In the intro package for part 1 of “The Bachelorette” finale, Desiree says, “I want someone I can give my heart over, knowing they would never want to break it.” Several things are weird about that sentence, like the absence of “to” and the use of “they” — it’s not as though she’s looking for a plural marriage. But if she is, TLC is eagerly waiting in the wings for “Brother Husbands.”
The package also includes lots and lots and lots of smooches and hugs — UNTIL. Tragedy strikes in the form of one of her boyfriends not being in love with her.
Before we can start anything, we have to relive the entire season via video montage. Remember how Zakkkk seemed like the skippy-dipping d-bag on the first night? Good times. And then did you hear we’re in Antigua? The something-something resort in Antigua, where her fairytale can find its Antigua happily ever after? ANTIGUA.
In the montage of each man’s journey, I can’t help but be struck dumb by Drew’s abs. You think Gosling looked photoshopped in “Crazy Stupid Love”? He ain’t got nothing on Drew. It’s kind of intimidating.
We also have to relive the stupid track metaphor for Desiree and Brooks’ feelings for each other and, based on the what’s-to-come clips, Brooks has slowed to a meander. A mosey? “I’m moseyin’ down the track of love to your heart.”
ANTIGUA! ANTIGUA! We’re in A-N-T-I-G-U-A, ANTIGUA! Do they not let them film there if they don’t agree to say the name at least 25 times in the broadcast?
They end up at a “celebration” by the “locals,” which really means some hired Antiguan extras are paid to stand around and halfheartedly shake maracas before they shuffle back into the restaurant they were grabbed out of.
As they picnic, it’s really striking how Dez and Drew don’t seem to have a romantic spark. They feel more like friends who are being made to make out with each other. But Drew insists he’s ready to marry her, so OK.
The beach bonfire dinner is rained out, so they head straight for the Fantasy Suite, where Dez then gives him the card (ANTIGUA!) because she “wants to know his thoughts.” He’s “ecstatic” to wake up next to Desiree and wish her good morning. And then tells her he’s ready to propose — she’s the one. After nine weeks of her dating multiple men, of course.
They settle in for the night and he says he loves her. Dez loves that Drew makes her feel like a princess, but … that’s not enough, so I’m not sure this is the one for her. But they commence with the canoodling either way.
Meanwhile, back in not-Antigua, Brooks is worried, chewing his lip and everything. He says he has the “option” of telling Desiree that he’s in love with her or NOT telling her. That’s … a weird way to phrase that.
But anyway, he’s going to his mom and sister for advice — about his date in ANTIGUA (it’s like “Hodor” on “Game of Thrones”). The point he makes is that he’s uncomfortable with the idea of proposing and he’s not ready to answer the question, “Do you love Desiree?” because he feels like he’ll mis-say how he actually feels.
Well, that’s kind of your answer right there. Not that I for one second think all the couples at the end of this show are totally in love, but if he can openly admit he’s not there yet, that means she’s not the one for him and he needs to bow out. Which is exactly what his sister tells him, though they hash it out for five more minutes while I take a nap.
Point is — Brooks needs to break it off.
Based on Desiree’s outfit, they are going to listen to a reggae band and smoke massive amounts of weed while someone braids her hair into dreads.
It’s “Dez time” — da nun da na-na-na nuh nuh, da nun da na-na-na nun; da nun da na-na-na nuh nuh, da-na-na-na-na-na nuh — ANTIGUA! Except, twist. They are going to Barbuda. But then they still toast Antigua. Barbuda’s like, “I’m RIGHT HERE.”
And then again, “When in Antigua, do as Antiguans do.” The Barbudans are not pleased. But there’s no time for that, because we must roll in the sand like Deborah Kerr and Burt Lancaster.
You know, Drew is kind of boring, but Chris makes Drew look like a veritable wild man. Chris is maybe the most boring semi-finalist we’ve ever had on “The Bachelorette.” It’s really a shame that Brooks is going to break Desiree’s heart and leave us with Chris and Drew.
At dinner, — what in god’s name is that sound? Are those birds? Or insects? What is happening? It’s so distracting. But not so distracting I miss that Chris tells Desiree she has to move to Seattle. He says it nicer than that, but still. And she totally caves because she can do what she does anywhere. And that’s great and all, but why didn’t she ask him if he’d be willing to move to Los Angeles?
Dez then compliments the way he’d always pay so much attention to her on the group dates, rather than thinking he was clingy and possessive. They also apparently have secret eye messages.
Sorry, but the spark is just not there with these two. I’m barely keeping my eyes open.
They choose to stay in the Fantasy Suite, because Chris wants to “watch the stars,” which is a weird way to phrase that. Like, watch them do what? And then he says it again!
But wait, there’s more! Poetry!
“It’s exciting to see how far this journey has taken us, from places I never knew existed to places I’ve longed to see. All experiences you and I have shared together. And now here we are, one week after you met my family, one week from the possibility of forever, but I’m not nervous, I’m excited.
It’s hard to deny the connecton we’ve made — the chemistry, real compatibility, permanent friendship. Piecing together this journey with new memories, open to what is to come for us in the future, and excited to spend our lives together forever.”
