Season 12 of ABC’s The Bachelorette continues to whisk by, as week 8 of Jojo Fletcher’s love story aired this week. On it, the remaining 4 men welcomed Jojo – as well as Bachelor Nation – into their hometowns to meet their families. In addition, Jojo attempts to narrow the pack down to the final 3.
The first hometown date of the night took place in Highland Ranch, Colorado, where Chase’s family resides. Before meeting up with Chase, Jojo admits in confessional, “Chase has been a little slower to open up than the rest of the guys. I really hope that today he is able to put it all out there.” Jojo arrives at the snow-covered landscape of Colorado and first has a brief catch up with Chase. Here, he tells her about growing up in a “broken home” – which he evidently believes is partially responsible for him being so closed off.
Chase takes Jojo to his house, where his father soon after drops by. Chase is evidently overjoyed, as he confesses he hasn’t seen his father in quite some time. During their long one-on-one chat, Chases’ father expresses concern to his son about the possibility that Jojo may not pick him in the end. However, Chase is confident and truly believes he is ready to tie the knot with the bachelorette.
After meeting Chases’ father, Jojo then gets the opportunity to meet the rest of his family. She is soon after introduced to his mother Sandy, his step-dad, his sister and his sister’s family. Sandy pulls Jojo aside and gives her a brief rundown on how hard of a time Chase had after she divorced his dad. She subtly tries to pull at Jojo’s heartstrings, as she tells her that she just wants her son to be happy. When talking with his mom, Chase reveals that he feels completely ready to get down on one knee when the time comes. In the end, Sandy ends up giving her son and his [potential] future wife her blessings. The date ends off with Chase telling Jojo that he is truly falling in love with her – which she takes extra seriously seeing as though he hasn’t been one to be so open with his feelings in the past.
The next hometown Jojo heads to is Chico, California, where she meets up with the arguably competition front-runner Jordan Rodgers. They start off their date by going to Jordan’s high school (Pleasant Valley High School), where Jojo gets introduced to Jordan’s old football coach and a few of his teachers. While at the school, Jojo notices a picture of Jordan’s brother Aaron hanging on the wall. This leads to Jordan revealing that he has not spoken with his brother in nearly 2 years.
Jordan then takes Jojo to his parents’ house – where he introduces her to his mom Darla and his father Ed, as well as his brother Luke and his girlfriend. While enjoying a dinner together, Jojo gets a bit of insight on the little troublemaker Jordan was growing up. Luke is the first one to pull Jojo aside. Right away, Jojo brings up the fact that Aaron is missing from the picture. Luke explains that God will “bring things full circle” and their brother will re-enter their family dynamic when the time is right.
When talking with the bachelorette, Jordan’s father Ed can’t help but admit that he finds the whole reality TV love show thing weird. While his family is in the media a lot (note: two of his sons have been/are in the NFL), Ed explains that he is not totally used to the whole fame thing. However, he does tell Jojo, “Fame can change you, but one thing I know about Jordan – he’s so strong-willed, he’s not going to let that change him in any way.”
After meeting Jordan’s family, Jojo talks briefly about her concerns with him outside. In a twist of events, Jojo explains that she is insecure about their relationship, as she will be “pissed” if Jordan dumps her 6 months after her awarding him the final rose. Jordan reassures her that he will be “[waking] up every day” just to “work at [their] relationship.”
Next, Robby welcomes the bachelorette to his hometown of St. Augustine, Florida. Robby surprises Jojo with a horse-drawn carriage that takes them on a tour of St. Augustine’s quaint streets. Jojo gets right to the point with Robby, as she expresses her fear that she is merely a rebound from Robby’s previous long-term relationship. However, Robby assures her that she is his “everything” and will always be so.
When they finally arrive at Robby’s family home, Jojo meets his mother Holly, his father “Coach,” his sisters Grace and Katie, his brother-in-law Tyler, as well as his younger brothers Michael and Patrick (big family!!). In no time at all, Robby’s siblings are already heard gushing about how “real” the couple’s love seems to be.
