"I'm shocked, confused. I did not see this coming. For me to come out and say, 'I'm falling in love' with someone, I'm not going to just say that for the sake of saying it," Dean said following his ouster.
"I'm going to say it because I mean it. And when she said it, I thought she meant it. I thought I found someone for me. It turns out the feelings aren't reciprocated. I think she's an incredible woman; I just think that tonight she made a mistake."
Eric first showed her the part of the city with nice views, and then he brought her to the rough neighborhood where he grew up. Eric pointed out that Baltimore is one of the 10 toughest cities in America but growing up there made him "humble and real," adding that it gave him a tough skin and allowed him to learn the ins and outs on the streets.
Rachel appreciated how Eric always seized the day with his positive energy.
While Rachel and Eric played a little basketball in a local court outside, Eric's friend Ralph showed up. Ralph revealed the last time Eric brought a girl home to meet his family was prom and he was always "a stellar scholar" who inspires others. Ralph was very proud of his friend, and it became clear to Rachel that Eric was a "go-getter," and a "fighter mentality."
Rachel felt a lot of pressure and nerves since she'd be the first girl Eric was bringing home, but she said the family made her feel very welcome within the first 10 seconds of her being inside the apartment. Rachel was introduced to his parents, aunts and more. She felt so much "warmth" from them.
Eric's family could tell he was compelled by her. During a great conversation with Eric's aunt Verna, Rachel admitted she was getting judged by white and black people and it was hard but she needed to be selfish. She added that love doesn't have a color and her journey on The Bachelorette shouldn't be any different from the 12 Bachelorettes before her.
Verna had no doubt that Eric was ready to get engaged. She said he's not afraid of commitment and he's ready for that next step in his life. Eric later told his mother Karen that Rachel could be his future wife, and he thanked his mom for making him the man he is today despite their troubled past. Eric didn't feel much love as a child, but he had no hard feelings toward his family and he loved them unconditionally.
Rachel told Karen that Eric challenges her and they work out their issues and bring out the best in each other. Meanwhile, Eric was gushing about how Rachel embodied everything he was looking for and he had never been so happy with a woman before. He thought "opposites attract" since Rachel grew up with so much structure in her life -- much unlike his own.
On this date, Eric determined he was in love with Rachel, and he thought she's "the one" for him. He said his dreams were coming true. When expressing himself to Rachel, he said he was feeling love for Rachel because he really cared about her and her well being. However, Eric didn't flat out say, "I love you," to Eric. Regardless, Rachel really liked Eric and was "definitely falling" for him.
Bryan Abasolo's hometown date in Miami, FL, was up next. Rachel said Miami screamed Bryan because it's a hot and sexy place.
Although Rachel thought Bryan was too good to be true initially, his words and actions proved otherwise throughout this process. Her nerves were high to make a good impression on his family since the reason his last relationship ended was because the girl was at odds with his beloved mother.
During the day, Bryan took Rachel to play Dominoes and they ate Colombian food from a food truck and also went salsa dancing. They had amazing chemistry and Bryan hoped his family would embrace her with open arms.
Bryan told Rachel that his mother is sensitive and a "fireball," while his father is a smooth charmer. Bryan told Rachel that he just wanted to continue making her smile because he's "obsessed" with her smile. Rachel and Bryan found themselves very compatible, and Bryan was ready to express his feelings of love to Rachel as long as she got along with his family.
Once inside Bryan's parents' home, his mother Olga was professing how her son is her love, her pride, and her most precious thing in life. Bryan assured Olga that Rachel is beautiful inside and out and has an amazing personality, adding that she's "the one" for him.
Olga, clearly a little skeptical, told Bryan that he needed to take time to really get to know the woman because marriage is a huge commitment. Olga was surprised Bryan fell for the Bachelorette on television since he has met so many girls in real life.
Rachel soon learned that Bryan's ex-girlfriend wanted him all to herself, but Olga explained to Rachel that when you marry a man, you marry his family as well. The last woman in Bryan's life was allegedly threatened by his relationship with his mom. Rachel gushed to Olga about how well Bryan treated her, and Olga admitted that she'd kill Rachel if she failed to make her son happy.
The date solidified Bryan's feelings of love for Rachel. As he walked her out at the end of the night, he kissed her and said, "Rachel, I'm in love with you. I don't want to hold back these feelings anymore. I didn't want you to leave my hometown without expressing how much you mean to me and how much I care about you. And I can't wait to see you again."
