SPOILER ALERT! This post contains details from Monday’s episode of ABC‘s The Bachelor.
It’s hometown week on The Bachelor, and Zach is ready to meet the families of his four remaining suitors — each of whom he says he has a very strong connection with. He just hopes that the families will understand that he’s trying his best to find the love of his life.
First up, Zach is headed to Vermont, where he’ll spend some time with Gabi’s family. But before that, Gabi puts Zach to the (taste) test. After blindly tasting four different types of syrup, Gabi is quite appalled to hear Zach say that his favorite was the pancake syrup…straight high fructose corn syrup and none of the authentic stuff.
Well, hopefully he can redeem himself with the rest of the family. After exchanging some niceties, the first to pull Zach away is Gabi’s older brother, Evan, who says it’s “huge” for Gabi to be putting herself out there and he doesn’t want to see her broken by this experience. Zach assures Evan that he could see a future with Gabi and he only has the best of intentions. Meanwhile, Gabi is telling her sister Chloe that she also sees a future with Zach, but they haven’t had enough extended time together for her to decide just yet.
Zach is then in the hot seat with Gabi’s parents. Her mom says they’re trusting Zach to be honest with her, and he asks them for advice about how to support her in a relationship. Her mom says she needs someone who can ground her and make her feel safe, so he needs to build a strong foundation of trust with her. Gabi’s mom seems impressed after her conversation. Apparently Gabi’s dad is the hopeless romantic. He tells his daughter that he met her mom and knew right away that they were meant to be together. While Gabi isn’t so sure just yet, she says she has a “good feeling” about Zach.
Zach and Gabi end their night with a one-on-one conversation, where Gabi says that she sees a future with Zach more than she ever has throughout this process. But she admits that she’s a bit worried, because since she’s the first hometown she won’t see Zach for the rest of the week. He assures her that he could never forget about her and asks her to trust in their relationship.
Now Zach is off to New York City to see Ariel. She’s been the underdog of the season, not initially appearing to be one of Zach’s frontrunners. But as the weeks went on, their connection grew much deeper. Ariel is excited to show Zach the city, which she says is a huge part of her identity. Their tour of the city is anchored by food (as it should be), with the pair stopping for pizza, pastrami sandwiches, cocktails and more. Ariel says she loves how inquisitive Zach is about her life, and she wants him to understand how much her family and her heritage means to her.
According to Ariel, it’s not her parents that Zach needs to worry about. It’s her brother, Bobby, who she says is very protective of her. Bobby admits to Zach that he’s fairly skeptical, considering that the show is an “unorthodox” way of dating. So, he wants to know why Ariel should pick Zach. Zach struggles to answer the question, but he says that he has a big heart and he really believes that he has gotten to know Ariel very well and he is very confident in his relationship with Ariel. Bobby isn’t satisfied though, pointing out that Zach and Ariel come from different backgrounds, with Ariel and her siblings being first generation Americans. He asks how Zach intends to “reconcile” with their differences, and Zach seems a bit exasperated, but he says that he thinks they’ll be able to make it work. Now, Bobby asks what Ariel’s birthday and middle name are — to which Zach has no answer. He wonders how Zach can claim to know her without having these small details, but Zach disagrees that he needs to know those things about her to love her.
As if her brother wasn’t intimidating enough, Zach now has to sit down with her father, who calls himself a “demanding person.” He wants to know what makes Ariel stand out to Zach, and Zach says her kindness and her ability to make him feel safe and comfortable. While those two are chatting, Bobby sits down with Ariel to gauge her interest in Zach, admitting that he’s still skeptical with the timeline. Ariel says she knew she had feelings for Zach before they ever got deep into their relationship, and she thinks he could be her “forever person,” but Bobby still isn’t sold. Ariel’s dad tells Zach that he trusts Ariel’s decisions, but he’s worried about whether Zach is going to choose her back. Her dad thinks he’s nice, but he doesn’t seem convinced that Zach and Ariel are meant to be. Ariel tells her dad that she knows it’s hard for him to process, but she is ready to be engaged to Zach at the end of this.
Both of them are a bit on edge when they leave Ariel’s family, but Ariel assures Zach that she’s falling in love with him. She says her family has never grilled her like that before, but it was worth it, and Zach agrees.
Up next is Columbus, Georgia, where Zach will be visiting Charity. Rather than spend some time showing him around her hometown, she takes him straight to meet her family and friends. Her mom immediately notices how happy Charity seems, especially after she tells them about their first date in Estonia. Both Charity’s friends and family seem happy for her, but they are worried about how torn apart she was after her last relationship, so they’re wary about how quickly this new relationship has been moving. When her friends ask her if she’s prepared for the possibility that she won’t be chosen at the end of the process, Charity says it’s a risk she’s willing to take.
However, after talking with her brother, Charity says she’s second guessing whether she wants to tell Zach that she’s falling in love with him, because she’s scared to get her heart broken again. When she talks to her mom, Charity says that Zach has consistently shown up for her, and she admits that she is falling for him but is scared to say those words. Her mom reminds her that those are important words to say and to hear, and she assures Charity that she only has good things to say about Zach.
Before the day is over, Charity has one more surprise in store for Zach — line dancing! He’s a bit hesitant to get on the dance floor, but once the music slows down, they find their groove. Afterward, Charity finally tells Zach that she’s falling in love with him.
There’s one more hometown date to go, this time with Kaity. Zach is actually headed home for this one, returning to Austin, Texas, where both he and Kaity live. Since she’s newer to the city, she asks if he’d like to help her settle in. So, they’re off to run some errands together. After picking up some groceries and a bouquet of flowers, they take a drive to Kaity’s house. As they unpack the groceries, Zach says that spending time with her feels effortless. Kaity is pretty serious about getting settled in, asking Zach to help her build a bookshelf, set up her mattress, fix some lightbulbs, etc.
Of course, it wouldn’t be a hometown without the family. After a day of unpacking, they’re off to see Kaity’s mom and her brother. Kaity says during her confessional that she’s scared about getting her family’s approval, since that means so much to her. The first thing her mom notices is that Kaity seems fairly comfortable with Zach, and it’s new for her to not have been involved in Kaity’s dating life up to this point. After sitting down with Zach though, her mom seems fairly impressed with him. She tells Zach she can see how much Kaity cares about him, and she’s concerned for her heart. Zach says that he’s confident he can see a future with Kaity, but he’s hesitant to say he’s falling in love with her yet because those words mean a lot to him.
Meanwhile, Kaity is already there. She tells her family that she could see him being her husband and the father of her children, but she’s afraid to be vulnerable with him because she doesn’t want to lose him. By the end of the night, she works up the courage to tell him that she is falling in love with him.
Zach has a tough decision to make this rose ceremony, as this determines his final three contestants. He seeks some advice from former Bachelor Sean Lowe, who assures him that it will all work out if he follows his gut.
Zach ends up sending Charity home, which leads to an emotional goodbye. Kaity, Ariel and Gabi are the final three women who will be vying for Zach’s heart.
The Bachelor: Women Tell All airs Tuesday at 8 p.m. ET/PT on ABC before next Monday’s fantasy suites.