In the very first hometown dates ever, an exhausted Alex meets the families and friends of Trista, Amanda, Shannon, and Kim.

By Kristen Baldwin
April 06, 2020 at 09:33 AM EDT
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The Bachelor

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Welcome back, rose lovers! Before we recap the latest segment of Alex’s “journey” (hometown dates already???), here’s a brief programming note: It appears that season one of The Bachelor is no longer streaming on Tubi TV. (You can, however, stream Arie’s season on Tubi — though God knows why you would.)

Fortunately, I was able to find another totally legitimate way to watch the final few episodes of Alex’s Bachelor season, so I’m in it to the end if you are.

Let’s talk hometown dates, shall we?

Kim, Trista, Shannon and Amanda pack up and leave the Ladies’ Villa (nope) and head to the airport. Chris Harrison even helps with the luggage, because he’s just that much of a gentleman.

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Date No. 1: Kim

Location: Phoenix

Family members present: 7 (Kim’s mom Marilyn, dad Pete, sister Andrea, brother-in-law Mark, sister Missy, and Missy’s kids Drew and Annabel.)

I’ll be honest, I had to go back to the episode 1 recap to remind myself who Kim is. This 24-year-old nanny hasn’t made much of an impression on me so far, but Alex is WAY into her... looks. “Kim is one of the most beautiful women in the world,” he gushes. “And she’s exactly the look that I love.”

After making out for a bit during a speedboat ride, Kim and Alex have a get-to-know-you chat in the limo on the way to her parents’ house. In her free time, Kim likes to lie around her room reading magazines (kids, this is what people did before smartphones) and self-help books. (Uh-oh, Alex doesn’t know who Dr. Phil is — this could be a problem.) The Bachelor also learns that Kim recently had what she calls a “total breakdown” and bought a bunch of “relationship books.” On the plus side, she had the good sense to suffer buyer’s remorse about her purchases (including How to Make a Man Fall in Love with You, and Everything You Know About Sex and Love is Wrong) soon after making them. Is this the best topic for a “we could be getting engaged in a few weeks” conversation? Probably not — but on the other hand, it could help Alex avoid a bout of proposer’s remorse.

“If Alex isn’t good with the kids, it’s going to be disappointing,” notes Kim, as little Drew leads the Bachelor into a room straight out of my nightmares.

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“Wow! There’s a lot of dead animals in here,” says Alex politely. Turns out Kim comes from a huntin’ family. Pete wants to know what the Bachelor’s hobbies are. “I’m a swimmer, a movie buff, a reader,” he says, as Kim’s dad stares at him blankly. Seeing that he’s losing his audience, Alex adds, “But I think I should add some hunting to the mix. Sounds pretty fun.”

Unfortunately, soon after that, Alex — attempting to prove that he’s “good with kids” — committed an accidental act of child abuse.

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Awwww, now Drew is bawling! The tears seem to be contagious, because when Alex asks Missy how she would describe her sister, it makes her well up. “She’s so trusting and she’s just so sweet,” says Missy. “She should be called chocolate because she’s so sweet.” Her voice breaks. “And beautiful!” Awww, now Kim is crying!

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It’s nice to know that even when Kim gets dumped on television, she’ll have this nice family to fall back on. And her sense of humor: When she says goodbye to Alex, Kim jokes, “Say hi to my friend!”

Welp, on to the next potential wife!

Date No. 2: Trista

Location: St. Louis

Family members/friends present: 6 (Trista’s dad Stan, her stepmother Carol, and her mother Roseanne; Trista’s friends Sarah, Missy, and Sarah’s husband Michael.)

First thing’s first: Look at Trista and Alex, sharing some fast food like a pair of actual human beings!

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Going into his meet-the-parents date with Trista, Alex has some questions he wants answered: “The main question is, ‘Do you like me or not?’” Rose lovers, maybe it’s just the quarantine talking, but this made me howl with laughter. Why the f--- did Alex choose Trista for a hometown date if he isn’t even sure she actually likes him?

I know, I know — there’s no sense in trying to apply logic to this franchise. Anyhow, Trista takes Alex to see her old high school, and he takes advantage of their pit stop on the bleachers to give her a kiss. “I’m really liking the person that he is,” Trista tells us, “and really thinking more about the relationship aspect of it.”

Trista’s mom Roseanne, however, is (rightfully) worried that her daughter and Alex won’t have enough time to get to know each other before deciding on a proposal. “I’m a perfect example,” says Roseanne. “A divorced mother raising a child.” But more importantly, mom wants to know…

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“Oh, mother!” cries Trista. But yes — she says Alex is a good kisser. (What else is she going to say? He’s right there!) Just as things are getting even more awkward (no, Stan, you don’t need to ask Alex if your daughter is a good kisser), Trista’s friends arrive for dinner. Phew.

Oh wait… Right as it’s time to say goodbye, mom Roseanne makes it awkward again. “I want you two to give each other a nice kiss before you leave.” Trista’s somewhat mortified, but she and Alex oblige.

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The Bachelor leaves his visit with Trista’s family feeling better about things with her. But later when he asks Trista to treat their current situation like they’re an “exclusive” couple — in an effort to get her to Open Up™ more, I guess? — she shuts him down. “I can’t,” she says. “Because we’re not… I can’t picture being exclusive, because that would mean you’re cheating on me.”

That is correct, ma’am! In fact, your relationship is so not exclusive, Alex now has to catch a plane to his next date.

