How about After the Final Rose on Monday, huh? Did Nick and Vanessa look MADLY in love or what? All those sappy, overly-sweet sentiments, like “we’re being realistic” and “it’s been difficult” and “we have fears”. Get a room, you crazy kids! And this is the honeymoon phase; just wait until Vanessa spends 6 weeks watching Peta grind all over her “fiancé”. Whew boy…But, let’s not get ahead of ourselves. Tonight’s episode:
Raven is soooo in love with Nick!
Vanessa is soooo in love with Nick!
Nick was soooo in love with Andi and Kaitlyn! But hopefully his heart will know what to do. The dramatic season finale of The Bachelor starts…right now!
Yes, we’re still filming at the 68th parallel, and yes, it’s still cold AF…
Welcome back to Finland, where Nick plays the Pied Piper of Rovaniemi…
…before strolling over the river and through the woods to his crying mother’s house. Due to ABC’s budget constraints, only half of Nick’s family is there: mom, dad, an older sister, a heavily bearded brother, and of course Bella. Ah, Bella – I feel like we’ve watched her grow up on The Bachelor. Nick rambles about his fourth journey to find love, and his family nods their heads and makes a lot of these faces.
I get the feeling they’ve been listening to Nick moan about his girl problems for like 20 years, and they’re all just over it by now. But hey, it’s a free trip to Finland, so bring on the first girl.
Hello Again, Raven!
Everyone is excited to see Raven again, especially Bella and dad. Bella, because they bonded over ice skating, and dad, because he still thinks he has an outside shot in case Nick doesn’t pick her. Let’s pair off and discuss:
Bella & Raven – Bella’s extremely worried about Nick’s delicate heart, and she’s like, what, 12 years old? When a girl that is one third your boyfriend’s age is openly concerned about his emotional health, that should sound an alarm or three.
Raven to Dad – “I told Nick that I loved him, but he didn’t say it back. And I kind of prefer he didn’t say ‘I love you’, because….ummm….” Yeah, just what every girl dreams of: completely unrequited affection.
Mom to Raven: “Andi was tough, but Kaitlyn nearly killed him.”
Mom to Nick: “I’m so, so, so, scared for you.”
Back to the best and biggest viewing party ever!
A whole lot of blondes. Did they screen the audience members by hair color?
Vanessa – Tell Us All About Montreal
Vanessa meets the gamily, and did they bring an extra brother in? I feel like there’s another guy in the room. Anyways, Vanessa gives her elevator pitch: Montreal, big family, Montreal, special needs, Montreal, Italian, neverevereverever leaving Montreal. And then, presumably to demonstrate the depth of their relationship, Vanessa tells his family about how she puked on their first 1-on-1 date.
[crickets…] Umm…so should we pair off and get know each other now?
Vanessa to Mom: “I want to have a relationship with Nick, I’m just not 100% ready for an engagement.”
Can I talk to that sweet southern girl again?
Vanessa to Older Sister: “No one ever leaves Montreal.”
Dad to Nick: “I remember after Andi’s season…” [me: LOL] “…you told me she made the wrong choice, and she reverted back to her type.” [Lovely Better Half: Yeah, the guy who was better in bed.]
Dad & Vanessa:
Vanessa: Do you think love is enough to make it work?”
Dad: No. It takes commitment and selflessness and sacrifice. [and then the old man breaks down in tears.]
I gave up everything when I married Nick’s mother. My life, my identity, the man I used to be – all of it gone because she wanted to have 10 kids and now I’m going to work until I’m 86 years old…
The family seems to like Vanessa, and she and Nick practically have sex in the driveway during their goodbye, so Vanessa is winning. Do we have to watch the next hour?
Sweet conditioning on that beard, bro. Did you get that from the Polished Gent?
What is The Polished Gent, you ask? Nick’s new business, a one-stop online shopping destination for men’s grooming products. I went to the website, reluctantly submitted my email address, and…nothing. Just a landing page. Must be on hiatus until Dancing With the Stars finishes. Anywho, it’s debrief time for the Viall clan. The family talks a lot about Vanessa and Raven. Nick talks a lot about Andi and Kaitlyn, and Nick’s mom cries again.
