"The Bachelor" recap: Meet the parents

ABC/Lou Rocco(LOS ANGELES) — Week eight of Week eight of The Bachelor showcased Arie Luyendyk Jr.’s trips to meet the families of the four remaining women — Tia, Lauren, Becca K. and Kendall — during the hometown dates portion of the show.

With Krystal long gone, and a week after Becca M. got shockingly sacked, Arie’s new challenge was facing down the families, all of whom were suspicious of him.

First off was a day with Kendall, who showed Arie her taxidermy storage unit. Afterward, Arie said, “I’ve never dated anyone like her. She really just keeps things interesting.” Then she made him join her stuffing rats. 

Arie insists that he’s falling for Kendall.  That night, Kendall brought Arie home to meet her mother and father, twin sister Kylie and her baby brother. After some pleasantries, Kendall’s mother took her into another room to “dish” while Kylie grilled Arie about his feelings and questioned the “space” between them. Later, Kylie took Kendall aside to talk to her and expressed her concern that she doesn’t feel Kendall is truly in love with Arie.

Kendall’s father was predictably suspicious of Arie and told him that he didn’t think Kendall was ready for marriage, and was reluctant to give his blessing. Kendall also told Kylie that she’s afraid of losing Arie.

Later, Arie joined Tia in Weiner, Arkansas and she took him to a racetrack. Later, Tia brought Arie home to meet her mother and father, Denise and Kenny, her brother Jason, her aunt Carol and her cousin Rhonda. She warned him that her brother might be tough on him.

Not long after they arrived, Arie was out on the patio being grilled by Jason. Tia sat with her father and both relatives expressed concern that Arie is a playboy and might not be serious, and even more concerned that he maybe serious about Tia. Arie said that he’s falling for Tia. Her father took Arie out for a chat and said that he trusts Tia’s judgment, but stipulated, “If you hurt her, I can find you.”

Arie met Becca K in Minnesota and she took him to an apple orchard. After picking apples, she warned him about meeting her uncle Gary, who’s a pastor and a father figure since her own father passed away.

After meeting her family and sitting for dinner, Gary took Arie away from the table to talk. He didn’t mince words and asked Arie, “Are we wasting time here or is Becca the real deal to you?” Arie answered affirmatively, saying, “I feel very strongly about Becca and I’m definitely falling for her.”

Her mother was just as tough with Becca, and later told Arie she liked him, thanked him for putting up with the family, and giving him her blessing to get married.

The last hometown date was with Lauren, who took Arie horseback riding on the beach. They sat and talked and, like the other girls, Lauren told him that her family might be skeptical about their relationship. Arie said that he was nervous to meet them.

Their meeting seemed adversarial from the get-go, with Lauren’s family seated across the room from Arie in a meeting punctuated by awkward silences. At dinner, Arie was so nervous he excused himself to fluff his shirt and wipe the sweat off his forehead.

Lauren’s father, a retired Air Force pilot, took Arie outside and surprised Arie with his demeanor. The two seemed to connect after Arie shared a story about participating in a Goodwill tour of Iraq to visit U.S. troops. It was Lauren’s mother who was tough, telling Arie she was worried that Arie is saying the same things to Lauren as the other girls.

Arie asked for her mother’s blessing but rather than give it to him, she said that she would have to trust Lauren.

The hometown dates concluded, Arie had to choose three girls at the Rose Ceremony, and he was clearly conflicted about it — one girl, of the four he professed he was falling in love with, was going to be eliminated. Arie told host Chris Harrison that he had no idea what he was going to do and during the ceremony had to step away to compose himself.

Before he made the decision, Arie took Kendall aside and she admitted that she couldn’t say if she’s ready to get engaged.

Having made up his mind, Arie chose Becca, Lauren and, surprisingly, Kendall, eliminating Tia, who started crying. Arie walked her out and told her that she didn’t do anything wrong, and that he didn’t have a good explanation for not picking her. He said he was up all night trying to decide but that there was something missing. They embraced and she told Arie to go with his heart. Still, in the car she continued to cry.

Next week, The Bachelor will return with two back-to-back episodes. Sunday night, a very special episode titled The Bachelor: The Women Tell All will feature all the girls returning to dish.  Then on Monday night, Arie’s romantic journey continues as he and the remaining girls go to Peru, and Arie is confronted by one of the girls’ ex-boyfriends.

The Bachelor airs Sunday and Monday night at 8 p.m. on ABC.

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