Tonight's episode begins right where we left off: Becca, America's Sweetheart, and her one-on-one date.
Chris says he wants it to be a low-key date and I'm pretty sure that's a given since they're in Des Moines. Chris takes Becca to the loft he's staying in, where they sit on the couch and have a boring conversation before he takes her to the rooftop to watch the sunset.
To be honest, so far, this is the best date of the season. There are no tears, no arguments, no aggressive making out and a rooftop sunset. Sort of like real-life dating, except it's nationally aired on "The Bachelor."
Back at the girls' hotel, Britt tells Whitney, Carly, Kaitlyn and Jade that she has packed her things and thinks she is going to leave before the rose ceremony. She is still upset about him giving the rose to Kaitlyn after all she and Chris have been through in eight weeks.
As we watch the women put on their tightest dresses and fake eyelashes, each of them confesses her reason for needing to talk to Chris before the rose ceremony. Which is the perfect set up for what happens next…
Chris Harrison arrives to tell them there won't be a cocktail party, and they are going straight to the rose ceremony.
Before Bachelor Chris starts handing out the roses at the ceremony, Britt, the girl who gives "free hugs" on Hollywood Boulevard, asks him if they can speak alone for "two seconds." Immediately after leaving the room, the other women take turns calling Britt "vindictive" and "manipulative," which seems aggressive to me.
While Britt tries to apologize to him for her outburst last night, Chris essentially calls her a liar, because Carly told him that she was. After she interrupts him eight times, he says, "I'll walk you out." I'm actually pretty surprised by this, but I guess Chris' thing is making decisions based on what the other women in the house say about each other during a competition to marry him on television after 12 weeks of knowing him.
After they kiss, Britt leaves hysterically crying. Not as hysterical as Kardashian, but it's a close second. Britt tells us she really trusted Carly and can't believe this happened. I am relieved at this point, because for the first time this season, we have an ugly crier. Sorry, Britt, I'll head down to Hollywood tomorrow to give you a free hug for that comment.
When he gets back to hand out the roses, Chris sends Carly home. After all of the terrible things she just said about Britt, "The Bachelor" is teaching us that karma is a real thing.
Through tears, Carly tells the camera that her family is going to have to see her sad but that's "nothing new" and I wonder what the limo drivers think when they take all of these chicks to the airport.
If you've never seen the show, hometown dates are the beginning of the best episodes. As you'll see, someone from each family says something ridiculous this week. Next week, there will be drama with the fantasy suite, then we'll have to watch "The Women Tell All" and finally… Chris will propose to one of the final two. In other words, things are about to get exciting.
The first hometown date is in Shreveport, La., where Chris will meet Becca's family. Before they head to Becca's parents' house, they take a canoe out to the middle of a lake. After this and their sunset-watching-date in Des Moines, Becca and Chris have the most "normal" relationship I've ever seen on this show, and we're 19 seasons in.
After making it back to dry land, Chris and Becca arrive at her parents' house, and you can tell immediately Becca comes from a lot of money.
Becca's sister, Katie, and her Chanel pearls take Chris aside to tell him that Becca has never been an affectionate or intimate woman and I wonder if Becca pissed Katie off before she left for the show, because who does that?
After that weird conversation, Becca's mom and her fresh blowout take Katie's spot and tell Chris, "You can mess with me, but you can't mess with my kids" and "don't break my baby's heart. Be sweet…be tender," and we're all reminded Becca is from the south.
As Chris and Becca are kissing goodbye outside, he says, "I have a surprise, you're coming with me" and I laugh because she's a virgin so she's actually probably not.
Chris takes her to ride the Ferris Wheel at the state fairgrounds, which are closed to anyone else. They aggressively make out on the ride, and I wonder both how they're not dizzy and if they realize this is the virgin version of the movie "Fear."
Next, we head to Chicago for the hometown date with Whitney. After they greet each other, she asks him if "he wants to make a baby" and I hope he knows that while she's attempting a joke, this isn't actually a joke. Pick her and she'll be pregnant 14 minutes after he puts the ring on.
Whitney takes him to the fertility clinic she works at, and has him change into scrubs. I have to admit, Chris looks pretty sexy, but I also have a major crush on McDreamy, so it could just be me.
When they're both dressed in scrubs, Whitney and another nurse who is super-excited to be on TV show him how sperm is inserted in vitro. Then they take him to the "specimen room," where they joke that he's going to have to have a sperm specimen test. Chris tells us, "that's what I love about Whitney, she can bust my balls." Good one, Prince Farming.
