Well, we did it. We crossed The Bachelor finale finish line and in two weeks, I'm going to tell you that none of it mattered.
Just kidding, kind of.
The night ended with a proposal (probably should have held off, but fine, do you Arie) and a new Bachelorette à la Becca Kufrin. But I'm sorry y'all. Is this really enough to redeem such a train wreck of a season? Let's just discuss the aftermath of After the Final Rose.
Last night, we watched the emotional slaughter of a woman named Becca as her one-time-finance broke up with her, then proceeded to follow her around with a camera crew asking "are you OK?" for an hour. Of course, Tuesday's episode kicked off with a fleshed out recap of what happened Monday night because why have a scab if you can't pick at it?
But Arie makes his way to Virginia Beach to visit Lauren B while Becca heads home to Minnesota to look at polaroids of her and Arie like a fan-made version of a Taylor Swift music video. When Arie shows up at Lauren's, she ecstatic. She already knows that Arie broke up with Becca, but even in her excitement, she's not super down with the idea of getting back together because she got broken up with, too. He admits that he chose Becca because he thought she'd be a good wife, but wives aren't area rugs. You don't settle for one because it's serviceable. Anyway, let's cut to the chase: Lauren forgives him, and she's also down with being engaged. He loves that.
Chris Harrison brings Bekah, Kendall, Tia, Seinne, and Caroline back on stage to discuss whether or not it was justified to emotionally whip Becca for an hour on national television, and it all boils down to "she deserves another shot" because nothing makes you want to go swimming again like nearly drowning the first time.
Arie, Becca, and the Art of gaslighting
Becca shows up in a new gold dress and she's ready for a new chapter! She's OK with everything that's happened because she's healing. And then she's welcomed with the news that people have started funds in her name and put up billboards banishing Arie from the state of Minnesota. Fine, you know what? He deserves it. I'll play along. But when Chris asks if she's ready to confront Arie, there's a dull groan across America. But she says, "I have questions, yes" because there's an hour of this left.
Becca asks Arie how long it took for him to figure out that he wanted Lauren over her, but honestly, does the answer really matter? She eventually admits that the hard part is that she'll never have that first proposal and engagement again.
And in another shocking twist, Arie manages to leave this whole process smelling like a rose because how can you argue with love and heavy-handed production?
And if that's not enough of a redemption story for Arie, Chris Harrison brings Jason and Molly out to show that if you break a woman's heart in public, it's OK because sometimes it works out! In short, The Bachelor is really banking on you forgiving Arie.
Love, or whatever
Next up, Lauren comes out to join Arie, and she is just so psyched that it all worked out this way because how else would you want to fall in love? I mean, they played a two month long game of twenty questions, said "I love that" a lot, broke up on an alpaca farm, ruined another woman's life, and then got together after the fact.
Oh, and he slid into her DM's as an already engaged 36-year-old.
You think that's the end, but no. In case you had successfully kept from throwing up in your mouth for the first four and a half hours of this finale, Arie gets down on one knee and proposes on the same stage his previous "winner" aka fiancé was sitting.
Leaving on a high horse
But after all that insanity, the new Bachelorette is announced, and it's Becca. Yeah, same Becca we saw emotionally stalked through a ranch style home last night. Same one that was sitting at home looking through polaroids she kept from round one of this circus. And she says that she's in good hands, which is ironic, because it didn't feel like that last night. And because emotional trauma means nothing to these people, they decide that Becca's season starts now. She's gonna meet some of the men.
There's a dapper black man with an insane accent who's also celebrating his birthday and starts crying because this show is actively trying to kill me. Then there's a white guy named Chase. That's all. It's exactly what you think it is. And then a man shows up playing a banjo and plays a fully realized song with a bridge and chorus. I don't catch his name because I'm exhausted. It wraps up with a man named Blake who puts Becca on an actual horse and this season is finally over.
Take a breath. Go stare, longingly, out your window and figure out what to do with the tragic arc of things when Arie goes on Dancing with the Stars in a few weeks and eventually breaks up with Lauren, who presumably will lose her ability to communicate again. And then, when it's all said and done, don't cry because it happened, smile because it's over. That's the phrase, right?