I feel like those harlots took something from you, and you’ll never have anything special again…but enjoy your final dates!
Dear god – I might actually watch this season…
Vanessa – A Date With St Nick
Vanessa greets Nick with the de rigueur jump hug, and they ride horses to a remote cabin in the woods to meet Santa Claus.
Nick: So, this is where I brought Rachel before I had sex with her…did I mention that I had sex with all three of you?
Vanessa: LALALALALALALALA! NOT LISTENING TO YOU!
Apparently, when this cabin is not being used to bed Bachelor contestants, it’s serves as Santa’s workshop, and after some incoherent relationship advice in Finnish, Santa presents Nick and Vanessa with an inscribed wooden heart, and they love it so much, they throw it in the fire.
The old man didn’t even get our names right…
Nick tells Vanessa that he truly loved Andi and Kaitlyn (eyeroll), but that this could be slightly better than both of those relationships. Vanessa tells Nick, “Yeah, dude, ‘slightly better’ is not really what I’m looking for”, and she’s back to being Doubtful Vanessa. On to the night portion of our date and – shockingly! – more relationship talk.
Vanessa: I love you, Nick.
Nick: That’s nice.
Vanessa: I mean, I am really in love with you.
Vanessa: You know, I’m not really getting a lot of reassurance here.
Nick: I know, but I’ve been burned twice, and now it’s my turn to keep you guys off balance, so I’m gonna milk this and not commit to anything until the last possible second.
Vanessa: Wow. Be still my heart.
Raven – Let’s Skate Through Life
Still cold in Finland. Raven is nervous because this week could change her life forever. It could end super-high (getting a coveted invite to Bachelor in Paradise) or on the lowest-of-lows (getting engaged to Nick). But first, ice skating, and it’s easy and fun and goofy and playful and Raven is clearly the runner-up this year.
Nick: I feel so comfortable around you, Raven. That’s why I’m choosing Vanessa – because she makes me nervous, and I always end up with women that make me question my self-worth. Like my dad said earlier: ‘reverting to type”…
Then, husky puppies!
Omigod, they’re so cute, y’all! Can I bring them to Mexico with me?
Clearly this date was so lacking in any kind of fireworks, that The Producers had to resort to puppies. Nighttime. Raven tells Nick she’s in love and will definitely say “yes” if he proposes. Nick thanks her for falling in love and tells her she’s sincere. Probably not the response Raven was looking for, but hey, Vanessa didn’t even get a “thank you”.
Nick’s Final Day on Reality TV (Until DWTS)
Nick talks about his long journey to find love and hold on – Nick was in love with Andi and Kaitlyn?! Why are we just hearing about this?! A knock on the door causes Nick to have an involuntary eye-twitch, and it’s Neil Lane!
This is the biggest ring I’ve ever done, ‘cos brother, you’re going to need all the help you can get…
Let’s see how are the girls are doing:
Vanessa: I’m in love with Nick, but where are we going to live? I don’t want to leave Montreal. Every relationship requires compromise, and by compromise, I mean Nick gets a Canadian passport and settles into a nice, quiet life, and doesn’t go on – I don’t know – Dancing With the Stars, or something ridiculous like that.
Raven: I’m from Hoxie, y’all; I’ll move literally anywhere. I’ll move to Chicago, LA. I’ll even move to Montreal and live with Vanessa.
The Main Event
More Nick monologue and wait just one minute! Nick had his heart broken?! TWICE?! When did this happen?! Why hasn’t anyone mentioned this before? Adjourn to the proposal room:
ProposalDome: Three people enter, One couple leave…
And we’re finally here, folks – the moment a season in the making, and who is the first lady out of the car?
Bachelor in Paradise it is! Congratulations, Raven!
What’s up with all the twigs on the door? Is that like Finnish farmhouse chic? I’d hate to be the intern that had to go foraging through the woods for all that crap. Anyway, Raven goes through her speech, Nick makes her finish it, he can’t look her in the eye, and Raven knows immediately that she’s not the one.
