July 23, 2012

The Bachelorette: There's Also Only One F in Fiance

The Bachelorette Finale
In "the most anticipated event of summer television," Emily will wrap up her journey of maybe finding her true love.  Emily's parents, her brother, future sister-in-law, and Ricki are brought down to Curacao to help with the big decision.  Ricki immediately violates two of life's major rules: 1. no running by the pool, 2. no fanny packs ever.

Both Jef and Arie meet Emily's family (not at the same time, but let's condense their meetings for brevity).  Decked in their Tommy Bahama best (except dad who wears a denim shirt with a company monogram for Arie), they grill Emily's guys about how much they love her.  Shocker, both guys are head over heels for Emily, want to be a good dad, and want to marry her.  Mom is happy, skeptical brother ends up liking both guys, and dad easily approves both requests for Emily's hand in marriage.  Weirdly though, the family seemed to think Arie was going to be selfish.  Wonder if mom googled Reality Steve's spoilers.  It's a gift of all his dried up roses from Emily that shows mom that Arie's a decent dude.  Or a hoarder.

Emily pow wows to find of "what y'all think" about her guys.  No one has a clear opinion of which guy is a better pick (my opinion: vote of which one's dumb hair you prefer).  Emily feels like the family isn't giving a true opinion, afraid to offend her, but they are seriously torn.  Emily says she is in love, but her dad doesn't think it's possible to love two people at once.  Mom points out that the most important thing is how they interact with Ricki and Emily says she doesn't think she wants Ricki to meet them. SAY WHAT? Ok... Since Emily is torn, mom encourages not getting engaged and wait to see how they do get along with Ricki.  Suddenly Emily questions everything: are either of these guys right for her if she doesn't truly know the right choice yet?  Oh the problems of the young, beautiful reality show lead.
Jef and Emily meet up on the beach for their last date together.  Jef wants to know how she's feeling, what she's thinking, why she's stressed.  Jef isn't stressed because he feels so sure, a feeling he didn't think would happen.  Jef's concern is not meeting Ricki, the biggest part of her life and family. It's one of the most serious discussions I think I've seen on this show, a true back and forth discussion of Emily's concerns, regrets from the Brad saga, Jef's concerns, pros/cons, etc.  Deep stuff, yo!  But because Emily is so confident (but still a bit hesitant), Emily decides to introduce Jef to Ricki.  Emily brings Jef back to her place where Ricki is swimming and after a minutes awkward minutes Ricki loves Jef and they're playing in the pool together.  Jef and Ricki's bonding makes Emily smile, knowing for sure Jef would be an awesome dad and husband.  Later that night, Emily meets Jef for their final dinner and talk about what a good day they had (good sign: Ricki wants to hang with Jef again).  They recap their slow-to-develop but now wonderful relationship and agree they both love hanging out with each other, then thank each other a bunch.  As always on last dates, Jef gives Emily a book of Curacao as a gift to remind her of the time she spent her, hopefully with him by drawing stick figures into the places they visited.  Emily feels like Jef gets her, and she gets him and they kiss a bunch.  As Emily leaves, Jef stands in the rain and lightning in deep thought, hoping the last kiss goodbye from Emily won't be his last.

The next morning, Emily explains she's woken up with a feeling of peace about what she needed to do.  There's a knock on the door and it's Chris Harrison, who Emily hopes can help her out with this process seeing as he's seen numerous couples go through this experience.  Emily tells Chris how she introduced Jef to Ricki because whatever she wants in the end of this, any sort of commitment means she needed them to know the full her.  Emily was worried that she'd be going back and forth until the final day, torn between two guys, but the Jef visit solidi fed it for her: Jef is the one for her.  The ut-oh: Arie.  Emily doesn't want to crush Arie and can't even feel happy for the joy she has found, knowing she's gotta be the dumper to another guy who loves her.  Emily still has a date with him today and doesn't want to lead him on for a whole day because it's not fair.  Chris thinks what Emily is doing the right thing and to be as honest with Arie as she has been in the conversation with Chris.  Sage advice from the man with limited hand gestures.
Arie arrives at the date first, making a love potion for Emily alone with some local lady at a botanical garden.  Oh dear god, this is the most depressing lead-up to a dumping ever.  Arie hopes his love potion will work and Emily will say she loves him back, he'll propose, he'll meet Ricki and they'll be together forever.  Emily arrives, walking out of her car with her arm crossed and such a stink-face, but plasters on a smile for Arie.  He gives her the love potion, applying it to her arms, and she's using her mom voice.  The vibe is definitely weird and Arie can sense something is up.  Emily breaks down into tears and begins to deliver the bad news.  Early on Emily felt like her guy was definitely him, but something changed for her, and he's baffled.  She's crying, he's shrugging and looking off in shocked confusion.  Emily's explanation is that in the end, she just has more confidence in Jef.  Arie gets up to leave because he has nothing left to say so walks away, though he thanks her for not having to face the embarrassment of having a proposal rejected.  A quick peck on the cheek, and Arie hops into the SUV to lament his loss.  I too thought early on Emily and Arie was a done deal, but the last two or three weeks you could just see in Emily's face the love she had for Jef.

