December 21, 2021
LOOK. I KNOW THIS RECAP IS NEARLY TWO WEEKS LATE. BUT IF ABC WANTED PEOPLE TO TALK AND WRITE ABOUT THE BACHELORETTE FINALE IN A TIMELY FASHION, MAYBE THEY SHOULDN’T HAVE SCHEDULED THE FINALE TO AIR FOUR DAYS BEFORE CHRISTMAS. PEOPLE HAVE OTHER SHIT GOING ON IN THEIR LIVES IN DECEMBER, ABC. BAH AND HUMBUG.
That out of the way…
We are back, once again, in the Bachelor studio to watch the finale with a full in-person audience. Which even in the best of times is a stupid and pointless exercise, but this year, while we are in the full throes of an extremely contagious viral outbreak is ESPECIALLY so. And as if to prove my exact point, Kaitlyn begins the proceedings alone, informing us that the show will be down one host because Tayshia was exposed to COVID.
Oh, and the best part is, they didn’t make anyone in the audience wear a mask UNTIL HALFWAY THROUGH THE SHOW.
WHY IS NO ONE WEARING A MASK THIS IS A SUPERSPREADER EVENT#TheBachelorette pic.twitter.com/l26YGTawi3
— Kristen Baldwin (@KristenGBaldwin) December 22, 2021
ICYMI: #TheBachelorette invited an audience (and Omicron) to the finale, and viewers roasted them so hard producers changed the mask policy mid-broadcast. 🤣 Full recap: https://t.co/VSGZavbadf pic.twitter.com/ruooJZYlC0
— Kristen Baldwin (@KristenGBaldwin) December 22, 2021
WHAT ARE WE ALL DOING HERE? MY GOD. I WOULD TAKE A DEEP BREATH, BUT I AM TERRIFIED TO DO SO. So stupid. SO STUPID.
The actual episode begins in Mexico, where Michelle is lounging around in her hotel room, — I AM STILL SCREAMING INTERNALLY ABOUT THE COVID THING, BY THE WAY, AND HAVE NOT MOVED ON — “journaling” about having feelings for two men: Doggy Daddy and The Bed Guy. She claims that the last thing she needs to make her decision is her family’s approval, but SPOILER ALERT! no, it’s not. She does not actually listen to her family’s advice or guidance and certainly does not require their approval. And you know what? That’s fine because she’s a grown-ass woman who can make her own decisions.
Michelle sees her parents and her sister (?) Angela (?) about whom we’ve never heard (?) and informs them that they’ll be meeting The Bed Guy, again. Michelle tells them that her feelings for him have grown even stronger than the last time they saw him and that they’ve told each other that they are falling in love with one another. Dad claims that The Bed Guy reminds him of himself, but that’s just because when he met The Bed Guy, he was wearing his swimsuit.
And, in fact, when The Bed Guy finally arrives, everyone is thrilled to see each other again, not least of whom is Dad because The Bed Guy comes bearing a gift for him: a new bathing suit. Dad chats with him first, and reminds The Bed Guy that Michelle is smart and strong and ambitious and has dreams of becoming a principal one day, and The Bed Guy is like, “I am down for all of that, and I want to marry her.” Dad would also very much like The Bed Guy to marry her.
Brandon and Michelle’s father 😍 #Bachelorette pic.twitter.com/6qQHCo3x30
— scorpirose (@scorpirose1) December 22, 2021
Mom then chats with The Bed Guy who tells Mom exactly what she wants to hear: he’s in love with her daughter and he’d move to Minnesota in a heartbeat. Mom is ready to make him a part of the family right there on the spot and tearfully tells him as much, while muttering under her breath that she knows there is someone else here, gah.
Alone with Michelle, Mom tells her that she wants someone for her that is as special as Dad is to her, and that she could see The Bed Guy being Michelle’s best friend. As he says goodbye to the family, Mom is like, “YOU ARE ALREADY PART OF THE FAMILY,” which … Momma … calm down. We’re not there yet.
The next day it’s Doggy Daddy’s turn to meet the parents and Angela, and in his little monologue ahead of the visit, he assures us that he “definitely loves Michelle.” And nothing inspires more confidence than the repeated use of the word “definitely.”
As Michelle introduces Doggy Daddy to her family, she narrates that sometimes her family sees red flags before she does — especially her mom — and they pick up on things that she misses.
So Doggy Daddy comes in and greets the family, and Mom asks how it’s been going, and Doggy Daddy says, and I quote, “It’s been an uh amazing … journey … all of this … there have been a lot of feelings I’ve never felt before …”
Nayte at all times #TheBachelorette pic.twitter.com/Kem0vEG5G0
— Chicks in the Office (@ChicksInTheOff) December 22, 2021
Michelle, sensing this is not going great, swoops in to announce that Doggy Daddy shared that he is falling in love with her, and like the schoolteacher she is, tries to prompt him for the next part. Doggy Daddy stammers a bit more, explaining that this is huge for him because he’s never been in a serious relationship before.
