Rachel Lindsay had the most controversial hometown date ever in Bachelorette history. Dean had been estranged from his dad for 2 years. But, despite how uncomfortable the episode was, the real mistake wasn’t broadcasting it, it was Rachel’s decision to dump him.
Bachelor Nation, you were rightly, super uncomfortable watching Dean Unglert‘s attempt to reconnect with his estranged father, Paramroop, on last night’s Bachelorette episode. It was an intensely personal moment between a father and son who have had a deeply troubled relationship since Dean’s mother tragically died of cancer when he was 15. Dean had spoken sadly about his dysfunctional family to Rachel Lindsay, more than once, before bringing her to his father’s home on the couple’s hometown date. But, to her credit, Rachel was open and enthusiastic about meeting Paramroop, his new wife and Dean’s two brothers and sister. She didn’t hesitate when Dean’s dad invited her in to sit on cushions on the floor along with the rest of the family, and then to lay on the floor while he played his gong in welcome. Dean, however was squirming first, with embarrassment, and then frustration as the evening progressed.
He had described his father as “eccentric” before, but had clarified that his comment had nothing to do with his father’s adopted religion, Sikhism. “When I said my father was eccentric, I was not referring to his Sikh faith or the turban on his head… be cognizant and accepting of the millions of people that belong to the Sikh community,” Dean wrote on his Instagram. He meant, that he father was eccentric for other reasons, which became clear in last night’s episode.
While Bachelorette viewers squirmed at the highly personal scenes and the intense confrontation between Dean and his father on the episode, I actually think it was very brave of Unglert to reveal his vulnerability to Rachel and us viewers. On a personal level, it was a profound statement of commitment to Rachel and a sign to her of his deep feelings. He was willing to show her the deep division between himself and his father because he knew it was necessary for the future of their relationship. If they were to make a life together, she would need to fully understand the hurt that he went through as a teenager after his mother died, as well as the relationship that they might or might not have with his father and siblings.
When you marry someone, you also marry their family and friends. It was a seriously mature move for 26-year-old Dean. And a courageous move, too. Dean trusted Rachel enough to let her witness the painful divide in his family. He also may have wanted to show Bachelor Nation viewers that the show can feature more than fairytale families. Many American families, like Dean’s, suffer from dysfunction, and it’s about time that the Bachelor/Bachelorette franchise be honest that one of it’s leads grew up in one.
Dean may have not anticipated how badly the reunion with his father would go. He desperately tried to get Paramroop to understand how emotionally abandoned he had felt after his mother died and his father pulled away burying himself in work. His father replied that he didn’t know how to be a “mother” to Dean and his siblings after his wife died and that he was, in fact, “angry” at her for dying and leaving them all. He ended the conversation by throwing up his hands at Dean and announced that he was “giving up” on their relationship. Later, Paramroop told Rachel that it was a “mistake” for him to have agreed to welcome the couple into their home.
We can easily imagine how hurt Dean was by his father’s renewed and public rejection. But, perhaps, he felt that by televising the episode, it could help other young people in the same situation. What was really disappointing was that Rachel appeared to understand and appreciate Dean’s decision to allow her into his traumatic family drama. Afterwards, he confessed to her that he was falling in love and she replied that she was “falling in love” with him, too. That’s why it was so shocking when she sent him home at the Rose Ceremony, and kept Peter. Peter ,31, had honestly told Rachel that not only was he not sure about being ready to get engaged, but he also had “walls” up inside. He sure didn’t sound like marriage material to me.
Meanwhile, Dean had 1) already said the “L” word, and 2) shown that he seriously committed to Rachel by bravely bringing her into his family and risking a forever estrangement from his father. He took that risk, lost his father and was rewarded by being dumped by Rachel.
Rachel, that was just a wrong-hearted move. Dean may have been young in years, but he was emotionally mature and demonstrated multiple qualities — honesty, courage, trust, commitment – that would have made him a great husband.
HollywoodLifers, do you agree? Let me know!