Friends! I have made my long-awaited (I expect) return from San Francisco. It was a blast, but before we get into any of that, first thing’s first: The Season Finale of the Most Depressing Season of The Bachelorette.
Now I would just like to preface this post by saying that I didn’t watch the After the Final Rose, so please, bear that in mind.
The show opens with Des sobbing for what feels like forever, and Chris Harrison nodding sympathetically and wearing a lovely suit and skinny tie. From what Hilary tells me, this is what happened for pretty much all of last week’s episode. It’s unsettling and unappealing. Des, after much more crying, decides that she’s going to continue with the process, even though Brooks has CLEARLY broken her heart. This was where she first went wrong. The way they edited this season showed Des, completely in love with Brooks, even to the point of her saying that she loves him (a first for the Bachelor or Bachelorette) and then in the second last episode he walks away. This makes Drew and Chris seem like consolation prizes and makes the entire show uncomfortably sad. At least in Ashley’s season she was only hung up on Bentley for half of it, so that when she chose JP, you had seen several weeks of her falling in love with him. We’ve seen Des fall in love with no one but Brooks.
Des goes on a date with Drew. She’s keeping an open mind and an open heart and she wears a crop top with sweatpants. That outfit was the second mistake. They trot around on horses and settle onto the beach for a picnic when not ten minutes later Des tells Drew that something just doesn’t feel right and he has to go home. Perhaps it doesn’t feel right because you’re in love with Brooks, Des. Just a thought. She does this horrible thing where she sobs and sobs and sobs about sending Drew home so that in the end, he ends up consoling her and telling her that it’s alright, and that she’s not obligated to love him. While the second bit’s true, it just seems to be a cruel way to dump somebody. In the end, Drew remarks that he wants to find love and that he would want to find somebody who will love him in return. Very sage parting words.
The next day Des goes on a date with Chris – but mind you – he has absolutely no idea that he’s the only man left in the running. The date starts much better because she’s not crying, which is already an improvement. In fact, it seems as though she’s already over Brooks when she says things like “if the man I’m meant to be with is still around, then it’s meant to be.” Well, dear, the only one around is Chris, and I don’t know that you can leave it up to fate when you’ve been actively choosing and rejecting people from day one. It just seems to be a bit late for that crap. If you were leaving it up to fate you would have been choosing your dates from a hat. (And wouldn’t that have been interesting?)
They end their date with Chris giving Des a lovely notebook full of their poetry, and Des sobbing into her on-camera interview about how lovely he is, how she doesn’t feel deserving of his love, and how she feels guilty – “how could I not have loved him from the beginning?”
The next day Chris goes to meet Des’s family – and scary brother – all the while thinking that Drew will be doing the same. Chris really does seem like a helpless, handsome pawn in this whole show and it’s becoming increasingly depressing. The family dinner goes shockingly well. He gets Des’s father’s blessing and even her brother approves of him. After Chris heads home, Des’s brother tells her that he doesn’t want her to settle or rush into anything, even though he thinks Chris is a great guy. This is advice she should have heeded.
In the last 15 minutes, we see Chris pick out a Neil Lane sparkler, put on a nice suit, and Des get into her bridal-esque gown. Instead of the silly excitement of season’s past – who is she going to pick! – we only see Chris being nervous and sweet and Des being subdued. It’s all very tough to watch as we see Chris get ready to propose to a woman who seems to love him second best.
In the end, he does propose. He talks about how incredibly their journey as been, and how strongly he feels for her. He starts to get down on one knee when she stops him, You can see the incredible panic in his eyes; he obviously thinks she’s chosen Drew and is now going to break up with him. Instead, she tells him that Brooks leaving had torn her up inside because she had been torn between Brooks and Chris the whole time (which didn’t really seem to be the case from this side of the tv screen). She said that she had felt blindsided by her love for Brooks because she didn’t see that what she needed was right in front of her.
On one hand it was probably very necessary for her to bring up Brooks because Chris is obviously going to watch this season and see how much she favoured him. And boy is that going to feel like crap. But on the other hand, Chris had no idea how much she favoured Brooks, and he thought he was just a regular contestant on a regular Bachelorette. Sadly, not the case.
Chris proposes, and Des says yes. Actually she says “A thousand times yes.” This was the third mistake she made. She should have said, maybe. She should have said that she loves him, that she wants to be with him, and that she wants to see where this goes. Because honestly, she’s making an awfully big commitment for somebody who just had her heart broken three days ago when she said that she wanted to go home too. And then Chris and Des could have worked out their relationship without all the crazy pressure because as it stands now – not having seen the After the Final Rose mind you – it seems awfully likely that they won’t last. If I were Chris I would be majorly bummed that this girl accepted my proposal when clearly heartbroken over somebody else.
All in all the whole thing was deeply saddening. It would have been enough to turn me off the franchise if the next Bachelor wasn’t JUAN PABLO! Yes it’s true! NEXT SEASON IS GOING TO BE AWESOME!
~ Julia Maurice Sabre-Ocean