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‘The Bachelorette’: All of Rachel’s Current Boyfriends Visit Texas

But where the heck is her dad?!

(ABC)
(ABC)

Is it possible to play hard to get on a show where you’re actively vying for another person’s love? Could that actually be a smart strategy? With three men remaining on The Bachelorette, Peter is trying to find out.

On Monday night’s episode, Rachel introduced the guys to her family a bit earlier than usual. Normally, the family meets with the final two contestants in the season’s last episode, but Rachel’s sister, Constance, was eight months pregnant during filming, and couldn’t handle a trip overseas. So instead, Rachel brought the final three to her hometown, Dallas. There, with just a few weeks left, Peter continued his slow play.

He spends the entire episode adamant about the fact that he is not ready to marry Rachel. He is “falling in love” with her, he says, but not yet in love. He isn’t ready to propose, because proposal to him means marriage, and he only wants to get married once, which means he only wants to propose once, which means he only wants to propose when he’s absolutely certain he’s in love. Rachel tries to argue that a proposal is just the next step in a relationship, but Peter says it necessitates marriage, which leads to this full minute of awkwardness:

Peter even admits to Rachel’s mother that he is not even ready to ask Rachel’s family for their permission to marry her. Not wanting to marry somebody is reasonable, especially in the short time frame of The Bachelorette, but Peter voluntarily brings it up so much that it becomes insufferable.

Meanwhile, Bryan takes the exact opposite approach. He was the first to tell Rachel he loved her, and when he meets her family, he tells them how quickly and effortlessly he fell in love with her. Mere seconds after meeting Rachel’s sister, he tells her that he loves their family. Being in love with someone is reasonable, but Bryan voluntarily brings it up so much that it becomes insufferable.

How did this work out for them? Rachel’s mom tells Peter that she likes his reticence, while the whole family piles on Bryan for his seeming lack of sincerity. At lunch, the family grills him until he leaves the room and Rachel has to upbraid them for being significantly meaner to Bryan than the other two contestants. Rachel’s sister questions Bryan’s honesty. Rachel even admits to her friends from back home that at first, Bryan’s full-throttle charm made him look like “a douchebag.” (Privately, Peter says he doesn’t like Bryan and thinks he’s a faker because he’s from Miami, where people have “fake boobs, fake asses, and fake cheeks.” I’m confused about the ass vs. cheek distinction he’s making, but whatever.)

I’m not sure who’s going to win, but Rachel seems interested in working through the complicated semi-love that’s bubbling with Peter, while everybody — including his fellow contestants and Rachel’s family members and, um, me — seems to agree Bryan’s a bit too much. So there you have it: Never, under any circumstances, tell anybody that you love them.

(I probably should mention Eric, who acted like a normal person in love with another person and therefore has no chance of winning this show.)

MVP: The Spanish Singing Winery Owner

The second half of the episode took place in La Rioja, Spanish wine country. Rachel and Peter got dropped off at a vineyard, where a nice old man showed them around. One problem, though — the show didn’t bring a translator, and Rachel doesn’t know that much Spanish — she hears the guy say he’s been married for cincuenta y siete years, and repeats it back to Peter as 51. (Wrong: The correct answer is 57.) Peter, meanwhile, doesn’t know any Spanish. Rachel asks him for a beso and he does nothing. Then she says besame and he does nothing. Finally, she resorts to “KISS ME,” which he does, while the two stomp on grapes. (Has anybody noticed that, um … Peter is kind of an airhead? I should have known when he spelled “coitus” with a q. I guess I was fooled for a while because the show lists him as a “business owner.” “Personal trainer” or “former model” would have been more indicative descriptions. Sure, Peter does own a business, but so does Eric. And yet Peter is the one who got listed as a “business owner,” while Eric is listed as a “personal trainer.” I can’t put thinking face emoji in my articles, but [thinking face emoji].)

Anyway, our guy doesn’t seem to care that nobody knows what he’s saying. He serenaded his “Americano” and “Americanita” regardless, dropping bars they couldn’t understand.

Then he made them stomp grapes and gave them a key to a little cabinet filled with wine. What does this key mean? Peter seems to think it means that this is his cellar now. I am going to assume that the singing Spanish man was not granting them permanent access to his wine cellar. At the very least, I want a follow-up episode where Peter and Rachel return to this guy’s house in rural Spain and get arrested for petty theft after trying to take wine from the closet they believe they own.

Most Romantic Place on Earth: Dallas

La Rioja is a vision from a romantic dream — lush countrysides, towns that seem old yet cozy, welcoming vineyards.

But the first part of the episode is in a place that’s proved to be even more conducive to love: the Dallas–Fort Worth metroplex. Seeing Rachel bring Eric up the Reunion Tower made me realize this is the fourth consecutive season of The Bachelor and The Bachelorette to visit the region.

The next Bachelor should be Big Tex.

Most Mysterious: Rachel’s dad

Rachel’s father is Sam Lindsay, a federal judge in Texas. We were told this explicitly on the last season of The Bachelor, as Rachel gave Nick pointers on how her dad might like to be greeted before their hometown date. But then the hometown date came, and Judge Lindsay wasn’t there — he had work. According to Us Weekly, it really was that simple: Judge Lindsay didn’t have a grudge against the show, and would be a part of Rachel’s Bachelorette season. (Nick said he met the judge off camera.)

And then came this year’s visit to Dallas and guess what — Rachel announced that her dad couldn’t be there on any of the three visits the remaining contestants made to her house. Now I’m suspicious.

This is like when Aaron Rodgers didn’t show up on Jordan Rodgers’s hometown episode of The Bachelorette, except for fans of the judicial system instead of fans of the NFL.

Worst Turn of Phrase: Bryan

As previously noted, The Bachelorette places a lot of emphasis on how you use the word “love.” Are you “in love,” just “falling in love,” or do you just “see the potential for love?” These all, apparently, mean different things.

Bryan, however, took a different route.

Save it for the fantasy suite, bud.