The Bachelorette (2018): Season 14, Episode 8

By: Jenna Zine (Six Pack) –

It’s time to meet the parents – literally! That’s right, Becca Kufrin travels the land of this great place formerly known as America to press palms with her suitors’ folks in an effort to narrow down her fiancé selection during the infamous Hometown visits. Who will wow in a bid to become this total stranger’s in-laws and who will send our Bachelorette running for the hills? Dress to impress – it’s the recap of episode 8!

Beer One

There’s no preamble here; it’s straight to the dates, starting with Garrett in his hometown of Manteca, CA. We see takeaway interviews, cluing us in that Becca has a surge of endorphins for Garrett and that Garrett is ready to become a father – which is convenient because Becca believes he will be “a hot dad.” He’s not hot now, but might become so after fertilizing some eggs? I don’t know – these days stranger things have, and are, certainly happening. She again mentions that he reminds her of her (now deceased) father and I am in a funky mood today, so I won’t be breaking down the layers of this and all it implicates. If you’ve read Shakespeare and/or any cursory Freud, you can do the math on this one.

Becca and Garrett hop on the back of a tractor as Garrett commands his field hand, Carlos, to “go.” They tour the dusty land of his family’s agricultural business, stopping to plant tomatoes. (It has just occurred to me that I might’ve ingested Yrigoyen produce and I am upset by that notion. Can I get my money back?) The also plant a rose bush. Aw, get it? It is also here where we learn that Garrett has only been divorced for “about two years.” He again reiterates that his ex-wife was the worst. I feel like there’s A LOT more to this story. You probably feel like there’s more to this story. I wish Becca felt like there was more to this story. Because after a little digging, there is, in fact, more to the damn story. While Garrett’s ex-wife, Kayla, has yet to speak out directly about their short union, one of her friend’s received the go-ahead to talk to Life & Style and had this to say:

“”Bachelorette host Chris Harrison described Garrett, 29, as “heartbroken” over his divorce, which was finalized in March 2016. But the friend claimed it was Kayla who wound up devastated. Soon after the wedding, the friend told Life & Style Garrett started acting cold and disrespectful toward Kayla and her family. Then, one day, “he packed up all his crap.” A week later, he said he wanted half of everything,” the friend explained. After a lengthy court battle, “she had to give him some money,” said the friend, who hopes Becca, 28, is careful. “I want Becca to know the truth about Garrett. He’s a nice guy at first, but she needs to watch out.””

Here’s the thing – Garrett has told Becca a fair amount about his ex, the most salient being that she was the one who was emotionally abusive. A classic redirect, in my opinion. And I’m sad to say that Becca might be the one to learn the truth the hard way. She’s adrift in a sea of red flags, but if she thinks Garrett is the life raft, she is mistaken.

Now they’re at his parents’ house, where is brother is insisting the family is “tons of fun!” There are hugs all around as Garrett introduces Becca. There is barely a pause before they start bashing his former wife. Sounds like the Yrigoyen’s are skilled at growing both tomatoes and grudges. After dinner, there is a round of conversations. Garrett’s sister and mother both chat with him, reiterating that they don’t want to see him hurt again. Not like that monster, Kayla. We get it – she was the worst and it was all her fault. Garrett had absolutely no responsibility in the marriage and has been absolved of any wrongdoing. (Yep, keep turning a blind eye to those red flags!) Personally if I learned that a man’s family had such feelings towards an ex, I would want to know more; not to mention the fact that it would make me question how they might potentially treat/view me down the line. I don’t know why Becca can’t see any of this.

With that, Garrett’s mother says Becca will be embraced by the (conservative, intolerant, grudge-holding) family if they should become engaged. Woot.

Beer Two

Jason is up next and despite his ardent love of hair gel, he has grown on me in the last few weeks. They meet in Buffalo, NY where he immediately takes her to a bar for a wing eating contest. From looking for love to Man vs. Food, because that’s clearly Becca’s bag. (Not, but when in Rome…) She looks horrified, but continues to play the role of the lead as gracefully as possible. (Though she does smear buffalo sauce on Jason’s face in protest. It goes nicely with the grease in his hair.)

