‘The Bachelor’ Recap: Finding Love Among Hometown DatesVariety — Haley Kluge
SPOILER ALERT: Do not read if you have not yet watched the eighth episode of Season 24 of “The Bachelor.”
For the first glimpse of the real world in weeks, titular bachelor Peter Weber took his women back home. With only four women remaining — Hannah Ann Sluss, Kelsey Weier, Madison Prewett and Victoria Fuller — Weber accompanied each to their respective home state to narrow down to his final three.
But first, he proclaimed that his wife was definitely among the four left in the competition. Let’s see how that shook out.
Sluss and Weber started off the episode in her hometown of Knoxville, Tenn., where they attempted to connect by diving into her father’s world of foresting with axe throwing. As Sluss put it, she was going to “make a man” out of Weber. “It’s really important that I can prove to my dad that this California boy is tough,” she explained.
Neither of them were very skilled with axes — most of them bounced right off the targets. But the experience made Weber think Sluss was fun enough to be able to “take on anything” with him. And Sluss’ letter to Weber inspired him to write one to her. Entitled “Things I love about you,” he read a list of items including the fact that she gives him butterflies every time he sees her, that she has a name for every dress, that they have the same opinion about what true love is and that he can see an “amazing future” for the two of them.
Her father, on the other hand, was not as optimistic. Excited, of course, to see his daughter return home, he was noticeably tight-lipped about Weber. In a confessional he did use the words “new and exciting” to describe meeting the pilot, but it was said with a bit of a sigh. The biggest concern was how Weber felt about his daughter, concerned she was just a “flash in a pan.”
As Sluss went off with her sister to talk about how she’s falling in love with Weber, Weber confided in her mother that he wants to express how he is feeling but “haven’t necessarily had that opportunity yet.” Weber then sat down with Sluss’s father separately to address his concerns.
“There is something real here. And it’s just been, week after week, climbing like crazy,” Weber said. “I am hoping to tell her this tonight: I am falling in love with her. And I don’t want her to have any doubt about that.”
Sluss’s father told him not to say the word “love” to his daughter unless he “wholeheartedly” meant it. Well, Weber went ahead and said it. “Being here with your family, it honestly feels so right,” he said. “And you make me so happy.” He also expressed that he could see himself “getting down on one knee for” Sluss.
But that didn’t mean the show could skip ahead to the end and let these two continue to flesh out their feelings for each other. Up next was another woman and another city: Weber went on to meet Weier in Des Moines, Iowa, where they stomped grapes to make their own wine before sitting down with her family.
Despite the precursor from last week, Weier’s family dynamic was not a point of discussion throughout the day. They were mostly shown to be focused on the task at hand, discussing the wine itself. But Weier did confess that she realized she was in love with Weber in Peru, and she told him as such. Although Weber kissed her in response, he did not say it back to her.
“That makes me really happy. Really happy. Your honesty with me and your heart just being 100% open to me has just been so reassuring,” he said, adding that he could “definitely” see a future for them.
Once they made it to Weier’s family’s house, Weber got his first taste of crab rangoon before Weier went off with her sisters to discuss her relationship so far, telling them she would say yes if he proposed to her at the end of the show. She also spent time individually with her mother and stepfather. Weber sat down with Weier’s mother, who admitted “shock that we’re here today.” As someone who had gone through a divorce, she expressed concern he would break her heart, and he said he understood. The sentiment was something Weier’s mother echoed to her daughter, as well.
Weier admitted some concern she’d come home brokenhearted. “We’ll just pick up the pieces,” she said, “but it’s scary.”
Next, Weber met Prewett in Auburn, Ala. to meet her family — including her father, Chad Prewett, the director of operations for Auburn basketball’s team. They were able to shoot around at his gym, as she was excited to share her university with Weber. There, they received some a special message from Charles Barkley — who told Weber he “better treat that girl right.”
