Alright folks — the literal day (okay, technically only 22 hours) of our lives that we’ve wasted watching this season of The Bachelor has come to its dramatic conclusion. From a harem of 28 ladies to our final contenders, Baby Lolo and Brojo, Ben was forced to make his most difficult decision yet on last night’s finale. Before we learn which lucky lady will be walking away from her free two-month vacation with a rose, an engagement ring the size of my left nut, and a new fiancé, ABC subjects us to watching Ben introduce his love(s) to his parents, two final dates and that fateful phone call reported to be more dramatic and tearful than the “I’m late” call I got in college. Let’s break it down:
Meet the Parents: Baby Lolo
The episode starts with both Baby Lolo and Brojo reiterating how in love they are with Ben. On the other hand, it seems Ben is starting to grasp the gravity of his fuck up. His Plan A was to move to Utah and marry both women, but apparently his job transfer request was denied. He takes a moment to ask Chris Harrison what his Plan B should be, and Chris stares at him blankly. “Pick one of them you idiot. I’m not getting paid by the hour so I’m going to need you to wrap this up.”
Ben chats with his parents. He tells the camera “I really love Brojo and Baby Lolo, and my parents’ opinions mean everything to me. Maybe they’ll make this decision for me. They did pick out my clothes every morning until I left for college” He cuts to the chase and tells Mama and Papa Higgins that he’s in love with both women. Mama Higgs says, “It’s really disturbing that he could be in love with 2 women. On second thought, anything is better than that blonde bimbo he brought home last time. Can I get another margarita?”
Baby Lolo is the first to get introduced to Ben’s parents. She shows up armed with flowers and wine and immediately tells them that on her first date with Ben, she told him she wanted to meet his parents. They shift in their seats uncomfortably, concerned their fear of Ben marrying a reality television psychopath stalker are being realized before their very eyes. Before they have a chance to phone the police, Baby Lolo dives right into a riveting conversation with Ben’s dad, which went a little something like this:
Papa Higgs: “When did you know you loved Ben?”
Baby Lolo: “Ben was like will you trust me, and I was like okay I will.”
Papa Higgs: “Do you love him?”
Baby Lolo: “I’m very much in love with him. Do you think Ben is ready to make that commitment and get engaged?”
Papa Higgs: “I think so. Are you ready?”
Baby Lolo: “I am ready.”
Papa Higgs: “Is your greatest aspiration in life to be an NFL cheerleader?”
Baby Lolo: “No.”
Papa Higgs: “Good enough for me.”
It upsets me that these two are real people.
Baby Lolo talks to Mama Higgins next. Mama Higgs lays into her hard, asking if Baby Lolo had ever seen Ben in a difficult situation, where he tends to get worked up and very intense. Mama Higgs takes it a step further, saying “I need someone to talk him off the ledge.” I’m not sure flight attendant training provides that kind of expertise; this sounds like a job for your friendly neighborhood psychiatrist. Also I would consider having my significant other’s parents drop not-so-subtle hints about mental instability to be a red flag, but that’s just me.
Meet the Parents 2: Brojo
After meeting Baby Lolo, Ben’s parents tell him that the bar for Brojo is set quite high. Papa Higgins bites his tongue immediately upon getting his first glimpse of Brojo’s knockers; he completely forgets about the existence of Baby Lolo and starts mouthing “Pick her! Pick this one!” at Ben behind Brojo’s back.
Ben and Brojo reminisce on tender moments they’ve shared during the approximately 18 hours total they’ve spent together. They joke about taking a helicopter ride in Vegas and missing out on seeing the Hoover Dam. Mama Higgs asks if they were having “too much cuddle time” in the helicopter and I throw up in my mouth a little bit.
Mama and Papa Higgs both take time to talk to Brojo. She tells Mama Higgs that she feels safe and protected around Ben, and Mama Higgs tells Brojo that Ben says the same about her. She apparently meets the standard set by Baby Lolo, as they tell Ben, “Yeah, we can’t help you decide. Tough shit, son.” Mama Higgs says, “It’s upsetting that he doesn’t know who he wants to plant his stake with!” Hate to break it to you Mama Higgs, but Ben’s definitely been planting his stake in both of them.
Final Date with Baby Lolo
This whole date was bullshit. Ben and Baby Lolo head out on a catamaran. They giggle, make out, and tell each other that they’re beautiful. At some point during the date, Baby Lolo becomes concerned that Ben seems more distant and feels that he has a “heavy mind.” My guess is her mind has never been very heavy. He confesses that he is stressed about the decision he has to make, but reminds her that she’s beautiful and kisses her neck. Normal.
