WHAT IS EVEN GONNA HAPPEN
- Chris Harrison gets a round of applause that really fires him up. He's like READY TO GO, you guys.
- Yeah I BET you do, you smug bastard.
- Yeah, okay, Chris.
- Remember Ben Higgins' preacher "thinking about" whether he was going to "marry Ben and Lauren B." on camera? Yeah, me too. I stayed up late for that, Chris. Come on.
- Chris is so ready for Rachel's season to start. He can smell the ratings from months away.
Let's get cracking:
Meeting the Families
- Nick skipping with those Christmas children behind him will be the highlight of this episode.
- Also is Nick's mom ever NOT crying?
- "His family has to be so embarrassed of him." - my husband, pretending not to watch this with me.
- Raven shows up. I am so #teamRaven it hurts my hair.
- Then ABC uses Nick's little sister to get ratings.
- Seriously though using this child as a tool on reality TV is low. But also, expected! Because this is all terrible!
- She talks to both parents and totally charms them.
- Mom Viallis STILL CRYING. Lock it up.
- Raven leaves. Slam dunk.
- HAHAHAHAHA oh yeah. I'll bet he was.
- He had lots of other people beating down his door, so it's understandable that he'd be hesitant.
- Who would hire him, lest he be seen working for them?
- Jordan wouldn't even take this guy as a dental patient.
- Anyway, Raven is predictably charming and adorable and the little sister loves her so much.
- Vanessa shows up in...an off-the shoulder top and cargo pants? To meet the parents?? Girl, come ahhhhhhhn. That's not what you wear!
- She's not coming off as super likable.
- Vanessa and Nick's dad share a teary moment that seems genuine on his part and...I don't know. I guess genuine on her pare. She just BUGS, you guys.
- Gross to me that this small child is still here being subjected to reality garbage. This show should be rated R just to keep children out of the room while we watch it.
- I say again: how did he get so tall??
- Sorry, are all these people his siblings? Like, all of them? I feel like I keep seeing a new one every few minutes. How does this happen?
- That sister is really over how much her mom cries. "It was tough," she interjects. Impatiently. I get it.
- Well now we know where Nick gets the weepiness.
- Let's see how he fares on the one-on-ones.
- I've never actually seen horseback riding in the snow. Serious note here, Finland is gorg. I want to go to there.
- Oh, SHIT.
- SANTA IS HIDING IN THE WOODS.
- I have NEVER been scared of Santa in my life until this moment.
- Not gonna lie, I just Googled, "Do horses feel cold?"
- They do but they're all set, guys. Don't worry. It's not inhumane for them to be out there.
- You're welcome.
- Stop it right now. Is Santa about to open this door?
- NO WAY
- Santa talks to these two kids about what they want for Christmas.
- Just sayin', they at least could've gotten a guy with a real beard. How low budg can you be, ABC?
- Santa produces them a woodburned carving that represents happiness and fertility. So there's that.
- And then they set it on fire. (just kidding but it really does look like that)
- Nick essentially tells her that she's exactly like everyone he's always dated, which, surprisingly, isn't what she wants to hear! So she starts crying. Or maybe she's just crying because her hands are freezing while Nick's hands are toasty warm in some leather gloves.
- Gosh wouldn't it be great if she was just like, "This show is stupid and I'm out." Right? Amaze.
- Later on the "date" date...
- I am totally distracted by her eyelashes. I almost can't focus on anything they're saying.
- Basically she's asking for affirmation but she's not grasping that this is a dating game show.
- I don't like him but he's dropping some truth bombs.
- At least vanessa fits right into the family in terms of weepiness.
- Raven has cried exactly twice: her dad had cancer, and saying, "I love you" for the first time.
- ...legit reasons.
- She's just so happy and free and upbeat!
- Vanessa is reeeeeeeal serious.
- "My love," he calls her!!
- Chances that I would skate on a frozen lake: probably 0.
- They just have a lot of fun together. How could you not love Raven??
- What is up with his penchant for laying her down in the middle of a watery hell to make out? Like SHE DID HER HAIR, GUY. Have some respect.
- I just really like her so much.
- WHAT HUSKY PUPPIES?!?!?!
