Here’s the thing: when you advertise a shocking, unexpected finale over and over again, you’re sort of setting yourself up for disappointment. Additionally, if you tease at a proposal over and over again, and there’s only one couple who is even remotely likely to get engaged, you’re setting yourself up for a letdown. Unless, of course, the proposal comes from the least expected couple, the one no one sees coming. Right? So, if we were to look at the Bachelor In Paradise finale through this lens, one would assume that Michelle and Cody left the show as an engaged couple, because Michelle and Cody were not fully committed or certain of a future together. An engagement, in this case, would actually be unexpected. Surely it wouldn’t be Marcus and Lacy, the happiest and most tenaciously committed couple on the show, right? Because that would be unsurprising and totally not shocking at all. Right?? Sigh.
The Bachelor In Paradise finale didn’t bring too many surprises, but I definitely learned a few things. Mostly things about Cody Sattler’s anatomy that I wish I’d never, ever known. Honestly, if I could go back in time and change one thing about this show, it would be hearing Michelle Money say that she was “sore and satisfied,” because even recalling it right now makes me want to throw up a little. Unfortunately, that moment will continue to haunt me in my sleep for years to come. Shudder.
What I Learned
1. When Chris Harrison says “game changer,” he means sex, mostly. Chris Harrison always has a twist up his sleeve, and the season finale of Bachelor In Paradise is no exception. Of course, when he shows up at the house to tell the contestants what’s up, he uses a lot of vague phrasing like “things are about to get real” and “this is a game-changing decision.” Make or break. Do or die. Et cetera. Is it really that big of a deal? No, of course not. But if you ask Michelle, it’s “literally like having a gun pointed at your head.” Except, you know, without the gun. But otherwise, literally. Part one of their big surprise is this: they have to choose whether or not to stay together in “the real world.” You know, outside of paradise, where the real humans live? A scary concept indeed. Luckily, part two of the “game changer” is just to get laid, which all of them seem to be much more equipped to handle. Except for poor Robert.
2. AshLee Frazier is probably still in a corner somewhere, rocking and repeating Graham’s name. I don’t think anyone who watched this show would argue with this statement: AshLee is delusional. She spent all season tied up a relationship with Graham which, obviously, did not actually exist. It didn’t even sort of exist. Graham was on planet Earth and AshLee was in a galaxy far, far away. It’s almost sad, watching how confidently she goes into the final stretch of the show, so sure of Graham’s commitment to her. It only takes a five minute conversation with Michelle for him to change his mind and catch the next flight home. I mean, she isn’t even worth an extra day in Mexico at a luxury resort. What a total slap in the face. The thing is, even after rejection, AshLee stays true to Graham. “He liked me, so I was the lucky one,” she sniffles in the limo. Yikes.
3. Despite their completely genuine quests for love, almost everyone will leave town if you say “future commitment.” At the start of the season finale, we have six “couples” in paradise: Marcus and Lacy; Sarah and Robert; Graham and AshLee; Tasos and Christy; Zack and Jackie; Cody and Michelle. Almost immediately, though, these contestants start dropping like flies. Tasos and Christy? They barely get an on-screen send off. Did Tasos even unpack? Sheesh. Oh, and all that time we spent, stressing over Zack’s feelings for Clare and Jackie? Irrelevant. He and Jackie are like, “Whatevs!” and they head home without a backward glance. It’s really just AshLee and Graham who seem to care at all (the former definitely more than the latter) but I’m not sure why more couples don’t just lie and say they’re willing to give it a shot, you know, for the extra time on TV? Like all of sudden, everyone is concerned about sincerity? I mean, if Michelle and Cody and their sham of a love story can eat up all this airtime, at least let Tasos go swimming once before he leaves.
4. Michelle seeks love advice from her 9-year-old daughter, because of course she does. In her horrific experience of “literally” having a gun to her head, Michelle must decide whether or not Cody-code is the man for her. Will their three-day-old relationship be strong enough to survive in the real world? Can they make it when they’re not living in the same place? Will he make a good father? Are they truly compatible? Do they even know anything about each other at all? Do any of these questions need to be answered today? YES. YES THEY DO. See, it really is like a gun to her head! Michelle is freaking out, though, so she does what any grown woman would do: she asks her 9-year-old daughter. Brielle, who must’ve inherited her brains from dad, wisely advises that Michelle take the time to think about things. Michelle is like, “I can’t!” and then decides to stay. Okay, sure. That was healthy.
5. Robert is a prude who may or may not even have a penis. What happens in the Fantasy Suite stays in the Fantasy Suite, unless you’re Sarah and nothing at all happens in the Fantasy Suite. Poor Sarah. I really thought that she and Robert might have something real going, but it turns out that Robert is nothing more than a wet noodle. While Lacy and Michelle both return from their overnights with the glow of a happily-banged woman, Sarah sadly tells us how Robert barely touched her. Even though they’d been French kissing all night! (Side note: what the f*ck grown person specifies French kissing? Ugh.) So, they made out, but when she came out of the bathroom from brushing her teeth, Robert was already in bed. With his jeans on. Yes, he wore his jeans into bed. When she tried to unbuckle his jeans, he pushed her away. Ouch! Strangely, though, Robert thinks things were great! He had a great time! He loves sleeping fully clothed next to the woman he feels indifferent toward! Sarah wants
more any some passion in her life, so they break up.
6. Bachelor alums have great advice, except not really. You know who knows all about achieving the glory of love despite impossible odds? Other morons from this show! Bachelor and Bachelorette alums are flown in to give our final couples some much needed advice. We’ve got Molly and Jason, who are still together and actually seem really solid. It’s totally weird. Remember when Jason proposed to Melissa and then was like, “No, my bad, I want the other one”? Ha ha good times. Molly’s hair is doing something real bad, but Jason’s looking good, for a Mesnick. Then we’ve got Catherine and Sean, who are newlyweds or whatever. Sean smiles stupidly a lot, which is what he’s best at. Finally, Des and Chris show up because…they didn’t have anyone else? Honestly, Chris doesn’t say one word, which is exactly like he was on the show originally. I do not remember one thing about him. Anyway, this panel of experts are on hand to share their wisdom with our Bachelor In Paradise finalists. They’re all, “I thought this was all BS, but these guys sure are in love!” and then they leave. It’s not very helpful.
7. Marcus and Lacy are engaged. Duh.
What I’m Left Wondering
Was I the only one who threw something at my TV when Graham made a Paradise Lost reference?
Why don’t we get a reunion/where are they now episode? (Just kidding, I don’t want one)
Will Tasos ever get the airtime he deserves?
Will there be a second season of this monstrosity?
How’s the raccoon doing?