If, like me, you were excited for the show this week because you were eager to see how Rachel will handle the inevitable awkwardness of inviting three different men to have sex with her three nights in a row, then I’m sorry to disappoint — you’ll have to wait a little longer. The men are all still in Dallas, and Rachel announces that because her sister is pregnant and can’t travel later, the guys are meeting the family in her hometown this week.
Peter is up first to meet the Lindsays, and Rachel takes him to a children’s store so they can show up with gifts for Rachel’s nephew and the new baby. Rachel watches as Peter tries to pick out baby clothes for someone he’s never met, grimacing every time he holds up an item he likes. This feels like a test.
As if the pressure to get the perfect gift for Rachel’s family isn’t enough, Peter is a nervous wreck because he was the last person to get a rose last week. He’s concerned that he had told Rachel he might not propose at the end of this, and since she’s super ready for marriage, she won’t pick him. Apparently he also told Bryan about his commitment phobia, and Bryan tells Eric, so the two dudes sit around gossiping about their bro’s commitment issues.
At Rachel’s parents’ house, Peter admits to the entire family (minus Rachel’s super intimidating father, who’s a federal judge) that throughout the whole process, he had been unable to tell her he was falling in love with her, but after the rose ceremony last week, he realized he couldn’t imagine his life without her. That’s not an “I love you,” but that’s nice, too, I guess.
Rachel’s mom asks what “red flags” her daughter might have seen in Peter, but pretty much the only one is that he won’t propose at the end. Again, this show films for about two months. These people have known each other for maybe six or seven weeks, and Rachel has been dating other men the entire time. Why is everyone so freaked out that Peter doesn’t feel ready to propose?!
When chatting with Rachel’s mom, Peter says he isn’t prepared to ask her and her husband for Rachel’s hand in marriage. He says he wants to wait until he’s sure, and Rachel’s mom seems to respect him more for that, because this is a smart, mature woman.
The next day, it’s Eric’s turn to meet the family. Instead of going shopping for baby clothes, they go to the top of Reunion Tower and admire the Dallas skyline. Why doesn’t Eric get to show up with gifts? I feel like this is setting Peter up to be more well-liked, though Rachel and Eric do get to have a date that isn’t at a children’s clothing store, so he might actually have gotten the better deal.
While meeting the family, Eric reveals that he had never brought a woman home to meet his family before Rachel. Constance, Rachel’s sister, thinks that Eric and Rachel are “on two different paths,” because Eric has never been in love before and his longest, most serious relationship lasted eight months.
Eric tells Rachel’s mother that he is ready for marriage, but she seems concerned that, because he never saw a stable relationship growing up, he might not know how to achieve that. He goes ahead and asks for permission to marry her daughter, and she says that if Rachel feels comfortable enough for that step with him, so would she.
Bryan’s date also has a noticeable lack of shopping for baby clothes. Rachel brings him to meet some of her friends, and they all talk about how charming he is. She admits she initially thought he was a douchebag.
Apparently, Peter also thinks that, because as soon as Bryan leaves, he and Eric start trash talking. Peter says that Miami (where Bryan is from) is full of fake things: asses, boobs, cheeks …Bryan. This episode has seen a lot of catty one-liners from grown men, and I am so here for it.
When the whole family is sitting around talking, Bryan tells everyone that he’s in love with Rachel. Constance totally isn’t buying it. Then Rachel’s mom makes everything awkward by asking the only-child mama’s boy whose side he would choose if his wife and his mother butted heads. He, smartly, says he would pick his wife’s side, and now Mama Lindsay is the one not buying what Bryan’s selling.
Later at the dining room table, Rachel’s uncle continues the questioning, and Bryan excuses himself from the group. I’m assuming he actually just had to pee, and this is the editors making things look far more dramatic than they actually were, but Rachel is clearly pissed. It’s Rachel and Bryan against the world now, y’all.
Constance tells Bryan she questions how genuine he is because he admitted to falling for Rachel so quickly. She also calls him out for having a good answer ready for all their questions. I like Bryan and all, but I totally love that Constance is addressing how inauthentic his perfection seems to be.
Bryan brings up the L-word again and again in talking with Rachel’s mom, and, like Constance, she seems skeptical. She eventually gives him her blessing to marry Rachel, but not because she trusts him. She trusts her daughter’s judgment. Don’t let us all down, Rachel.
Now come the fantasy dates. I’m a little sad that they’re truncated 'cause we needed to fit family interrogations in this week too, but whatever. We’re off to Spain!
Eric is first up for fantasy alone time, and the more I see these two together, the more I think they seem like good friends but not lovers. I am very much looking forward to the awkwardness of the fantasy suite.
Rachel and Eric sit on a rustic stone wall on a beautiful island off the coast of northern Spain and attempt to have a meaningful conversation about their respective hometown dates. They say the requisite things about wanting a partner for life and whatnot, then they ring a bell at an old monastery and make a wish. Do you think Eric’s wish was about the future or about getting laid in the fantasy suite? Can we take some bets?
At dinner, Rachel starts questioning Eric about his feelings. He admits he’s in love with her, and she eats it up. She gives him the fantasy suite invitation from creepy uncle Chris Harrison, asking “So…do you wanna do this?” What a proposition, girl. The night was seemingly not as awkward as I had imagined, as the two are all smiles the next morning.
The same day (presumably), Rachel has a date with Peter to drink Rioja in a cave with an adorable old Spanish man who doesn’t speak a word of English. He gifts “Raquel y Pedro” with their own cellar full of wine, but they have to come back together to drink it all.
Then they talk about the conversations with each other’s families, and Peter says he asked Rachel’s mom for permission to keep dating Rachel. He acknowledged that, to him, an engagement is pretty much like getting married (um, yeah, that’s the eventual idea), and he’s not sure he’s ready to commit to that.
Later, Rachel says she didn’t come this far and sacrifice so much to just have a boyfriend at the end of it. Peter wants to get engaged once, and only once, so that’s why the notion of proposing is so important to him. He says an engagement means “we’re getting married, let’s pick a date now,” and Rachel says that’s not at all what it means to her. Um, Rachel, what else would it mean? I’m not getting where she’s coming from here at all.
They end up realizing they have completely opposite ideas about what should happen at the end of the show and Rachel starts crying. She admits that, for the first time, she thinks she and Peter might not be right for each other.
And then the episode ends, without showing us the conclusion to this conversation or any of Bryan’s fantasy date. I’m just here to see Bryan take his shirt off, so you can imagine my disappointment.
Next week, we have the always-dramatic Men Tell All episode to look forward to. From the previews, it looks like Lee and Kenny are returning, so grab some wine out of your personal Spanish wine cellar and get ready.