Thanks to five hometown visits, two surprise comebacks and two more eliminated suitors, this week’s episode of The Bachelorette added up to a good night of TV.
City of Bachelor-y Love: The first stop was Philadelphia to meet Reid‘s family. His mom dropped hints that she wanted her son married with children, but his brothers were open about commitment fears and an intense need for family approval. The mood lightened when his extended family surprised him with a 30th birthday cake. But when they mentioned they weren’t used to seeing him affectionate, he reverted to his neurotic norm. Jillian fell hard for him and his family while he’s still only “thinking” he could fall in love.
Raucous Reunion: Next up was Valencia, Calif., to meet the breakdancer’s clan, including his identical twin brother. The twins decided to pull a switcheroo in order to interrogate her, but it failed instantly. Michael laid the goofy on extra thick while his brother tried to assuage her age fears, saying they’d always wanted to get hitched early. His sister, who lives in Australia, surprised them in time for dinner, a brilliant question-for-the-table tradition and an impromptu dance party. “Until the day I die, there’s going to be something I won’t be able to describe about Jillian that hooks me,” a smitten Mike said.
Grilling at the Beach: Jillian met up with Kiptyn in sunny Encinitas, Calif., and it felt like an episode of The Real Housewives of Orange County. The palatial quality of his parents’ house made Jillian worried she wouldn’t fit in. They were also well-traveled, multi-lingual, looked like they attend Botox parties, owned a purse dog, had the most intense questions of any tribe and gave her a fine-wine and lasagna blind taste test. Luckily, she passed!
Wine & Dine: She was the first girl to meet Jesse‘s family in Carmel, Calif., in almost four years. She loved the tractor ride around the winery, but still worried about their slow start. His parents seemed easygoing, but his brother warned that he could be an “emotional ice cube” after awkwardly inquiring whether they’d gotten naked. “It doesn’t get like that yet,” she said. They cut loose with a family jam session and some private petting.
Girlfriendgate: The first thing Wes did when Jillian landed in Austin, Texas, was introduce her to his band, talk about his CD and give her a private concert. Wes went from cocky about his career to irritated when she questioned his intentions. Things got even messier when Jake blew into town to tell Jillian that Wes had a girlfriend. He was there to protect her, he said, and not to get a second chance. Jillian confronted Wes and eventually Jake came in to join her. Wes swore the girl in question is just an ex, and charmed Jillian into following through with meeting his family. His mom and sisters reiterated that he was single and a one-woman kind of guy.
Better Off Ed: Jillian had a second surprise visitor in L.A., when Ed came crawling back. “I got home and could not stop thinking about you,” he said. “I want another shot.” Jillian warned him that he’d missed a lot and others had gained momentum, but invited him to the rose ceremony based on her earlier strong feelings. Their chemistry was still obvious and she rewarded his return with a rose.
Ultimately, she let Jesse and Michael go. It was painful to watch Mike put on the stiff upper lip and then tear up realizing he’d fallen in love. “I straight up loved that girl,” he said. “I’d have been down on a knee pretty quick.” — Carrie Bell
Tell us: Did Jillian make the right decision? Who could go all the way to the altar?Jeff Petry/ABC