Previously on the Bachelorette: Nearly an entire day of programming. Dez (…the girl), Drew (gel), Chris (tall), and Brooks (gel and tall) went to Antigua. Dez wanted Drew's body. She looked very skeptical about moving to Seattle with Chris. And then for 45 minutes, the Bachelorette producers cut the 7th Heaven soundtrack, and a nation watched as Brooks kicked Dez to the curb.
Chris Harrison welcomes us to the LIVE "dramatic" conclusion of the Bachelorette. How Chris Harrison could know a live event will be dramatic is unclear.
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Anyway, things are pretty bleak at the outset. Chris Harrison informs us that when we last saw Dez, she was heartbroken, alone, crying at the end of a dock, and "virtually hopeless."
We travel back to the first week of May. Dez is mooning around the balcony of her house in Antigua, then it's time for a bilateral meeting with love envoy Chris Harrison. Dez looks…a little unkempt.
"I’m okay when people don’t ask," Dez says, which I'm going to start using at parties. She weeps into that tissue, "I just want to go home …to be honest." The pause gets me every time.
Chris Harrison cajoles her into some platitudes about her consolation prize options, until he tells the person who just sobbed through the last five minutes about how she wanted to leave her free vacation to Antigua, "What I'm hearing from you is that you want to stay on."
The rose ceremony will continue, of course.
"If you don't want to, just please let me know," she says, crying. The general ambiance is similar to the time my freshman English TA broke down in class.
"I'll never leave Desiree," Drew informs us with some Whiskey Rebellion intensity out of his tiny body.
So, it's back to some dates and stuff. Drew's first, but before that, we randomly see Desiree getting ready for her big day:
She and Drew are riding horses around the island. She gives Drew the girl horse, named "Judy."
During their ride, this conversation actually takes place:
Dez: "You’ve been hanging out by the beach?"
Drew: "No, I’ve just been hanging in my room."
They get to the beach, and are there approximately two seconds before Dez is like, "Yeah, no."
Drew actually, despite Desiree sobbing her way through the preceding rose ceremony and wearing black sweatpants and a bandana, toasts "To being madly in love."
And she kicks him off right then and there.
"I'm crushed," he says. "I'm confused. I didn't see coming out of this without her."
"I made up my mind that I was ready to do it," he continues, which I think is sort of the crux for what follows in this three-hour edition. The idea that, at some point, you're ready for the next phase of your life, working with the variables before you. Or else the looming Dementor's kiss of loneliness that hangs over us all.
The next day, with only one contestant left (and, like, a producer having a nervous breakdown), Dez looks slightly busted.
She ambles around and it looks like she might boot Chris, too, like this was going to be an indie drama version of The Bachelorette. But then!
As the day wears on, Dez is wearing progressively more makeup. And what's the reason?
You can actually see the gears shift in Dez's brain as they sit there talking. She considers it. She reconciles herself to the harsh reality that she might have to date a hot baseball player who's a nice guy.
What does one do with all the knick knacks acquired over the course of a 10-week Bachelorette season? I mean, this is like a damn high school graduation, minus the Amazon gift cards. She's obviously not going to write in all those books—this isn't Churchill here. Grocery lists?
Dez is actually crying tears of happiness, accepting this idea that Chris is a good guy with whom she has a rapport.
Back in the studio, the Dementor's kiss of loneliness looms.
Chris is introduced to Desiree's family, and frankly, just seeing the (AWESOME) brother a few weeks ago, I can tell you that Zak (hard to dislike bro) and Chris (unassuming athlete) were without a doubt the only two finalists or near finalists that had even a slim chance of getting this guy's tatted nod of approval.
"I'm comfortable with what we have," Chris says of his relationship with Desiree as compared to the other guys', noting he was a skeptic of the show. Dez's brother tells her he approves.
Which is good, because Chris is ready to propose. I don't know what to tell you about that. I mean, I do, but give me a minute.
He goes to see the ring doctor, who's got a case of three rings that I guess she picked out. Did we see that? At this point I feel like I could have seen this woman's dental appointment.
He selects one. Dez heads out to this abandoned platform.
"Not only do I want to give my heart over to someone, they want to give it over to me," Dez says. She concedes she needs to tell Chris that she considered herself in love with Brooks.
Chris exits the limo, looking like a Blues Brother. They pal around with ease, and she tells him she sent Drew home—he breaks into a hilarious smile at that news.
So they have it out about Brooks, which is to say, she brings it up, and he obviously kind of doesn't care. "I didn't see what was right in front of me the entire time," she says.
This didn't sit well with everybody! Here is what I emailed a friend last night:
I actually have no problem with this outcome. Chris is basically as close to a normal guy as appears on this show, so if there's a chance she actually marries him, hey, good for her, why not? I don't wish her ill, and they really do have a natural rapport.
And besides, it's not like Brooks and Desiree shared some kind of tortured Evelyn Waugh romance here, or Brooks was even…I mean, Brooks was fine. But come on.
"So after you left, it was really good," Desiree tells Brooks in their otherwise uneventful studio reunion, three months out of Antigua—and I apparently believe her!
I realize I made a The Searchers reference a few weeks ago, and I hate to double up, but since I just watched it this summer (after reading this great Washington Post piece about the film's legacy): If you watch this nonsense for long enough, you basically end up like Natalie Wood in The Searchers, assimilating and refusing to leave the tribe. Generally: I don't know, she seems pretty all right, and he's a nice guy. They'll probably write "DANCE LIKE NO ONE'S WATCHING" on a wall in their kitchen with a distressed motif. Well, why not?
In the studio, they rewatch his proposal with the audience. Chris then reads another poem, bookended by "MY GIRL" and "I LOVE YOU!", framed, with dried rose petals pressed into the paper. I mean, this is just the cheesiest. But I like him anyway! I don't know what's wrong with me. Baseball, I guess.
To conclude with good news: She's moving to Seattle this weekend.
To conclude with the best news: Guess who the next Bachelor is?
See y'all back here for that. And good luck to Chris and Desiree. And remember:
This was wasted on these people.
(Actually, one final note: This was a hell of a lot of fun—thanks for the feedback and jokes! Here is the full archive in case you were looking for it. I am looking for new ideas on what to do next (doesn't have to be a TV show), hit me up on Twitter @katherinemiller or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org, subject line, "WE'RE THE MILLERS.")