Family interaction reveals #thebachelor truth
The first hometown is Laguna Beach, CA with Amanda. They meet at the beach, and after a big hug, her ridiculous shirt almost comes off. Dress smart, women, dress smart! It's basically a sleeveless shirt with long sleeves connected between the elbow and shoulder by a string. Very impractical.
Amanda hasn't seen her girls yet since she's gotten back. While she is falling in love with Ben, she can't say she's in love until she sees how Ben is with her girls. When he asks what the girls like to do, she said they like to be chased.
Her sister or some caregiver bring the girls to the beach to meet them. Kinsley (3) says she wants to meet Ben, but Charlie (maybe 2) isn't so sure. I don't suggest that he chase her right away. They work on building sand castles, and the girls do the chasing first.
On the ride home, the struggle is real. Little Charlie is not a happy camper. Toddler cries all the way home. They get into the house and out onto the patio to meet Mom, Dad and sister. Ben brought Mom flowers. Dad asked how it was with the kids (he thinks Ben looked a little deer in the headlights).
Amanda and Ben go put Charlie down for a nap. Amanda leaves her screaming in the crib saying she'll go to sleep if they leave.
When they get downstairs, Mom Michelle asks if Ben is ready to take on an active roll in the life of Amanda's kids. Ben says he wasn't going in thinking about it, but he wasn't scared off by it which kind of surprised him. Mom does think he seems mature.
Mom and Amanda talk next. Amanda asks Mom what she thinks (he's sweet) and if she can see them being together (eventually). Amanda tearfully talks about how having a man around (and wanting one) is what's normal in a family.
Dad gets serious with Ben. Dad asks how the relationship is, and talks to him about having kids in his life - all the time. He informs Ben that kids come first and that he wouldn't be able to do what he wanted to do all the time. Dad does say that if Amanda is happy, he's happy.
Later that evening, Ben reads them a story. "Once upon a time in Los Angeles, a man named Ben met Mommy." After a kiss in the driveway, it's "The End" of the date.
Next up is Lauren in Portland, OR. Lauren is in love with Ben, but she hasn't told him that yet. Maybe after he meets her family.
Portland is the city of roses, but they don't really see any. They take a tour of downtown and have lunch at the food trucks. Lauren has a major love of butter, evidently. It looks like they melt butter on a pizza, but I don't know what it actually was.
Next up is the Multnomah Whiskey Library which is evidently very romantic. Like the country song goes, "whiskey makes me feel a little frisky." As they sit in front of the fireplace, she admits she's a little nervous. For her, tonight is all or nothing. If her family approves, the love confession is coming.
The parents, two brothers and a sister await. There's also an 18 year old dog. This is the longest the family has gone with out seeing and talking with her.
The first person to take Ben off is the sister. Mollie's skeptical knowing that any guy should fall in love with her sister, yet at the same time, she knows he's going to other hometowns too. When talking about Lauren, Ben gets super emotional and starts crying.
Mollie then talks to Lauren. Lauren thinks Ben is her person. She admits that she's in love.
Dad talks to Ben next. He wants to know what stood out about Lauren to him from the rest of the 28. Dad wants to know how he can be so committed in such a short time. He and Lauren's mom dated several years before getting married. The next question is, "how are you coping meeting three other families?" He starts tearing up again.
Dad and Lauren talk next. He reminds her there are three other women still in it. He's not mean about it, just honest.
Lauren chickens out on the "I love you" part as she kisses him goodnight. She knows if she doesn't get a rose, she won't get to tell him how she feels.
The third stop is Caila in Hudson, OH. Caila challenges Ben because she's real (his words, not mine). Ben thinks it's his deepest relationship. Caila is a little nervous because she thinks there was some miscommunication on their last date.
They go to her dad's toy company where they design their dream house together. After drawing it out, they get to go to the factory and build it. Their own little dinky plastic backyard playhouse.
At the house, Ben meets the parents and little brother. Caila also wants to profess her love, but only after he meets the family. Mom introduces Ben to Filipino cuisine and how they eat with their hands. Caila's dad is the most blunt thus far. Her dad isn't Filipino, but found out he married into the community. He warns, that Ben wouldn't just marry Caila, but would marry the whole family.
