Do you like awkward conversations? Do you like watching men vaguely threaten other men? Do you like to watch parents wrestle with the antiquated idea of giving permission for their daughters to get married?
If you said yes to any of those questions, then congratulations, ‘cause tonight was the Bachelor hometown dates! Hometown dates are like a completely different beast from the rest of a season of The Bachelor, just because the drama between any of the girls gets put on hold in favor of the women bringing home a dude (who is dating three other women) to meet their parents (who are fully aware the dude is dating three other women) to discuss their potential future as a married couple.
Every parent wants to know if this is the real deal, and Arie has to tell them all that it is, even though, again, he is dating four women at once. That's always a recipe for disaster, or at least for some completely understandable family animosity. Tonight, some family visits went better than others, but most of them had kinda the same vibe that hometown dates always have. The parents aren't into this whole thing, but they trust their daughter, they guess.
Everything started off on a ridiculous note, with Kendall taking Arie to a terrifying garage in LA filled with dead animals. Together, they taxidermied some dead rats and acted out a scene in a small box version of Paris where the rats kissed and exchanged roses, all while Arie was deciding he must really like Kendall to be able to participate in these kinds of activities. Then Kendall's twin sister (Kylie, naturally) read their energies, and while she bought the fact that Arie was falling for Kendall, she didn't see it from Kendall.
Kendall's parents also just didn't see Kendall getting engaged right now, but they trusted their daughter.
Arie then went racing with Tia before meeting her family. She didn't have a twin sister who could read energy, and in fact she had no sisters at all, leading to Tia's brother confronting Arie about his "Kissing Bandit" nickname and to a fun convo with dad about how she's his only little girl, and if Arie hurts her, he is easily googled.
Even so, Tia's dad eventually said he trusts the decision his daughter makes.
"I love that," said Arie.
After an apple-picking adventure in the cold, Becca's family also had their struggles, but the focus was mainly on how Becca's dad had died of a brain tumor years ago, and so he wasn't there to have this conversation with Arie. Instead, Becca's uncle Gary and her mom confronted Arie, both eventually admitting that they trusted whatever Becca did.
"I love that," Arie told Becca's mom. "I love that so much."
"See you soon, studmuffin," Becca said as Arie left her on her own doorstep.
By the time Arie got to Lauren B's hometown in Virginia Beach, it was as if he had lost his mind a little bit.
"Is that what I see over there?" he wondered, referring to a couple of horses.
They rode those horses, and then they went to visit a giant house filled with Lauren B's entire family, all waiting to inform Arie about what a conservative family he was about to meet.
There was so much awkward silence that we were almost relieved when Arie excused himself from the table to go have a little meltdown in the hallway, away from that hostile environment.
But then after that awkward dinner, Arie won over Lauren's military dad by talking about that time he went to hang out with soldiers in Iraq, and did his best to win over Lauren's mom, but all she could really say was that Lauren was smart and could make her own decisions.
Basically, the consensus of all the parents was that Arie was whatever, but if their daughter really wanted to get engaged to him, then they would support her in that questionable decision, which is about the best consensus they could come to in this situation.
At the rose ceremony, Arie deliberated for what seemed to be a very long time before pulling Kendall aside to ask her if she actually wanted to get engaged. She could not answer that question, but could say that Arie was exactly what she wanted in a partner, and she said it so well that Arie gave her a rose, sending Tia packing.
"What did I do wrong?" she cried, and it was pretty heartbreaking, but at least Arie did his best to tell her she did nothing wrong, and there was just something missing between them.
Tia cried and cried in the limo home about how hard it is for her to trust people, and basically get ready to be googled, Arie.
So, of the three remaining women, Arie's in love with two of them, one has to win, one (or at least one) has an ex-boyfriend show up to try and win her back, and one will most likely be the next Bachelorette (unless they pull another Arie on us). Who do we think is who? Who do you hope is who? Head to the comments to weigh in!