- Mine too, Raven. Mine. Too.
- Somebody get Neil Lane out here. This show is over.
- Y'all this is gonna hurt so much if he dumps her.
- Confession: I thought Raven was unintelligent and maybe even a lil' trashy. And I am eating my words. I think she's adorable and precious and kind and great.
- He can actually talk to Raven about feelings. Vanessa basically forced him to pretend they were the only relationship that existed.
How It All Ends:
- What if it really was a Bear Den and he just got attacked by bears and that's how the show ended?
- And the dramatic live event was the bear coming out on After The Final Rose and confessing that he did it?
- Every Neil Lane ring: stone in a halo with diamonds all around it.
- Every single one.
- Okay let's just get to it. I'm not re-capping all of this "thinking whilst I stare into the snow" shots.
- I will say, that's a great looking suit on him. He pulled it off. Nice work.
- WIPE YOUR TEARS, geez Louise. #hegetitfromhismama
- Okay. First limo. Who's it gonna be??
- Oh no. Oh no no no no no.
- Oh this is gonna be terrible.
- Wow. I'm heartbroken for her.
- Nick you asshole, Kaitlyn let you go through your whole speech and you DRAGGED HER for it. Don't do the same thing to Raven. This is cruel.
- You bastard. You are horrible for letting her get this far down the rabbit hole with you.
- CORRECT. You have been. You awful awful person.
- Wipe your tears and stop acting like such a damn martyr. Clean your face up you piece of shit.
- Raven, honey, you won by not having to marry Nick Viall.
- Damn, she's classy. I'm so impressed.
- I'm so uninvested in this proposal I could turn it off.
- But I won't. Obviously.
- Get those lashes OUT OF HERE. This speech sounds so scripted and gross.
- Blah blah blah they get engaged, it's really phony and weird-feeling.
- "Let's go do it, literally." Classy, Vanessa, as ever.
- They deserve each other. Equally gross, equal media-whores, equally disingenuous.
AFTER THE FINAL ROSE.
- How dare you assume that I'm wearing Spanx, fool? I am saddled up in my yoga pants eating cookeis with NO SHAME, friend. I don't need your BODY NORMATIVE ASSUMPTIONS, CHRIS.
- TBH, pictures say 1,000 words. So let me just include some:
- He looks genuinely terrible. Like, rumpled, hungover, and unhappy.
- GAH she is classy as hell. Representing the South with 100% awesomeness and swag.
- And she's going to Paradise. God bless her.
- Here are some more pictures that tell a very compelling, if not quite as happy, story:
- This was the most awkward conversation. Chris deserves a raise for trying to get blood from this rock, because Nick looks like a prisoner being held against his will and Vanessa seems like an insane person and also kind of a bitch on wheels. It's a trainwreck. It's painful to watch. And Harrison knows it.
- So to try and salvage what happened this season, he decides to just start a new season in hopes that we won't remember how horrifying this was!
- Here are the guys we met tonight:
- Mr. Started Strong and Got Weird:
- Mr. Started Weird and Ended Weird:
- Mr. White Person Who Made a Joke About Race:
- And Mr. The Best Ever:
And with that, we draw this season to a close.
Listen, folks, let's have some real talk for a moment (with some Corinne GIFs for illustration).
Every season when I finish recapping the finale, I think to myself, "I'm not doing this again. This is a terrible show."
And this season may have been the worst yet. The network didn't even work hard at hiding the manipulation this year. The Rachel storyline, the forced relationship between Nick and Vanessa, the obvious reason that they announced Rachel so early (because Nick and Vanessa clearly are gonna break up in 3 weeks and they needed something else for us to focus on) - it all felt pretty infantilizing and gross.
Even as I type this, I know I'll probably be right alongside you recapping Rachel's season (because she's clearly the best ever). But let's all enter into this with our eyes open, shall we? This is a SHOW. This is editing. In some cases (like tonight between Nick and Vanessa), this is acting. So let's laugh and hang together, but not be ABC's puppets. We're better than that, people.
Okay, Bachelor Nation. That's all I got for The Most Awkward After The Final Rose EVER.
Until the spring, my little cheese pastas.