HOMETOWNS! Disregard the excitement with the all caps. Hometowns, to me, is usually one on the more boring episodes of the season. I will say I was a little excited about this years visits mainly because I wanted to see the awkwardness between the Rodger's family when Jojo brought up the golden child and I was interested to see how Robby reacted to getting called out about his ex, so this year was a little different.
We start with picturesque views of Colorado. Talk about gorg. I'm a city girl so seeing all that open space and snow was like looking at a postcard. While overlooking the gorgeous vistas Chase decides to start the day by finally being open and discussing his parents awkward divorce. His parents are still not on speaking terms so they will have to meet his father separately, before meeting the rest of his family. They head over to Chase's home to meet with his dad and Jojo is super impressed with his abode. She can't stop gushing about how much she likes the house. Says to me, she's looking for someone who is settled and established to get the ring from. She ain't moving into an apartment, yo. Anyway, Chase's dad came over and to me it felt like an ambush. He calls his dad out on national tv for being a bad husband and dad and asks him why he did all that. Is now really the time Chase? Well dad hits back with a stinger and makes it very clear that the woman he is married to now is the love of his life and he could never imagine his life without her. Ok, basically I hate your mom. WTG! Regardless, I do think this gave Jojo a better understanding of why Chase may be so closed off and emotionless at times. Homeboy's got some f'd up shit he grew up with. When they head over to his moms you see a happier more relaxed Chase. He shows emotion and love (although he still struggles saying the word) and even cries with his mama, which being a mama now got me all teary eyed and stuff. At the end of his date Chase seizes the moment and gives Jojo just what she wants to hear- an I LOVE YOU JOJO and all is well in Chase and Jojo land.
PS- please finish the rails for your stairs, Chase. As a mom, that gave me such anxiety seeing the bare stairs. Someone could fall and break something. Very dangerous Chase. Not daddy material at the moment.
We move on to the more controversial suitor, Aaron, I mean Jordan Rodgers. We go to Chico, California where the Rodgers are a thing. By the way, Jordan doesn't live in Chico any longer, he is out in Nashville along with the majority of Bachelor Nation. What is up with that? Is there like a shrine to Chris Harrison in Music City? From this season alone we have Luke, James Taylor, Wells, Jordan, Evan (i'm sure i'm missing a few) and from past seasons there are a ton of ex contestants there including last years Bachelorette, Kaitlyn and Sean. Anyway, I digress. Jordan takes Jojo back to where he has the best memories and also the where he peaked in life, his high school.
There they walk around being all romantic, making out in the library and the courtyard like two high school sweethearts. When Jordan takes Jojo to the gym we are met by photos and photos of the Rodger brothers. Jordan focuses on the photos of puny little him and tries not to address the photos of Aaron all over the gym office.
Jojo of course addresses it and Jordan glosses right over it, just like he does when they have a heart to heart outside on the bleachers. It's not something to discuss he tells Jojo, yet she can't stop discussing. Back at the Rodger's home, Jojo makes a great impression on the family. At lunch there are two chairs left empty for Aaron and Olivia at the table. Good one producers. Very symbolic of the distance within the family. All in all, we find out nothing about why Aaron is estranged from his family, but see that regardless, Jojo still wants in on the Rodgers name- even tho she is scared Jordan will break her heart.
Next up is Robby's date in St. Augustine, Florida. There is an undying connection between these two but there is tension regarding his ex girlfriend and the short period of time between the break up and him meeting Jojo. They clear the air again over drinks and head over to Robby's family house which is not in St. Augustine, but Jacksonville. Was Jacksonville just not cute enough to film in? Robby comes from a huge family, two sisters and two hilarious brothers, mom and dad. Family seems to be loud and fun and they have some interesting glassware. Whatever those wine glass tumblers are, I want in!
Robby and his mom seem close and she takes the time to tell him that his ex girlfriends roommate is starting rumors around town that Robby left his ex to go on the show. She wants him to know what is going on so that he isn't blindsided and can handle it head on. Robby doesn't want to hide this from Jojo since he knows this is an issue in their relationship and basically kicks his sisters out of the room to talk with Jojo. He denies that this is the case and professes his love for Jojo and she has no choice but to believe him. She doesn't want to be hurt but feels that Robby is genuine and hopes that this doesn't bite her in the ass if she decides to make him the one. As a side note, I was trying to whistle throughout that entire date. Jojo's whistle at the beginning of the date was unbelievable (maybe it was overdubbed- we'll never know). I've come to terms that I just don't have that talent.
Lastly, we visit a small town in Texas with Luke. Everyone had their immediate families for their dates but Luke had to one up that and basically invite the entire town for an all out Texas BBQ. Luke's family couldn't be anymore Texan- dad had on the boots and hat and grandpa was telling it like it is. You can see that it was a bit overwhelming for Jojo- she had to entertain and meet a ton of people and couldn't focus on what she really needed to which was Luke's family and if she fit into the fabric of their lives. Luke tries to make up for it by whisking her away for some alone time, by horse of course. How many horse rides have these two taken? Out on the hay bales they get into an intense and passionate stare down and convo like they always do. No one can deny their chemistry but Jojo is worried that it doesn't go beyond that. They haven't been able to go deeper and Luke hasn't said he loved her yet, but damn they sure have some sparks. Luke has one more surprise up his sleeve and walks Jojo over to a heart made of flowers and proclaims that Jojo has his heart. No I Love You's but close.
They passionately kiss and Luke squints and furrows his brows with his intense gaze and off she goes. Word to the wise Luke - the more brow furrowing you do the more botox you will need on your forehead. It's ok to relax a little.
Now it's time for Jojo to make a decision and figure out who will be boarding her private jet to the fantasy suites and a potential engagement. She looks quite nervous and upset that she has to make this decision. Yes girls it's hard. This is when it no longer is a game but feelings are involved and people will get hurt. Ultimately, she feels like she needs to let Luke go. No explanation why, but one can only figure it's because he can't seem to say I love you and can't get as deep as she'd like. As she is about to start handing out the rose, Luke throws a wrench in the plan and asks for 5 minutes of her time. He pulls her aside to finally tell her that he loves her and you can see on Jojo's face that she is as confused as ever. She finally had made a decision and this dude is now professing his love and she is going to feel like a B sending him home. I think Luke felt something weird too. Jojo thanks him for those words and proceeds to have a legit breakdown outside the hanger talking to the producers, crying and walking to no where while expressing how hard this is. Yup, it's not easy being the bachelorette girlfriend now make a decision, but she can't and we are subjected to waiting until next week.