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The Bachelorette Recap: Season Finale

August 2, 2010

Warning: A spoiler land mine is ahead.  Do not read unless you have watched the season finale of The Bachelorette.

Well, we certainly had lots of hints along the way, didn’t we?  I didn’t want to believe them, but so it goes.  At the conclusion of a season rife with unprecedented drama, we got an unconventional, but satisfying ending.

This was a tough call, there were no bad guys.  Roberto and Chris both conducted themselves with class and dignity, and it just came down to personal preference as to who you were rooting for.

After all the crap Ali had thrown her way, it is amazing that she ended up with two genuine, caring men to choose from.  It was a win-win for Ali.  We knew that someone was going to get their heart broken, but I didn’t see the preemptive elimination coming, did you?   I did not even know that such a thing was an option.  (I have not seen the last several seasons of The Bachelor/Bachelorette, so forgive me if this has been done before.)

The first hour of the finale repeatedly drove home some qualities the show obviously wanted us to associate with each Bachelor.  Roberto was portrayed as being romantic, brave, risk-taking, and exciting.  Chris was safe and calm, more akin to a good friend.  At first I thought the producers were trying to throw us for a loop, but if you watched the whole show, you know that is exactly how things played out.

In a telling scene, Ali questioned her mom about “friend” relationships that build over time, vs. passionate/love at first sight type love.  You could tell that Ali was really questioning her relationship with Chris. She knew he was a good guy, she knew she should like him, but it was obvious the chemistry just wasn’t there.  Let’s quickly recap.

This episode revolved around the two finalists, Chris and Roberto, meeting Ali’s family.  Instead of visiting  their hometown, the Bachelorette’s family was flown to Bora Bora, Tahiti to meet the two potential in-laws.

I think this is a much easier way to meet the families than I have seen in past seasons, when nervous suitors have to go to the family’s home town.  Here, they are on somewhat neutral ground.  It’s not like either fella needed the advantage, thought.

Ali gave Roberto the "first impression rose." Love at first sight?

Roberto got a warm reception from Ali’s family.  He was super smooth (without coming across insincere.)  Ali’s mom thinks that Roberto is tall, dark and handsome-just Ali’s type. Roberto knew all the right things to say to Mom. When she asks if he has any questions for her, he plaintively looks at her and says he just wants to know how to make Ali happy, that is his priority.

Well done Roberto, well done, Mom swooned, Dad approved (of Roberto’s request for Ali’s hand in marriage), and you were a major hit with the family.  You even had Mom taking a stab at a little Spanish, trying to explain that “your heart is pure,” and  you schooled the family in the ways of  Salsa dancing. Muy Bien!

Next up, Chris visits the family at their hut.  He explains that when you marry a girl, you marry her family, so he takes this visit seriously. It is immediately revealed that Chris has a lot in common with the family. Chris’s mom was a nurse, Ali’s mom was a nurse, etc.

Inevitably, Chris was asked about his mother, which always makes me nervous, and tugs at my heartstrings. It appears as though he may lose his composure, but he recovers and speaks highly of his deceased mother.

Chris kept it real when he spoke to Ali’s sister Raya.  He admits that their relationship has progressed more slowly than many of the other guys relationships with Ali.  He prefers the more realistic pacing of the relationship.  He comes across as real, and natural. He indicated that he was sure he would be seeing them in the future, which was the final nail in his coffin on the  show.

Never show confidence, we all know this is the kiss of death!

When Dad asks Chris if he loves Ali, he had an awfully hard time saying so. He blathers on about Ali and he like to “hang out.”  Earlier, Roberto had leapt at the chance to proclaim his love for Ali. Chris just seems more cautious and realistic in his relationship expectations, if you ask me.

Still, the family clearly liked both gentlemen.  Ali  keeps talking about how her feelings are all over the place, and she doesn’t know if she can trust the men or her feelings. I don’t blame her after Justin and Frank.

Ali then goes on her final date with Roberto, and it is ridiculously good. They Jet-ski (Ali: “I love adventure. I love riding machines!),  they encounter stingrays (“Roberto wanted to protect me!”) and they make out in the ocean in the rain (“It was magical and romantic!”) Roberto professes his love and gives Ali a framed photo of them together in a heart shaped lagoon.

At the end of the day, Ali does not want to leave Roberto for her date with Chris tomorrow.

Poor Chris :( .  When Ali greets him for their date she is nervous, weird, and visibly upset. She drops the bomb that she is going to let Chris go now, before the final rose ceremony, because she is in love with someone else and wanted to spare him that final day.  Sadness.  Despair.  I want to hug Chris and let him rest on my bosom, and I am sure I am not the only woman who wants to do so.

He is completely torn up, but handles himself with grace and dignity (per usual,) wishing Ali luck the next day.  I’m not exactly soft hearted, but I welled up with tears. But that wasn’t the last of it.  Earlier this season we all heard how Chris’s mom told him to look for her in Rainbows after she died.  No sooner did Ali depart when there was an enormous Rainbow illuminating the sky.

It was just too much.  I broke into huge gasping sobs.  A  production crew can’t fake that, and the rainbow was eery, beautiful, and reassuring all at once.  Chris will never have to worry about getting laid.  He has every woman in America in his pocket by now.

Ali went to see if putting all her eggs in one basket payed off, and indeed it did.  Roberto proposed all the while being a sweaty mess, but the two looked genuinely happy.  Don’t they all?


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