Has there ever been a Bachelorette that men have this much trouble getting over? What is it about Jillian? Her Canadian accent? Or the producers’ decision to bring back every single guy on the show in order to inject drama into what was, in retrospect, a foregone conclusion?
After five minutes of recaps, the show finally starts. Jillian talks to Ed, who is continuing his run of bad fashions by wearing a pink shirt unbuttoned to reveal chest hair. He implicitly reassures her that he can perform without Viagra. Then it’s time to meet Jillian’s parents Peggy and Glen, and her cousin Tori. Peggy reads off a typed list of questions for Ed, grilling him about how many children he wants to have and how he sees the relationship progressing. Peggy should work for CTU. Jillian tells Peggy she has complete confidence in Ed’s feelings for her. She can’t wait for him to propose. Ed tells Glen he wants to be with Jillian forever. The family puts on grass skirts and coconut bras over their clothes and pretends to hula. Ed gets into the spirit of the activity. Jillian’s family does seem like they’d make great in-laws. Jillian’s confessional hints that Ed feels like her fiance.
Now it’s Kiptyn’s turn. They have palpably less chemistry, but he’s a far snappier dresser. He and Jillian greet each other with more of their patented awkward making out. Kiptyn does a good job of answering Peggy’s questions. The family appreciates that he isn’t as much of a workaholic as Ed. Glen asks if Kiptyn’s in love with Jillian. His answer, “I’m getting there a lot quicker than I thought I would,” is not inspiring. He says he won’t propose unless he’s sure. Revealingly Jillian says she felt like her “boyfriend” just spent the day with her parents.
Jillian debriefs with her family. It’s edited to seem like the women prefer Kiptyn and her father prefers Ed. Glen reveals that Ed said he loved her and plans to propose. Peggy wisely points out that some people fall in love more quickly than others. Jillian tells Tori that she felt more passion for Kiptyn on the overnight date. She’s worried she and Ed don’t have physical chemistry.
It’s time for the final dates. Ed and Jillian go for a helicopter ride. I wonder if this pilot can also perform weddings. They watch a volcano erupt which, in this context, has unfortunate sexual connotations. They visit a truly beautiful waterfall. Oddly he says she could be one of his best guy friends or be with him for the rest of his life. He seems sincere when he says he’s perfect for her and will never leave again. He invites her back to “his place.” In her confessional, Jillian says the chemistry was there this time. The editors cut to a volcano erupting. Stay classy, Mike Fleiss.
Kiptyn says that Jillian is the kind of woman he needs to end up with, which is different from saying she’s the one. They go for a ride on a speedboat then have a picnic on the beach. Kiptyn shirtless is far more impressive than Ed. The guy has a perfect sixpack. Jillian narrates that Kiptyn is the best catch she’s ever met, which seems like a nice way of saying he’s the guy she’s supposed to want rather than the one she actually does. Kiptyn tells Jillian that he’s stressed and he would be hurt if he lost her. He is falling in love with her. He seems more analytical than emotional. He invites her to move to San Diego with him.
It’s the final day. Jillian reads final notes from each man. She claims to know who she will choose. Kiptyn looks at engagement rings, undoubtedly pleased that the show will pick up the tab.
Ed seems truly ready to marry Jillian. He picks out a hideous pear-shaped ring from the same selection. Jillian puts on a long white evening gown that looks a lot like a wedding dress. She and Chris go to a stunning bridge overlooking the ocean. This is definitely the most beautiful final rose ceremony ever. The first limo arrives. Yep. It’s Kiptyn. He makes a speech about how their relationship has progressed naturally. Yes, what could be more natural than a reality show romance? Jillian tells him he’s everything he ever wanted but she’s fallen in love with somebody else. Kiptyn says it hurts a lot, but he’s glad he told her how he feels. He doesn’t seem nearly as upset as Jillian is, probably because he knows how many women will be all over him once he gets home. He classily says that Ed’s a lucky man. Then he goes for his limo ride of shame.
A minivan taxi arrives (ha!). Reid steps out, wearing sneakers with his suit. In a confessional he claims he had to pull multiple strings to get back on the show. Yeah, right. I think the producers were the ones who begged him to return, hoping to inject some drama into the finale. Chris tells him he only has a few minutes before Ed arrives. Jillian seems genuinely surprised to see him. She tears up. I think she liked him more than Kiptyn. They seem far more genuine together. Reid says he was an idiot for not expressing his feelings. He loves her. She says letting him go was the hardest thing she had to do “to date.” I guess it was easy to dump Kiptyn. She says she let him go because he seemed unsure about her. He admits it didn’t become clear until he left. He gets down on one knee and proposes. She says she has missed him and can’t make a decision. He agrees to wait. If she wanted to marry Ed, why would Reid’s arrival make her have doubts? She consults with Chris who asks goads her if she wants to marry Ed. She admits that she does. She tells Reid that she has truly fallen in love with Ed and can’t let him go. Her hair is wrecked, in the most realistic moment ever on this show. He breaks the fourth wall as he says he doesn’t perform as well as others in “this world,” meaning the show. That’s true. This show rewards behavior that would be creepy in real life. In his minivan ride of shame he says he has no regrets. Reid seems perplexed that his grand gesture didn’t work, but not devastated.
Hilariously, Jillan says that Ed better not bleepin’ disappoint her now. She voiceovers that she is 100% madly in love with Ed, despite seemingly considering dumping him for Reid minutes ago. He makes a speech about how she has changed him and made him reprioritize his life. He asks if she loves him. She says that she does. They kiss. The music swells. She tells him how hard it was not to say she loves him. I wonder if it’s against the rules of the show. He gets down on one knee and proposes. She accepts. They really do seem like they’re in love. I’ll admit it. I was touched. The show then launches into a musical montage of their relationship, like they’re a soap opera supercouple. I’m disappointed they didn’t use “Love Don’t Come Easy.” She gives Ed the final rose. He gives her a piggy back ride. Aw. Over the closing credits she says they’re going to have the funnest time, then realizes it isn’t a word.
This finale is satisfying in that everyone got what they needed. Kiptyn gained a little humility. Reid learned to express his feelings before it was too late, a lesson which he will apply to future relationships if not as the next Bachelor. Jillian and Ed may just have the first authentic Bachelor engagement since Ryan and Trista. Or they may break up in three weeks. Best of all, Jillian acknowledged that her grammar is atrocious.