I have to hand it to ABC. The producers have an incredible knack for dragging out The Bachelor in the most interminable way. You thought two-hour episodes were bad? How about a three-hour finale?
Host Chris Harrison stands in front of a live studio audience, promising breaking Bachelor news. But first we must endure the girls meeting Sean’s family and two more totally far-fetched dates in exotic Thailand.
Catherine is visibly nervous. She tells stories about playing football in sixth grade and passing notes to Sean during the courtship. Sean’s mom and dad think all of that is adorable.
“If it’s you that Sean ends up marrying, you will never have a bigger fan than me. I will love you like my daughter,” Sean’s dad says to Catherine.
“If it’s you that Sean ends up marrying, you will never have a bigger fan than me. I will love you like my daughter,” Sean’s dad says. Oh boy. Here come the waterworks.
Then baby-voice Lindsay has her shot. She needs to impress dad! And she does. “The whole time I spent with Lindsay today, I couldn’t find anything that gave me pause,” Dad says.
Even though Sean’s mom likes both girls, she pleads with him not to propose to either. “My mother believes that if I’m in love with both women, I shouldn’t propose to either of them,” Sean says. Hey, that’s good advice. But I’m fairly certain he won’t take it.
On to the dates! Last chance, ladies, to show him how you really feel.
Lindsay goes for it. “When I think about what I want in a husband, you have everything that I’ve ever wanted,” she says to Sean. “When I think about the relationship I want with my husband, we have that. It just keeps getting better and better.”
I would like to interject here. You are in Thailand, in an expensive hotel suite. Of course it keeps getting better.
“I wish I knew what you were thinking,” she says.
“I think I’m glad I’m here right now,” Sean replies. “That you look pretty tonight.”
Up next, kooky Catherine and an elephant ride. The date itself if thrilling, but the end takes a turn for the dramatic. Catherine can’t stand it that she has no idea what Sean is thinking.
Lindsay is oddly confident. “I can’t even imagine when he doesn’t have to hold back anymore, how amazing it’s going to be. I’m just so happy,” she says.
“This is one of the most horrible goodbyes I’ve ever had,” she says. “I feel like s--t, to be honest. I can’t get anything out of him.
“I want him to reciprocate his feelings for me, so that I know why I’ve given this much. Because if it doesn’t happen, I can’t justify that. I can’t predict what’s going to happen, and it’s scary.” She throws herself on the bed and cries.
Sean, on the other hand, wakes up perky and clear-headed. “I woke up this morning, and I just knew that there is a woman I just couldn’t stand to live without.”
Cue Neil Lane, who knocks on the door, bearing engagement rings. “Thanks for coming all the way to Thailand,” Sean says. That’s service!
“I’m so thankful that I decided to take the leap of faith and put myself through this because it’s all paid off,” Sean says, tearing up. “I’m about to dedicate my life to this wonderful woman, and I can’t wait to start our lives together. This is more emotional than I’ve been, ever.”
Lindsay is oddly confident. “I can’t even imagine when he doesn’t have to hold back anymore, how amazing it’s going to be. I’m just so happy. I can’t believe this happened,” she says. “My whole life is gonna change.”
Meanwhile, Catherine is, shall we say, less confident. “I’m having a hard time wrapping my head around what’s going on today, and it’s scary,” she says. “And I want to be excited. It’s just overwhelming me right now.”
Although excited about the upcoming proposal, Sean is distraught about the breakup. “You can’t really comprehend the gravity of the situation until you’re in it,” he says. “I didn’t know it would be this tough to say goodbye. I’m dreading seeing that look on her face.” More tears.
And then Lindsay emerges from the SUV. Is it premonition or a trick?
Those silly editors. They make us think Catherine is going to bolt. But that letter is just her last love note to the man she wants to marry.
“Today is the best day of my life,” she says. “Today is the day I’m gonna get engaged. I’m feeling really calm. But I’m getting really excited.”
Okay. She is definitely getting the boot.
But it starts off positively. Really, it’s the nicest letdown ever.
“You have been such a surprise,” he says. “I knew from the start I loved hanging out with you and being around you. But I didn’t know the depth I would fine. Every time I’m with you I’m amazed. You blow me away. You really do.”
And here it comes. “Lindsay, this is the toughest thing I’ve ever had to do. I want to give you my heart so bad. But my heart’s somewhere else.”
Speaking of his heart, does anyone else think it’s going to burst right out of his chest?
He wants to keep talking. She asks him to stop.
“I really didn’t see this coming,” she says. “I’m happy that you found love. But I honestly can’t imagine my life without you. That’s something I’m gonna have to figure out.”
She takes off her heels and off she goes.
Then Chris Harrison shows up with a note from Catherine. Oh boy. Ominous music. The women in the live audience gasp. What’s in that letter, Chris asks? We’ll find out after the commercial break!
Those silly editors. They make us think she is going to bolt. But it is just her last love note to the man she wants to marry. She makes her away across the bridge.
“There have been so many unexpected, wonderful moments with you,” Sean says to her. “I just had no idea my feelings were going to turn into what they turned into. You never cease to amaze me. I miss you, every time we have to say goodbye.
“I don’t want to say goodbye anymore. Catherine, I want to spend the rest of my life telling you I love you and making you feel like the most special, beautiful woman in the world.”
He slides that rock on her finger. “Oh my gosh. Is this for real?” she asks. “Can you feel my heart? I’m so addicted to you. You’re so my prince.”
Then they hop on an elephant and ride off into the sunset.
“This is the coolest day of my life,” Catherine says.