My fellow Americans, our long national nightmare is over. Kaitlyn Bristowe finally picked a suitor, putting an end to the lengthy, formerly unending process that is The Bachelorette. This season was not without its highs (Ryan M's drunken opening night antics) and lows (everything that followed Ryan M), but it is finally over. Like Nixon leaving the presidency, Kaitlyn and her new fiancée wave goodbye for a final time and ascend into a land of obscure cultural references.
The Bachelorette finale begins on a sound stage where Chris Harrison introduces tonight's "Live" show. Look. I've made this point before and I'll make it again. You cannot describe a show as "Live" when 2/3 of it is pre-taped. Just because there is a live audience watching along doesn't make the show "live." The Cosby Show was filmed in front of a live audience, but you'd never call that a "live" show. I've said this before, but until Mike Fleiss answers my letters, I'll keep making the point.
Hard to say who was the bigger setback for feminism.
The show begins in earnest, as Kaitlyn sits down with her family to discuss the final two contestants. Kaitlyn's mother and sister are shocked to hear that Nick is back for a second season. Her dad, however, responds with a blank stare that continues throughout the episode. It's the same blank stare I've had all season. I know it well.
Nick finally arrives at the house and is immediately set upon by Leslie. She tells Nick that she saw him on Andi's season and didn't like him, finally giving voice to every Bachelorette viewer alive. Leslie also asks Nick to describe his passion for her (a task poets have struggled with for thousands of years) and what Kaitlyn sees in him (a question better suited for Kaitlyn than Nick). Regardless, Nick ambles though an answer with a hefty dose of clichés and his trademark mumbling which reduces both Leslie and himself to tears. I'm not sure which cliché caused both sides to tear up, but regardless, Nick obtains Leslie's blessing.
Nick also receives a blessing from Kaitlyn's father in yet another "Dad Blessing." Clearly disinterested in Nick and The Bachelorette in general, Katlyn's father responds with "I get a good feeling from you, so… yes." I have no idea what about skeezy Nick gave Mr. Bristowe a "good feeling" but that's beside the point. Good feelings are barely a reason to attend a Flo Rida concert, much less give your daughter away.
The most dad-ly dad of all dads.
Side note: Leslie and Kaitlyn's Stepfather look like fun parents/Jimmy Buffet fans. Her dad and Stepmother look like accountants who don't own a TV. Divorce never made so much sense.
As he is finally leaving, Nick kisses Kaitlyn for several seconds with his eyes wide open. It's like he's actively trying to be the weirdest person in the world. James Bond doesn't even kiss with his eyes open and he has hundreds of people trying to kill him at any given time. All Nick has is the disdain of The Bachelorette audience
Shawn was next to meet the family. As is customary, he brought flowers for Kaitlyn's mother. As is not customary he brought a large mason jar of a red mystery liquid for Kaitlyn's father. What was in that jar? Moonshine? Preserves? Blood? I bet it was blood.
A gift worthy of Ed Gein.
The family takes an immediate liking to Shawn. Kaitlyn's sister flips on her endorsement of Nick in under a minute and is now firmly Team Shawn. If only Kaitlyn could have done the same, this show would have been over weeks ago.
Leslie pulls Shawn aside to talk about his time with Kaitlyn. Specifically, Leslie asks about his perceived jealousies in seeing Kaitlyn with other men and how this will transfer into everyday life. Shawn replies that his jealousy won't be an issue when he and Kaitlyn are exclusive. If that isn't a massive red flag I don't know what is. The "my emotional problems will all get better if the situation around me changes" sentiment has more red flags than a Soviet rally.
It's a shame Kaitlyn never asked about Shawn's five year plan.
Eventually, Shawn receives a blessing from each of Kaitlyn's parents. It was pretty uneventful, and as normal as two divorced parents coming together to give away their adult daughter to a total stranger on a reality TV show could be.
The final solo dates were next, with Nick going first. He and Kaitlyn lounge about on a yacht and talk about couple-y shit. Honestly I don't know exactly what they were saying, because for the first time ever I noticed that Nick has a lisp. Was this always the case? Have I been tuning out what he was saying so effectively that I never noticed how he was saying it? It's all I can hear now.
"I juscht think we have schuch a schurreal and schpecial relationschlip"
Nick and Kaitlyn eventually leave the high seas and sit down to dinner for more lisp-y couple shit. The two talk about the progression of their relationship and how grateful they are that the other took a chance on them. Just as the date is reaching an apex of cuteness, Nick tells Kaitlyn that he got a gift for her and it's in his bedroom.
There's no way the gift isn't his penis right?
Nick gave Kaitlyn a framed photo of them and a poem he wrote about her. It was a cuter gift than his penis (I assume), though the poem inside was complete dreck. In case you missed it, the opening line was "There is magic in your eyes." That is terrible for a lot of reasons, not least of which is "Magic in Your Eyes" is a Chaka Kahn song from 1977. Don't you dare rip off The Queen of Funk, Nick. Don't you dare.
It's almost like he gave a very similar "gift" to someone else...
Kaitlyn was enthralled by Nick's gift, staring at it for some time before forcing herself to set it aside in order to make eye contact with him. Nick was especially proud of said gift, saying "Isn't it great?" and "You can keep looking at it." To be clear, the gift was not his penis.
Shawn's final date was next, and appeared to be the answer to the unasked question "what does awkwardness look like?" Between the total lack of eye contact and lengthy silences, the couple looked more like they were on their first date than about to become engaged.