Mom wants to steal Ben away first. Ben tells Mom about their last conversation and keeping it real. Ben asks if Mom knows where Caila's fear comes from. Mom says that Caila doesn't take any time for granted and has been intentional in looking for the right one.
Dad asks Caila how you block out everything else and concentrate just on their relationship. She tells her dad that she KNOWS this is it. Dad's burnt orange pants are distracting, by the way. Dad thinks it's real for Caila because she was emotional all night, yet he fears the letdown.
Caila tells Mom that she's been real the whole time and is in love with him. Caila sees what she wants in a husband and that she knows he's the one. Mom asks if she's told him. She encourages Caila to tell Ben. Mom does think that he's in love wit her. Her advice is, "go downstairs, jump on him, and tell him."
As they kiss goodnight, Caila did plan to tell him, but let's the moment pass. Some kind of fear is still there.
Last up is JoJo in Dallas. Waiting at her house are roses and a letter. A letter that starts off sounding like it could be from Ben but is really from JoJo's ex-boyfriend. She puts it down saying it's not what she wants to read. She calls him up to say, "what the !!!" Her boyfriend wants her back. "I now know what love is. You showed me what love was."
JoJo needs to wrap this up because Ben is knocking on her door. She's crying when she opens the door. He's confused and wants to know what's going on. She explains she walked up to her door and there were roses and a letter. He's very uncomfortable with this. JoJo says that she made a phone call and told her ex how happy she is with him (Ben).
JoJo feels confident that she's in love, and tells Ben so. She says she's not nervous about the night, she's anxious (but it doesn't seem like a good anxious). Not really sure the difference.
She's greeted at her parents house by two very anxious brothers, a sister and parents. The brothers are super protective. Mom jumps into questions first. Ben tells everyone she makes him feel most like himself. They jump from one topic to another. The possibility of moving to a new place. Dealing with the ex-boyfriend's roses when he arrived.
This family is a little mafia like. The brothers take Ben off to talk. Ben admits there are some big conversations coming up, but he has not made his final decision yet. The brothers love everything about her and thinks she deserves more. They were so super eager when she arrived, and all their protective talk strikes me as abnormal.
Meanwhile, Mom wants to know everything. JoJo says it's so hard because there are still three other girls in the picture. Mom acts like this is a shock.
Dad tells Ben that JoJo has been in relationships where trust wasn't there. He wants to know how Ben plans to earn her trust. While he doesn't come on quite as intimidating as the brothers, Dad is quite serious himself.
The brothers want to put things in perspective for JoJo since she has only been on two dates. They want her to keep her heart guarded. She get's upset.
When they all gather back in the kitchen, the brother's call it like they see it. They don't think he's as into her as she is into him. They are extremely skeptical. He's really put on the spot to handle the questions. Dad kind of defends him in the end saying that he's an honest man.
Ben and JoJo awkwardly talk out by the car about the family conversations went. The day did not go the way Ben had hoped. He may be having second thoughts about her now.
Everyone heads back to the Bachelor mansion for the rose ceremony.
JoJo hopes the conversation with her brothers doesn't scare Ben off.
Amanda knows she's in love.
Caila says tonight means everything and regrets not sharing her feelings.
Lauren is in love and terrified.
Meeting everyone's families meant a lot, and here's how it's going to go from here.
Chris Harrison makes his singular appearance to point out the obvious - it's time for the final rose of the night. It goes to...
What a choice. Being instant dad or tortured by the mob brothers.
He talks Amanda out to talk. She just wished she knew after the visit rather than bringing her all the way back out to Los Angeles to go back home. (She's not from that far away.) He said that was fair, but he couldn't say for sure at that time that he knew it was over. With a hug, he sends Amanda on her way. She takes her emotional ride away in the limo.
Out on the driveway, Ben can't talk because he's emotional again.
Next week, it's overnight dates in a tropical location. Which two women are Ben in love with?