It's July Madness! We’re finally down to the final four Bachelorette contestants: Chase, the startlingly life-like robot whose programmers only bothered to add one facial expression; Jordan, the younger, estranged brother of famous sports guy Aaron Rodgers; Robby, a mannequin; and Luke, the chronic mumbler who is spiritually in tune with horses.
To decide which of these very good choices will be her husband, JoJo takes a trip to their hometowns to see where they grew up and get some dirt from their families. First up is Chase, who hails from the snowy peaks of Colorado. His parents had a nasty divorce when he was eight, so JoJo begins her visit with Chase's Dad in a house mysteriously void of handrails. The meeting turns awkward when Chase asks his father why he divorced his mom, then spirals into the realest version of 21 Questions.
After that tense, slightly depressing face-to-face, Chase and JoJo head to his mom’s house. Chase’s mom Sandy greets them in her "Don’t Worry, I’m A Cool Mom" blue tracksuit. Moments later she tells Chase her glowing insta-review of JoJo: "Great laugh, loves dogs, hates fish." Say, that reminds me of this great rom-com I saw in the mid-2000s!
Next, JoJo heads to California, where Jordan takes her on a tour of his high school glory days. Cool idea, Jordan! Surely JoJo won't mistake you for one of those alpha males who's really into their high school experience because they peaked when they were 17!
During their family dinner, Jordan’s parents share embarrassing stories about him. "He was our spicy child," says Jordan’s mom. "He kicked his teacher," his dad chimes in helpfully. Jordan’s mom has the sweetest voice and speaks very softly, like she’s one Lime-A-Rita away from an existential breakthrough. The camera then zooms out and it’s revealed they’re sitting at a table with two missing seats. SYMBOLIC! The producers could not have made it more obvious that the ghost of Aaron Rodgers and his girlfriend Olivia Munn were notably missing from the family affair. Hello, Ghostbusters? These are the ghosts you’re looking for!
The third hometown date is with Robby, who I have huge doubts about. Robby and his ex of four years only broke up three months ago, and it is scientifically impossible for Robby to have moved on this fast. Like, can we all just THINK for one second and talk about how little time three months is? I have eaten sandwiches in 2007 that I still think about on occasion. For example, that baguette that was hollowed out and filled with pasta, from this restaurant called Devine Pastabilities in San Diego. I often think back on that time fondly, when things were simpler, and I didn’t have to choose between eating a sandwich or pasta.
Miracle food inventions aside, doesn’t Robby know the rule of thumb for getting over breakups? It takes half the length of your relationship to get over someone, so by the time Robby will be over his ex, two years will have passed. We will have had 7 iPhones come out in that time. Madam President Clinton and Vice President Pikachu will have made this show illegal by then.
After a big family dinner in which they are all seated in a circle like an Olive Garden commercial (I half expected the siblings to start fighting over breadsticks), Robby’s mom brings him up to speed on what’s happening in the world, like he’s waking up from a Bachelorette coma. She breaks the news that his ex’s roommate is spreading rumors that he broke up with his ex to go on the show.
Okay, why are we calling her his ex’s roommate? Is she a Craigslist rando? Who is this roomie? Is it the 13th century Persian poet Rumi?
The last hometown date is with good old Luke, and the two of them are in full-Texas mode. JoJo turns on her accent big time to talk to his grandparents, and it’s nearly impossible to make out what they’re saying.
This segment has it all: horseback riding in the sunset, denim button-downs, and a couch made of hay bales — note: it is cruel to ask someone in short-shorts, with exposed legs, to use hay bales as a substitute for real furniture. With some twangy country music in the background, Luke actually says to her, "I’m gonna miss you so much, especially after today. I’m gonna be like, ‘Oh, I’m gonna miss her so much!’" Oh, Luke! Always the wordsmith.
Finally, the time comes for the rose ceremony. JoJo goes into it planning to send Luke home because he’s the only one who hasn’t confessed his love for her yet. But at the very last second, Luke takes her aside to do just that, making her choice that much harder. Faced with the difficult decision of having to break one man’s heart, JoJo has a full-on meltdown and she is leaking tears. The episode ends on a TO BE CONTINUED, and that’s my cue to head to San Diego to be reunited with my one true love, pasta-sandwich.