PORTRAIT OF THE SUITOR AS A YOUNG MAN Des ponders her final four choices in the "deliberation room" before sending one guy home.
Back above ground, Des and Chris' mom Becky are having a far more traditional conversation, sans balloons and skull-bone adjustments. "For Chris to be staying in this situation with you, he must really be so completely smitten by you," says mom. "But the thing is, the last one really hurt him bad, and I don't want to see that happen again." Still, Mom stares impassively as Des raves on and on about how Chris is "so kind-hearted" and has the "lasting qualities" she wants in a husband. At first, not even Chris can get much of a reaction out of his mom; her response to Chris' declaration "I told dad that I think she's the one" is a barely-audible "okay."
But just when it seems like Becky may be about to burst her son's nasal balloon, she lets out a heavy sigh and issues this proclamation: "Well, I like her a lot... You have our blessing." Awww, don't cry, mom! If Des gives your son's heart a boo-boo, he'll be okay as long as he has you. For the moment, though, it seems like Des and Chris will get their happily ever after, as they share a 15-second smooch by the Escape SUV.
And with that, we're off to Brooks' hometown, Salt Lake City. He's definitely ready to see Des and remind himself what he's even doing here on this fakakta TV show. "When I'm with Desiree, everything is so amazing," he says. "But then the time apart is difficult, and I kind of forget, a little bit." Oh, how very romantic, Brooks! Do go on. " I don't know entirely how I feel about Desiree," continues wolfie. "I'm still trying to figure that out." The Bachelorette has no question about how she feels. "I love Brooks," she declares, as the duo meet up in Liberty Park. "I think Brooks may be holding back from really falling in love… because I am dating other guys."
In order to set his mind at ease, Des produces a paper rose that unrolls to become a list of all their "special" moments together, including sitting on "cloud nine" in Madeira, "fireworks in our face -- romantic yet dangerous," and of course the time Brooks broke his finger playing dodgeball. "I'll always remember that moment you were on the ground," the Bachelorette tells him. "You were in so much pain but you were still being so adorable." (If you call whining like a 3-year-old girl "adorable.") Then they paddle around the lake in a canoe, and narrowly escape death when Brooks almost gives in to his self-destructive urge to capsize the craft and drown them both.
Once at the family abode, Des gets a giant Utah welcome from a crowd of siblings and significant others, all wearing "Hello My Name Is" name tags -- which is a pretty cute touch. It's such a big group that the sound of forks and knives clinking on plates nearly drowns out the conversation over dinner. (Hurrah for people who actually eat!) But Brooks' mom Janice doesn't need to hear what her son has to say to know that he's smitten. "Brooks and Des, they seem to be looking at each other with that -- kind of a love look," muses mama. "It was very tender to see that happening between the two of them." After dinner, Brooks' brothers fire questions at him -- Could you live without her? Can you make her happy for the rest of her life? -- but Team Bachelorette doesn't allow us to see his answers.
NEXT: "You're my favorite" (You're not the only one, mom)