Resuming after Nick Viall’s sudden break-up with Kristina Schulman from last week, this week’s The Bachelor begins in Bimini. Before hometown dates, Nick must give the women roses. But for the third week in a row, Nick decides to skip the formality of the rose ceremony and just hand out roses to all four remaining contestants.

The Bachelor Recap: Everyone Is Bored In Their Hometown

Never before has there been a bachelor with such disregard for the rules and traditions of the show. He is a renegade, beholden only to his heart. The women fear his heart will fail him again but first, lets meet their families.

Raven Gates gets the first hometown date. Speeding through country flatlands, she drives up to Nick on an ATV. “Welcome to Hoxie, Arkansas,” Raven slurs through the face guard of her helmet. Nick hops on the back but almost falls off when Raven hits the gas. Eventually, Nick gets his own ATV and the two budding lovers race through a swamp, a practice known as “mudding.”

After the race, Nick and Raven kiss in the middle of the swamp. Nick picks her up, but with his arms tired from the ATV, they fall together into the still water. Covered in bacteria, their love staves off any potential for infection.

Back in Raven’s childhood home, Nick meets her family. Raven learns, with cameras in the living room, that her father is cancer free. It was a very sweet moment, ruined only by Nick – by all measures, a stranger – clapping alone and remarking, “that’s awesome.”

Nick meets with Raven’s father who says that although he didn’t expect to like the bachelor, he has enjoyed Nick and believes that he’s a nice guy. Nick asks for the father’s blessing, should he choose to ask Raven to marry him, and the father complies.

Next, Nick goes to meet Rachel Lindsay in Dallas, Texas.

Immediately, we are all let down when we learn that Rachel’s father, whom she has warned Nick about several times, will be unable to meet with them because of “work obligations.” Nick takes a sigh of relief and the two of them head to a predominately black mega-church.

Nick looks uncomfortable in the church, clapping and swaying with a body void of rhythm. The pastor welcomes them both in front of the entire congregation and Nick smiles, frozen with fear and embarrassment.

They leave church for Rachel’s parents’ home where her mother, three sisters, and her brother-in-law wait to interrogate the couple on how they’ll deal with being in an interracial relationship.

Rachel’s mother doesn’t seem to like Nick very much but still, with sincerity, admits to Rachel that he reminds her of Rachel’s father. Rachel smiles but seems unsure if she truly wants to marry a man like her father.

After talking only about race with every member of Rachel’s family, Nick leaves to visit Corinne Olympios in Miami, Florida, where the conversation promises to be much more shallow.

In Miami, Corinne jumps into Nick’s arms and tells him that they are going shopping. Nick is nonplussed while Corinne is ecstatic.

After trying on multiple outfits in a store where every salesperson knows Corinne’s name, Nick decides on an ensemble no different than anything he has worn on the show – a grey crew-neck long sleeve shirt, dark jeans, and dark sneakers.

Somehow their total is nearly $3,500, an amount Corinne meets with glee. They then leave to meet Corinne’s father, mother, younger sister, and her famous nanny.

Over a traditional Greek lunch, Corinne’s father grills Nick about his taste in food and drink. This conversation continues when the two men convene in the living room for a glass of 15 year-old, single malt scotch. Nick fights back a grimace after each sip but still manages to ask, again, for the father’s blessing. And again, he gets the green light.

Finally, Nick heads north to Canada to meet with Vanessa Grimaldi’s family. Because her parent’s are divorced, Nick meets with Vanessa’s mother first and her father second.

Vanessa’s mother’s home is filled with nearly 20 people when they arrive. Nick somehow manages to learn most of their names. He is a renaissance man.

Vanessa’s mother, sister, and brother, express worries that Vanessa will be hurt again. Apparently, Vanessa went through a bad break-up, one which required months of consoling. This is not a good sign.

After leaving for her father’s house, Vanessa begins to worry that being on this show was been a huge mistake. Still, she loves Nick, or is at least falling in love with him.

Nick asks Vanessa’s father for his blessing. After a steely pause, her father says no, citing the fact that Nick has already asked two other fathers the same question. Disappointed and backed into a corner, Nick reaches deep for a speech about love. In the end, the father reluctantly says ok, but only before telling Vanessa that Nick has asked all the other women’s parents for their blessing. Vanessa is all shook up.

Despite the fact that there are only four women left, this episode could not have moved slower. But then again, who’s hometown isn’t boring.

Next week: The soul-searching mountain climb we were promised last week, Nick get’s a visit from heartbreaker Andi Dorfman, and perfect tears fall down the bachelor’s face.

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