'The Bachelor' Season 17, Episode 8: Sean Lowe Visits Hometowns, Is 'Crazy About' Everyone

AshLee's Hometown: Reverends And Tears In Texas
From the first minute of this week's "Bachelor," we dive right into Sean's hometown dates. First stop is Houston, Texas, y'all, where Ash is walking her tiny dog and wearing plaid. Because she totally "had no clue what true love is" before Sean. After the couple reunites, they have an awkward picnic in a random field and toast with white wine. They also bond over the fact that they both love church and have Reverend/Pastor fathers. Ash really just wants to marry a man who's like her dad -- and she thinks Sean is totally like her pops. Awkward. Apparently Sean also told her that he'll "be the man to protect [her] heart." (Creepily reminiscent of crazy Kasey Kahl's tagline from "Bachelorette" past?)

the bachelor ashlee

After AshLee makes it clear that she's ready to get married and have babies (with Sean), Sean goes to meet AshLee's parents. Ash tears up while telling her parents about the Polar Bear Plunge (who knew a freezing cold bikini dip could be so deep?) and then her mom, Deborah, pulls Sean aside for "a talk." They chat about AshLee's abandonment issues and her heart, and Sean is charmed by Deb. But when it comes to Bruce, AshLee's mustachioed father, Sean thinks "it's scary to have a conversation with a dad when I'm dating three other women." But naturally, Sean is "crazy about" AshLee and sees "love on the horizon," so he eventually wins Bruce over and secures a blessing for his potential future proposal.

Back at the -- confusingly outdoor -- dinner table, AshLee's dad talks about his "first date" with Ash. It's actually adorable and he tears up while describing how he fell in love with his adopted daughter at first sight. Ash believes that she has a similar "connection" with Sean. She thinks everything is "magical" and "pixie dust everywhere" and a "dream come true." Oy.

Catherine's Hometown: Sisters And Fish In Seattle
To no one's surprise, Sean has never been to Seattle. (He's solidly a southern, red-state sort of guy.) But he loves it! He meets Catherine in a fish market and they giggle and are generally cute together and Sean even gets into the Seattle spirit and joins the fish-catching assembly line. Turns out fish are pretty much like footballs to Sean. Catherine tries too but has a bit more difficulty. "It's slippery!" she says, about the fish. "I love the way he smells, I like his big beefy arms ... and I love the way he accepts me for the way I am," she says, about Sean. They continue to goof around, dance and blow bubblegum bubbles and it seems like a match made in reality TV heaven. (Catherine is definitely winning for "Bachelor" lady I'd most like to befriend.)

bachelor catherine

Then they're off to meet Catherine's "intimidating" mom, her Filipino grandmother who she calls "graham cracker" and her two sisters, Monica and India. They all cheers to Seattle and eat Filipino egg rolls, Sean dons an apron, Catherine's grandma thinks he's "handsome" and Sean does pushups with Catherine on his back. All is well until her sisters show a (very reasonable) amount of skepticism that their 26-year-old sister wants to get engaged to a man on reality television who she's known for eight weeks. Catherine says that if Sean proposed she'd say "yeah, let's try this out!" (At least she knows "Bachelor" engagements are really just trial periods.) Her sisters tell Sean that they don't see Catherine having kids right away (gasp!), she needs to be with someone who supports all her dreams (double gasp!), and sometimes she's messy and has moods (triple gasp!). Catherine's mom says "we'll see what happens." Apparently all of this makes Sean doubt his relationship. But Catherine just wants "love with Sean."

Lindsay's Hometown: 2-Star Generals And Antiquing In Missouri
It's 2-star general time! Guys, did you know that Lindsay's dad is a 2-star general? Because he is. Lindsay wants to see Sean "in the real world," because a taped reality show date in her hometown is totally normal. Sean says loves Lindsay's "youthful energy" as they go to an antique shop, walk around and debate whether Sean should call Lindsay's dad "General" or "Mister" or "Mark." Before meeting her parents, Lindz makes Sean dress up in "army gear" while she pretends to yell at him like a drill sergeant. Everyone watching wishes Lindz would stop talking in a baby voice.

