The final episode began in Northern Finland. Home of Santa Claus, Nick’s sad, depressed family, and roving gangs of angry female department store elves helmed by Amy Schumer’s distant cousin.
For the last three years, Viall family vacations are tied to the ABC production budget. At least Finland was a cool place to visit. As they tentatively waited to meet the two seasonal loves of Nick’s life, they reminisced about meeting his two other TV almost-wives.
“We were devastated after Andi and Caitlin,” Nick’s dad recalled. “People asked if it was possible that it could happen again. Of course it is, I told them! Have you met Nick?”
Nick made a last ditch effort to stir up some drama on the world’s most undramatic Bachelor season ever by pretending to be all terrified he’s gonna get dumped at the altar again. Clearly this was producer mandated because Vanessa was also pretending to have second thoughts about accepting the proposal from a man who doesn’t even have her phone number.
Nick’s sad, traumatized family met Raven first. She was on her best behavior because she knew when you marry someone you marry the whole damn family.
Nick’s little sister Bella (who had the pleasure of meeting Raven a few weeks ago when Nick ambushed her soccer match) pulled Raven aside first.
Bella: Look bitch, I didn’t get yanked out of school to come to this freezing ass place to see my brother get dumped again. Do you know how embarrassing this is for a girl in middle school?
Raven: I’m kind of like a girl in middle school. Only I just had an orgasm!
Bella: So has every girl in middle school, dummy. Get with it. Do you love my big, dumb brother or what?
Bella: Okay! I really like you and hope he picks you. I mean, i don’t know that other girl, but if you promise to say yes, I’m totes sold!
Also sold was Nick’s mom who was convinced Raven couldn’t possibly hurt anyone. Uhhhh, Nick’s Mom? Let me tell you a story about a little, holy, goth girl and her high heeled shoe.
The next day Vanessa got to meet the Viall clan and they were made instantly aware this girl was way out of Nick’s league. Vanessa recanted their first date and that special way Nick looked at her after she threw up his mouth.
“Bingo! That’s what I’ve been looking for my whole life!!”
Vanessa’s approach to meeting the family was a tad different than Raven’s. While the latter was all moony-eyed and ready to pass out save the date cards, Vanessa took a more…what’s the word…realistic approach. First she told Nick’s mom she wanted to end up with Nick, but was scared to get engaged because you know– they don’t really know each other.
Then she told his sister she was worried about where they’ll live and–gasp– having to compromise.
Finally she asked his dad if love was all you needed to make a relationship work.
“Nope,” his dad said. “You need compromise, selflessness, willingness to stop going on dates in front of cameras, desire to live in the same country.”
And then he burst out crying.
And then she burst out crying.
And then they hugged.
Later Nick and his dad chatted about chicks.
Dad: You have a type.
Nick: No, I don’t.
Dad. You do. You like women you meet on TV.
Nick: Nah, not always. I banged that chick from Jade and Tanner’s wedding.
Dad: Don’t forget your track record.
Nick: Right. Good talk, Dad. Good talk.
Afterwards, the family then discussed options with Nick like maybe eHarmony or a personal ad or hooking up with college students at a bar. Dad said he’d be cool with either girl. Mom thought Raven’s eagerness to get a proposal might be a red flag.(Ya think, Nick’s Mom?)
Nick kept harping on the fact that there was a very real chance that one of these girls could dump his ass if he proposes because…you know… it’s happened. Twice.
Overall, Nick’s family is just about done with this TV nonsense.
Then it was time for the last dates before the inevitable proposal.
Vanessa put on her tall hat and joined Nick for an afternoon experiencing Nordic traditions like horseback riding and hanging out with Santa Claus. Vanessa felt like she was back in her childhood when she would ride a horse up mountain, knock on a random cabin, and a strange foreign man would wave her in.
Santa gave the couple some fertility-boon laser etched wood plaque depicting their faces before sending them off to have another weird conversation about their future.
Vanessa cried. Nick mumbled. She was upset. He was clueless. Did she want to say yes if he proposed? Would he move to Canada? Did she even really like him? She was determined to get reassurance later that night.
Vanessa: Everytime I ask you a question I get a very general answer.
Nick: ABC is making me be vague. It’s not good for ratings if I tell you I’m gonna pick you before the finale even though everyone knows I’m going to.
Vanessa: It’s not fair to make me wait and pretend Raven is actually competition. TELL ME!
Nick: Well I’ve been dumped on TV twice so I am very careful with my heart. Does that make sound romantic and hopeful or like the jaded, cynical prick I am?
Vanessa: Are you ready to propose?
Nick: Isn’t Finland beautiful?
Vanessa: I hate you.
Nick: I know. I hate me too.
Vanessa: That might be the only thing we have in common.
Then it was Raven’s turn, which meant another horrific music montage this time accompanying Nick and Raven’s ice skating date. They groped and spun and almost fell down as Kiss Me–a song as dated and cheesy as they are– played in the background. Raven was giddy thinking this was her last date as a single person ever.
Once again their afternoon cumulates with some having petting on an inappropriate surface.
After skating they warmed up by a fire. Nick left to retrieve a surprise and came back with three adorable husky puppies.
