It seems like just yesterday we were watching dozens of men bring props and corny one-liners out of limousine to impress this season’s Bachelorette, Rachel Lindsay. As a Bachelor Nation first-timer — trial member, if we’re being honest — even I’m surprised at how quickly the season has dwindled down to four suitors vying for Lindsay’s heart. I was briefed weeks ago by our R29 chief Bachelor(ette) correspondents that the upcoming hometown visits are a tentpole of the season. This makes sense, given what a big deal it is to meet someone's family in real life, so it's only logical to assume the dramatized Bachelorette version is going to be over the top. After getting clues Monday night about what Rachel might be heading into, I'm nervous for her.
Dean and his family are the most obvious cause for concern heading into next week. On Monday's episode, the vibe of Dean and Rachel's one-on-one is thrown off because he is so anxious and worried about the prospect of Rachel meeting the family that he insists she is not going to “want to see.” This family includes his widower father, who he says has only become more “eccentric” in the years following his wife’s (Dean’s mother) death. Obviously, the relationship between the two men is strained, and Rachel is going to find herself smack dab in the middle of all of that tension come next week.
While Dean is likely going to have to be the one to bear the brunt of that emotional turmoil, Rachel will be forced to watch the two men work it out amongst themselves. Make no mistake about it. When meeting someone’s family for the first time, you have absolutely no authority to intervene in their affairs. Olivia from This Is Us overstepped this boundary with Kate, and I still hate her for it. As someone who is outspoken and strong-willed, as I imagine Rachel to be on some level, this is a less-than-ideal scenario. I can certainly think of a few things I’d rather do with a partner. If I was Rachel, I’d be a little nervous for sure.
And on a purely logistical note: I can’t help but picture Dean’s dad living off the land in an environment that is not at all friendly to Rachel’s edges. It’s going to suck if Rachel has to get caught in the crosshairs of their drama and ruin her weave. Just saying.
As for the rest of the men? After watching his enthusiasm over driving a Bentley and getting a fancy watch, I feel confident that Bryan is going to go out of his way to make his hometown visit go smoothly. And with her down-to-earth demeanor, I think Rachel will fit right in with Eric’s family in Baltimore. Peter seems really confident that his parents are going to accept Rachel even though he’s never dated a Black woman. I’m not going to name any names, but it reminds me of the beginning of a certain horror movie directed by Jordan Peele. Rachel, break any and all teacups upon arrival. If I’m wrong you can write them a check later.