‘Bachelor’ recap Week 8: It’s time for Matt James to meet the families

Matt James, a Raleigh native, on the Feb. 22 episode of “The Bachelor” on ABC.

Matt James, a Raleigh native, on the Feb. 22 episode of “The Bachelor” on ABC.


Last week’s “Bachelor” was fairly a trip.

We began that episode with 11 girls vying for Matt James’ love, and by the finish, Matt had culled the group down to 4: Rachael Kirkconnell, Michelle Young, Bri Springs and Serena Pitt.

This week, the families of these girls journey to Pennsylvania to meet Matt and grill their daughters relating to how certain they might probably be about this specific methodology of discovering real love. (Traditionally, these “hometown” dates happen in every girl’s hometown, however due to COVID-19, all of the “Bachelor” motion has taken place at the Nemacolin Woodlands Resort in Farmington, Pennsylvania.)

In mild of Rachael’s racially-problematic social media posts, first reported by a TikTokker named FeministMama, America will probably be studying an entire lot into each interplay together with her household tonight. Speaking of studying into conditions … ABC supplied pictures of Matt’s dates with Michelle, Bri and Serena P., however not his date with Rachael.


The last 4 girls on Season 25 of “The Bachelor,” starring Matt James (L-R): Rachael Kirkconnell, Michelle Young, Bri Springs and Serena Pitt. ABC

Before we get to Monday’s episode, although, let’s dip again into one thing we mentioned in last week’s recap.

Last week we summarized the ongoing controversy involving Rachael (see above), and about host Chris Harrison’s unlucky “Extra” interview relating to Rachael’s conduct — an interview which led to Chris asserting that he’s stepping away from the present for awhile.

Monday evening, barely an hour earlier than the East Coast premiere of “The Bachelor,” Matt shared an announcement about that scenario on social media.

It’s lengthy, so see the embed beneath for the entire assertion. But to summarize, Matt says the entire expertise has been “devastating and heartbreaking,” including that “the past few weeks have been some of the most challenging of my life.” He describes the pictures of Rachael as “incredibly disappointing” and Chris’ interview as “troubling and painful.”

Matt says he’s nonetheless reevaluating and processing his “Bachelor” expertise, and can say extra on the matter later.

Now, on to the present.

Matt James, a Raleigh native, with Michelle Young on the Feb. 22 episode of “The Bachelor” on ABC. Craig Sjodin ABC

Hey Matt, we love Michelle’s mother and pop

Michelle, a college instructor from Edina, Minnesota, will get the first date of the episode.

She tells Matt that she and her household appreciated to go on bike rides, in order that’s how their date begins. Then they go to an auditorium the place a few of her fifth-grade college students are on a video name on an enormous display to meet her “boyfriend.” They are right here to ask “Mr. James” some questions, and they aren’t softballs.

“Have you kissed yet?” “How many girlfriends do you have?” “Are you going to have babies?” “Are you going to marry her?” Matt artfully dodges most of them, however appears genuinely touched by how a lot the children adore her.

At the finish of the date, Michelle says she’s falling in love with Matt and thinks her household will love him, too.

Then we meet Michelle’s household. Like Matt, Michelle’s mother is white and her dad is Black. Dad notices that she appears to be like comfortable, however tells us that she’s had some relationships in the previous that weren’t good, and you recognize, dads fear.

She tells her dad that she loves how Matt works with children and desires to give again and assist folks. But dad’s concern, naturally, is that there are different girls concerned. Dad asks her if Matt proposed at present, would she says sure, and Michelle nods. Dad says OK, however he simply doesn’t need her to be let down if Matt picks another person.

So Dad talks to Matt, and whereas Matt doesn’t ask for permission to suggest, dad volunteers that they may assist no matter Michelle needs, and Matt thanks him.

Then Michelle tells her mother that she thinks Matt is “the one” and mother asks Michelle one thing crucial: does Matt deal with Michelle in addition to her dad treats her? With tears in her eyes, Michelle says sure.

Matt James with Rachael Kirkconnell in the Jan. 4, 2021, Season 25 premiere of “The Bachelor” on ABC. Craig Sjodin ABC

Matt meets Rachael’s household

Next we get Rachael’s date. She begins off telling Matt that he wants to belief her — so she blindfolds him, places him right into a convertible and drives him to a spot the place they may go skydiving.

