This week, The Bachelorette jetsets to Geneva, Switzerland, which is fitting, given that the original intent of the Geneva Convention was to ensure the humane treatment of reality-show participants. Rachel calls it an amazing city to fall in love in, which it certainly appears to be! But how many more seasons do we have before Chris Harrison and company will have burned through Europe’s entire supply of charming backdrops? I predict that, by 2027, the Bachelorette cast will have to convince themselves that Pittsburgh is an amazing city to fall in love in. (No offence, Pittsburgh! You have the Andy Warhol Museum!)
Geneva or no Geneva, this is a particularly vital moment for Rachel and her dudes, because the all-important hometown dates — when Rachel visits the final four men’s families — are coming up next week. To turn the pressure up even more, there won’t be a rose ceremony in this episode: There will be three one-on-one dates and one three-on-one group date. Rachel will choose to give out roses as she sees fit. But this playing field is far from level, because neither Adam nor Matt has had a one-on-one date yet.
The first one-on-one date goes to Bryan, Rachel’s preferred makeout partner. Outside the men’s hotel, a Bentley convertible awaits Rachel and Bryan for their “luxurious” day together. (True story: There is a dusty-ass Bentley in the garage of my very un-Bentley building that I have literally never seen move in two years. Someone please produce a Peabody-winning investigative docuseries that solves this mystery, thanks in advance.)
They head to a Brietling watch shop where romantic music swells — spending money makes my heart sing, too — as Rachel buys them a pair of matching high-end watches. She says it’s her treat, which I’d like to believe, but I’m not sure if it’s “her treat” in the same way that Neil Lane engagement rings aren’t anybody but ABC’s treat. Either way, I am enjoying this overtly trophy-husband-themed date.
I joked during Ben Higgins’ season of The Bachelor that one of his dates had been set-decorated by a crew member who’d defected from a production of The Phantom of the Opera, but I have to apologise. I realise now that I was wrong, because that is actually what has happened tonight. Bryan and Rachel dine in an ornate theatre, all red and gold, with about 100 lit candles burning over draped fabric (fire hazards are very sexy) on steps leading up to a massive, unquestionably haunted organ.
Bryan reveals that his last relationship started out passionate likes theirs, but fizzled prematurely after he invited the woman to attend a wedding with his family. With that in mind, Bryan’s a little nervous about the prospect of hometowns, but this doesn’t dampen the enthusiasm with which Rachel gives him his rose. Musicians appear in the boxes above the couple to score their ensuing makeout, as the invisible organ ghost presumably looks on.
In Rachel’s second one-on-one date, she takes Dean to church — literally, to a Mass conducted in French. (Neither Rachel nor Dean speaks French. This is a weird date, and nobody gets a fancy watch.) They stroll the city’s charming Old Town and dance around a cobblestone square before Rachel makes it clear she wants to have some Serious Adult Conversations. But a nervous Dean, I’m sorry to say, largely fails to rise to the challenge, asking her questions like “Do you believe in the Tooth Fairy?” and “What’s your favourite dinosaur?” in a misguided attempt to relieve the tension. (Actually, favourite dinosaur is a not a terrible date question. Brontosaurus or bust.)
Over dinner, she mentions that she felt their date was slightly off, and he agrees. Dean finally spills his guts: He’s anxious about taking her home because he has a difficult relationship with his “eccentric” widower father. “My family is not going to be the family that you want to see,” he tells her, and he’s worried that she’ll judge them as a harbinger of the life the two of them would create together. Rachel reassures Dean that she doesn’t care. He’s here because she likes him. He gets the rose, and yet — even though there is a little fondue pot on the table right in front of them — nobody bothers to dip it in cheese. Amateur hour.
Peter — who is the best, sorry, it’s not even close — gets the third and final one-on-one date. They take a helicopter ride over the stunning Swiss Alps before touching down on Glacier 3000 (how is that not an electronica band, but an actual glacier?) for some dog sledding, making this their second canine-themed date. Afterwards, they cozy up in the snow. Peter admits that there have been times when, watching her with all these other guys, he’s felt like leaving. She says she’s glad he stayed — and she remembers all too well what that feels like. Later, he tells her that, if he were to make it to the end, he wouldn’t propose unless he felt his whole heart was in it. Rachel appreciates his honesty, but she’s nevertheless a little shaken by it. That’s not say there was ever any doubt that America’s #1 Dreamboat was getting a rose.
Eric, Adam, and Matt are relegated to the group date, meaning the three men will have to duke it out for the very last rose before hometowns. It’s worth noting that Adam and Matt have had about 10% the screentime of anyone else remaining this season. I would not necessarily bet money that Rachel knows for sure which one is Matt and which one is Adam. But Adam, oddly, seems to be feeling just fine. “My relationship is probably stronger than anybody else’s in the house,” he explains. I would be very interested in checking out whatever show it is that Adam has been watching, because it sounds fascinating. She takes the dudes on a boat trip to France.
Matt is the first to go. Rachel can’t stop herself from crying as she breaks up with him, because she says he reminds her the most of herself: “I just want you to know that it’s meant so much for me for you to be here and it’s been such a pleasure getting to know you.” Why is this making me emotional? I have no idea who this person is. That said, Matt seems like a nice dude — watching how hard it is for Rachel to say goodbye to him, I wish we could have seen more of him. (Sidenote: The coming-soon editing sure made it seem like it was Peter who would make Rachel cry in the course of this episode, but that was apparently a lie how dare you!!!)
After sitting down with both Adam and Eric — who informs her that a) he’s never bought a girl home to meet his parents and that b) he had a rough childhood growing up in a family plagued by crime and drug use in Baltimore (the first fact is more troubling to Rachel than the second) — she chooses Eric.
The previews make it seem like we’re in store for one of the most dramatic hometowns in recent memory. Let me just say this: Brace yourself for Dean’s dad.