Bachelorette Rachel Lindsay is just weeks from making one of the most important decisions of her life. On the July 17 episode, the season 13 lead visited the hometowns of her final four suitors, making for some of the most tense moments in Bachelorette history. Here, The Knot highlights the standout moments from the emotional episode.
To kick off hometown dates, Rachel jets off to Baltimore, Maryland, to visit Eric’s stomping grounds. First, she meets Eric’s friend, Ralph, who has nothing but positive things to say about the motivational speaker.
“I’ve never brought a girl home,” Eric admits before introducing Rachel to his family. Rachel is feeling the pressure as the two arrive at his aunt’s apartment, but her nerves disappear when Eric’s family welcomes her with open arms.
During a heart-to-heart talk with Eric’s aunt, Rachel shares the difficulties she’s experienced as the first African-American Bachelorette. The women bond, and Eric’s aunt is impressed by Rachel’s honesty. Rachel is thankful for Eric’s family’s support.
“This town screams Bryan,” Rachel says after arriving in Bryan’s hometown of Miami, Florida. She’s clearly smitten with the chiropractor, who takes her to salsa dance and play dominoes with the locals.
Rachel is concerned, as Bryan’s mom played a part in the demise of his last serious relationship. “Bryan’s my life… He’s my love; he’s my pride,” his mother says in the confessional. “We have such a wonderful relationship. [Having] a woman separate him from me would be terrible.”
When Rachel meets with Bryan’s mom privately, Rachel lists all of the qualities that attracted her to Bryan. “If he’s happy, I’m happy. If he’s not, I’ll kill you,” his mother says with a grin. The women share an emotional moment, and Bryan’s mother appears to give Rachel her seal of approval.
Before the hometown date ends, Bryan professes his love for Rachel.
Next, Rachel arrives in Madison, Wisconsin, to meet Peter’s loved ones. She’s hoping to find clarity during the visit, as she senses Peter’s uncertainty about settling down.
During a conversation with his friends, Peter admits that he’s unsure about his commitment to Rachel. “I don’t know her outside of this; I don’t know her on a daily basis,” he explains. “Three weeks from today, I should be able to get down on one knee and propose to her, and it’s terrifying.”
Later, Rachel meets Peter’s family and she “melts” when she sees the love he exudes for his young niece. Peter opens up to his mom about his hesitation to propose to Rachel. She promises to be supportive no matter what her son decides.
“I just need time to process the emotions and the feelings,” Peter says in the confessional. “Maybe the other guys have already told her that they’re falling in love with her, and I haven’t. She could decide to send me home this week, and I’m afraid this may be one of the last times that I see her.”
When Rachel arrives in Aspen, Colorado, she and Dean ride ATVs and drink champagne in an open field. Dean explains that he hasn’t spoken to his father—a Sikh Kundalini yogi—in two years, and he’s on edge about introducing him to Rachel. “I am legitimately terrified,” he tells her as they arrive at his father’s home.
Dean is surprised to find his family sitting in a semi-circle on the floor. “I’m suppressing every single emotion that I’m trying to feel,” he tells producers. His father asks everyone to lay down while he plays the gong. Afterward, he breaks down in tears when he gives Dean and Rachel feathers in memory of Dean’s mother, who died when Dean was 15 years old.
Rachel talks with Dean’s sister, who explains that Dean and his father have yet to deal with the anger they’ve felt since Dean’s mother’s passing. “Dean’s been through a lot in his life, and he’s been really strong through all of [it]. I really admire him,” his sister says through tears.
Dean confronts his father for his lack of emotional support. His dad admits that he struggled to raise his family after his wife died. When Dean shares that he felt neglected, his father cuts off the conversation. “In my teaching, we believe that… whatever you think of me is really what you think of yourself. You’ve got one foot stuck in the past.”
At the end of the evening, Rachel and Dean reveal that they’re falling in love with each other.
One Dramatic Rose Ceremony
Rachel is on edge when she joins the four men for a tense rose ceremony. Bryan, Eric and Peter receive roses. Dean appears to be heartbroken when he’s prompted to say goodbye.
“For me to come out and say that I’m falling in love with someone, it means I mean it,” Dean says after leaving the mansion. “When she said it, I thought she meant it. I thought I found someone for me. It turns out the feelings weren’t reciprocated. I think she’s an incredible woman… I just think that tonight she made a mistake.”
On next week’s episode, Rachel’s final three suitors join Rachel and her family in Spain. The Bachelorette airs Mondays at 8 p.m. ET on ABC.