While the first half of their date was easygoing, the evening portion took a turn after Prewett confessed to her mother that she hadn’t shared her commitment to staying celibate with Weber and that she was concerned for his reaction.
“As long as you stay true to yourself and you maintain your standards and he respects that, then I think you’ll know what to do,” her mother advised.
Things continued to spiral when Weber was challenged by Prewett’s father over whether or not he really knew that his daughter was the one for him.
“Obviously this is all happening really fast for dad,” he said, asking Weber to assure him he was being genuine. “She’s so pure. … I think she has very high expectations. We’ve challenged her her whole life not to settle, and all I want is somebody to meet those same standards.”
In response to Prewett’s father’s direct question about her being “the one,” Weber sighed and took a second before eventually saying that he couldn’t give him an answer right now.
Weber left defeated, but looked towards a date with Fuller as a distraction. However, despite meeting her dog, an upbeat Hunter Hayes concert and an overconfident Fuller (“Wrap it up, I’m becoming Mrs. Weber,” she quipped in an interview), their Virginia Beach outing was far from positive. Fuller and Weber’s weeks of tension reached a culmination after he was approached by his ex-girlfriend Merissa Pence, who told him to “be careful” with Fuller.
With her face blurred, Pence told Weber that “I just know what a good guy you are, and I would hate for who you are to be affected by somebody else.” She also added that she didn’t think he deserved “what you are on a date with right now.”
Seeming confused, Weber asked if she knew Fuller, and she said they used to be friends but “things happened” a couple of months ago that made them fall out. Although she didn’t get into details about what that was, she did say that “there have been many relationships broken up because of her, and I don’t think it’s a good relationship for you to be in.”
In disbelief, Weber confronted Fuller about the accusations, and she immediately wanted to know what relationship Pence said she broke up. “I am just disgusted right now,” she said. “There’s so much drama all the f—ing time. I’m so ready to just not.”
“I did not accuse you of anything,” he said. “I simply told you what happened.”
But she responded that she felt his actions made it seem like what Pence told him was more important than meeting her family. “I have nothing to say to you right now,” she said. “I have nothing.”
Weber then asked if she ever fights for what she wants because “every time I feel like it’s been me trying to talk you down, or you wanting to give up on us.”
She said she didn’t agree with that but she angrily stormed off, breaking the fourth wall and telling the cameras that she was “so done with this conversation.” She walked off down the street, but eventually Weber got another moment to explain that he didn’t mean for it to appear he was taking Pence’s side. He apologized, and Fuller told him that she adored him and was planning to tell him she was falling in love with him but “how am I supposed to do that? … How are we ever supposed to move forward from this?”
“By not walking away. By having a conversation,” Weber replied.
Eventually, Weber left without meeting her family — but she showed up at his hotel room the next morning to talk once again. She apologized for “how things went down yesterday” and reiterated that she was falling in love with him.
“I hate this, but I feel like you don’t even want me to love you the way I want to love you,” Weber said. “I get so confused when it just blows up with us. I feel like we have no communication skills. … It’s the most terrifying thing for me — to continue and want to invest and then the possibility of you just walking away.”
Fuller cried and said she’s “trying really hard” and has “never tried like this.” She confided in him that she’s used to walking away when things get tough and told him that now the ball is in his court with what happens between them.
In the end, Weber gave roses to Sluss, Prewett and Fuller, who notably couldn’t seem to look Weber in the eye during the rose ceremony, sending Weier home.
“When you told me that you loved me, that meant the world to me,” he said. “I just wasn’t there.”
Although Weber looked visibly upset at sending Weier home (and slightly upset with giving Fuller a rose), he perked back up for the toast when he told the remaining three women that they’d be traveling back to international waters. Buckle up, because the next episode will see them in Australia — and Fuller is set to bring more drama when she tells Sluss that Prewett gave Weber an ultimatum.
“The Bachelor” airs Mondays at 8 p.m. on ABC.