This episode starts with a very rushed feeling, with our Bachelor Matty going straight to the Gold Coast to meet Tara at Movie World before opening hours, and Matty seems more excited about not having to line up in queues for rides than he is to see Tara. (Can’t blame him for his honesty. Those queues are a beast.)
They scream through roller coaster rides and toss quoits at Sideshow Alley, before strolling to a picnic – with the obligatory giant teddy bear under Tara’s arm. She gives the rundown on her family, and she warns him that brother Troy may be a little protective.
Side note, for the visit to her family, Tara is wearing my favourite Mister Zimi tropical print skirt with a flouncy yellow off the shoulder top. Love it!
They enter the family home and Tara’s niece and nephews are delighted to see their aunty, and we can see straight away that her family is close. Troy then interrupts Matty and Tara’s joint ‘first meeting’ story to take him outside for a chat with the boys. Tara’s bro calls Matty out almost immediately, asking outright if he’s going to pick Tara; and when Matty answers that he just doesn’t know yet, Troy calls him a liar!
At dinner, everyone seems a little more settled, and Tara is obviously reveling in time with her family although Tara’s older sister whisks Matty away to ask some straightforward (but not unexpected) questions. While trying to sell Tara to Matty, she says ‘she’s just a girl, mate’, leaving us in no doubt that she is in fact Tara’s sister.
Now, seasoned viewers of the Bachelor will know that this episode follows a particular format, with each lady professing her love for the Bachelor, although they won’t hear it in return. And of course, the girl who holds her emotions in the most, won’t make it through to the final three.
Tara does what she’s supposed to, and both tells Matty that she can see herself falling in love with him, and also cries as he leaves. Double emotion, well played Tara. The goodbye kiss was very lingering, so there’s also that working in her favour.
The Bachelor producers try to fool us with the opening scenes of the next hometown date featuring a Dutch windmill and country garden with push bikes with tulips and cheese wheels in the bike baskets, and all of a sudden we’re transported to Amsterdam.
But we’re not, we’re in Melbourne, at Windmill Gardens. Florence and Matty embark on a little bike tour together (although you can’t fool me, the Dutch don’t wear helmets) before enjoying Dutch beers and a picnic.
As Florence’s family couldn’t make the trip from the Netherlands, Matty and florence visit her Dutch friends Maja and Marlies. Marlies opens with a strong punch, implying that Matty is only in it for the fame, then follows through with loaded questions about Matty liking more than one girl. (Did you ask these heavy questions of Florence, Marlies? Did you?) Marlies seems unconcerned that her implications around Florence maybe wanting to leave Australia one day might put Matty off.
As Florence bids Matty goodbye, she too reads the flash cards held up by her producers and tells Matty that she’s falling in love with him. The kiss goodbye is just a peck however, so viewers are definitely led to believe that Florence may be leaving tonight.
Elise’s family live in South Australia and we see Matty meet her on a blustery cliff, and it looks like they’ve both raided Oshers bomber jacket wardrobe. The navy and khaki combo they’re both wearing is just adorable, and so on trend right now. Elise leads Matty to an even windier spot along the headland to stand and chat, which seems pointless.
Now, as soon as Matty meets Elise’s parents and siblings on the verandah, it looks like a Myer catalogue, with all those white teeth and pressed chinos. Mum Marie heads into the kitchen and Matty generously (and sensibly) offers to join her and give her a hand while she lightly grills him and he lightly mashes the potato.
Dad Phil seems like he’s ready to give Elise’s hand in marriage and the evening is the smoothest yet. Will Elise confess her love for Matty? Not quite, as she just tells him how much he means to her, but doesn’t use the L-word, before they kiss and Matty departs for his final date.
Stop everything. Laura has rescued a three-legged dog named Buster. HERES THE TRUE LOVE STORY, FOLKS.
Laura lives quite close to Matty, so they both have the hometown advantage now. After meeting on the beach, they stroll along the beach to a picnic and Laura shares that Matty will be meeting three generations of her family. Laura’s grandies are adorable, and give Matty their blessing almost immediately.
Sister Alicia asks Matty the responsible yet tough questions, and they bond more than grill, which is refreshing. As Laura chats privately with Alicia afterwards, she expresses hesitation about telling him how she feels, and is reassured by her sister that she should tell him.
As they kiss goodbye, Matty asks Laura if she feels 100 % into this, and she turns it around and asks him if HE does. Oh Laura. No, sweety. Matty can’t actually share his feelings, it’s a reality show.
He gives enough almost imperceptible head nods to let Laura know that she’s safe, and leaves to go make ‘the hardest decision so far’.
Who receives roses:
Elise, Tara and Laura
Who goes home:
Florence. After plenty of hugs from the ladies, Florence leaves quietly and starts preparing for Spring racing season. You gotta admit you just KNOW she’ll be wearing the best fascinators in the birdcage this year. The highlight of the episode’s Rose Ceremony is the warm and comforting hand that Osher gently places in the small of Matty’s back.
Apart from Tara’s fabulous Mister Zimi skirt, I was left underwhelmed, so no style pick this episode.