Hometowns: Bachelorette Season 17, Episode 9

Hell is freezing over y’all becuase I agreed with Greg this episode 🥴. More on this later, but what I will say is I am someone who needs my feelings validated. I know my feelings aren’t facts and I’ve gotten pretty good at talking myself down from a ledge (unlink Greg, but it’s a skill that comes with time and a lot of therapy). But if I take time out of MY overthinking anxious spiral to tell someone how I really feel, especially if those feelings are love/love adjacent, you BETTA GIVE ME SOMETHING TO WORK WITH!!

Anyway, we have now officially made it to hometowns! I always love hometown week, it allows us to get to know the contestants better. Unfortunately, we still barely know these dudes.

We start off the episode with Katie reflecting a bit about what she hopes to get out of hometown week. She says that she’s looking for someone who can fit into her life easily and to me that’s a red flag. Listen, I was highkey out on Katie before the season even began and since watching, and listening to the few interviews she’s given I’m still out on her. She seems very insecure, she also seems like she doesn’t know who she is yet or what she wants. Both of these things are totally okay for a 30 year old. In fact, I’m of the mind that we can keep reinventing ourselves and changing our minds until the day we die.

However, when you’re two weeks away from a proposal to one of three men who all are very different, (one lives in a different country, the other is a different race from you) I don’t think it’s fair to expect someone to just “fit” into your life. What about compromise? Where’s the room for creating a new life together? It’s not fair for one person to just have to fit into another’s life because that’s what is easy. I do think ease is important, but taking on the life of the lead? I don’t like that.

Blake’s Hometown

Anyone else think Target (the store that is famously not in Canada) during this date?

Blake’s up first, which feels like a good thing. I feel like the favorite always goes first.

Blake is giving Katie a literal taste of Canada. He has her taste syrup, telling her that it’s a big part of Canadian culture. He’s not lying either. I’ve been to Canada a few times and they go hard for the syrup and honestly, I don’t blame them, it’s very good. He also sets up a dart game that acts as 21 questions. With each dart thrown, a balloon pops and out falls a question to help them get to know one another better. One of the questions asked if she’d move to Canada to which Katie responds “I’ll go anywhere for love.” Okay Katie girl, that’s what you said at the top of the episode.

Now, if you’re following Katie on Instagram, you know that she’s in a the middle of a move to San Diego, where a few other Bach Nation stars live. As far as I know, none of her final three lives in San Diego, but these contestants are willing to move to California all the time, so maybe she won’t be moving alone.

Off in the wings, as their day time portion of their date is coming to an end, Greg catches a glimpse of them and it begins to plant seeds of doubt. Of course it does. They’ve been teasing Greg leaving for a few weeks now. Katie had been asking him to promise not to leave, asking where his heads at, etc. So, this is probably the beginning of the end.

During the night time portion of the date, Blake reminds Katie of who she’s meeting, although these names mean very little to us. I assumed they were his mom and siblings. Katie shows up with a middle part to show that she can win the hearts of Gen Z too. Personally, I was not a fan.

When they first sit down, Katie says that her chemistry with Blake was instant, and I agree. Their chemistry has been pretty clear from day one. They do seem in sync and aligned in a way we are not seeing with any of the other men. His mom wants to make sure that what they’re experiencing isn’t just physical and they assure her it isn’t.

Katie goes to sit down with Blakes mom who tells her when Blake loves, he love hard and she wants to make sure that Katie realizes that and isn’t setting him up for heartbreak. One thing that stuck out during her talk with Blake’s mom is she kept answering for Blake. She used words like “we,” “us,” “our” and that intentional language shift, especially to his family shows she’s at least thinking of him/considering him in this process.

Blake’s sister sits Blake down and calls him all the way out about how many Bachelorette’s he’s fallen for. He swears it’s different this time and it appears that way as a viewer too. He does seem more comfortable to be himself with Katie. With Clare and Tayshia it seemed like he was trying to catch up with them, prove he could be on their level, they just weren’t in sync.

Before leaving, his mom gives him some parting advice: if he’s feeling like he’s in love with her, he needs to tell her becuase he never knows who else is sharing those words with her. Blake doesn’t listen, he sees her out and says he loves where they are at, but doesn’t say he loves her. A theme that will continue all night.

Justin’s Hometown

I won’t lie, I could not take this home town seriously. We all know Justin does not belong at hometowns and what is disrespectful is that we went through this entire date and still didn’t learn shit about him. Even though his decades long friends were along for the ride!

But I’m getting ahead of myself, before we even meet his friends, Justin is on the phone with his parents and they’re explaining why they won’t be coming to meet Katie. In short, they don’t believe in the process, they think its too fast and even though they kept saying they supported him and trust his judgement, it seems like they feel the exact opposite. It could also be that they just didn’t want to be on TV, in which case, I feel like producers could’ve given him the same set up Rachel Lindsay had. Still, this just further solidifies that Justin ain’t it.

