Oh, hey there, Bachelor fans. What are you up to? I’m just in the middle of filling out my application to appear on America’s Next Top TV Recapper. I figure if I get picked I can take a couple of weeks off of work. And if I end up making it to the finals, I’m sure my bosses won’t mind if I’m gone for, I don’t know, two months or so. That shouldn’t be a problem, right? Anyhow, enough procrastination — on to this week’s episode!
It’s hard to believe, but the hometown dates are here already. So Jake packs his bags, dons his mandals and heads off on the next leg of his ”journey.” First stop, New York City, where Gia waits at the docks, because she thinks the best way to show Jake the city is by boat. (Well, not always.) They circle Manhattan while snapping pictures of themselves kissing, as Lady Liberty looks on. (Side note: What in the holy hell is going on with that beaded necklace Jake’s wearing in his confessional? Did he just come in from a hackey sack game?) Later, the Bachelor presses Gia on her past relationships, since she hasn’t talked about them much. Turns out her last serious boyfriend ”was into bad things,” including cheating on Gia with all of her friends. Voila! Behold the source of her crippling insecurity!
Night falls and the duo hit the town for dinner with Gia’s family — her mom Donna, her stepfather Tony, stepbrother Eric, and her half-brother Dylan. They’re a likable Noo Yawk clan, and Donna is an endearingly emotional Italian mom. ”When Gia hurts, I think I hurt more than she does,” she explains. Over a glass of white wine, she pushes Jake on what makes Gia stand out over the other three girls. His answer is fairly nebulous and lame — ”she just has a way about her…she’s amazing” — but mom loves her daughter so much that’s all she needs to hear. Stubbly stepbrother Eric, however, is far more skeptical: ”He seems all right,” he tells Gia. But it’s Mama’s optimism that prevails, and soon she’s filling her daughter with wildly false hopes. ”I can see the love in his eyes for you,” she tells Gia. ”I really feel that he’s got this love for you…. I think he really does love you!” The bachelorette is fighting the urge to believe her mom — ”He can’t possibly love me right now!” — but she clearly hopes that maybe, just maybe, she’s going to get that final rose. The good news is, Gia’s diminutive stepbro — who threatens to ”break a few legs” if Jake hurts his sis — will defend her honor after she all-but-inevitably winds up in the Reject Limo.
Hometown date number two takes the Bachelor to Williamstown, Mass., to meet Ali and her family. The usually bitchy blonde says she’s ready to leave the ”tension” and ”drama” with Vienna behind and focus on Jake. That shouldn’t be too hard, because he’s ”ready to get real close with her” — and he even tells her that after their San Francisco outing, he considers this his second hometown date with her, which puts her ”a little ahead” of the other ”ladies.” (Kids, this is what is called foreshadowing.) Though it’s clearly freezing, producers apparently wanted some footage of the picturesque New England setting, so Jake and Ali oblige by frolicking in the leaves and strolling through the quaint center of town. Eventually they reach Ali’s grandma’s house, where Ali lived for awhile as her grandma’s nurse. ”She was more like a mom to me,” explains Ali. Though her grandma is no longer with us, Ali still wants her blessing, so she takes Jake on a tour of the nearly empty house so Granny can give her posthumous approval. Apparently, she grants it. ”I definitely think that my grandma’s looking down on me tonight,” says Ali, as we cut to a symbolic light-streaming-through-clouds shot. It’s a sad scene, and one that (conveniently) goes a long way toward humanizing the often-unlikable bachelorette.
NEXT PAGE: Tenley’s got a dance in her heart…and she’s gonna make Jake watch it