Go ahead and break out the champagne toast and prepare your speeches because we did it, Joe. We reached The Bachelorette finale.
Let me tell you, it has been a rough couple of weeks, besties; but, by the conclusion of this episode/recap we will finally know how Katie Thurston’s journey
to forget Greg find love ends.
Then we’ll start all over again next Monday with Bachelor in Paradise, but just like a contestant on this show, we’ll process those emotions with a therapist later.
Let’s do this.
Katie Did Not Come to Play
Last week’s episode ended with Katie crying on the floor of a bathroom demanding to go home after Greg dumped her. This week’s episode started with reliving that moment in a drawn-out recap.
Hey, that’s my job.
We get it, she loved Greg, she’s brokenhearted, and now you’re going to try to get us to care about the other two men still left on this season.
Good luck with that.
Before we can get around to Blake and Justin, Katie had a quick convo with Kaitlyn Bristowe and Tayshia Adams in front of a gleeful live audience. You have never seen a group of people more excited to watch this drama go down live. They were salivating. Someone get me tickets to that next season.
Anyway, current-day Katie is no longer crying. She’s pissed. She said Greg’s departure left her questioning her self-worth. Which is not cool.
Katie is disgusted with herself for begging him to stay and disgusted with him for making her question herself. She put “in love” in air quotes. Can we place bets on how bad the bloodbath will be when she finally confronts him in person?
(Hint: it’s bad.)
Okay, back to New Mexico
Since Katie was still curled up in a bathroom somewhere, Kaitlyn and Tayshia had the privilege of telling Blake and Justin that Greg left the show. I believe they used the words “emotionally devastated” to describe Katie’s state of mind, which must have felt super reassuring to her other two boyfriends.
For their part, Justin and Blake were both completely shocked. Sure, they each want to be the last man standing, but not as a default.
Plus, there’s no chance Justin thought he’d actually be there in the end.
No disrespect, but come on, we all know he was supposed to go home before Michael A. He should have been riding that sweet, sweet wave to Instagram sponsorships by now.
Blake is batting clean-up
There’s a reason Blake got the first date after Katie’s heartbreak. These two have fun together. They chased each other around with water balloons filled with paint like a montage from 10 Things I Hate About You and making out in a hot tub. Honestly, that’s just a good post-breakup routine.
While they were in the hot tub she told him that she had a very hard week with Michael A. and Greg leaving and that she thought about quitting the show. Blake’s face was like, “Wait, hold-up you actually liked them when I’ve been here the whole time?!”
But his words were understanding and supportive. And his kissing. So much kissing.
Is The Bachelorette finale about to make me love Blake?
That night at dinner, Blake told Katie “I would never tell you that I was falling in love with you and then get up and leave. I don’t play games with love.” And her poor broken spirit sighed in relief. He could not have been more opposite of Greg in his approach.
Allow me to tell all of you Greg apologists what I mean.
Blake was confident in his feelings without needing or expecting validation from her. All he wanted to be was honest. To that point, he told her specific memories of when precisely he fell for her (the time she yelled, “Go America” after scoring a goal in hockey), and generally made it about her, not him.
So, when the moment came that he said, “I f**king love you,” it felt like she could have responded with “I love looking at your face” and he would have been okay.
See the difference?
Katie was so completely caught up in him and the perfect moment that she got a huge smile on her face and said, “I f**king love you so much.”
I’m not sure what happened to her resolve not to say the L-word until the end but who cares, they’re so f**king cute together. I can’t.
Katie and Blake spent that night in the fantasy being sex-positive and generally convincing me that I’d be a terrible matchmaker.
Also, there was a bottle of maple syrup on their bedside table that night. Do with that what you will.
Oh yeah, Justin is still here
After Katie pulled herself away from the fantasy suite with Blake, Kaitlyn got all the hot goss. She was living for the happily ever after that was happening in front of her, but then she was like, “What about Justin?”
Uh, what about him?
The poor guy showed up for his last date expecting a hot air balloon ride or a horse or something, but instead, Kaitlyn told him that she’s in love with Blake.
He took the news as well as could be expected and told her that he hopes Blake knows what he has in her.
Back in front of the live audience with Kaitlyn, he cried real tears and questioned if he was only kept on the season so long by default.
Katie said no, but, like, the answer is obviously yes. Just ride the wave, Justin. This is the best thing that could ever happen to you. You got the sad edit, without being made a villain. This is how Bachelors are made.
Blake meets the family
If you thought you were ready to meet Katie’s mom and aunt, you were wrong. So was Blake.
Rhonda Lee and Aunt Lindsey did not come to play. Both of them were like, “you better be secure as f**k because you’re only here because we want you here, not because we need you.”
No, really, that’s a direct quote.
Blake won mama Rhonda Lee over by being blindly in love with her baby, but Aunt Lindsey was a whole different vibe.
I don’t think I saw her smile once. It was glorious.
