The Bachelorette, Season 11, Episode 11: Season Finale + After The Final Rose!

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Welcome to the Season Finale + After The Final Rose episode of The Bachelorette: Kaitlyn Is Funny!

It’s been a journey, you guys…maybe not an actual journey to exotic places (AGAIN: WTF was UP with UTAH?!) like we both expect and deserve from this show, but a journey nonetheless! A journey of transparent lace dresses, obsessions with boys named Ben, broagression, sex shaming, patchy facial hair, rap battles, chiseled abs, Princeton grads (hey, did you guys know that Ian went to Princeton?), and garden strolls with your best bro. Like with Andi’s season, I’m actually sad to see this season end…Kaitlyn morphed from one of my least favorites on Chris’ seasons into an utter delight to watch as the Bachelorette, and I didn’t even get half as bored toward the end of the season as I usually do. Which is a FEAT.

So anyway: ON WITH THE SHOW WHOSE ENDING WE ALREADY KNOW ABOUT IF WE’RE AT ALL INTERNET SAAVY!

What’re You Talking About? Low V-Necks Shirts Are The Perfect Thing To Wear When Meeting Your Potential Fiance’s Family For The First Time! 

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Our show begins in Utah. And no, it’s still not clear why exactly we were ever in Utah in the first place. But! Both boys are telling us how much their family loved Kaitlyn, which then results in a good ol’ fashioned “MY family LOVED Kaitlyn. Probably WAY more than that other guy’s family.” “Yeah, well, MY family loved Kaitlyn so much they started CRYING from how much they love her!” “Oh yeah? Well MY family loved Kaitlyn SO MUCH that they want ME to MARRY her!” “Orilly? Well MY family loved Kaitlyn SO MUCH that they want me to marry her AND make a bunch of babies with her. Probably in FRONT of them, even!”

Anyway, it’s boring, and then we see Kaitlyn at some house in Malibu. Malibu, huh? So like…by where the Bachelor mansion is? Like…kind of sort of right where we started? So NOT a tropical island somewhere tropical and exotic, then.

Kaitlyn tells us that she’s “sooo happy to be back in Los Angeles”, and I nod my head, because of course – I would be, too, after having to be in Utah FOR SEEMINGLY NO REASON. Kaitlyn’s family has arrived, and all I can concentrate on is that there are two grown men, Marlo Thomas, and a girl who looks exactly like the women who grew up with Chris Soules in Arlington, complete with the non-subtle dye job + statement necklace.

Kaitlyn sits down with her family, and right away it’s obvious that she has a really good relationship with them, because she talks to them the way she would with her best pals. She tells them that someone from another season showed up, and I thought her sister’s jaw was going to break from surprise. And THEN, when she tells them that it was Nick…

The look on her mom’s FACE.

And that was the moment when I fell deeply in love with Marlo-Thomas-Kaitlyn’s-Mom.

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Kaitlyn then tells them about boning Nick in Dublin and that she told Shawn about the boning, which was…I don’t know? I mean…I tell my mom a lot about my relationships, but unless I’m totally joking about how slutty I am (haha Mom there’s always kernel of truth in every joke!), I don’t really talk to her about sex stuff. But. Other families also walk around naked around each other, so to each his own, I guess!

Nick shows up at the Malibu house – in a freaking low-V neck t’shirt, no less, because Nick doesn’t just wear the hipster, he brings it –

And he tells us, “I’m not really nervous about Kaitlyn’s family liking me, mostly because nobody actually ever likes me.” Howevs, Kaitlyn tells him about how she just told her family she boned him, and THEN he was nervous.

He meets the fam, and Kaitlyn’s mom decides to pull him aside and put him in the hot seat.

And at first, she really gives it to him good, telling him she watched Andi’s season and saw him be possessive, jealous, and arrogant. “So who are you, really?” she asks. “What does Kaitlyn see in you?”

Nick decides that this is the perfect moment to bash Andi, which he does because straight class, and then he moves into how attractive he finds Kaitlyn, which is always the best thing to lead with when talking to a family member about why you love their daughter/sister.

THEN, he tells Kaitlyn’s mom that if Kaitlyn will have him, he wants her for the rest of his life.

AND THEN HE CRIES. The guy straight up turns on the waterworks, and I almost go blind from how hard my eyes are rolling into the back of my head. Then Kaitlyn’s mom starts crying, and tells him “I think you’re really good for her.” WTF.