I faked it with you, Nick….
Will I ever have another orgasm?
Yeah? well, my ex was still better in bed…
Of course, any joke I make pales to what Raven actually tells Nick when he says he’ll miss her: “I know.” Boom. Yeah, buddy, you will miss me, ‘cos I’m awesome. Good for you, Raven; you handled it like a boss. She even cries pretty in the car. I like Raven, and I really hope she finds a decent guy in Paradise (I can’t believe I just typed that. I think I’ve officially lost my mind).
Come on down, Vanessa. Nick has been fighting his feelings, but he’s not fighting any more.
Why can’t I stop crying? I’m getting dehydrated…
Nick: mumble… first stepped out of limo… mumble… touched my heart… mumble… yakked on airplane… mumble… I want my future to be with you…and Peta.
Vanessa: Special, different, noticed me, happiest, thank you, chance on love, emotional, crazy, love to talk.
Nick: Will you marry me?
Tears, mauling, and love ensue. And that’s it, folks – I didn’t think it was possible, but Nick Viall had a happy ending. And if Nick can finally find love on The Bachelor, then all of our dreams are truly possible.
The Express Sleigh to our new lives together! Hey, does this thing stop at Burbank?
But don’t leave yet, because After the Final Rose starts…right now!
After the Final Rose
– Hi Nick!
– Hi Raven! Jeez, wasting no time putting our boy in the hot seat. Nick looks really nervous, too. Like he’s worried about an Andi Dorfman/karma/”why did you make love to me?” question from Raven. He nearly passes out with relief when the Fantasy Suite doesn’t come up.
– Chris Harrison: “You know I got this place in Mexico, right?” Raven: “I’ll see you there! I mean, if Nick can find someone….am I right?”
– Hi Vanessa!
– The bombshell of the night? Vanessa has never watched a full season of The Bachelor. Way to do your research.
– They had a whole section of the studio reserved for Vanessa’s family; there was like 30 people there. Man, I don’t know if I could deal with all of those people being around all the time. Interestingly, Nick’s family is nowhere to be found. Was that a ‘compromise’?
– Nick and Vanessa talk about their time since filming ended, and it’s all giggles and butterflies and laughter and secret rendezvous and love!
– Just kidding. It’s actually none of that. At all. I hear lots of phrases like “challenging”, “struggles”, “we’re being realistic”, “fears”, “we have a long way to go”, and “I think it can work out.” Vanessa doesn’t look real happy about any of it, and Nick just kinda looks like this the whole time:
I was more comfortable when Raven was out here…
– CH: “So, are you guys getting married?” Vanessa: “We’re taking baby steps.” Wow. I feel less confident about this relationship than I did about Nicki and Juan Pablo. The only way this lasts longer than 6 months is because A) they’re both too stubborn and have too much pride to not make it work, or B) they need to last at least 12 months before they can keep the ring, and they need the $93 grand. And yes, you read that right. The ring is apparently worth $93 thousand dollars.
– Hi Rachel! She’s got some crazy ring action going tonight.
– The Bachelorette starts…right now! Let’s meet some dudes.
– Demario: 2 tix to Vegas and a ring. I hope it was from Neil Lane, or we might have a lawsuit on our hands.
– Blake: “You look good. You smell good.” Awkward side-hug. Is it possible to cut someone before Week 1?
– Dean: “I’m ready to go black, and I’m never going back.” Ummm, that’s kinda super-awkward.
– Eric: He has some smooth lines, but I’m willing to bet he’s used them on other women before. A LOT of times.
– CH: “Do you think you’ve already met the man of your dreams?” Rachel: “Not in this group… You’re gonna find some better looking guys before the season starts, right?”
– Wait – The Twins have a show on Freeform? How did I not know about this? Setting the DVR now…
And another season is in the books, my friends, and it was another winner. As always, thank you for coming along for the ride, and I hope I provided a sliver of entertainment during the mundane work week. Enjoy the time off, and I’ll see you all in May for The Bachelorette!