After the food-fest, he takes her to an ice rink for a private date, with only the Zamboni operator and a massive camera crew for company. Jason exhibits impressive skills on the ice. Becca claims she can see him as her husband, but something about her declaration is already ringing hollow…

They pop by the homestead for a chat with the fam, including his brother and his brother’s adorable husband. All greet Becca warmly, though there’s no denying that there’s some hesitancy. Jason has lived with a guarded heart – will he be able to open up? Jason’s brother says, “There’s only a little bit of runway left to express your feelings, so take advantage of it.” His mother is even more apprehensive, claiming, “I couldn’t read that she’s falling for you. Do you think her feelings are in another direction? Do you see her elsewhere?” Jason’s mom has clearly been reading spoilers on Reality Steve and is doing everything she can to save her son, but it’s a lost cause. Jason has fallen hard for Becca and no one can save him. Thank god Bachelor In Paradise is around the corner so Jason can go rub margarita salt in his wounds.

Beer Three

Now it’s Blake’s turn to be in the hot seat, hosting Becca in Bailey, Colorado. In a takeaway interview, Becca recaps (hey, that’s my job!) that Blake told her he loves her and reveals the feeling is mutual, though she can’t yet share her emotions with him. Is this the setup for the finale where the lead is actually in love with two people and has to break someone’s heart? It seems like this is a popular must, ever since Ben Higgin’s season of The Bachelor when he voiced his amorous intentions to both Lauren and JoJo. And so it shall be with Garrett and Blake. Sigh.

Blake woos Becca with a date at his high school because nothing says romance like cafeteria food. As we know, school can be the scene of all kinds of drama – as was already illustrated by Blake telling Becca about his mother’s affair with his coach/English teacher. However, while sitting in the library with Becca, Blake shares something even more traumatic – a school shooting that took place while he was a senior. (His sister was a freshman, and his mother was also employed there – all three were present when the horrific event took place. It was his mother who alerted the school to a “code white” over the intercom. I’m having a PTSD episode just typing this. Jesus.)

Blake says that this changed his outlook on life – he now knows that every moment is precious. (I won’t get into the details here, but it was quite a gruesome scene. My heart goes out to Blake for having to relive this, as well as the victim and the survivors of this tragic day. We need sensible gun control, now. Oh! This also might be a fun time to remind everyone that Garrett liked Instagram content making fun of Parkland students that called them “crisis actors.” I bet he and Blake had a lively discussion about that! The caliber of these two men couldn’t be more stark.)

From the library where the Bachelorette producers placed Blake to wring out his painful past to the gym where a surprise concert awaits the duo with Betty Who onstage. I have no idea who that is, but Becca seemed pleased and really, isn’t that all that matters?

Now it’s time to meet the family! His mom shares that this is the happiest Blake has ever appeared, saying, “He’s got that look in his eye. He’s found the one he wants to spend the rest of his life with.” A mother always knows! However, she’s not ready to send her son down the aisle yet, for she too has reservations about her offspring getting his heart crushed by this wily single gal. His father (or is it the cheating English teacher/stepfather?) also shares concerns. He asks, “How will it be in the real world when you’re not on these fantasy dates?” Good question! It can’t be textbooks and assignations all the time, right teacher?

Blake’s mom asks Becca if she’s ready to be engaged again and she assures her that she is with one caveat, saying, “I am… with the right person.” Will that right person be Blake? We’ll be finding out in a mere few weeks!

Beer Four

We’re staying in Colorado – this time heading over to Parker for wholesome Colton’s Hometown meet and greet. It’s Becca’s fourth run/leap/wrap legs around torso greeting and one has to wonder how special any of this guys will feel when they realize the crotch of her jeans has grazed all of their belt buckles? Ah, kids these days!

Colton kicks it into high gear, taking Becca shopping for gifts to bring to some of the kiddos at the Children’s Hospital who benefit from his nonprofit, the Colton Underwood Legacy Foundation that aims to “provide resources for research and support of people living with Cystic Fibrosis and encourage youth participation in athletics.” The children are adorable and Colton is adorable with them. All in all, a strong start from the virginal former pro NFL player. (Player being the operative word.)

It’s time to meet the family, but it’s also time to apparently talk about Tia? Because that wouldn’t be weird foreshadowing, would it. Colton also claims he’s “never brought a girl home before.” Guess what? It’s all lies! Twitter has the receipts: a photo of Colton at home, clad in Christmassy pajamas, one arm slung around his ex, Aly Raisman, in his family’s living room. Sir, your pants are on fire.

His folks immediately ask about the Tia situation. Colton claims he “handled it like a man.” I would claim otherwise, but he’s not alone – Tia is also a total piece of work. We’ll get to that in a bit.

