The Bachelor Season 20, Episode 8 Recap: Take Me Home Tonight
Get ready for the hometown visits, where we find out what bundle of resentments brought these women onto The Bachelor! Welcome to our weekly recap of The Bachelor.
Then there were four. And what better way to break one of those women’s hearts than by meeting her family first. It’s everybody’s favorite episode of neuroses and deep-rooted anger, the hometown visit!
First up is Amanda, who lives in Laguna Beach because of course. Wait — does that mean she knows Kristi Cavallari? Are they, like, friends? Holy shit does Amanda not vaccinate her kids!?
Hopefully she does, because her two pigtailed and pink-claden daughters are quickly subjected to the infectious gaze of The Bachelor production crew. The two girls seem pretty cautious towards Ben, which is fair because from their perspective the man basically abducted their mother for the past couple of weeks. Overall it’s a pretty awkward and joyless time at the beach, much like watching Laguna Beach, although the two girls do show about as much character and complexity as Amanda has throughout the show.
Ben and Amanda drive back to Amanda’s place as one of the girls cries all the way home, which is apparently one of the few times that throwing a fit doesn’t lead to more screen time on The Bachelor. Amanda’s parents are pretty guarded, and spend most of their time speculating whether Ben is ready to be a father by marrying a woman who clearly wasn’t ready to be a mother at the time. Her parents press Ben further, with her dad warning that fatherhood means that you can’t do things like “go to the gym with your buddies,” which might be a dealbreaker for Ben.
Next up on the hometown slate is Lauren B and beautiful city of Portland. She’s basically a hipster in The Bachelor’s worldview, what with her penchant for flannels and all, and doesn’t help her case by taking Ben to see the city’s food trucks and actually honest-to-god touch their food (sacrebleu!) and the locals just wish they would take their heteronormative worldview elsewhere.
Later they go to the Multnomah Whiskey Library, which looks dope because Lauren B is dope and I hope she wins or at least is able to find happiness because Lauren B is great, even if she does claim she needs her parents to like Ben before she can say she loves him to his face.
Turns out that maybe the reason why Lauren B is so great even while surrounded by vicious, conniving women desperate for attention is that her sister Mollie sometimes acts like one. Even before Ben and Lauren arrive Mollie preparing to undercut her sister by bringing up her concerns with their relationship. Seriously, how come Emily and Haley had to be the sisters on the show — these two would have been so much more perfect.
Mollie’s even great at pounding white wine and grabbing Ben away from the group to start plying into him, which seem to be prerequisites for this show. She even makes Ben cry with her admittedly soft line of questioning. Come on Ben, you’re better than that.
Next up is Caila’s home in Hudson, Ohio, because in northeast Ohio no husband is given, he must be earned. After some good old fashioned bench smooching, we find out that Caila’s dad is the CEO of a toy factory, although the two squander the opportunity to literally play in a toy shop to instead build a toy house, because The Bachelor producers are masters of subtlety. We get some epic fuck-yeah-America shots of the two building their house, because only in America can you build a plastic toy while smiling and working at a leisurely pace.
Caila’s mom prepares a beautiful Filipino meal for the two, which of course nobody eats. Caila’s dad turns out to be a gigantic Carlton-caliber weenie, like Bill Gates with Apple products. The only thing better than watching him ask Ben what it’s like to “achieve Microwave fame” is watching Ben forcing himself not to ask what it’s like to be a 64-year-old virginal dweeb.
Caila opens up to her parents about her feelings, asking/declaring to her loser capitalist of a dad “I don’t want you to think that I’m getting swept up in my emotions” as she proceeds to get swept up in her own emotions. Uh oh Caila. This can’t end well.
Last up comes JoJo and the hip, burgeoning, up-and-coming city of Dallas. Before Ben can even arrive, JoJo comes home to find a dozen red roses and a handwritten letter, which the producers make her read aloud without telling her that it’s from her ex boyfriend Chad. It’s a level of manipulation that’s a bridge to far, causing JoJo to call Chad Bro Chad, who in the most Chad way possible tries to win JoJo back by saying he “now knows what love is. You showed me love.”
Ben walks in at the end of JoJo’s call, and instead of standing in awe at how amazing her house is, he now has to deal with this new threat. Afterwards the two travel to JoJo’s house, which is a goddamn palace of suburban opulence. Inside her brothers maintain any stereotype you have about University of Texas frat bros, and act like lovable douchebags towards the outsider Ben.
While Ben is forced to take shit from the scions of JoJo’s father’s considerable oil wealth, JoJo cries to her mother, who would probably return the tears if copious amounts of plastic surgery hadn’t rendered her tear ducts useless. The brothers ganged up on JoJo, presumably because they didn’t want to have to deal with their sister crying again after another Chad Bro Chad-esque breakup. Ben gets even further shaken up when George and Jeb accuse him of brainwashing JoJo with the psychological manipulation of the show, an astute observation that nearly shatters Ben’s shining sense of himself. Ultimately Ben ends up leaving Dallas in a cloud of recrimination and distrust, like a white Quincy Carter.
At the rose ceremony, a sniveling Ben can barely make it through his pre-prepared speech. Get it together man, you’ve still got two more hearts to break on national tv after this.
Lauren B gets the first rose. Caila gets the second rose. AND JOJO SNAGS THE THIRD ROSE! Good for you JoJo! You go JoJo! As for you, Amanda…
Hopefully now Amanda can spend more time now with her children and her demanding esthetician work and developing an actual adult sounding voice. This was the right thing to do, although Ben probably should have let Amanda know that he didn’t want to be with her earlier in the process (which Amanda to her credit angrily points out to him).
The episode closes with Ben crying like a big baby to the cameras, which I hope somewhere is bringing immense amounts of joy to Chad Bro Chad and JoJo’s two brothers. They deserve it.