Based on The Bachelorette spoilers we’ve combed through over the past several weeks, both Rachel and Gabby end this season with smiles on their faces.
And rings on their fingers.
This doesn’t mean their journey to true love was easy, however, as evidenced on Monday night’s emotional installment of the beloved series.
On the annual Hometown Date episode, Rachel visited Anaheim with Zach, riding bikes and checking out airplanes as they took off.
He then introduced her to various loved ones… including his uncle, actor Patrick Warburton!
The awkward night concluded with Zach telling Rachel he was in love.
At last, right? It must have been nice for Rachel to hear that someone feels this way.
Next up, Gabby met with Johnny in Palm Beach, where she met Johnny’s mom, dad, best friend, brother and brother’s girlfriend.
Once the suitor got some alone time with his mom, he expressed engagement worries of his own.
“My whole thing is not being fully there yet,” Johnny admitted. “To just drop and get married, that’s a huge step for me. I don’t know if I’m ready for that.”
As a result, despite going on a romantic boat ride together, this trip ended with Gabby unsure where she stood with Johnny.
From there, Rachel went to Wildwood, New Jersey to see Tyler.
The aspiring spouses ate corn dogs, played games and rode bumper cars… and Rachel even met some of Tyler’s friends and extended family members who work on the boardwalk.
All fun and games? Not quite.
“I just feel so bad because he’s such a good guy,” Rachel said behind closed doors with her microphone still on. “I can’t even look at him. I’m going to break down.”
We all then broke down, as Rachel was forced to cut Tyler off just as he expressed major affection for her.
“I don’t know if I’m ready to meet your family when I still have this bit of reservation and I don’t know where it’s coming from,” she told him. “There just is something missing.”
Rachel referred to the discussion and decision as “this is the hardest thing I’ve had to do” and continued to tell cameras:
“Because I feel like my heart is breaking. I couldn’t get there with him.”
Fortunately, Gabby’s group of hometown dates ended on a positive new — and, yet, at the same time, on a sad one.
She visited Erich in Bedminster New Jersey, where she was introduced to Erich’s family, including Erich’s dad Allan who had been diagnosed with terminal cancer.
(Tragically, Erich later revealed on social media that his father passed away on July 9.)
At the end of the night, both Gabby and Erich said they were falling in love with each other, with Gabby emphasizing:
“I think Erich’s hometown could have changed the rest of my life.”
Finally, the final hometown date belonged to Tino in his Santa Clarita, California stomping grounds.
However, it became immediately clear that the date was all about Tino’s family and less about Tino and, you know, Rachel.
“I just have a hard time believing that what you can do on a whirlwind, fairytale trip is really going to prepare you for marriage,” Tino’s father said to his son.
“I just want to make sure your head’s in the right place.”
It was then time for a moment of truth.
“The hardest part is that this is your second go-around,” father Joe explained to Rachel. “I was asking Tino, ‘Is this person looking to get married or does this person really like you?'”
Rachel later told Tino of his parents:
“I am going to be honest, I do not think they liked me.”
And yet: the two confessed they were falling in love with each other and ended the date on a special note.
The Bachelorette airs Monday nights at 8/7c on ABC.