To start the night off, Chris Harrison recapped the first half of the finale succinctly: “Desiree gave her heart completely to someone who didn’t love her back…Desiree was left…virtually hopeless.” Nice setup, ABC. Real nice.
We pick up where we left off last Monday – with Desiree crying in Antigua to a sad music soundtrack. *cue the violins* Des changes out of her heinous outfit into a maxi dress for the obligatory “where do we go from here?” chat with Chris Harrison. Chris Harrison asks how she is and she says OK, but he calls bullshit and she dissolves into a puddle of tears on the porch, sobbing that she just wants to go home.
Chris asks about the other guys who didn’t peace out, whether Brooks wasn’t part of the equation, what would she do? Des avoids the question, and says she’s comfy with Chris, and Drew’s the “sweetest guy in the whole world,” which every guy wants to hear. Des wants to see the process through, and see if she has feelings for the other two guys. (In the next couple hours? Really? Putting pressure on it, much?)
Chris Harrison says there will be a rose ceremony that day, which I’m 100 percent confused about, since there are only two guys left and usually at this point it’s picking the husby/winner. Des looks like she’s in shock and going to a funeral. “It’s just sad because I had hopes and now I don’t,” she says in a voiceover, as Chris Harrison is welcoming the guys to the “ceremony.”
Chris Harrison tells the guys that Brooks is no longer there, but it’s not his story to tell so he leaves it up to Des to fill them in. Des tells the guys that Brooks sent himself home and it rocked her world, but she won’t let it break her spirit. When she gave out roses in the most pointless rose ceremony ever, she broke down in tears, which makes them feel great, I’m sure, though they happily accept their roses.
Back in the studio, Chris Harrison asked random people in the audience (apparently, they’re members of “Bachelor Nation”) for their predictions, which was a total waste of time because who the hell cares what they think? It’s like Desiree called Domino’s and they told her they’re out of pepperoni (Brooks) but they could substitute sausage (Chris) or bacon (Drew) free of charge. Please! Anything with a pulse!!!!!!
In the meantime, Des has changed into a hideous belly shirt for her date with Drew at a place called Rendezvous Bay (but should really be called Heartbreak Point) on horseback where she informs Drew (sporting two shades of purple – one on the top and one on the bottom) that he’ll be riding a horse named Judy (the only riding he’d be doing that night!) They had polite, awkward elevator chatter on the way to the beach. Drew made a toast to being “madly in love” but Des wasn’t feeling it, so she dumped him. Right there. While wearing a sombrero belly shirt. You’d think after what happened the first time she wore a belly shirt she’d opt for another look. Burn the belly shirts! (What’s the deal with her Antigua wardrobe? Did United lose her luggage? Was that all that was available at the hotel gift shop? Why is she wearing clothes straight out of the Debbie Gibson “Electric Youth” collection?)
Drew, being the sweet guy that he is, consoled Des, telling her that she shouldn’t apologize for not being in love with him. Poor Drew didn’t seem to know what was going on until about he was about halfway down the beach. They’re dropping like flies! And it’s not even halftime yet!
The next day, it was Chris turn for his date. The guys were clearly instructed by show producers to wear all the pastels they own, ALL AT ONCE. Chris tells Des that “I’ll be there for you,” essentially quoting the “Friends” theme song, which was a nice departure from his “poems.” They sip punch from plastic mugs on a boat and watch fish jump. It was magical punch, because Des emerges from the boat beaming and is practically skipping to dinner. Pollyanna and Chris toast, playing the “Glad Game” and discuss the “natural flow” of their relationship. Chris marvels about how they always are able to pick up where they left off, which shouldn’t be too hard when you see each other every day. Des becomes philosophical about how everything happens for a reason and, poof, she’s done a 180.
Chris gave Des her “very own journal” (didn’t he already give her, like, six?) which contained all the “poems” he wrote her. I would’ve torn those suckers out because it lowers the value of the journal. Des, of course, ate it up with a spoon. So, let’s recap – in 24 hours, she’s done a 180. Looks like she substituted pepperoni with sausage and is very happy with her decision. She feels guilty about having had feelings for Brooks two days ago, asking, “how could I not have loved him from the beginning?”
Meanwhile, back at the live show, Jackie, Lesley, Lindsey, Sean and Catherine were on hand to give their “expert” opinion to Chris Harrison. Sean says his wedding is “coming soon” but refused to give specifics. Sean made it sound like he knew it was Catherine from the beginning, which was news to me and everyone else watching the show last season. Lesley said, “[Des] had a tough time last week with Brooks but she’s had time to reflect on that…” Yeah, a whole 24 hours. What a difference a day makes, indeed! Chris Harrison plays up the whole “is this a rebound?” card. Nobody’s able to answer.
