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'Bachelorette' recap: Hometown dates bring Rachel to Baltimore

Bachelorette Rachel Lindsay visited Baltimore for a hometown date with contestant Eric Bigger. (Courtesy video)

It's my favorite night of every "Bachelorette" or "Bachelor" season: hometown dates. The night when the final four suitors bring the lead home to meet their families. Also known as the night when we learn whose mom drinks the most chardonnay and whose brothers are the most jealous they weren't on a reality show first.

For Rachel's season, we are headed to Baltimore, Miami, Madison, Wisc., and Aspen, Colo.

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HOMETOWN DATE ONE: ERIC, BALTIMORE

Rachel meets Eric, a personal trainer who definitely chugs protein shakes while yelling, "lower!" when making you do lunges, at the top of Federal Hill overlooking the Inner Harbor. They chat for a minute before heading to shoot hoops on a local basketball court.

After Rachel puts the ball in the hole a few times (you guys know how great I am at sports speak) a friend of Eric's, Ralph, shows up to join them.

Ralph reminds us that Eric has never been in love and therefore his family has never met a girlfriend of his. I have different reasons for never introducing boyfriends to my family, but that's neither here nor there.

I truly live for making jokes about this show, especially during hometown dates, but this is the most honest and transparent family introduction I've seen in my 307 years of watching. Eric's aunt asks Rachel what it's like to be the first African-American Bachelorette, and Rachel responds with, "Love doesn't have a color, so my journey for love shouldn't be any different from any of the other 12 Bachelorettes that were in front of me."

When Eric is talking with his mother, Eric asks, "It's life, what doesn't hurt?" and I feel like I'm watching the franchise from back in the day, before Diff Eyewear and gummy bears that make your hair longer.

When Rachel leaves, Eric tells her that he is falling for her and really cares about her. With all of my heart, I want to snark here, but it really was a very touching hometown.

HOMETOWN DATE TWO: BRYAN, MIAMI

Rachel and Bryan, who is too old to be on this show, greet each other and we are quickly reminded how gross it is to watch them kiss. When they're finished licking each other's tonsils, Bryan takes Rachel to "Domino Park" to … play dominos.

They go on to walk around Miami and we are reminded that Bryan's last serious girlfriend broke up with him because of his mom. Naturally, I am over-eager to "meet" Bryan's mom.

They arrive at Bryan's home, and after the family has greeted the couple they drink white wine out of the smallest wine glasses I've ever seen. Because of that, I immediately understand why Bryan's last girlfriend didn't like his mom. Us ladies like a strong pour.

Through broken English, Bryan's mom interrogates Rachel. Because she's an attorney and has only been given one ounce of wine, Rachel responds perfectly, leaving Bryan's mother in tears. The ounce of wine has clearly gotten to Bryan's mother because she also tells Rachel that Bryan is a "playboy," which explains his kissing habits.

Bryan tells Rachel he is in love with her before swallowing her tongue in the Miami heat.

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THIRD HOMETOWN DATE: PETER, MADISON, WISC.

Rachel runs and jumps into perfect Peter's arms, and all I can pay attention to are his back muscles. So much so I wonder what kind of workouts he does and Google tells me he owns a gym. See you soon, Wisconsin.

Peter takes Rachel to a bar where they are greeted by two couples who happen to be interracial, and who claim to be perfect Peter's friends but I'm guessing are actually just gym clients.

After Peter "proves" to Rachel that he is diverse, they head to meet his family.

Peter's niece can't leave his side, and like every other woman in the world watching, Rachel's ovaries melt. They have a conversation but I can't pay attention because Peter's mom has the exact same haircut as Nick Viall's mom and I wonder if they sit at the salon together in Madison and talk about their sons' journeys for love on national TV. Hopefully Peter only needs one more shot at love on this franchise and not three more.

When Rachel takes some time with Peter's mom, she tells Rachel that Peter is ready for commitment but maybe not marriage, leaving Rachel with doubts.

Before she leaves, Peter tells Rachel he's "very happy" but doesn't say he's in love with her. So, like, this hometown offered all of the things he needs to be the next Bachelor.

HOMETOWN DATE FOUR: DEAN, ASPEN, COLO.

After they've exchanged greetings, Dean, the guy who said, "Once I go black I'll never go back" at "After The Final Rose," leads Rachel to two ATV's and their date is to ride them. What happened to the days of just having a drink at a bar and some over-the-pants flirting?

They end their ATV ride and open a bottle of champagne before Rachel asks Dean who she will meet today. He explains that she'll be meeting his siblings, his "eccentric" dad, and his dad's wife.

As they approach the home I believe was once owned by Charles Manson, Dean says, "This is not an indication of who I am. I'm terrified," and I kind of wish former man friends of mine would have given me a similar warning before meeting his parents.

Once they've greeted the family, Dean's dad asks everyone to lie with their heads facing his gong (an actual gong, not me making a joke) while he bangs it (again, not a joke).

Dean's dad gives him and Rachel feathers to honor Dean's late mother and Dean's dad asks for some alone time with Dean. Things get heated pretty quickly, and I'd like someone to bang the gong to end this.

When it's over, Dean's dad goes outside to spit out his drink and I can't believe people waste alcohol.

Rachel approaches Dean's dad and asks for some time to chat. When she initiates the conversation, he decides he's uninterested and gets up to leave. Rachel returns to the "house" and tells Dean his sister had nice things to say to him, because when you're dating a man most of it is feeding his ego when he's bummed out. They make out on the weird living room pillows in front of the gong, before he walks her out. Not sure where Dean goes when she leaves, but we know he's not staying at his dad's house tonight.

I guess we're in Dallas now and Rachel is getting ready for the rose ceremony when Chris Harrison knocks at her door. I just realized that we haven't seen Chris Harrison in like three weeks and I wonder what a vacation in Switzerland with Chris Harrison is like.

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About the remaining suitors, Rachel tells Chris Harrison that:

Eric has never been in love and that makes her nervous.

Bryan is the only one who told her he was in love with her.

Peter is the most reserved and she doesn't know if he's seriously committed to a marriage with her.

Dean is the most surprising to her but she's concerned that his feelings for her stem from his estranged family.

ROSE CEREMONY

In a very uneventful rose ceremony, Rachel sends Dean home. As she walks him out she tells him she isn't sure he's ready for the same things that she is. He tries to call her a liar and she lawyers her way out of it.

Knowing he can't out argue her, he wishes her well, and I bet by the time this aired he has an L.A. address.

Next week, the remaining three meet Rachel's family.

PREDICTIONS

Bryan "wins" and perfect Peter is the next Bachelor.

LINE OF THE NIGHT

"I love that you're doing something you love to do" — Dean's dad

"Which is?"— Dean

"Hanging out with beautiful women, I guess" — Dean's dad.

ELIMINATED

Dean, the guy who said, "Once I go black I'll never go back" at "ATFR."

Let me know what you think about tonight on Twitter @abbydraper. See you next week!

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