Last night was a 3 hour Bachelorette endurance test in the form of a 2 hour finale and a 1 hour "After the Final Rose" special. Yes, if you made it through all 3 hours, you watched an episode of The Bachelorette that was longer than Oliver Stone's JFK.
Let's cut to the chase on the results. Unless you have been living under a rock, by now you probably know that Jef, the pompadour prince, won Emily's heart. Yes, Jef, the hipster-lite trust fund kid who owns an "environmentally friendly" bottled water company (cause manufacturing pods of plastic is WICKED GREEN, buddy), whose parents couldn't be bothered to meet Emily, who rolled into episode 1 on a SKATEBOARD--HE is the dude who won. I know. How did it all go so wrong? Let's start from the beginning of the episode.
Chris Harrison is in a studio in Los Angeles with a live audience and throughout the show they cut back to the studio, in an effort to fill out this unending Bachelorette extravaganza. Chris sets the scene for us, and we're taken back to the tropical isles.
Eeeerybody's still in Curacao but Emily's family has arrived to judge the suitors. Her family includes her platinum blonde mother Suzy (awesome hair runs in the family!), her semi-stoic father David (I bet he has scared off some would-be boyfriends in his day), her super stoic brother Ernie (whose poker face would make me shit my pants, but let's get real, TONS of things make me shit my pants, including: my old boss when I was a paralegal, the deadly mix of chicken Caesar salad + margaritas, the horrible food at field hockey camp back in high school, and MANY more--just a little bit about ME and MY DIGESTIVE TRACK), and Ernie's fiancee Blondie (that's not her name, but girl brought a whole lotta NOTHING to the table except for a nice, golden blonde mane, so I shall name her by her best quality).
First up to meet the family is Jef and he arrives carrying bouquets for Suzy and Blondie. Nice work outta you. He says that the "stakes are really huge" and I assume that he means "high," as generally stakes aren't discussed by size, but rather by how high or low they are. Get the idiom right, Jef. Jef chats with the family, then has some 1:1 talks with each member. That's when Ernie busts out his poker face and gives Jef a whole lot of NOTHING in response to Jef's confessions of love for Emily. It was a delight to watch. Jef asks Emily's father for permission to propose to Emily and David gives it.
Next up is Arie and he arrives to meet the parents without any bouquets. Jef's a tough act to follow, I must admit. Instead of fresh flowers, Arie's gift for the parents is a wooden box filled with dead flowers! It's the roses that Emily has given him during this journey and Arie mistakenly thinks that Emily's parents would want HIS rose boutonnieres. Did this strike anyone else as a weird gift? Arie admits that when he's nervous, he rambles, then we watch a few clips of him rambling on. He manages to get smiles out of Emily's father and brother, which is quite an accomplishment. Arie makes a good impression overall.
The next date is Emily's final 1:1 date (daytime and dinner) with Jef and presumably, the next day will be her final date with Arie. Jef and Emily meet on the beach, where the sounds of waves crashing is BLARING as they discuss whether or not Jef should meet Emily's daughter Ricki. Emily is hesitant to introduce Jef, since she introduced Brad back in the day and that didn't work out. She decides to make the introduction, though, and they head back to the pool where Ricki is swimming. Emily, Jef, and Ricki swim and laugh together and Jef asks Ricki for a whole lotta high 5s. Lucky for Jef, Ricki is young enough to find that cool, since her brain isn't developed enough to realize it's lame. Kids! That night, Emily and Jef have a final dinner date and he gives her a parting gift. In most seasons of this show (I'm pathetic, I know), that gift will be a poem or long letter or scrapbook of their time together. What was Jef's gift? A book about Curacao that was straight out of the resort gift shop, plus he ruined every page by drawing them into the beautiful photos. HOW THOUGHTFUL!
The next day is supposed to be Emily's date with Arie, but she calls Chris Harrison to her bungalow. Chris Harrison sits down and asks Emily what's going on and Emily starts crying, saying that she knows Jef is the one and she doesn't want to lead Arie on by going through the date and dinner. I give her a lot of credit--most Bachelorettes go all the way to the end when they force some poor cad to show up in a tux and THEN get negged. Chris says that it's fine if she wants to meet Arie at the daytime date location and explain everything there.
So in an unprecedented move in Bachelor/Bachelorette history, the audience knows more than one of the participants. It's painful to watch, but makes for great TV. Poor Arie is going on and on about how they are JUST ABOUT to get engaged and he can't wait to be her husband, blah blah blah, while America is at home screaming at their TVs.
Arie arrives at the dump location--woops--I mean, date location and mixes up a love potion with the help of a local woman. Obviously his love potion didn't work, since right after Arie mixed it up, he was dropped like a handful of salt onto the Curacao dirt (salt mining was the first profitable industry established on Curaçao--I DO MY RESEARCH). Arie responds gracefully, all things considered. He's silent for a while (while Emily cries), then he gets up to leave, saying that there's "nothing to say," and this upsets Emily. But what does she want? Sure, dumping a guy is no fun, but what other response do you expect? He hugs her goodbye and hops in the car.
The show then cuts back to the studio audience and everyone is extremely intense and emotional. I guess I understand that, since a dude just got dumped, but we all know that this is reality TV, right? It just felt a bit over-somber. Then, The Bachelorette turns into The Olympics, with former contestants weighing in on the current situation. 5 people from past seasons (JP & Ashley, Deana, Michael Staglione, and another Ashley) all share their opinions as though they are sports commentators. They all say the same: sucks to get dumped, Arie, but you'll get through it. THANKS FOR THE EXPERT ANALYSIS, GUYS!
Then we're back on Curacao and Jef is in the midst of SO much B roll! A shot of Jef staring at the selected engagement ring, a shot of Jef walking on the beach in pants that are way too girly for him, a shot of Jef staring at crashing waves. Finally, Emily is putting on a flowy-yet-edgy coral dress and getting ready for the big day. Jef has no idea that Arie is gone, so he's putting on his suit and fretting a bit.