Lord Harrison’s Viewing Party Begins
It’s finally here.
The ten-car-pile-up on the freeway. The Bachelor Finale. It’s caused destruction and it’s super fucked up, but you couldn’t possibly look away or not rearrange your entire schedule around it. After upcoming scenes and the LOST cliffhanger noise, Chris Harrison teases us with tonight possibly being the first wedding ever on After The Final Rose.
The Bachelor has become aware of itself now so it is this bizarre combination of identifying its tropes while still promoting them and keeping weird strict rules about when it’s appropriate to say I love you/be drunk/bang out.
Chris: “We’re glad you’re all here, because tonight has the potential to be the most dramatic finale ever. Don’t laugh, I don’t say that all the time. Maybe I do. For the first time in history, our Bachelor told two women I love you… Tonight we could be witnessing our very first wedding.”
For this Grand Finale and for the first time ever, they’ve flown in the families of the final two women to see if their spawn will win the big prize, a practice many other gameshows already do (Survivor, Big Brother, etc.). Jojo’s Bros are notably not there.
Several other people who you would naturally want at your wedding ARE there, however: Neil Lane, Neil Lane’s young Asian wife, a couple cast members of that dance show, the actor Ricky Shroder, Ashley crI., etc.
Also, of course in attendance is Delicate Ben’s Pastor, Denny, flown in from Indiana. He grasps a pen and notepad in an open Bible, taking the necessary last minute notes before Ben presumedly gets married.
Pastor Denny occasionally flips through the Bible, pondering, as pastors hoping to finally wed a member of their congregation to a woman they banged on television are wont to do. He stands near a rose covered archway containing six white orchids, representing how man was created on the sixth day, in order to go to a Bachelor Casting Call on the eighth.
Chris: “If everything goes right, Ben Higgins will be a married man before the night is over… Let the viewing party begin!“
It just occurred to me that they used to have the Bachelor or Bachelorette stand in a little room, staring at picture frames, debating the women. Now they just use editing to evoke that same response.
Lauren: “I can’t believe that Ben told me that he loves me… To sit there and just, like hear him say those words back felt so amazing.”
Jojo: “I was shocked when I told Ben that I love him and he told me he loved me back… I feel 100 times more confident… we’re on the same page… I believe that fairy tales can happen and that that type of love is real, and I think this is the first time that I’m living that.”
If you thought they were the only ones pondering, you’re dead wrong. Ben is also pondering. His arms are withering away. He has not lifted a single weight since he’s been on the show. What is he doing this whole time? Praying? Crying? Grasping his bracelet in confusion? Writing in his less-than-five-pound diary?
Ben: “I know that I meant it when I said it both times.” Double-pinkie-swear!!
He’s wearing a stupid shirt again that makes him look seven years old. Coming from a person who’s never gotten a spray tan, I am still irrationally offended that he did not get one. Possibly this show is making me a much worse human being.
Ben: “My head’s a mess. I came here hoping to find love but now I’m in love with two women and I don’t know how I’m gonna handle it. I never saw this coming because my insecurity or my fear has always been that I’m unlovable. But now I have two women that love me."Double-lovable.
Lauren B.land Meets Ben’s Parents
Ben’s parents have been flown out to Jamaica to meet both Ben’s gal pals.
Ben’s Dad: “Are you in love?”
Ben: “100%. I’m in love with two women and I couldn’t help but tell them.”
Ben’s Mom: “Wow.”
Ben: Lauren is “gorgeous, she’s sweet, she loved Warsaw.”
Ben’s Mom: “To know that Ben could possibly be in love with two women, first of all, is really disturbing to me.”
Lauren: “I’m meeting Ben’s parents today, and I’m really excited, but I’m also kind of nervous.”
They go over how Lauren wanted to meet Ben’s parents on their first date but insists not in a creepy way. Ben’s Dad is still hot. Might have Googled young Ben’s Dad. I might be a lunatic.
Ben’s Dad to Lauren: “It’s very obvious how he feels about you… And I see a twinkle in Ben’s eye that I have not seen.” Ben has LITERALLY no self control.
Ben’s Dad: “Are you in love with Ben?"Lauren B.land looks everywhere but into Ben’s Dad’s eyes (which we all know would be physically impossible), making me suspect she’s lying.
Lauren: "I’m very much in love with Ben.”
Ben’s Mom is skeptical of Lauren B. but she’s more skeptical of her own son. “Have you seen Ben’s side where he’s his worst critic?” She’s shitting on Ben and it’s great.
Lauren: “How is it that I’ve fallen in love with this man who’s seemingly perfect?”
