It’s time for Arie to meet the parents and that means shizz is about to get serious. Or as serious as a reality television show geared towards strangers marrying each other can possibly be. Saddle up, friends – it’s time for the eighth episode of The Bachelor!
This installment is all about seeing where the Final Four are from, and the opening shot is of Arie Luyendyk Jr. driving a blue sports car instead of a red one, so you know things are gonna be totes different this week!
The first date is with Kendall and it takes place in Los Angeles. She leads Arie into a giant warehouse stuffed to the gills with taxidermy animals. And it’s a good thing Kendall is a gorgeous blonde, because that’s the only thing keeping our bachelor from bolting from this den of death. Fun fact – Arie won’t just be taking a tour of Kendall’s workshop, he’ll also get to handle a skinned rat because that is love in this modern age. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – Kendall must be a really good kisser because dead pets ain’t the draw here.
Yes, this really happened. [Photo Credit]
Arie is disgusted, but is game to mold a rat into a jaunty groom while Kendall takes care of the vermin bride. Kendall has also thoughtfully created a diorama of Paris (read: some crafty intern stayed up all night creating the adorable mini Eiffel Tower stage) in which the stiff couple may wed. This all would be terrifying if it was anyone other than Kendall, but she has proven herself to be so engaging that even I am captivated. Good choice, Arie!
Now it’s time to meet her family and, no surprise, they’re equally as cool, especially twin sister Kylie, who wastes no time taking the bachelor to task. She has a frank discussion with him, saying that she does see a connection, but also sees space between them, wondering if it’s because they don’t really know each other yet. (Spoiler alert: IT’S TOTALLY BECAUSE THEY DON’T REALLY KNOW EACH OTHER YET.)
Kylie and Kendall then sit down together (the only Kendall/Kylie combo I’ll formerly be recognizing moving forward. Goodbye, Jenners!) for more honesty. Kylie confirms that Arie is falling for Kendall, but questions if her sister is rushing the moment because she doesn’t want to acknowledge the potential issues with this match. Furthermore, Kylie doesn’t feel the “this is your person” vibe from the couple. In short, they’re done – we just need to wait another week for it to be formalized.
I’d rather keep up with these twins any day! [Photo Credit]
Meanwhile, Arie chats with Kendall’s dad who doesn’t exactly give Arie his blessing, but does say that he’ll support his daughter if that’s what she ends up choosing. A ringing endorsement it is not, but it doesn’t stop Kendall and Arie from making out on her front porch while the guffaws of the family ring in the background.
Now we are in Weiner, Arkansas for Tia’s time with Arie. We learn that Weiner has an astounding population of 716 people, half of whom apparently are related to Tia.
But first their date, in which Tia has arranged for them to drive – you guessed it – race cars! They zip around a dusty track, with a fearful Tia letting Arie show off his mad skills. Personally I am super turned off by Tia after her petty backstabbing antics with Bekah last week, so I didn’t pay too much attention to what they were doing. Needless to say, Arie triumphs on the track and they seal his win with a kiss.
Now it’s off to meet Tia’s family, including Tia’s protective brother who says to Arie, “I’ve heard you’re a playboy. How can you prove that’s not who you are?” Arie looks like a deer in the headlights – appropriate in Weiner, as deer surely make up the other half of the population – before recovering to assure him that that’s not who he is… anymore. Arie admits that he’s sowed his oats, but is now 100% looking for a wife. He also butters up her bro by telling him, “Tia’s a strong Southern gal who puts me in my place!” And with that, Tia’s brother likes Arie and their chat concludes with a handshake.
Arie and Tia’s father, Kenny, speak next. Kenny’s also heard about “the Kissing Bandit” moniker and is naturally concerned. Arie soothes his doubts by explaining that he didn’t give himself that nickname – that was something given to him by his actions. Well, I don’t know about you, but I certainly feel better! Arie then asks Kenny for his blessing to potentially propose to his daughter. Kenny says he’s “cool with it, but if you hurt her, I can find you on Google.” Kenny, bless your heart – we can all find Arie on Google. The question is what are you going to do after that?
By the way, did I mention that the family toasts to this potential union with cocktail weenies?! Toasting with wieners, in Weiner, is the most meta thing to happen, possibly ever. How Arie didn’t go all in with this family, despite Tia’s unattractive, manipulative jealousy, is beyond me.
Arie and Tia’s evening also ends with a makeout sesh on her porch before bidding her beau a tearful goodbye. Tia reiterates she’s in love with him. What happens when you tell someone you love them and they don’t say it back? Google it!
And here we are with Becca in Minnesota! It’s the third time a woman has run exuberantly towards Arie, and the third time he’s exclaimed, “I’ve missed you so much!” So you know it must be real.
Becca has engineered possibly the most wholesome date of the franchise, with a day wandering the expanse of an apple orchard that is “close to her heart.” (It is legit sweet, given that it’s something she used to do with her father, who’s since passed away, so I’ll ease up on the snark momentarily.) They pick fruit and make candied apples, leading me to wonder – does anyone really like candied apples? They’re such a pain in the ass to eat and seem wrought with potential problems while on a date. What about all the crap that gets caught in your teeth? Just me? Moving on.
An apple a day may keep the doctor away, but good luck saying the same about Uncle Gary.
Now we’re at Becca’s home to meet her extended family, including a pastor named Uncle Gary, who stepped in as the family’s patriarch after Becca’s father passed. Uncle Gary doesn’t suffer fools lightly and it’s no surprise that Arie is set to fail spectacularly. They’ve barely sat down to dinner before Uncle Gary tells Arie, “I need to speak with you. Now.” Who needs Ducolax when you’ve got Uncle Gary?
