We finally made it to the season finale! Will JoJo choose Robby, the former competitive swimmer, or Jordan, the former NFL quarterback? By the end of this post we will know, and I will have updated my resume to "Former Bachelorette Recapper." Sweet relief!
This episode is three-hours long, an entire hour longer than a normal episode of The Bachelorette. This is an interesting choice by the producers, because three hours is the exact amount of time it takes to feel a resigned indifference to this entire charade.
I imagine a single fan is responsible for this three-hour torture test. This man, in my mind, called ABC’s top brass, and the convo went like this: "Hi yes, I would like to watch a woman agonize over which stubbled Nilla Wafer she wants to marry, and make it as painfully drawn out and punctuated with unnecessary shots of a live viewing audience as possible! I imagine it'd take about an hour — an hour and a half, tops. What's that? You'll double that? Great! Now if you'll excuse me, I have to go back to my day job as Twitter egg."
Jordan is the first to meet JoJo's family. He brings them silly hats that he bought at the Thai market. This is the equivalent of realizing you didn't buy souvenirs for your friends you don't really care about, so you stock up on Toblerones at the airport. Nevertheless, he charms the pants off of everyone, but doesn't do the one thing that JoJo wants, which is get her parents' blessings to marry her.
The next day, it's Robby's turn to meet JoJo's family. Robby, being Robby, gushes aggressively about JoJo and asks her parents for her hand in marriage, moving them to tears. After meeting both abysmal choices, JoJo's family decides that Robby is the lesser of the two evils. Upon hearing this news, JoJo has another tearful breakdown, which makes her brother suspect that Jordan is the one she wanted all along.
Later, JoJo confronts Jordan on why he didn't ask her parents for their permission, and he stammers through his explanation. He says confusing things like how he's completely committed to JoJo, but claims that asking her to marry him would be a huge "leap of faith." It's the most frustrating, roundabout conversation in which nothing is made clear. What show are we watching again?
Finally, we're at the final rose ceremony, and the boys each write heartfelt notes to their would-be future wife. We see a glimpse of Jordan's note, and it definitely contains the phrase "sick to my stomach." Robby's handwriting is ALL CAPS, which makes me suspect Robby is one of those technologically helpless people on Facebook who don't know how to turn off caps lock.
Robby is the first to step out of the limo. He gives an impassioned speech about "forever" to a very strained-looking JoJo, who appears to be passing a kidney stone. She lets him go on for an unmerciful amount of time before interrupting him and telling him she can't be with him. She sends him away in a tearful goodbye and we switch back to the live viewing room, which is now completely silent. The camera zooms in on the reactions of the stunned audience members.
Then in struts Jordan! I honestly thought JoJo would choose to be alone, considering all the times she doubted Jordan's intentions and his snake-like behavior. But he gets down on one knee and pops the question, and she accepts. Bachelor Nation does a collective eye-roll, and we begrudgingly go into the third hour: the After the Final Rose show.
After the Final Rose is a Hunger Games Cesar Flickerman-style interview at the live viewing party in which Chris Harrison talks to the contestants about where it all went wrong. The audience is a weird mix comprised of previous bachelor Ben and the woman he chose to love more than JoJo, the new Bachelor in Paradise cast (including Chad and Damn Daniel), and the Dallas Cowboy cheerleaders.
JoJo and Jordan make their first public appearance as an engaged couple. The two reflect on how difficult it's been after the show, what with all the rumors swirling around and the tabloids constantly trying to sabotage their relationship. As a member of the media, I want wish these two crazy kids — and you dear readers — the best of luck in the only way I know how: with a tabloid cover that I made up. Mazel tov! May our futures be bright, and may Chad's protein repositories never run empty.