The Bachelor (S20E8): “Week 8: Hometown Dates”

Review:

Last night, Ben Higgins traveled around America meeting four of his potential wives’ families. As expected, some were beyond joyful to greet the man of their daughter’s dreams and some were ready to attack Ben. 

The hometown dates began with a fun day under the sun with Amanda and her two daughters, who Ben tried his best to make feel comfortable around him. By the time the four of them made it back home to visit with the rest of the family, the girls had grown cranky and Ben was beginning to look like a deer in headlights. Amanda’s parents were reasonably worried that Ben was not ready to be an immediate father. Amanda, however, declared confidence in her feelings for Ben. The evening ended as Ben and Amanda tucked her daughters into bed while reading what appeared to be a fairytale book of their own love story. 

Heading to Portland, Ben was the most excited to see Lauren B. They spent their day eating from a variety of food trucks and chatting in a romantic whiskey library. Lauren’s family was skeptical of Ben as well, especially as Ben honestly admitted he was not handling his current situation well (having to meet multiple families). Lauren confessed her desire to profess her love to Ben, but without the complete support of her family, she was unable to summon the courage.

Ben and Caila had an equally relaxing date, spending time on Caila’s favorite “couple bench” swing. But, what these two did that was different from the rest, was build their own home. Yes, it may have just been a  plastic toy house, but it was still adorable. From powder to solid, screwed together pieces of plastic, they acknowledged a potential future together. Later on, Ben met Caila’s enthusiastic family. They set right out to difficult questions, some of which irritated Caila. Her father questioned Ben about his “microwave fame” which came across a bit harsh. Meanwhile, Caila told her father, “I know this is it.” He was stand-offish to this comment, but Caila does not back down. Her father goes on to say he’s surprised she’s in love but he can tell its real because of how emotional she’s been the entire evening. Caila is giddy when her mother confirms she thinks Ben is in love with her. However, even with this information, Caila looses the opportunity to tell Ben she has fallen in love with him out of fear of the unknown. 

JoJo brings the most excitement to the evening. Her segment begins with a romantic vase of roses and a handwritten note, which she reads aloud, gushing. She quickly realizes it was not written by Ben, but her ex-boyfriend who claims he is in love with her during a phone conversation following the end of the letter. Ben is initially off put by this news when he arrives, but comforts JoJo nonetheless.  When we meet JoJo’s family, her brothers are immediately very protective and excited to see her. They quickly become Ben’s worst nightmare. During a family conversation, they verbally attack Ben’s character and decisions. Because of the intensity in the room, what many viewers may have missed was the glorious moment JoJo’s mom chugged wine straight from the bottle (as seen below). Ben leaves this date in the worst way possible for any prospective wife, unhappy and unsettled. 

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Heading into the rose ceremony, Amanda admits if Ben were to propose she would say yes. Other girls are nervous about not expressing their love for Ben. JoJo and Amanda share a kind and unknowing glare before the final rose is given out, once Caila and Lauren are safe. Amanda is ultimately sent home, which is sad but doesn’t come as a huge surprise. Amanda is very civilized through the breakup, unlike the many girls we’ve seen in the past. She expresses she would have appreciated some warning prior to the ceremony instead of having to leave her children again only to be sent home right way. Ben agrees that’s what he would have wanted to do, but he did not know how their relationship stood among the others during her hometown date. He concludes with a kind, “I was more impressed with you more than I ever could have imagined” (speaking of her relationship with her children). For the first time during this season, Ben tells the camera what he would like for Amanda to know once the limo has drive away, but the conversation becomes too emotional for him to handle. 

The conclusion of the episode was by far the most lighthearted and comical of the night. During a blooper, two young brothers ask Ben his thoughts about the fantasy suite. Ben doesn’t know what to say for a moment, taking a sip of his drink, before saying, “I respect your sister.” It was funny and heartwarming to see two fairly young boys ask their older sister’s boyfriend what he intends to do with her.