Dear producers of The Bachelor, when you build up a show’s last episode as “the most controversial finale” ever, you have a lot to live up to. That said, it does keep your audience on the edge of their seat, wondering, “Will Lindzi make out with Ben’s sister? That would be controversial.” or “Will Ben and Lindzi’s gondola snap, forcing them to recreate Alive?” or “Will Courtney run off with Chris Harrison?” So many controversial possibilities and yet the conclusion was the exact outcome we’d been expecting all along.
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Most Important Camera Shot: Not even three minutes in to the finale, and there were at least seven distinct shots of people standing at railings and staring into the distance. This means serious television is happening.
Creepiest Compliment: As Ben prepared to introduce Lindzi to his mom and sister, the only thing he could say about her is that when he watches her, she lights up a room. He says it twice, which begs the question: Where is he watching her from? The bushes outside her window? Also, Lindzi is not getting the final rose.
Biggest Eyeroll: Upon meeting Ben’s family, Lindzi told the camera that she had never felt about anyone the way she felt about Ben. Not even the ex who dumped her via text. Ben returns the favor by announcing unequivocally that he could see himself spending the rest of his life with Lindzi.
Most Awkward Situation: Lindzi did her best to get along with Ben’s mom and sister, and it mostly worked even though she said things like, “I get stressed out when I have to eat proper,” as she dropped her fork. However, Ben’s sister is the one to impress in the family, so when she rudely asked Lindzi about Courtney, Lindzi had no choice but to talk about the enemy. She diplomatically said, “We’re very different people,” three times. If you can’t say anything nice.
Worst Assessment: When Ben’s mom figuratively patted him on the head by telling him that Lindzi was a “great” girl, you know she’s doomed.
Team Ben’s Sister: When Julie said, “The idea of a model as a sister-in-law? Oh god, Ben, come on,” we knew she was one of us.
Round Two: As Ben prepped his family to get to know the real Courtney, he told the at-home audience that he had had an “incredible feeling” about Courtney from the moment he met her. (Is it one of those feelings they talk about in health class?) Ben whined that he wouldn’t know what to do if Courtney didn’t get approval from his mom and sister. (Maybe pick the other girl?)
Biggest Shock: When Julia gave Ben her insights into Courtney, she started, “First impression? I’m shocked.” But instead of following that up by saying that she was shocked that Ben was such a ridiculous stereotype with terrible taste in women, Julia announced, “She’s sweet. You can’t judge a book by its cover.” That is true, unless you’ve watched the book be menacingly bitchy on national television for ten weeks. While Julia seemed to believe that Courtney was honest with her, it’s hard not to believe that Courtney is just a really really good actress.
Bad Sign: Oh Lindzi, when you’re on the last date before your potential engagement, you probably shouldn’t say things like, “I really like where this is going!” and “Do you see a future with me?”Also, when you tell a man you love him and he says, “Good,” you should run.
“Good” Sign: Things you do want to hear on the last date before your potential engagement. “I’ve always wanted to feel this way about a girl.” “My mother and sister loved you. Seal of approval!” Then Courtney and Ben make conjoined snow angels and somehow ride a sled down a mountain without making it a a metaphor about marriage.
Ride of his Life: For their final date, Ben took Courtney on a helicopter ride. Again. However, he swore that this helicopter ride was one of the top ten things he’s done in his life. The other nine things being riding in helicopters with nine other women, right?
Scrapbooking’s Big Moment: Courtney wanted to make a big last impression on Ben, and what better way to do that than with a scrapbook? While Blakeley tried this earlier in the season, Ben is now open to and vulnerable to the fact that his future involves scrapbooks. So when Courtney made one complete with “a love letter from my heart to yours,” it somehow worked.
Best Job in the World: As Ben prepared to propose to one of the two women in his life, the luckiest jeweler in the world — Neil Lane — was flown to Switzerland to spend ten minutes with Ben as he picked a diamond ring for Courtney.
Fashion Trend Alert: Inexplicably, both Lindzi and Courtney wore full length Harry Potter cloaks to meet Ben and await his proposal. Lindzi’s is green velvet with the power to blend into the forest, while Courtney’s was clearly bought at the Super Villain Surplus Shop. Question is, which of these Jedi-looking mofos would Ben propose to?
The Big But: Lindzi stepped out of the helicopter, stared up at Ben through her waterproof mascara lashes and waited for Ben to propose. Instead she heard Ben declare, “I love you, BUT I’m in love with someone else.” Lindzi shivered, cape-less, as Ben assured her that she’s great. Even his mom said so. As Ben walked her to the helicopter, Lindzi announced, “I’m mad at myself for not giving you what you needed,” which has to be a fantasy suite reference, right? Then adding to the tragedy wrapped in velvet cape, Lindzi added, “And if things don’t work out, call me.” Ugh, trade the cape for a backbone, girl.
The Big Finale: Ben tried to do a fake out, telling Courtney that after his national embarrassment with Ashley on The Bachelorette, he swore he would never get down on one knee again. But he can’t pull it off. He loves Courtney. She is his “forever.” He got down on one knee and handed over a Neil Lane diamond. Courtney said yes, and then ring ogling and kissing ensued. Hopefully Courtney was already plotting what she would do to fix Ben’s hair.
The Other Big But: It was all sunshine and roses when we left Courtney and Ben high on a mountain in Switzerland, but then the show actually aired and Ben got a glimpse of the Courtney that America had seen. On Chris Harrison’s couch during After the Final Rose, Ben admitted they broke up. The audience gasped in shock, because apparently they had not read an US Weekly magazine in the last two months. When Chris pointed out that Ben was warned about Courtney, several times, Ben blamed the women for not being specific enough about Courtney’s evilness. After Courtney cried and Ben apologized for dumping her for being awful, Chris asked the couple if they were in fact still a couple. They shrugged and claimed non-committally, yeah. Chris then made Ben give Courtney the Neil Lane diamond ring again, probably for contractual reasons. And then they lived happily ever after. Or at least until they completed the obligatory rounds of morning talk shows.
Silver Lining: It’s highly unlikely that The Bachelor producers will ask Courtney to be The Bachelorette any time soon.