Ben’s Mom rolls her eyes: “We’ll talk some more later…”
Lauren: “How could I help him most as a partner?”
Ben’s Mom: “He can get pretty intense. He can get pretty worked up. I think it will take a special person to be patient with him in those times. To talk him off the ledge. It’s not all about the rosey and the wonderful.”
Ben’s Mom asks Ben: “Do the two gals that are left, do they understand that [you said I love you to both]?
Ben: "No. They have no clue how I feel about each other.”
Ben: “I’m sure they know that feelings are very strong. But that’s kind of my own burden to carry.”
Ben: “My heart is split.” Ben’s Burden too heavy.
Lauren to Ben: “Meeting your parents was, like, the last thing that I really needed, and I’m, like, fully ready to get engaged. I mean, Ben, I am, like, there.”
Lauren: “I want to be part of the Higgins family.”
Jojo Meets Ben’s Parents
Jojo approaches from behind a wagon wheel, delicately lain on a palm tree. I cannot believe neither woman wore jorts.
Ben is wearing the same shirt as his Dad.
Ben: “Mother and Father, this is Jojo.”
Jojo the Pro, assuming the parents must be religious if Ben is, has a line ready to meet them: “I feel so lucky and blessed to just be here and to get to meet the two people who have made such an incredible guy.”
Ben tells his parents that his favorite thing about Jojo is that she is a roofie in human form and makes him forget the other women/his stress.
Ben then, like a teenager, infers that he and Jojo didn’t really see the Hoover Dam because they were making out.
Ben: “We took a helicopter ride, like through the Las Vegas strip and I would like to say that we saw the Hoover Dam. I don’t think we did.”
Ben’s Dad: Lauren “set that bar pretty high. So I’m looking for Jojo to either be there or to meet that expectation.”
Jojo calls Ben her best friend to Ben’s Mom and I’m starting to get extremely emotionally invested and worried.
Jojo: “I told him [I love you] completely not expecting to hear anything back, but he told me that he loved me.”
Ben’s Mom’s FACE trying to not have a reaction.
She tells Jojo the most important thing is making Ben feel safe like a newborn puppy.
Jojo: “He makes me feel very loved and he makes me feel safe.”
Jojo: “I want you to know that I love him and my intentions are so pure."I swear I’m here for the rightest reasons.
Ben’s Mom: “I really felt early on in the day that Ben felt really happy, really comfortable, really excited to see Jojo. Jojo had this ability to know what it was gonna take where Ben could feel safe. So, for me, it did feel different today.”
Jojo to Ben: “I feel more confident than ever.”
Ben: “You should feel so good. They love you.”
Jojo asks Ben if he would propose to whoever. Ben shakes his head while saying yes.
Jojo: “I’m feeling a million times more sure of Ben and I.” Ben tells Jojo he loves her immediately after talking about a proposal. Jojo leaves.
Ben’s Dad to Ben: “Unfortunately, you can’t propose to two different ladies… Either one of these ladies would be spot on.”
Ben: But “I love them very much the same.”
Ben’s Dad: “Lauren was very polished and she is a great gal… Jojo has fallen in love with you and considers you to be almost a best friend.”
Ben’s Mom’s Confessional: “I hate that at this point in time he doesn’t know who to plant his stake with.” Will he plant his stake in Jojo? Will he plant his stake in Lauren B.land? Stakes must be planted.
Ben to his parents: “My heart’s in two different places and my mind’s in two different places.”
Ben’s Mom: “Whoever you pick is going to be blessed.”
Ben: “I agree.” (due to being Jesus)
There are two giant chicken statues on the front porch as Ben exits.
Ben: “I have no idea who I could be saying goodbye to at this point."—I feel like they filmed it later when he references what point in the process he’s at.
Back in present-ish day, Chris checks in on Bachelor Nation. Chris: “What is Ben going to do? He’s got himself in a bit of trouble, right?” RIGHT, BACHELOR NATION? I’m not sure Chris’s light tone accurately reflects the severity of Ben’s Burden.
Pastor Denny is still standing by, going over the Bible, preparing himself to possibly officiate the most important American wedding of early 2016.
Lauren B.land’s Final Date
Ben: “I’ve prayed a lot over the last 24 hours about these next two dates.”
Lauren rafts up to him.
Lauren tells Ben she can’t believe she’s ready to get married. Ben reassures her by telling her he hasn’t been sleeping.
Lauren: “What are you thinking about right now?”
Ben deflects: “You’re beautiful.”
Lauren is cradling Ben like her baby.
Lauren asks Ben if he has any doubts regarding her.
