The Bachelorette Recap - Rachel Lindsay Episode 9: Meeting Rachel's Parents and Overnights in Spain
When we left off last week, Rachel had sent Dean home after meeting his...eccentric father. With only three weeks left to find a partner for life, let's see who can impress Rachel's family and get an invite to the Fantasy Suite in Episode 9 of Rachel's season of The Bachelorette!
Rachel and the last three men meet in Dallas to determine who will move on. First up is Peter, my chosen front-runner whose only flaw is an acknowledgment of the insanity of his surroundings. After he leaves, Bryan and Eric express shock that he'd consider not proposing even if he won the 10-week reality dating competition they're all on. Good act for the camera, guys; all of your friends think you're nuts.
Meeting the Parents: Peter
Rachel and Peter stop to buy some baby clothes for Rachel's nephew, and Peter demonstrates more competence than I'd have in the same situation. It's a low bar, but credit where credit is due.
In the driveway of Rachel's family's house, Peter takes a moment to tell Rachel he's "falling in love" with her, and she reciprocates. Peter, welcome back to the top of the leader board! I don't know what I'm doing hanging out up here, but I suppose it's too late now!
Peter tells Rachel's family about his parents, who met in Milwaukee and were married one month later. They're still married today, and they use the story as an example of how well their current, unorthodox arrangement could work. Peter sticks the landing with a journey through his feelings during the show, sharing with everyone at the table the moment he realized he was falling in love with Rachel.
Rachel tells both her mom and sister that the recent developments have made her feel better about the situation, but that she's still concerned as to whether or not Peter would propose at the end of the show. Peter, meanwhile, neatly dodges a tricky question from Rachel's brother-in-law about any concerns he has about Rachel. He substantiates Rachel's fears to Rachel's mom, who, in a shocking turn of events, is happy to hear Peter isn't ready to propose just yet. Yes! Knucks, Rachel's mom!
After making it through some pretty serious conversations, a new wrinkle emerges. Our episode one front-runner, my original pick for the winner of the show, and still favorite and cutest contestant, wags back into the proceedings! None of the remaining men are safe, not with this one around:
Meeting the Parents: Eric
Eric draws the middle meeting, leaving Peter and Bryan alone to evaluate their chances. Bryan asks Peter if he sought out the family's blessing to propose, and is bewildered to hear he didn't. As you might imagine, a little tension builds between two men with only a girlfriend in common sitting alone in a room all day.
Rachel and Eric's first stop is a very tall building with a nice skyline view of Dallas. Rachel teases him about his fear of heights, but they calm their nerves with some bubbly and...a large fruit bowl?
At the Lindsay home, Eric tells the family about growing up in difficult conditions in Baltimore. Stepping outside, Rachel's sister questions Eric about ever being in love, which he hasn't. Given an opening, he explains his hopes and motivations well, seeming to win her approval. Next up is Rachel's mom, who asks if he's prepared for the next steps of the relationship. He's a nervous talker (I can sympathize), and after an uninterrupted stream of thoughts pours out, he asks for permission to propose to Rachel. He gets a conditional yes:
Meeting the Parents: Bryan
When Rachel comes to pick up Bryan, Eric points out their matching watches. The gossip back at the hotel covers Peter's dislike for Bryan, which Eric voices no opinion on.
The first stop for Bryan and Rachel is a bar where two of her friends await to run Bryan through the standard interrogation. When he gets a breather, Rachel tells them she was initially impressed by Bryan's abstaining from games or gimmicks which describes the opposite of the "charmer" she made him out to be. The looks and the snogging have likely impacted her memory. Womp womp.
The third suitor in as many days arrives at the Lindsay home to make his first impression. The questions start out focused on Bryan's family, and he seems to be a nervous talker as well. Rachel's mom asks where his loyalty would lie in a disagreement between his mother and his wife, and Bryan chooses his wife. Her mom digs in a little bit more, prompting a very startled look from Rachel:
Sitting down to lunch, Bryan leads with more of the same we've heard from him all season long; no hints of reservations or concerns and nothing but flattery. Bryan asks to be excused, putting Rachel on the defensive with her family. She asks her mom about her line of questioning requests that they let Bryan breathe. Her uncle reacts the way I, and any sane person, should in this situation:
The family breaks out into one-on-ones, and Bryan doesn't quite pass the test with Rachel's sister, who feels like his absolute certainty can't possibly be genuine.
Rachel's mom tells her daughter she isn't comfortable with how casually "love" is being tossed around. It could certainly be fatigue after seeing two other people spew it around indiscriminately for the past two days, but some reasoning from Bryan would likely suffice to ease her concerns.
Bryan asks Rachel's mom for her blessing, and she responds the same way she did to Eric, a conditional yes based on trust in Rachel's judgment.
La Rioja, Spain
Eric and Rachel in Spain
Eric gets the first date in Spain, which involves riding in a helicopter over a long series of vineyards to an island on the water:
He's intent on saying "I love you" on this date, but first Rachel asks a very interesting question: what did Eric learn about her on the visit to her family? He answers somewhat generically about her being a strong, independent woman. It's likely true and seemingly accurate, but gee, it's so vague it's almost as though he knows little of substance about this person! Still, they ring a bell that grants wishes and head off to dinner.
At dinner, Rachel asks Eric how he feels, and he describes his feelings over the course of the show with admirable eloquence. The central message he delivers is that her ability and tendency to both challenge him and allow him to be vulnerable is the key differentiator. He meanders his way to, "I love you," and Rachel offers him the Fantasy Suite card. It's going great until he pairs his "yes" with a high-five:
Peter and Rachel in Spain
Their date begins with a tour from a Spanish vintner, who speaks to them entirely in Spanish. Rachel understands at least a little, but it looks like Peter's in the same boat as me. Any discomfort would pass quickly, though, with the gift of a locker full of wine!!!!
Peter tells Rachel he asked his mom for permission to remain in a committed relationship rather than to propose, and asks how she feels. Their serious conversation is interrupted, however, by an adorable little girl with a flower, who leads them to a vat of grapes for them to mash with their feet.
Before the evening part of their date can begin, Peter introduces a tradition from his parents: writing a memory and the date down on the cork of a bottle of wine they enjoy to commemorate the occasion. Rachel marks the cork and moves directly into the prospect of a proposal at the end of the show. In her mind, a proposal doesn't necessitate marriage as much as it represents a next step in the process. Peter, on the other hand, feels that an engagement means it's time to start planning a wedding. I land on Peter's side of this debate, but Rachel's makes sense in the context of this show. Unfortunately, they hit a brick wall on the issue, Rachel begins crying, and oh no! TO BE CONTINUED IS BACK!
That's all for Episode 9! Check back next week for a recap of the finale, and please comment below with any ideas or suggestions you have for our Bachelor Franchise material.
This episode racked up 47 drinks according to our Bachelorette Drinking Game Rules, dipping a bit without so many snogging partners. Salud!