Hometown dates are back. The karma ship has come full circle since Sean Lowe's season, as this was the episode Des herself was sent home on during her stint as a lady vying for his attention. Hartsock travels around America to interact with the men and their families, starting with...
The naked guy drinking beer on his balcony from Mico, Texas has come a long way from shirtless night one. He begins their date in the park and shares a dream he had with her: he and Des melting into the sand, then it starts snowing and they eat the ice crystals, and then lots of kids run out of nowhere. Des is confused, but humors his train of thought, and is rewarded with a part time job in the family snowcone business. I suppose Zak's dream was supposed to be a metaphor for this activity. After hyping up several children and watching her boyfriend dance around in a penguin suit...Des meets the family.
Mom (Maryann) actually SKIPS over to hug Des, while the rest of Zak's family is slightly more reserved. But not for long as the evening ends with a sibling serenade bringing forth fake tears from Des and very real cringes from me.
Zak and Des sit in the backyard before she leaves. He gives her a little box with a ring, they kiss, he says he loves her and dammit I really hate when this show is cute. I HATE it.
I regained my slightly skewed composure by realizing Zak and Gaston from "Beauty and the Beast" are basically the same person. Appearance-wise at least.
"today is huge because this is the day that I tell my family...that I'm gay," says the Scottsdale, Arizona native. Just kidding. I like to ad lib. Des and Drew unite with a few kisses and he comments, "I don't think you've ever seen me like this before." Like what? Straight?
Drew takes Des to pick up his mentally handicapped sister, Melissa. The trio then heads to the rest of the family, graciously ignoring Drew's minor curb check as he parallel parked.
Drew and Dad are color coordinating in pink. A quiet testament to his previous sexuality?
After a few talks with the family, Des is declared a winner when Dad states "we would be blessed to have you in our family."
Des comments that she wants to stay with them forever, Drew takes a deep breath and rushes out an "I love you."
He whines that it's impossible to say goodbye to her.
BUT YOU DID YOU GOOD BOY YOU. FETCH HIM A COOKIE, ABC INTERN!
Tyler's choice from McMinnville, Somewhere picks a wildflower while waiting for Des to arrive, playing she-loves-me-she-loves-me-not. They grace a baseball field with their matching shirts and hit balls. After the vigorous activity, Chris hesitantly garners a piggyback ride from petite Des, questioning, "we're doing it? we're doing it.." Fantasy suite foreshadowing?
The litterbugs walks off of the field to meet Chris' family, leaving almost an entire picnic behind.
Chris' dad breaks the ice by breaking her back in his basement chiropractic office. The whole scene seemed a little Shawntel Newton/Brad Womack morgue-y to me.
I didn't pay much attention to Chris' family as I was preoccupied with setting up Tyler's bakery on his phone (best game ever. I'm an addict), but from what I gathered most of the conversations were severely awkward, but with genuine undertones.
Chris' mom has the logic of the century: good guy + good girl = magic.
Too bad Des isn't that good.
The Salt Lake City, Utah hippie postponed his golf date with One F Jef Holm to picnic with Des. Too bad that had already been done. Chris 1 Brooks 0. I guarantee Brooks brought biodegradable paperware. They canoe on the lake and Des monologues that she loves him. Whoa chickie, I don't even think he's said it yet!
She eventually meets Brooks' family, in all of their name tag glory. Janice (I can't think of anyone but Chandler Bing's nasally ex) questions Des while the bros grill Brooks. Parental approval is granted blahblahblah Des and Brooks make out before parting.
Back in LA, Brother Nate The Asshole arrives to be completely uninterested in everything Des wants to tell him about the men. Apparently she hadn't seen her brother since last season with Sean and it seems to me that nothing has changed in his attitude.
Harrison and Des recap the week and the guys arrive to await their fate at the rose ceremony while Brother Nate The Asshole creeps from behind a hotel pillar.
Brooks the hippie receives rose #1.
Tyler's choice Chris gets rose #2.
And there's just enough room in Drew's dimples for rose #3.
Des rejects Zak, and his ring. His expression in the sob limo was downright depressing and I hope he broke into the mini bottles in the vehicle. He needed a cocktail or 5. Although, he already wasn't thinking clearly as he rolled down the window and tosses the (likely EXPENSIVE) ring out the window. Really wishing the ABC intern retrieved the circle after ABC got the dramatic shot.
Coming up: everyone cries. Literally. But I think first...Men. Tell. All.
And A Very Lucky Girl hears all.