The Bachelor recap: Family Planning

Nikki, Andi, Renee and Clare take Juan Pablo home to meet their loved ones -- and most (but not all) of the parents are surprisingly okay with the idea of their daughter marrying the Guy From TV.
Ep. 08 | Aired Feb 24, 2014

ALIVE WITH PLEASURE: Doesn't this look like one of those cigarette ads that doesn't actually show any cigarettes?

Clare's all, Hold up! Who died and made you the patriarch of this family? (Oh, wait...) And to be fair to Clare (for once, in my case), her sister does seem set on taking her sister down a notch or two on national television. When Clare tearfully expresses how much she wants their approval and for mom Lillian to quietly reassure her, Laura does a talk-to-the-hand and declares, "I'm not going to let you manipulate mommy!" (Um, mom, any time you want to step in here, feel free...) After standing up and looming over Clare for a second angrily, Laura retreats to the shadows. "I'm just going to be back here," she tells her sister coldly.

But she's not done meddling: When it's Lillian's turn to sit down with Juan Pablo, guess who's parked right beside her? "Laura!" snaps Clare. "Would you please leave them alone?" Juan Pablo assures Clare that it'll all be fine, and indeed, once Laura is allowed to talk to him we begin to see some softness under all that bluster. "My two younger sisters don't have my dad here," Laura explains, her voice quavering. "And my dad was such a central part of everything…" The Bachelor turns on the humble charm, as he is wont to do, and tells Laura that he's very "family oriented," and that Clare's dedication to her father that was one of the things that attracted him to her. Finally satisfied, Laura leaves so Lillian can chat with Juan Pablo alone, and eventually Lillian provides Team Bachelor with the soundbite that they need: "I trust in you that you will do the right decision," she tells Juan Pabs. "We would be very happy to have you, but it's up to you."

Yes, yes it is. So, Juan Pablo, is Clare still in the running to be America's Next Top TV Spouse? We'll find out at the rose ceremony, which is perfectly choreographed for maximum awkwardness. "Up next to Clare," Harrison whispers to Nikki, as he ushers her into the staging area. And the final three are... Nikki (ugh), Clare, and (of course all of the suspense is gone because we knew from the endless promos that Andi makes it to the Fantasy Suite) Andi.

So sorry, Renee, but you and your adorable boy will have to keep looking for the third piece in your family puzzle. Juan Pablo starts bawling right away as Renee hugs the "ladies" goodbye, but Renee handles herself like the classy, grown-ass woman she is. "I did fall in love with you," she tells Juan Pablo. "And that's okay. Like, honestly, you... opened up my eyes to a whole new world." All the Bachelor can do is tell Renee how "great" she is and how much he respects her before packing her away in the Reject Limo. Let's start the petition now, folks: Renee for the next Bachelorette!!!

With that over with, there's only one thing left to say: WHAT THE HELL HAPPENS WITH ANDI AND JUAN PABLO IN THE FANTASY SUITE? We're going to have to wait for that answer, so in the meantime let me know your thoughts on tonight's episode. If you had to join one of the families showcased tonight, whose would it be and why? (I'm Team Hy all the way.) Which activity is less appealing to you: Bull riding or shooting range? And where can I get Nikki's black and white dress? Post your thoughts now! And just one programming note: Chris Harrison will weigh in on both hometowns and "exotic" dates in one epic blog post, so stay tuned for that on PopWatch tomorrow... Until then, I'm just going to be back here.

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