Over dinner, Baby Lolo asks Ben if he has any doubts about their relationship. He says no, and that from the moment he saw her, things between them have been perfect. In fact, they’ve been so perfect it’s frightening. The rest of their conversation sounds more like a mashup of an entry in a teenage girl’s diary about her first crush and a Valentine’s Day Lifetime movie pumped to the brim with extra estrogen and desperation. Ben and Baby Lolo say they’ve been praying about their relationship “a lot” over the past days. I start praying a lot that this conversation ends quickly.
Final Date with Brojo
Ben and Brojo hop into a Jeep and head off to their last date before the Final Rose Ceremony. I have to give Ben props — he does a great job of driving on the wrong side of the road while simultaneously fingerblasting Brojo in the passenger seat. At least I think that’s what was happening — the camera didn’t show their hands but the two of them had big, shit-eating grins on their faces the entire time.
This date is an exact replica of the one they went on prior to their night in the Fantasy Suite. It’s super boring. They go swimming in some tropical pond — there is a zip line or rope swing-like contraption that Ben and Brojo attempt to ride on together. As soon as they start swinging, Brojo loses her grip and plummets into the water below. Moments later Ben lets go as well and relives his Halo glory days and teabags Brojo in the process of splashing into the pool.
The remainder of the date is devoted to “serious” conversations about their “relationship.” Brojo asks Ben where they would live post-Bachelor, since her whole family is in Dallas and he’s on his own in Denver. Ben looks puzzled as if he’s never considered life past his final rose. In his defense, he doesn’t even have her phone number at this point, so let’s take things one step at a time.
Brojo keeps telling the camera she’s looking for a sign or a signal from Ben — anything to help her understand where their relationship stands. Eventually she breaks down and starts crying in the bathroom. Ben consoles her by telling her that he also loves Baby Lolo and has told her that as well. If that doesn’t get him laid, I don’t know what will; telling the girl you love that you also love another girl is a classic strategy, I’ve heard.
Ben and Brojo both cry together for a while before he heads back to his own room. It’s an incredibly interesting stretch of the episode — all we hear from the microphones is sobbing and all we can see on the screen in the closed bathroom door. Remind me, why hasn’t The Bachelor swept the Emmys before?
The Final Rose
The next morning, Ben meets with Neil Lane to pick out engagement rings. Neil asks him to tell him about his intended, and Ben is like “Oh yeah I still don’t know who’s getting the rock.” After staring into the diamonds for some time, Ben has a revelation, stating “If I’m honest with myself, I’m really fully in love with one of these women.” Apparently there’s a different between “in love” and “really fully in love.” Noted.
After an extended montage of Ben, Brojo, and Baby Lolo getting ready for the final rose ceremony, the two ladies set off in helicopters to meet Ben for possibly the last time. Ben tells the camera he feels physically sick, and that “I’ve never broken up with someone I’ve loved before.” Don’t worry Ben, it may not be the emotions making you sick, it could have been the sushi you late-nighted at the Sandals Jamaica resort last night.
A helicopter touches down near a patiently waiting Chris Harrison. The exit of its occupant is prolonged, as the first one out is almost always the one who gets axed. We see a foot and then a glimpse of a pink dress; it’s Brojo.
Like leading a lamb to the slaughter, Chris Harrison escorts Brojo to Ben. She takes his hands and launches into a touching monologue. It’s like watching a train wreck in slow motion. Brojo tells Ben “From the moment I met you, you intrigued me. From being in your arms in Mexico City to telling you I love you, it’s made me realize taking this chance could be worth it. I’ve struggled and I’m scared. Love isn’t supposed to be easy, it’s supposed to be worth it. This is worth it. It’s crazy to think that in just a couple months you’ve become my best friend and a man I’ve fallen completely in love wit hand will never run from.” Cue the waterworks. Hearts across America are being ripped to shreds.
Ben struggles to speak, finally squeaking out “I came into this not knowing if I could find love. I didn’t know if this would be real. But with you, it was real – always.” I try to telepathically make him stop talking. Ignoring me, Ben continues. “I didn’t know if I could find love. I found it with you. But I found it with somebody else more.”
With that single sentence, Brojo senses that she has been bro-zoned. Ben stumbles around with his words, but the meaning is clear – he simply loves Baby Lolo more. Over and over he tells Brojo that he really does love her, simultaneously twisting the knife of rejection into her back while he salts the wound with the continued professions of his feelings. It’s terrible to watch. She asks where things went wrong – was it her Brobros? Did she not give good brojobs in the Fantasy Suite?