Mom: “HEY, MICHELLE, HERE ARE ALL THOSE RED FLAGS YOU MENTIONED.”
Dad takes Doggy Daddy aside to talk first and demands to know if Michelle’s feelings towards him are reciprocated. Doggy Daddy says the word, “definitely” some five times in his answer, which, again, does not exactly inspire confidence. He then qualifies everything by declaring that the logistics of what their life post-proposal will look like haven’t been hashed out yet, specifically where they will be living. Dad is like, “Well, that’s interesting because I know for a fact Michelle wants to live in Minnesota.”
Doggy Daddy then visits with Angela, who also asks about where they will be living after an engagement, and he replies that he is “all about the adventure.” Angela, unimpressed with this answer, asks if he’s capable of “staying still and being content,” and this dumb ass — who I like very much, I should add here! — answers, “I haven’t given that much thought.”
Doggy Daddy then visits with Mom, who wants to go over the part where he’s never been in love before and he yammers about how he hasn’t been in that “Hollywood definition” of love. Mom asks if Michelle is “The One” for him, and again, there’s some blabbering about how he doesn’t “think in clichés” like that, but that yes, his heart and mind are pointing at her.
“Is she the one for you?”
— Chicks in the Office (@ChicksInTheOff) December 22, 2021
He then makes an amazing Freudian slip, saying that he “doesn’t take love serious — ” before trying to catch himself.
But not fast enough.
Mom declares flatly that she doesn’t think that he’s ready for an engagement and that he’s not open with his feelings, but that he seems like a nice guy or whatever. Meanwhile, Dad is out here in an interview saying that Michelle is an eternal optimist and not seeing any potential downsides, but that he certainly hopes that Doggy Daddy has the qualities that Michelle sees in him that they haven’t yet.
When Mom takes Michelle aside, she tells her that while the conversation with Doggy Daddy wasn’t “rocky,” it also wasn’t warm and that she does not think that he is ready for an engagement. Michelle is disappoint.
As she walks Doggy Daddy out, he calls her mother a “straight-shooter,” insisting that he really likes that about her. Michelle is like “Uh-huh. So listen. With my parents, you can’t just say something and have them believe you — they have to feel that you mean it. Are you sure you want to go down this road with me?” And Doggy Daddy tells her AGAIN that this is “definitely” what he wants. Definitely. For sure. Definitely.
When Michelle returns to her family, they reiterate that they just want the best for her and will support her no matter who she chooses (as long as it is The Bed Guy).
Michelle’s mom with Brandon vs Michelle’s mom with Nayte #TheBachelorette #Bachelorette #BachelorNation pic.twitter.com/X2YsAunRjy
— BR00kE. (@brookk_lynn1) December 22, 2021
I mean, it is literally this meme:
We then move on to the boring “final dates before the big decision” portion of the show.
First up: a jet skiing date with The Bed Guy. After zipping around on the ocean for a bit, they chat about how meeting the parents went. For The Bed Guy: GREAT!
That night in The Bed Guy’s hotel room, they discuss their favorite moments over the course of this experience: his being when he first met her parents in her dad’s bathing suit; hers was when he pulled her aside in the last rose ceremony to tell her one last time that she was pretty and he LIKE liked her. The Bed Guy then gives her a present: his favorite sweatshirt which she ruined during their food fight the morning after their sexy times. Thanks? But Michelle genuinely seems moved by it, so much so that she blurts out that she “really [is] in love with [him].”
The next day, Michelle goes on her final date with Doggy Daddy: a visit to the shaman that The Bachelor producers have on retainer. There, the shaman makes them blow smoke into each other’s faces. Michelle wishes that he continues to open up to her, even though love can be scary; he mumbles that he hopes they can keep their relationship on its current trajectory. But it’s half-hearted seeming and his smoke blows out several times, and even the shaman is like, “I don’t know, dude, it seems like something is holding you back, friend.”
After their time with the smoke and the rituals and the shaman, Michelle sits Doggy Daddy down again and is like, “Listen, my parents have a lot of reservations about you, and frankly, I don’t blame them.” Doggy Daddy admits that he struggles to fully express himself before telling her a story about how he came on The Bachelorette with only two suits because he didn’t think he would last on the show all that long. And now look at him! Madly in love with a woman he wants to spend the rest of his life with. He admits he’s scared, and she admits she’s frightened of being more in love with someone than they are with her. They then tell each other that they love one another, so no matter what happens at this point, Michelle is going to have a mess to clean up.
That night in his hotel room, Michelle asks him point-blank if he “has words” for an engagement or proposal, and he answers that while it is a little scary, the idea of never seeing her again is even scarier. So if that means he has to give her a proposal and engagement for the cameras, sure, he’ll give her a proposal and engagement for the cameras.