Rachel told the cameras that meeting Bryan's family went better than she ever could have imagined. Hearing Bryan is in love also went above and beyond her expectations for the date. Rachel said her head was spinning like she was in a whirlwind and she had "all the feels" for Bryan.
Rachel then traveled to Madison, WI, to see Peter Kraus and meet his family and friends.
Peter said he was falling for Rachel and their connection was unlike anything he's ever experienced before. Likewise, Rachel could see herself with Peter in the long run, but she was worried he wasn't ready to propose since he still had walls up and was guarding his heart. Rachel told the cameras that in this journey, it's important to open yourself up and let go.
After heading to a farmer's market, Peter and Rachel had lunch in a pub with four of his best friends. Peter called his friends an extension of his family. Rachel learned from his friends that Peter is very accepting, goofy and corny.
Peter didn't feel this way about a girl in a long time, but he still had doubts about whether this was the girl he was meant to be with for the rest of his life. Peter knew that Rachel was looking for a husband, but he didn't know what it was like to wake up next to her every morning and what her life is like outside of this show.
Peter then snagged some alone time with the guys, and he confessed to them that the idea of proposing was "terrifying." His friends advised Peter not to be scared of the future as long as he believes Rachel is the right person for him. Peter's friends loved Rachel and thought she's very sincere and down-to-earth. They all got along great, and Peter's feelings for Rachel grew that day.
The bachelor, however, said in a confessional he's not going through this journey based on his emotions because that's how people make dumb decisions. For his family visit, Rachel met Peter's parents, brother, sister-in-law and more. Rachel watched how amazing Peter was with his niece, and it made her think about how wonderful of a husband and father he's going to be one day.
But Rachel explained to Peter's family her concerns about how reserved he was with her in this process. Brooke, Peter's sister-in-law, told Rachel that Peter is ready because he has talked about marriage and kids recently. However, Brooke acknowledged something was holding Peter back.
And Peter did have a lot of "doubts, questions and fears." When talking about getting engaged, Peter told his mother Lynn, "I think I'm ready to do it," but it seemed like Peter was just afraid to miss out on his opportunity. Rachel told Lynn she wanted to be married with at least one child four years from now.
Lynn then admitted to Rachel that while Peter is ready to start a family, he may not be ready to pop the question and get married in the near future. Lynn said Peter would easily commit, but without the ring. Such a revelation was "a big deal" to Rachel, because she came on The Bachelorette to get engaged and find her future husband. Rachel didn't want to leave the show with just "a boyfriend," and she feared that's all she'd get from Peter.
When Peter walked Rachel out of his parents' home later that night, he said he was "sold" on her the second she met his friends and he wanted to continue to see where things went between them. Peter said he was "hopeful" about their future together and that he was really happy with her.
"She fits into my life flawlessly," Peter told the cameras, although he did not confess love to Rachel. "I want things to move forward with Rachel, but in order to move to that next step, I don't know what it's going to take. But I'm not there yet. I need time to process my emotions and feelings... I'm worried this may be the last time I see her."
Rachel then set out for Dean's hometown date in Aspen, CO.
Dean hadn't seen his father in two years, so he anticipated the visit would be difficult. For their date, Dean took Rachel ATVing and the pair had an absolute blast. She called him "a beautiful surprise" because he's so "funny and intelligent." However, Rachel noted that Dean was not expressive when it came to his feelings.
But Rachel knew that this family visit would be the first time Dean's whole immediate family would be under one roof in eight years. This family was so close before Dean's mother passed away from breast cancer when he was 15-years-old. Rachel learned she was going to meet Dean's dad, two brothers, his sister and more.
Dean explained to Rachel before bringing her home that his dad is a Sikh Kundalini yogi, who wears a turban and has a long, white beard. He got her ready for an unorthodox family.
It was clear Dean struggled to find clarity on why his relationship with his father had fallen apart. Dean wondered if it was his responsibility to maintain a relationship with his dad, but he wasn't trying, and neither was his father. Dean told Rachel that his dad wasn't around for years after his mother died and offered little to no support in his time of need.
Rachel suggested to Dean that he tell his father what he did wrong. Dean felt a level of fear introducing her to his broken family.
