Well kiddies, we made it to the finale. After wading through weeks of catty girl fights, nauseatingly bad group dates, countless girls blubbering about losing their “soul mate” while being shuttled to the airport and about 8,000 gratuitous shots of Sean’s abs, we have finally reached the night that Sean will (hopefully, possibly) declare his love for one woman and ride off into the sunset in almost-wedded bliss.
Or something like that.
Anyway, the three-hour “Quest for Love” begins in Thailand, where Sean is down to his last two girls, the gleeful good girl, Lindsay, and the exotic-but-goofy Catherine. Of course, Sean hasn’t yet decided which girl is supposed to be his wife (even though he’s due to propose in less than 48 hours), so he calls in his family to help him decide. (I don’t mean to be the buzz kill here but if you are about to ask someone to spend the rest of their life with you, shouldn’t it be pretty clear by now?)
In between scenes, Chris Harrison is back in Los Angeles with a live studio audience, teasing us that this will be “the most dramatic Bachelor finale ever” and that there will be a big surprise that’s “never happened on ‘The Bachelor’ before.” Hmmm…well, we’ve seen a ‘Bachelor’ dump his fiancé on live TV in favor of his second-place finisher; we’ve seen a ‘Bachelor’ freak out and not pick anyone during the finale…what’s left? Perhaps Tierra will come back, murder both Catherine and Lindsay in their hotel rooms, slap on Lindsay’s wedding dress from the first night, and show up at the proposal site?
Anyway, Sean’s family arrives and it’s clear that they all wanted a free trip to Thailand to help Sean decide which girl to pick, because they’ve literally carted in everyone that’s even remotely related to Sean: sister, parents, nieces and nephews, in-laws. The whole gang is here to “help” Sean. They all say how happy they are to be there. Um…yeah, you guys are living it up in Thailand on ABC’s dime. I’d be pretty damn happy too.
The first girl to meet Sean’s family is Catherine. She’s nervous and tells us that it’s a “big risk” for her to be herself in front of Sean’s family. I think she’s starting to take quotes directly from AshLee at this point. Sean’s family seems intrigued by Catherine’s exotic looks. (“She looks like one of them hula girls!”)
Mama Lowe quickly steals Catherine away and asks about the “passion” between Cat and her son. (Yeah, that’s not awkward at all. At least she didn’t ask her what “base” they went to in the Fantasy Suite. It could have been worse.)
Catherine seems totally prepared for the conversation. In fact, she has a completely rehearsed answer for every question Mama throws her way. It soon sounds like Cat’s applying for the assistant manager job of a Forever 21, rather than attempting to marry someone.
Next Papa Lowe gets his turn with Catherine. He seems to have really taken a liking to her, but wants to chat about whether Catherine thinks she can really find love on a television show. Once again, Catherine’s ready with her answers, and the job interview chat goes well. She keeps plugging in key phrases like “soul mates” and “best friends,” and basically aces the whole thing.
Soon, it’s time to put Catherine into the shuttle van so that Lindsay can arrive. Before his second potential wife arrives, Sean takes some time to collect his thoughts during a stroll around the hotel’s pond. As he walks around the murky pond, he’s clearly lost in his thoughts. I, however, can’t stop thinking about how many mosquitoes must be lurking in that nasty brown water. Seriously, I’d be wearing a mosquito net over my head the whole time I was anywhere near that cesspool of malaria! Safety first!
Anyway, Lindsay arrives, and the family seems to really like her as well. She, like Catherine, is quick to bust out the “best friend” and “soul mate” phrases when one of Sean’s parents ask her a question. However, she also casually inserts stuff about God and prayer into the conversation, which seems to put her a few points ahead of Catherine in the parents’ eyes. Sean’s dad tells Lindsay that they have been praying for Sean to find his wife since the day he was born. While most of America probably found this extremely sweet and endearing, I found it completely odd and creepy. But, then again, I’m a terrible person, so…
Moving on, Lindsay ups the “creep factor” by asking Sean’s dad for his son’s hand in marriage, to which Papa Lowe gleefully agrees. Next she talks to Sean’s mom and eventually they’re both in tears, hugging and squealing about how lovely the other is. You’ve got your work cut out for you, Cat!
After he puts Lindsay in the shuttle van, it’s time for Sean to go check in with his family to see which girl they liked better. His mom reminds him that there’s no pressure on him to propose. (Um…except for the millions of people that are watching and expecting a proposal…but other than that…)
Sean’s mom seems very scared that her son is days away from asking one of these women to marry him, yet he has no clue which one he wants. (Smart lady!) I’m sure the show’s producers were ready to throw her in the malaria pit for even suggesting that Sean not propose. The rest of the family tells Sean to “follow his heart.” Um, gee thanks, guys. That so wasn’t worth paying to fly your asses all the way to Thailand.
The next day is Sean’s last date with Lindsay. She tells Sean that she feels blessed to be there. Hell, she gets to spend the day floating down a river in Thailand. I’d go on a date with Shrek if it meant I got to do that.
Anyway, Sean and Lindsay board a raft thingy and drink champagne while two Thai men paddle them down the river. (That champagne probably costs more than both those men make in a year combined.) As they float down the river, you can almost see all of the mosquitoes bubbling to the surface. I hope y’all are up-to-date on your shots!
Afterwards, they head to a hut to talk about their future together. Lindsay tells Sean that she loves him and he, unable to tell her he feels the same way, lets out a strange hum-like noise that made me laugh so hard that I kept rewinding it and watching it over and over again.