As she returns to her own room, Michelle finds a letter left for her there from The Bed Guy, which basically is just the written form of his little speech to her at the last rose ceremony, because he heard her say that was her favorite part of their “journey” together. I’m not going to transcribe the letter verbatim: he loves her; it’s a special love; she should “follow her heart,” you get it. Anyway, having JUST TOLD US that her heart knows that Doggy Daddy is her “person,” she announces that her heart is in “two places” and tomorrow will be the hardest decision she’s ever made. OK.
The next day, Doggy Daddy and The Bed Guy have the ritual meeting with Neil Lane who is clearly excited to be flown out for a tropical vacation again, instead of having to go to some middling resort out in the middle of Arizona or wherever.
Michelle puts on her proposal dress and heads down to the proposal station which in addition to its customary potted succulents and empty vases, is placed directly next to a VERY ANGRY and VERY LOUD Pacific Ocean, determined to take its revenge for all those Bachelor in Paradise proposals it’s had to endure over the years.
And the first to arrive — a.k.a. the loser — is our friend The Bed Guy who gets out of his SUV and tells Kaitlyn and Tayshia that he’s EXCITED because he’s about to SPEND THE REST OF HIS LIFE WITH THE WOMAN HE LOVES!!!
So, The Bed Guy goes down to the proposal platform and begins giving his speech but it’s hard to hear a word he’s saying because the ocean is basically straight-up doing this the entire time:
After he gives his spiel, Michelle tells him that she’s never met anyone like him.
She has to follow her heart — and her heart is going in a direction that is Not Him. Michelle begins sobbing, and The Bed Guy begins crying, while also trying to wish her nothing but happiness, and insisting that giving her his heart is something he will never regret.
She walks him a little closer to the ocean where they hug and sob some more and then they walk a little further to hug and sob some more. Finally, The Bed Guy walks away, still sobbing, while Michelle watches and quietly wonders to herself what she is actually doing. But we’re STILL NOT DONE, because he then goes upstairs to cry some more and give an interview about how he saw a future with her, and how he thinks she made a mistake and maybe he should fight for her, but no, she followed her heart, all the while wiping his face with his suit jacket, and maybe he throws the ring into the ocean, the ring that Neil Lane just gave him? can he do that? And honestly, the whole thing is hard to watch because this is the single most realistic breakup I have ever seen on any of these shows. Genuinely. And I mean that as a criticism of the shows: this breakup demonstrates just how insincere most of the other relationships before it have been because this is what it really looks like when you are unexpectedly dumped by someone you thought loved you.
The poor intern trying to find the ring Brandon threw #bachelorette #thebachelorette pic.twitter.com/rjZ5h6W4eC
— ❄️ (@autumnvelvets) December 22, 2021
Finally, it’s Doggy Daddy’s turn and the whole drama is WiLl He PrOpOsE? But, I mean, come on.
He arrives and tells her that he still wants to run away with her and make her feel seen. In response, she tells him that she felt a connection to him the moment he stepped out of the limo. And while it hasn’t always been a smooth ride, she’s willing to face her fears to be with him and doesn’t want to be with anyone but him.
With that, he gets down on one knee and proposes, which he was always going to do, and she says yes, which she was always going to do. She then offers him the final rose, which he accepts, and then a mariachi band materializes.
Or at least I think that’s what happens because …
Rose #1: Doggy Daddy
The Men Who Have Been Dumped by Michelle:
The Man Who Will Probably Be Soon Dumped by Michelle:
Then we have the insufferable “After the Final Rose” special from which only a few interesting points are gleaned:
- Everyone is expecting The Bed Guy to confront Michelle about why she told him she loved him, too, but that’s not what is bothering him. He understands that someone can fall in love with two people at the same time. What he is confused by is that she never had to question him about where he stood or about his feelings but she CONSTANTLY was questioning Doggy Daddy. And you know what? Fair. Good point.
- After going on a long-winded metaphor about a “favorite song,” it’s clear that Doggy Daddy still has no idea how to put together a coherent thought.
- Michelle’s parents like Doggy Daddy now, and they’re “best friends” with his parents. OK.
- Thinking that maybe if they can make the move in together, this relationship will have a better chance at survival, the producers used the remaining budget from Katie’s season and wrote out a check to Michelle and Doggy Daddy to use on a down payment for a house. Good luck with that.
- The Bachelor this season is going to be an unmitigated shitshow. Can’t wait. Stocking up on box wine as I type this.
Alright my little chiclets, I’ll see you next week as we embark on another “journey” to find a failed NFL player with teeth like Scrabble tiles love. Because obviously a guy with that jaw and those biceps is incapable of doing it on his own. Until then.
The Bachelorette airs on ABC and streams on Hulu.