Before he meets her family, Chris asks Whitney if she's OK with him requesting permission for her hand in marriage from her sister (if you remember, Whitney doesn't have a relationship with her father and her mother passed away.) He didn't even talk to Becca's dad, so Whitney is definitely in the top two.
When Chris and Whitney's sister Kimberly have some time alone, Chris asks her for her blessing to propose to Whitney. Kimberly responds with, "I just met you and there are still four other women that potentially you could see yourself with. I want whoever picks my little sister to only want her to be the one, and not just one of four. So call me when you have that for her."
Damn, Kimberly. Tough love.
Chris then runs to tell Whitney what Kimberly said, and Jesus, Chris, stop sharing all of your conversations with women who don't need to hear about them.
After Chris narcs Kimberly out, Whitney shares with him that a few years ago, she bought an expensive bottle of wine in Napa. She says that when she bought this, she promised herself she would open it with the man she was going to marry, and she wants to open it tonight. Honestly, I'm guessing it's just a bottle she stole from her sister's wine fridge to try and stay in the game after his conversation with Kimberly.
Next, we're in Phoenix for Kaitlyn (the girl who said Chris could "plow the f--- out of her anytime he wants) and Chris' hometown date, even though her hometown is in Canada. What is going on with the budget this season? They haven't been out of the U.S. once. Maybe Chris doesn't have a passport because there isn't a place to get one in Iowa?
Chris says, "I'm over the moon excited to see Kaitlyn," and I hate when people say "over the moon."
Kaitlyn decides that, since Chris has taken her on some bad dates, like to Costco, she's going to have him be dropped off behind a building surrounded by dumpsters, and I love Kaitlyn. Their date is to write lyrics to a rap song that they will then record, and did I mention I love Kaitlyn?
After their recording session, they arrive at Kaitlyn's house and as I expected, her family is super-cool. We get some time with Kaitlyn and her mom talking about the relationship with Chris, and I feel homesick for my own mom.
After Chris and Kaitlyn leave, she takes him somewhere to show him a billboard that says "Kaitlyn <3 Chris" and I think this implies she's telling him she loves him, but I don't speak emoji.
We see that Chris is meeting Jade, the fashion designer with an organic makeup line, in Gering, Neb., and I laugh out loud, because Jade is a girl from Nebraska who moved to L.A. and was asked to pose for Playboy. Hashtag cliché.
There is no date before heading to Jade's childhood home, so we immediately meet the hugely stereotypical Midwestern Nebraskan family. Jade's dad takes Chris downstairs and they sit on a flannel-clad couch with a gun rack behind them and I continue to laugh.
Jade's dad explains to Chris that Jade has a wild side, so it's clear he's seen the Playboy photos and that has to be strange for both of them. After their conversation, Jade's brother, who has quite the Midwestern beard, tells Chris that she is a "wild mustang" and now I'm laughing so hard there are tears. Gotta love the Midwest.
When Chris and Jade leave, she asks if he has some time to talk alone, and they go back to his hotel room. Jade confesses that she posed for Playboy and then asks if he wants to see the photos. He tells her, "This is about you. If it makes you feel more comfortable, then sure!" Which is a polite way of saying, "are you kidding? I'm a dude. Of course I do."
As they look at the photos together, Chris is visibly uncomfortable and giggling like a 17-year-old who is watching porn on the Internet for the first time with a few of his friends. After she's shared the photos, Jade decides to show him the video of her stripping naked alone on a deck. If you haven't seen it, you probably should for full effect.
When Jade asks him how he feels, he takes a huge drink of his cocktail, coughs and says, "I'm looking to fall in love with a person, not their career," which is PR speak for "this will never work."
As the girls arrive, we are reminded that Becca is the queen of the rompers, validating she lives in California, and Jade is wearing white heels with a black one-sleeved, half-sheer dress. I'm no fashion expert, but this isn't the Playboy mansion, girl. See what I did there?
Jade. Most likely because of Playboy, but there is a possibility it could have been because she wore white heels with a black one-sleeved, half sheer dress.
However, well done Neil Lane PR team, because she's rocking the earrings she got to keep from the Cinderella date.
Whitney "wins," Becca is the next Bachelorette, and Kaitlyn and I become BFFs.
Chris' Best Line From Episode 8: "I make corn. I can't imagine what it would be like to make a baby."