Before we dig into the recap of tonight’s The Bachelor finale, I want to thank all of you for coming on this journey with me. There were highs (Bekah M.’s Twitter feed), there were lows (so many car dates), and there were a lot of women named Lauren. Throughout the season I wondered if I was being too hard on Arie, but now those qualms are gone. This guy sucks! I knew it all along! But we’ll get to that. Spoilers ahead.
Chris Harrison kicks off the episode by promising us a “wild night.” No, it’s not a viewing of Magic Mike Live. By “wild” Chris means that a climatic scene will be totally unedited. I have a hard time believing that’s true, but I’m here. I’m down. I’m ready.
With that intro out of the way, we check in with Arie in Peru. He gives us a quick breakdown of the country: According to him, the best things about Peru are that there’s a lot of clouds, many mountains, and alpacas “walking around randomly.” Cool. What’s not cool, though, is the fact that he can’t make up his mind between two women. He likes Becca because she’s “goofy and sexy at the same time.” With Lauren, there’s more of a risk but he has such “intense” feelings toward her. “I’m basing a huge decision off of small moments here and there,” he explains. “But I can see that she loves me.” Basically, Arie needs help—so he brings his family in for advice.
“I couldn’t make a choice like this.” – Arie’s dad, full of shade.
Lauren is the first to meet Arie’s parents, and she’s nervous about it. Arie suggests she just be herself, to which she replies, “Easier said than done.” Wow, even Lauren doesn’t know what her own personality is like.
“I hope that I don’t freak out and act weird.” – Lauren. Uh, I think you’ll be fine.
Arie really wants his family to understand what he sees in Lauren, which is a tough task considering all of America still doesn’t get it. The visit doesn’t start off that great, either, when Lauren gives a supremely awkward toast: “So, I am very happy to be here in Peru with the family of the guy I’m in love with.” That’s it. That’s all she says. His mom literally goes, “Oh, OK” before everyone cheers.
Lauren’s one-on-one conversations with his parents are a little smoother—she even tears up while talking to Arie’s mom. By the time she leaves, Lauren’s proud of herself for opening up..as much as she can, that is.
But how will Becca do? The next day she arrives with flowers for Arie’s mom because she’s here to win. Arie’s mom is skeptical though because she really liked Lauren, and Arie’s dad also seems kinda hung up on Lauren. He keeps bringing her up around Becca, even asking the insanely awkward question of whether or not they get along. Becca’s answer is so, so careful. Lots of “yeahhhh, she’s totally great. I mean, I was closer with some of the other girls, but….” Arie’s dad straight-up tells Becca he can’t tell who Arie prefers, which does not go over well.
“I hate talking about Lauren.” – Becca. Me too!
After Becca leaves, Arie chats with his family about their thoughts. His mom admits she liked Lauren a lot, but Becca might be better for his future. The whole family (very quickly, I’ll add) agrees. Arie just nods and says they’ve given him a lot to think about.
The next day is his one-on-one date with Lauren. They take a train that has a whistle so loud it drowns out her chatter about dogs, so it’s starting off on a good note. Eventually, they arrive at Machu Picchu where they stand around staring into the distance and repeating “that’s so cool.” Do you think when the Incans built this magnificent city they hoped that one day two white bread reality show contestants would come there and make out against a stone wall?
That night, Arie and Lauren cuddle up with bubbly drinks so Lauren can “open up” or whatever it is that happens when a brick wall tries to show emotion. Arie asks how she envisions their life together and this is what she says: “So, like, right now if we were to go home I could see us, like, waking up and having coffee in the morning and taking [our dogs] for a walk together. And then we’d go to work, come home, make dinner together, have a glass of wine, and then maybe on the weekends take the dogs to the park or hang out with family, hang out with friends. Just do normal couple stuff.” It’s the most she’s ever said this entire season. To Arie, that life—dog walking and, like, maybe hanging out with friends—is exactly what he wants too.
The next day Arie and Becca’s date involves shopping at a local market and petting alpacas. It’s mostly fine, but things get awkward that evening when Becca admits she doesn’t understand how it could be down to her and Lauren when the two are so different from each other. She keeps pressing Arie to see if he has any questions for her, and he keeps saying no. This really bothers me. You’ve known each other for two seconds, and you don’t have any questions for the woman you might be proposing to tomorrow? Nothing? Guess not. Before Arie leaves, Becca gives him a little scrapbook that
production she made.
It must have inspired Arie because the next morning he finally has clarity. Just in time, too, because Neil Lane is here with a giant-ass diamond ring.
But Lauren gets out of the limo first, which means this will not end well for her. “I can’t even imagine him not proposing to me today,” she says. Uh, got some bad news for you on that front…
Lauren has to walk down a long path to get to Arie, who is standing in front of the world’s muddiest river. It’s so far, she even has to walk past a group of grazing alpacas (and, I assume, their poop). After she arrives, Arie lets her deliver a long, meandering speech about how much she loves him before he breaks the news: “I wanted it so bad for us, but there was something holding me back and I just can’t go through with it.”
