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: Hometown week came and went, with sojourns to Baltimore to meet Eric’s family and take a tour of city he grew up in, to Miami to meet Bryan’s fiercely protective mother, to Madison to do some grocery shopping with Peter, and to Aspen to view a poor imitation of mid-period David O. Russell with Dean’s estranged family. We assigned LSAT scores to each of these guys exams, with the denim-clad Eric taking home a score that would give him an iron-clad shot at getting into a T1 law school. Dean, who awkwardly giggled his way to a 131, was sent packing his bags.
We start off still in Dallas after the Rose Ceremony last weekend. She meets up with the remaining three dudes, and teases them with promises of an exotic trip. But before that, she announces that the guys will be meeting her family. The guys look thrilled.
First up to meet the fam is Peter. They’re meeting Rachel’s sister, who is with child. So Rachel takes them to a baby store (a store that sells stuff for babies, not a store that sells babies, as far as we viewers can tell). Rachel also mentions that her sister also has a three year old with the quintessential Millennial name Allister, and they need to get a gift for him too. Peter looks thrilled, and suggests that they knock out both by getting matching gifts. Peter, who’s getting the last minute narrative of not being into it, opts for a package brother-sister t-shirt set, a gift designed for lazy relatives.
Peter realizes he’s losing the momentum his model pedigree and Midwestern inoffensiveness gave him, so he declares that he is present continuous “falling in love” with Rachel in front of her entire collected family (her father, the Honorable Sam. A Lindsay of the Northern District of Texas, excepted, of course). This is The Bachelorette equivalent of proposing at a MLB game. Rachel’s mom later confronts Peter just to double check if he is a love-struck crazy person, and Peter admits that he’s not ready to ask for their blessing to propose to Rachel, which seems to assuage Rachel’s mom that this guy isn’t a love-struck loon.
Next up is Eric, who decides to run back the denim-on-denim look after the good fortune that combo brought last week. Rachel tells Eric she wants to show off the wonders of Dallas to him, right as the editors show the car passing under “Houston” street, which I assume is the most offensive editing trick you can pull on a prideful Dallasite.
Rachel takes Eric to a tall tower that looks like golf-ball–the height apparently representing the high bar Peter set yesterday. A big deal is made out of Eric not having had any serious relationships before and that he’s never been in love. Despite Rachel’s sister’s concerns about Eric’s lack of romantic experience, Eric eventually wins her over, like he has us all. Eric, feeling invigorated by this success, then asks Rachel’s mom for her blessing. Rachel’s mom hems and haws until one of the producers, off screen, looks her in the eye, points to Rachel’s dog Cooper, and then presses thumb to throat and slowly slides the hand crosswise across his neck, this threatening gesture getting Rachel’s mom to a “Yeah, I guess I trust Rachel.” Eric is ecstatic.
Finally, Rachel shows off her city to Bryan–the guy who both Peter and Eric seem most worried about. That Rachel is most attracted to Bryan is revealed in her choice to show him off to her girlfriends–and suddenly her choice to take Peter to a baby store and sequester Eric in a tower looks worse in comparison.
Rachel’s mom asks some uncomfortable questions about Bryan’s loyalty with his mom and how quickly he’s declared his love for Rachel. This line of questioning weirds Rachel out.
Does Bryan just have a face that screams, “Don’t trust me”? Does Rachel’s family have a finely-tuned “red flag” detector? Is this all just producer intervention to make Bryan not look like an inevitable winner? Or is this just the natural reaction to someone declaring they “love” another after like sixteen producer-supervised and televised encounters?
After Rachel’s mom confront Bryan for exclaiming his love for Rachel, Bryan asks Rachel’s mom for her blessing to propose. He actually says he would “love” to get her blessings, which, like [grimacing face emoji]. She eventually relents, images of a threatened Cooper still reeling across her mind’s eye, to allow Bryan to “build” on his initial love for Rachel.
With the boring family stuff out of the way, we finally get to the promised “exotic” locale–Northern Spain, where we will stay until this exercise in patiently waiting for two people who barely know each other to begin an extended engagement that probably will not end well is over.
Rachel recaps her feelings for the three remaining dudes, all of whom she holds strong feelings for “at the same damn time,” which means she can definitely see a future Future with them all. For the guys, this means Fantasy Suite time.
Eric gets the first Spanish date, finally getting the helicopter treatment with a tour of the cliffs of the La Rioja region of Spain, an area known mostly for, as far as I can tell from the internet, wine production and dinosaur footprints. After Eric reveals his love for Rachel, Rachel invites him back to the fantasy suite. He talks about building a “strong, real, deep” love and how it is the night to “go deeper” and “open up more,” so we know where his mind is.
Eric has opened himself up and has been rewarded with positive affirmations from Rachel. Peter, meanwhile, is playing coy as this season winds down. Peter and Rachel visit a vineyard, where they meet the adorable owner. The owner speaks to Peter and Rachel, in Spanish, about his love for his wife and then serenades them. Rachel attentively tries to decipher the man’s Spanish, while Peter chomps on Manchego like an unengaged doof.
While Rachel needs a little reassurance about whether Peter’s actually going to propose to her at the end of this thing, Peter starts talking about how, to him, a proposal necessitates marriage, and that he doesn’t know if he’s ready for that. She has a different view, which leads to a full minute of awkward mumbles and stares and half-hearted consolation that makes you yearn for the days of Whaboom guy. And now Rachel doesn’t know if she and Peter are going to work out. Which is the exact kind of misleading thing you’d say if you were trying to manufacture drama for home stretch of this season.