AMANDA IN ORANGE COUNTY
On the beach, Amanda is reunited with her two girls. They are darling, and they love Ben, but her parents are concerned he's a little young to be an insta-dad. After their conversation, Mom is still unsure. Amanda currently focuses on her children, but she wants to date again -- but she's got a lot invested in Ben.
Amanda's dad is a little more straightforward. There's going to be times you want to go to the gym, and you can't go. The kids have to come first. That pretty much sums it up. You want to eat? Guess what? You're probably going to steal a few fries from a Happy Meal. Want to sleep? Not tonight.
I think if he loved Amanda enough, he'd be there for the girls no problem, but let's keep in mind that there are three other women without two little girls. So his relationship with Amanda would have to be really strong, and I'm not seeing that over say, Lauren or Jojo.
LAUREN B IN PORTLAND
Lauren announces that she's in love with Ben, but she won't tell him until after he's met the family and sees how that goes. Kind of like "Downton Abbey" without titles. They're going to eat at the food trucks. I love Lauren B. She's my kind of girl. She has a love for butter. Girl, I feel you!
Then, she takes him to a "romantic" Whiskey Library. Okay, you have to admit if you're a single guy, and you've been to the beach with two little kids and a whiskey library with a woman you're more into, the chasm is stretching wider. They're going to meet the "fam." Why does this generation not finish its words? Is it me? How much harder is it to add a syllable and thus, comprehension?
This family is obviously close. Her father says this is the longest they've been away from each other and gone without talking. It's like girl boot camp! Lauren's sister grills Ben and goes through her sister's selling points. But he doesn't answer. Instead, he cries and the two of them hug. Say it with me now...Awww!
When Lauren's sister grills Lauren, she too starts to cry and says that she believes she was meant to meet Ben. Her dad asks Ben how Lauren is different and Ben says when he met her it was as if time stopped.
After a discussion with her father, and his fears that he's telling all these other chicks the same thing, Lauren decides not to tell Ben she loves him.
CAILA IN OHIO
Ben tells us he believes this is the deepest relationship he has and that she challenges him. They walk to a special bench at her high school. Then, they start making out. We had a name for those girls in high school. Just sayin'
Her dad is the CEO of a toy company, so they design their own house together. So they don hard hats and out into the factory they go. Caila knows her way around a power tool. She honestly has too much energy for me -- she says everything as if she's narrating her life and has watched one too many Kardashian episodes. Ben carries her out of the factory a la, "An Officer and a Gentleman" sans the uniform.
Once at home, he meets the parents -- and Dad seems to overly-narrate, too. Mom introduces all the Filipino food like she's auditioning for a cooking show. Then, the dad talks all about marrying into the Filipino community -- like, hey dude, white guy to white guy. WASP to WASP. It's just a little strange. Maybe I'm jaded since I live in a multi-cultural area
Mom tells Ben that her daughter has very high standards, but hasn't met a guy who lives up to them. Caila tells her dad that she knows this is it.
JoJo in DALLAS
We open with Jojo getting a bouquet of red roses and a love note from Ben. Except wait, it's not Ben. Ben can't tell her he loves her. Nope, it's from the ex. He wants her back -- she's talking on the phone to him when Ben arrives. Well, that's not planned or anything. She's crying when Ben arrives.
Ben's seen this before and it didn't end well for him. She lets him know that the letter upset her because her feelings aren't elsewhere. He thanks her for making the phone call. At the house, he seems very into JoJo, with his arm wrapped around her at the dinner table. JoJo's family seems lovely and offer to help Ben with a job, should he move there, but the brothers are not easily sold. They're worried this guy who lights their sister up, will break her heart. A valid concern.
Now, it's a two-on-one that isn't in Ben's favor. The brothers want to know what's going to happen. Ben blows it under pressure -- and says he doesn't know.
Jojo's mom has an accent -- or too much lip filler. I can't tell. Mom tells JoJo to go 150% and not be fearful. I have to agree with that. Go for it. It's better to be who you really are and feel what you really feel and risk getting hurt. It beats the alternative of never trying. Then, her brothers bring her down and say he's not as into her and she into him.
Ben is now blowing it with the dad and then, the brothers grill him further and tell Ben that he's brainwashed these girls.
THE HOMETOWN SUMMARY
Definitely, the best hometowns went to Lauren B and Caila. He seems to fit in most naturally with Lauren's family. They're all really nice girls from nice families. I don't think he could go wrong with any of them.
As we get to the rose ceremony, you realize how cruel and sadistic this show really is. These are all such nice girls and to meet their families and dump them. Wow, cold. Amanda is going home, and it's so sad because she was really invested in him. She wishes that he'd told them in LA and he says it's completely fair, but he couldn't say. It took processing and seeing how the other hometown dates went. I feel a little sick for watching this -- I hope Amanda finds a man worthy of her and her girls.
Ben breaks down. He's seeing how he hurt Amanda and that sucks. He knows she didn't deserve it. This process sucks.