It’s hometown date week, y’all! For those unfamiliar with this part, know that it’s always a good time when the parents show up, because they often talk about the bullshit premise of the show and it’s usually super awkward to watch.
Normally, at this point in the season, the Bachelor/ette will travel to the hometown of each of the four remaining contestants. COVID made that difficult to execute this year, so we learn that we’re staying in town, and the families are coming to Minneapolis. Hell yes! More shout outs to the Twin Cities! I am here for this.
We open with shot #1,005 of the Stone Arch Bridge. Michelle is taking a walk with Tayshia Adams, one of the show’s hosts.
“I was hoping for one solid connection, but now I have four relationships that I am truly invested in,” exclaims Michelle, introducing the classic Bachelorette conflict for the final episodes.
“The guys will truly reveal themselves when they’re in front of their families,” says Tayshia cryptically. “It’s pivotal.”
“I’m excited to see their true authentic self,” agrees Michelle. “They can’t hide.”
Michelle “travels” to Portland, Oregon. It’s 3rd Lair Skatepar.
Date time! The first date is with Brandon. They meet in a random forest. Brandon says he wants to introduce Michelle to where he lives: Portland, Oregon.
He takes her to 3rd Lair Skatepark in Golden Valley.
“I chose skateboarding because when I first got involved in skateboarding I got into it with my brother,” he explains. Huh. Okay. Did the producers force you into this?
He clearly hasn’t skateboarded in… years. It’s really rough. He wobbles and jumps off his board. He can kinda stand on it, and that’s about it. It’s not good.
“I don’t know what I’m doing,” Brandon admits in a voiceover. “Yo, I’m embarrassing the fuck out of myself.”
“Brandon has been all in from the start—unwavering—and my feelings have gotten so much stronger today,” Michelle says of their second date this season.
After their skatepark fail, it’s time to meet Brandon’s Mom, Dad, and brother.
“It seems odd for him to be dating someone I haven’t met,” says Mom, stating one of the obvious problems with the Bachelorette journey. They’re back at the Semple Mansion.
“This woman has literally made me smile every day since I met her,” Brandon says about Michelle, who he met about five weeks ago.
“That’s awesome,” his Dad responds.
“The fact that she is dating three other guys is definitely worrying me,” says the brother.
Michelle explains to the family that she’s never had to question how much Brandon cares about her. Again, let’s remember that they have had two dates over five weeks.
Michelle establishes that Brandon’s family would enjoy fishing with her family. Great.
“I know who my person is now,” says Brandon. “I truly, truly—as a human being—want it to be me,” Brandon says of the dating show he is on. He’s a human being!
Minnesota Factor: 3rd Lair is pretty rad, even though Brandon can’t skate. 5,000 / 10,000 lakes
Off-season apple picking with Rodney
The next date is with Rodney. They’re in an apple orchard. Apparently there is an apple that is only grown in Minnesota called First Kiss. They’re going to pick it today. Off season. In the middle of summer. Okay.
I really care about the Minnesota angle, so I’m going to drop this explanation of First Kiss from Aamodt’s Apple Farm here:
First Kiss is the newest apple to be developed by the University of Minnesota. They were bred to have Honeycrisp juiciness and a refreshing tartness, while also being one of the first apples to ripen in the fall. Their very crisp texture along with tart to well-balanced flavor offers an incredible eating experience.
Rodney has Michelle taste apples with a blindfold on.
“I have no problem getting down on one knee and making her my fiancée and future wife,” says Rodney, after recapping their second date.
“I can feel my emotions and feelings from him growing stronger and stronger,” says Michelle.
They end the date riding bikes together through the orchard while holding hands. Wholesome!
Now it’s time to meet the parents: Rodney’s mom and stepdad have come to the Semple Mansion.
“We’ve been through a lot on this journey,” Rodney tells them. “We started with 30 guys in the house. We have a strong connection, as you can tell.”
“It’s been fun,” says Michelle. Oh no, that is a kiss of death. Rodney is going home, right?
“There’s a lot I’d like to know about their connection,” narrates Mom, suspiciously.
Michelle tells Rodney’s mom that she really loves that Rodney makes her laugh. Oof, not good.
Meanwhile, Rodney is talking to his stepdad.
“I’m just so close to the finish line,” he explains, “and I want to make sure I cross it with Michelle.”
His stepdad squints at him like he’s trying to see through the bullshit. He is one of two awesome stepdads we will see this episode.
Minnesota Factor: Minnesota apples and a bike ride? That’s us! 7,000 / 10,000 lakes
Prom: The most romantic date you’ll ever have
Minneapolis Joe time!
They meet at Hopkins High School. Ug! High school sucks, guys! Move on.
It’s important to note that the wardrobe department put Michelle in the ugliest pants ever. They are puffy. They are candy-bar brown. They are supposed to look like leather. They look like they were made out of brown garbage bags.
