Ladies and gents, welcome to Hometowns! I’m still not totally sure how we’re *already* here—like did I miss an episode or something?—but, let’s dig in!
First up is Kendall and poor Arie isn’t even in L.A. for more than five minutes before she takes him into her taxidermy lair, and it’s safe to say he. is. not. into it.
Arie’s literal reaction to Kendall’s taxidermy collection:
As if scaring Arie to his core by showing him a bunch of creepy dead animals isn’t enough, Kendall then tells him that they’re going to be making their own taxidermy. WTF is this date?
But guys, it gets WORSE. After stuffing two rats (as I tried not to vom), Arie and Kendall start playing with them like they’re freaking Barbie dolls! I. am. done. Bye.
Honestly Arie, get out. Get out now. This is *too* weird.
After the v. disturbing taxidermy portion of the date is over, Arie tells Kendall that she’s a little “corky”—nice try Arie, someone get this guy a dictionary—but that he’s totally falling for her. Kendall seems super happy to hear those words come out of his mouth, but unfortch for Arie she doesn’t say it back. Ouch.
Later, Kendall takes Arie to meet her fam and I still can’t get over the fact that her twin sister’s name is Kylie. Somewhere out there Kris Jenner is plotting revenge on the woman who also named her daughters Kendall and Kylie.
But serious question: why isn’t her little brother’s name Rob?
The family meet-and-greet goes quite smoothly with very little drama (boooring), but Kendall’s dad and sister make it clear to Arie that she defs won’t be ready for marriage at the end of this. So, bye Kendall.
Oh, and before the night is over Kendall tells Arie she’s also falling for him but was too scared to say it earlier. Moving on.
Arie arrives in Tia’s Arkansas hometown next—the town’s name is Weiner, as we’re reminded approximately 100 times—and can I just say, I freaking love Tia. Instead of forcing Arie to endure some boring date, she takes him race-car driving to make him feel at home and, even though she’s nervous as hell, she’s all like “I’m gonna tear this shit up.” Tia is a badass and I am here for it.
Fast-forward to the evening portion of the date, Tia takes Arie home to her fam and right off the bat they’re toasting with mini hot dogs and pigs in a blanket. These people are my people, straight up.
After meeting everyone as a group, Arie goes outside to chat with Tia’s brother who I’m pretty sure is the *real* Slim Shady. Idk what I’m more afraid of: him or the creepy taxidermy.
Immediately her brother starts calling Arie out on being a total player and a “Kissing Bandit” which like, fair, but Arie ends up defending himself and winning him over.
The dad however, isn’t as easy to crack. He takes Arie outside and also brings up the fact that he knows he’s a playboy, to which Arie responds, “that’s completely false.” Um, I beg to differ.
After chatting her dad up a little more, Arie then asks for his blessing to propose if it’s them in the end and her dad says it’s cool because “Tia digs him.” But adds that if Arie hurts her, he *will* find him.
Actual footage of Tia’s dad rn:
At the end of the night, Tia tells Arie that she’s officially in love with him and not just falling in love with him anymore, and Arie responds by knotting up her hair while they make out. Rude.
Tia about Arie:
Moving on to Becca’s Hometown date in Minnesota which starts off v. boring. She takes him apple picking—a.k.a. the most basic date ever—and then they make some scrumptious-looking caramel apples together. Serious question: is it actually possible to eat one of those without chipping a tooth? Asking for a friend.
Time to meet the fam! Becca introduces Arie to everyone, and then Uncle Gary pretty much immediately pulls him aside to have a chat. Just some quick background info: Becca’s dad passed away and Uncle Gary stepped in the be a father figure for Becca—so, he means business.
After pulling on our heartstrings and tearing up over the fact that it should be Becca’s dad sitting there instead of him—love you, Uncle Gar—Arie ends up making a pretty good impression on him too.
And later, when he asks Becca’s mom for her blessing to propose, she says she gives her blessing to whatever Becca decides. To which Arie responds with the phrase that makes me roll my eyes every. damn. time: “I love that.”
Time for Lauren’s Hometown! We’re in Virginia Beach for this one and Lauren is clearly v. excited to have Arie there because she is showing more expression than we have ever seen from her (which still isn’t *that* much).
Immediately, the vibe with Lauren’s fam is suuper awks and her military dad is obvi not impressed that Arie doesn’t play golf. How dare you, Arie?
Lauren’s dad to Arie: So, do you play golf?
Arie: No I don’t actually
As the awkward vibes thicken at the dinner table, Arie—who is literally sweating up a storm like, his forehead is wet—excuses himself for a sec. But Lauren was probably just like “it’s cool guys, he does this all the time.”
After patting himself down with what must have been an entire box of Kleenex, Arie heads outside with Lauren’s dad, who continues to scare the shizzz out of him. But Lauren’s dad ends up falling in love with Arie when he tells him he went to Iraq on a tour with some other race-car drivers to support the soldiers.
Arie’s chat with Lauren’s mom doesn’t got as well; she’s pretty darn cold the entire time but she does, hesitantly, give Arie her blessing to propose. However, it’s clear to see that Mama Lauren is still not impressed with the whole thing which, fair it is The Bachelor. Regardless of how hard her mom was on him though, Arie is smitten with Lauren and they end the evening on a good note.
Hometowns are over and it’s time for Rose Ceremony! Arie tells Chris Harrison that he has basically no idea what he’s going to do and, after walking out AGAIN—come on dude, it’s getting old—he asks to steal Kendall away for a sec. At this point, Tia is all of us:
Arie asks Kendall if she thinks she’ll be ready for marriage at the end of this. She says she’s not sure but she’s also not ready to lose him. And after telling Arie how much he means to her, they walk back inside to continue the Rose Ceremony. I literally have ZERO idea who he is sending home now, ugh.
After giving roses to Becca and Lauren, Arie gives his final rose to Kendall—sending Tia home. Excuse me while I have an emotional breakdown.
Arie gives Tia literally no explanation for why he’s sending her home—which fills me with rage—and just like that, with no closure at all, he sends her on her way. Soooo, can Tia be the next Bachelorette pls? K thnx.
And that’s a wrap for Hometowns! See you back here next week for Fantasy Suites!