It’s Daylight Savings Time. Too bad the clock couldn’t jump forward enough hours so I didn’t have to watch this show. I say that as if somehow I could avoid it. As if destiny weren’t binding me to this finale. Ben’s destiny is my destiny. I've always known it would come to this.
Catch up on the entire season by reading my recaps here: But honestly, if you’re just now tuning in you might as well skip it.
Episode Preview: Ben is in love with TWO women. This is the biggest decision of his life. Will he choose Lauren or JoJo? Stay tuned for the dramatic three-hour finale! Wait. Did Chris Harrison just say THREE HOURS?
Fuck me after the jump >>>>
Chris Harrison comes out to a live studio audience and says we could see the wedding tonight. They’ve flown out the families of both women, Neil Lane, and Ben’s hometown pastor. More of Lauren’s family are present than JoJo’s, so I’m guessing Lauren wins. Which is what I’ve been saying for weeks now, but like a daytime TV judge, I want to see how this plays out.
We go back to Sandals resort in Jamaica. Lauren is on cloud nine after hearing Ben tell her he loves her. JoJo is similarly stunned. Elsewhere Ben is tortured over his decision. How can he purpose to one woman, when he knows he’s in love with another? He’s afraid he’ll make a mistake. The mistake would be choosing JoJo—Lauren’s dad has Trail Blazers season tickets!
Ben is about to introduce the women to his family for the first time. He talks to them alone first. He tells them that he’s in love with two women. That doesn’t sit well with his mom, who calls it “disturbing."
Lauren is the first to meet them, bringing flowers and wine. Booze is always a smart gift. She sits with his mom, who asks Lauren if she’s seen his self-critical side. Mom says Ben can be “intense.” Is there a side to Ben that we don’t know about? Is he a Hulk? Is he a Fight Club? We’ll never know for sure. Or will we? We won’t. He isn’t.
Anyway, Lauren sits with Ben and tells him that she's in love with him, but that marriage is a serious commitment for her. She’s only going to do it once, and that meeting his parents was the last thing she needed. She’s ready to marry him now. She’s, like, right there.
Next up it’s JoJo’s turn to meet Ben’s parents. She brings a gift too, a flower in a seashell. What the fuck kind of gift is that? If my son’s girlfriend brought me a flower in a seashell I’d throw it back into outer-space where it came from. I know JoJo is nervous to meet Ben’s parents, but c’mon. Up your gift game, girl.
Ben’s dad says that Lauren set the bar pretty high. He sits with JoJo first. JoJo tears up and says that she loves Ben very much and there will never be a day when he doesn’t know that.
JoJo tells Ben that she’s ready for a proposal, and asks if that’s where he’s at too. He says yes, but the implication is that he still doesn’t know who he’s going to propose TO. After JoJo leaves Ben sits with his parents hoping to get some advice from them, but they’re basically like “lol IDK.”
Mom is worried that Ben is about to make such a big decision so soon, and he still doesn’t know who to “plant his stake with,” which is NOT how that saying goes. You’re looking for “Stake your claim” which is a little misogynist in this context since, you know, women aren’t property.
Lauren’s Last 1-on-1: Ben was expecting to find some clarity after the meeting with the parents. But alas. Lauren and Ben go out sailing. Between bouts of making out, it’s obvious that Ben is stressed out. Lauren can tell something is up, but she’s understanding about it. It makes her nervous though.
Ben tells her that he knew he loved her right away, but he didn’t know why. He’s freaked out about it, in a good/bad way. He’s scared because things with Lauren have been too perfect and too easy and it makes him question it. When something is too good to be true, it makes him worried. I get it, Ben—it’s like when someone tells me I can have pizza AND nachos for lunch, I’m like, “What’s your game, pal?”
That night Lauren left feeling kind of defeated. She doesn’t know how he feels about JoJo. They sit down on the couch and just stare at each other, and tell each other how much they like each other, and how hard this is. They don’t talk about anything interesting or deep like this facebook status I wrote 7 years ago:
Ben tells Lauren that no matter what happens she’s made him a better person. Oh, how fucking reassuring. Ben leaves and Lauren is afraid that tonight is the last time that she heard Ben say that he loves her. We all have fears, Lauren. I’m afraid that the IRS is going to audit me even though they have no reason to.
