Zak: Dallax, TX
Zak and Desiree seem chummy but not romantic. He promptly explains a very odd dream he had about them melting on a beach but then it starts snowing and then hundreds of kids show up…and that’s the end of that story. Kinda like this relationship. And then it sort of maybe makes sense when Zak pulls up in his family’s sno-cone truck. It could be worse, I guess; dude could be dressed up like a penguin. Oh, wait, that happened too. Kinda reminds me of the scene from The Sweetest Thing when Selma Blair’s boyfriend dresses up like an elephant and visits her at work. Anyone??
Mom, Dad, brother, sister are super excited to meet Desiree. In fact, mom skips over to meet her at the front door. Zak’s family is mortified to find out that he was the lame guy who didn’t wear a shirt on the first night. Makes me feel better to know that his family is embarrassed for him especially since they all seem a little zany themselves. Poor mom can’t help but roll her eyes when Zak confesses that he’s also been totally naked three times on the show so far.
In one-on-one time with Zak’s mom, Desiree seems to really win her over. Sister wants to know if Zak has broken through the friend zone and Desiree assures her that he has, but I’d say that’s a big fat no. What’s she supposed to say? Sister is smitten because clearly Zak is happy but she also clearly watches the show and knows how this game plays out.
Zak tells his mom that Desiree is a really beautiful person – creative and spontaneous, he really respects her and inspires her. Zak and his mom talk about how he’d all but just given up on the idea of love so I can see the Men Tell All episode now and Zak telling the world that meeting and falling in love with Desiree really opened him up to the idea of love again. Right? That’s totally how this goes.
And then Zak’s family breaks into song…Desiree is touched. Or severely regretting the fact that there doesn’t seem to be any alcohol in sight.
Zak tells Desiree that he bought a ring for her in Atlantic City when he realized he was falling in love with her, he presents it to her and tells her he’s in love with her. It’s awfully cute but I feel really bad because I think he’s going home.
In the case of Hometown dates, do you think the playground taunt is correct? Is first the worst?
Drew: Scottsdale, AZ
It’s a stark difference between Zak’s greeting and Drew’s. I’ll give you a hint: Drew’s involves a lot of kissing. This one really went very well but was also pretty predictable. Here are the highlights:
- Drew makes good on his promise to bring Desiree along to pick up his sister Melissa who is severely mentally handicapped.
- Drew’s dad is a good looking man. Tell Drew to cool it on the hair gel and he’ll probably get lucky with that full head of hair too. Forgot that Dad was an alcoholic, though. Points off for that.
- Dad asks Desiree if she believes in angels and explains that Melissa is their family’s angel and that she has taught their family more about love and life than anything else ever could have. Dad says that Drew must have really wanted Desiree to experience meeting Melissa, a display of love and respect he wouldn’t bestow upon just anyone. Clearly Dad fully approves and can see why Drew is so in love with Des.
- Mom gives her stamp of approval.
- Des says she wants to join Drew’s family and stay with him. Good sign.
- Like a giddy schoolboy, Drew tells Desiree that he loves her and he wants her to be a part of his life and his future. Man, if this guy goes home, he is never going to see it coming. He is entranced.
Chris: McMinnville, OR
It’s all woodsy and lumberjacky and Chris has some wildflowers waiting for Des before he takes her to the local little league park where they get in their baseball gear. Chris is super impressed — the girl can hit, she can pitch, she can throw, she can catch, she can run…and she does it all laughing and smiling and looking super adorable. This feels like the most natural and relaxed scenario out of all the guys but it’s also important to Chris since his life has revolved so much around baseball.
When they take a break, Desiree shows Chris some sketches she stole out of Zak’s playbook: drawings of their time together so far. Poetry-loving Chris thinks it’s super sweet. Oh, you two. Peas in a pod.
Chris’s family is very welcoming. In fact, it’s not five minutes before Chris’s dad has Desiree laying down! Whoa whoa whoa there, folks. He’s a professional. Actually, he’s a chiropractor. Dear Desiree: choose this guy. Major perks with free massages and adjustments. And apparently something to do with nasal adjustments…?? I’m totally not sure what just happened but Chris seemed into it.
