Hometowns are hereeeeee, and boy, has it been a journey. Is it just me, or has watching Matt whittle down his group of ladies to the final four felt a little like surviving a middle school locker room during the height of puberty? Michelle and those arms definitely look like the type who could give me a wedgie, and Rachael has a face that says “I would start a rumor about you using super jumbo tampons.” But, you know, I’m sure Matt’s wife is in there somewhere!
As I’ve mentioned, this week is Hometowns, where we’ll get to meet the families of Matt’s final four women: Michelle, Rachael, Bri, and Serena P. The theme of this year’s Hometowns is “you can never go home again,” mostly because it would take too many COVID rapid tests, and production already wasted their emergency stash on Heather. Shame. If you’ll recall, last season’s quarantine hometowns were… something. For those of you who missed it, just imagine the production value of a high school’s performance of Mamma Mia! but, like, without the pride of a bunch of art geeks hoping to use the set design on their college applications and more just Chris Harrison’s least favorite ABC intern cobbling something together with rubber cement and a sharpie. So, this week should be fun!
We’re first whisked off to Michelle’s hometown of “Minnesota.” Minnesota is in air quotes here because I’m assuming we will see nothing of the actual state during this date. If anything, I imagine ABC will project a Pinterest mood board of “cold stuff” on a green screen and hope we just get it.
Okay, this is kind of cute. Michelle introduces Matt to her alter ego: “Miss Young.” Miss Young is her teacher personality whose kink is apparently having her third graders grill Matt about how many kids he wants and if he uses his hands enough during foreplay. Seriously, these questions are so invasive! Especially Ethan’s. That kid has no chill.
Also, be real, Michelle. Did you make attendance mandatory here? I can only assume permission slips must have signed for this as well? And can I just say, Matt’s pants are VERY tight. I almost need parental controls on my TV to endure seeing those thighs, I can’t imagine the effect of seeing those bad boys live and on Zoom.
My first impression of Michelle’s family is this: they’re HUGE. Are we sure she’s actually from Minnesota and not from whatever place birthed Hagrid? They’re SO tall, it’s insane. My second impression of the family is that they need to be protected from the franchise at all costs. They are too precious for this Earth. Her dad has a voice that could soothe my anxious dog during a thunderstorm, and her mom is wearing head-to-toe Costco in the most endearing of ways. They both seem deeply concerned that their daughter would accept a marriage proposal from a man in a tweed bomber. They’re not wrong.
The date culminates in the most wholesome display of family dynamics I’ve seen on my screen since Boy Meets World went off the air: a family game of basketball. Excuse me, but what?? Like, I did not know that a Bachelor date would be my inspo for setting my dating standards in 2021. Brb, just going to update my Ship profile to say “If you want to be my lover, you gotta get with my entire family and play a low-stakes game of pickup basketball.”
MICHELLE: I told Matt I loved him and he gave me a positive smile in return.
ME BOOKING THE NEXT FLIGHT TO PA:
A positive smile? That’s it?! He just had a hot, confident woman with legs the length of my entire body tell him she loves him even with his turtleneck fetish, and the most feeling he can muster up is a lukewarm smile? Are you kidding me with this, Matthew? Are you into any of the women? Because right now I really couldn’t say! Do you even want a wife? Or just a roommate whose pants you can borrow? Someone make it make sense.
The racist is up next! Oops sorry, I meant Rachael is up next. She wants to show Matt what life in Georgia is like, and it all just hits a little differently now that we know her TimeHop is full of “Old South” throwbacks.
RACHAEL: *blindfolds Matt* I can’t wait to show you Georgia! Do you trust me?
ALSO RACHAEL: We’re here!!
Oh, no it’s cool, guys, she’s just going to shove him out of a plane! Luckily for her, Matt considers near death experiences to be foreplay, so he’s really into it.
Holy sh*t. Rachael lands like a cracked egg on the pavement. Okay, why was that landing so bad? What kind of janky skydiving place did she book for this? Also, I love that they make her finish out this date even with whiplash. Matt’s like, trying to make out with her while she’s still peeling astroturf out of her hair extensions. She just face-planted, full speed from the sky, into the earth. At least wait for her concussion to subside.
We finally meet the family and they’re… ambivalent about Matt. Honestly, there’s not much more I can say about this date. Rachael seems really into him even with her parents voicing concerns. She even wanted Matt to ask her dad for his blessing to get married. You can tell when she asked Matt about it he was like “oh right, we’re supposed to get engaged at the end of all of this.” Yes, you are buddy! Better start acting like it.
I love that these are not Hometown dates as much as elaborate ways to maim Matt. Michelle was the nicest about it with that bike riding excursion, but Rachael was hoping he’d get the shoddy landing, and Bri is actively trying to crash him into a tree while they’re off-roading in that Jeep.
BRI: Do you remember that one time you almost killed me?