Later, Sean puts on a crisp salmon-colored tee to join Lindsay in her room. He thanks her for being “such a surprise” (a nice way of saying “I thought you were a total wackjob when I met you.”) She presents him with three “wish lanterns” which they take outside and let fly into the sky. Sean tells us that he thinks Lindsay may be “the one.”
The next day is Catherine’s final date with Sean. She has some ground to make up after Lindsay’s stellar showings. Sean informs Catherine that they’ll be spending the day riding an elephant. (Um…how is this even fair? Lindsay had to sail down the Malaria River, while Cat gets to frolic around Thailand on an elephant?!)
Later, they sit down for a chat and Sean asks Catherine if she thinks they’ll be together 50 years from now. Um…let’s relax a little, buddy. After all, this is ‘The Bachelor.’ Let’s shoot for 50 days from now. That would actually be quite an accomplishment.
During the commercial breaks, we’re forced to watch previews for that horrific-looking new Splash celebrity diving show. Seriously, who would watch this crap?! I’d literally rather poison myself with carbon monoxide than watch Louie Anderson belly-flop off the high dive.
But anyway, back on Sean and Catherine’s date, Catherine is having a hard time expressing her feelings for Sean and tells us she’s nervous to “put herself out there” because there’s “so much on the line.” (She wins for using the most ‘Bachelor’ clichés in a single sentence, if nothing else.)
Finally, it’s time for Sean to leave. They start playing this ridiculous heart-beat-type music, which tells us something exciting is about the happen. In the end, it’s just that Catherine finally tells Sean that she loves him. Ho-hum. I was hoping it was going to be Tierra climbing over the balcony with a kitchen knife. I never get what I want…
Sean leaves, but Catherine’s really upset so she follows him and gets him to turn around. He comforts her, and she tells us that she’s very frustrated because Sean can’t tell her how he feels about her. (At least Lindsay got that creepy hum noise in response to her “I love you!”) After he leaves, she goes to sob on her bed.
Next, the cameras head back to the live studio audience to hear what the fans have to say. Oh, hey….no one cares. Can we just move this crap along, please? I really don’t need to know what Sally, a fan from San Antonio, thinks about the whole episode. ABC is determined to stretch this crap-isode out for as long as possible.
Anyway, back in Thailand, it’s the morning of the proposal. Sean gets up, oils his body (as you do), and looks over the balcony dramatically while telling us that he received some clarity last night and now knows which girl he’s going to propose to.
Neil Lane arrives with a suitcase full of diamonds, and Sean quickly picks out a ring for his beloved. He tells us that he feels such joy that this “journey” has paid off for him. I feel such sadness that my life is so pathetic that I’ve devoted almost three hours to watching Sean take his “journey.”
Meanwhile, Lindsay’s getting all suited up in a silver lame gown and is certain that by the end of the night, she’ll be engaged to Sean. Catherine, on the other hand, has chosen a gold glitter gown for the occasion, and seems to be struggling to process all that is happening. What I want to know is why are both ladies dressed up like they’re auditioning for The Supremes?
Anyway, Sean heads to the proposal site and is upset that in order to propose to his true love, he’ll first have to break the heart of the other girl. The SUV arrives carrying the girl that is about to have her heart shattered. Chris Harrison opens the door and out steps…Lindsay. She can hardly wait to get to Sean, as she clomps down the aisle to the proposal site.
Sean tells her that while she’s perfect, has everything he’d ever want in a wife and that he loves her, she’s not the one that’s going to get her claws on that Neil Lane diamond. He keeps telling Lindsay how much he loves her (all while breathing awkwardly into the mic). As soon as Lindsay hears that she’s not “the one” going home with the ring, she bends down and tears her clod-hopper heels of her feet, as if to say he’s no longer worth getting blisters over. In the words of Rikki Lake, circa 1999, “You go, girl!”
She tells Sean that this whole ordeal is basically her nightmare and Sean starts crying and telling her how “blessed” he was to have met her. If I were Lindsay I would have smacked him in the face with my high heel for saying that. He escorts her into the Pity Limo and she heads off to Forever Aloneville…and the airport.
Once Lindsay’s been shuttled away, Chris Harrison approaches Sean with a letter from Catherine. All of America (or at least those of us with nothing better to do than watch this crap on a Monday night) is holding their breath and wondering if this letter might be a sort of “Dear John” letter from Catherine, informing Sean that she’s hit the bricks.
Unfortunately, the letter turns out to be a love note from Catherine and not anything particularly exciting or scandalous. Catherine arrives and soon Sean is just gushing about how great she is, blah blah blah. He drops to his knee and asks her to be his wife. For a second, it looks like she’s about to pass out and fall into the lake that’s next to her. She manages to keep it together (and make awkward “orgasm” faces) and quickly accepts Sean’s proposal.
Almost on cue, an elephant arrives to pick up the newly engaged couple and carry them off into the sunset. (While this was extremely high up on the “cheese factor” scale, nothing could ever top the wonderfulness that was the “On the Wings of Love” montage that was played during Jake and Vienna’s proposal. That was straight Velveeta status!)
OK…so….where was this “surprise” that we had been being promised for three…hours?! The “After the Final Rose” hour was basically just them telling each other how much they loved each other (gag me with a spoon), and Sean revealing that they might get married sometime soon, although no date has been set. He also let us know that they will get married on TV.
Seriously? Seriously!? I waited three hours to find out that Sean and Catherine will be mooching wedding crap off of ABC?
I need a life.
Until next season, kiddies!!!