After the commercial break, Des introduces Chris to her parents and her brother, Nate. Des’ mom says nothing, and Des’ dad asks Chris one question:
Des’ dad: Why should Desiree choose you?
Chris: ‘Cuz I’m the last one here, that’s why. (Not his real answer, but the truth.) Chris did a good job with the whole parental meeting, and fielded brother Nate’s questions like a champ. Chris asks Des’ dad for her hand in marriage, and he gave his blessing. (Really? You just met the guy 5 minutes ago. It’s not like he’s asking to take your car for a test drive. This is your daughter.) Des and Chris both say they “want what their parents have” and don’t want to get married more than once. Really? So maybe don’t meet, date, and get engaged to someone in 4 weeks. Just sayin.
Des tells her family that she “need[s] to decide this week whether I’m going to accept a proposal,” Des says. From whom? A warm body? Des’ brother gives her his seal of approval, which really means so much. He does question whether she’s over Brooks, and Des says it took a long time for her to get over Brooks. Really? Define “long time” Des. Usually it’s measured by days, not minutes.
“I’m swimming in uncharted waters now, and the water’s cold,” Chris says, in response to — absolutely nothing. One word – shrinkage. Chris meets with Neil Lane, who has the sweetest job ever – traveling all over the world with diamonds, letting guys pick out giant rocks for their beloved, and traveling again to collect them a few months later when everything falls apart.
The morning of the final rose ceremony is different from other seasons for a number of reasons. For one, Chris and Des are the only two people left on the island. For another, Des is completely mute until she’s on her way to the proposal site. In the span of 15 minutes, Des has done a complete 180 and says Chris is the man she’s been waiting for her whole life, and she can’t believe love’s been right in front of her face the whole time.
When Chris arrived, she let him talk first, since she was the girl, after all. But as he was about to get down on one knee, she stopped him because she wanted to come clean about her feelings about Brooks. She turned her “I was in love with Brooks” speech around rather nicely to say she was so blinded by her feelings for Brooks that she couldn’t see the one thing that she always needed was right in front of her: A guy who writes crappy poems. Chris wasn’t sure where this was going but when she told him she loved him and that he means “the absolute world” to her, he knew he was home free and his butt cheeks unclenched. (I’ve got an idea -let’s add “this week” to the end of every sentence Des says. When he asked, “Will you marry me” she actually said, “yes, a thousand times.” (this week.) Enjoy your lifetime of shitty poetry and free chiropractic adjustments, Des.
At the live “After the Final Rose” special, Chris Harrison again asked how she went from the heartbreak with Brooks to the romantic proposal with Chris, and she totally dodged that question, yet again. (Anderson Cooper wouldn’t let her off the hook that easy! Neither would Ryan Seacrest! Get with it, Chris Harrison!)
Brooks had the balls to at least show up to the show, but the producers kept him in the dark about whether Des was engaged or not, even though it was revealed to the audience ten minutes before. (The giant Neil Lane diamond on her finger should’ve been a dead giveaway, though.) Des says she has closure, but she clearly looked nervous seeing Brooks and still wanted answers. Brooks said he wasn’t “checking in with his feelings” at the beginning of his journey and that was a problem. Des says she has to stay true to who she was “back then” all those two weeks ago. (She’s a totally different person now! With closure! See how sparkly my ring is, Brooks?!?!? BROOKS!!!!) Brooks said he wasn’t surprised that Des and Chris wound up together.
Then they brought Drew out and THAT was awkward. Once again, Des called Drew “the sweetest person I’ve ever known.” Drew was sporting a light blue suit with a brown tie – straight outta the 1970s. He had some questions, like wanting to know whether there was anything he could’ve done differently and whether that would’ve changed things which, of course, it wouldn’t. The heart wants what the heart wants. And Des’ heart really wants shitty poetry. Drew tried to get Des to tell him when she knew he wasn’t the guy for her, but couldn’t get a straight answer.
When Des and Chris are reunited, we learn that Des is moving to Seattle this weekend. Also, Chris hasn’t stopped writing his “poems” and presents her with a framed poem bordered with rose petals saturated in Zak’s and Drew’s tears. It’s called “My Girl” and features phrases such as “I get to hold you and hug you, I get to kiss you and love you. Like a drum my heart never stops beating.” Hallmark must be clearing a desk for him in Missouri right now.
During the episode, Chris keeps saying, “We Belong Together” so clearly he’s a fan of Pat Benatar. I, however, believe the soundtrack for tonight’s finale was Death Cab for Cutie’s “The Sound of Settling,” as that song keeps playing over and over in my head.
Final thoughts? The two-parter episode really sucked for Drew – I hope he at least got unlimited platters of chicken fingers, curly fries and access to an Xbox while in isolation for his troubles. Was the two-part “finale” worth five hours of my time? Hell to the no. Will I be watching the subtitled new season with Juan Pablo as the Bachelor come January? You betcha!