I could spend time going into their date, but just know Katie admitted to knowing nothing about the very Black city of Baltimore, similar to how she couldn’t name any countries in Africa . Have I mentioned I’m out on her?

Watching Justin’s hometown was a great example of how lazy production is when it comes to telling the stories of people of color. If you can get Greg to ugly cry for what was probably an hour about his dad, you could’ve worked to pull something out of Justin. Instead we got Katie complaining about eating crabs and his two best friends saying they didn’t know Justin was capable of feelings and PDA. HOW did we leave a hometown date learning absolutely nothing new about Justin? And how was her connection with him stronger than what she had with Andrew?

Greg’s Hometown

Greg is still a bit in his head after seeing Blake’s date the other day, but he’s excited to take a big next step in his relationship with Katie, especially since he hasn’t brought anyone home since his dad passed away. Greg is giving Katie a taste of the Jersey shore. They ride a tandem bike around, try some food and go fake surfing. It’s pretty cute.

Then, to end the day portion, they play a game of KISS (think HORSE) which was a nod to Greg’s dad and how they spent a lot of time playing basketball together. It was very similar to Katie going fishing with Greg the way she used to with her dad. Greg shares that he wishes his dad could’ve met Katie, but he’s excited for his mom, brother and best friend to meet her. Before they part for the night time portion of the date they recreate their little Seattle rain kiss from the previous date they had together. I don’t understand the obsession with kissing in the rain, this isn’t Spiderman, but go off I guess.

The night time portion of the date starts with a photo of Greg’s dad and a few videos from his sisters, nieces and nephews, who couldn’t make it. This moment very much felt like how my siblings and I would be if one of us ever ended up on the Bachelor, just crying and laughing through it all. It’s also when I realized that Greg is the baby of the family. I’m not sure he’s actually the youngest, but he is babied. What I mean by that is, I got the vibe that growing up and even now as an adult, Greg gets a lot of positive reinforcement and feedback. I’d even go so far to say his family doesn’t check him as much as they should because he’s “young and learning,” or some excuse like that.

Pretty quickly we get his family remarking about how happy he looks. They say that he hasn’t been that happy in a long time. Throughout her time with Greg’s family there are many moments when Katie tells us without telling us that Greg is the one. Greg’s brother asks if she could picture herself marrying Greg and she says yes so quickly; then we see Greg and his best friend talking about his feelings and shares that he’s falling in love with her and that they’ve even talked about logistics of where to move. Lastly, we get a sit down with Greg’s mom Sandy where she admits to her that Greg is her frontrunner and that he will definitely make it to fantasy suites.

But it was also in that moment where we saw the show playing too much of a role in Katie’s decision making. She made a comment about not being “allowed” to say that she wanted to keep him for another week. We began to see the distinction in how Greg talks about their relationship versus Katie. Greg was talking post show future, Katie was talking about the next few weeks.

When Greg and his mom have a time to talk, he says that he’s feeling really good and that he’s in love with Katie. He sees an engagement with her, a marriage and he’s ready to go. He says Katie fills him up with so much happiness and this is the moment where I was able to empathize with Greg. Sometimes, you meet someone, even platonically and there is this unexplainable chemistry and connection and just their presence puts you at ease and makes you happy. But in the same moment that you’re feelings this, you have some doubt because it feels so good that it feels almost too good to be true.

At the end of the night, Greg and Katie take some one on one time to check in and we see Greg open up and be more emotional than we have ever seen him on the show. I think it’s beautiful that his family makes him comfortable enough to be like that and it’s beautiful that Katie has made him feel comfortable to do the same. He tells Katie he’s in love with her and he’s ready to get down on one knee, once and only once and in response, Katie just smiles at him and says “I just love looking at you.”

That’s when Greg’s demeanor begins to shift. I’ve watched it back three times and I feel like Greg went into self preservation mode. Katie senses it too. She asks him to hang in there and says he should know how she feels and to lean on that. Greg says he tries to, but at the end of the day, this is his fucking life and he seems like he’s done playing games.

This is where Katie feels insecure to me. “You know how I feel about you, right?” This is an example of her over producing herself. I feel like Katies doesn’t want to say I love you becuase of what the audience, us, Bachelor Nation will think, not becuase she doesn’t feel it and that’s stupid. Why not just say I love you to the man you’re going to pick and no one else? I refuse to believe a week before an engagement she ain’t made up her mind. It is completely reasonable that these men don’t want to get down on one knee when you ain’t even said you loved them. Are you kidding me? 

Side note: What’s up with these dudes coming on this show talking about they ain’t been this vulnerable in a while or ever? Why do we set men up to not be able to cry, be vulnerable, have these types of emotional convos?