AHAHAHAHA. I love that Bri has been holding this huge grudge since week three. God, I hope she kills him.
Also, as hot as murder is ladies, where are the real hometown dates? If I don’t see at least one high school yearbook photo from the 2000s complete with crimped hair and Hollister tees, I swear to god I’m going to lose it.
Bri’s family consists of her mom, BFF (who’s also named Bri), and baby sister. Okay, wow her “baby sister” is a literal baby. I was expecting to meet some Gen Z-er in mom jeans ready to fire off some scathing critiques of Matt’s TikTok, not this squishy bundle of cute.
I cannot get over how gorgeous Bri’s mom is, and also how young she is. She could be a contestant! They could have gone on this show together and rivaled The Twins™ for most outrageous professional description.
Also, I don’t think Bri’s mom likes Matt very much. First off, Matt dodged almost all of her questions about how he sees the future with her daughter. Second of all, she keeps saying “we can mend your heart together” as if she’s already has pints of Ben & Jerry’s on deck in the hotel room should her daughter blink twice for help.
Bri thinks that the reason she hasn’t said she’s falling for Matt yet is because she has trouble being vulnerable, but I think it has more to do with the fact that she knows nothing about this guy other than the fact that he has a penchant for skinny jeans and turtlenecks. Even so, she blurts out an “I love you” before the end of the date. Matt takes this as an encouraging sign for their relationship, but pointedly ignores that fact that when she said the L word it was accompanied by the facial expression of swallowing glass. Yeah, I think these two will go far.
Last but not least, we have Serena’s hometown. Serena appears to be the only one who didn’t get the memo that “hometowns” is actually code for “create an elaborate death trap for Matt,” so she sends him to Canadian bootcamp instead. Also, I love that Serena’s hometown is just the entire country of Canada ,and that apparently the most defining moments of her childhood involve the Canadian national anthem and eating the most disgusting looking poutine I’ve ever seen in my life.
SERENA ON THIS DATE RN:
Okay, Matt’s pants are out of control. Those jeans are practically painted onto his body! I’m shielding my eyes watching this hockey game for fear a g-string might pop out of those jeans when he leans over to hit the puck.
Okay, Serena is soooo normal. She’s giving me huge Hannah B vibes, and by that I mean she’s relatable AF. Matt says as much when he meets her parents. He’s like “she was so normal” which sounds like an insult, but I get it. That said, I don’t think Serena is that into him. Her sister even says she doesn’t look “smitten” with him, and I would have to agree.
SERENA’S SISTER: Do you love him?
AHAHAHA. This sister is savage. I love it.
I do think Serena is talking herself into this relationship. I’m sure she’d be into dating Matt, but marriage? Eh, not so much. The end of the date is pretty bleak. She tells Matt she’s having doubts about their relationship and he reacts with all of the emotion of a toaster. I know I used to give Lauren B a lot of sh*t for maybe being an animatronic fembot crafted in the bowels of ABC studies for the sole purpose of being Arie’s dream girl, but now I’m starting to wonder if they manufactured Matt too. He’s just way too cool under pressure.
The Rose Ceremony
Before the rose ceremony begins, Matt tells Chris Harrison that he got a bad feeling from his hometown date with Serena. In what I’m sure is truly altruistic in motive and has nothing at all to do with manipulating a grown man into crying for ratings, Chris encourages Matt to talk to her right now. What’s the worst that could happen!
Matt’s like, “I need answers, she needs to talk to me” and BOY does he get them. Serena says Matt’s just not her person and essentially sends herself home before the rose ceremony. To her credit, she did find a very nice way to say “it’s not you, it’s me.”
SERENA: *dumps him*
I am dead that he just asked her to walk him out and then proceeded to have his own sad limo exit. Like, Matt there’s no need to have this tear-stained confessional. You’re already the bachelorette, buddy.
Matt is visibly shaken by his encounter with Serena. He hasn’t felt this betrayed since his trainer left him for a different CrossFit. Luckily, we have Chris Harrison here to offer warm words of encouragement in the form of fearmongering. He’s like, “and are you worried no one else likes you, because I would be.” You’re ruthless, Chris. This is not the time!
At the rose ceremony, Matt tells the ladies that although he’s given off tepid expressions of feeling at best and has promised nothing of an engagement at the end of this other than “we’ll just have to see where we’re at,” that they better step tf up and fulfill their contractual obligation to make him look good. Jumping ship so late in the game is a bad look for his brand. He tells them to think long and hard before accepting any of his roses and then immediately calls Michelle’s name before finishing his last sentence. The scared straight tactics work because all of the women accept his roses.
That’s it for this week, freaks! Start psyching yourselves up for next week’s “Women Tell All”, because Queen V and her under-eye bags are coming back, and I could not be more thrilled. Until then!
Images: ABC/Craig Sjodin (3); Giphy (6)