‘The Bachelorette’ Recap: Ali Meets the Parents!

S6:E8 Last night’s episode of The Bachelorette was… boring? I think it might have been boring. Instead of watching Ali and the remaining guys gallivant around the world, ingesting champagne and taking pointless photos that do nothing but fill up a camera’s memory card, we saw her visit the hometowns of Roberto, Chris, Kirk and Frank. Each place she went (Tampa, Cape Cod, Green Bay, Wisconsin and Chicago), she did the exact same thing — snuggled on their shoulders, defended the importance of having her own career, and talked to each guy’s parents on the deck outside the house. But other things happened, too. (But not too many!)

First, Ali went to Tampa to visit Roberto’s family. He took her to an empty baseball stadium, which if he did to me, I’d get angry because that’s about as much fun as receiving an empty bottle of wine. Roberto put on a baseball uniform, and he gave one of those “fan” jerseys to Ali, and I was confused because is Roberto a real baseball player? I don’t feel like he is. He wore the uniform pretty well, and Ali said baseball uniforms are the sexiest uniforms ever, which is wrong. The sexiest uniform ever is worn by sumo wrestlers.

When Ali went to Roberto’s house, she met his mother, his father, his sister and another sibling. Roberto was worried his father wouldn’t like Ali, and thought he might see through the bubbly, excited, enthusiastic girl he’s fallen in love with, which makes Roberto Sr. the smartest man on the show so far. After Ali and Roberto Sr. had a talk about goals and whether or not Ali would be willing to sacrifice her career for Roberto (she said something about “doing their careers together,” which is neither plausible nor possible), they put on some music and danced around the living room on a tile that looked particularly slippery.

The next day, Ali flew to Cape Cod to meet Chris’ family. This was a particularly sweet visit, as Chris’s mother died last year and will never get to see Chris get married. Ali met up with Chris on the beach when he was playing fetch with a black lab named Jenny, and wore tan boots with heels that sunk through the sand so far they looked like flats. Who wears boots to the beach? On a rainy day? When you’re meeting up with a dog to play fetch with her? I spent a long time trying to wrap my head around it. After they spent some time at the beach, they went back to a glorious house and looked at pictures of Chris’s mother that were all over the house. When Chris’ dad, two brothers and their wives walked in, it was obvious his family is very important to him, and it’s understandable how being away from his family has made him take a little bit longer to get close to Ali. They all had dinner together, and Chris’s dad told Ali something like “Love is the only reality,” which is nice and is totally Ali’s new mantra. What a mooch this one is! She’ll probably have it tattooed somewhere, which will make Kasey (remember Kasey? The guy with the lawn gnome voice who got a tattoo for her because he wanted so badly to “guard and protect” her heart?) want to kill her in her sleep.

Then she flew to Green Bay, Wisconsin, which even though my family is from Wisconsin, will not stop me from declaring this as the worst visit of the four. Kirk’s parents are divorced like mine, so Ali had to go to two separate households. First, she went to meet Kirk’s dad, his wife and their adopted daughter Chr-something, and the second she sat down on the couch (that depicted an average Saturday in the wildlife kingdom) Kirk’s dad asked Ali if she wanted to take a look at his basement. Ali was a good guest and obliged, even though she knew she’d meet certain death there. It turned out Kirk’s dad was a taxidermist, and the basement is where he stuffs cotton into where the animals’ organs used to be. He also had a freezer of dead animals, which also was the home to some popsicles and frozen peas! In case they got hungry, you know! Ali talked to Kirk’s dad about his son, who advocated him to her even though he admitted he was biased. Nothing significant was really discussed because there were too many dead elks around, in addition to a caribou foot with googly eyes glued to it.

Next, Ali went to Kirk’s mom’s house to meet his sister, grandmother, and mother. They ate the classic Midwestern meal of meatloaf, mashed potatoes, carrots and some greens not even Emeril Lagasse would know the name of. They chatted and chatted (again, about nothing in particular) until Kirk’s mom pulled Ali aside and told her Kirk’s illness (he had asbestos poisoning when he was in college). She also said she really admires Kirk, which is nice but not nearly as heavy as the sentiment, “Love is the only reality.”

Finally, Ali flew to Chicago to see Frank and visit his parents. I really don’t remember much about this visit because I was bored and just wanted Ali to eliminate somebody, so I focused on other things. For instance, I realized Frank is a hipster because cardigans are the brainchild of Dov Charney. I also realized Frank is a worrywart, who’d rather worry than enjoy the rare time he gets to spend with Ali by himself. I also realized Frank prefers low-cut shirts. That’s fine, I do too! But the problem with Frank is I wouldn’t trust him to organize a woodpile before a storm rolls in, which I would think Ali would want in a husband since she wears boots to the beach and everything.

At the end of all this repetition, Ali flew back to Los Angeles for the elimination ceremony. I knew she was going to keep Roberto and Chris around, because she had the time of her life when she visited their families. So that left it between Kirk and Frank. I wanted her to send Frank home because he is the human equivalent of something that has a duck head with a bunny rabbit body, and I’d rather look at 9 year-old manboy Kirk, even though he’s completely useless. But nope! She sent home Kirk, whose dad wanted to kill her in his basement and mount her on a wall next to a cougar.

Next week, Ali, Roberto, Chris and Frank go to Tahiti, where the water is a disgusting shade of blue and the sunsets will send you into a desperate search for a blindfold. Even though we’re so close to the end of the show, there’s still more drama ahead, as we see in the preview for next week’s episode that Frank pulls Ali aside and tells her they “need to talk.” I think Frank pulls a Justin and admits he has another woman at home. But it’s anybody’s guess.