Ben tells Brojo that nothing went wrong with their relationship; he simply loves Baby Lolo more. Eventually she responds, “That’s fine” and tells him she wants to go home – which is convenient because that’s where he’s sending her. He asks if he can walk her out, and she says, “If you’d like to.” He escorts her to the limo, and she departs, sobbing all the way.
As Brojo is driving away, we see Ben pull out a cell phone. I’m on the edge of my seat; we’ve seen previews of this call for the entire season. Chris Harrison promised it would change everything. Ben punches in a number and it begins to ring. At home, Amanda glances at her phone, checking to make sure she doesn’t have any missed calls.
We hear a “Hello?” from the phone’s speaker. It’s a man’s voice. Is there something that Ben hasn’t been telling us? I haven’t had so much anxiety twelve hours earlier when I was awaiting an email telling me if everything I’ve worked towards for the last eight years of college and medical school had paid off in a residency position.
Ben answers the voice, “Mr. Bushnell, this is Ben Higgins.”
Do you remember the moment you found out that Santa Claus wasn’t real? Everything you’d believed in and known to be true all your life was crashing down. That’s how I felt in this moment. For weeks, ABC had cockteased us with this phone call, making us believe that in an instant, everything would change in some insane, M. Night Shyamalan plot twist. However, in reality this twist was just as shitty as everything Shyamalan has put out since 2005- instead of Ben professing his undying love to one of the ladies he’d already sent home, he asked Baby Lolo’s father permission to propose. This is why I have trust issues.
Baby Lolo steps out of the helicopter. As walks toward Ben, I notice the two of them have oddly similar eyebrows. It provides enough of a distraction through yet another rendition of their confessions of love to keep me from vomiting the obscene amount of Domino’s pizza I drunk-ate after stumbling home from the bar. (I spent 20 minutes cleaning sauce off my keyboard today. Adult game strong.)
Ben tells Baby Lolo that on this journey full of goodbyes, she was the one woman that he never wants to say goodbye to. He goes on, telling her, “I want to wake up every morning and kiss you on the face. I want to go to bed knowing I’ll wake up next to the most beautiful woman I’ve ever laid eyes on. I want to spend the rest of my life with you.” With that, he gets down on bended knee, brandishing his Neil Lane ring and asks, “Will you marry me?” Baby Lolo exclaims, “Yes! Of course” before jamming the rock that is worth more than three times her salary onto her finger as fast as humanly possible. She looks at the ring lovingly, whispering “Yes…my precious” as Ben picks her up, carrying to the helicopter towards their happily ever after. Or something like that.
After The Final Rose
After Ben confessed that he was prepared to marry his winner on the spot during last week’s Women Tell All episode, Chris Harrison invited Ben’s pastor from Warsaw to join the crew at After The Final Rose in hopes of pressuring Ben into tying the knot with Baby Lolo immediately for a ratings boost. Of note, this is the first time that a Bible has been involved in a Bachelor related event since Sean Lowe used one to leave room for Jesus when he was busy not banging people in the Fantasy Suite. I digress.
Chris Harrison spent the first few segments of the show interrogating Ben. For some unclear reason, Ben stole one of Ron Burgundy’s least favorite suits to wear for this television appearance. It was more atrocious than Momjo’s botched cosmetic surgeries. Once he was finished grilling Ben, Harrison brings Brojo out to confront Ben for the first time since he told her he loved her and dumped her in the same sentence. Brojo did an excellent job picking out a tasteful black number with some not-so-subtle boobage spilling out of a well-placed cutout, reminding Ben of exactly what he was missing out on since he scorned her in Jamaica.
I’ll be honest – the only thing I cared about during this entire hour was finding out the identity of the next Bachelorette. I think I’ve been pretty clear about my feelings towards Caila getting the nod, a notion that was fueled by sights of her back in her hometown a few weeks ago with camera crew in tow. My vision of her season would be that instead of handing out roses, she would hand out riddles; if her suitors could understand her and answer correctly, they’d get to stay. It’d be like a romantic version of Are You Smarter Than A Fifth Grader, except none of them would be smarter than fifth graders.
Before Brojo left the stage, Chris Harrison stands up, saying that the time to introduce the next Bachelorette had arrived. He pointed offstage, asking the audience to welcome her, but at the last minute yelled “Psych! It’s Brojo! Did you really think we’d give Caila an entire season when Brojo is clearly way hotter? Dude are going to go apeshit fighting over her” I’ll admit – ABC did a great job with the smoke and mirrors, even I was convinced it was Caila. Thanks for sticking this season out with me – its been a hell of a ride. Brojo’s season starts May 23rd – see you then..