Jojo talks with Holly, who addresses Jojo’s fears about Robby not being ready for a serious relationship again. Holly tells her, “In almost everything you do in life, there’s always a chance that you’re gonna get hurt. But if my son envisions you in his future, there’s no turning back. If it’s the real deal, he’s going to go in with his whole heart, because that’s just what he does.” This prompts Jojo to gush to Robby’s mother, “I am certainly falling in love [with your son]. I haven’t told anybody that!”
Unfortunately, things take a turn for the worse when Jojo and Robby finally have an in-depth conversation about the rumors Jojo has heard regarding Robby’s intentions for being on the show. Jojo had previously heard from another girl that Robby dumped his girlfriend to be on the show and gain some fame. However, Robby adamantly states that he is simply looking for love. Jojo has a hard time believing Robby and pleas with him just to be honest with her. Robby continues to stand his ground, telling her, “My relationship with [my ex] was over nine months before it actually ended.” While Jojo keeps Robby in the game, she is clearly not 100% sold on his actual intentions for courting her for the past 8 weeks.
Lastly, Jojo heads to Burnet, Texas where she meets up with Luke. Coming full circle, Jojo shows up to his small town wearing the cowboy boots that he gifted her way back on night one. In confessional Jojo says, “I’m just waiting for that moment where that emotional, like, depth comes back out. I see glimpses of that side of [Luke], but I want to see more.”
Luke brings Jojo back to his family’s farm. Here, He introduces her to his mother Susie, his father Bill and his sister Abby, as well as a whole slew of his “closest friends.” At first, Jojo admits she felt a bit “intimated” by the large gathering, however, she is quick to warm up to the big crowd.
During a private conversation, Luke’s father Bill is heard talking to his son about how he realized that his wife Susie was the one. He then goes on to advise Luke to not follow the timelines that are set out by the show’s producers and such, rather follow his gut and heart.
Jojo and Luke end off their date by going on a romantic hayride. Here, Luke tells Jojo that he can see a future with her. He explains, “I see that future, and I want that future. And it is scary…but when I’m sitting in front of someone I’m falling for, that all makes sense.”
After wrapping up all of the hometown dates, Jojo and the men fly back to Los Angeles where they reunite with host Chris Harrison. The rose ceremony for the week commences in front of a private jet that is waiting to take Jojo and her final 3 to their “exotic overnight dates” location.
The show continues to throw twists in for viewers, as Jojo’s supposed plan to send Luke home is unexpectedly put on hold. Much to the other contestants’ dismay (particularly Jordan), Luke pulls Jojo aside and decides to finally confess his love for her (as he had only talked about their future while on his hometown date).
Unfortunately, the episode leaves Bachelor Nation hanging – as we are all left in the dark when it comes to whom Jojo ends up choosing for her top 3. Will Luke’s last minute love proclamation be enough to win him a spot in the top 3?
You can find out next week on Monday, July 25 when The Bachelorette returns.
Next Week on The Bachelorette:
Jojo and the top 3 contenders jet off to an exotic location. Here, she enjoys a fantasy suite date with all 3 of the men and then finally decides who her final 2 men will be.
The Most Awkward Moments of The Bachelorette 1208
7. Jordan’s hair is just too floppy
I mean, Jordan, if I can address you directly: c’mon, man. Just a little bit of pomade will keep your hair from flapping around like a bird with one broken wing. You don’t look cool. You look like you’re trying way too hard to look like you’re not trying at all. I’m not saying you don’t have beautiful hair. You do. You just have to tame it a little bit. I know you visited your high school, but you don’t have to wear your hair like you’re still in high school, and you haven’t learned about hair clay yet.
6. Chase, just open up already
I’m so sick and tired of hearing JoJo talk about how Chase doesn’t open up emotionally. It was the only thing they talked about on his date, and I hated every moment of it. I’m not exaggerating; it was the only thing they talked about. Even all the stuff about his parents’ divorce (we’ll get to that later) was supposed to explain Chase’s emotional reticence. But this isn’t therapy; this is a reality show! JoJo imploring Chase to open up over and over again isn’t going to make him able to to do it! He needs to work with a dedicated counselor probably over a period of years to work this stuff out. Leave him alone for now. Did you think maybe he’s a dullard who doesn’t really have emotions like you do? JoJo, did you think of that? Maybe it’s hard for him to talk about his feelings because he’s not much more complicated than “I’m hungry, I’m horny, I’m tired?” I’m just putting it out there!