Joe shows her some lockers and an exit sign. There are some international flags for students around the world. Joe explains that his high school is known for its diversity. That’s cool.
“This right here was my spot,” says Joe, pointing to a cement wall.
Minnesota Joe asks Michelle to prom. Dear god. At least she is probably going to have to change out of those pants.
Michelle changes into a beautiful red dress. They do prom stuff. They pose for pics, they dance next to a bubble machine, they make out under a disco ball.
“This was the most romantic date ever,” says Michelle. Oh sweetie. “This is probably the most fairytale romance I’ve ever had in my life.”
They make out in prom king and queen crowns.
“This is probably one of the sweetest things anyone has ever done for me,” says Michelle. Dang. Prom still means a lot to her!
Family time! Minnesota Joe has brought his parents, his brother, and his sister-in-law, Hannah. Hannah is going to be carrying this segment.
“It’s kinda hard to imagine Joe being in love with someone we’ve never met,” says Hannah. “I just feel like it’s too short of a time.” Word, Hannah.
“Tonight, I am going to be meeting some fellow Minnesotans,” says Michelle. Right on.
Michelle explains to the family that she likes that Joe’s not the loudest one in the room. It runs in the family, apparently.
“I think the Coleman men tend to be quiet when they’re nervous,” says Hannah in an interview. “So I feel like it could be a quiet night.”
She’s not wrong. Joe and his dad head off for a one-on-one that amounts to a bunch of “mmmhms,” “yeahs,” and miscellaneous grumbling.
“I love that she lives close to us—that’s convenient!” says Hannah to the family. “I hope it works out, because we will see her in the grocery store.”
Joe tells Michelle that his feelings for her are growing by the day. It’s been, like, 30 days. I need more info on the rate of this growth to determine whether it’s a ridiculous statement or not.
Minnesota Joe explains that he hopes they end up together, and live on Lake Minnetonka. Hey, that’s Michelle’s dream, too! Is the show dropping us subtle hints?
Minnesota Factor: I don’t care about prom or high school. Gross. 0 / 10,000 lakes
Nayte tells someone he loves them
Now it’s time for Nayte with a “y.” They’re on a lake for a paddleboard date. I can’t tell what lake it is, but it’s one with pontoons, so it’s not in the metro area. Are they back on Lake Minnetonka? Nayte has a tattoo on his back of Perseus holding up Medusa’s detached head. Hm.
Nayte explains that his mom and his stepdad are coming, even though they are now divorced. That’s super sweet.
Super random observation: Three out of four of the moms this week have had red hair. I am also a redhead. High five to recessive genes!
Michelle explains to the family that she likes talking about intellectual things with Nayte, as well as just goofing. Intellectual?! When did that happen?
“It is a fast situation,” admits Michelle, about a guy she has had two dates with.
In this segment, the stepdad is going to drop truth bombs.
“My worry is he is kinda getting swept up in the process,” he says of Nayte, further pointing out that being on a reality dating show is different than the everyday struggles of a real relationship.
“I am very surprised that Nathaniel actually seems excited,” continues Stepdad. “He doesn’t know the difference between being in love and being engaged. They’re tied together, but they’re not the same.” Right on, dude.
He and Nayte try to have a conversation about Michelle and the situation he’s in.
“You and I never talk about this… stuff,” says Nayte.
“Emotions?” Stepdad asks.
“Yeah,” says Nayte. “Emotions.”
What happens next is the sweetest thing ever.
“I don’t think I’ve ever told you ‘I love you’ before,” says Nayte to his stepdad.
“If you have, I don’t fully recall,” he responds.
Guys, it’s really sweet. This is the kind of “I love you” moment I can actually believe. Shout out to all the great stepdads out there.
In an interview Nayte recounts the moment and ends up crying into his jean jacket. Emotions!
“It’s the first time I ever told Charles I love him,” he says. Aw!
Minnesota Factor: They’re on a lake, but it’s shot in a way that could be any lake. Not very Minnesota. 1 / 10,000 lakes
It’s time to crush someone’s heart!
Back at the hotel, Michelle is rattled by the idea that Nayte might not be ready to walk down the aisle with her after two dates. She only wants to do this once, after all.
Two women from her Bachelor season show up. They are here to give her a pep talk on “the process.”
“It just takes one guy!” one lady reaffirms.
Michelle admits that she is falling for multiple people, because the show needs us to believe that to keep the premise going.
“The four guys left are, like, the best guys I have met my entire life,” Michelle explains.
Rose Ceremony of Elimination time! Time to get rid of the fourth best guy.
It’s Rodney. He doesn’t get a rose.
“I’m always going to care about you Michelle,” says Rodney. “Like, forever.” Oh, buddy.
Next week: It’s the men tell all episode! Get ready for lots of shit talking and the return of Pizzapreneur Pete!