I don’t quite understand the music that is playing as mom is interviewing Des…it’s like underwater level Super Mario Bros. music. Mom says she likes Desiree a lot because she seems very strong and knows herself and what she wants. Mom cries and gives her blessing to Chris. And the part I think is kinda creepy is when mom shares that Chris was pretty much in love with Desiree before he found out that she was The Bachelorette. That’s weird, right?
Brooks: Salt Lake City, UT
Brooks and his flowy hair are super dreamy. I’ll give him that. Desiree seems very elated to be with him. And, in fact, tells the camera that she loves Brooks and has been excited about meeting his family since their first date. Wow. In contrast, Brooks seems to be struggling with the time away from Desiree and goes so far as to say that “you somewhat forget what it’s like when you’re apart.” Hmm…sounds like he’s pulling back quite a bit. Luckily, Desiree has sensed his lack of confidence and in an effort to remind him that he should love her (he hasn’t said it yet!), she’s logged all of their special moments so far…the hollywood sign, breaking his finger, carrying the bride over the threshold. Maybe Brooks is just super slow. It’s like you can almost see the memories coming back to him…oh, yeah, oh..that’s right. Yeah, kinda like you. I remember now. Hey, you.
Best part of the episode: Brooks literally rocks their boat a little too much and totally soaks Desiree by overflowing their little kayak. Not as suave as The Notebook. Total fail.
Walking into Brooks’s house (think he’s Mormon?) There are so many of them that they’re actually wearing nametags, which I think is awesome.
His brothers ask some really great questions about his feelings toward Des and yet we don’t get to see him answer any of them, which is frustrating. His sister tells Brooks that he should never want to be away from someone he is in love with because it should be his best friend and he should want to do everything with her. Brooks seems surprised to hear this. During his little chat with his mom Brooks seems to open up and confesses that he needs to let down some walls. Not a revelation, slow guy, but again, glad you’re getting there.
Best family comment: “Thanks for not being a huge waste of time.” This guy wins for best family.
Desiree’s Bad Boy Brother is Back
Apparently producers also realize that there’s not enough interesting drama happening this season to keep things appealing, Desiree’s embarrassingly trashy brother is back. She gives him a synopsis of each of the remaining men and while I really wanted to loathe him, I thought he did a good job of “yeah yeah,” “uh huh,” and “okay” responses. Clearly he’s been scorned well enough to know not to make a total jackass of himself on national television again. It almost works. He seems like he’s just trying to be agreeable but he’s still skeptical. At least he wishes her well and tells her that he’s happy she’s in charge of the situation, ending on a good note.
Chatting with Chris Harrison
Chris calls Des out on the fact that last week she told him she’s in love with Brooks, however, Brooks still hasn’t said it to her. Awkward because the other three men have “thrown themselves at [her] feet.” Exactly. Which is why Desiree probably really wants Brooks the most.
As the men arrive we see Desiree’s brother creeping out all stalker like in the lobby trying to get a good view of Desiree’s suitors. Seriously, that’s how murder-mystery novels start out, weird guy. It would’ve been way better to pop out and introduce himself to all of them as they arrived just to gauge their reaction. That would’ve been funny. But instead, no drama and straight to the “this is hard” speech and the handing out of the last three roses:
- Brooks, of course
- Chris, the backup plan
- Drew, because he’s so cute
Going Home: Zak, who absolutely did not see a goodbye coming. He looks devastated. Poor guy. Desiree says some really nice things, hands him back his ring and sends him on his way. Zak is super classy and takes it like a gentleman but you can tell he’s too shocked to even realize that he’s heartbroken. He probably really thought that making his family memorize a song for her was going to seal the deal. In the limo, we see a darker, very sad side of Zak. And then we see the limo pull over, the window roll down, and Zak throws the ring out!
Next week: The Men Tell All!
In two weeks: sexy beaches and lots of I love you’s…but wait, there’s also a lot of Des crying and saying she wants to go home. My guess is Brooks bows out. What’s yours?