"The Bachelorette" Rose Rundown: Let's end the damn thing
"We haven't really witnessed anything like this before," preached Chris Harrison at the start of Monday night's three-hour – THREE HOURS! – season finale, which begs an important question: Has Harrison watched "The Bachelorette" before? Because, staying in line with the rest of Becca's journey, nothing new or unique or interesting or dramatic happened ensued over the next three hours. (THREE! HOURS! I know this isn't unusual for this show, but after this snore of a season, have some self-awareness. This is a silly show about wannabe Instagram models dating; there's no reason for it to be longer than "The Fellowship of the Ring.")
Anyways, spoiler alert, but Becca ended up choosing Garrett, a homophobic, transphobic, crisis actor conspiracy-peddling, overexcited labrador, over good guy Blake. That was fairly obvious for even those who aren't Reality Steve obsessives, but the process, Harrison promised, would result in "possibly the most emotional finale" the show's seen.
That didn't happen. Instead, viewers got anti-drama – partly because the all-hands-on-deck Garrett PR emergency basically spoiled the season right at the beginning but also just because the formula is so tired and exhausted at this point. The same speeches, the same "oh, he's first to arrive, so he lost" reactions, the same producer-written "romantic" charm, the same First Impression Rose foreshadowing, the same Harrison studio shots dragging out the show for no reason – and that's just all the cliches packed into this one episode. If this season was good for anything, it at least exposed its vetting system and its formula as needing a massive overhauls.
Oh, and Grocery Joe. I like Grocery Joe now, too.
The finale opens on "the most romantic place" Becca's ever been. No, not a return to Richmond, but the Maldives. And what better proof of the island's romantic potential than several cutaways to a bat, a diseased blind rat with wings. I haven't crunched the numbers yet, but the bat may have received more screen time this season than Grocery Joe. I look forward to the bat serving drinks as the bartender on "Bachelor in Paradise."
But the bat isn't the day's main guest. No, that would be Becca's family, who flew to the Maldives to meet Garrett and Blake, and see which one they liked most. And in a thrilling display of reality television ... the family is totally and completely fine with them both.
Garrett's two-month marriage throws some of the family off at first during his visit, but he wins them over by crying on camera. A lot. About just about everything. Now, I'm not saying there's anything there's anything wrong with a guy crying; the world would be a much better place, in fact, if we taught men that emotions are OK. But the guy made Old Faithful look erratic in terms of spouting water on schedule. The tears work, however, because the family likes how open that makes him seem. They feel like they've already known him forever – which is uncomfortable because actually everyone watching at home knows more than them and Becca thanks to the Instagram reveal. Awkward.
Speaking of awkward, Blake seems a little nervous to meet Becca's family, talking fast before getting into the house. And then gets A LOT nervous as the family keeps talking about how he'd handle things if he wasn't picked. That gets Blake overthinking things and making very sad dog faces, but the good news is that he comes off great during the visit, talking about his love of strong, independent women and looking forward to working together as equals in a relationship. The family likes them both, but at the end, they say Blake would challenge Becca more – which is a polite way of saying they think Garrett's a big dumb dummy.
After an awkward plug for the new rom-com "Crazy Rich Asians," in which nobody knew where to stand and Harrison asked the film's stars what they thought of the episode they clearly weren't paying attention to, "The Bachelorette" heads on its final dates. Garrett and Becca head out on a boat where they land in the middle of a flock of dolphins, whereas Blake and Becca go riding on separate bikes. Combined with Blake's date involving a sacred site with no touching allowed, I'm no body language expert but this all seems ... not promising. On the plus side for Blake, though, he makes a cute time capsule for Becca and has fun banter with her, whereas Garrett always seems like he could be easily distracted by a balloon in the background. Then again, I wish I had something to distract me because HOW HAS NOTHING STILL HAPPENED YET!?
Anyways, the bros go off to meet Neil Lane, who gifts them each with a ring slightly less ridiculous and gaudy than a Ring Pop. Blake's is just a bit better; the square cut looks classier while the circular diamond on Garrett's looks like a Chuck E. Cheese prize. Both are worth more than my life, however, so who am I to judge. The two then get dressed up and jet off on separate boats to meet Becca – not a great choice, because I started thinking of "Gilligan's Island" and singing "a three-hour bore" to the tune of the theme song.
Sadly, lovesick Blake is the first to arrive – and that means he's about to get his heart pulled right out of his very handsome chest. Might as well switch the soundtrack to chants of "kali ma," "Bachelorette" producers. Or for god's sake at least don't make him deliver his entire long, sweet speech about love and marriage only for Becca to dump him.
