Rachel Lindsay is a practicing attorney who once took the LSAT. And you, dear reader, are an aspiring attorney who will soon take the LSAT, Rachel Lindsay is also an aspiring married person, serving as the Bachelorette on this season of The Bachelorette, the love story these depraved times deserve. And you, dear reader, may also be an aspiring married person? Either way, you definitely have at least a few things in common with Rachel. So every Tuesday, we’re going to be tracking Rachel’s romantic journey on The Bachelorette, and see what we can learn about love, loss, and the LSAT. Welcome back to the Logical Rose-ning Section.
Last time: We traveled to Switzerland with the remaining six contestants, getting odes to conspicuous consumption, the endurance of sled dogs, and France. We then threshed out the chaff, ridding Matt and Adam, leaving our final four contenders for hometowns this week.
Hometown with Eric in Baltimore, MD
We don’t waste any time (other than having to sit through a lengthy introduction, of course) getting to the first hometown showdown. First up is Eric, the formerly insecure, but increasingly confidant and enthusiastic, personal trainer. Eric’s been building momentum up, but he risks it all with a sartorial gamble: a light denim shirt over light denim pants that strongly evokes the Canadian tuxedo. It’s a bold look, but one that could maybe evoke a humility and working class realness that might set him apart from dandies like Peter, Bryan, and Dean?
They start their date on a picturesque hill overlooking the Baltimore harbor, but travel to a tougher part of the city where Eric grew up. As they drive, Eric notes, “Look, they’re selling drugs right here,” presumably passing by Bodie Broadus.
They play some ball and Rachel displays a tight handle, before Eric introduces Rachel to Ralph, whom Eric refers to, at least as well as these old ears can tell, as his “A1.” I wasn’t expecting a network reality show to make me feel like a decrepit old person, but I have no idea what that means. Is Ralph Eric’s steak sauce? He’s been in his refrigerator forever? He’s a little too overpowering to be an everyday condiment?
The big topic of this date is that this is the first girl Eric is bringing “home.” Home in this case being in the largest quotes you can envision. It’s pretty strange that every home these contestants go to, regardless of where they’re from or what they say about their background, is dressed up with the same HomeGoods accoutrements, and has nothing in the way of family photos, trophies, or any of the normal stuff you see in people’s homes. Anyway, they head over to Eric’s aunt Verna’s house, who has either let the producers use a heavy hand to spruce up her place, or has a crippling addiction to Overstock.com.
Rachel being the first woman Eric brings home doesn’t seem to be an issue. If anything, Eric’s family’s reaction is “Fiiiiiiinally … Rachel, take this guy off our hands.” Eric’s fam is super welcoming to Rachel. When leaving, Eric then drops the “love” bomb–not the “I can see myself falling in love with you” or “I am falling in love with you”–but an actual code 143. He immediately qualifies that with “…and by that I mean I care about you.” Which makes the statement a little less convincing. You usually don’t use support a very strong claim with a weaker one–that’s a logical fallacy, folks. Rachel wouldn’t face the jury and say, “My client is definitely didn’t defraud the plaintiff, and by that I mean he really cared about the plaintiff’s feelings.”
Anyway, Rachel admits to “falling for Eric.”
Let’s assign an LSAT score to this date, based on four criteria:
1. Was the guy’s outfit on point? Eric gets 19/25 points in this category. You gotta admire a bold decision with the denim on denim look–if it’s good enough for Britney and Justin, it’s good enough for you too. Plus, a clean white tee and fresh white sneakies will never go out of style.
2. Was the activity fun? 17/25. The basketball court had sentimental importance to Eric, gave insight into his childhood without being overbearing or obvious, and gave them an opportunity to goof around. Points deducted for inviting comparisons to Rachel’s college boyfriend—Kevin Durant—though.
3. Was the family a good sport? 24/25. The family could not have been more welcoming to Rachel and really helped prop up Eric. Shouts to Aunt Verna for unhesitatingly telling Rachel that Eric is ready for marriage.
