Last night on The Bachelor the all-important hometown visits took place and Jason Mesnick visited all four corners of the earth to see what each of his ladies is made of. Funny hats, dead doves, religion vs mysticism, plus a dash of reclusive privacy explained the psyches of each contestant. And although Melissa made the most serious faux pas (her family declined an on-camera meeting) it was Naomi’s reluctance to convince Jason she’s ready to step up, not her boisterous, fun-filled brood, that caused her to come up one rose short.
As the episode opened it was time for a little recap of the Final Four. Jason lends his insight into each gal’s personality:
Molly is beautiful but a little light headed upstairs. Jillian has headstrong, independent ways, but finds it hard to open up. Naomi is a lot of fun, but not ready to settle down and Melissa…. well, let’s face it, Melissa is the one.
Up north in Canada, Jillian waits for Jason at a windy park. The chill is in the air, and despite Jason’s best efforts, the downward spiraling barometer is beginning to frost Jason’s heart. But a few giant glasses of red wine at the local vineyard go a long way (as usual) toward heating things up. And Jillian’s tongue loosens up about her family dynamic, revealing her mom battled depression for years. It’s bad enough that the cast of this romp has signed on to reveal all their flaws, but do they have to drag mom into it?
When we get a look at mom Peggy, her depression-era is obviously over. After dad drapes Jason in the Canadian flag and lays on a pair of Canuck boxers, Peggy sits Jason down for a few questions and answers. When she pulls out a computer printout that looks like Fitty’s rap sheet, Jason’s ice is clearly broken. Whatever Jillian’s reticence, he likes this family dynamic.
Just in time. Granny drops by. Jillian has stated over and over she’s the real power in the family and her approval is crucial. No need to worry. Granny squeals like a Miley tween when she gets a look at him. The rest of the time is filled with plenty of laughs and sweet kisses on the porch as Jason and Jillian make nice and prep for the trip back to Seattle. One down, three to go.
In Grand Rapids, Molly rolls up in a golf cart at the local country club and picks Jason up for a date on the links. They both know their way around the traps and Molly’s got a killer short game. A few giant glasses of wine later at the 19th hole prepares Jason for his meeting with Molly’s clan. The first few minutes on the couch are a little chilly, but mom has the answer. She takes J down to her craft studio and has him draw Molly’s face. The idea is to focus on the quality he loves best. Jason has never put colored pencil to paper but he comes up with a passable representation of Molly’s mysterious smile. Lady Lisa del Grand Rapids, or the Molly Lisa, the question is, what’s with the subliminal bouquet of roses slashing Molly’s neck?
Everybody loosens up after a silly hat ceremony, complete with some wild, frilly chapeaus. Jason’s is a native American headdress, but dad’s is a giant foaming beer mug. Guess who wears the pints in this family? Dad clearly has guided Molly’s upbringing when he sits her down at the end and tells her not to cry if she’s cut. A foaming beer mug hat is ok, but a tear in public is humiliating. When Jason splits for California, he’s still clearly mixed up about Molly.
Naomi waits for Jason on the porch of her Lake Elsinore home. She’s skittish because of her parents’ long ago divorce, her mother’s flaky personality and dad’s religious fervor. She knows the score and her eyes tell the story. Things go pretty well at first, with mom busting out the hoola hoops and Jason demonstrating why white men can’t jump. It’s all in the hips. But Jason likes trying new things and there’s plenty of kids to play with. There’s no doubt he loves to rough it up a bit in the backyard with the kiddies. That bodes well for Ty.
Mom ruins the mood with a wacky story of a dove who committed suicide on her windshield. Jason gives a few sideways glances in Naomi’s direction but he’s game. Until mama produces the frozen remains and asks Jason to preside over a burial, delivering the eulogy. Many groans later, dad takes Jason aside to inquire about his thoughts on the Almighty. As pop puts it, “there are many religions, but only one God.” Jason knows the drill and deftly avoids the issue. This is the first time the question is openly addressed, but no answers are found. Apparently, Jason doesn’t need to practice, he already knows it. When he says goodbye to Naomi, the look on his face tells all. He can deal with a flaky family, but only if she promises to put her heart into the marriage. Naomi, don’t forget to take along some mad money on your next date in Seattle.
Winding down in Dallas, Melissa is waiting for Jason in a park, bearing a gift for Ty. J is obviously touched by the considerate bauble – a Tooth Fairy “moneys” box. But it’s all meant to soften the blow. Mel’s parents have decided not to meet with Jason because of all the publicity. Now that’s an upbringing. So she plans a dinner date with her best friends instead. Apparently, they are the real parental figures in her life. Mom and Dad have always checked out. Even when she was a Cowboys cheerleader, they never made it to the game.
This might actually be good for Jason. Despite every prospective son-in-law’s professions of eagerness to have the folks weigh in, there isn’t a guy in the world who isn’t secretly relieved that the family doesn’t really give a hoot. He’s focused on Melissa and she looks pretty damned cute in those short-shorts.
When the gang meets up at Mel’s best friend’s house, the giant glasses of wine are flowing freely, causing the “friends” to reveal that Mel’s history of love is a little cracked. Most of the guy’s she’s dated never wanted to meet the family anyway, and they’ve definitely “used and abused” her. Not what I would consider a flattering assessment, but Melissa scarfs the vino and Jason actually looks intrigued. Later, at Mel’s hotel, they curl up on the couch and get to know each other’s thighs a little better. Family or no family, Jason is totally, clearly smitten. Let’s get back to Seattle and get this over with.
On Jason’s phony house boat home, Chris Harrison shows up for a chat. Jason runs down the shopping list and repeats how confused he is, and how hard it will be to send one of these “amazing” ladies home. When he walks into the rose ceremony, though, his eyes are boring into Naomi. She sees the look and responds with a resigned air. The axe is poised overhead. Jason plays a little game with their hearts by picking Jillian first, Molly second and leaving the cliffhanger up to Naomi and Melissa. No contest. Is Jason going back to Cali? I don’t think so.
After Naomi rides off in the limo, holding back the tears, Jason proposes a toast to the Final Three (Jillian, Molly and Melissa) and promises to take them on the grandest date of all: a week in New Zealand. But there’s trouble in paradise. DeAnna Pappas makes the trip too and blows Jason’s mind. She tells him she may have been too hasty in the decision making on The Bachelorette. I’ve never noticed this before, but Melissa bears a strong likeness to DeAnna. It’ll be the battle of the brunettes down under coming up.
Don’t miss The Bachelor next Monday night on ABC.
We’ll be watching on Fancast.