It's hometown visits week! I don't remember much, but I do seem to recall there'd be some drama in some of the homes. But isn't there always? Or, more accurately, there's always drama in the upcoming highlights and then it turns out to be nothing. Let's see how it plays out.
Oh right, there's the issue of Amanda's kids. And some brother telling Ben he's brainwashing the women. Yeah, it should be a good one. Okay, can we just get on with it? We don't need five minutes of upcoming highlights.
Only four women left: Amanda, Caila, JoJo and Lauren. First hometown is in Laguna Beach with Amanda. They meet on a sandy beach, running towards each other. I don't know how serious this relationship is because there was no running leg-wrap.
Sitting on the beach, Ben grills Amanda on what to expect from the kids. She tells him that they love to be chased. Just like their mom. And here they are now on the beach, brought by what must be their nanny. They're dressed like twins but they're not twins. They're not immediately warm to Ben, but he wins them over. Ben says the day feels so natural. Can't wait until it gets even more natural.
Here we go! The little one is bawling in the backseat on the drive home. I think this a first for wee ones on this show. Usually they're like show business kids, always happy and smiling. Amanda's folks wonder if Ben is ready to be an instant dad. But he passes the mom interview, although mom is withholding judgment until more information comes in. She tells Amanda she sees Ben with her... eventually. i.e. not now.
Amanda now feels like she's in love with Ben. And what did I tell you about the highlights? Bogus! There was no screaming kids and frazzled Ben. Everything went well. So let's see how bogus the other highlights are.
Next up is Lauren in Portland. The flight attendant says she's already in love with Ben but hasn't told him yet. They walk around the City of Roses with nary a rose in sight. They hit the famous Portland food trucks. Then it's off to a "whiskey library" or "liberry" as Lauren pronounced it. (She really did!) They leave their whiskeys almost full to go meet her family.
Lauren is waiting for her family's approval before she tells Ben she loves him. Lauren's sister takes Ben away to flirt with him one-on-one. Ben tears up when he says he feels really lucky. I think it was a ruse to get sis to give him a hug. I see through this charade.
Lauren also tears up when talking about Ben. She says she feels like he's her person, that she was meant to meet Ben. Worked like a charm.
Ben tells her dad he's not coping well meeting all the other dads and families. I thought tears were going to go 3-for-3 but he came up short. But they come back when Lauren (Lolo) talks to her dad. 3-for-4 is not bad.
After all that, Lolo still doesn't feel it's time to tell him she loves him. He drives off.
Now we're in Hudson, Ohio, to meet Caila's family. Ben tells her "your town is absolutely beautiful." I guess he forgot that it's not really Caila's town. She's got no roots. Although she did go to high school there. I wonder if we'll hear the story of her 17 moves prior to this town. Her dad is CEO of a toy company. Maybe he's Santa Claus.
Caila's mom is a Filippina. Not sure how old she is but she's wearing braces. Makes her look even younger. She gives Ben a lesson on pinoy food. The dad asks Ben what it's like dealing with "microwave fame." A polite way of saying he's got 15 minutes.
Caila whispers through her tears to her dad saying, "Daddy, I know this is it." He reassures her that there is no rule book to love. But he's worried she might get crushed. She tells her mommy that she knows he's the one. Mommy suggests Caila run downstairs, jump on Ben and tell him she loves him. Must be the way they do it in the Philippines.
She has plans to tell him after they kiss. They have a good kiss, but she balks and just says "See ya."
Our final destination is Dallas, JoJo's hometown. JoJo comes home to a dozen roses and a letter from Ben. It's a two-pager, too. What's this all about? No, it's not from Ben. It's from JoJo's ex-boyfriend named Chad. Classic. She stops reading. Now she's upset. I wonder if the producers put the ex up to it. I love that she didn't recognize Chad's writing right away.
Then she calls Chad up. He tells her he's "literally gone through so much since [she's] been gone." He tells her he wants her for the future. Now he knows what love is, and she showed him what love is. She's incredulous. He's insistent, saying he doesn't want to lose her. Ben walks to the door.
Chad tells her he cares so much about JoJo and loves her so much, but she responds, "But you didn't while we were together."
Ben enters and is greeted with an emotional hug. He doesn't know what's happening. JoJo explains it to him. He feels very uncomfortable. He's been down this road before and it hasn't gone in his favour. But she tells him she's the happiest she's ever been, through tears. Things get resolved. They hug and kiss. Wonder what Chad thinks watching this.
They go off to meet her family and her two bros mug swarm her at the door. Everyone's happy. So far. JoJo describes her family as very loving and very protective. There's a lot of plastic surgery going on in the family so it's odd that dad is full-on male pattern baldness.
The bros grill Ben first. They want to know if their sister is going to get hurt or end up happy. Ben doesn't have a good answer for them. They want Ben to be as real as he can. They look suspicious but that could be the editing.
When JoJo tells the bros she's been on only two one-on-one dates, they sink further into the abyss. One of the bros says his read is that Ben isn't emotionally invested as she is. He tells Ben he's brainwashed the girls. The mom takes a swig out of a wine bottle. Things are going south in a hurry.
The bro suggests Ben has been coached on his answers. Proving that he's not been, Ben responds like a politician. The dad warmly says he appreciates Ben's answers. Where was JoJo in all this? Outside Ben fills her in on the drama.
On a side note, JoJo is wearing open-toed boots. That's what it looks like anyway.
Ben says it wasn't the hometown visit he would have liked. JoJo is scared of losing him. I think she will lose him. Rose ceremony next.
Back in Los Angeles. JoJo's low cut dress reveals that maybe she's not unfamiliar with the plastic surgeon, too. Amanda is wearing a short short skirt. So is Caila, but not quite as short. Lauren has the classiest look.
Now the roses:
- Caila (I wrote it before he announced it)
In the limo she says she's shocked and at a loss for words. Then proceeds to talk. She thinks he's amazing. Ben chokes up after the car has taken off, telling the camera that he'd like her to know he cares a lot. But he can't go on. He's getting verkempt.
Next week in Jamaica he apparently tells two women that he loves them, then says he's scared he's made a mistake. Ya think?! I'm guessing those two are Lauren and Caila. I think he only chose JoJo this week out of fear for his life. But who knows? Not I. I don't do spoilers.