4. Did the guy say the L word? 20/25. The guy did say the L word, but walked it back in his explanation. That unforced error is going to cost him 5 points.
So Eric winds up with a raw score of 80, which on the June 2017 LSAT would have net him an impressive 162.
Hometown with Bryan in Miami, FL
We’re in Miami, which according to Rachel, just screams “Bryan.” “It’s hot, it’s steamy, there’ something sexy about it. Sometimes it speaks to you in Spanish,” she says. Is Rachel hearing voices that she attributes to the actual city of Miami, which has gained voice and consciousness (and apparently sex appeal and the Spanish language) in her mind? Is Rachel OK?
More to the point, is Bryan OK? To make his best impression on Rachel, dude wears a golf shit with a grey v-neck visible underneath and grey joggers that look like baseball pants.
We may be in Miami, but that look is pure Tampa, man.
They play dominos—still the only board game that can be considered even remotely cool, sorry backgammon—in Domino Park, enjoy some arepas, and dance in an empty bar. Bryan smooth talks her, and she is absolutely in the bag.
What could ruin this? Bryan’s mom, that’s what. Here’s her calmly sizing up the woman determined to take away her baby (37 year old) boy.
Here’s her hearing that Bryan thinks Rachel is “the one.”
She backs that up wondering, “You have gone out with so many girls, and you go on a show, and you fall in love with the girl on the show? I’m in shock!” Good point, Bryan’s mom.
Here’s her pledging her undying loyalty to her son.
Here’s her making small talk with Rachel.
Here’s Rachel imagining her new life with Colombian Cersei Lannister as her mother-in-law.
Bryan does some damage control by telling Rachel that he is “in love” with her. No qualifications from this guy.
How did Bryan do?
1. Was the guy’s outfit on point? You’re an attractive guy in a humid climate. You think you can pull off anything, so you go for comfort–light joggers and a polo shirt with sweat-wicking material. You want to go bold with a bright color, so you get some red, but you don’t want to come off too strong, so you temper it with some dark gray. The outfit is a little matchy-matchy, a little minor league baseball. But you go for it regardless, because hey, you’re a hot guy. This category awards no “hot guy” bonus points, though. 5/25.
2. Was the activity fun? 16/25. Bryan was able to flaunt his Spanish speaking skills with the domino players, show off delicious South American cuisine, and salsa dance with Rachel. Well chosen activities, but what do they show about Bryan? Tough to say.
3. Was the family a good sport? 0/25. Bryan’s mom was the undeniable MVP of this episode, a ferocious mama grizzly of a woman who I am 100% convinced was not joking when she said she would straight up murder Rachel if she crossed Bryan. Problem was, Rachel seemed convinced too.
4. Did the guy say the L word? 24/25. Big time. One point deduction for not backing it up in Spanish.
So Bryan winds up with a raw score of 45, which on the June 2017 LSAT would have net him a 144. Looks like Bryan’s taking the December LSAT (read: we’re going to see this guy again as the next bachelor).
Hometown with Peter in Madison, WI
Peter—sensing the mistakes made by Bryan, his most significant competition—goes classic in his ‘fit, with a grey t-shirt (that artfully complements his graying temple), blue jeans, and brown boots.
That scoop neck is made for a younger man, though. No need to flaunt those clavicles in your thirties, dude.
Anyway, Peter gets the award for most boring date. Peter takes her to the farmers market, my go-to for those times when I really can’t think of anything better to do. Peter orders two honey sticks for them, which makes me question his commitment to personal training.
Peter then takes Rachel to an empty bar to meet his friends, who, let’s just get this out there, are two black dudes. Apparently, Peter bragged about this Rachel early on, and now … I mean, maybe these guys are Peter’s closest friends and confidants. Or maybe Peter is showing them off to show Rachel how down he is? At any rate, these guys look positively thrilled to see their close buddy for the first time in months.
Bryan then takes Rachel back to his parents’ place. His parents, btw, are the archetypes of Midwestern parents.
