Welcome back to The Bachelor, the only show that takes a man who can't find love in the real world and expects him to find it on television.
It's the week none of us have been waiting for — hometown dates. If you deign to take a walk down memory lane with me, you might remember that last week Arie inexplicably chose to visit the hometown of blonde taxidermist Kendall, a woman who has never received so much as a group date rose, never mind a whole one-on-one date.
This is who the episode chooses to start with. Kendall meets Arie with all the enthusiasm of a woman meeting up with a man who is actively dating three women he likes more than her but can't dump more than two women per show. The two of them take to Kendall's taxidermy studio, which is the size of three New York City apartments and is filled with the preserved bodies of otters and deer.
But still, Kendall is not satisfied. She and her boyfriend stuff the bodies of rats until they are nearly lifelike and then, like two forest children whose mother is off hunting moose for dinner, they proceed to act out the romantic scene of which Kendall the human was deprived because Arie doesn't like her enough.
The two then proceed to Kendall's abode where we meet — and I dearly hate to say this — her much hotter twin sister.
It's rare that a Bachelor contestant has a sibling that is hotter than they are. It's even rarer that they have an identical twin who, despite literally coming from the same egg/sperm combo, is somehow inexplicably more attractive. And yet this revelation explains a lot about Kendall. For example, why does she act like a six when she's clearly a nine?
Because it doesn't matter that you are a nine if your twin sister is a 10. That's simple math, folks.
Nobody in Kendall's family believes that Arie likes Kendall that much and they tell her this, a sentiment that is something of a theme in this episode. Other things go on but I can't stop looking at Kendall's sister and wondering, how could this happen from the same egg?
Arie heads down south next to meet up with Tia. Unlike Kendall, Tia's beauty is an anomaly in her family. You can tell her mom is her mom because they both have witch-like features but while Tia looks like a witch from "Practical Magic", her mom is more of a standard looking witch, all due respect.
Tia's brother attempts to intimidate Arie, whose pallor and personality should be easily intimidated, but somehow fails. He is like a southern Mafia reject, big and brawny but without the vocabulary or conviction necessary to bully northern boys like Arie.
Other than that, the highlight of this scene is Tia's family toasting her success with pigs in a blanket.
Next up, Arie goes to Minneapolis to meet up with the elderly Becca. Becca's family is religious and her uncle Gary, a stand-in for her father who passed away when she was 19, is a pastor. Arie, who has had nothing but extramarital sex and probably believes in existentialism, somehow passes his test and receives permission to marry Becca.
Unfortunately for Becca and her family, there is a reason Arie is unmarried and until he sits down with himself and asks the hard questions like "maybe women bore me" or "maybe I am only sexually attracted to cars" or "Kendall, Kendall — I recognize that name, but from where???" He is never going to reckon with his own demons.
The darkness permeating Lauren's family is chilling. They make the white family from "Get Out" seem positively jovial.
Next up: Lauren B. Or as I like to call her Lauren S.(Ucks).
There's not much to report back about Lauren's hometown except that there's a 100% chance there is a room full of nothing but porcelain dolls in her family home — and no one ever, ever goes in there.
The darkness permeating Lauren's family is chilling. They make the white family from "Get Out" seem positively jovial. Perhaps this is why Lauren's demeanor is consistent with that of the Little Match Girl except without any imagination. Perhaps this is why Lauren is the opposite of Anne of Green Gables.
Anyway, Arie escapes Lauren's family home unscathed, physically at least (there's not much left to harm emotionally in that man), and everybody flies back to Los Angeles to be judged by a 36-year-old former race car driver who takes six naps a day.
Then, Tia immediately gets back on the plane to Arkansas.
Kendall rises once more and suddenly Donald Trump winning the Republican nomination no longer seem so far-fetched.
Join us next week to find out who would win in a fight — the dead animals in Kendall's taxidermy den or the lifeless dolls that Lauren's family keeps in a back room somewhere.