Recap: The Bachelorette Episode 9

If you’re like me – and for your sake, I hope you aren’t – you’re probably wondering how astrologically compatible our three finalists are with our Bachelorette.

Luckily, I spent last night’s commercial breaks Googling everyone’s birthdays. Rachel is on the Aries/Taurus cusp. Peter is a Sagittarius, Eric is a Pisces, and, of course, Bryan is a fucking Aquarius. What does all this mean? Rachel shouldn’t be with any of these men, but I didn’t really need the zodiac to tell me that when last night’s episode made it so painfully clear.

This week, our final three meet Rachel’s family. Rachel’s sister is pregnant, so Rachel and Peter go pick out baby clothes for the impending child before heading over to her family’s house. In an attempt to rebound from being in last week’s bottom two, Peter tells Rachel that he’s falling in love with her before he heads into the house. Rachel is surprised and relieved – she knows that this is a big step for Peter, and that he wouldn’t just say something to say something. Peter says all the right things to Rachel’s predictably perfect-on-paper family – he is a bit reserved, but cares for Rachel a lot. When he is alone with Rachel’s mother, he admits that he doesn’t feel comfortable asking for Rachel’s hand in marriage yet, but that he would like her permission to keep dating Rachel. Rachel’s mother agrees and appreciates that Peter doesn’t want to rush into anything, but says she hopes the dating is “as serious as marriage.” I have no idea what the hell that means, but whatever. Peter agrees.

Rachel brings Eric home to her family. This is one of Eric’s best moments on the show for sure. After last week’s episode, which saw Eric being more emotionally vulnerable than ever before, I am a lot more pro-Eric than I ever expected to be. However, I still feel like Rachel and Eric’s chemistry is more friendly than romantic.

Rachel’s family didn’t seem to pick up on this. Though they found Eric to be very genuine and sweet, they were also worried about the fact that he’s never been in love. I guess I understand why that’s a concern, but I think too much emphasis is being put on his past. Isn’t this whole show about romance and rose petals and outdated conceptions about heteronormative relationships? Where’s the “when you know, you know” trope that is constantly being played out in the media? Maybe Eric just “knows” Rachel is the one for him.

Bryan’s family date is a shitshow. Before he meets Rachel’s family, he meets a couple of Rachel’s friends from work who are dazzled by his charm. I would like to take this time to note that, while I was trying to find Bryan’s birthday, I found out he was accused of insurance fraud! And was on another reality show called The Player! And may have cheek implants! All of this makes me trust Bryan even less than I did before. In true Waterbearer fashion, he seems to only care about how things appear to other people, rather than how things actually are. Peter roasts the shit out of him for this exact thing when he says to Eric, “I’m not the biggest fan of Bryan. There’s a lot of fake boobs, fake ass, fake cheeks in Miami.” Goddammit, I love Peter.

Anyway, Rachel’s family picks up on Bryan’s hokey charm immediately. Rachel’s mother grills him about his bizarre relationship with his own mother, asking if he’d prioritize his wife over his mother. Bryan gets uncomfortable and leaves the room. YOU’RE A FRAUD, BRYAN. There’s a reason he can’t take the heat! Rachel snaps at her family about the fact that they pressed the issue so much.

Later, Rachel’s sister, Constance, sits down with Bryan and tells him she doesn’t trust how charming he is and that she thinks this is all moving too fast. He insists that this all part of the ~process~ and that this ~journey~ forces people to be emotionally vulnerable and that he’s definitely not just a smarmy snake trying to sleep with Rachel and be on TV. When Bryan sits down with Rachel’s mother, he asks for her blessing. Rachel’s mother says she’s okay with the two if the two of them get engaged, but only because she trusts Rachel’s judgment.

For some reason, Rachel and the three finalists go to Spain. I don’t really understand why they’re going abroad again, but Spain is wayyyyyy sexier than Scandinavia, so I support it. Rachel and Eric go on a one-on-one date which features yet another helicopter ride! Afterwards, they head to dinner before going back to the ~FANTASY SUITE~. I’m sure this is a big deal for Bachelor Nation. Heading back to the ~FANTASY SUITE~ is supposed to imply that Rachel and Eric have sex, but Eric is such a sweet guy, I doubt it went much further than a game of Seven Minutes in Heaven does in grade 8. I bet Eric’s heart pounded as he French kissed Rachel and struggled to unhook her bra.

The episode ends in the middle of Rachel and Peter’s date. The two of them start things off by exploring a vineyard. Cool? A Spaniard sings to them. It’s all very schmaltzy and romantic. Then the sun goes down and Rachel slips into an evening gown. She and Peter sit down and discuss their differing perspectives on what it means to be engaged. Rachel thinks being engaged is basically like dating? I think? Peter thinks being engaged is like promising to be wed, which it is. Right? Rachel starts crying and the producers definitely want us to think Peter is not going to end up as Rachel’s fiancé, but I’m still skeptical.

I feel like the producers are setting things up, so that we doubt whether or not Peter and Rachel will be together. But maybe I’m just being naïve and Bryan will win this whole thing, in spite of what a fake he is.