Welcome to the week before home towns! The crew is in Tuscany, where the wine is flowing, it’s perpetually golden hour, and Arie says “I love that” more than a “Saturday Night Live” parody sketch. But it’s not all pizza and truffle-hunting. Arie has big decisions to make! Whose families will he meet? Whose fathers will he potentially ask for their daughter’s hand in marriage?
Here are the best, worst and weirdest moments from last night’s episode.
The best moment: Jacqueline sending herself home
Jacqueline freaked out last week, wondering how she was going to tell Arie that she wanted to get a PhD, which could mean long-distance for the two of them, or at least some late nights studying. He handled it just fine, saying he wasn’t that concerned, though he did call her dreams of furthering her education “just another obstacle to get through together.” This week, there’s a new crisis: Jacqueline isn’t sure her connection with Arie is strong enough to warrant him coming home and meeting her family. Which is what this episode is all about: Deciding whose families to meet and whom to send home.
“I don’t know that we’re compatible. I don’t trust myself to make these decisions. I don’t trust my instincts. I always sabotage things,” Jacqueline says before she knocks on Arie’s door for a chat.
Her freakout might seem a touch dramatic, but it’s also so relatable. Who does feel like introducing someone to their family after going on literally a single one-on-one date with each other? Props to Jacqueline for sending herself home when she wasn’t feeling “The Bachelor’s” aggressive timeline. Even Arie couldn’t argue with her departure. “What Jacqueline did was very brave,” he says, “I really respect that.”
We see a potential slow-burn relationship for Jacqueline with Peter Krause, last season’s finalist who just couldn’t hack a relationship at “Bachelor” speed.
The worst moment: Bye, bye, Bekah
After last week’s triumphant episode, we had to know it was all downhill from there, right? It would have been impossible to let us exist in a universe in which the things that happen on “The Bachelor” all of a sudden make sense. Our dearest Bekah M. has been ejected from Bachelor Nation.
The only thing worse than her elimination is the way it goes down. Tia, apparently eager to fill Krystal’s vacant spot as this season’s villain, slipped right in to throw her under the bus. Sitting Arie down in the middle of their group date, Tia brings up the dreaded question: Is 22-year-old Bekah ready for marriage?
“I feel like a big sister,” Tia says to Bekah after telling her what she’d said to Arie, right before Bekah gets some time alone with him. Hey, I’m going to throw a huge emotional grenade directly into your path seconds before your last opportunity to have an honest moment with the man you’re falling in love with! Anyway, hope you’re feeling super confident now. Good luck!
Does anyone else get the feeling Tia’s favorite movie might be “The Other Boleyn Girl”?
Arie may have lost someone he really had a connection with (Lauren B., really?), but the rest of us are losing the best thing about this season: Bekah. Someone who seemed to fully understand all the ways being on “The Bachelor” is a ridiculous way to find love, while still being completely invested in the experience and open to the possibility.
We all know Bekah was probably too exciting for Senior Citizen Arie anyway, and if the missing-person reports are true she’s probably having a much better time working on a marijuana farm than doing whatever it is they do in Scottsdale.
The weirdest moment: A walk to remember
Are we alone in the universe? Is there a god? What is the meaning of life? These are mankind’s greatest mysteries, and yet they seem more decipherable than whatever the hell happened on Arie’s date with Lauren B.
Yes, Lauren B., the girl who somehow managed to outlast the other Laurens by blending into the wallpaper. Maybe she was supposed to go home weeks ago, but no one noticed she was still there. This is the girl who strolled silently around Paris, reacting equally to the grandeur of the Notre Dame Cathedral and, probably, a sandwich, with the same monotone “wow.”
So when Lauren B.’s cardboard cutout is summoned for another date with Arie, it seems like the writing is on the wall. Watching her attempt conversation with him — the Muesli of Bachelors — seemed like it would be so painfully awkward that even Arie, a man who responds to 33 percent of all sentences spoken to him with, “I like that,” would rather cut off his arm than hand her a rose. We all winced when Lauren began a classic pre-home-towns move: The earnest “I think I’m falling for you.”
Arie’s body language stiffened. He grew so uncomfortable that after she told him she thought she was falling in love with him, he got up from the table and WALKED AWAY. It was an unprecedented move for someone who, up to this point, has been so exceedingly polite. What Arie came to understand on his walk, we’ll never understand. It seemed like he was preparing to break her tiny sparrow heart.
He came back, picked up the rose and began a monologue that sure sounded like a breakup talk, but halfway through, maybe he lost his nerve? Because the conversation went something like this, paraphrased: I am so sorry, it was great getting to know you, I think I’m in love with you, let’s get married. He tried to convince her that he walked away because he was so in love with her and needed a moment.
It was utterly inscrutable, especially in the context of Arie sending the bright, accomplished Sienne home. “I haven’t felt things that I should be feeling in this moment,” he said to her.
For a moment, we were envious of Giulio the Truffle Hunter’s two mop-haired dogs. Their lives are so simple. They always find what they’re looking for. Our hunt for answers continues. Specifically with Tia in Arkansas; Lauren B. in Virginia; Becca in Minnesota; and Kendall in Southern California, where we hope to catch a glimpse of her taxidermy workshop.