In this episode, Brad criss-crossed the country (but not in backward jeans like the eponymous 1992 child rap duo) for hometown dates. He started things off in NYC where he stood on a tiny patio and stared out at (what looked like) midtown, inevitably thinking, “Why am I being flown from here to Seattle, then to Maine, then back across the country to Cali, then to NC, only to end up in NYC?” Or perhaps that’s giving him too much credit. His thoughts were probably, “Duh… did the producers instruct me to stare off longingly, or pensively? And what do those words mean, anyway?”
The hometown dates started off with Chantal’s family in Seattle. Holy crypes their house is like a McMansion on steroids with a dash of Hearst Castle and a pinch of nouveau riche. Her family actually seems really functional, despite the fact that both parents appear to have had work done. I’m not ragging on people who have plastic surgery, that’s for damn sure. I’m just pointing it out because I can spot plastic surgery at 50 paces. It’s one of the skills you develop as a WASP. That, and the ability to throw a mean cocktail party. Brad and Chantal’s father have a really sweet talk by his statue (Self Made Man, which was quite badass) and I can’t tell if they’re really connecting, or if Brad’s just schmoozing him. I hope it was genuine because it was a very nice moment.
Then it’s off to northern Maine where Ashley’s SUPER ENERGETIC family awaits. The apple doesn’t fall far from the ‘ole Acadian apple tree, eh? Brad and Ashley spend some time at a diner eating what she calls “putin” that she tries to pass off as a northern Maine/Acadian delicacy, but we all know what’s going on here: Disco Fries, baby! Fries covered in cheese and gravy is what we call disco fries and eat when we’re drunk! Come on! Disco fries is a brilliant name for the food because it distracts from the fact that you’re eating FAT covered in FAT with a sauce on top made of FAT. But the name is all like, “Shhh… let’s just do the hustle, OK? Why don’t you ring my bell? You really ARE more than a woman—I aint just saying that, baby doll.” (I know a bit about disco because I went through a phase in high school when I loved disco, no joke. Not the coolest era in my history. I also went to my junior prom with a guy whose last name was Bell and yes, I spent a LOT of prom night making jokes that combined his name and the hit disco song “Ring My Bell.”)
Where were we!? OK, Brad and Ashley have dinner with Ashley’s family and wow—Ashley’s family is just as bubbly and bouncy as she is. Her mom seemed really funny and sweet, I must say. And her sister was a tattoo machine! I like it!
Then Brad took a cross-country trip down to Chico, CA to meet Shawntel’s mortician family. If I knew more about the Adam’s Family, I’d make a weird joke about mortician families right now. Alas, that joke is not to be because I never watched that show. I didn’t have cable as a kid, OK!? Shawntel gets thrown under the bus by the producers, as she leads Brad through the mausoleum and tells him all about cremation and embalming. I’d be willing to bet MONEY that the producers pushed for this day of death because it’s good/creepy television. None of the other girls walked Brad through their JOBS, ya know? Ashley didn’t give him a cleaning. Chantal didn’t answer his phone or fax some papers. Emily didn’t plan an event for a hospital that Brad owns… errr… bah! Whatever. You know what I mean. None of the other girls walked Brad through their workplace. Shawntel’s family seemed very nice (despite the fact that her sister is named DESTINY and I think we all know what your destiny is when your given name is DESTINY), but there was some tension about the ‘ole family business. I just can’t even hear the words “Chico” without thinking of the awful mall women’s clothing store. Sucks to be from a place with a negative connotation like that, Shawntel. Sucks a lot.
Then Brad & Emily hang out in North Carolina with her daughter Ricki! So yes, Emily took a leap of faith and let Brad meet Ricki, which was big. Ricki was a sweetheart and they flew a kite together, had a picnic, and attempted to bond as much as you can when cameras are rolling. Back at their house, Brad seemed confused by the fact that Ricki would be upstairs sleeping anytime Emily would be home with her. That’s how it goes, buddy. When someone has a kid, her/she is around. When the kid goes to bed upstairs and you guys hang out downstairs, the KID IS STILL UPSTAIRS. Brad seemed stunned and bewildered by this.
Time for a rose ceremony at the Gansevort Hotel in NYC! Aww snap! Across the street from Pastis and Soho House! Party time! ABC didn’t rent a deluxe suite for this rose ceremony, though, and the ladies walk actually obtain the rose from Brad was about three steps. Who didn’t get a rose? The hottest mortician in the biz, Shawntel. Like Biggie said, Shawntel is going back to Cali strictly for the weather, women, and the weed. Or, for her job and family in Chico. Either way, we’re down to three ladies. Until next week!