5. The airplane hangar
Seriously, how dramatic was the rose ceremony inside the airplane hangar? It was such a huge room that made the big men seem so small. And the long shadows across the floor. And JoJo’s limo entrance. And the feeling of “we’re going straight from here to wherever else we’re going, except one of you.” It was so over-the-top. I was really into it.
4. Robby gets caught out there
Robby wanted his hometown visit to be nice, where his family falls as in love with JoJo as he professes to be. Instead, he had to explain the circumstances around his recent breakup again. Robby’s last relationship ended in December, which may mean that he dumped his girlfriend when he found out he was going on The Bachelorette. At least, that’s what his ex-girlfriend’s roommate (???) wants us to believe. He says that people are saying He’s Not Here For The Right Reasons. Robby defends himself by saying that the relationship “was over nine months before it actually ended.” Hmmm. JoJo doesn’t believe him and pleads with him to be honest with her. If you look closely at Robby’s face when his mom tells him about the roommate (seriously, who is she? What?) you can see him realizing he’s not going to be the Bachelor when this is over.
3. Chase’s distant Dad
Chase’s inability to open up emotionally is due to his parents’ divorce when he was 8. It hurt him real bad, and his dad wasn’t around much before or after. That’s tough. Listen, I’m not saying divorce isn’t hard on kids and doesn’t have lingering effects in adulthood! But it’s not an uncommon problem that no one understands, and it can be moved past, especially since Chase did seem to grow up in a tight-knit, loving family, at least on his mom’s side. His dad, eh, I don’t know. That was weird. With his mom there was a party. With his dad, they met at Chase’s house for like an hour and quietly talked about why he and Chase’s mother got divorced. It was a heavy conversation to have with a guy we’d literally never seen before and never will again. Neither Chase nor his dad wanted to talk about it, and so they didn’t, really. These are not men who talk about this. So why force this awkward, miserable, unenlightening conversation to happen for our entertainment instead of in a therapist’s office or quiet, neutral place, where it should? It was very not entertaining.
(Also: Chase’s dad said the split happened because he was busy “climbing the corporate ladder.” Later, when Chase was talking to his sister at his mom’s house, he said “I don’t want to put anybody through what dad put us through. I want to find one girl and marry her.” This sounds like Chase’s dad had an affair. They wouldn’t talk about it on the show, because why would they, that’s nobody’s business, but the show left this line in to point toward the real story. “Climbing the corporate ladder” seems like a euphemism for “having a secret family on the side.” In which case, yes, I get why Chase is damaged. But either tell us that or stop wasting our time, The Bachelorette!)
2. The two empty chairs for Aaron Rodgers and Olivia Munn
Jordan didn’t want to talk about his superstar brother’s absence, and he barely did, but since this is the most interesting storyline this season, it had to be addressed. And the show did it in the most awesomely literal way. During dinner with the Rodgers, there were two empty seats at the table for Aaron, the Super Bowl champion quarterback of the Green Bay Packers and his movie star girlfriend, Olivia Munn. So what did they say about Jordan’s estrangement? Well, it’s been hard for everyone. Then JoJo threw down the gauntlet: “I have no idea nor could I imagine why Aaron wouldn’t want to be a part of their lives.” You hear that, MVP? JoJo’s calling you out for turning your back on your family! If you want to tell your side of the story, my email is always open (email@example.com).
1. That cliff-hanger, though!
It started when JoJo said in a confessional “I think I need to say goodbye to Luke,” which, putting aside that this is clearly the wrong choice, and it is Robby she should eliminate, is crazy because it’s the first time I remember the show saying who was going to be eliminated before the moment it happens during the rose ceremony. If there’s a serious Bachelor historian who knows otherwise, email me, but it felt like a huge break from tradition. I was thrown off from that. Then, Luke comes through like a boss with the “can I talk to you for a sec?” right before she starts handing out roses. He tells her that he can’t go into this rose ceremony without telling her that he’s in love with her. She cries for the rest of her life and says she doesn’t know what to do. Then TO BE CONTINUED! Will Luke’s reveal buy him more time, or will its blatant manipulativeness cement JoJo’s decision that he has to go?