Disclaimer: Everything down below are my personal opinions. I'm in no way affiliated with any corporation, especially The Bachelorette or ABC. Thank you to ABC for the pictures.
Eric lives in Baltimore. Bitch, that alone tells you how this hometown is about to go. They start playing basketball when Eric's cousin, Ralph, comes over. His purpose is to reveal that Eric hasn't brought a girl home since prom. After he leaves, Eric tells Rachel that living in such a tough city helped steer him on the right path. He was always the guy who was there for everyone but no one was really there for him because he adopted his mom's strong mentality of independence. What I really like about Eric is how wise he is. It takes a lot to sit up on national television and be as transparent and real as he is with Rachel, admitting that he does put up a wall, admitting that he hasn't really ever been in love before but he's ready now, admitting that he needs someone there for him more now than ever.
Has The Bachelorette ever seen this many black people on screen before? From the way Eric danced into the room, to the warm greeting Rachel got from everyone, to everyone dancing on the couch this whole hometown/family just seems full of love and Rachel seemed to fit right in from the jump. First, Rachel talks to Eric's aunt (who looks just like him, with a perm). She immediately starts interviewing her. She asks her what it was like to be the first black Bachelorette and Rachel talks about the struggle of being judged by literally everybody. She eventually asks her if she thinks Eric is ready for marriage and the answer is a hard pressed yes. Eric and his mom, I think, agree that the love he didn't find at home allowed him to search for love and find Rachel. I think. All I really remember hearing was "I didn't love you or show you love because I wanted you to be a man." Girl, no. Just show your son love. When Rachel talks to his mom, she tells her that she loves that they challenge each other. Eric tells his dad that the end goal with Rachel is marriage. And so it ends with a toast, and Eric tells her that he loves her (kind of) at the end of the night.
Bryan and Rachel meet up, kiss, play dominoes, kiss, walk through the streets, kiss, the store, kiss, dancing and kiss. Afterwards, Bryan tries to ease into telling her that his mom is wild. And then they kiss. Rachel is a bit worried because his mom and the last girl who met her didn't get along and that's what tore the relationship apart.
Mama starts the day out by downing her entire drink, so you know how this is about to go. She says something to Bryan along the lines of: "you are so fine and perfect, but you have to go on a show to find love?" She stresses that marriage is a serious commitment and that he should not be rushing into this. It's not as bad as you think it would be when she meets Rachel. Aside from saying she'll kill her if Bryan isn't happy, which I 1000% believe she will do, she and Rachel have a nice conversation and his mom trusts that Rachel will be good too him. Afterwards, they kiss, he professes his love for her, they kiss, they laugh, they kiss, the wall to the car and they kiss.
Peter also gets a hometown date. Rachel loves the way he is with his niece, but the main conflict of the night is whether or not Peter will want to get married afterwards. His mom tells Rachel that he may be ready for a commitment, but maybe not a proposal/marriage. By the end of the day, things felt kind of off. She didn't seem as excited as she was with the first two dates. She said "I'm very happy" to him like she was on the toilet.
Girl. Dean telling Rachel his father's name is "Parumroop" was the millisecond I knew what we were all about to be in for. The two of them ride dirt bikes and drink champagne, that was cute. But the vibe as soon as they get into the house just drops. It's almost as if there isn't even a vibe. Everyone is happy and talking but Dean can't even look up. He won't look up at anyone or anything. When they start eating, Dean tells everyone he already ate. First and foremost, Parumpoop ain't shit. When everyone leaves the room, Dean tries to confront his dad about not being there for him but he won't even admit he did anything wrong. He thinks Dean is living in the past and refuses to even sit down and have a civil, adult conversation with him about it. It's clear that he's only "happy" in his new life because he's running away from all of his problems. Poop starts to talk to Rachel and just when it seems he's about to open up to Rachel, he just walks away and refuses to even be in the same room with either of them. It seems to only bring Dean and Rachel closer together...but apparently not.
Bryan. Okay. Eric. Good. Now, I'm not sure whether it was Peter (and his mama) telling Rachel straight up to her face that he probably isn't ready for marriage why Rachel decided to keep him, after she's clearly stated she's looking for a fiance -- not a husband.. Maybe it was the fact that she had been begging Dean for the past few weeks to open himself up to her, and when he finally did she thought it was the perfect time to send him home. I haven't majorly disagreed with anything Rachel has done so far this season but this one takes the cake. I just feel so, so bad for Dean. He was so concerned about his family being the thing that ends his relationship with Rachel and 63 minute after she meets them, she sends him home. That, on top of the face that I thought she and Peter had the most boring/least successful date, left a very bad taste in my mouth when it comes to next week.
EPISODE GRADE: B