So yeah, the breakup is as devastating as it sounds – and I haven't even mentioned how sweaty poor Blake got in his suit. The man is dripping sweat and tears and sadness and self-loathing. He says he can't believe he got the whole situation wrong, and while Becca kindly but misguidedly tries to correct him, well, ma'am, may I draw your attention to (*points finger at you dumping him, proving his feelings wrong*).
But legit I would die if Blake was just like, "have you reconsidered since I don't like problematic memes?" #TheBachelorette— Ashley Spivey (@AshleySpivey) August 7, 2018
According to Becca, she didn't like that their relationship 'kept her eyes off other relationships," which ... isn't that the point? Also, she expected to choose Blake but didn't because Garrett came out of nowhere and unexpectedly grew on her, which is definitely not what happened. The dude got the First Impression Rose on the first night, the ultimate sure bet of a winner. Nice try rewriting the narrative, Becca, BUT YOUR GASLIGHTING WON'T WORK. I REMEMBER EVERYTHING I'VE SEEN ON THIS SHOW. (Oh god, how depressing.)
Back in the studio, a still-brokenhearted Blake rewatches all of this (because Harrison is a cruel sadist) and tries to make some more sense of it. "We haven't seen anything that raw and emotional," Harrison says, seemingly forgetting that he showed his star's surprise breakup IN ITS ENTIRETY just this year. Still, Blake – and eventually Becca – explains that the lack of red flags during their time together on the show was, in its own odd way, a red flag. There's also a weird undercurrent about Blake's mental health through all of this, that Becca wasn't sure how he'd handle the harder, more stressful times, but we've already got enough problematic stuff this episode so let's move forward.
So this means Becca's choosing the human version of one of the talking henchmen dogs from "Up" – and even though his proposal speech is majorly underwhelming, she says yes and the two are engaged, complete with a little happy dance.
Cut back to the studio and here's the happy couple, all ready to chat with Harrison about everything. OK, not EVERYTHING. Certainly not the only thing that's been running through audiences' minds since about week one and definitely not the thing that's hung like a shadow over all the supposedly cute stuff the two have done near the end. Instead, Harrison lobs some cream puff questions at the happy new duo: What do you think about that bling-y ring? What do you think about watching yourselves get engaged? What are your feelings on oxygen?
In fact, credit to Garrett, after the shadow completely ignores the bad Instagram memes, he's the one who decides to bring it up and own up to his faux pas. Though, credit quickly taken back from Garrett, he never explains HOW those posts got liked, why he liked him and if those are things he still believes in. He says that he didn't realize the power of a double tap, but it feels like that translates out to, "I didn't realize that people might actually find this." Becca tries to jump in explaining that she's glad she got to meet him "for who he really is" – but as fake and heightened social media can be, what are our social media profiles if not the versions of ourselves we choose to project into the world?
In the end, the two do share that the reveal did make things tough for their relationship and they had to really talk things out – and I imagine those conversations aren't over, no matter how giddy and happy they smile for the camera. Having completely different ideologies isn't exactly something you can quickly paper over with cute couple shopping trips to Costco. More so than any other couple in the recent history of "The Bachelor" or "The Bachelorette," these two need to see how they work and function as a couple in the real world, dealing with actual everyday issues and life, not just breezing on a free perpetual vacation.
So of course Harrison continues Becca and Garrett's free perpetual vacation with a trip to Thailand. I give them a year. I wonder who will get the crummy old-school mini-van Harrison gifted them at the very end of the finale – oh, I know who: the dump.
And so Becca's time on "The Bachelorette" comes to a close, one that I can't imagine she's all that pleased about. After all, the first love of her life broke up with her on television in front of millions to get with her competition, and even when she got to call the shots for herself, her winning pick ended up being a guy that she may not know as well as she thought she did. ANOTHER SUCCESSFUL FAIRY TALE, HARRISON!
As for the next "Bachelor," Blake seems like the obvious pick, but you get the impression he needs some time to truly get over this heartbreak – and that he's wise and emotionally mature enough to take it. We'll see what happens on "Paradise" starting Tuesday night, too (For those counting, that's FIVE hours of "Bachelor" in one week – definitely not recommended for one's mental health), but my guess is that we'll see Wisconsin's own Peter dishing out roses come next season.
And hopefully, for the show's – and our entertainment's – sake, they bring something fresh and new beyond just the faces.
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