Just look at that goatee and cropped haircut on the dad. That smooth in the front, spiky in the back, peacock-y haircut that is bestowed on all moms at age 45.
The mom commits a major oopsie doopsie when she says that Peter may not propose her at the end of this, instead saying that Peter may be willing to give Rachel a verbal promise ring or something. Peter could have saved this with an L-bomb, but decides to just say he is “very happy.” Sounds like someone doesn’t want to go to law school.
1. Was the guy’s outfit on point? Not only was his outfit timeless, he displayed tremendous body heat regulation by not sweating through the grey shirt on a balmy day. But I’m going to have to scoop out a couple points for unnecessary collarbone exposure. 23/25.
2. Was the activity fun? 3/25. Walking around a farmers market and making both your date and your friends feel uncomfortable at a get together? Doesn’t sound very fun.
3. Was the family a good sport? 12/25. Peter’s niece did the yeoman’s work of making Peter seem like he would be a fun and loving dad. Peter’s mom undid a lot of that good work in her convo with Rachel. In all, it was kind of a wash.
4. Did the guy say the L word? 0/25. Nope. Not even a preemptory “I can see myself falling in L with you.” Big loss.
So Peter ends up with a raw score of 38, giving him a 140.
Hometown with Dean in Aspen, CO
Dean, last week, mentioned his dad’s growing eccentricity. Must be something in the Aspen water, because Dean’s outfit is extremely eccentric.
What’s going on man? You can go classic with a button-down blue oxford, you can go crunchy with that weird alpaca hoodie thing and way too many bracelets, or you can go contemporary, with a tight maroon pants that cut off half-way up your shins. Doing all three together is the definition of eccentricity, my mans.
Anyway, Dean is not from the beer-flows-like-wine part of Aspen, but the rural outskirts. So they put on like, children’s bicycle helmets and ride ATVs to a champagne hale-barrel picnic.
The big issue, as mentioned last week, is Dean’s estranged father. If this were a normal relationship, you probably wouldn’t be meeting your SO’s family after a couple months of dating, much less forcing your SO to visit an estranged family member, much less doing all of that when you’re also dating three other guys. But that’s not how we do things on The Bachelorette.
Dean’s dad is a converted Sikh, which certainly doesn’t make him eccentric. And he seems pretty chill throughout the early parts of the date. He plays a gong for everyone, which sounds oddly soothing (and is some low-key promo for ABC’s The Gong Show). He gifts feathers to Dean and Rachel to represent the bond he and Dean had with Dean’s late mother. He makes them a macrobiotic meal, which, I mean, doesn’t look great, but I’m sure was delicious.
But then Dean and his dad gather for some “one on one” time, and things get super rocky (mountains) from there. There’s clearly a lot of unresolved issues and resentment between them, and it’s tough to watch unfold, much less make jokes about. Fortunately, Dean’s dad remains cordial with Rachel, but more or less kicks the cameras off his property.
Dean does admit that he is “falling in love” with Rachel, which will net him some much needed points in the fourth category.
1. Was the guy’s outfit on point? He gets the worst outfit of the night dishonors with a weird mishmash of office casual, crunchy surf bro, and streetwear doofus. 2/25.
2. Was the activity fun? 10/25. ATV’s look moderately fun to me. It also seemed like they were going pretty slow. I’m all in on gongs now though.
3. Was the family a good sport? Not really the family’s fault, per se, but I can’t say that airing out deep-seated resentments is the best look. This definitely hurt Dean’s chances. 3 bonus points for having a brother named Ross. 3/25.
4. Did the guy say the L word? 13/25. He gets halfway there with a, “I’m falling in love with you,” the present continuous hedge that only exists on this show.
So Dean ends up with a raw score of 28, giving him a paltry 131.
At the rose ceremony in Rachel’s hometown of Dallas, Rachel can’t ignore the math. Dean will not be admitted into the fantasy suites. Upon rejection, Dean transmogrifies into a giant opalescent tear, and is immediately purchased by Jerry Jones and displayed prominently in the art museum at AT&T Stadium.