The hometown dates are finally here and Emily is looking for her perfect man, and the perfect father for her Ricki. Before jetting off on her first date, Emily goes home to Charlotte where she says she can really picture each of the four guys fitting in perfectly, “I know I’ve found four great guys that I could fall in love with. … I’m confident that after this week I could be really in love with one of them.”
Though she has a great connection and can picture herself with each guy they all have something different that attracts her to them. Emily appreciates Chris’ ability to admit when he’s wrong and the little things he does to make her feel cared for; Jef is unique and she feels he really gets her for who she is; Arie has that bad boy quality that puts her on edge but somehow fills her with security, she finds his youthful spirit brings out her own; Sean makes her feel very taken care of and very confident, she thinks that her life would Sean would be the perfect one she has always dreamed of.
Emily meets up with Chris in Chicago outside of a Cathedral; Chris’ idea to mimic all of the castles they’ve seen along their journey. He’s first generation Polish-American and so his heritage is very important to him; to give Emily a taste of this they go to a Polish pub for beers.
The two make their way to Hanover Park Illinois to meet his family who are hesitant but ultimately won over by Emily. When Emily asks John, Chris’ father, if he thinks Chris is ready for kids and a family, his answer is very honest and touching. In his thick Polish accent he speaks of the importance of love and support in a marriage: “If you’re looking for something like that, someone who loves you and supports you, you’re going to find that in him. If you’re looking for something else, than Chris might not be what you’re looking for.”
Chris’ mother, Rose, gives her son some words of advice, saying that if he does really love her he needs to “get out there, kick ass, and fight.” Finally Chris’ sister approaches Emily and says that she’s worried her brother will leave broken hearted. She asks that if Emily is going to let him go, to do it sooner rather than later.
After John’s conversation with Emily he too goes to his son and tells him that Emily is falling in love with him. Chris is euphoric and says “hearing it from your really confirms it.” From that he gets courage and talks to Emily outside of his parents’ home: “You make me feel really good, like crazy good. I never even really said this before to be honest with you. I told you in Prague that I felt like I was falling in love with you; but after today, it makes it easy for me to say that I am in love with you and I do love you and its easy saying that.”
After proclaiming his love for her, Chris brings Emily to the back yard where he’s organized a full-fledge surprise Polish party.
Emily jets off to St. George Utah, where she finds out that Jef is more country than he ever let on. He straps her into a four-wheel drive and they race across an impressive picturesque ranch. Jef’s really excited because he doesn’t usually bring girls home to meet his family; Emily’s really nervous because she knows that he’s dumped girls before who haven’t gotten the parents ‘okay’.
Before the two meet up with his family, Jef takes Emily shooting. He hits every target which gets Emily pretty excited, “I mean who knew, Jef in his skinny jeans, would be such a good shot…He looked so good doing it!” Emily wowed Jef just as much. She pretended not to even know how to set up her rifle (Emily later admits that she takes shooting lessons) and then nailed all three targets.
Jef’s parents weren’t in town for the home date, but his siblings and their families were – which almost overwhelmed Emily by how many people that made up. Jef’s older brother, Steve, assumed his role as big brother by taking Emily aside and asking her how this time would be different from her and Brad’s season. She passed with flying colours and Steve told her, “I think that you would be the perfect person to compliment Jef.”
The ladies of Jef’s family had a more formal, hot seat, approach. They set Emily up on a chair facing the three of them. After question period, Jef’s sister Julie gives her the pass, saying that their parents would love her.
At the end of the hometown date Jef tells the cameras: “Just to experience what I experienced with her today changed my life. I fell more in love with Emily.” He tells her this in an even more romantic way. The two of them sit on what looked like a canyon and he tells her that on the plane back from Prague he wrote her a love letter. As Jef reads the letter, Emily looks beyond touch and totally enraptured, he finishes by saying “most of all, I’m completely and hopelessly in love with you.” Emily tells him that those were the sweetest things that anybody has ever said to her.
Emily meets Arie on an Indie Car racetrack in Scottsdale, Arizona, and excitedly says, “if that’s Arie’s passion and we work out, it’ll become one of mine too.” When Arie pulls out of the car in his race suit Emily gushes to the cameras, “Arie definitely looks stupid hot.” Arie gets Emily all suited up and takes her for her first Indie car spin around; something huge since she’s got lots of NASCAR experience but never been in an Indie. Emily says that she would trust no one other than Arie.
When it’s time to meet his parents Emily’s pretty nervous because Arie himself wasn’t sure how it would go. Emily’s goal is to win over his mom, she says to the cameras, “Arie is one of my favourite guys and I would be crushed if his parents didn’t absolutely adore me.”
When they get to Arie’s parents house the date starts off to a rather awkward and pretty rude start. They all start having a conversation in Dutch, leaving poor Emily out. Finally Arie translates for her and they all warm up….and then Emily’s taken away by Mieke, Arie’s mom, for some questioning. Emily’s nervous because she says she’s normally really good at reading people but doesn’t have a clue when it comes to Mieke.
After having a very warm and friendly conversation, Mieke tells Emily that she can tell Arie is crazy about her; she says she can tell just by looking at her son. She later says to the cameras: “I can’t wait for her to choose him and you know be together, because they would make an awesome couple.”
After their hometown date Emily feels like everything she thought, and everything she’s been feeling towards Arie, has been confirmed.
Arie is euphoric: “I’ve never felt this way about any other woman and today has definitely changed my life. I’m ready. I’m definitely ready to ask [for] her hand in marriage. I’m ready to propose. I’m defiantly going to marry Emily and I don’t think of it any other way.”
Emily and Sean meet in White Rock Lake, Dallas, Texas, where Sean has planned a plain-old-ordinary date. That way the two get to just spend time together and feel what it would be like to genuinely just be together. Sean brings his dogs and the two pick flowers and make a bouquet in the park and just enjoy being with each other. Emily can’t stop gushing about how perfect she thinks Sean is and how life with him, her, and Ricki would be perfect too.
When Emily to Sean’s house she declares that he has the world’s most perfect family…until everyone gets incredibly serious and Sean tells her that he still lives at home. He gives her a tour of his room, which is a mess, and Emily says to the cameras that she’s rethinking everything between them… Sean says that when he looked at Emily’s face he could see “pure horror and disgust”, so he breaks it to her, “obviously I don’t live at home, it’s a joke.” This comes MUCH to Emily’s relief, though she hid it well with Southern Pleasantries while in the situation. Emily must have worked very hard to keep it together because Sean pushed the joke as far as saying that he really wished his mom had cleaned up his room, and he named off a bunch of stuffed toys!
As the date day progresses Sean’s family can’t get over how much he has opened up around Emily. His father, Jay, says that Emily has taught him in a couple of weeks what they haven’t been able to do in 28years: how to open up and follow your heart. He says that there’s “something magical happening here.”
Jay says to the cameras: “Emily, I’ve only known for a day and I feel like I’ve known her for a long time. And so if she’s the one that he chooses and she chooses him too, I don’t know if my heart can take [the happiness].
When it’s finally time for Emily to leave, Sean packs her up in the car and kisses her goodbye. Then he’s overcome by the need to kiss her again and literally chases after the car shouting her name.
Sean:“That last kiss with Emily, it feels like she understands exactly what I’m feeling and if the day comes where I don’t have to say goodbye it would make my life complete. No doubt about it. It would make my life complete.”
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