First is a trip to Vanessa's mom's house, where Nick is introduced to a large group of people. I don't want to give you a long list of names you don't need to remember, so here's a picture:
After some food and wine, Nick steps aside with Vanessa's mother. He botches the first question, and his sit-down with Vanessa's older sister goes no better. She asks if they've discussed any "real stuff" before promising him her hatred should he break Vanessa's heart.
Nick and Vanessa say goodbye to her mom's side of the family and set off to meet her dad, who perfectly phrases his first question:
Nick provides a better response than he did with Vanessa's mother before asking for a conditional blessing; for the first time he doesn't receive it immediately. Vanessa's dad is unsure of the request's significance given that he's asked three other people for blessings this week. After a few more questions, Vanessa's father capitulates, and things seem to be trending upward. That is, until Vanessa sits down with her father and asks the right questions to learn that Nick has asked everyone involved for blessings.
For some reason, the next rose ceremony is in New York, but the odd location isn't nearly as important as the pimpin' pad Nick is staying in
Before we learn whose hometown date cost them a shot at a fantasy suite, Andi Dorfman makes a surprise appearance and the dreaded TO BE CONTINUED flashes across the screen.