Tuesday, February 25, 2014

El Bachelor Week 8.1: You're not respecting Mama

Part one of the Two Night Special Bachelor Event begins in Kansas City, Nikki's hometown.

Nikki says, "It feels so great to be back in my hometown. I have literally been around the world." Yeah, how were those polar icecaps, Nikki? Oh, that's right. You traveled to Asia. Only Asia. You have not literally been around the world. But don't worry, none of your housemates understand this concept either.

"I'm looking forward to seeing how cowboy Juan Pablo really is," Nikki says, so she takes Juan Pablo to Oklahoma Joe's for some barbecue.


After lunch, Nikki attempts to kill her lover by mechanical bullride.

"It's pretty hot watching Juan Pablo on the bull," says Nikki. But she still can't muster the nerve to tell Cowboy Juan she loves him.

Then again, actions speak louder than words, as this intimate embrace is screaming.

It's cute that they matched their bracelets.

There's also some kissing.

Then it's time to meet the fam.
"I have waited for this for a long time," says Nikki, speaking for every young girl who dreams of someday bringing a camera crew home to meet her parents.

Everyone sits down for dinner, and before a single bite is taken, mom asks Nikki for a chat.

Then dad asks JP for a quick word. Nothing consequential is said in either conversation, and both could definitely have waited until after the meal.

Finally, dad sits down with Nikki and asks if she's ready for the responsibility of raising Camila. Nikki's response can best be summed up in this tweet from fellow-bachelor watcher, Veronica:

I assume dinner grows cold and unappealing and is left uneaten.

Sorry you died for nothing.

It's time to say goodbye and Nikki chickens out on the L-word again.

Next Juan travels to Atlanta to meet Andi.
Andi takes him to a gun range to show off her weapon yielding prowess. It's extremely terrifying.

Even more terrifying are the things Andi says about gun ownership. Like, "You want approval of manhood in the South? You hold a gun right (read: correctly)" and "I cannot bring him home to meet my family without hitting a bullseye."

Turns out Juan Pablo is a terrible shot. I love him for that.

He does finally get that bullseye, so they claim, so it's home they go for some familial bonding.

Juan and Andi are greeted by this sign on the front door:

So it's no wonder that Andi is panicking about bringing Juan inside.

Andi's mother Patty is welcoming enough,

But her father Hy isn't so easily won over.

As JP and Andi share their relationship history, Hy continually interrupts with "How many girls were there at this point?" It's like, come on, Hy. Why aren't you down with this? Sure, he's dated twenty four other women in this process, met three other families this week and is about to spend some adult-time overnight with two other ladies, but this is a real connection between your daughter and the television star. Just be happy for them, okay?

Hy makes no secret of his disapproval when he tells Juan Pablo that the man who is good enough for Andi will come to him and say there is no one else in the world for him.

Juan struggles to process this concept:

Patty doesn't bother with talk of feelings or the future. Instead she asks to see Juan Pablo's dance moves. I think Patty is a little disappointed when Juan fetches Andi to assist in the demonstration. It's no koo koo ka choo for this Mrs. Robinson.

That's a lie. There's a little.

Andi begs her sister for validation.

On the edge of falling in love, she wants someone to push her into the pit of eternal bliss. Her sister, however, just met the guy two minutes ago and is not qualified to say "Yes, this total stranger is the one for you."
This makes Andi sad:

So it's kind of a confusing goodbye.

Then we catch up with Renee in Sarasota, Florida.
It's a different ballgame with Renee, since she has a son. This family meet is more about exploiting getting acquainted with Ben.

Renee says, "I am going to literally eat my son when I see him," but does not indicate if she plans to bake, fry, or broil her son. Perhaps she will dine on Ben Carpaccio.

Is it just me, or is it weird to bring a strange man with you to see the son you've been away from for months? Maybe things are different for cannibals.

Mother and son finally reunite:

And JP stands to the side. 

It's awkward. 

