Week 7 - Hometown Dates
The hometown dates begin in Colorado, home of broken home Chase who has divorced parents. It's snowy and sunny so either it's that awesome Aspen Extreme way of life where you can ski and wear bikinis or they're faking the funk for TV. JoJo appreciates Chase opening up more to her and sharing more about his past. Chase's dad swings by his house to meet JoJo, which is more therapy for Chase to ask his dad why his first marriage didn't work out. Always great convo to have when trying to impress a woman! Chase's snoozefest of a hometown continues on to the night at his mom's house with the rest of his family. JoJo talks to his mom about his walls which is MORE divorce talk for this downer of a date. It's hard for Chase to say I love you because, as a reminder, his parents are divorced and therefore he's more guarded. After getting mom's approval, JoJo and Chase head outside and he tells JoJo he's falling in love with her.
Then it's off to Chico, California to get a tour of Jordan's high school, where all super cool dudes bring their girlfriends to makeout on library book stacks and meet his old coaches. JoJo decides to make it awkward by bringing up his famous brother, which is probably the only reason he was cast on this show. Aaron won't be present at today's meeting and instead JoJo gets to meet Jordan's parents and other non-famous brother. JoJo decides making Jordan uncomfortable about Aaron isn't enough, asking the other brother Luke about it too. JoJo raves about how much she cares about Jordan, and even his mom notices how Jordan is glowing and happy. They shoehorn in Aaron's name a few more times before the date starts to wrap up. JoJo is scared that Jordan might not be ready for forever and she wants to tell Jordan she loves him, but also doesn't want to pull a Ben and not pick the person she says "I love you" to.
Robby lives in St. Augustine, Florida which I guess is one reason to have such a terrifying tan. JoJo whistles and is surprised with a horse-drawn carriage ride to take in the beautiful town while inhaling the scent of horse poop. While JoJo definitely likes Robby, she's still a bit weary about his last relationship ending so soon before this show and he dropped the "love" word the earliest. Robby assures JoJo it's all in the past, the past being like 3 months ago, but we know this drama is far from over on the hometown date. Robby's family toasts JoJo's arrival and they all love her immediately. Never one to shy away from uncomfortable, JoJo asks Robby's mom about the ex and if maybe he'll regret not getting "me" time between relationships. Then JoJo tells the mom she's falling in love with Robby and that's the most shocking thing to me this season because the connection seems so inauthentic. Robby gets some big news that his ex-girlfriend's roommate started a rumor that he dumped her to be on the show and decides to tell JoJo immediately. This revelation riles up JoJo again who doesn't want to be played and Robby insists it's not true and he's there for the right reasons. Robby worries that all of JoJo's doubts about him are a bad sign.
Hometown dates wrap up in Texas, the home state of both Luke and JoJo. It's quite the drive to meet Luke's family which is a big family BBQ that also include friends that are like family. Great, now all I want is ribs, cornbread, and Coke Zero in a solo cup. She's comfy in Chambray, he's dressed like a picnic cloth - it's a casual day. Luke hopes today will be the day he can tell JoJo he loves her, as his dad tells him to not rush it because of a timeline (AKA TV deadline) and say it when it's right. JoJo hits it off with the family so Luke takes her off for a surprise: horses to ride and not spoon! JoJo wonders if Luke does love her and he tells her how much he sees a future and he's scared to say such big things. He does some of his classic face grabbing and lingering kissing to show his feelings, which leads JoJo to cry who wishes there was more time to be together. Luke has one last power move on the date: an aisle of candles leading to a flower pedals scattered in a heart shape. It's the TV-perfect place to say "I love you" over booming country music except he doesn't say it.
The final four arrive for the Rose Ceremony at an airport hangar, the ideal place to get dumped because you get on that first plane to Paradise. Every guy narrates how nervous they are before JoJo arrives is a shimmery royal blue gown. JoJo comes into the Rose Ceremony with her mind made up: she needs to let go of Luke. But when the Rose Ceremony begins, Luke asks for a moment. He finally tells JoJo that he does love her and is in love with her, since he didn't say it when he should have in Texas. This changes everything for JoJo who is so torn between four different men, ending the episode with a crying mess of a JoJo squatting outside an airport hangar with a big decision to make.
[All images credited to ABC]