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Bachelorette Recap 12: The Lesser of Two Evils

the-bachelorette-finale-nick-viall-4.jpgHey, everyone! We did it. We've made it through the horrible premise on which this journey to find love was wrought (#tbt to Britt), umpteen instances of male entitlement, some run-of-the-mill slut-shaming and some very specific slut-shaming, a healthy dose of cyber-bullying, and what felt like 12 years of purgatory in Ireland. It was exhaustive, but shout-out to Kaitlyn Bristowe for being human, fallible and the most relatable Bachelorette I've seen yet. She's been through the ringer, and she deserves all the endorsement money she'll make off her Instagram for whatever protein-infused drink she chooses to pretend she consumes.

First, it's time to meet the parents! Kaitlyn's mom (who wore at least four different looks during her screen time, respect) and sister watched Nick on Andi's season, and are understandably reticent to hear he's one of the top two dudes. Kaitlyn conveys to her mom that she and Nick had sex in a brilliant way ("the cameras went off and it was like, whoops!") so Nick has the added pressure of knowing that Kaitlyn's mom is aware they have known one another as man and woman. She grills him pretty hard, saying "I'm very surprised to see you, a little shocked actually. I have to be honest with you. You were possessive, you were jealous... who are you? Are you surprised that you're here?" Nick has such a peculiar blend of overconfidence, sensitivity, and manipulation, because he point-blank tells momma Bristowe he's not surprised he's here, before breaking down in tears over his love. Obviously this works, because at the end of their conversation she's convinced, saying that if Nick proposed to Kaitlyn she would be very happy. Kaitlyn's dad Mike seems like his profession is Going with the Flow.

Next Shawn takes his shot, further illustrating that I don't understand who uses Snapchat for what, because upon seeing Kaitlyn get dumped by Chris Soules he took a screenshot of her sad face, drew a heart around it, and (texted? Snapped? I'm old) it to his bros with the caption "Don't worry Kaitlyn, I'm coming for you." Shawn, that is creepy.

Kaitlyn's mom gets down to business yet again, telling him "I'm concerned about jealousy. There's no love lost between you and Nick. How do you handle that feeling of jealousy in the outside world?" Shawn very much doesn't answer this question, saying he's been jealous but they also have a lot of trust and honesty. Uh-huh. Tell me about how aggressively sensitive you are over jumbo shrimp next time, buddy. However, Shawn makes the better impression, sitting both parents down and telling them he plans on proposing next week. This goes well: "We love our daughter and we want her to be happy. I say 1000% you have our support."

Time for the last dates! I'm going to fast-track these, because this episode was three hours long and nothing really happened. Also, it was the exact same date, was it not? Hang out on a boat, bring her back to your room, give her a weird gift? Anyway, Nick is up first.

"I got you sometning. It's in my bedroom," he compellingly tells her. Instead of running or dropping a pin to her family with a scared emoji Kaitlyn goes to his room, and is rewarded with framed photographs of the two of them accompanied by poems. Sample line: "There is electricity in your lips/When I kiss you I feel your energy." However, she loves it, because I'm pretty sure no matter how bad your poetry is, ladies will dig it. Pro tip, guys!

"I know that I am in love with Nick, but I love the way that Shawn makes me feel," Kaitlyn says, before confessing her extreme anxiety about her last date with him. Healthy! What in the world went down over their famed off-camera hang? Was it the best six hours in history? Of time? Because ever since that point they've basically fought and miscommunicated the entire season.

Short story? Shawn seems jealous and controlling, and I very much hope that most mostly situational and due to editing. I liked him initially but I wish she'd turned them both down. For his gift he threw a bunch of random shit in a mason jar, which is actually exactly the kind of gift I'd have cobbled together, so, ~shrug~. However, they reconnect about that fact that Kaitlyn actually made out with Joe, which is pretty funny. Southern boxtroll of my heart.  "Sitting here tonight looking into Kaitlyn's eyes sealed the deal for me. I'm going to ask her to be my wife," Shawn says, and for Kaitlyn's part she's "in love with two guys and two guys are in love with me. No matter what I'm going to hurt somebody."

