It’s hometowns, and in true ABC fashion they’re in the order from boring to bananas.
We’re headed to Laguna Beach (00’s kids rejoice!) with Amanda. The couple frolics on the beach before meeting her babies, who are so stinking cute. The parents have a come to Jesus meeting with Ben regarding how much of a shock it would be for him to become a step dad. She’s sweet, I just don’t see it. It was a snoozeworthy date.
Ben jets off to Portland to meet Lauren. They tour the city and eat and drink their way through before heading to meet her family. Ben gets weepy when speaking to her sister and trying to articulate why he’s into her. Her entire family has reservations about the expedited dating process, and that this franchise doesn’t exactly have the most successful track record. Lauren tells her sister she is in love, but gets cold feet and doesn’t say anything to Ben.
Caila, who moved a lot growing up and doesn’t identify with a hometown, takes Ben to Hudson, OH where she attended high school. They make out on a bench then go to the toy factory her dad runs. They make out some more in the factory in front of her dad’s coworkers, which is 100% awkward. We meet Caila’s Filipino-American family and her mom has adult braces and I cannot stop watching her mouth. He has open conversations about his relationship(s) with both her parents, who are great and by far my favorite family. Caila tells her mom and dad “this is it” and I am starting to get sad for her, because I don’t think it is. I never disliked Caila, she just didn’t do too much for me, however this changed it for me and now I’m really rooting for her. She was very ready to tell him how she felt, but like the two ladies before her chickened out.
Back in Dallas we’re all freaking out because JoJo receives a bouquet of flowers and love note from Ben. Why JoJo? Why not the other girls? Because it’s NOT FROM BEN! Her ex is writing to express his love and wanting to get back together. She calls him and we don’t know how the conversation ends because freaking Ben breaks up this insane moment!! What does he think this is his show? She explains the sitch to Ben and says she ended it with the ex and he’s totally understanding and perfect and they make out.
Jo’s bros grill Ben and don’t sense he is sincere and break it down for Jo pretty simply: you’ve been on 2 dates with someone and you think you’re in love?!?! They tell her they don’t think he seems as into her as she is him and then the lay into Ben. To escape the awkwardness, the mom is in the background drinking wine straight from the bottle. Because you got to do what you got to do to get through family dinners. We’ve all been there mom, and you’re a fucking champ. More awkward bro vs Ben fighting continues and it is pretty reminiscent of when Desiree’s brother ruined her chances with Sean.
Back in Cali, Ben gives roses to Lauren, Caila and despite the hometown hiccup, JoJo. As predicted by pretty much every person who watches the show, Amanda gets sent home. I guess she got her hair done while in Laguna, because she’s ditched that horrid ombre and has blonder roots. She’s obviously upset, but handles it with the grace we’d expect from her. Ben is also upset and cries a lot of man tears.
I haven’t changed my mind – still think it is Lauren and JoJo and I think he’ll propose to Lauren.