AshLee, Catherine, Lindsay and Desiree are set to embark on the coveted hometown dates this week with Sean, but for some, the Bachelor bubble is about to burst.
First up is AshLee, who Sean admits has always been a frontrunner. After flying down to Houston, Texas to spend a romantic afternoon in an idyllic meadow with the 32-year-old personal organizer and her tiny pup, Sean tackles the dreaded meet-and-greet with his date's adoptive parents. Despite AshLee's father's initial wariness of his daughter's new boyfriend, the evening goes off without a hitch and Sean is even able to charm a marriage blessing from the previously distrusting dad.
The next hometown date goes to Catherine and the twosome spend an fun, affection-filled day at Pike Place Market in Seattle, Washington. Although the carefree afternoon had Sean sure he could spend an eternity with the bubbly 26-year-old graphic designer, a nearly disastrous dinner with Catherine's mother, grandmother and disapproving sisters cast shades of doubt on their happy future. The family seemed skeptical of Catherine's devotion for the man she met on TV, Sean leaves without permission to wed his girlfriend and words of caution from Catherine's doubtful sisters who allege she's a bit of a flake in the realm of romantic love.
Lindsay is third to receive a visit from Sean, who meets the Army brat in Fort Leonard Wood, MO for some small-town shopping before meeting the 26-year-old graphic designer's intimidating General of a father. Dad turns out to be nothing more than a big softie who wants nothing but the best for his little girl. After falling prey to Sean's Southern charm, Lindsay's father gives his blessing.
Lastly, Sean meets Desiree in sunny California for the final round of hometown dates and the happy couple enjoys a hike before venturing off to her cozy home for dinner. While preparing a meal for Desiree's family, who are on their way, a seemingly crazy ex-boyfriend interrupts the peace and begs for a second chance with Des. Just when Sean is ready to step in and forcefully remove the belligerent ex, it is revealed that the whole scene is a charade and, basically, payback for the prank Sean pulled on Desiree in one of their very first dates. Unfortunately, the evening is all downhill here as Desiree's brother refuses to accept Sean as an option for his sister and ruins the mood by accusing him of being a playboy with bad intentions.
When it's time for the rose ceremony, Sean admits he is torn between his least successful hometown dates, Catherine and Desiree. Sensing Sean's anguish, Desiree interrupts the service, before it even begins, apologizing in private for her brother's bad behavior. Although he assures her that her sibling's actions don't reflect badly on her, Desiree is unconvinced she will leave with a rose.
After awarding AshLee and Lindsay with a stem, Sean brings the ceremony to a halt before delivering the final flower. After lengthy reflection in private, he ultimately bids farewell to Desiree and opts to keep Catherine.
Des has a hard time letting go (literally) as she hugs Sean goodbye, telling him repeatedly that he's making a "huge mistake" that he'll regret forever.
Tomorrow, Sean will sit down with host Chris Harrison for a special episode where he reflects on the girls he's cut loose including Tierra, with whom he has a few choice words for after watching her antics from the comfort of his home.
And next week, Sean embarks on overnight dates in Thailand! The Bachelor airs Monday nights on ABC.