She gives Nick her blessing to marry her daughter, and I mean… I’m not the sort to judge other people on how to parent (which I know is really surprising, since I’m really good at judging people for everything else) but I really just don’t see myself giving my blessing to someone I’ve literally known for 10 minutes. Y’know?

Then he sits down and talks to one of the two men who are in Kaitlyn’s family, and asks him for his blessing, too.

Kaitlyn’s dad is all, “Sure, you can marry my daughter! Also, while we’re at it, maybe you should also marry my other daughter? Oh, and here’s the keys to my house, and the username and password to my savings account, and maybe you should also just take my car?”

SO ANYWAY. The family stuff goes well for people who like Nick. Then it’s time for Kaitlyn and Nick’s last date (I’m purposefully going out of order here, because fuuuuuuuck having to break up family time + dates for both guys). They go out on a catamaran, talk about stuff, and then hang out at some house that night. Kaitlyn tells him how he surprised her, and how people rarely surprise her, but he, like, REALLY surprised her.

Nick smiles in smugness, then tells her he has a gift for her. And that it’s in the bedroom.

So they go into the bedroom, and I’m like omgomgomgpleasebeascrapbook! but instead he presents her with a framed photo of them, along with a handwritten poem (the producers obviously chaperoned him on a trip to Things Remembered). And, like…I don’t know. If a guy gave me a framed photo of the two of us with a handwritten note attached…I’d probably be doing some boning that night, too.

Which they do. The End.

Shawn Meets The Parents + A PSA About Sunscreen!

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Then it’s time for Shawn to meet the parents! Kaitlyn’s hair looks awful. The family is skeptical, since they already signed over all their savings to Nick. But Shawn arrives – with gifts in tow, no less – and is excited to meet them but also nervous to do so (see? An APPROPRIATE response – also outfit – from someone who is not smug + cocky).

Shawn sits down with the fam and tells them the journey from watching Kaitlyn on Chris’ season to meeting her family: Shawn’s sisters were watching Chris’ season and told Shawn he should watch, too, telling him that he would love Kaitlyn. This culminated in him snapping a photo of Kaitlyn on the TV, drawing a heart on the photo, and then sending it to all his friends with the caption, “Don’t worry, Kaitlyn: I’m coming for you.”

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Kaitlyn’s mom pulls Shawn aside to talk about Nick. Kaitlyn spilled the beans about how Shawn and Nick hate each other, and Kaitlyn’s mom wants to make sure that Kaitlyn’s intimacy with Nick is something Shawn can get past. And she legit brings up the fact that Kaitlyn slept with Nick and then told Shawn about it, CAUSE THIS FAMILY DOESN’T HOLD ANYTHING BACK!

Here’s the Tell of the show: Instead of crying in front of Kaitlyn’s mom when he talks about Kaitlyn, Shawn makes HER cry when he talks about Kaitlyn. Marlo-Thomas-Kaitlyn’s-Mom does *another* total 180 (politicians, this is the woman you wanna get during the last days of your election) and tells us that she’s 100% Shawn.

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Shawn talks to Kaitlyn’s dad and cites all the reasons why he’s ready to commit to Kaitlyn, one of them being that he feels he’s “established” himself.

Shawn pauses his conversation with Kaitlyn’s father to go get Marlo-Thomas-Kaitlyn’s-Mom, and with them sitting there together, he asks for their blessing to propose to Kaitlyn. And YES – I KNOW that Nick asked both parents separately, but there’s something a little more ballsy about asking them while they’re sitting together. They give him their blessing wholeheartedly.

OH! And also, Kaitlyn sits down with her sister – who is adorable and super entertaining and I would like a show of just her and Kaitlyn sitting on couches having conversations, please – and her sister tells her that, even though she’s liked Nick since Andi’s season, she is now 100% Shawn. “And you wanna know why?” Kaitlyn’s sister asks. “Because I love how you are when you’re with him.”

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That’s a big sign, friends. Big, big sign.

(Not kidding, though, I’m thinking back to the way she said to Kaitlyn, and I’m like, “PLEASE DO A SHOW WHERE I JUST GET TO WATCH YOU SIT ON A COUCH AND HAVE CONVERSATIONS WITH PEOPLE.”)