She questioned the logistics of their future together (he’s from Canada, she’s from Washington and he lives in Africa for part of the year, apparently). At one point she straight up asked Blake, “What made you want to go on this season after you flunked the last one.”
Greg would have died.
The internet is calling her Aunt Lydia from Handmaids Tale, but I’m calling her my dream host of this show.
Blake left the meeting looking like his life was flashing before his eyes.
How are we only halfway through this episode?
Seriously, there are still one and a half hours of this episode left and I’m 1,200 words in. This is my life’s work.
Okay, so Blake and Katie went on one more date where they wrote out their biggest fears and then burned them under the skirts of a giant Zozobra with seriously creepy eyes.
It doesn’t seem to bode well when you have that many fears going into an engagement, but what do I know? I’ve only been married for longer than most of Gen Z has been breathing.
Blake just realized what he got himself into
Since Michael A. and Greg yeeted themselves out of order (rude) Neil Lane didn’t have time to fly in or quarantine. Instead, he FedExed some rings to Tayshia and she walked Blake through them.
Which, let’s talk about that for a second. Blake looked at rings under the guidance of Tayshia. As in, his ex from her season. This show is so incestuous. It’s great.
Blake was freaking out as things became more and more real. He stood up and walked away from the rings while he took deeper and deeper breaths. Someone get this man a paper bag.
Tayshia was so concerned that she told him that if he’s struggling this hard he needed to let her go.
First of all, stop it. Second of all, so help me if this season doesn’t end with a happy couple. I literally don’t care who it is at this point.
The Bachelorette Finale, Finally
Finally, it was time for the final rose ceremony. We haven’t seen a rose ceremony at all in about 3 weeks, so we earned this one.
Katie looked gorgeous in a green gown and side part and Blake looked like he was about five seconds away from running for his life.
Kaitlyn and Tayshia greeted him as he exited the limo and gave him some seriously useless advice. Was Kaitlyn trying to make him more nervous by talking about how important this moment was? He’s in a tux in New Mexico, he knows.
When he reached Katie on the platform in front of the lake where she had all of her dates with her other boyfriends, there was an awkward silence. Then Katie started talking.
Hold up, Katie went first?! She’s the lead. She’s supposed to get to make him sweat and wonder if he’s the one. I hate this shift in the power dynamic.
When it was his turn, Blake took a deep breath and said a few nice things that didn’t really make sense, but then he got down on one knee and proposed. All of that angst for nothing? Classic, Bachelorette.
I think the only people who were more excited than Katie and Blake were Kaitlyn and Tayshia.
Then Blake and Katie road off on a pair of horses with a giant ring on her left finger.
What a weird season.
Fight! Fight! Fight!
Love, engagements, happily ever afters, who cares? We want to see Greg and Katie fight. Boy, did they deliver.
Keeping in mind that these interviews were filmed a few weeks ago before his exit aired, Greg came in without the knowledge that half of America thinks he was in the right and half thinks he was in the wrong. Thus, he seemed to expect a nice little catch-up where he would say how hurt he was, but that it all worked out for the best.
Haha, sucker. Katie came locked and loaded.
If you thought Aunt Lindsey was tough, allow me to introduce you to a pissed-off Katie.
She told him that she gave him so much validation throughout the season and he threw it in her face when she needed him most. He said that he needed her to say she loved him and not play a role. She was like, “I’M THE BACHELORETTE THIS IS A ROLE.”
She accused him of acting, never being in love with her, and putting on a show.
For his part, Greg seemed genuinely surprised by her reaction, but he never took responsibility for how he made her feel. It was like “I’m sorry you felt that way, but I’m the injured party here.”
Based on the replies to my Instagram page the audience continues to be split. Some people are firmly team Katie, others think Greg was treated horribly.
Personally, I think she overreacted for someone who is in love and engaged, but I also understand her desire to unload on him after being forced to be silent for weeks while he got a sweet montage after he dumped her.
They’re horrible together. Time to move on.
Some More Blake and Katie
It was a weird transition, but here comes Blake and Katie looking happy.
I know, I have whiplash too.
Suffice it to say that they’re still together, still very much in love, and still engaged. No one is more surprised than I am.
Just kidding, her family is more surprised because they have no idea about the engagement and found out in real-time with the rest of American and Canada.
Aunt Lindsey will not be pleased.
This super weird season ended with like a flash mob of audience members holding up boomboxes and swaying to the song they danced to on their first date.
I…I hope they have a happy life together.
Just like that another season of The Bachelorette is in the bag. I’m pretty sure I took second place in our fantasy league to Bea AGAIN. I won’t be taking questions at this time. We all deserve a long break after this one. Just kidding, Bachelor in Paradise starts next Monday. See you soon!
Heidi is currently obsessed with watching people make bad decisions on TV, being a coastal elite, artificially avoiding any sign of aging, reading feminist romance novels, and getting the biggest laugh at her own expense. She has a husband, 3 kids, a dog and anxiety.