“I’m extremely confused.” – Lauren
“I know, and I knew you would be.” – Arie
She barely manages a tear before she’s like, “OK, I wish you the best.” It’s all so…quiet, but what else would I expect? Still, Arie can’t even manage one tear despite their connection supposedly being soooo intense. In the car back to the hotel, Lauren admits she feels betrayed. “How could you do that to someone?” she asks. “I don’t get it.” Lauren wonders how Arie could propose to Becca if he claims he wasn’t sure what he was going to do until that morning. Lauren, that’s because Arie is the ultimate ex-boyfriend. He just says the things he thinks you want to hear.
When Becca arrives, she gives a speech about how Arie is so “calm, cool, and collected.” I take issue with that, but will let it slide because I have a feeling some shit is about to go down. “I’m just ready to do this thing with you,” she concludes. Arie gets down on one knee, proposes, and Becca says yes. They kiss, happy music plays, and Arie mumbles “mmmm” into her face repeatedly. (Wow, ever since the contestants called him out on that I can’t stop noticing it.)
It all seems like a fairytale ending, but we still have an hour to go which tells me that it is NOT. And sure enough, here’s Chris Harrison with the tea: There’s more to the story. Then, we see footage of Arie and Becca in the weeks after the proposal: They’re playing chess, making pizza, and brushing their teeth together. It’s super cute, buuuuuuuut Arie admits he’s been thinking about Lauren this whole time and his feelings aren’t going away. So, he’s decided to call off the engagement with Becca. She doesn’t know that he’s made this decision yet, though; instead, he’s talking about it with Chris Harrison on camera. Yikes, you can’t even tell your fiancé first? You share the news with a reality show host, a room full of cameras, and a team of producers instead? He really is a monster.
As for that “unedited version” Harrison’s been teasing all night: The whole breakup between Arie and Becca is shown via a split screen. And it’s absolutely brutal. The breakup literally starts with this line from Arie: “I still think about her, and I think you sense that. The more I hung out with you, the more I felt like I was losing the possibility of maybe reconciling things with Lauren.” Yeesh.
“Are you f-cking kidding me?” Becca replies. Correct. That is the correct response.
Arie continues to dig himself into a hole: Apparently he talked to Lauren and realized all those feelings are still there for him. “I don’t think it’s fair to be half in with you,” he tells Becca. “So are you going to be half in with her?” she asks “No,” he says. What. The. Hell.
Becca’s reactions throughout this are so perfect: “You’ve got to be kidding me.” “Was that just words to me?” “Oh my f-cking God.” “This is f-cking embarrassing.” “You have a lot of shit to figure out.” She literally cringes when Arie tries to say, “I know that you’re an incredible woman…”
He continues to say all the wrong things, like lamely telling her he wanted to do this face-to-face so they didn’t have to break up on After the Final Rose. Eventually, Becca’s had enough and gets up to go pack her bag. Arie follows her into the other room. “I’m not going to hug you goodbye,” she warns him. She repeatedly tells him he’s behaving like a shithead, and he should leave. Instead, he just stands there not saying anything.
At one point, while she’s crying in the bathroom, he and knocks on the door and is like, “Hey, are you OK?” and she practically screams, “Just leaveeeee!”
“Just leave! This is like serial killer shit.” – My husband
Arie’s behavior is so maddening. He has no emotion, no tears, no stress. He’s just following Becca around like a dope, as if she’s going to come out and be like, “Sorry! That was awkward, but it’s all forgiven now!”
He keeps lingering so long that it starts wearing Becca down. She starts off strong with him—saying things like, “Don’t touch me.” and “I don’t think you have anything else to say, I’m not the one for you.”—until, eventually, she’s so tired and frustrated that she’s crying and asking what she did wrong. I HATE THIS.
He finally convinces her to sit down with him—which I’m sure she only does so he will finally get the hell out—but then proceeds to not say anything useful other than “I know you’re embarrassed.” This f-cking guy.
I am extremely pissed off that he didn’t just leave when she asked; instead, he has to stick around looking mopey so he feels like less of a dick. Arie, you’re not going to come out of this looking good. You can’t walk this decision back. Just let her have the space she’s asking for instead of sitting there mansplaining her feelings to her.
Becca asks, again, for him to leave. He doesn’t leave. She asks a second time. He doesn’t leave. She asks a third time. He keeps sitting there. After what feels like forever he says, “OK, I’m gonna go” and then looks at her expectantly, like maybe she’ll give him a hug. She doesn’t, so he gets up and walks out.
And that’s it. It’s finally over. When we cut back to the studio, Becca’s there with Chris Harrison and looking fantastic. She reveals she hasn’t talked to Arie or seen him since that day, but that’s going to change: Tomorrow, ABC will have Becca, Arie, and Lauren on stage to reveal all. Stay tuned.