Juan Pablo tries conversing with the young man.

It's awkward.

Juan and Renee spectate Ben's baseball game from the bleachers:

And Ben manages to survive the day uneaten. 

That night Renee introduces Juan Pablo to her parents.

Mom sits down for a chat with Juan Pablo on a love seat not big enough for a man and his maybe-future-mother-in-law.

Renee puts Ben to bed because, as she explains it, "I don't know when I'll be able to do this again."

Spoiler alert: Tomorrow. You'll be able to put him in bed again tomorrow. Sorry.

Then Renee sits down with her mom and reveals, "I'm totally madly crazy in love with him"

Mom is shocked to hear that Renee has not shared this news with Juan Pablo. Mom might also be a little drunk.

Like Nikki, Renee fails to tell Juan Pablo that she loves him.

A decision she'll regret for years.

Last, but most certainly not least, Juan travels to Sacramento to spend time with Clare.

They meet in a rose garden.

Real subtle, Clare.

The two of them get real cozy on a bench:

And Clare shares some completely heart-wrenching stories about her deceased father. Even I, who at one point last night said, "Clare, I swear...if you do that thing with your teeth one more time I'm going to lose it," felt sad for her loss. 

Luckily Juan Pablo is there to comfort her.

Soon it's time to meet the family.

Clare says, "I'd be lying if I said I wasn't nervous." It very quickly becomes clear why.

This is no ordinary family. These people are The Guardians of Clare, a matriarchal society made up of six grown women and one guy named Ernie.

Their purpose is to watch out for the youngest sister, their baby, the chosen one, known to us as Crazy Clare. Mama leads and directs the cult with her few but profound words of wisdom:

and Laura serves as the self appointed right-hand (wo)man:

protecting Mama from manipulation with brute force if the situation calls for it.

If archetypal journeys have taught us anything, it's that the path for the chosen one is never easy and most often wrought with obstacles.

Clare must get through the impenetrable force that is Laura to receive that which she desires most, Mama's blessing to accept a reality television proposal. Laura won't budge.

"I'll just be back here" watching your every move...

But if movies have taught us anything, it's that one muscular handsome man always can, and always will, save the day (see: Dances with Wolves, Avatar, Space Jam). So it is with Juan Pablo, who simply says "trust me," and Clare trusts him.

Then Juan Pablo communicates with Mama in a language indistinguishable to Laura,

thereby securing the blessing both he and Clare so desperately seek.

To the victor go the spoils:

After a commercial break, a quick placement shot reveals the gang is back in Miami:


Juan Pablo says, "Holy Moly," as he walks into the rose ceremony and sees the four women waiting with bated for another free trip to an exotic location a rose.

In the end, Renee is left wanting.

Andi does not want to be in this shot.

Juan Pablo cries.


Renee performs a limo cam monologue on love.

"I had fallen in love with him. I wanted it more than anything. I did think it was right this time. I let myself feel things that I didn't think I could feel. I can't force him. You can't force anyone. I want to have a family. I want Ben to see what love is. There's not a lot of guys like Juan Pablo. He's as good as they come." 

I think Renee will be whistling a different tune after tonight's episode. Maybe you didn't see the thousand promos they ran, but tonight is part 2 of the 2 Night Special Bachelor Event Where Everything Goes Terribly Wrong/The Bachelor Like You've Never Seen it Before/What Happens in the Fantasy Suite Doesn't Stay in the Fantasy Suite. I literally can not wait. No. Literally. If there isn't part 2 recap post it's because I died of anticipation.

1 comment:

  1. You may form a different opinion of me for saying this, but I like Clare the most. She and Juan Pablo seem the most natural together in my opinion. She may be crazy but at least they fit well together and have something to talk about. Who knows, maybe I'll be singing a different tune after tonight, but for now that's my two cents. Anyway, I'm excited for tonight, too! I'll await your next post in the hopes you didn't die of anticipation.