Matt loves it! He says he’s a thrill-seeker and he’s “stoked” for the date, and tremendous excited that she would consider one thing like this for them. They do tandem diving, which implies they’re every related to a educated diver, who controls the dive. They bounce at the identical time, together with a digicam particular person, and Rachael tells the digicam that she is “literally falling” for Matt.

Matt lands first, then Rachael lands slightly onerous. Matt runs to her and he or she says her again is killing her and her mouth is filled with grass. After a couple of minutes sitting in the grass, she’s OK, however Matt tells her that his “heart hurt” when he noticed her fall that onerous, and it made him take into consideration how he might have misplaced her. It scared him!

I imply, Matt is speaking like he thought she was lifeless, after which Rachael cries as a result of it exhibits her how a lot he cares.

That evening, we meet Rachael’s household. Matt and Rachael bust in on her dad whereas he’s actually saying that he hopes they aren’t shifting too quick. “What’s the rush?” he asks. Along together with her dad, we meet her mother and sister.

Rachael talks to her mother first and tells her that she’s critical about Matt and might see spending her life with him. You don’t see something dangerous? her mother asks. Everyone has a nasty day, mother says. Nope, Rachael mentioned. He’s good.

Meanwhile, Rachael’s dad is telling Matt that he doesn’t see how they’ll “get to that point in such a short period of time,” and encourages him to take extra time to get to know one another extra. Matt tells him that his “end goal” is to get married and that he and Rachael have a relationship constructed on belief, and that he and Rachael have a particular connection.

Dad brings up the “but you’re seeing other people” level — which is legitimate (but in addition, all y’all knew what present these girls had been approaching earlier than they received right here, proper?).

Dad tells Rachael that he thinks Matt is telling all the girls the identical factor he’s telling her. Rachael mentioned possibly she’s naive, however she doesn’t assume so. (For what it’s value, Matt has advised Rachael that he’s falling in love together with her, and he hasn’t mentioned that to the different girls, a minimum of not so far as “Bachelor” editors have proven us.)

In the finish, dad tells Rachael that the household will assist her.

But we finish on a tragic face as a result of Rachael actually wished Matt to ask her dad for his blessing, however Matt tells her that he’s not asking any dads about that proper now — that when he makes his determination, he’ll name that dad and try this. She is visibly upset.

Matt meets Bri’s household

Matt meets up with Bri for some “off-roading,” saying she needs to revisit their first date and that it’s “payback” (their first date was four-wheeling by means of a bunch of mud — this time they’re in a Jeep).

Then there’s a picnic with champagne and a few dialog about assembly the household.

Bri warns Matt that her mother is perhaps “a little tough” as a result of her mother has at all times had to play “mom and dad” roles. Bri mentioned it scares her that she wouldn’t give you the chance to give him a “conventional family” with a mother and pop and siblings, however Matt assures her that his household isn’t typical both, however they love one another and that’s all that issues.

They meet her mother and her finest good friend Bree — and Bri meets her new child child sister for the first time.

Matt tells her mother and finest good friend that he and Bri have related life experiences, and when mother asks him if they’ll discuss privately, he says “yes ma’am.”

Mom asks Matt if he’s in love with Bri and he says “I’m falling for her” — and acknowledges that it’s most likely not the reply she’s trying for.

(You guys, it’s gonna be Rachael. Sigh.)

Bri tells her mother that she’s falling in love with Matt, and that she’s scared. Mom encourages her to be herself and to be weak.

“Worst case scenario is we’re mending our broken hearts together, and we’ll survive,” mother tells her. Well, there’s a narrative there, mother.

Bri tells Matt hat she appears like she’s falling in love with him and he or she needs extra time with him. He thanks for her sharing.

Matt places on a toboggan and meets Serena’s household

Finally, we get Matt’s date with Serena P., who’s from Canada, in order that’s the theme of this date.

There’s some geography, a lingo quiz, meals of Canada and slightly hockey (he received’t be getting any calls from the Canes).