"This is not a good indication of who I am. This is who I was," Dean told Rachel as the pair approached his father's home, which appeared pretty rough around the edges. "I am legitimately terrified."
Before entering the front door, Dean vented to Rachel how the visit was going to be "awful" and he just wanted to get through it in one piece. When the couple walked into the house, everyone was sitting on the floor on pillows. Dean explained to the cameras that his father used to be a "traditional man" and he needed to try his best to keep his real emotions and feelings about the whole situation under wraps.
Dean's father played his gong and conducted a brief meditation experience for Rachel and his loved ones, and Rachel actually said in a confessional that she felt the energy was good in the house and everyone accepted her and was excited to see Dean.
At one point, Dean's dad started to cry when talking about his late wife of 27 years. It's clear this woman, Debbie, was the rock of the household and her passing tore everyone apart. Dean's dad said feathers are a symbol for Debbie, and so he passed out feathers to everyone, including Rachel, and she thought that was a beautiful, symbolic gesture.
Dean felt a little uncomfortable that his family was putting on a united front for Rachel when things just weren't okay. The date took a turn for the worse when Dean confronted his father about the past. Dean's dad said he must have done something right to raise such an incredible son, but Dean asked if he really believes he fulfilled his role as a supportive father in his life.
Dean started asking his dad tough questions. His father owned up to not knowing how to be a mother and a father -- that all he knew was how to make money and he at least supported Dean financially through school. Dean seemed grateful for the financial support, but he said he felt so much pain after his mother died and no one tried to keep the family together afterwards.
Dean's dad admitted he simply didn't know how to handle things once his late wife died. The more Dean tried to work things out, the more defensive and upset his father became. Eventually, his father shut down the conversation because he thought Dean was being too harsh. Dean, on the other hand, thought his father was being stubborn and dismissive.
Dean's dad barked that his son has kept one foot in the past, and Dean grew so frustrated that his eyes filled with tears as his father walked out of the house.
Meanwhile, Rachel sat down with Dean's sister and discovered that her bachelor was viewed as an incredibly strong man who's been through a lot. Dean's sister really admires him, and Rachel thought the conversation went great. The Bachelorette then attempted to talk to Dean's father alone outside by the bonfire.
Rachel expressed how she was really looking forward to meeting Dean's loved ones because she cared for him and they had something really special. But Dean's father didn't want to talk, seemingly because of the cameras. He told Rachel that he honored their relationship and would bestow blessings upon it, but he refused to open up to her further than that.
Dean's dad told Rachel that he couldn't talk anymore, but if things worked out with Dean, he'd like to get to know her better in the future. The father knew Rachel's perspective of him was an extension of Dean's thoughts and that she probably viewed him through Dean's eyes, so he didn't seem to have much hope in finding resolution and happiness under such circumstances.
When Rachel met up with Dean again, he choked back tears as she held him tight. She knew how hard this experience was for Dean, and at one point, he looked at her and said, "I am falling in love with you," to which Rachel actually replied, "I am falling in love with you too."
Rachel was so impressed with the man Dean has become, saying that he's the type of man she'd want in a future husband.
Rachel thought she'd have more clarity after meeting the four men's families, but she was falling in love with all of them. She couldn't imagine them not being a part of her life, so the idea of sending someone home was killing her inside.
Rachel sat down with The Bachelorette host Chris Harrison to go over her feelings before a Rose Ceremony in Dallas, TX. Rachel hoped Eric wasn't just infatuated with her since he's never been in love, and she pointed out that Bryan was the only guy to actually say "I love you."
While Peter was in his element at home and she saw a different side of him, Rachel told Chris that he was the most reserved and guarded in vocalizing his feelings -- and she wants a proposal at the end of this. Rachel also said she had a great time with Dean and their connection grew deeper but she worried he had a lot of feelings to sort through and maybe he wasn't ready to get engaged at age 26.
Rachel felt selfish and knew she had to do things in her best interest at the expense of other people, and she was uncomfortable with that. She hoped she wouldn't regret any of her decisions.
At the Rose Ceremony, Rachel sincerely apologized for having to let one man go. She then handed out a rose to Bryan, Eric and then Peter.
Rachel wondered if Dean was ready for the same things she was ready for, and she insisted to the bachelor that she meant it when she said she had been falling in love with him. Dean told the Bachelorette that she's an incredible woman and had three amazing men left, so he wished her good luck in finding what she's been looking for.