Hour 1: Carly
Ugh, guys. Is there anything worse than the live audience of a Bachelor/Bachelorette finale? So many tears shed for perfect strangers. So much wooing. In between scenes from tonight’s MOST DRAMATIC FINALE EVER IN THE HISTORY OF FINALES ZOMGGG CAN YOU EVEN BELIEVE IT we’ll be hearing from members of the live audience, as they take turns sassing and/or propositioning the remaining dudes.
But before we can get to that, we need to spend some time hearing Desiree cry about Brooks for a while longer, because we for sure did not get enough of that last week. Her heart is broken, and she says multiple times that she just wants to go home, but somehow, by the end of the conversation with Harrison, the music is swelling in a hopeful way, and Des is saying she wants to give the other dudes a shot. Oh Harrison, you manipulative genius.
The guys are arriving for this rose ceremony, as we see the footage from last week of Des saying that it’s over for her. Harrison brings in Chris and Drew and tells them that some stuff happened but he’s going to let Des explain because he has been working WAY too hard these past two episodes and he needs to go handle his drug trafficking business or whatever it is that he does in his free time at these exotic locations. Des cannot get a single sentence out without crying, but still pretends like she’s happy to have the two guys left. She gives them both roses, looking fucking MISERABLE the entire time. I hope Des isn’t looking to pursue an acting career after this, because girl’s poker face is unconvincing.
Time for “Bachelor Nation” to weigh in. This is a nightmare. The best part is when Harrison asks who is team Drew and literally four people in the audience clap. Oh poor, sweet, gay, Drew. Also when a middle aged woman says that Brooks and Des would have been fine if he had asked advice from a man instead of two women, because why would women have anything worthwhile to say about love and marriage? Feminism is alive and well and living in an LA studio, ladies and gents!
Des is journaling in Antigua, talking about how she’s going to be a hero and continue to let ABC pay for her to lounge around with these two hot dudes for another couple of days. Drew is up first, and he continues to be delusional about his chances with Des. Des, meanwhile, can’t even be bothered to get off her horse to give Drew a hug when he shows up. The conversation is super awkward, and Des is very obviously already checked out. Drew’s powers of perception continue to be the worst, as he toasts to being madly in love while Des struggles not to tunnel her way off the beach.
Thankfully, she’s going to put him out of his misery sooner rather than later. “I really need to talk to you,” she says, and Drew seems to finally recognize what is going on. She starts crying immediately, and tells him that she can’t quite picture their futures together, and that there’s something missing. Despite Des sobbing through her I’m sorrys, Drew keeps it mostly together and manages to have a pretty healthy perspective on the whole thing as they are talking. His post rejection interview is another story, but still. Good on you, Drew. I hope you and Des both find the men of your dreams.
Now it’s Chris’s turn to try his damndest to fill the Brooks sized hole in Des’s heart. She seems quite a bit more excited to see him than she did Drew, so I guess that’s something. They hop on a catamaran, and Chris talks about how tough it was to watch her cry, and that he wants to be there for her 4EVA. And then they make out and rub up on each other and Des talks about how great he is, and this would all be very sweet if Des hadn’t been crying about how “it’s all over” like two seconds ago.
Hour 2 – Sarah
So…this is a crock, right? When we return from the break, Desiree interviews that she’s super surprised that the date is going well, and that this is all part of the mysteriousness that is life, and that her newfound certainty about Chris has absolutely nothing to do with the fact that he’s the last guy left and she’s under pretty intense pressure by production/the world at large to pick someone, ANYONE. After all, the normally obedient studio audience won’t applaud a finale in which she ends up alone! It’s a fate worse than death and a glimpse into a future they all fear! It’s too dark for primetime!
Anyway, Chris and Desiree are still hanging and he mentions that they met 10 weeks ago, which actually seems a little long for this show. All the false cheeriness and the retconned “JK, this is actually the OTP” sheen over this episode is really unsettling. It’s like these people are in love jail and Harrison is the warden.
Talking. Giggling. There’s a lot of that small talk that happens when you want to make out with someone but neither of you are brave enough to make the first move. Chris mentions meeting Des’s family and oh God, we still have to get through the brother. I honestly stopped listening for while and when I tuned back in they were in a hotel room and Chris had “found” Des’s journal and written inspirational quotes in it? And filled it with poems? When did he do this? I saw her fake writing in it right before she rode off on her noble steed to break Drew’s heart! [I think he said he got her a new one, which is slightly better than stealing hers, but much worse than buying her an antique journal like ma boo Zak W. did all the way back in episode two. STILL THINKING OF U ZAK. ZAK 4EVA. -Carly] It occurs to me that I’m probably going to have to listen to a poemprosal, and if that happens I will have to throw myself off a tall building. Those are the rules.
