It's hometowns week! Really, this is one episode which is almost interchangeable from season to season. I can't wait for this guy to meet my family! They're worried I'll get hurt! But I love him so much! Meaningful talk between the bachelor and the parents! Parents are charmed, mostly! Everyone lives happily ever after until the next bachelorette gets kicked off the show and her family gets to say "told you so," but we don't see that part. In short, Ben will be eating lots of casseroles, drinking lots of bad wine and doing his best to be a nice young man. Don't bet on skinny dipping this week.
First up, Ben visits Lindzi in Florida. Ben is not as horsey as Lindzi. As in, he's not horsey at all. But this is part of her life! If Ben loves her, he must love horses! To introduce him to the magic of all things horsey, she takes him for a carriage ride. Ben feels good around Lindzi, and he only looks slightly terrified about the horse thing. Finally, it's time to get off the horse and talk about their feelings. Lindzi puts up walls, but those walls are coming down. It isn't easy though, because she thought she was going to marry her last serious boyfriend, which is news to Ben. He's so glad she's being open and vulnerable with him. He's now seen a soft, serious, sweet side to Lindzi, and he's also discovered she smells a lot like hay most of the time. Lindzi hopes she never has to bring home another guy to meet her family. Oh, Lindzi, have you watched this show before?
Time to meet the parents! Lindzi knows they're going to like her boyfriend Ben! Lindzi needs to stop calling Ben her boyfriend, only because this makes her seem a little delusional. Or okay with polygamy, one or the other. Lindzi and Ben had their first date at City Hall in San Francisco. That's where Lindzi's parents got married! Lindzi seems shocked by this. Are these her parents or people she hired to pose as her parents? I'm just thinking this might have come up in conversation at some point in the last twenty-odd years.
Next, we get to find out how fun Lindzi's parents are! The parents challenge Lindzi and Ben to a carriage race. When the parents win, Lindzi and Ben have to pull the winners' carriage back home. How, um, playful of them.
Lindzi talks to her mom about Ben. Mom likes Ben, but worries Lindzi might get her heart broken (ooh, I see a drinking game here!) Then, it's Ben's turn to talk to Mom. Apparently, the parents kept her focused on horses so she wouldn't spend time with boys. But Lindzi has learned from her horrible heartbreak via text. Possibly to get an old school cell phone and ditch her smart phone. Ben wants to know if Dad would approve of him asking Lindzi to marry him. Dad seems okay with Ben. Then, it's time to eat s'mores.
Finally, Ben and Lindzi have some alone time to kiss awkwardly. Lindzi wants to be married to Ben forever! Ben thinks he might be falling in love with Lindzi. I'm thinking Ben may not love horses enough to marry Lindzi.
Next up Ben visits Kacie B. in Tennessee. Kacie B. can't wait to hug and kiss Ben! She drags him back to her high school so she can show off her baton twirling skills. Ben loves her confidence and doesn't think she's beyond dorky and sadly immature. The field is named after her grandfather, so what a great place for a picnic! Time to talk about how grandma died of a broken heart after grandpa died. That's what Kacie B. wants! To be old and survive her husband by a month or two. Yay?
Ben feels that he doesn't have to prove anything with Kacie B. But wait! He hasn't met her disapproving parents yet! Her dad is a probation officer and doesn't drink. Is that so, asks the winemaker. Oh, and her parents will cry if he tries to take away their little girl. Kacie B. thinks this is all very charming, but I think Ben is ready to skip the rest of this hometown. And maybe he should have, because it just gets worse and worse. Mom and Dad have HATED Kacie B. being far away. They're a VERY close family. If a camera crew wasn't present, I think Kacie B.'s parents would have thrown acid on Ben's face and tied him to the back of a moving vehicle to get rid of him.
Kacie B. needs to talk to her sister Allison to get some clarity. Kacie B. says that because her dad doesn't like to take risks, he's very skeptical of her relationship with Ben. He doesn't want his little girl to be hurt (drink!) Or he thinks some winemaker from the left coast is going to ruin his virtuous little girl and he will have to get out his gun and scare him off. But that first idea, just as reasonable, I suppose.
Dad sits down with Ben. What does Ben like about Kacie B.? He likes her ability to communicate. Wow, worst answer ever. Dad is skeptical. Marriage is serious! His daughters are the most important things to him! But he wants Ben to find the right person, too. And if he needs to dump Kacie, he'd prefer Ben do it soon. Hint, hint. Because acid is expensive.
Ben then suffers through a meeting with Mom. Mom didn't like babysitters. She wanted to teach her babies about hellfire and damnation! Or something. She doesn't want Kacie B. to move to California. She does not like the idea of Kacie B. moving in with Ben, either. She would be disappointed if they lived in sin. Has she mentioned they're a VERY tight family? I think Ben is silently crossing Kacie B. off his list right at this moment.
