Hometown Date Week is quite possibly the most important event in each Bachelor season, only behind the “Women Tell All” episode and the finale itself. Nick sent home an impossible amount of women over the past two weeks. The only girls left are Raven, Vanessa, Corinne and Rachel. Rachel has already been announced the next Bachelorette.
The first date is with Raven in Hoxie, Arkansas. She starts the date off by having her brother, a police officer, pretend to reprimand the two of them for climbing a silo.They ride ATV’s through the mud and things heat up. Her dad had lung cancer, so she was very excited for him to be able to meet Nick. He’s only the second guy Raven has ever brought home, so the pressure was on. Nick is there for a major family moment when her father announces he’s cancer-free. Raven has a heart-to-heart with both her parents, discussing how she is falling for him and the future she pictures with him. Her dad tells Nick very honestly that he wasn’t expecting to like him, but he has faith in Raven’s judgment, and he essentially gives Nick his blessing on a proposal if that’s what’s coming down the line. Raven cannot say she loves him at the end of the night.
Nick travels to Texas next to see Rachel’s hometown, Dallas. She takes him to a church service. He says that he’s never felt closer to her than in that moment in church, as faith was a big part of his childhood, too. They discuss their future as an interracial couple. Rachel says she needs her family’s stamp of approval in order to fall in love with Nick. Both of them are pretty nervous, as Rachel has never introduced her parents to a white guy before. Everyone’s first question for Nick is whether or not he’s ever dated a black woman before. Nick affirms he loves Rachel for who she is, but all of this is taken with a grain of salt as we know they obviously do not end up together. However, at the moment, she does feel like she’s falling in love with him.
Miami, Florida is Corinne’s hometown. The first thing she does with Nick is take him shopping at “one of the most exclusive malls in Miami.” We are gifted with Corinne’s “pro-shopping tips” during this trip and also a fashion show from the Bachelor himself. She spends more than $3,000 buying clothes for Nick. This doesn’t seem like a bribe for his affections at all. Corinne declares her love for him over lunch. It really seemed as if it pained her to do so, but she said the words and Nick reacted very positively. There’s a loud reception at Corinne’s parent’s home and we finally meet Raquel, Corrine’s nanny. Nick actually has a conversation with Raquel about his intentions. Corinne and her dad talk finances (you know, she does run a multi-million dollar company) and she says she is okay being the breadwinner if she is put in that position. Now we finally see where she gets the tendency to refer to herself in the third person.
The final Hometown Date is with Vanessa in Montreal, Canada (which we weren’t even sure was allowed on the Bachelor), for which Nick dons his fanciest cardigan. Vanessa takes him to meet her students at the adult special education facility she works at, which is very emotional for everyone. They all make a scrapbook of Vanessa and Nick’s search for love. Since Vanessa’s parents are divorced, they meet with her mother and father separately. It’s a big family lunch at her mother’s house, where everyone shows concern about Nick’s willingness to compromise on living situations with Vanessa. Her sister expresses obvious doubt about the authenticity of their relationship and how it will survive outside the realm of the Bachelor, and brings Nick to tears. Her brother and mom also show the same concerns, leaving Vanessa questioning their relationship. The next portion of the evening is much more low-key, with just Vanessa’s dad and stepmother. Her protective dad is hesitant to give Nick his blessing, but Nick fights for it. Nick having asked other fathers for their blessings makes Vanessa reevaluate where she stands.
It’s finally time for the Rose Ceremony, but of course, we don’t actually get to see it. We are left with a shot of Andi Dorfman, the first Bachelorette who broke Nick’s heart, showing up at Nick’s door. The preview for next week’s episode show’s Nick questioning whether or not he will end up with anyone at all.