Gary proceeds to tell Arie he thinks this is all happening “way too fast” and questions, “Is Becca the real deal, or are we wasting our time?” He also wants to know, “If Becca wants to go to church, what do you do?” My answer would be, “Run.” Arie’s is much more gracious, as he claims he would go with her. When Pastor/Uncle Gary asks about his religious beliefs, Arie delicately replies, “Spiritually, I’m not as far along as Becca, but I’m open to it.” I.e. – Arie will be waiting for you at brunch after the services are over.
Pastor Gary looks like a barrel of laughs.
When Arie then asks Becca’s mother for her blessing for a possible “lifetime” commitment, she all but laughs in his face. That is if “laughter” looks like someone’s who’s just sucked on a lemon. She says, “No. I won’t give you my blessing. But I will honor whatever my daughter’s choice is. How about that?” It’s good enough for Arie – he’s not going to marry any of these women anyway.
And hey, guess how this evening ends? Yep, with Arie and Becca kissing in the front yard! Because there’s nothing sexier than groping your partner while your family peers out the living room window. #Highschool, #neveragain. Becca’s handled herself pretty well today, but blows it in the last moments when she inexplicably calls Arie a “stud muffin.” Hey Becca, the ‘80s called and they want their slang back.
And now we’re on to the Loquacious Lauren! She and Arie meet on the beach, in Virginia Beach, to ride horses and scale a lighthouse. Someone must’ve slipped Lauren some caffeine because she seems unusually peppy, and even attempts to crack (an albeit lame) joke over crab and champagne about how she hopes “no one is crabby tonight.” It’s a pun, and it’s so not hilarious – but I’m grateful that she’s saying anything other than, “Wow,” so I’ll allow it.
Chatty Cathys need not apply.
If you were guessing that Lauren came from a privileged well-to-do family, wonder no longer because that is her situation. She and Arie arrive at her parent’s brick mansion, and before we’re even in the door you can safely assume there’s a MAGA cap in one of the home’s many closets.
I’m pretty sure this is where “Get Out” was filmed.
They enter and proceed to receive an awkward, cold greeting before sitting silently in the formal living room. There’s a brief chat about golf before a stilted dinner, during which Arie is so nervous that he has to excuse himself to mop his brow. He’s acting like a guy who’s super nervous because he’s about to lie to his date’s dad about catching feelings so he can bone his daughter. Oh, wait – that’s exactly what’s happening.
Lauren and her aunt chat, with Lauren claiming, “We have something special. I can trust him.” Meanwhile, outside on the veranda, Lauren’s dad is curious as to whether or not Arie is a narcissist and then says, “He needs to protect my daughter with his life, or I’ll kill him.” I’ve got no follow-up to that!
Arie attempts to bond with Lauren’s father by revealing that he went overseas to hang with the troops and that finally does the trick. Last Lauren Standing’s dad relaxes and says, “If she likes you, I like you.” It’s on like Donkey Kong, you stud muffin!
And now it is time for the most dramatic Rose Ceremony in Bachelor history! (Not really, but it is a pretty good one.) Chris Harrison shows up to greet the women one by one, ushering them back into the room where it all started – the mansion in L.A. where this journey began oh those so many weeks ago. It’s weird to see only four women standing there after a sea of sequins. The gals have all toned it down a bit, wearing monochromatic dresses; minus Tia, who didn’t get the memo and shows up looking like she stole something from Tonya Harding’s closet.
Arie arrives and engages in a brief talk with Chris before heading in to give one gal the boot. He’s about to hand out his first rose when he pauses and asks Kendall to step outside. The women are all in shock. What could it mean? They chatter nervously amongst themselves as Arie peppers Kendall with questions. He needs to know the following: Can she get there? Is she ready to get married? Like really ready? Because someone who is ready to get married could be going home. No pressure!
Kendall can’t formally say she’s ready to get engaged, but tearfully claims that she’s also not ready for their relationship to end. She says, “I don’t know what you need from me. But I see good things.” They then head inside, and Bachelor Nation collectively holds its breath to find out Kendall’s fate.
There are three roses to hand out, with Becca receiving the first flower. Lauren is next. It’s now down to Tia and Kendall… and it is Kendall who’s the recipient of the final rose for this episode. That means Tia is going home! I am excited because I’m still not over her bad behavior from last week; and if you were curious, yes – I hold grudges.
“Would things have been different if I hadn’t shown up looking like an ice-skater?”
Tia, as expected, has a massive meltdown. The tears flow as she muses if she was overconfident, wondering where she went wrong. She’s felt not good enough for others in the past and really doesn’t want to feel that here. Arie does his best to comfort her – she’s done nothing wrong, they’re just missing something. And that’s that. He loads her in the limo and barely sheds a tear. It’s back to Weiner for you, Tia. At least until this summer when you can sharpen your claws on Bachelor in Paradise.
Make sure to get some overtime on those Fitbits – the infamous Women Tell All episode airs Sunday, The Bachelor Fantasy Suite dates are Monday, coupled with Bachelor Winter Games live-tweeting on Tuesday and Thursday. Good lord – if there’s a correlation between the obesity epidemic and The Bachelor, I’d say this is it!
The Bachelor (2018): Season 22, Episode 8 Drinking Game
Take a Drink: every time Arie says, “I missed you!”
Take a Drink: every time Arie looks repulsed by taxidermy.
Take a Drink: every time the show makes a point about wieners in Weiner.
Do a Shot: if you’re in shock that Lauren was so verbose this episode.
Do a Shot: for the hilarious cut-away scene of Arie mopping sweat off his brow with a napkin in the foyer of Lauren’s family’s home.
Programming note: don’t forget to tune in for my live-tweets here!