The girls are all still freaking out about Nick dumping Kristina before the Rose Ceremony, worried that he'll only do three hometowns because he's a rogue Bachelor. But fear not, there are still four hometown dates and Nick forgoes the formal ceremony to give Raven, Rachel, Vanessa, and Corinne roses.
First stop on the hometown date tour is Hoxie, Arkansas where Raven takes Nick around on the perfect small town country date. The cops AKA Raven's brother bust up their date at the grain bin, but they head back for some muddin' fun on four wheelers. Nick and Raven kiss in the swamp, which is a sentence I never anticipated typing but this is the 21st season of The Bachelor and new ideas are rare. They bathe at some point before heading over to meet Raven's parents who share some good news: her father is cancer-free. It's an emotional night for the father/daughter which then has to be shared with this weird date with the poly-amorous guy she's been dating. Raven has been guarded ever since her cheating ex so her mom hopes that she's not too guarded and can say "I love you" to Nick. Nick doesn't really ask permission to get engaged but moreso asks if he's OK with it, which is exactly what I'd expect Nick to say since I don't think he wants to be engaged (Dad says yes, by the way). At the end of the night, Raven chokes on her big chance to tell Nick she loves him.
Nick visits Rachel's hometown of Dallas, Texas where she takes Nick to church to probably make sure he doesn't burst into blames. Or to understand more of what makes her the person she is and gauge his comfort level in a predominantly black church ("Amen is Amen," says the profound words of Nick). Nick then gets to meet all of Rachel's family except her dad who has work obligations. Nick wins over the family with his adoration of Rachel and good answers about interracial dating, not to mention his ability to identify okra on a plate. Rachel's mom asks the tough questions but also trusts Rachel's judgement. Rachel and Nick kiss goodbye and she knows she's falling in love with him.
In true Corinne fashion, she greets Nick with a monkey jump hug and then takes him shopping at an exclusive Miami mall. Corinne treats Nick to a few new outfits (after a montage of terrible looks) and then tells him she loves him over lunch. Finally we meet the family that raised Corinne or more importantly, Raquel the nanny. While Corinne tells her dad that she proclaimed her love for Nick ("We've been dating a month and a half!"), Nick gets some quality time with Raquel. Corinne's dad is concerned that Nick isn't going to make the big bucks to provide for Corinne, and she states she'll be the breadwinner. Nick gets the support of Corinne's dad after a mild grilling and lesson on how to hold a glass. Corinne and Nick smooch more before he leaves and gives him one last "I love you" for the road.
Nick puts a stamp on the ol' passport for his last hometown date in Montreal to be with Vanessa. Before he gets to meet her family, Nick meets Vanessa's special education students who help make a scrapbook of memories. If you thought a classroom of students was a lot, then you don't know Vanessa's big Italian family (and friends) who all came over to meet the reality star. Vanessa's mom takes Nick aside and wants to make sure Nick loves Vanessa for all her amazing qualities not just because she's pretty. And given the size of the family, the inquisition happens over and over. Vanessa makes it known that this relationship is something special; her mother wants her to be happy, but her sister has doubts (don't we all, Melissa the sister). After the emotional exhaustion of this visit, it all resets when Vanessa then brings Nick to meet her father. The vibe is definitely chiller due to sheer smaller crowds, but dad's got questions to ask Nick. Also he's got solid burns about Nick also feeling this way about other women on reality TV. Nick asks Vanessa's dad for his blessing to propose but is denied when he admits that he's sort of asked the other dad's too. Nick defends his feeling for Vanessa and eventually gets the yes. But when Vanessa gets a recap and hears Nick asked for other blessings, Vanessa questions that maybe he truly doesn't know who he wants to pick at the end.
With hometown visits over, Nick sips a cappuccino on a Brooklyn hotel balcony and ponders life's greatest mysteries and also who he wants to dump at the Rose Ceremony. Nick begins preparing for the Rose Ceremony when there's a knock at his door that's not room service: IT'S ANDI THE EX WHO MADE LOVE TO HIM WHEN SHE LOVED SOMEONE ELSE!
[All images credited to ABC]