Zach Shallcross shall cross many a state line this week to meet the families of the final four women.

Hometowns are officially here, Rose Buds! With four women still in the running to become Mrs. Shallcross, Zach shall cross many a state line in order to meet their families before potentially getting down on one knee in just a few weeks.

First, Zach heads to Vermont to meet up with Gabi, who announces the pair will be embarking on the "full maple experience" of a lifetime. It's an interesting choice considering that Zach didn't seem like the biggest maple maniac when she first made him try some on night one. The pair end up drilling into this poor, unsuspecting tree in their hunt for "liquid gold," only to come up completely empty handed. 

With no tree sap sapping the fun out of their date, Gabi stages a blind maple syrup taste test for Zach to try a whole array of Vermont's best. However, there's a hidden catch: one of the condiments is Fake Maple Syrup (dun dun dun) and if Zach picks that, it's game over for Gabi. 

Zach and Gabi drill into a tree for sap
Gabi shows Zach the full maple experience
| Credit: ABC

Which, naturally, means that's the one Zach picks as his favorite. "You just shot me!" Gabi shouts. "This is fake! The bottom of the barrel, worst syrup you can buy." She reveals the concoction was "pancake syrup," a.k.a "high fructose corn syrup" or "ew, throw up in my mouth" syrup. Nothing that a maple purist like Gabi could ever endorse, although she ultimately forgives Zach for his transgression. 

The pair then head to meet her family. Coincidentally, her older sister Chloe has just gotten engaged, and Gabi casually drops how exciting it would be to plan their weddings together… so, no pressure, Zach! During a conversation with her brother Evan, Zach tells him that Gabi "is someone I could see a future with and I don't have a doubt about that," which is nice until you really think about it and realize he hasn't actually committed to anything. 

After meeting her family, the pair sit on the tiniest bench in the world (a recurring pattern throughout the episode) to discuss their relationship before Gabi suddenly blurts out, "Don't forget about me!" Zach assuages her fears, but Gabi ends up crying over their forced separation while he attends his other hometowns.

Zach and Ariel hug in Washington Square Park
Zach takes NYC
| Credit: ABC

Next! Zach is taking a bite out of the Big Apple — and all of its many quintessential eats — during his visit to New York City to meet Ariel's family. The pair share a kiss at Washington Square Park before heading out on a food tour that sees them grabbing a slice of pizza, eating sandwiches at a Jewish deli, and having a drink at a speakeasy. 

When Zach tells her he's "very nervous" to meet her family, Ariel says he really only needs to worry about her brother Bobby, who's "protective" and previously offered to "beat up my exes." As they sip on their cocktails, she tells Zach that her family's history is an incredibly important part of her own identity, noting, "You don't know me without knowing my family and their experience as immigrants."

Just before their introduction, Ariel attempts to comfort Zach one last time by telling him that they're both going to be "roasted" by her family tonight, which is exactly what everyone wants to hear before they go meet their potential in-laws. 

Zach eats a pizza slice
Zach loves carbs
| Credit: ABC

Bobby, a self-described "skeptic," immediately pulls Zach aside to ask how it's possible to find love in such a short timeframe. "I did fall in love in this process," Zach says. "If you let yourself lean in and be open to finding love, you can find it, and I'm really confident with what I have with Ariel. I see a future with her."

It all goes downhill, however, when Bobby asks Zach how he plans to reconcile their different backgrounds. Zach replies that he doesn't have a "specific way" in mind besides that "families will make it work." Strike one.

Then, Bobby throws down the gauntlet: "When's my sister's birthday?" When Zach shakes his head, he presses, "If you don't know somebody's birthday, how do you really know a person? Like, do you know my sister's middle name?" 

Zach sidesteps the question. "I would disagree with you on that," he says. "If you love someone, and you have that feeling, why don't you have the rest of your relationship — or the rest of your life together — to get to know the smaller details? Bigger picture is really what I'm focusing on and doing what feels right." Except… Zach… middle names and birthdays feel like the most basic thing to know about someone you're going to marry. Strike two. 

Zach looks down nervously
His meeting with Bobby doesn't go well
| Credit: ABC

He then totally whiffs a question from Ariel's dad by suggesting that his final choice is still up in the air when it comes to his current relationships. Strike three. It's not all bad news bears, though. After surviving their grilling, Ariel reveals that she's falling for Zach, so he might still be in the game after all.  