Desiree calls Chris the greatest man she’s ever known. Somewhere Brooks looks up, screams “What the hell?” and books the next flight back to Antigua to ruin everything. JK PLEASE DON’T COME BACK. Back in the studio some rejects from Sean’s season are here to share their thoughts, as well as Sean and Catherine, who uncomfortably field questions about their wedding date and kind of act like they have never met before this evening. Maybe this is a sex game: “Baby — tonight, let’s pretend it’s the first episode of ‘The Bachelor.’ I’ll get the limo.” Everyone tries their best not to highlight how abrupt the shift in Desiree’s affections from Brooks to Chris has been.
All right, it’s time for Chris to meet the family and I am scared, both of Desiree’s brother and because Chris looks like he’s wearing his finest sweatpants for the occasion. Des’s bro Nate looks like he’s ready to take a bite out of Chris. Nate immediately gets to interrogating, asking about Chris’s emotional progression with Desiree like he’s Chris Harrison all of a sudden. Chris seems to do pretty well under the pressure, in part because his response to Nate’s aggression is the verbal equivalent of a puppy rolling on his back in submission, instead of Sean’s Christian-aggro “Why must you insult my character” defensiveness. I feel compelled to say that Chris is adorable and if he would promise never to write another poem I would marry him in a hot second, but can we all agree that the direction in which this episode is heading is a terrible one?
Later, Chris asks Des’s dad for permission to marry her. They shake hands. Des’s dad tells Chris to take care of her. The music swells. Des sits down with Nate, who’s perched in a wicker chair like he’s the king and gets to decide. He pushes her on whether she’s settling for Chris after Brooksgate, a line of questioning that she clearly finds infuriating. Nate is like the unofficial host of the show at this point. Commercial.
When we return, Chris gets the “soulful voiceover over a montage of shirtlessness” treatment. He talks about how he’s going to propose today. But where is Neil Lane????
Oh, thank god. Chris walks to some kind of cabana where I guess Neil Lane has been kept on ice the whole time they’ve been in Antigua, just in case. And by “kept on ice” I mean “locked in a tanning bed.” Neil Lane is like “Are you sure? What about Brooks??!?” — maybe try to be a little less personally involved, Neil Lane — but soon the primal urge to present the rings takes over and he helps Chris choose one. In his interview in the next scene, Chris is holding the ring that he picked out, which is weird because for some reason I always thought Neil Lane wouldn’t let those babies out of his sight until the last possible second.
Chris and Desiree walk places. Wait, now Desiree is afraid Chris won’t propose when he learns “the truth”? What is going on? They meet at Proposal Pointe and Chris gives a speech about how much he loves her that mercifully refrains from rhyming. He starts to get on one knee and Des dramatically stops him. Oh brother. She tells him that she sent Drew packing days ago, and that she was so distracted by her intense attraction to Brooks that she couldn’t see through the fog of feelings to Chris, who was The One all along! Nice spin, Des.
Look. Chris seems great. Desiree seems great. But all I can see is two people who have been Stockholm Syndromed into thinking that they have to get engaged because the narrative demands it. BROUGHT TO YOU BY NEIL LANE.
Anyway, Desiree accepts the proposal with a literal “a thousand times yes.” A jaunty guitar plays over a montage designed to make us think this was what was supposed to happen all along. Carly is, like, crying, so what do I know? At the end Chris and Des are holding glasses of champagne and Desiree’s makeup is all over her face. When we cut back to the studio audience a woman wipes away a tear as Chris Harrison screams “HOW GOOD WAS THAT???”
Oh, and Juan Pablo is the next Bachelor. CONGRATULATIONS, EVERYONE!
Final Note from Carly:
I am a slave to this franchise and despite all my snark, I was so emotionally invested in the last 15 minutes of this show that I literally could not stop sweating, and now I’m going to spend the entire day instagram/twitter stalking Desiree and Chris. I am PART OF THE PROBLEM. Fingers crossed that this isn’t a slippery slope that ends with me in the live studio audience, dripping tears and shame onto Harrison’s microphone. See ya’ll next season!