“I hope my kids with nick are as cute as these puppies!” Raven squealed.
The evening portion of the date took place at a chalet where Raven exuded more confidence in iIck being the person she was supposed to be with it.
“It’s a true love, y’all!
Nick toasted and thanked her for being there, sleeping with him, and allowing herself to fall in love. She thought that was so dang sweet.
Raven: So how are you doing? I mean, without giving too much detail. I don’t wanna get bored.
Nick: Man, it’s hard. This is a lot of pressure. You think it’s easy to have two girlfriends?
Raven: I never said that.
Nick: It’s hard! Thank goodness there’s PA’s around to help me remember your names.
Raven: Well, let me tell you, I will totally say yes when you propose. I’m ready! No hesitation! Vote for me!
Nick: Aw, now you’re sweet. You’re so sincere. It’s so hard to imagine you nearly bludgeoning someone to death with a shoe.
Now, if you’ve ever watched this show you know exactly how it’s going to turn out. There’s always one over-confident contestant and one humble one. Clearly he’s not going to pick the over-confident one because– hello! DRAMA. No freakin’ way.
Nick went back to his Nordic dungeon and thought about these two doomed relationships and let his heart guide him to the one who would earn him the most publicity.
At last, the world’s most famous traveling ring salesman showed up to schelp his overdesigned wares.
Nick: Neil Lane! We meet again!
Neil: Seriously man. You’ve been on this show almost as many times as I have.
Cut to Vanessa who was already sobbing in her evening gown. She was having some serious hesitations about getting engaged to this yahoo. There were still so many questions. Where will they live??? How could she leave her family??? Does Nick even have a job???
Then there was Raven, working on her Dream Wedding Pinterest board and waxing on about how Nick is everything she ever wanted.
“I believe in fairy tales! I’m ready! Bring it on!!!”
Nick was worried that if he proposed to Vanessa she might actually say no. She kept wanting answers to stupid logistical questions and reassurances about his stupid feelings. So lame. Maybe he should propose to Sure Thing Raven so he could finally live out his dream of getting engaged on national television. Then he burst into tears at the thought of having to dump someone the way he had been dumped all those times before.
The first limo pulled up and you know whomever gets out first is the reject. To my delight, Raven in a gaudy silver bridesmaid-to-a bride-who-clearly-hated-her-friends-dress stepped out. Yay! #sorrynotsorry.
She didn’t waste any time launching into a diatribe about how much she loved him and how he’s everything she ever wanted.
It took a while, but she finally got it. He didn’t kiss her on the mouth. They weren’t making out on a bed of straw and shards of glass. He wasn’t even smiling. Hmm…
NIck: Uhh, I really care about you, I respect you. I have much love for you. But umm… I just don’t think I’m in love with you. Miss you!
Raven: I know.
Raven: It’s cool. I can always be the next Bachelorette!
Nick: Umm, no you can’t. They already picked Rachel.
Raven: Rachel? But she’s black!’
Nick: Lemme walk you out.
Not only did Raven not get a ring, she didn’t get to retrieve her coat! Poor girl was freezing in the back of a limo wondering why Jesus won’t just let her be happy.
I was surprised she held it together so well. Oh wait, never mind!
Lights up. We see girl in desperate need of of a haircut and color crying and shivering in the back of a limo. She has a tiny mouth, like someone painted over her real mouth with flesh colored paint and taped a black pipe cleaner in it’s place. Yes, a black pipe cleaner. She’s grossly overdressed and clearly freezing because she doesn’t have a coat. As she speaks, she is overcome with emotion, barely able to get the full impact of her self-loathing across.
Girl in Limo: Is it that no one can feel that way about me? I wish I could find love. But I don’t even know if that’s possible. So why even look? It’s probably not possible. Now I have to go back to Arkansas and have my creepy brother spy on me and all the guys I take into the grain silos to make out with and them beat up with my shoe. Sigh…
Nick confessed he had been falling in love with Vanessa for a long time and was still fake worried about getting dumped. But he had been fighting the feeling for a long, long time and gosh darnit, he wasn’t fighting it anymore! He was going to ask her to marry him!
Vanessa spent her limo ride fretting over if Nick was really ready to deal with the pressures that came with an engagement like people constantly asking where you’re going to live and what will you do for a living. So annoying.
As they came face to face in the candlelit Nordic lodge, Nick said he knew the exact moment he fell in love with her. (HINT: It was after she threw up in his mouth.)
“When I look at you, all I see is my future and includes several covers of Us Weekly dedicated to our engagement and subsequent break up.”
Then Vanessa made a big, dumb speech.
“I didn’t think you would notice me. But instead you noticed every part of me. Thank you for taking another chance on love.”
Oh, please. What is this crap? OMG, who cares? No! NOT ME! IT’S NOT REAL, SHELLY!
So yeah, they’re probably broken up by now, which is why I wasn’t rushing to post this, but I know what you’re thinking: What will Nick do now that the cameras are turned off? Go away and enjoy life outside of the public eye? Reconnect with his sad family? Get to know his new fiancé? Oh hell no!
And the Universe has realigned itself.
Rachel, we are ready for you. Don’t disappoint us.