Paul Hebert—ABC
By Melissa Locker
March 6, 2018

Are you ready for the most dramatic finale of The Bachelor ever? Arie’s journey to find love is coming to a dramatic end, but drama is what you get when you tell two women that you love them. Still, Chris Harrison keeps promising that this finale will be unlike anything we have ever seen — and then brings up Jason Mesnick who chose one woman and then immediately tossed her over for the runner-up. Chris Harrison swears that Arie is about to become the most controversial Bachelor in history, but it was all done * cue up the U2 * in the name of love.

Before the fun really begins, Arie welcomes his family to Peru. He tells his dad that Becca is funny and goofy and sexy, which Arie loves. With Lauren there is more of a risk, because she has said about 17 words over the last eight weeks and has been engaged twice already. Still, Arie loves them both, in different ways. His dad just rolls his eyes, which is the correct response.

Here’s what happened on the most dramatic finale of The Bachelor ever (kind of):

Lauren Meets the Parents

When Arie reunites with Lauren in Cuzco, Peru, he hopes she can relax and be herself, which frankly is a pretty low bar. Lauren tells Arie’s dad that she’s been engaged before and is worried that this relationship will crumble, too. Arie’s dad isn’t sure what to say about that. Elsewhere, Arie’s family asks Arie if he and Lauren stay up all night talking and Arie smiles mysteriously, but doesn’t answer, because he doesn’t want to admit that Lauren does not talk. Arie tells his family that he loves making Lauren feel safe and says something about while how Lauren doesn’t talk much, he swears she has flashes of an actual personality.

Becca Meets the Parents

The family thinks Lauren is a good choice, but they promise to try and keep an open mind about Becca. So, they spend the entire afternoon comparing Becca to Lauren and asking Becca about Lauren and grilling Becca about her feelings about Lauren and Becca has no choice but to smile politely while plotting the best way to exact revenge on her possible in-laws. By the end of the afternoon, Arie’s dad tells Becca that he doesn’t really care who Arie chooses, which almost makes Becca crack. Becca rolls her eyes and says, “Lauren and I are so different, it’s like trying to compare an apple to a starfish.”

After meeting both women, Arie polls his family. Everyone agrees that Lauren is nice, but they all think that Becca is a better fit for him. She is an independent person who has an actual personality and uses her words like a big girl. Arie looks flummoxed.

Wonders of the World

Lauren and Arie take a train to Machu Picchu for their final date, but instead of talking about the fact that they are seeing one of the most magical, mystical sites in the world, they talk about how much they like each other. At Machu Picchu, Lauren looks around and says, “Cool.” Then they go back to making out, which is probably disrespectful to the site. In case anyone missed it, Arie announces again that he loves Lauren. At least he didn’t write in on rocks.

Back at the hotel, Arie asks Lauren about their life together and she lists off normal people activities like TV and wine. She interviews that Arie must want to marry her if he asked her about their future.

Llama Drama

Poor Becca, she went all the way to Cusco but didn’t get the date to Machu Picchu and had to take Lauren’s sloppy seconds with Arie’s family. They wander through the streets of Cusco and make friends with some alpacas. The ghost of Lauren travels with them, though. Arie interviews things like, “I thought I liked Lauren, but now I like Becca,” like he hasn’t learned object permanence. Later, Becca asks Arie if he has any doubts and he admits that he is conflicted. If Becca was a smart woman, at that giant red flag, she would saddle up a llama and ride off into the sunset to go see Machu Picchu and never look back until Chris Harrison names her the Bachelorette. Instead, she just smiles at Arie and pretends this is a normal thing for a man to say to a woman he supposedly loves the night before he proposes to her.

Help Line

Arie is conflicted. He doesn’t know what to do, because he doesn’t want to be half in with someone while thinking of someone else. Back in the U.S., Chris Harrison asks two experts for their advice — Ben Higgins who also told two women he loved them and Jason Mesnick who got engaged and then changed his mind. They both do the verbal equivalent of pointing and laughing and telling Arie that he made his bed and has to deal with the consequences. Or, as mature human Bekah M. points out, if you are this conflicted, maybe don’t propose to anyone? Alternatively, maybe Arie will choose an alpaca?

The Break Up

Neil Lane finally shows up in Peru and Arie picks a ring. Just like he did five years ago when he proposed to Emily before she broke up with him. He knows he is getting engaged and unless this show’s dramatic finale involves a polyamorous proposal, someone is getting dumped. Arie goes to wait and when the first limo pulls up, Lauren gets out. She makes a heartfelt speech to Arie about how much she loves him and he lets her do the entire thing. He tells her that he “wanted it so bad” for them, but “can’t go through with it.” He swears he fell in love with her. She says, “I’m extremely confused,” like he overloaded her motherboard. She wishes him the best and walks off. As he puts her in the limo, he says, “I love you,” and she should have kicked him in the shins but didn’t. Instead she cries in the limo and tries to make sense of it all.

The Proposal

Becca tells Arie she loves him and he makes her so happy and she loves him. He gets down on one knee, pulls out the Neil Lane diamond ring, and tells her that he loves her, he chooses her today and everyday, and is already picturing their children together. Then he asks her to marry him, she says yes. They kiss, the camera zooms in and out, the music swells, and Becca accepts the final rose. She cheers that it’s finally just the two of them and Arie asks her when she wants to start having babies. The llamas look surprised. Then Becca accidentally drops her rose and the symbolism is too much for everyone, even the llamas.

The Twist

While Becca thinks she just found her happily ever after, Chris Harrison assure the home audience that this is simply not true. Arie says he and Becca are happy, but he can’t stop thinking about Lauren. He feels guilty about Becca, but doesn’t think it’s fair to her to be engaged to her and in love with someone else. Yeah, that is pretty much decent human behavior. He announces that he is going to dump her, but because he is all class, he tells the producers so that cameras can capture the entire thing. The live studio audience hisses at the news. Arie invites Becca to L.A. for some alone time, which she thinks is for a romantic weekend with her fiancé but is actually so that she can be dumped for a blonde on national television.

The Dumping

Because they are sadists, Chris Harrison announces that they decided to film the entire break-up and air it unedited. Arie walks in and gives Becca a big hug, but is acting so strangely that Becca knows something is up. In a “dramatic” split screen format with cameras focused on both of their faces, Arie tells Becca that he can’t stop thinking about “her” and staying with Becca is ruining his shot of reconciling with Lauren. She delivers the correct response, “Are you f—ing kidding me?” Arie then blames Becca for telling him to follow his heart. He tells Becca it wasn’t fair to her to be half in with her, and when Becca asks if he is going to be half in with Lauren, too, he says no. This is just cruel. You sign up for a lot when you sign up for The Bachelor, but you don’t sign up for this. This should not have been filmed — and Bachelors Sean, Ben, J.P. and Kaitlyn and Molly Mesnick and pretty much everyone else agree, save for some diabolical producer at ABC.

Becca finally has enough and walks out. Arie follows her (probably to ask for the ring back) and she tells him to please go. He says they have more to talk about, but she disagrees. She cries in the bathroom, away from the cameras, and Arie knocks on the door gently, “Are you okay?” All of Bachelor nation rolls their eyes simultaneously and the Earth tilts slightly on its axis. Becca curls up into a fetal position, begging Arie to leave, and he finally does.

Becca, glutton for punishment, shows up in the studio with Chris Harrison. He asks her if she wants to see Arie again and she’s like, nah, but he says that ABC already has their reunion show planned for tomorrow night. Hopefully, Becca skips the show and heads to Machu Picchu instead.

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