We’ve reached, according to Chris Harrison, “the most dramatic television event of the summer… One of the most dramatic finales in Bachelorette history.” Well, that shouldn’t be too hard, since there have only been eight seasons total. We were promised some “shocking secrets” (ahem, one, and, it’s not so shocking).
But this season isn’t like all the rest, according to Chris Harrison. We’re treated to a three-hour live event, because every engagement should be televised and commented about by strangers in a theater-in-the-round setting. One question – where’s the bullfighter?
Emily’s family flies to Curacao to meet the guys and Emily’s hoping they can help her make a decision about who’s best for her and Ricki. For someone about to get engaged, she’s “very confused.” Jef was up first – he really dressed up for the occasion, donning jeans, a white t-shirt and white sneakers. Jef pulled a Jerry Maguire with Emily’s mom, telling her that her daughter “completes him” and she ate that up with a spoon. Jef buttered Emily’s brother Ernie up by telling him “she’s the best thing that’s every happened to [him.]” As for Emily’s dad? Jef says he wants Emily to be happy, and asked for his blessing. Her dad handed it over like he’d hand over the keys to a pickup truck.
Jef was a tough act to follow. Emily cooed that Arie is “so easy to love.” Kinda like a kitten. A racecar-driving kitten. Emily’s family was a bit guarded to begin with, especially Emily’s dad, who was firmly on Team Jef. Poor Arie was so nervous, he talked up a storm and started saying stupid stuff, like talking about fishing, a topic he clearly knew nothing about. It was a little annoying that he kept trotting out the fun fact that he dated a single mom once. Because, apparently, if you date one single mom, you’ve dated them all. Or not.
While Jef brought Emily’s mom and future sister-in-law flowers, Arie presented her mother with a box of dead roses from the rose ceremonies. After that lovely gift, Emily’s family became very confused, too. Arie asked Emily’s dad for her hand, and he tossed the keys to the tractor to him, too. I didn’t see a whole lot of connection between Emily and Arie. They love to kiss, but being a good make-out buddy isn’t enough to last a lifetime, especially if your make-out buddy leaves the toilet seat up or doesn’t put his dirty clothes in the hamper. I’m just saying that you won’t necessarily feel like making out with someone if they are annoying the living *$@# out of you.
The final date with Skinny-Jean Jef arrived, and the two had a lot on their minds. This is pretty much how the conversation went.
Jef: Like, I haven’t met, like, the biggest, like, member of your family, like, your daughter, like, Ricki, like, you know?
Emily: I know.
Jef: Like, put yourself in like, my shoes.
Emily: You’re right. Let’s go swim with her now!
They arrive at Emily’s rental house, and Jef was immediately taken with Ricki, staring at her like she was a sparkly unicorn. Jef gave her a hi-five and they jumped in the pool. It’s an insta-family! Just add water! (And pink goggles.)
Jef didn’t want Emily to forget his romantic side, so at dinner, he presented her with a coffee table book about Curacao, because nothing says love like a book for your coffee table. Oh, but wait! He drew stick figures of them dancing on a table! Reclining on a chaise! Frolicking in the ocean! She loved it. I would’ve asked for the receipt. I guess that ‘s the difference between us.
The next day, Emily summoned Chris Harrison to her suite and you knew it was bad news for Arie. The pool party with Ricki solidified her feelings that Jef was the one for her. Chris Harrison dispensed his best Bachelor host advice: Be as honest with him as you are with me. (Spoiler alert: That didn’t happen.)
Meanwhile, a completely oblivious Arie arrives at Dinah’s Herb Garden for his love potion-making date with Emily. Apparently Dinah didn’t get the memo from production because she invited him in and they started picking flowers and making love potions. Arie told Dinah jokingly, “We really need this to work.” Oh, honey, you have no idea.
A black SUV pulled up, carrying a teary Emily. Arie rubbed her arms with the love potion he made, which, clearly wasn’t strong enough. She asked him to sit down. Needless to say, it did not go well. Arie was clearly blindsided, and said he thought Emily was the love of his life. At that point, Chris Harrison cut-in with the live show, asking former Bachelor alums for their perspective. Ashley, DeAnna, Michael, how did it feel getting dumped?
With the road clear, the Bachelorette producers showed yet another slo-mo montage of Emily and Jef’s weeks-long romance. Jef had his obligatory meeting with Neil Lane for the massive diamond ring. Emily was transported to her engagement site by SUV (what, no helicopter?) Oh, by the way, the proposal site was in the middle of a town square, which was conveniently vacant and filled with potted plants and a stage built by ABC’s production team. Jef changed out of his jeans and sneakers and suited up. Emily seemingly was going back and forth over whether she should get engaged. Would the third time be the charm? He asked. She said yes. ABC showed yet another retrospective of their relationship, this time set to the love theme from Karate Kid II. Ricki comes bounding in, and they walk down the street holding hands, as a “family.”
Cue the audience cheers, and we’re back live, for the After the Final Rose special. Emily is reunited with Arie, and she apologizes again for not being more direct. We learn the “secret” was that after he went home, he hopped a plane to Charlotte to see Emily. After he arrived, he decided maybe showing up on her doorstep when she’s newly engaged to his best friend from the show wasn’t the best idea, so he called and asked her to read his diary, which he conveniently left on her front porch. (She gave it back and says she didn’t read it.)
Emily was reunited with Jef, and Chris Harrison asked what’s next for the couple. They are planning a humanitarian trip to Africa to build wells. Jef will move to Charlotte and get a separate place so Ricki doesn’t have to leave her friends or school. They want to get married in Charleston. Chris Harrison didn’t ask any of the tough questions, such as what her former fiancée (and Ricki’s grandparents) thought about it (they were reportedly less than thrilled with her second go-around on the show.)
Predictions? He seems very down-to-earth, and she seems pretty grounded too. I mean, no other Bachelor/Bachelorette couples have planned a mission trip to build wells in Africa. So, we’ll see what happens.
Do you think it’ll last?