JoJo’s Last 1-on-1: Ben meets up with JoJo in some wilderness. He gives her a long deep kiss. Then they hop into a Jeep. JoJo is confident that she’s going to be Ben’s wife. They drive up to a blue lagoon. It looks like Kool-Aid.
Ben and JoJo make out under a waterfall. She asks if he’s feeling good, and he tells her that’s a loaded question. Because Ben can't decide who he loves more. Aaaaand we’re back to the same basic conflict. Which was already wearing thin before the episode started.
JoJo can’t comprehend how Ben doesn’t know which woman he’s going to propose to. Really? You can’t understand, JoJo? You, a person who actually believes it’s possible to find love on reality TV. Seems like you’re capable of imagining a lot. To JoJo’s credit she confronts Ben about it. She wonders what is missing from their relationship to make Ben unsure about it. Ben tells her he has no concerns. That nothing is missing. JoJo, my take on it is it's not about what you don't have, it's about what Lauren does have. Trail Blazer season tickets.
They go off into the bathroom together. JoJo is trying to get a sign from Ben that she’s the one he’s going to choose. He tells her he loves her, but that he’s in love with Lauren too, and that he's told her as much. JoJo breaks down because her love for Ben is so special, and now she doesn’t feel special because he loves two women. JoJo is just tired of competing.
Ben says he feels lost, he’s a lost man right now. Lost. He’s lost. If I had to sum up Ben’s feelings with one populart mid-aughts TV show it would be:
Ben meets with Neil Lane to pick out an engagement ring. Neil Lane pushes Ben to tell him about the woman he’s going to propose to. Ben has a flashback of moments with both women. It’s like a Rocky training montage, but shitty. Watch this instead:
After that, Ben knows who he’s going to choose. Both women are anxious. Ben is anxious. How is his love story going to end? The three final players in our tale converge. Ben will soon break the heart of a woman he loves. This should be taking place on a volcano, but it isn’t, and I couldn’t be angrier about it.
JoJo arrives first, which means she’s the one he’ll say goodbye to. She launches into a long heartfelt profession of love, expounding on all the fond memories they've shared together. Ben lets her go on and on. Ben tells her that he didn’t know what to expect coming into this experience, whether he’d find love "or just go on nice helicopter rides" (Jesus, enough with the helicopters Ben). He tells JoJo he found love with her, but… he found it with someone else more. Who writes this dialogue?
JoJo is shocked. He tells her that he’s still in love with her, which I’m pretty sure is the number one thing you DON’T say when you’re breaking up with someone. After JoJo leaves, Ben breaks down crying, he knows that JoJo got the raw end of this deal. He says that he doesn’t deserve her. All this emotion just reminds me that humans are basically computers made of meat and bones controlled by chemicals that slosh around in our heads.
After getting his shit together, Ben calls Lauren’s dad to get his permission to marry her. He gives it, which means that Ben is going to get to go to more Blazers games than me and I couldn’t be angrier about it.
Lauren arrives and delivers her heartfelt speech to him. Ben responds by getting on one knee and proposing to her. She says yes. He’s her person. She’s his person. They’re engaged. They fly off together in one final helicopter. My long winter is finally over. Mazel Tov.
But wait. There’s a whole ‘nother hour left! This hour is called “After the Final Rose,” where they bring Ben, JoJo, and Lauren out to grill him about all his choices. Apparently they might have the wedding? (They won't have a wedding.) Plus they’ll reveal who is going to be the Bachelorette.
But I’m not going to recap this bullshit.
I feel like I’ve done enough to capture Ben’s journey for you. What more do you want from me, you goddamn vampires? Thanks for reading my recaps this season. You can come back for more wine addled thoughts when I recap The Bachelorette in May.
And who is the next Bachelorette? It’s JoJo of course!
Bonus: This super cut of Ben staring at nothing from last night's Jimmy Kimmel. Not to be missed.