Oh, Chris. Never change.
They then get into a hot tub and make out, then presumably the canoodling commences in the suite.
A title card reminds us we are in Antigua, in case you forgot. Brooks arrives, as Desiree voiceovers that her feelings are deeper for Brooks than either of the other two dopes and it’s like — no kidding. I still can’t believe she sent Zakkkk home.
Brooks needs to talk to Chris Harrison, though. Because the heart won’t lie, even though they’ve had a great time together (Brooks and Dez, not Brooks and Chris Harrison, though they probably had a great time together too).
Brooks admits that he’s not ready to propose if he doesn’t feel it 100 percent, which is the way it should go. You should feel it 100 percent before you propose.
But Harrison wonders if it’s just that Brooks is not sure, or if he’s certain that he’s not in love. Brooks says more time won’t help — if he doesn’t feel it at this point, he won’t feel it.
Now, that’s perfectly valid and all, but this show is asking a lot that people fall in love in nine weeks while only seeing each other sporadically and also while one half of them is dating a bunch of other people. So, needing more time is also a valid way to feel.
In fact, it’d be refreshing if one of these seasons ended with one of the pair saying, “I feel really strongly for you, but I need more time off this show.” Maybe that’s “understood” and the proposal is the facade that they put on, knowing that after the cameras stop rolling, they’ll actually have time to see if it’s real or not. But it’d still be refreshing to see someone admit I’m not ready to be engage
d, but choose me anyway and we’ll see how it goes.
Anyway, the plinky-plunky strains of heartbreak play as Brooks and Chris commiserate about the big yuck bomb Brooks is about to drop on Desiree — especially considering that he’s clearly the guy left who is the one for her (out of the three choices, mind you).
Brooks then literally says, “I just need to have the conversation as soon as I can,” as they sit there and talk about it some more. Harrison thinks it’s important that Brooks show her how conflicted he is and how tough this is for him, and it’s like — NO.
When a guy dumps you, if you really are into him, you don’t care how hard it is for him. Because if it was THAT hard, he wouldn’t do it. It would be the wrong choice. So, he’s making the right choice for him, which is fine, but don’t you dare ask me to feel sorry for you about how hard it is for you to dump me.
And despite wanting to do this ASAP, Brooks has to sit around and look sad for a bit and talk about how hard this is going to be on him. Yeah, poor you.
Again, she deserves to know as soon as possible, just as soon as Brooks name-drops ANTIGUA for the eleventy-thousandth time — such a beautiful place. Frankly, I’m surprised he doesn’t wax poetic about such an ugly thing happening in such a beautiful locale for another five minutes.
We finally get down to business, as a horrible talking-head plays where a seemingly clueless Desiree talks about how excited she is for her date with Brooks while she waits for him on the beach.
You know what’d be awesome? If he opened with, “Desiree, I’m not going to cross the finish line of love.”
Instead, he can’t believe that she took one look at his dour, tear-stained face and knew something was wrong. Yeah, she’s like a mind-reader or something.
As he hems and haws around it, you can see on Desiree’s face that she knows what’s happening and she starts crying pretty early on. But Brooks takes for-ev-er to get to the point, with Dez finally asking him point-blank, “How do you really feel?” and he goes, “I really want to be madly in love with you, you know? … Please don’t cry. Why are you crying?” (UM, WHAT? Don’t be a tool, Brooks).
For her part, Desiree is either a terrific actress or she is pretty devastated. And to her credit, she demands to know, “Why now?” He says he didn’t know before this, except … you kind of did. But it’s more dramatic in ANTIGUA.
There’s almost literally like two solid minutes of just crying, then Desiree says, “I love you,” and he wonders why she didn’t say it earlier and she says she can’t. And she goes, “I told you I was running and after that, I knew I was at the finish line.” Ugh, shut up with that stupid metaphor.
Did anybody else see her seemingly sneak a look out from behind her arm after the “finish line” line? It’s probably nothing, but it really seemed like she was looking for the camera. Snort.
Back from commercial, Dez laments always being in love and it never being reciprocated and how “for once” in her life, she was hopeful and how she has never felt completely loved. Ouch.
And then she declares, “I don’t care that you just broke my heart. I love you.”
Yeah, how does this end now? She can’t choose Drew or Chris at this point, not that she even wants to, from the sound of it. What in god’s name are they going to fill three hours with next week?
Later, Brooks cries as he says he didn’t want to leave her or see her cry, but he didn’t know what else to say. But the whole scene made him question himself. Hmm.
Back from another commercial, Desiree lays it all out there about wanting to have been with him the whole time but, basically, the constraints of this show kept her from doing that. Finally, he leaves and Desiree goes off by herself to cry.
But wait, he’s not actually gone and we get about 50 cuts back and forth between them crying. Oh, get on with it. Show us what’s coming up next week, because it’s kind of baffling at this point.
Desiree ends the two hours by saying it’s over for her, she’s not in love with Drew or Chris, despite how amazing they are.
Then the ominous music swells, like a shark is about to leap out of the water and drag her to a watery grave, but instead —
Next week: They’re apparently still going to make her go through with the final two? Hmm.