Dad wants Kacie B. to make every decision prayerfully and carefully. And she'd better not want to live with Ben before marriage. Okay, okay, we get it. Kacie B. is sure she and Ben have something special. But Dad would, if Ben asked for her hand in marriage at this point, say no. Kacie is so frustrated! Dad doesn't trust her judgment!
Kacie B. doesn't know what to say to Ben as he runs frantically for the car. Everything has gone wrong and she doesn't know how to fix it.
Next we have Nicki in Texas. Ben loves Texas! Nicki meets Ben wearing a hugely unflattering outfit. Don't let your top stop at the fattest part of your body, Nicki! They go out to try on cowboy boots, then walk around town in their new boots. They drink wine. Time for Nicki to talk about her failed marriage again. She's a daddy's girl. Her parents don't want to see her get hurt again (drink!). She didn't give up on her marriage, and she hasn't jumped into her relationship with Ben, either. Enough with the bonding. Time to meet the family!
Ben loves Texas! Mom likes Ben a lot. But she's worried that Nicki might get her heart broken (drink!). Nicki tells her mom Ben would be a good husband and a good dad. He makes her feel so special!
Mom was easy -- but Dad is hard for Nicki. Dad is worried that Nicki will get hurt (drink!). He feels he didn't ask enough questions when she got married the first time. It's still hard letting her fly. This is a good man, Dad! Dad crumbles. Oh, okay. Ben's great. So what if his daughter met him on a reality TV show and he's dating three other women?
Dad makes a toast to Ben and Nicki. He hopes they end up together, but if they don't, they both have his total support. Nicki tells Ben her family likes him, and she's in love with him. Even better, Ben loves Nicki's family. He has a great gut feeling about Nicki. He's also able to compare them to Kacie B.'s family and boy howdy, Nicki's family looks REALLY good in comparison.
Oh, joy. It's time foh a visit wid Baby Cowdney in Arizona! She wuvs Ben! She feels weewy bad foh being meany weany to the uddah girls. Barf. She's sure Ben won't hurt her, unlike every other man she's known, which suggests Courtney is a horrible judge of character or, more likely, a crap girlfriend. Ben thinks he's had a moment of clarity with Courtney. Ben is an idiot. Anyway, Courtney's family seems mostly sane. Dad proposes a toast to Ben, but Mom doesn't believe Courtney is really in love.
Time for a sister talk. Rachel thinks Courtney seems really happy. Courtney is thrilled to be able to brag about skinny dipping in Puerto Rico! Tee-hee, she's such a nawdy widdle gurl!
Dad tells Ben marriage is life's greatest gamble. Is he ready? Ben won't drop the M bomb, but he wants a committed relationship with a strong woman, like Courtney. Dad wants grandkids. Okay, okay. Getting ahead of ourselves, are we?
Courtney sits down with Mom. Mom thinks she and Ben are well-suited to one another. She likes Ben, so that's good enough for her. Courtney still hasn't told Ben she loves him yet. She's scay-wed! So, she gets to go on a picnic with Ben.
She loves that he's so honest with her! Because she's so honest with him? Just to prove the point, she's taken him to the location of her first photo shoot, and at the time they were setting up a wedding there. And look! There's another wedding right now! Hey, let's write some vows! And here's a bow tie! And there's a guy to actually perform our wedding ceremony! How convenient! Ben thinks his is romantic. Again, Ben is an idiot.
Ben recites his vows and declares her strong, kind, beautiful and honest. She tells him she loves him. They exchange rings. Ben thinks this is just wonderful. I think it's hugely manipulative, but hey, whatever.
Finally, it's back to Los Angeles for the rose ceremony. Ben thought every hometown was great! Really? Even though we could almost hear you screaming for the driver to burn rubber to get away from Kacie B.'s house?
First rose goes to… Courtney. Of course.
Second rose goes to… Lindzi.
Third and final rose goes to… Nicki.
Well, this one was pretty obvious. Kacie B. just isn't independent enough to want to get married, at least not to someone who doesn't already live in her hometown and has no intention of ever leaving. Hopefully she'll realize in about ten minutes Ben really was never the right guy for her anyway.
Ben walks Kacie B. out. She sobs. He's so sorry! She wishes him the best and gets into her limo. That's when the real meltdown starts. Why does it have to hurt so bad? She thought she knew what he was looking for but she must have been wrong! She didn't see it coming! What does he want? Non-crazy in-laws. Oh no, she thinks she's not good enough. Honestly, I think Ben was just taking direction from Kacie B.'s dad -- if he wasn't sure about her, it was only merciful to cut her loose sooner rather than later. And now that Kacie B. has been able to watch the show and see what a dumbass Ben has been, mostly in relation to Courtney, I'm pretty sure she's feeling grateful for coming up roseless.
Next week, they go to Switzerland! And it seems something goes wrong between Ben and Courtney, but I've been fooled before, you sneaky "Bachelor" editors, you!
Were you surprised Kacie B. got cut? Is Courtney growing on you? And who do you think will make the final two?