But the absolute better part is when Serena asks Matt what Canadians name a beanie-style hat and Matt, as a result of he’s from North Carolina, appropriately solutions “toboggan.”

Serena laughs at him and says “do you know what a toboggan is?” and he confidently says “yes” (it’s a knit cap) and he or she says “it’s a sled!” and Matt is completely shook. “Is it really? A toboggan is a hat!” he says, even miming the motion of pulling a toboggan onto his head.

So sure, in Canada, they name {that a} toque, however Matt is just not unsuitable that in North Carolina, a toboggan is a hat (however the most popular pronunciation is TOE-boggan).

When evening falls, Matt and Serena meet her mother and pop and sister.

Serena’s household appears very good, and he tells them that when he first met Serena he was reassured that she was “normal.”

Matt chats with Serena’s mother first, and tells her that he likes that she’s good and he or she challenges him. Serena tells her sister that Matt “checks every box” and that she’s falling for him. Sister tells her she thinks Matt could be very cool however one thing appears off. That “something” is that Serena doesn’t appear “smitten” — probably as a result of she’s “in her head” an excessive amount of. Sister doesn’t assume “they’re quite there yet.”

Dad reminds Serena that an engagement is a powerful dedication, and Serena now has numerous doubts and has extra considering to do.

Serena is aware of one thing is lacking and she will be able to’t put her finger on it. But mother hints that Serena has a earlier relationship that damage her very badly, and now she’s struggling to belief her emotions.

Serena tells Matt that she’s struggling and he tells her to simply take into consideration “now” and never anything.

Matt and Serena P: ‘That stinks’

The subsequent day Matt talks to Chris and tells him that he actually likes Serena, however she’s holding again and he’s not assured about her emotions. He is aware of she has doubts, so he needs to discuss to her earlier than the rose ceremony.

So he goes over to the resort and surprises her for a chat. Matt tells her that he has emotions for her however is aware of she’s struggling. He tells her that he can see spending his life together with her — and Serena responds with a heavy sigh.

Serena tells Matt that she has struggled and has doubts, and that her dialog together with her mother is what made her notice that she one thing is lacking. She thought it was concern at first, but when she’s being trustworthy with herself, she tells him, “I don’t think that you’re my person.”

Matt is shocked and appears genuinely upset. He’s quiet for a protracted time, and he clears his throat quite a bit, like he’s making an attempt not to cry.

“It sucks to hear that, but I felt it after I left that conversation with your family, that there was something off with you. It just stinks,” Matt says. “I just want what’s best for you and if that’s not gonna be me and and I can’t make you happy and be all those things for you, then that stinks.”

She walks him out.

Matt talks to the “Bachelor” cameras later and he’s legit crying. Serena broke his coronary heart, and now he has to take into consideration the different girls. What in the event that they modified their minds about him?

This recap will replace by means of the night.

More about ‘Bachelor’ Matt James

James, who made information this previous summer time when he was named ABC’s first Black “Bachelor,” is 28 years outdated and works with an actual property funding agency in New York City. He can also be concerned in a program in New York that helps children affected by homelessness.

We will recap the present every week.

Catch up on our earlier Matt James protection:

Raleigh’s Matt James named ABC’s first Black “Bachelor”

Durham woman is a contestant on “The Bachelor”

See Matt James in middle school yearbook photos

Episode 1 recap: Meet, pray, love with Matt James

Episode 2 recap: Matt James is a prince, but there’s an evil queen, too

Episode 3 recap: The Sarah Show finale

Episode 4 recap: A (literal) battle for Matt James

Episode 5 recap: Matt James ousts bullies Victoria and Anna

Episode 6 recap: Matt James loves the State Fair

Episode 7: Matt James picks the four women whose families he’ll meet

How to watch ‘The Bachelor’

New episodes of “The Bachelor” air at 8 p.m. Mondays on ABC.

You may also stream “The Bachelor” the subsequent day at or on Hulu.

Related tales from Raleigh News & Observer

Brooke Cain is a North Carolina native who has labored at The News & Observer for greater than 20 years. She writes about TV and native media for the Happiness is a Warm TV weblog, and solutions CuriousNC questions for readers.

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