Date No. 3: Amanda

Location: Chanute, Kan.

Family members/friends present: 6 (Amanda’s mom Joyce, her stepdad Dick, her aunt Janice, and her brothers Scott and Ken; Amanda’s best friend Mandy)

Things get off to a bit of a bumpy start on Amanda’s hometown date, in part because Amanda is embarrassed about her “dumpy little town,” and in part because the Bachelor is suffering from some serious jet lag. “I’m so tired, I can’t function at all,” he says with a grim laugh. “I woke up at 5 this morning after going to bed at 2, and flew to Kansas City, drove two hours to Chanute. And I’m trying to make nice in the living room, but I am sleepwalking.”

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Producers only subject us to a few minutes of Alex’s stilted conversation with Amanda’s dad before shifting the action to the big group dinner with her brothers, her aunt, and her best friend.

Can we just take a moment to appreciate what Amanda wore to this large gathering of family and friends?

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At dinner, the Bachelor is subject to a rapid-fire series of questions from Amanda’s older brother Scott: Did you go to school in Texas? Major? You’re looking for marriage? How much do you work? Answers: No, Harvard. History and Literature. Yes. Depends on the project.

And now for the really tough question: Are you worried about hurtin’ anybody? “Yeah,” admits Alex. “It’s much more emotionally serious… The tough thing is, I’m one person’s boyfriend, and I’m dating her roommates.” Sorry, is it me, or does Amanda’s brother Scott really look like a young Larry Bird?

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But I digress. Scott is impressed with how Alex handled his time on the Big Brother Hot Seat. “He held his own,” he says. And he did it on only three hours of sleep! Better hit the hay, Alex — there’s one more family waiting.

Date No. 4: Shannon

Location: Dallas

Family members present: 5 (Shannon’s mom Susan, her dad Michael, her sister, her niece Corinne, and her dog Avery)

“I just don’t normally bring people home,” says Shannon, as a camera crew follows her and Alex into her parents’ house. We do need to take a moment to appreciate Shannon’s mom, Susan, and her perfectly-tied neck scarf.

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Chic!

As soon as she gets in the house and makes a few quick introductions, Shannon races to the back of the house to reunite with her dog, Avery.

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“The dog is number one,” explains Michael. Apparently so, because as Alex tries to make small talk with Shannon’s mom and dad, Shannon just keeps making goo-goo eyes through the window at the dog, who is not allowed to come inside. “I’m just gonna go say hi,” she says at last. Good plan, Shannon! After all, why would you stay and facilitate a conversation between your parents and your boyfriend when you could leave them to stare at each other in stiff silence?

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Eventually, Shannon and Alex head outside to take Avery for a walk. “Do you have any questions?” Shannon asks the Bachelor, but every time he starts to answer she starts running after the dog. Perhaps that’s why when they say goodbye for the afternoon, there’s no kiss, no hug, just a quick “See you later” from Alex as he gets into the limo (with a Tupperware container of leftovers in hand).

“He seems very nice,” Susan says once Shannon is back inside. “Do you have anything in common with him?” Ouch — that is a low-key mom burn if I ever heard one. Shannon immediately gets defensive, saying she’s already getting “drilled all the time” (presumably by producers) and doesn’t want to be interrogated by her family, too. But mom and dad clearly think Alex and Shannon have nothing in common. “If Shannon were to come home with a ring in a few weeks, I don’t know how I would feel,” says mom. “I would be very surprised.”

Having picked up on her family’s obvious skepticism about this whole Bachelor thing, Shannon enters the second half of her date in a pretty snippy mood. And then Alex has the audacity to ask her what her self-described “rules” are about sex! “How did I know this would eventually come up with you?” she moans. “Thanks, Alex!”

When the Bachelor apologizes for putting her on the spot, Shannon goes into full-PMS mode. “I don’t think that you feel bad at all!” she snaps. “Like, I think that you see how awkward I feel right now, but you just don’t care.” You see, Shannon wants to wait until there are no cameras around to talk to Alex about these sensitive subjects, but as the Bachelor points out, “There is no time when the cameras aren’t around.”

Shannon voluntarily signed up to date someone on a TV show, but dammit, if she wants to be angry about having to talk to him about stuff on camera, she’s just gonna go right ahead and be angry! “I wasn’t expecting the grill that I got from Alex tonight,” she says. (Sorry, toots, but nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition.)

Invitation Night (nope)

Before Alex makes his final choice, he watches the video messages from the “ladies.” Shannon wisely uses hers to apologize: “I’m sorry tonight kind of didn’t go as I had planned. I think that you’re the greatest… There’s few subjects that, I’m just not ready to go there yet.” Will it be enough? Let’s find out!

Rose ceremony roll call: Trista, Shannon(!), and Amanda earn the roses this week, meaning Kim will be heading home to Arizona and her family. “Kim’s too easygoing for me,” explains Alex. “We’re not really right for each other.” As upset as she is, Kim does not equate this rejection with her worthiness. “I know there are other men out there for me,” she says tearfully. “He just isn’t the one right now.”

Damn right, Kim!

Welp, rose lovers, just three episodes left. Next week, Alex takes his ladies on “exotic overnight dates,” but this is season 1, so they’ll all be within the confines of the continental United States. But hey, we can all live vicariously through any travel right now. See you next Monday!

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Chris Harrison hosts the romance reality competition series in which a gaggle of women vie for the Bachelor’s heart — and a wedding proposal. Will you accept this rose?

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