Nobody stretches half an hour of content into three hours like The Bachelor. But readers, I fought back, and my weapon of choice was the fast-forward button.
Chris Harrison began the evening by welcoming us to the studio filled with female fans, and before the night was over he even interviewed some of them, bringing him a few precious minutes closer to his three-hour quota.
On to the business at hand: it’s time for Sean’s gabby sister and the rest of the family to meet Catherine and Lindsay. Fairly uneventful stuff but we do see that the hideous top-of-the-foot tattoo that was glimpsed on an earlier show does in fact belong to Lindsay. The Lowes like both gals, but Sean’s mom makes the obvious point that her son doesn’t have to propose to either of them, and if he can’t decide which one he likes better he probably shouldn’t be proposing. It’s sort of like the old football adage “if you have two quarterbacks, you don’t have a quarterback.” Sean says (in so many words) lay off me, Mom.
Then Sean has a date with each of the girls. They’re uneventful except for the fact that Catherine goes on a crying jag after Sean leaves because he isn’t expressing his love for her enough. Now, don’t forget that Catherine went on a crying jag back when Lesley was voted out some weeks ago! The gal cries a fair bit.
This is followed up by a visit from that ring manufacturer and all-around attention whore Neil Lane, making his second appearance of the season. Then we’re back in the studio as Chris interviews some of the former contestants. Lesley looks incredible as always but her go-to “enigmatic/blue steel” look is perhaps getting a bit old, as is her penchant for canned sound bites. Well, she does work in Washington D.C. We also see AshLee who is skeptical about the whole thing and looks less psycho than she did on “The Women Tell All.”
The last three paragraphs of this recap were 90 minutes in real time, mind you! But now it’s time for the final decision. As you may recall from previous seasons, the final two women don’t live together, and don’t know if they’re getting to the site where the Bachelor is before or after the other woman. Of course, the woman who’s being rejected is always the first to arrive at the site. Who will it be? The SUV door opens to reveal… the tattooed foot of Lindsay. She’s wearing really high heels and a dress that reaches to the ground, and she’s walking on gravel, so it takes her quite a while to get to Sean at her snail’s pace. The fact that his face was twisted into a mask of tension might have clued her in. The turn-down is very sad and Sean even says “That’s the hardest part, I love you.” Both are in tears. Amusingly, Lindsay takes off the high heels to walk back to the car.
Then it’s time for something that’s been hyped for weeks… a mysterious personal letter (printed out, not written in longhand, mind you, it’s not that personal). Who could it be from? I guessed that it would either be from AshLee or Desiree or from Sean’s gabby sister, or perhaps even from last year’s Bachelorette Emily. Instead, it’s from Catherine! Is she having second thoughts? No, it’s completely anticlimactic, just basically Catherine saying she’s psyched. What a disappointment! She soon arrives, and the proposal is quite beautiful, and also the Neil Lane logo on the ring box is lit perfectly. Sean and Catherine saddle up on an elephant and ride into the Thai sunset.
Time for After the Final Rose, yes there is still one whole hour to go. Lindsay gets to be reunited with Sean, and of course like all of these girls she wants a specific reason for the breakup, even though Sean simply says that Lindsay is great but he just loved Catherine more. In fact he says it more than once. (Lindsay, if you’re reading this: I think it was the baby voice and the foot tattoo).
Chris Harrison has promised that there is still a blockbuster announcement yet to come. It’s finally time and Sean says that… he and Catherine are going to get married! Er, we already knew you were engaged, bro. Ah, now we get to it: the wedding will be televised on ABC. No big shock there. However, S & C don’t know when all of this is going to be (raised eyebrows all around the audience).
One more blockbuster: the next Bachelorette has to be announced. Well, we’ve seen every main “character” from the season in these three hours with the notable exception of Desiree. So it’s no huge shock when they announce that the Bachelorette will be Desiree. I like the choice. Mere months from now we’ll see a crop of dudes torn between her incredible face and body and her equally incredible (in a bad way) brother.
All in all, Sean was a way better Bachelor than his two immediate predecessors, Brad the Austin bar owner and California winemaker Ben. I have to say I’m not convinced that he and Catherine will live happily ever after. Sean, if I see you around Dallas I’ll buy you a beer, bro.