So things look really good!

BUT THEN.

It’s time for their last date. Shawn meets Kaitlyn at some park where a bunch of interns had to haul out a couch, a coffeetable, and bunch of decorations (oh, so you could afford alla that, ABC, but NOT a tropical island destination? What do your advertisers pay you for?!?!).

Shawn arrives, lookin’ fly, and he and Kaitlyn sit for some…really, really awkward conversation.

Like, Cupcake Chris + Kentucky Joe “I’m about to break up with you” type conversation.

For instance, Kaitlyn’s stellar conversation gems includes asking Shawn if he has sunscreen on.

Kaitlyn goes on to tell us that there are things she wants to talk to him about but that she feels like she shouldn’t, or can’t, because it would be weird to talk to him about everything she’s thinking through when it comes to the decision she has to make. Which is true – I mean, I consider myself a pretty understanding and forthright girlfriend, but even I don’t want to hear about your feelings for another girl, y’know? So then they meet up later that night, and Shawn ALSO has a gift for her!

“WILL THIS BE THE SCRAPBOOK WE’VE BEEN WAITING FOR?!” America asks.

Kinda! It’s a Memory Jar, filled with notes they exchanged, photos from their dates, and other memorabilia. So it’s kind of like a scrapbook, but in Bro Memory Bottle form.

See? Jill Biden gets it.

This seems to throw Kaitlyn into an Angst Spiral…because tomorrow she has to hurt someone, and she knows now that she had to get all this way to the end to figure it out who that was gonna be.

But then she gets over it and then they bone, too! The End.

The Big Day

The next morning, we see Nick, Shawn, and Kaitlyn all in different states of undress as they get ready for the big day. Our pleasant reverie of staring at Shawn’s abs and sighing over them is brutally ripped from us, however, when Nick starts talking about himself again. “I think I’m an acquired taste,” he tells us. “And I think Kaitlyn might have acquired a taste for me.”

There’s a knock at the door, and here’s Neil Lane, ready to help the last two standing pick out a ring that they may or may use for an actual wedding!

I will go on record to say that I literally find this part of the show to be the most boring part of the entire season. I do not even have ONE SINGLE FUCK to give about what kind of ring each guy picks out.

Nick, in a stunning moment of “Hi, everybody. I am exactly who you think I am!”, decides to take this moment to tell Neil Lane that he’s been here before. “Orilly?” Neil asks, as he pulls out his phone and texts Chris Harrison that he’s out as a sponsor. Also, this is the moment when we realize that Nick has actually been saying this a LOT during this episode – “I’ve actually done this once before”…”I’ve been here before”…but like, not in a way that’s “Oh man, I know how this goes and I’m trying to be different about it, because life is a journey and I’m constantly learning, y’know?” NOPE! Instead he says it with juuuuuust enough smugness and pride so as to call his entire intentions into question.

See, and here’s the thing that’s so interesting – when you listen to Nick and Shawn each talk about Kaitlyn, this is what sets them apart: Shawn talks about Kaitlyn, while Nick talks about Kaitlyn in relation to him. Nick doesn’t give a shit about whether or not he’s the best guy for her. He wants the validation that her picking him can give him.

Oh yeah, and Shawn picked out a ring, too, in case you care.

Proposal Time + Song of The Dumped + OMGWEREGONNABETOGETHERFOREVERORMAYBESIXMONTHSWHOKNOWSWHOCARESTHISISGREAT

First: For the proposal, they’re back at the Bachelor Mansion. WTF X 1000. Did a producer run away with the season’s budget?! WHAT IS GOING ON HERE, ABC.

Also: OMGOMGOMGOMGOMG JENNIFER WEINER RT’D ME:

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So, historically, the big clue on who’s going down is the person who steps out of the limo first. The only time that this rule has been broken is during Jesse Palmer’s season, when the first girl who arrived was the one he picked (he gave his girl a plane ticket to NYC where he lived, however, instead of a ring) and then she went up to the balcony to literally watch him dump the other girl, who was also her friend (it was weird and messed up). So they don’t do that anymore! And so who steps out of the limo first…?

NICK DOES, BETCH!

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Kaitlyn looks stunning, especially as she watches Nick spill his “heart” out to her. Right as he’s about to propose, she grabs his hand and begs him to stop. “Kay,” he says, and slides the ring back into his jacket pocket.