There is talk of Colton’s virginity in a chat with his parents. It’s as awkward as it sounds. He confesses to his mother that he loves Becca, claiming, “There’s a good chance I’ll be engaged at the end of this!” The look of shock on his mother’s face makes this entire episode worth it. Almost.

Beer Five

With the Hometowns complete, Becca heads back to L.A. to check in with her girlfriends (that are all conveniently from Arie’s season of The Bachelor). They would be: Bekah, Kendall, Caroline, Seinne, and… that snake Tia. Hmmm, what’s going to happen?

Becca downloads the dates, chatting about the guy’s families and what makes everyone so great. By the time she gets to Colton, Tia looks like she’s about to explode. She asks if she can talk to Becca “privately.” The two go out on a terrace, where Tia admits that she still has feelings for Colton, saying, “Knowing that you got to meet his family, and that he’s still in with this, makes me sick. I care for him. I just want to be honest.” Needless to say, Becca is in shock. She is rightfully disturbed to learn about Tia’s feelings this late in the game, especially since Tia was given a chance to speak up earlier in the season. Becca says she’s frustrated that Tia isn’t onboard with her relationship, for now she has confusion and a heavy heart.

Hasn’t this woman been fucked over enough? I’m not sure what kind of “friend” would add to her situation. (Spoiler alert: a wildly selfish one.) I am all for “girl code,” but it still has to be earned through mutual trust and respect. It’s not just bestowed on one by way of having a vagina, which is the way Tia is treating it. Furthermore, given what we’ve seen of Tia’s character, you know it wouldn’t go both ways. Would Tia give up a guy for Becca? You and I both know the answer to that and it is, “Hells no.” If anything, Tia seems like the type to go secretly bang a guy another friend likes in a bid to make sure she might snag him.

Bekah Martinez sums all this up nicely in her recent Bustle article:

“”This is not a personal vendetta against Tia, it’s strong feelings against this all-too-common girl behavior: holding a friend responsible for feelings that are not her responsibility to deal with. Tia put Becca in the awkward situation of choosing between her friend and a man she could have potentially been in love with. She put her feelings before Becca’s in this situation. If you give a friend permission and blessings to pursue a relationship with an ex, it’s not fair to change your mind when you see them happy together. Yeah, it was honest, but also, it didn’t need to be said. (Trust me, I have a bit of experience with saying things that should probably just stay in my mouth.) At the end of day, I think it was a bit unnecessary and selfish. Tia is not a bad person, but I don’t think she should have gone on the show to put pressure on Becca for feelings she should have dealt with privately.””

Word. Little Bekah is wise beyond her years and I’m here for it. More of this, please!

Beer Six

And now it is time for the Rose Ceremony. Not too much guesswork here. The guys are full of nerves and mixed emotions. Who will be moving on to the coveted Fantasy Suite dates? Blake, rightfully, receives the first rose. Jason is next up for a flower. There is a dramatic pause when it comes down to Garrett and Colton. Will she choose the closeted racist who can offer her a lifetime supply of tomatoes or the virgin with the prematurely wandering wang? And it is… Garrett. No surprise. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Becca has terrible taste.

Becca, in a takeaway interview, claims Tia’s revelation has nothing to do with her decision. Sure, whatever you want to tell yourself. She escorts Colton out. They have a brief chat. Honestly neither one of them look too broken up about it. Colton can’t even muster up tears in the Depression Mobile – he knows he’s Paradise-bound, where Tia’s bikini-clad breasts await him.

Verdict

Becca and her remaining boyfriends are off to Thailand for some fun in the sun and secrets between the sheets! Tune in with me next week for all the juicy details. Until then, summer friends!

The Bachelorette (2018): Season 14, Episode 8 Drinking Game

Take a Drink: every time one of the guys’ folks tries to appear upbeat about their son marrying a virtual stranger.

Take a Drink: every time Becca does the coveted run/leap/wrap legs greeting.

Take a Drink: every time you roll your eyes at Tia.

Do a Shot: Bachelor in Paradise is just around the corner, premiering Tuesday, August 7th, the day after Becca chooses her husband-to-be!

About Jenna Zine

Jenna Zine is a writer, unashamed Bachelor franchise live-tweeter (@JennaZine1) and recapper, lapsed drummer, and occasional standup comic. She's probably somewhere complaining about her bangs right now. Find more at www.jennazine.com

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