It's time for home visits! These are always more than a little uncomfortable, as the parents don't want to look like they're sending a daughter head first into traffic but do want to be supportive. Or at least some of them want to be supportive. Basically, everyone looks a little miserable and hyper aware of the cameras, and half of the time you expect them to turn to the camera operator and ask if they look fat in whatever they're wearing. So, I hope Sean is ready for this, because I'm pretty confident most of the people he'll be meeting aren't.
Up first, AshLee! AshLee is very earnest and sort of boring. I can't help but like her, but she seems to get weepy at the drop of a hat and appears to have a bottomless pit of need that Sean and a fleet of dirt-toting backhoes could never fill. Her adopted parents, however, seem lovely. And worried. I get the impression they know exactly how fragile AshLee is, and that's their biggest concern with all this "Bachelor" nonsense.
AshLee's mom can tell her daughter is madly in love, but she just wants Sean to promise he won't break her heart. Um, yeah, not really a promise Sean can make, because he's going to break EVERYONE'S heart on this show, except for one girl, who'll get a nice ring and possibly her heart broken at a later date without cameras and a limo. AshLee's mom tells Sean about how AshLee was in five foster homes before she ended up with them, so she has abandonment issues. Yeah, we know. We're all worried for AshLee. Honestly, this is the last show anyone with abandonment issues should go on seeking love, short of "Catfish" or "Intervention."
Anyway, Sean does have a good question to ask AshLee's dad -- why the heck did he let her get married when she was 17 anyway? Well, he didn't want to, but he was afraid she'd do something worse if he didn't sign the paperwork. Geez, like what? Anyway, those days were long ago and Bruce is just fine with Sean joining the family. I'd be a little more worried for Sean's family if he marries AshLee. She babbles on and on about how things have been magical and it's like a dream come true and I swear she's been huffing Disney movies or something.
Next, Sean visits Catherine in Seattle. They throw fish at one another at Pike Place Market and fun is had. She loves the way he smells! Probably not right after the fish tossing, I'm guessing. She brings out the goofy side in him! They add chewing gum to the Seattle Gum Wall. Yuck.
Catherine warns Sean that her mom can be scary, her grandma is feisty, and he needs to put grandma's hand to his head when he meets her. It's a Filipino thing.
Everything seems to be going well initially. He puts on an apron to roll lumpia with Mom while Catherine tries to convince her two sisters that she's ready for a real relationship. They do not seem the least bit convinced, and given how thoroughly unconvinced they seem, I'm thinking Sean should run for the hills. Catherine, according to her sisters Monica and India, is a focused workaholic who won't let anyone stand in her way. Yay?
Then Sean talks to the sisters and discovers all this for himself. How is Catherine in relationships? "Um, it's fun, and then, well, obviously she's here, and she doesn't want to do with anyone who doesn't support her dreams." In plain English, that means, kinda crappy at relationships. "Catherine needs someone to call her out when she needs to be called out. She's messy! And moody!" Yikes! Why don't the sisters just throw something at Sean's head and order him to get in the car and go?
Then, Sean asks Catherine's mom for her blessing. "We'll see what happens," is her answer. So, no blessing. When he leaves, Sean is concerned. I think Sean has every reason to be concerned. Not only is Catherine's family skeptical, they aren't all that supportive of Catherine, which makes me wonder if they just know her well enough to realize this is never going to work.
On to Missouri and Lindsay's military family. Sean loves her youthful energy! She takes him to an antique shop. He feels like they're a couple! They get a bunch of cupcakes and debate whether to call Lindsay's dad Mark or General Yenter. Then, Lindsay makes him reenact the screaming part of "An Officer and a Gentleman" and damn, does this episode really need to be two hours long? You're killing me, ABC.
Lindsay tells her family about the wedding dress, which they didn't know about, and her mom seems totally taken with Sean. She respects the fact he won't say he loves Lindsay, because that just means he's honest. Or has signed an agreement with the producers of the show, but honest sounds a lot better.
Then, Sean meets Lindsay's dad, who is a two star general. This is intimidating to Sean, but Mark seems to be the nicest two start general ever. He doesn't want to see his daughter hurt, so he isn't sure he can give his blessing, but he's a paratrooper, so he does. Yeah, I don't entirely understand this big, rambling speech, but the gist of it is that he seems like a pretty nice guy. Sean could do worse in the father-in-law department. Like with Catherine, whose mentally unstable dad is floating around China somewhere she won't fully disclose and who continues to worry me.
Finally, we head to Los Angeles for the final home visit at Desiree's house. She loves to hike! And then, she can't wait for him to come to her home! Is this place entirely hers? How much do you make at a damn bridal salon, anyway? Where are the roommates? Desiree has painted a bunch of artwork. Some of it is very nice. Some of it looks like a Christmas package exploded on her lawn.
Suddenly, there's a guy at the door! But who is he? He wants to talk to Desiree. He wants the cameras off. She wants him gone." I love you Des, I've been texting, calling, we've been together for two years. You're gonna be with this actor? This isn't real!" he yells. She looks like she's going to start laughing. WTF?