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And because I’m not a monster: Yes, I haven’t liked Nick from the start. But my heart hurt for him a little bit in that moment.

See? Andi and I are the same. We’re practically best friends at this point! We think and feel the same exact things. We’re soulmates, almost.

And for a moment, we think…okay. Nick’s gonna leave sad and hurt and heartbroken and that will be it.

But nope! There’s still time to show us that he’s the worst! And show us, he does – 

Kaitlyn goes on to tell him the why and how she came to her decision, until Nick finally interrupts her and tells her, “I don’t need to hear these things from you.”
“But I need to say them to you!” Kaitlyn cries.
“You took things from me,” Nick replies.


“That’s because it was real to me,” Kaitlyn protests.
“It wasn’t that real,” Nick tells her. “That’s not fair for you to tell me that what I feel, you feel the same. You don’t. And if you did you would have a ring on your finger right now.”

Kaitlyn tries to tell him that this is the most confusing thing she’s ever done, and that it took her getting all the way to the end of figure it out, and that her heart was just simply with someone else.

“I don’t want to sit here and say things that are hurtful,” Nick tells her. TOO LATE! “But you don’t want to be with me, and you don’t feel what I feel and you don’t love me.”

So Nick goes back to the limo, where he proceeds to LITERALLY toss a NEIL LANE DIAMOND RING across the limo like it was piece of tin.

“It like a fucking joke,” he says. “I’m a fucking joke.”

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I mean. I feel bad for the guy in a way, but…dude. C’MON.

Then it’s Shawn’s turn!

There’s a *small* moment when it *almost* looks like, true to Reality Steve’s original spoiler (sidetone: My tweet below showed up in Reality Steve’s recap this week…out of context, tho, and, true to his usual form, he tried to paint the tweets as just a bunch of “haters” – without actually calling them “haters”…clever! – instead of people who were like, “Um, you had ONE JOB. ONE! JOB!” But for the record, I rarely read Reality Steve unless someone points me to his site for some reason, as I tend to have a low tolerance for his particular brand of misogyny), Kaitlyn’s gonna tell him, “I choose…ME. I! CHOOSE! ME!”, but she doesn’t.

She choo-choo-choo-ses* Shawn!

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It’s sweet and cute and pretty much everything you imagine two incredibly attractive people promising to be attractive together is like, so yeah.

THE END!

After The Final Rose

Usually, After The Final Rose shows are all the same: The dumped comes out and sings a song about getting dumped, then the Bach comes out and lets the dumped sing a song to them about getting dumped, and then we see the happy couple gush about being happy and end it with “When are you getting married HAHAHAAHA I ASKED THAT LIKE IT’S ACTUALLY GOING TO HAPPEN HAHAHAHAHA”

For this one, though, a couple things were different: First, the couple came out FIRST, which was proof that some shit was going down later. They’re happy, they’re excited, Harrison doesn’t even bring up the SnapChat that told the world what was going to happen at the end.

Then Nick comes out, and at first, it seems like he’s learned his lesson from last time. He’s calm, he tries very hard to be kind, but he still talks a lot about himself.

My FAVORITE moment ever was when he was talking about coming on in the middle of the show and how he didn’t want to pull a “Chris Bukowski”.

Which I LOVED, because I loathe Bukowski almost as much as I loathe Nick…though I begrudgingly told Chris on Twitter that, even though I’ve never liked anything he’s ever tweeted, I like the above. A LOT. (he favorited it, as he favorites ALL of my mean-but-funny tweets because he has a sense of humor about himself, unlike Kacie from Ben F’s season who blocked me last night after I made fun of her for constantly bragging about being married + preggers. WE GET IT, KACIE: YOU’RE TOTALLY OVER BEN F AND MARRIED NOW WITH A BABY ON THE WAY! MAYBE TALK ABOUT IT SOME MORE SO WE’LL STOP WONDERING, “HEY, I WONDER IF KACIE’S REALLY OVER BEN F YET SINCE ALL SHE DOES IS TALK SO MUCH ABOUT HOW MUCH SHE’S MOVED ON FROM BEN F.” #KacieStillLovesBenF

Also, I love it when people like Kacie block me like it’s a punishment)

Anyway! I wasn’t paying a TON of attention at this point, mainly because the final cover file for my book had just landed in my inbox and I was busy focusing on that (I know you guys don’t read these to find out about my personal hopes and dreams but it’s also my blog + my recaps SO HEY GUESS WHAT), but I did pay some attention when Chris finally asked Nick to explain the “relationship” he had with Kaitlyn prior to the show.