Ben: “No. I think the only thing is it’s been so perfect. Everything. Like from the moment I saw you. It’s not a bad thing. At all. It’s just like, when things get too good to be true I get really nervous. I knew I loved you and like, right away and I didn’t even know why. It freaks me out. And it’s weird. And it’s crazy. And it’s good. And it’s life… What in the hell is happening? That’s where my mind’s at.” Sounds like you’re ready. More nuzzling.
Ben: “We haven’t been tested. And with Jojo we’ve been through those rough things and overcame. And Lauren and I haven’t… Maybe it has been too perfect, too easy, and the feelings were so immediate that now I’m questioning…"Aka his d.
Later that night… Lauren’s so nervous but she doesn’t look nervous at all. Ben is wearing a hooded T-shirt.
Lauren B.land: “Do you have any more questions left on your mind sitting here, right now?” BEN’S FACE!!!!
Ben: “No matter what happens. You made me a better person. You’ve made this worth it. You stood beside me at all times. And, um, you not only allowed me to know you better but also to fall in love with you.”
Her confessional: “I’m scared that Ben’s in love with Jojo too… If tonight was the last time I heard Ben say I love you. I don’t really know what I would do.” Dark.
Jojo’s Final Date
We see the Jamaican flag and pollination imagery at the start of Jojo’s date.
Jojo waits on a dirt road. Ben: “With Jojo it’s taken a little longer.” Because she came in with a horse on her head. Then because she put cards on her head to make me guess facts. But Jojo’s caught up!
Ben: “I’m going to pray for clarity because I need it.”
They make out and Jojo asks if Ben feels her heart again. Ben: “Every time.” You really think I’m gonna go through life being the Bachelor and not get all my heart grazing in?
A local man runs from his Ice Cold Jelly stand after Ben and Jojo’s Jeep, yelling, “Welcome!” Ben and Jojo reflect on the friendliness of the Jamaican populace.
Ben: “What’s my worst characteristic?” Jojo: “That you’re in this situation.” I would love if she just said fuck it maybe I’m Bachelorette and said his tattoo.
Jojo’s confessional: “He’s become my best friend. The feelings are obviously mutual. It’s the best relationship I’ve ever been in.”
Ben: “This is the Blue Hole.”
Jojo: “Reminiscent of my first date.” Where we explored the Brown Hole. I am a garbage person.
Jojo brings up how they haven’t really talked about where things are going after this…
Jojo: “So you feel good?” “Um.” “The fact that that’s not a yes makes me nervous.”
Ben: “It’s exactly what you probably think is going on.”
Jojo has to drag it out of him: “There’s two people here and you’re confused?” She and Bachelor Nation try to not cry.
Ben: “I’m so clear that I love you but my mind’s in a thousand different places.” AKA NOT CLEAR YOU TURD.
Jojo’s Confessional: “I thought Ben and I were on the same page and I know we’re not on the same page… What are you so torn about? I hope I don’t end up looking like a fool.”
Later that night, Jojo confronts him about his doubts. Ben can barely speak a sentence.
Jojo: “What is it about you and I that you struggle with?”
Ben: “ This isn’t going to help. I don’t have one. Don’t roll your eyes. I don’t have one. I wish I could. I’ve tried to find something with either relationship that would make it clearer.”
Jojo: “I’ve never been more scared of anything in my entire life.”
The bathroom floor conversation… “I need something from you. I’m losing my mind.” Ben: “Look at me. I’m sitting here, on a bathroom floor with you tonight. Being as open with you as I possibly can be and, I love you. And I know right now that doesn’t feel like it should when I tell you that. What I’m telling you tonight is exactly where I’m at…”
Jojo: “But you love her too. Am I right?”
Jojo: “And you said that to her?”
Ben: “Yes. I don’t know. Do you not want me to tell you this?”
Jojo: “No, I do. I just feel foolish. Like, I feel like for me, when I think about you, it’s something so special.”
Ben: “I know.”
Jojo: “No, you don’t. I just want it to be me and you. I feel like I always have to compete with other people. I’m so tired of competing.”
Jojo cries. Then Ben cries.
Ben: “Thank you for dealing with the craziness that is this and sticking with me through it.”
Jojo: “I feel almost sick to my stomach.”
Ben says I love you walking out the door.
Ben: “I’m a lost man right now.”
Delicate Ben Meets Neil Lane
They’re showing his chest through a foggy window.
Neil Lane looks like a gray wax figure. Possibly he died 10 seasons ago and it’s a Weekend at Bernie’s sitch because you gotta STICK TO WHAT WORKS.
