Monsters and Critics columnist Liz Long recaps The Bachelor, Season 25, Episode 7, with a little help from a glass of pinot (or two)…
Well friends, we are in the final homestretch. I know we’ve lost many along the way throughout Matt’s journey for love, but, for those of you still here, we will do our due diligence to recap tonight’s episode of “hometowns.”
“Hometowns” is in quotes, of course, because they all take place at the Nemacolin (the real winner of the season). Tonight’s highlights included a fall heard ’round Pennsylvania, the correct use of the word “literally,” and a self-made exit.
Michelle wins for cutest hometown. Not only did she match Matt in lavender, but she melted my icy heart when she introduced “Mr. James” to her students (via Zoom call). Oh yeah, and these were her parents:
Michelle tells them that she really can see herself with Matt and is completely ready for an engagement (and I genuinely believe her).
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Why is she so ready? Well it’s because Matt is creating gardens for inner city kids to grow their own food, of course. (And I love this is the thing she highlights about him.)
But her hometown felt a little bittersweet. While it was unbelievably cute, at the same time, I couldn’t help but have a nagging sadness, believing he won’t pick her.
Let’s just move on to Rachael’s hometown, shall we?
Rachael’s date wins for “I risked my life …. literally” for you.
She takes him skydiving and we’ve seen this type of date many times. What we haven’t seen, though, is a flat out nose dive into the Earth.
Like, no joke, Rachael face-planted and didn’t move for a solid minute.
It didn’t help that her instructor looked like he was 12.
But the face-plant wasn’t a total loss. Afterwards, Matt realized how much he is in love with Rachael, feeling like he almost lost her.
I’m still getting over the fact this might be the first time we’ve seen Rachael disheveled all season. I mean, she even looked good plummeting at 130 miles per hour. And by “disheveled,” I mean a few pieces of grass in her hair and nose. No broken bones. No bruises. (Oddly, no ambulances?)
Rachael’s parents were tougher than Michelle’s with her dad being the “biggest hurdle.” In the end, he was supportive of the relationship, despite Matt not asking for the blessing like Rachael so badly wanted. (Foreshadowing of where his head is already at, perhaps?)
Aside from the classic run/jump/leg-wrap hug that is seemingly reserved only for hometowns, Bri greets Matt with “Hey, remember when you almost killed me?”
Oh, Bri, if you only knew the near-death-experience Rachael just had.
Technicalities aside, Rachael takes Matt on a four-wheeling date to show just how “full circle” they’ve come. In other words, because their one and only other date involved four-wheeling, that is a full-circle moment for them.
Matt is excited to meet Bri’s mom, who snidely(?) greets him with “I know what Matt’s been doing … dating!”
But Matt manages to keep his ever-present respectful nature … so much so, that is it just me, or is he saying the same things with every single family? (You know, all the canned hometown stuff?)
And, on cue, after departing from the parents, everyone is confessing their love for Matt.
However, with Bri, after she told Matt she loved him, Matt’s response was “Thank you for sharing that with me.” OMG, I’m so sorry, Bri.
At least you have your mom, who had this gem: “Worst case scenario, we’ll be mending your broken heart together … but we’ll survive.” Now that’s a mom.
I honestly didn’t know Serena was Canadian, but dangit, we’re about to learn just how hardcore of a Canuck she is.
I guess she never said the word “doubt” in any other episode, because when she said it tonight, oh boy, you could tell she’s Canadian!
After a nice tasting of Poutine, we meet Serena’s family. Her mom asks her if “he’s intellectually stimulating,” and Serena–not yet wanting to admit she’s not a fan of Matt’s novel kissing style–tells mom how he checks off all her boxes … well … ALMOST.
It’s just that … well … something is “off” about Serena. Of course, we all knew this during that tantric yoga date, when she couldn’t even kiss him. But it takes Matt a good pow-wow session with Chris (oh, Chris) to figure things out.
Chris tells Matt, don’t wait for a rose ceremony …. sounds like you need to do a “deep dive” now. (Just don’t use those words around Rachael, guys.)
Lo and behold, Matt surprises a curly-haired Serena alone in her room, and he is about to be surprised himself!
Serena reveals, “You’re just not my person, Matt.” And Matt looks seriously dumbfounded. As in, wait a minute, that has never happened to me. Plus, I’m the Bachelor here.
But Matt collects himself and even asks her if she’d walk him out. All’s well, and they both seem to quickly recover, indicating this just wasn’t meant to be from the start.
You know, this episode was somewhat refreshing. Fairly uneventful (aside from Rachael’s splat moment) … but completely void of Mean Girl mentality. It would have almost been a good old-fashioned old-school Bachelor had we wrapped with a complete rose ceremony.
But, alas, Bri, Rachael, and Michelle will all have to wait for their roses another week (or two). Next week, we have The Women Tell All, which, honestly, I don’t think I’m ready for.
In the meantime, I’m going to try and find where Serena got her camel-colored leather pants. And if you want some major spoilers regarding Matt and his final pick, click here. Til’ next week, “Rose-Lovers.”
The Bachelor airs on Mondays at 8/7c on ABC.