Anyhoo, moving on. Welcome Mom, Dad, and brother Nate! Team Bachelor barely shows us 30 seconds of Desiree's parents talking to Sean before skipping straight to the main event: Doubting Nathan. Des can barely get a full affirmation out ("You have to know that the person will be there for you, being your best friend...") before Nate interrupts her with a dismissive snort. "You think that's your best friend?" Indeed, Nate thinks the entire Bachelor process is "stupid, almost" and he tells his sister that even if Sean did pick her in the end, " I'd be saying to myself, there's no way this could work out." By the time he requests a few minutes to "holla at" Sean alone, things are getting pretty tense. That said, there's an undercurrent of nervousness to his aggression with Sean, to the point where it seems like he's hamming it up for the cameras. "She's really into you, but you're not into her. I don't think that reciprocation is there," he tells the stunned Bachelor. After Sean tries to reassure him that he does, in fact, have a connection with Desiree, Vanilla Ice stares ahead silently for several seconds and declares, "I think you're just a playboy."
And he HATES it. "I wanted to tell Nate off," seethes Sean to the camera later. "But the last thing I want to do on this hometown date is cause a scene and get into a big fight with her brother." So the Bachelor bites his tongue, as he and Nate return to the table and bring a high-pressure system of awkwardness with them. Tony and Roxanne immediately go into break-glass-in-case-of-conversational-emergency mode and begin talking about the weather, but it's too late -- the evening is ruined. "I'm telling myself that I'm not gonna allow Nate to affect my feelings for Des," sighs Sean. "But at the same time it's impossible not to picture myself in this family who has this brother who... we don't get along."
Back at Casa Bachelor a few days later, Nathan's epic dis is still weighing heavily on Shirtless Sean's mind as he prepares for the rose ceremony: "I have no clarity." You know what they say, Sean: When in doubt, seek out Harrison in the candlelit chat room! "Are all four women literally on the chopping block tonight?" asks the host. (Literally? I would think not... unless this has suddenly turned into a Hostel sequel or something.) But no, Sean's managed to narrow it down to Desiree and Catherine – Des is in trouble due to her a-hole brother, while Catherine is on the block because the Bachelor isn't sure that their lives "really align." She's "independent" and has "big, lofty" career goals -- and we all know how dangerous it can be to marital harmony when a man allows his wife to work outside the home.
So who's it gonna be? Even once he's standing in front of the final four "ladies" at the rose ceremony, Sean still doesn't know. Desiree, perhaps sensing a chill, interrupts the Bachelor before he can hand out a rose and asks for a moment alone. "I want to apologize for last night," she whispers, as the production ninjas struggle to capture the conversation on their boom mikes. "It weighs heavy on my heart." Sean assures her that everything's okay, but once he's back at the ceremonial rose chamber -- where he gives the first two roses to AshLee and Lindsay -- he can't pull the trigger on the final rose.
NEXT: "I really think this is a huge mistake."