Neil asks Ben if he’s chosen someone. He reviews his options. With Jojo, they’ve “gone through hard times” —the helicopter destroying their champagne and almost blowing her shirt off… The Zodiac Killer letter from her ex, Chad. With Lauren, they haven’t been tested at all, but fuck it. It would be really funny if Lauren’s response to conflict is to become a raging psychopath.
Ben: “Looking down at the ring I knew who to propose to."If it’s a diamond cut he’s picking Jojo. If it’s a square cut it’s Lauren B.land.
Ben: “Today I’m going to propose to a woman that I’m going to marry and I can’t wait. But still bittersweet… A woman I love is going to arrive here and I’m going to break her heart.”
IT’S JOJO’S SHOES FIRST!!!!!!
Delicate Ben Dumps Jojo
Jojo: “I feel like I have that love with Ben that people will be able to look at us and be envious… Ben has always promised to not blindside me.” He’s promised it before! To Becca. Need I remind you that THAT WAS A LIE. BECCA WAS BLINDSIDED AS FUCK.
Ben: “It’s a big day.” Fuck, you.
Why isn’t Ben making Jojo stop???????
Jojo: “I love you with all my heart and I trust you.” Big mistake. Huge.
Bensplaining: “I uh, I came into this not knowing if I was going to find love. I didn’t know if this would be real. If this would be hard. Or if we could just kind of go through it and take really nice helicopter rides. But with you it was real, always. I didn’t know if I could find love. I found it with you but I found it with somebody else more. I don’t want to let go because I can’t, I don’t want to say goodbye. Jojo, even on a day like today, I still don’t question that I do love you.”
Jojo: “I don’t even know what to say right now. I’m so confused and blindsided. You told me that you were in love with me, that I was your best friend, that you can’t imagine life without me, so where did it go wrong?”
Ben: “It never did.”
Ben’s SUCH a good guy so he offers to walk Jojo out.
Jojo: “For you to tell me how in love with me you were, you shouldn’t have done that.”
Ben: “My feelings haven’t changed. In any other world, in any other time, I couldn’t imagine saying goodbye to you.”
Jojo: “I got to go. I’m happy for you.”
JOJO GETS IN LIMO. Ben’s crying.
Ben: “Jojo gets the raw end of this deal… I don’t deserve Jojo.” Not unlike the other night.
Jojo: “I want to go home… I feel so confused. I feel speechless. I walked into today thinking that it could be the happiest day of my life… I just want the kind of love that you can count on. That they really mean it. That they’re not going anywhere.”
We hear the X Files Theme Song and we’re back with Lord Harrison. Chris: “You guys can pick your jaws up.”
Delicate Ben Proposes to Lauren B.land
Ben: “There was no good reason to say goodbye to Jojo other than the fact that I love Lauren so much.”
Even walking to her proposal helicopter, Lauren B.land CAN’T EVEN.
Ben calls Lauren’s Dad and asks for his permission. That’s the built-up phone call? Ugh. BACHELOR TRICKS ME NOT FOR THE FIRST TIME AND CERTAINLY NOT FOR THE LAST TIME.
Ben:“There’ll be hugs all the way around, man. I promise you that.” What’s an all-the-way-around hug?
I thought Ben threw his cell phone in the river. No. Ben is throwing his arm up into the air. God that is so lame.
Ben: “You could not look any more beautiful.”
Lauren recites a high school graduation speech: “I thought [love this this] sounded nice when people talked about it.”
Ben: “I came into this honestly feeling unlovable.” No shit.
Ben: “I want to wake up every morning and kiss you on the face.”
Lauren B.land is having zero reaction to Ben saying she’s the one until he proposes.
Ben: “You’re my person.” Callback to Lauren’s Grey’s Anatomy callback.
Ben carries Lauren B.land, who starts their engagement off with a veiled threat: “Don’t drop me or you’re toast.”
We finally received our first, glorious, reader’s art submission to mark this occasion, in the form of a cookie cake photo from Angie.
Just realized if you combine their names it’s Borin’.
After The Final Rose: Jojo’s Return
Ben’s lost weight but definitely did not set a single foot in the sun between the proposal and now. He does a weird lawn-mower hand motion at Chris.
Chris: “Do you regret now saying it out loud to both of them?”
Ben: “You can’t live in a state of regret.”
Chris: “You could see how she’d feel blindsided.”
Ben: “Definitely.” I could see how she could come to that conclusion.
Ben claps Jojo in. She looks like a My Little Pony, Ben, you’re so dumb. She’s got an interesting boob slit.
Jojo: “It was gut-wrenching. It helped me to see that it was hard for you too.”
