PORTRAIT OF THE SUITOR AS A YOUNG MAN Des ponders her final four choices in the "deliberation room" before sending one guy home.
I'll be honest, rose lovers -- it's going to be hard for me to recap this portion of the episode for you because I literally (and I mean literally literally, not figuratively literally) could not get through more than three seconds at a time without hitting pause and yelling "Oh my God oh my God oh my GOD!" at my TV. But I'll do my best:
"You light a fire inside his eyes -- it's true," croons Carly in a clear, not unpleasant voice, as Zak strums the guitar. "You've given hope that love survives..." At first it looks like Des wants to make Zak's dream a reality by melting into the couch and disappearing while all of this is going on, but she's nearly moved to tears recounting the scene to Team Bachelorette later. "It was such a special moment to hear Zak's sister and brother sing a song that Zak wrote for me. It's a moment I'll never forget," she says, her voice breaking. "Those words, like, hit my heart." Indeed, the song seems to have been crafted for maximum guilt inducement -- I mean, how is she supposed to give Zak the boot after his brother and sister belt out, "Oh Desiree now we can see/ your place among our family!"
And if that wasn't enough pressure, suddenly Zak produces a ring he bought for Des in Atlantic City. "I wanted something to, like, symbolize -- that moment, I knew I was falling in love with you," he tells the Bachelorette, whose face has turned beet-red from the effort it's taking her not to cry. "Des, I love you. I do."
Our next stop is Scottsdale, Arizona, where Drew awaits the love of his life in a parking lot. From there they find a rare patch of green and relax in the shade as Drew explains the complicated family dynamics Des is about to experience. It seems everyone's going to gather at Drew's mom Linda's house, which she shares with his step-dad, Bob. His dad Mal (short for Malachi) will be there, too. "This is the first time my dad will have ever been in my mom's house," Drew says with a nervous giggle. "You know, they're... they're on good terms." (You keep telling yourself that, pal.) Before they head to meet the parents, however, Drew needs to pick up his sister Melissa, who is "severely mentally handicapped," at her home.
You know, Drew might not be the most masculine guy, and he might rival Pauly D in the hair product use and abuse department, but it's truly moving to see what a loving, devoted brother he is to Melissa. As her caregiver leads her out into the yard, Melissa is so overwhelmed with excitement and emotion at the sight of her brother that she can't stop squeezing his hand and rocking with delight. She gives Desiree's long brown locks a playful flick ("She likes hair," explains Drew), and then they're off to Linda's house, where eleven people -- including Drew's cute little blonde niece Erin and a chubby-cheeked baby boy -- await.
NEXT: Batter up!