Greg and Katie move their conversation outside and Greg says he can’t be here at the end if its not him. He’s looking for reassurance that it will be him at the end and Katie won’t give it to him. This is the part where people will say Greg knows what he signed up for. I too have often leaned on that phrase, but it’s not true. I don’t think anyone goes on the show knowing exactly what it feels like to fall in love so quickly, be expected to communicate it clearly, be ready for an engagement shortly after and be fine with the fact that the person you’re in love with is potentially falling for other people too. That’s a lot and even if Greg knew that was a possibility, feeling it is a totally different story.

Katie assures him that she knows how he’s feeling, but she really doesn’t. She didn’t make it this far with Matt. The level of honesty she’s asking from these men, the threat of a public breakup, the lack of privacy to process together, all of that is a lot. I ain’t really fucked with Greg this entire time, but I was with him. Why couldn’t Katie give him something, anything to make him feel like he wasn’t wasting his time? Even an acknowledgement of his feelings could’ve done something.

The Beginning of the End

This face literally says it all.

Greg is still struggling the morning after. He said he was in love with her and she didn’t have any reaction. She said she loved looking at him or some shit. At this point, Greg is going into protection mode. I totally understand how you could be in your head at this point, but I don’t think he’s overreacting at all. He’s really put himself out there, given it as much as he could and she gave literally nothing and that’s kind of fucked up. Especially when you cannot convince me that the only reason she didn’t say anything is because she was still trying to protect the show. Fuck the show! These producers and cameramen are going to record whatever Katie lets them, she didn’t have to follow this stupid script all for the sake of television.

Greg decides to go talk to Katie about how he’s feeling. He knocks on her door and she does not seem happy to see him, probably because the last few men who have come to her door all left. At this point, Greg is giving me, I’m going to break Katie’s heart before I get hurt more, which feels like a trauma response, but I’m not here to psychoanalyze nobody.

During my second watch of this conversation between Greg and Katie, I believe Greg got it wrong a bit. Katie didn’t dismiss his confession of love, she just didn’t say it back or acknowledge it, which sucks. I would be shook if I said that and it wasn’t acknowledged at all. Greg said he felt that he wasn’t heard after putting himself all the way out there. Katie is fumbling through her words. This situation isn’t quite in her Bachelor playbook and she doesn’t know what to do to make him stay, preserve the show, and is still sticking to her no I love you until the finale rule. It’s not a good mix.

I’ve been saying this all season, but it has never been more clear than this episode: Katie worries too much about the show and not enough about the relationships. Greg pretty much says this. After Greg says he’s leaving, she begins to reassure him, but she’s using language from the show. She’s calling him a front runner, said she was positive he’d be staying another week, getting a rose, etc. Never did she say she loved Greg too or wanted it be him at the end. That bothers Greg and it makes him continue to question if Katie feels like he’s the number one for the show, or the number one for life. Again, Katie was thinking a few weeks into the future, Greg was thinking long term.

Katie begins apologizing profusely and it just makes me sad for her. She seems so small here and I hate the way it feels. Greg is hurt and those feelings are valid, I really understand where he is coming from, but he’s lacking empathy for Katie and the position she’s in. As Katie was losing him, she just kind of shut down. She didn’t know what to say and even when she chased after him all she did was hug him. Katie stammers and gets out some words about wanting to leave if he leaves and despite that, Greg says he’s done and walks away. Kinda shocked that this could really be their last moment until After the Final Rose.

Thennnn, we get the clip that has been teased all season, Katie stands up, dusts herself off and says she’s done and she wants someone to book her flight home. Honestly, everything Greg said before that was more shocking/exciting than this moment. Those of us who are unspoiled, but well versed in Bachelor Nation context clues believes this reaction was either 1) really early on and an overreaction or 2) late in the game after her front runner self eliminated. Obviously it was the later.

Katie is crying in the bathroom and Kaitlyn Bristowe tries to console her. Even in this moment, Katie is worried about the show because her first question to Kaitlyn was “what questions do you have for me?” Katie, girl fuck this show! You’re bawling your eyes out in a bathroom because your person just left and you worried about answering some questions!?!? WRONG. Are the cameras going to keep rolling? You bet, but sis protect your energy, cry it out, take your time. Producers will get what they need eventually.

When Kaitlyn asks what Katie wants, she says her confidence is destroyed and she wants to go home. I hope she really does get to break up with the other two men and leave because I absolutely hate when we get a drawn out breakup where the lead claims they said bye to the love of their life only for them to pick the other person (in this case Blake) the next week.

Only time will tell, until then see you next Tuesday for the finale! ✌🏾

P.S. the producers ain’t right for this Greg montage at the end. They really hate Katie and you cannot convince me otherwise.

2 thoughts on “Hometowns: Bachelorette Season 17, Episode 9

  1. Was eager to read your take on the Greg situation. Like you said, I think both he and Katie need some grace here, and 5”they didn’t communicate well – probably bc they don’t know each other well enough to know how the other hears things.

    Agree re Justin – he seems like a fun, interesting guy, but we haven’t gotten to see enough about him to learn more.

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