Welcome to the finale of Bachelor in Paradise. Going into the season ender, the couples are as follows: Lacy and Marcus, AshLee and Graham, Robert and Sarah, Michelle and Cody (still, really), and then couples of necessity Zack and Jackie and Tasos and Christy. Last week, Chris Harrison promised a twist. This week, he explains: He wants everyone to take a long, hard look at their relationship and decide if their fake-cation spring fling will work in the real world. Chris ominously warns the contestants, “Don’t fool yourself, don’t fool each other, and don’t try to fool me.” Here’s what happened on Bachelor in Paradise:
Lacy and Marcus: They want to get married. This second, ideally, with Chris Harrison officiating and Clare’s raccoon friend bearing witness. They spend the rest of the episode canoodling.
AshLee and Graham: AshLee admits that she loves Graham “to an extent,” and says that she wants to “serve him more” and “love on him more” because she sees a “spiritual, emotional, romantic” relationship with him. Lacy rolls her eyes in super slow motion and Michelle decides she needs to go talk to her IRL BFF Graham that very second. AshLee thinks Michelle is going to tell Graham how much AshLee loves him. She’s not. She tells Graham that she doesn’t think AshLee is right for him and is a big old fake. She encourages him to have a long talk with AshLee, which she does. Then Graham takes AshLee for a walk on the beach, where he proceeds to dump her, because he doesn’t really see a future with her. As AshLee goes to cry on a rock, Michelle comes to console Graham, who doesn’t really need consoling. With tears running down her face, AshLee gets in a car and leaves without saying goodbye to anyone. Graham knows it was the right decision, even though he has to leave paradise alone. He does his best to make an appropriately sad face as he drives off in to the sunset.
Robert and Sarah: They had their Big Talk last week, so they quickly decide that they are in it to win it, whatever “it” is. Possibly, sunburn.
Jackie and Zack: Jackie isn’t quite ready to commit, while Zack is interested in pursuing things in some sort of hunter-prey scenario. He respects her decision, though, because he’s that kind of guy — excuse me — man. They bid farewell and brace for their expulsion from paradise.
Christy and Tasos: They readily admit that they probably aren’t in love, but are in the would consider posting bail if no one else was available and they didn’t have to put their car up as collateral stage of the relationship. They hug each other and make their farewells.
Michelle and Cody: Cody is ready to marry Michelle right then and there. If Michelle doesn’t feel exactly the same way, “it’s gonna hurt.” For her part, Michelle is still trying to picture a future with a warm-hearted Tintin-haired meatball in a tiny tank. She calls her 8-year old daughter for advice and the little girl doles out some excellent relationship tips. She points out that it doesn’t matter if he’s cute or not, but whether they have a lot in common. It’s clear who is the Rory Gilmore in the relationship. Michelle realizes she needs more time with Cody.
The Test: With three couples remaining, Chris Harrison comes to chat. He isn’t surprised to see Marcus and Lacy, is glad that Sarah and Robert found each other in Tulum, even though they live ten minutes apart from each other in LA (oh please, nothing in LA is ten minutes from anywhere) and makes Michelle and Cody explain what in the heck they are still doing together. Michelle just coos and smiles, while Cody wisely remains mute. Chris explains that their next “test” is a night in a Fantasy Suite. Michelle is not ready for that. Has she mentioned that she’s a mother? Maybe she can sort this all out over dinner.
Michelle and Cody, Part II: Cody thinks Michelle could be his future wife. Michelle interviews that she doesn’t know which way she will go, but is very afraid of another failed relationship. Cody talks her down, assuring her that he will do whatever it takes to make it work and to make her happy. After that speech, Michelle collapses into a big pile of goo that Cody rushes to the Fantasy Suite.
Sarah and Robert, Part II: Sarah is “really excited” to have some alone time with Robert. Robert is also present for the occasion.
Marcus and Lacy, Part II: Marcus hopes that during their last night in paradise, Lacy finally says the three little words he’s been yearning to hear since Andi Dorfman dumped him. She tells him, ” My heart’s all yours,” and “You’re everything I ever wanted,” and then finally, “I love you.” Then they go back to making out, this time in front of a rose petal-strewn bed, which the cameraman pretends is not at all awkward.
The Morning After: The next morning, Marcus and Lacy float in on a cloud and a wave of “I love you”s. Michelle and Cody burst in on a sunbeam and announces that she’s “very sore,” which is a lot of information for primetime. Cody jumps in that he “might have marked some things off his bucket list last night.” Michelle announces that she has “a boyfriend.” They are beaming. Sarah and Robert, however, have a little grey cloud hanging over their head. Sarah interviews that Robert went to sleep with his jeans on under the covers and they really just went to sleep, which is not a euphemism. Sarah is really sad.
The Talk: Sarah goes to explain to Robert that she’s disappointed that he went straight to bed last night and didn’t stay up to talk, let alone make out. She felt “not loved.” He swears he had a great time last night and that he “told a bunch of people he was falling in love with her.” Sarah tells him that she’s not getting what she needs out of the relationship and ends it, which is bold, but right on, sister. Robert says he’s upset, but doesn’t really try to argue with her. He just walks off to leave. She goes to explain to Lacy and Michelle that she ended it, because she realized that if “a guy doesn’t want to make out with you,” he’s just not that into you. Robert claims he liked taking it slow and has a hard time with saying the l-word. Maybe they will work this all out when they run into each other at the local Coffee Bean.
The Reinforcements: To help the two remaining couples learn to function in the real world, Chris Harrison calls in some reinforcements: Bachelor Sean and his now-wife, Catherine, Bachelorette star Desiree and her fiancé, Chris, and indecisive Bachelor Jason and his wife Molly, who were all happy to take a Bachelor-funded vacation. They assure the world that these couples are legit. For real. Stop that eye-rolling immediately.
The Final Rose: Under the watchful eyes of the successful franchise couples, Cody and Michelle say their vows and hand each other roses. Then Marcus and Lacy completely upstage them by getting actually engaged. The Bachelor winners all cheer from the roof deck, “One of us! One of us!” as the happy couple makes out.
All’s Well That Ends With A Renewal Notice: While it may be the end of the season, it’s not the end of the show as ABC has renewed Bachelor in Paradise for another year. Yay? See you next year in paradise.
Post Script: Cody is moving to Utah to be with Michelle and her daughter. Lacy is moving to Dallas to be with her fiance. Chris and Elise broke up after two weeks.