Gotcha! Nick is an actor. Ah, Desiree is pranking Sean as payback for the prank he pulled on her. I'm not sure this is a grand idea, because it sort of sets the tone for the evening. Sean seems to think this is cute and charming and lovely, and it would be if Desiree's brother doesn't basically come in with the same crappy attitude.
Desiree's dad seems entirely charmed by Sean. I half expect him to ask if he can tag along for the rest of the trip, whether or not Desiree makes it to the end, just because it sounds so fun. And he'd probably like to get away from his wife, who looks like she hasn't updated her look since the late 1970s. He probably hasn't either, but it's easier for a guy to get away with it. I don't see why Desiree hasn't taken her mom for a haircut or something.
And then, Desiree's brother Nate decides he wants to talk to Desiree. He thinks Sean is full of it. Desiree tells him to shut up, because she loves Sean. Nate is not impressed. Worse, he thinks she likes Sean more than Sean likes her.
Then, the worst possible thing that could happen happens. Nate wants to talk to Sean. He tells Sean he does not see reciprocation, which is clearly a big word for him. Sean doesn't know why! He's always manhandling Des! Nate is not impressed with this manhandling. In fact, he thinks Sean is just a playboy.
In short, Nate doesn't like Sean and Sean doesn't like Nate. And Sean knows that if he carries on with Desiree, he'll be stuck seeing Nate at every major holiday until the end of time. Suddenly, Desiree is looking about as appealing as a piece of halibut that's been left in the sink for three days.
Still, when it comes time to hand out the roses, Sean isn't decided. He tells Chris Harrison he's torn between giving Catherine the boot or Desiree the boot. Some of these will be addressed at greater length, but after the spoiler alert below.
Finally, it's time for the rose ceremony. Which should be quick. I repeat: should.
Before he can start, though, Desiree asks to talk to Sean. She gets weepy. She's so sorry her brother is an asshat. Sean tells her it's okay. She apologizes some more. And then, lets him go, thoroughly confused.
Okay, time for the rose ceremony. Again.
AshLee gets the first rose.
Lindsay gets the second rose.
And then, Sean needs a break. He has to pace around and look at pictures of Catherine and Desiree. Chris Harrison comes by to talk to him. He can see his life with each of these wonderful women! Who should he send home? He doesn't have clarity! Chris tells him to take his time.
The fact that Desiree spoke to him before the rose ceremony started is just breaking his heart, because he was going to send her home. Oh, just pull off the Band-Aid, Sean.
Time for the rose ceremony to conclude. Maybe.
Catherine gets the third rose.
Poor Desiree. She will never, ever forgive her brother. On the one hand, you could say he saved her from yet another dead-end "The Bachelor" relationship, but I'm not so sure Sean won't actually marry the girl he picks. Or at least try to.
Sean and Desiree sits down to talk. He admits he thinks he may be making a giant mistake. She knows he is! Yeah, Sean? It doesn't make it any better to sit there and dump her while admitting it's probably a bad idea, because SHE STILL HAS TO LEAVE! She feels that people take her for granted. She wants someone to love her as much as she loves him! Poor Desiree. I'm pretty sure she'll find someone about ten minutes after this episode airs, so I'm not worried for her. Though I would suggest to Nate that he check his brake lines for a while.
Sean is sad, Desiree is sad. There's nothing more to say. Except there is. She wants to make sure he knows this is a HUGE MISTAKE. He's going to miss her so much! So don't let me go! But, you know, the camera guy is probably union and this can't go on all night.
In the limo, she cries that all she wants to do is make someone happy. Oh, man. Poor bunny. But that's it -- Desiree is yet another casualty on Sean's trail of tears.
For the record, I think Sean did make the wrong decision. Okay, I have to take a tangent here and address the rumors rampant on the Internet about who wins. So, if you don't know and don't want to know, consider this your SPOILER ALERT and skip the paragraphs below. Just head straight to the comments and weigh in.
So, as you probably already know because you're reading this (AGAIN, SPOILER ALERT!), Catherine is supposedly the winner and does get a ring. I find this somewhat shocking, in that he does seem to be having doubts about Catherine this late in the game. Maybe it's all an act (you can never rule out that possibility) but if he does have concerns, they seem valid to me. She is clearly hard-driving, career-oriented and not anywhere close to the baby train.
Sean, on the other hand, seems committed to the idea of settling down. I don't see Catherine being all that flexible (as her sisters state, Catherine kicks anyone who stands in her way to the curb without hesitation), while I do see a pretty strong competitive streak. I like Catherine. She's smart and she's fun. But I can't rule out the idea that, when placed in the bizarro pressure cooker that is this show, she thinks she feels more for Sean than she might if she met him at a bar or an adult ed class. She seems to have a harder edge to her than laid-back Sean seems to possess. But hey, let's wait a month or two and see what happens.
Do you think Sean made the right decision? Who do you think is the last woman standing (and remember, no spoilers!)?