RECAP: The Bachelor (Chris) – Finale and After the Final Rose

Stop reading now if you don’t want spoilers on the finale episode of Chris Soules’ season of The Bachelor (original air date: Monday, March 9, 2015).

“After all the tears, after all the heartbreak…it all comes down to just two women: Whitney and Becca,” host Chris Harrison announces, kicking off the live finale event of The Bachelor. With a packed studio audience on the edge of their seats with lips glossed and stilettos cutting off circulation, it’s time to find out who Bachelor Chris Soules chooses. Will it be Becca, the hottie who’s never been in love nor penetrated? Or Whitney, the perky fertility nurse with a cartoon voice who is ready to get married and have a million of Chris’ babies, like, now.

Chris is back home in teeny tiny Arlington, Iowa, hanging out with his parents and sisters who he kind of never shuts up about. I guess when you live in such a dustbowl of a community, your family are basically your entire social network. “Just tell me which one to pick,” he half-begs.

Whitney arrives in Arlington armed with wine and flowers. “I just want you to know how much I love you,” she tells Chris before heading inside. “Gosh darn am I freaking nervous,” she admits in her voice over. First impressions are super positive, and she makes nice with the kiddies lounging about and family members above the age of 5 too. Whitney blends, seeming like part of the family already. Since their wedding crashing date, her and Chris have just seemed like a natural fit. Whitney talks and talks and talks and gushes about how in love she is and how excited she is to meet everyone. The sisters are smitten with Whitney, and when they pull her aside to chat their number one concern is about Whitney possibly re-locating to Iowa. “Love is the most important,” she assures them. When Whitney tells the sisters that she “can’t wait to call someone mom and dad again,” you can almost hear them planning their coordinated bridesmaids dresses for a Chris-Whitney union. It’s unanimous: the sisters love Whitney, even saying “there’s something about you…”

Later, Chris’s sisters ask him about Becca, as in ‘Whitney is totally the one, right? Becca can’t be better than Whitney!’ “There’s a certain chemistry I have with (Becca),” Chris insists. “He can’t articulate what he loves about her yet,” one of the sisters comments. Sounds like he’s still quite torn between the virgin and the non-virgin.

Whitney tells Chris’s mom that he makes her happy from the bottom of her soul (her words, not mine). “I lost my mom ten years ago and I have been waiting to call someone mom,” Whitney gushes, tearing up. “I could take you and love you just like that,” says mom.

When Whitney and Chris say goodbye, she cries again and tells him she’s “counting down” until she can see him again. In her voice over Whitney says she feels confident that she’ll be the next Mrs. Soules. “This girl is perfect,” Chris says. But there’s still Becca.

Time to get a dude’s opinion. Chris gathers with the menfolk in either someone’s garage or the local hardware store. It’s rather difficult to distinguish. One of the men (possibly a brother-in-law, I stopped paying attention) points out that perhaps part of Chris’s attraction to Becca is that she’s “hard to get” and that has a tendency to be super appealing.

Whitney has set the bar high, and now the family are sitting around trying to convince themselves that they need to give someone other than Whitney a chance to wow them. “We’re going to start with a clean slate,” lies one of his sisters. Becca arrives with cookies (well-played, virgin). She gets a warm greeting from the fam and gushes about how quickly Chris bonded with her family. Becca talks about her impromptu road trip with three of the other women to Arlington and reveals how shocked she was by the realities of the itty-bitty town. The most in-your-face of Chris’s sisters (you can tell because she has the shortest hair) pulls Becca aside to discuss the “slow, steady build” of their relationship. “What do you see happening?” she presses Becca. Becca responds that she’s not going to move to Arlington unless she’s sure, sure, sure that they’re going to get married and that “he’s the one.” “That’s where I’m struggling,” she adds. One of the other sisters (Lori?) says in a private on-camera interview that Becca doesn’t seem as into Chris as Whitney is. Um, actually, she’s just expressing honest and LEGITIMATE concerns. They’ve dated for about 9 minutes. It’s completely acceptable for Becca to not be 100% in and ready to drop everything and uproot her entire life. And no one in the world has ever been as into Chris as Whitney is, to be fair. The sisters lay down the gauntlet: Becca is a risk. Whitney is a sure thing. It’s go-time here. Chris, meanwhile, holds out hope that Becca will come through and confess her undying love and devotion to him, or something. Becca tells Chris’s mom that she’s crazy about her son but not in love with him…yet. Maybe. His mom basically tries to convince Becca that she’s in love with Chris and just doesn’t “recognize it”, because everyone obviously sees how much he’s into her. And she kind of makes Becca cry; however, Becca is unwavering in her uncertainty, but she doesn’t say she doesn’t love Chris. Tricky. In her voice over, Becca states that she’s not ready to say yes to a proposal, but emphasizes that the idea of being without Chris forever seems scary to her. His dad chimes in and sums it up perfectly: “I think Whitney’s the sure thing, but I think Becca is who Chris wants.”