Ben: “It’s really tough. I don’t know how you guys do this every year.” It’s less tough when you’re the one behind the camera laughing at the one crying tho…
Chris: “Did it help seeing his love for Lauren? Could you see differences?”
Jojo’s Bachelorette line: “Everything happened for a reason.”
Chris: “Not done with the two of you.” I’M SO HAPPY. I don’t think I have instinctively screamed out loud like that since childhood. What is wrong with me. I can’t wait for her Bachelorette Season. Someone will definitely exit the limo in a horse’s head. And Jojo’s family for hometowns—her brothers with four new men. Jojo’s Mom will now be shooting up in the background.
They took the Bachelorette job away from Caila due to social media outcry. I guess this is less fucked up than making the male contestants vote between them on night 1.
After this announcement, Lord Harrison tries to reassure us that “Mondays aren’t cooling off"because that dancing show will be on. But we’re not fooled. We all know Mondays are fucking cooling off in an extreme way that we barely recovered enough emotionally from to go to work yesterday.
Delicate Ben Proposes to Lauren B.land Again
Pastor Denny is lurking ominously, still. Lauren comes out. She did something to her lips. She’s looking very Paris Hilton. Chris: “Welcome to public… How did you cross that bridge and get over that issue (Jojo)?”
Lauren: In Jamaica “We’re laying in bed the next night and he laid it all out there.”
Chris: “You were shaking like a leaf.” We had you emotionally DISTRAUGHT, didn’t we.
Lauren: “I fall more in love with him every day.”
Chris: Ben’s “like a kid in a candy store.” GROSS.
Chris: “What was the deciding factor?” The rings!
Ben: “My commitment was to stay open.” No shit.
Chris: “When did you know you were being proposed to or were you waiting for the ‘but’?”
Lauren just recaps the events: “I laid my feelings on the table, then there was a pause, and he went down on one knee.”
Chris asks if they have an idea of when the wedding will be.
Lauren: “I don’t want a long engagement.” Perfect.
Ben: “Honestly for me, I just want to show her off.” Jimmy Kimmel interrupts, pretending to be a reporter. He does an awkward as fuck improv game with Delicate Ben. They should have prepped Ben for this game or prepped him more…
Jimmy: “Where do babies come from?” Is this an extreme callback to Kaitlyn’s season when he awkwardly taught a sex-ed class?
Ben: “I don’t know.” We believe you.
Jimmy: “Will there be a wedding cake?”
Ben: “Muffins."WHAT ON EARTH ANSWER IS THAT. I wouldn’t be surprised if that’s the moment Lauren decides to dump him.
Jimmy mimes a Barbie and Ken doll banging and asks where they touched each other.
Jimmy asks if they’ll watch Jojo on the Bachelorette and they both hurriedly say yes. Jimmy: “That’s weird.”
Chris: “Guillermo will steal his show.” Do I have to watch Jimmy’s show to know who the fuck Guillermo is?
Chris calls Ben’s wedding bluff and brings out Pastor Denny, finally. I can’t believe Pastor Denny hasn’t collapsed, standing under that arch so long. My fingers are killing me from this behemoth of an episode. Ben forgets how to clap.
Chris challenges Ben to get married.
Lauren pulls out that Graduate smile moment when she’s forced to consider marrying Delicate Ben on the spot.
Ben says they’re going to wait to do a big wedding without all the creepy middle-aged women surrounding them. I thought Ben was going to kiss Pastor Denny for a second. Ben proposes again in front of their families.
Ben and Lauren’s Dads clasp hands for the “Higgins Bushnells joining” like some weird Game of Thrones power-play wedding.
They tell Pastor Denny to keep standing in LA on call for the ABC Wedding.
Ben makes an announcement: “For about ten more minutes I’m still relevant.” For a second I think Ben is about to do an advertisement for his Hope bracelets. Instead, it’s a shoutout to Bachelor Nation– “Bachelor Nation has been loving and supportive."—never been done.
I appreciate that the Bachelor is FINALLY thanking me for my support. He can stay on the low-bar Bachelor Mount Rushmore. Ben is also DEAD WRONG that he only has 10 more minutes of relevance. This is real life Hunger Games, Ben. Bachelor Nation owns you for eternity. I know what Kaitlyn and Shawn do every day of their lives and I’m pretty sure that’s standard for Bachelor Nation.
Chris: “Start planning those Bachelor viewing parties.” What outfit will I wear on your cake next season? Perhaps boar ears? Boar-go your individual rooms. Is that something?
This has been a magical season, guys. Due to this process I got to explain what pegging is to my parents.
This little girl sums up how I feel about waiting two months for The Bachelorette to return May 23rd.
Twitter if you want updates on when I post the recaps: @pacecase