The Arie ordeal over, Emily wakes up happy, relieved, and ready to write all this stuff in her journal.  Jef has the edge Emily wanted, yet is kind, sweet, and a great potential husband and dad.  Emily thinks they'll be a team and can't wait for Jef to know not only was he the only guy to meet Ricki, but he's the only guy that will see her that proposal day.  Meanwhile, Jef meets the Neil Lane guy, relieved to not be donating another ring to Brad Womack's romantic endeavors.  Jef says that Emily makes him feel like he's found someone that fits her perfectly and she's everything he's ever wanted and more.  Jef is hoping he'll hear Emily say she loves him, Emily isn't sure she wants to be engaged, fearing perhaps this won't all workout and she'll be alone again.  Oh Brad you ruined everything!

In a peach/blush flowing evening gown with a beaded top, Emily at her flowered altar/steps for Jef to arrive.  Jef is looking sharp in his suit, his Brandon Walsh hair looking a bit shorter than usual, arrives at the venue.  They greet each other with hugs and compliments and a speech from Emily: she tells him this whole experience was worth it and she believes he is her soulmate and she loves him.  Emily tells him that she is so sure in him and Arie isn't even there today; this is their day.  Jef gives another one of his fantastic speeches about his love for her and how well they click, ending in a proposal.  Of course Emily says yes and they kiss and it's wonderful.  Ricki comes running out and they leave the three of them hand-in-hand.  No I'm not tearing up a little, I'm chopping onions!!!  Though huge jeers to the awful montage of their relationship set to Chicago/Karate Kid 2's "Glory of Love."  C'mon now, CORNY.

And I have to say it people... I'm really glad I didn't read the spoilers this season.

After the Final Rose
After the Final Rose has actually been live the entire finale night.  The live audience laughed and cried live to the episode, though my favorite were the long shots of stunned silence after Emily dumped Arie. Major LOL for the sad faces.  Because there isn't an extra date to drag out 10-15 minutes, Chris Harrison talks to former Bachelorettes Deanna and Ashley, Ashley's winning fiance JP, past contestant who got cut early in Brad's season Ashley S (who writes awesome recaps, BTW), and fan favorite Michael Stagliano about Emily's difficult choice and Arie's heartbreak. 

With the episode done, Chris Harrison brings Emily (and her straight hair) out on stage to swoon over Jef.  Sure the giant donated ring is gorgeous, but for Emily it's about the amazing guy that she got.  

But first, Arie comes on stage and it makes Emily nervous to see him as she has some guilt over the crappy dumping in Curacao.  Arie's given an open forum to talk and he says that watching the show really helped him, sort of cathartic.  He's glad Emily's happy, but he's still hurt and he was quite shocked at the dumping.  Arie wanted some real closure because he didn't have a good reason for the dumping in Curacao.  Emily, now better at being direct, tells Arie she's sorry but she purely had more long-term confidence with Jef.  And then we find out that after leaving Curacao, Arie flew to Charlotte hoping to see Emily, hiding out from the world because he couldn't deal, seeking closure or a new beginning.  But when Arie got there, he decided he had more respect for Jef (his BFF during the show) and Ricki and this move didn't feel right.  They chatted on the phone, Arie left a journal for her to read about his feelings, and went back home.  Emily never opened the journal, because reading another person's journal is shitty, and brought the journal to give it back to Arie.  And then they beat the journal/closure topic like a dead horse, over and over.  But the good news is Arie and Jef are still buds, talking on the phone, and knowing about Jef and Emily's happiness through those calls helped Arie move on.  Thanks for the long ramble that'll be your Bachelor audition reel.

Finally able to be together in public, Jef comes out to join Emily and bask in their love.  Jef talks about how Emily is actually funny but the show didn't show it, she's a great mom, caring, gorgeous; endless adjectives.  They've actually visited each other nearly every weekend, sometimes with Ricki too, a sweet bonding little family.  They tease Emily for taking so long to say yes to the proposal, but Emily admits fear and not wanting to be engaged fifteen times and never make it down the aisle.  Now that they can be in the open, they're going to Africa together to build wells and do humanitarian stuff.  They've also decided that the best move for the relationship is for Jef to move to Charlotte, that way Ricki doesn't have to be uprooted from friends and family.  It's kind of awesome for once it's not expected of the woman to move wherever the guy goes.  There's a wedding in the works, but Emily hates to admit it because of the whole cliche of the show and coming on the finale blabbing about the wedding.  Good to see a happy couple, hope it works out for them.  In good news for me, after all the snarky there's a happy ending and I can continue being a jerk with Bachelor Pad recaps!