Hopefully he’ll be able to make up his mind after he gets to go on a final date with each of the women. First up is Becca, and Chris’s struggle is weighing heavily on his mind. “I hate the fact that I’m just not there yet,” Becca tells him, speaking about being in love. “Do you see yourself being with me?” Chris asks. “I’m so excited to be with you…I know there’s challenges in that,” Becca tells him. She adds that she’s not quite sure if she’s ready to pick up and move to Iowa. Their conversation gets a bit heated when Chris pushes her a bit on the moving/marriage/kids ‘timeline.’ “All I know right now is that I want you,” Becca says. But Chris wants to hear that she believes in them, and that’s just not something Becca seems to be able to express. “If we fell in love what would hold you back,” Chris presses her. Ultimately, Becca is worried about what she would do in Arlington. I presume she means job-wise but she adds that it’s really just about being there in general. More than anything, Becca is scared that she’ll move there and then find out that it’s not for her. But she says just enough to appease him for now, and Chris looks super relieved when Becca whispers “I can’t wait.” Will Becca’s tepid assurances be enough for Chris to pick her over “sure thing” Whitney? We watch Chris cry into his hands for a bit.

For his date with Whitney, the duo embark on a corn-picking adventure with Chris’s dad, and Whitney thinks that’s just awesome. Dad is obvi Team Whitney. Later they drink wine by the fireplace, where Chris toasts to “this week that we’ve had together.” Then it’s super boring for five minutes. After the sun has set on Iowa, Chris visits Whitney in her hotel room, where Whitney reveals she has been carrying around a framed photo of her and Chris from their first one-on-one date. There’s more wine, of course, and Whitney gushes about their “perfect” day together. Whitney is down with the “simple life” in Arlington, which Chris finds that charming. Whitney asks Chris if he has any final thoughts, and he asks her what about them makes her feel so certain. Whitney says stuff about feeling “comfortable” and knowing what he’s thinking just by looking in his eyes. “I am excited about you, about what we have,” Chris assures her.

And finally it’s the day we’ve all been waiting for. “The moment is here,” Chris announces solemnly. He stares longingly out his hotel room window for a bit, then later meets with jeweler Neil Lane to pick out the engagement ring. He suits up and heads to his barn for the main event, because nothing says ‘let’s get married or just engaged and then announce our break-up on the cover of US Weekly’ like livestock and hay bales. We’re meant to understand that Chris is still “so torn” that he may not pick either of the women. Snort.

Clearly the production staff got carte blanche to buy up everything at the nearest Anthropologie to pretty-up the barn a bit. There’s nary a surface not covered in a lamp or some jug or trinket. It’s decorated like something straight out of a Pinterest board. The first limo pulls up and Becca emerges, looking lovely in a red velvet(?) dress. As usual, Chris tells Becca that she looks amazing. After the deepest of breaths, Chris says that from the moment they met he has felt good being around her. “I know I can see you as being my wife…but you’re not really ready,” he says, shakily. “I have to go with my heart and my gut,” Chris adds, and that gut is saying she’s not ready. Never in the history of The Bachelor has a woman handled this moment with more poise and grace than Becca. “You are going to be an incredible husband,” she tells him. They hug goodbye and tell each other how amazing they think the other is and then Becca is heading home. While Chris stares at his tractor for awhile and then returns to his barn to cry it out, Becca is stoic in the reject limo. “I think I’m in a state of shock or something,” she says. “I could have seen him being someone that I could be with and marry…I just wasn’t there yet.”