Zach then packs up and heads to Georgia, where he reconnects with Charity, who invites him to a tailgate with all of her close friends and family. They immediately welcome Zach in and Charity's dad can be seen smiling at how happy his daughter looks during the meal, which is extra adorable. 

It's also a very emotional lunch. Charity ends up crying during nearly every conversation she has with her dad, mom, and close friends. She also shares a really lovely moment with her brother Nehemiah, who worries about her getting hurt. "I love you so much," he says. "I want your happily ever after because you deserve the best." We stan a supportive family!

Charity hugs her mom
Charity hugs her mom
| Credit: ABC

After the meal, Charity and Zach spend the rest of the evening out line dancing before she tells him that she's falling in love with him in an alley outside the bar. In a confessional, Zach says Charity made "my heart flutter" and that he's "hopeful" for their future together.

"I'm going to bed probably the happiest girl in America tonight," Charity adds. "I can 1000 percent see myself engaged to Zach."

Zach and Charity with their foreheads pressed together
Charity tells Zach she's falling in love with him
| Credit: ABC

For his final hometown, Zach then heads home to Austin, Texas… which happens to be Kaity's hometown, too. She's only lived there for a "few short weeks" and could use some help settling in, so their date consists of running errands around the city together, which is pretty cute. They compare their favorite cereals while grocery shopping, grab some flowers, and head to her house.

They then take their relationship to the next level… by building a bookshelf. "Did you just bring me to fix things in your house?" He jokes as they change lightbulbs and lug in a new mattress. She replies, "Maybe."

Zach and Kaity building a bookshelf
Zach and Kaity build a bookshelf
| Credit: ABC

The pair then go to meet her family, which is a big deal for Kaity because if her mom doesn't approve of Zach then it's a serious red flag for her. During their chat, Zach tells her mom that he can "absolutely see myself falling in love with [Kaity]." Meanwhile, Kaity tells her aunt that she can see Zach being "the father of my kids" and "my husband."

Throughout the night, it becomes apparent that Kaity's hesitant to tell Zach about her feelings because she's recovering from a seven-year-long, on-and-off relationship that was "pure toxicity." In the end, her mother gives the stamp of approval on dating Zach, so Kaity later tells him (on another tiny bench) that she's falling in love with him. 

Back in Los Angeles, Zach is panicking ahead of the rose ceremony when Sean Lowe stops by for a visit. Despite Sean's encouragement, Zach "still doesn't know" what to do or who he's going to say goodbye to that evening. "I can see a future with all four of these women," he says. "And I don't want to hurt someone or break their heart, but I have to send one of them home."

Ariel, Gabi, Kaity, and Charity stand in front of Zach
Ariel, Charity, Kaity, and Gabi wait for Zach to hand out roses at the rose ceremony
| Credit: ABC

Zach enters the rose ceremony backed by what can only be described as a Michael Bay soundtrack, so you know this is a Serious Moment. Visibly nervous, he gives Ariel the first rose, then Kaity, then Gabi, meaning Charity is going home. She handles the heartbreak gracefully, telling Zach that he "doesn't have to apologize" as he walks her out. 

The pair sit down at yet another tiny bench as Charity begins to cry. "I hope you know, from my heart, that this is the hardest decision I've had to make. I've been sick to my stomach all day," he explains. He then concedes that he "might be making the wrong decision," to which she replies, "No. Don't say that."

Charity cries as Zach comforts her
A difficult goodbye between Zach and Charity
| Credit: ABC

"I took a big risk, obviously, coming here and putting my heart out on the line and I knew that from night one, the moment that you spoke, and the moment that I knew it was you," Charity says. "I knew that this experience was going to be something incredible. It's bittersweet for sure."

"I know you don't want to hear this from me, but you deserve all the love and I couldn't give it to you," Zach says. "I'm grateful to know you." The pair share a hug and Zach waits until the car drives away before he begins crying like the leading man of an old film.

Zach cries
Let it out, Zach.
| Credit: ABC

Now, Rose Buds, for the sake of my own sanity, we have to talk about this end credits scene where Zach reveals that he eats pancakes with MUSTARD?! And then Gabi somehow makes things even weirder by telling him that she's NEVER HAD MUSTARD OR RANCH DRESSING? Which somehow even surprises HIM? That was a bridge too far for you, Zach? Not the mustard on pancakes!? But I digress.

What do you think, Rose Buds? Do you think Zach made a mistake sending Charity home? Have you tried mustard on pancakes? Is it good? Let us know in the comments below!

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