Amanda and her kids join Ben at the beach in California, and he seems like a natural with the kids – or at least comfortable with them. He tells the journal that he’s even more confident with Amanda, but Amanda and the family aren’t 100% on whether he’s ready to be an “instant dad.” The producers keep trying to make it seem like he won’t handle the crying and overwhelmed children well, but he holds up under the pressure of kids and family.
Ben goes to meet Lauren’s family next. They experience Portland’s food trucks before she takes him to the whiskey library. It’s not romantic though, it’s a boy’s club that she’s taken him to. When he goes to meet her family, Lauren’s sister grills him and he ends up crying with emotion and happiness. Seems like a good sign!
Next up is Caila in Ohio. They go into a factory to make a toy house after designing it themselves. When he goes to her house to meet her parents, he gets to experience all this delicious-looking Filipino food. Ben and her mum have a serious conversation, and it seems like a back and forth which is rare but promising.
Finally, JoJo’s hometown date is a dramatic mess. Chad, an ex of JoJo’s, has flowers delivered with a big letter and gets her all flustered because he’s admitting he still loves her and wants her back. Clearly she isn’t over this guy, and shouldn’t be on this show. But when has that stopped anyone? Ben shows up as she’s on the phone, and she explains the situation to him: she was just telling Chad to stop contacting her. I guess the first potentially dramatic moment of the date is over without anything happening… Whomp whomp.
When Ben gets to her family’s place for dinner they’re immediately all in on the conversation. Her brothers are “really, really, really, attached to [JoJo].” They’re possessive, not sensitive, but they pull him aside first. He seems to only have the stock answers we always hear and ambivalent, open ended responses which really doesn’t help his situation at all. Turns out her answers are just as problematic as his when the brothers sit her down and realize she’s only been on two dates in this process. When you say it like that, this whole thing sounds crazy!
Although her brothers initially seemed confrontational, they ended up having some very refreshing opinions on the whole situation. They handled their emotions well, and the conversations actually seemed productive and (over)protective rather than irrationally angry.
In the end, Ben keeps Lauren, Caila, and JoJo while sending Amanda home. In the post-rose ceremony conversation she’s really calm and collected, but unhappy that he brought her back to LA just to send her home. She’s so mature about it, but what’s most interesting is how cut up he gets in his journal entry after. We don’t even see him go in and talk with the three remaining girls like normal, but instead he cries in front of the house and then we go to previews for next week in Jamaica. I’m sure some crazy stuff will happen there…