Whitney pulls up to the farm, and is shaking like a leaf. “Holy cow,” she exclaims. She’s got that farm lingo down!‎ With a “good luck” from host Chris Harrison she heads in. “This is crazy,” Whitney starts, voice quavering. “I came here with an idea of who you were and I’ve never been disappointed…I love you so much, I really do.” After a lengthy pause Chris tells her that their wedding crashing date was one of the best days of his life. “There are so many things about you that I’m so excited about…it feels so perfect,” he tells her. After declaring his love for Whitney, Chris gets down on one knee and proposes. Whitney accepts with an enthusiastic “absolutely!” and they laugh and make out. Across Bachelor Nation, women are crying and their long-suffering boyfriends/husbands/multiple cats are thanking the gods that another season has finally come to an end.

We head straight into the ‘After the Final Rose’ special, and Chris Harrison isn’t pulling any punches. His first question to Chris is about being in love with Becca. Chris responds perfectly, saying there’s a lot to love about Becca but he always felt she was “slow to catch up” to his feelings during his Bachelor journey. “What if she had…said ‘I love you’. Would that have changed things?” asks Chris Harrison. Chris responds that there are a lot of ‘what if’s’ from the show’s run but emphasizes that Whitney really is the perfect person for him and he’s #notlookingback. We learn that Whitney has been watching the show, but only her dates. Chris also wants us to know that his attraction to Becca had nothing to do with her being a bit more ‘hard to get,’ so basically his brother-in-law or whoever that dude was in the garage/barn/Home Depot can suck it.

Becca is brought on stage and says that watching the finale back was much harder than she thought it would be. “That week coming back from Bali was the toughest seven days of my life,” Chris admits. He speaks to their “undeniable” chemistry right off the bat. “I feel like because of the honesty there…I had so much respect for you,” Becca responds. Chris admits he was “constantly pushing” her to see if there was something there. Becca confesses she’s never been in love and maybe it was crazy for her to come on the show. She “wanted so badly” to fall madly in love with Chris but just, frankly, didn’t feel it. Chris Harrison points out that Becca’s behaviour is unprecedented in the show’s history. Translation: you’re the least crazy, most realistic woman we’ve ever had on this show. Becca ends her segment saying she is now more open to falling in love.

Whitney comes out to join Chris on the couples couch and it’s the first time they have been together in public since filming ended. Chris Harrison does the obligatory ring show off. Chris and Whitney are kissy and cute and very obviously in love. When asked what he loves so much about Whitney, Chris says she is gorgeous on the inside and out and she reminded him of his sisters, whom he respects a shit ton. Whitney acknowledges that despite her confidence in their connection she never forgot that another great woman was left and she had definitely considered that Chris might end up choosing Becca. Whitney does address the fact that Chris was so conflicted in the days leading up to their engagement, but says they have discussed it and it’s all good. She reiterates that she did not watch the season in its entirety, just her dates with Chris. Chris Harrison brings up Arlington, and Whitney confirms it’s still her plan to move…eventually. We then see a clip of Chris’s parents coming to the barn after the proposal, and they are clearly thrilled he picked Whitney. “We’re gonna make some babies. They’re going to be friggin cute!” Whitney announces. Well, she is the fertility specialist after all. We learn that Whitney has been sneaking off to Arlington from Chicago for some clandestine visits, and it’s abundantly clear that she’s already bonded big time with his parents and sisters.

Later, Jimmy Kimmel joins the happy couple to talk about his experience on the show. He took on hosting gigs early in the season, with hilarious results. Jimmy asks if they’ve been making love regularly and they both confirm “as much as possible.” He presents them with a present; a cow named Juan Pablo (ha) for “that horrible farm you’re moving to.” More Kimmel in everything please. Thanks.

Finally it’s time for the announcement of who will be the next Bachelorette. Chris Harrison says they had a hard time deciding and were split down the middle between Britt and Kaitlyn. Kaitlyn gets the loudest applause. So here’s the twist we’ve been promised all week: the Bachelor producers have decided “not to decide,” and there will actually be two Bachelorettes! Unprecedented in the history of the show. Britt and Kaitlyn join Chris Harrison on stage, holding hands. Who knows how this will all shake out but I’ll certainly be watching! Because I can’t stop.

No, seriously, send help.

And wine.

In the meantime, I’ll start working on some threesome jokes because, yeah. At least for week one. It looks like we’ll start with two Bachelorettes and end up with one by the end of the first episode.

(drops microphone)

 

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