bachelor lindsay

Sean finally meets the 2-star general (a.k.a. Mark), and he's not so bad after all, even though they're "on his turf" at a military base. Lindz tells her family that she showed up in a wedding gown on the first night, but leaves out the part where she got embarrassingly drunk. Lindsay's mom, Lisa, pulls Sean aside. Sean is "crazy about" Lindz but won't commit to the L-word yet (because obvs he can't say THAT until the finale). "Lindsay is on the younger end of things," says Sean. But Lisa assures Sean that 24-year-old Lindz is totally ready to settle down and pop out some babies! Then Sean is off to "win over the dad." Mark doesn't wanna see his daughter get hurt and thinks long and makes 10 minutes of paratrooper metaphors before he finally gives Sean his blessing to potentially propose. Lindsay feels certain that she's "found [her] husband."

Desiree's Hometown: "Exes" And Holla-ing In L.A.
Des loves hiking and outdoors and Los Angeles! Sean could see Des being his BFF and his wife. They go on a hike, make out and Des brings Sean to her "cute little house." While they wait for her family to arrive, Des awkwardly shows Sean her "artwork" and suddenly her "ex" shows up at the door in the most uncomfortably staged scene of all time. (Producers, you really need to invest in your "actors" a little more.) The cameras zoom in on Sean's clenched fist and then Des reveals that the scene is really just a prank to get back at him for the prank he played on her during their one-on-one! LOLZ.

bachelor desiree

Finally her family arrives and Sean meets her mom, her dad and her brother, Nate. Sean totally gets along with Des' super sweet mom and dad, but her brother seems skeptical. Des assures Nate that her relationship with Sean is the "most solid," but he is not buying that Sean is her BFF and thinks "there's no way that this could work out." (All probably true, but not the kindest thing to say to your sister.) Over dinner, Nate says "Hey Sean, mind if I holla atchu real fast?" The holla-sesh turns out to be more of a Nate-telling-Sean-he-sucks sesh. He tells Sean that he thinks he's "crazy about a lot of girls" and is "just a playboy." All in all, it's awful and awkward. "There's so much awkward tension in the room," says Sean, stating the obvious. Des' poor parents start talking about the weather and try to diffuse the situation. When Sean leaves, he and Des share a chaste kiss, and Desiree starts crying. Des and her parents (understandably) berate Nate afterward, but sadly I think he's sealed her fate.

Three Roses, Zero "Clarity"
#ShirtlessSean gets dressed back in L.A. at his "Bachelor" home. He pow-wows with Chris Harrison and discloses that Catherine and Des are on the chopping block. Des' brother is kind of a jerk, and Catherine is "independent" and has "lofty career goals"! The horror! At the mansion, Sean somberly thanks the women for hosting him in their hometowns because he's about to make the hardest decision ever, and he might regret it, but he just has to follow his heart. Before he can get to giving out the first rose, Des pulls Sean aside to apologize for her bro while the other ladies flip out with anxiety. Sean says it's all OK while Des tears up, and Catherine wonders whether should should've pulled a similar move.

SAFE: AshLee, Lindsay ... ::Pause for Chris Harrison to alert us to the last rose. And for Sean to stare at the rose. And for Sean to walk away all of a sudden and stare pensively at the photos of his last two women -- as one tends to do when faced with a hard decision. And for Chris to tell Sean to "get this right" and "take your time.":: Catherine.

Desiree says her goodbyes, sits on a bench with Sean and basically begs him to reconsider while saying over and over again that he's making a "huge mistake." Like, "100 percent" a huge mistake. "Not even 99 percent." "I don't even know what I'm gonna do about my life," says sad Des as she's driven away. Perhaps find love NOT on reality TV?

Tuesday, When Sean Tells All...
Game-changer! Being the Bachelor is hard! Something pissed Sean off! Tierra should never have come on the show! Tierra can't get along with anyone! Girl drama! Cut footage! How did Sean not see that! Airport flirting! Sean tells all!

Next Week In The Fantasy Suites...
Romantic overnight dates! Thailand! South of Thailand! So cool! Last three girls! Everything's at stake! Making out! Boats! Sean's her everything! Monkey! More boats! More beaches! Lights! Amazing! Crazy in love! This man! Rose! Strong feelings! Heart is torn! Sad faces! Tough! Hurt!

Shirtless Sean Count: 1

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