Far and away, my favorite line from their awkward date came after a particularly long silence when Shawn said “So… what else is going on?” No one says, “What else is going on?” outside of floundering 80’s comedians and Jay Leno. Not that Jay Leno isn't still a floundering 80s comedian, I just felt like calling him out specifically. Fuck you Jay Leno.
You did this, America. You let this happen.
The evening portion of the date went immensely better, though the previous awkwardness would have been hard to top. Shawn and Kaitlyn talk about their future as a couple and how to keep the spark alive in a relationship. The night was more of your standard issue couple shit until Shawn gave Kaitlyn his gift: an oversized mason jar partially filled with mementos from their dates to this point. This would have been a great gift, had the jar been more than half filled. As it stands, it looked like Shawn realized he was supposed to get Kaitlyn a gift 20 minutes before their date and threw anything he could find into a jar. Hey Shawn, do you know what you call a container half filled with leftover trinkets from previous dates? A garbage can. Do better.
Finally, the big day arrives. There's the usual preamble, grooming, and ring selecting by the guys. No new territory was trod here, but there were a few points of interest. Shawn finally wore a tie correctly for the first time ever, which was a welcome change. Nick, on the other hand, continued to wear his pre-teen bracelets on the day he was planning to propose, so he couldn't have taken this too seriously. While this was happening, Kaitlyn retreated to a rooftop to ponder her upcoming decision. Unfortunately, she looked less like The Bachelorette and more like Damien's nanny from The Omen.
At least the nanny could say "I love you."
The first car pulls up to the house and Nick steps out, clearly unaware of the terrible fate that awaits him. He approaches Kaitlyn and, before she has a chance to speak, launches into a lengthy speech about his love for her. While she fights off a grimace, Nick tells her how important she is to him and says “I’m not ready to let us go.” Kaitlyn endures all of this until he pulls out a ring before stopping him. Talk about waiting until the last minute.
I called the blog This Is Brutal for a reason
Suddenly, Nick realizes what is happening. The two trade some uncomfortable one liners (“I still love you” “If that were true I wouldn’t be here” “It was real to me in moments” “It was real to me all season” the list goes on) before Nick finally leaves. Once in the limo Nick takes the potential engagement ring and tosses it aside saying “I’m the world’s biggest joke.” If Nick were here, I would tell him that he’s not the world’s biggest joke, because jokes bring people joy. At best, Nick provides people a reason to hate themselves less with his own terribleness.
Shawn arrives next, and gives a speech very similar to Nick’s. He also pulls out a ring, only Kaitlyn doesn’t stop him. Shawn proposes. Kaitlyn accepts. At long last, we have a conclusion to this season of The Bachelorette.
Finally. It is done.
Or, at least, we would have a conclusion to the show were it not for After The Final Rose. Honestly, the entire post show was pretty boring, but it is my sworn duty as a certified Bachelor/ette blogger to report everything that happens. These are the sacrifices I make for you people.
The finale to the finale begins with the introduction of the new couple: Kaitlyn and Shawn. They’re very happy to now go public with their relationship. Shawn recounts his story of taking Kaitlyn’s picture on Snapchat and drawing a heart around her for his friends. Presumably, Kaitlyn remembers that months ago she spoiled the entire season via her Snapchat by taking a picture of her and Shawn in bed together.
Snapchat, it's not just for dick pics anymore.
Nick comes out next and talks about how surprising it was to be kicked off. He also talks about the extent of his and Kaitlyn’s relationship prior to the show. According to Nick, the two spent hours talking and texting and FaceTiming and whatever else it is iPhones can do now. According to me and anyone else who saw Nick frantically trying to avoid honestly answering the question, the two spent hours talking and texting and sending each other pictures of their junk.
Nick was confronted by Shawn in the next segment. This was terrible. The two spent ten minutes talking about how immature they were, all while avoiding eye contact with the other. If you’re going to claim to have grown from the experience, at least pretend to be better people. As it stands, the two are locked in an immature game of “No I was more immature!” one-upmanship. Watching these two grown men argue about who was the bigger idiot feels like watching a playground argument or drawing a circle. Completely pointless.
Nick’s final confrontation was with his most recent ghost of Bachelorettes past, Kaitlyn. He somewhat subtly points out that they both said “I love you” while they were alone. Kaitlyn, to her credit, only offers a momentary panicked look (she’s not supposed to say that) before deftly recovering and avoiding the subject altogether. Both make a somewhat rushed attempt to pretend not to hate each other before Nick is whisked away by the production staff. If this was a fascist dictatorship, Nick would be murdered for revealing this information. However, this is The Bachelorette so he was probably only slightly beaten.
The show ends with Shawn and Kaitlyn reaffirming their love for each other. I could describe this in greater detail, but if you’ve seen even 15 minutes of this season you have probably seen Shawn and Kaitlyn being cutesy and shit together. The story stays the same.
I could have gone into much greater detail about this episode, but seeing as how I have now surpassed 2,000 total words I will spare you the reading and leave you with this simple closing thought. Chris Harrison introduced this season multiple times as being “unlike any season of The Bachelorette to date.” Turns out, this was literally untrue as we again saw Nick scorned in the final two. I didn’t expect any better of Chris Harrison, but I would be doing my hate of him a disservice if I didn’t point that out.
I’ll see you next time,