Looks like that somebody is Nick yet again, because he's first out of the limo and we all know  what that means. Watching him get dumped like that was rough sauce. I don't know why she'd let him go through 80% of his proposal wind-up before stopping him just as he takes out a ring. "I did need every single second that we've had together. The only single explanation i have...my heart is just with somebody else," she says, before doing the worst thing you can do when you break up with somebody: Make them talk to you about how you feel about what just happened. Just let the man go, woman. "If you were in love with me we would be having a different conversation...What I felt for you was greater than a moment, he says. "It's not fair for you to tell me that we feel the same things because we don't," he continues, and I agree. The only good thing that happens out of this exchange is Nick throwing that horrible claddagh ring off in the limo.

Over to you, poor man's Ryan Gosling. Their proposal was sweet; I'm ultimately kind of soft so it's always nice to see two people confessing their love, even if the actual engagement has a short shelf life. I mean: "Everytime I look into those blue eyes I can't hear myself think. Everytime I look at you I see a partner in crime and my best friend. I love you so much, Kaitlyn." Is that ridiculous after eight weeks? Sure! Do I like Shawn? Not really! Did that do it for me? Totally. Kaitlyn is just living her truth, and for her that means she "never wants [him] to question what we have ever again, because I am completely yours and I will always be faithful to you. I love you with all of my heart."
the-bachelorette-finale-nick-viall-4.jpgOh, did you think we were done? We are very not done, there's still an hour of this left. Kaitlyn and Shawn emerge, and he got a nose job, right? Either that or some Kardashian-level contouring is going on. He shows that aforementioned weird-o Snapchat again, and between him and Ian, I don't understand the fascination with her sadness. Anyway, they seem happy.

Nick comes out to some off-brand, sad sack Charlie Brown music, and his family is there? Why? They look like they're at a funeral. His mom is even dressed all in black. If you recall Nick has been in this position before, mumbling to Andi that he didn't understand why she made love with him if she wasn't in love with him. So basically: Just don't do that again and you'll be fine. And you know what? He doesn't. Overall, I would say he handled himself well.

They discuss his communication with Kaitlyn beforehand, and I maintain (based on nothing but my "women's intuition") that they slept together before coming on the show. Just a feeling. When asked by Harrison why Shawn hated him so much (fun question!) he takes the high road. "Obviously I had my frustrations with Shawn get the best of me. At the end of the day I ended up being not much better, and we let our insecurities come out. I give Kaitlyn a lot of credit because she didn't let that get in the way of making her decision."

Of course, they bring out Shawn, because who can resist two men exchanging snippy asides? Shawn really cannot handle this. I think Nick is just straight-up trolling him, which I like (oh God, do I like Nick?) crossing his leg over his knee in a way that really makes me wish they would just press their feet together to see who's bigger. That's got to make them some type of Eskimo cousins, right? Shawn just had a "bad feeling" about Nick (chalk that up his guy intuition), and you know what? I like his nose job. Good work! 

Next Kaitlyn and Nick sit down to speak, and due to her body language and the repeated grimaces on her face, something happened here. She's pissed at him. I can speculate as to what (he gossiped about her to former cast members, she knows she can't show any kind of affection or consideration to him given Shawn's jealousy, Chris Harrison keeps farting) but something is up. "At the end of the day, no love that I had was stronger than the love I had for Shawn," she says, and he presses her: "Did you think that taking out a ring and going through the proposal speech was the best way to end it?""No, I don't" she responds. Can that please be that?

What's next for Kaitlyn and Shawn? Some semblance of normalcy, hopefully. "The best thing that can happen is that I can stand up for my girl and defend her now. This girl is the strongest woman I've met in my entire life," Shawn says. Who knows? Maybe these two crazy kids will make it. It's been a pleasure taking this amazing journey with you all. Until next time!

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