So then Shawn is called out to come and sit down with Nick and rehash their broagression, and when Harrison first announced this would be happening on the ATFR during the Season Finale, initially I was like:

But then it happened, and I was like:

Nick takes the “Dude, we were both so dumb, dude! Y’know?! Let’s let bygones be bygones, dude! I would maybe even take a garden bro stroll with you, if the situation was right!” faux-high-road, while Sean is all, “Remember that one time when you told Kaitlyn that I was bragging about being Eskimo Brothers with a country singer? And then remember that one time when she dumped you for me? And then remember that one time when I got engaged to her? Yeah. That was great.”

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And then Chris Harrison asks them if they should hug it out and it’s literally maybe the only moment in my life when I disliked Chris Harrison.

SO THEN! It’s time for Kaitlyn and Nick to confront each other.

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And it looks like I wasn’t off-base when I noted in both my recap and last week’s Pizza Rainbow! podcast episode covering the MTA that when Chris Harrison brought up Nick, Kaitlyn immediately looked not happy to be talking about him. And nothing changed for the ATFR:

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Without actually saying, “Then why did you make love to me”, Nick says everything but that to prove a point that he was led on by Kaitlyn. Every time she tried to explain her side, he rolled his eyes and would break out into a smug little smirk.

Also, it should be noted that Nick’s family was in the audience, including his sister/daughter Bella (like, WTF). The camera even caught Bella crying at one point, but, like…I’m not feeling sorry for that situation anymore. Don’t bring a kid to a taping of a show where her brother is gonna have to talk to someone who dumped him on national television.

Finally the tense conversation is over.

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Chris brings us into a commercial break, the music and lights fade, the camera starts to pan out, and we see Nick jump up as if he’s ready to run off the stage. Chris makes a gesture like, “YO. SIT YER ASS DOWN, WE’RE NOT EVEN TO COMMERCIAL YET, BROSEF.”

Anyway! It was amusing. Don’t cry for Nick, Argentina, though – this morning I got an email from someone who knows that Nick is now officially represented as a model by a top agency (like, top-top), so he’s gonna be fiiine, #TeamNickLosers.

I don’t have any predictions for Kaitlyn and Shawn. This afternoon, while recording the Pizza Rainbow! podcast, I opined that they would maybe last a year or two…they kind of remind me a lot of Andi and Josh, where I really want them to work but also know that there’s outside forces – new fame, opportunities, etc – that are working against them. I do think that the fact that they had some issues in the beginning but worked through them is actually a really good foundation to a relationship, but. I don’t know? I feel like when it comes to really going the distance, the only couples I’ve been really right about are Molly + Jason Mesnick and Sean + Catherine Lowe. And I still want Andi and Josh to get back together, so.

Anyway! What a fun season, you guys.

And guess what? THERE’S NO BREAKS. Bachelor In Paradise already starts next week!

If you’ve enjoyed this season of recaps – which I’ve written just for YOU, FO’ FREE – please consider supporting my writing by pre-ordering my latest book (did you know I write books? I do!), The Middle of Nowhere, which comes out August 25th (but your pre-order includes an exclusive PDF digital copy sent to you right after you place your pre-order, for those of you like me who consider instant gratification to be a spiritual practice).

Because seriously. These recaps take all day. Sometimes even two days. And I love you, but…I love me more**.

See you hot babes next week for bikinis + tears!

* Simpson’s reference FTW
** Sex & The City: The Movie reference FTW

//

For more episode highlights, you can follow me on Twitter + follow my Bachelor Master List. You can also tune into the Pizza Rainbow! podcast every Friday for tawk about this week’s episode!

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About Amber L.

Hi! I'm Amber. I've been telling stories with books and blogs since 2004. I also spent 10 years working as a behavior therapist, which I now put to proper use by publishing thought pieces and dissertations on '80s pop music and the defining TV shows of our current times ('The Bachelor', 'Vanderpump Rules', etc). I can also be credited with single-handedly ruining the city of Portland, OR just by moving here.

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