The Bachelor Season 20, Finale Recap: Leave (Get Out)
After a long, protracted battle, only two women remain! Welcome to our weekly recap of The Bachelor: finale edition.
How do you pick between two women, when you’ve told both of them that you love them? That’s the question that Chris Harrison has presumably been repeatedly asking the Los Angeles studio audience he’s held against their will for the past two weeks, feeding them nothing but champagne and montage reels.
After the camera pans over Chris Harrison’s desperate hostages, we cut to shots of JoJo and Lauren B walking along the coast of Jamaica, talking to the producers about how much they love Bachelor Ben Higgins and subtly competing over who can wear the highest-waisted jean shorts.
Advantage: Lauren B. But barely.
Back at Camp Ben, Higgins waffles over the two women he’s told “I love you” to, something that his mother clearly disapproves of but that Ben’s dad covertly congratulates with a knowing fist bump of a glance.
Lauren B. kicks things off with the parents, opening by telling them how embarrassed she was to tell Ben that she wanted to meet his mom and dad. Dave Higgins continues to be an all-around DILF and seemingly chill guy, because I think he secretly wishes he was on the show. Lauren B. asks Ben’s mom how she can support a guy like Ben when the two face adversity, which, I don’t know, maybe it might have been a good idea to find that out before you get engaged. Ben’s mom is hesitant towards Lauren — we all know how well that can play out — and struggles to give Ben advice on how to decide between two women he’s dated on national TV.
Next up is JoJo, who has to sit through Ben telling his parents that he missed seeing the Hoover Dam while helicoptering over it with JoJo because they were too busy snogging, which I intent to read as their silent protest against the ecological destruction of the Southwest in the name of shallow progress. JoJo gets along well with Ben’s father, because everybody does, because he’s a silver fox and probably the next governor of Indiana. Dave Higgins for Bachelor Season 21!
JoJo also plays Ben’s mother well, letting the tears fly in order to let his mom establish her dominance. Well played JoJo. Well played.
After JoJo leaves, Ben seeks the counsel of his parents, and Dave Higgins delivers, dropping the bombshell, “Unfortunately you can’t propose to both of these ladies” (unless Hillary ushers in her liberal hellscape if left unchecked, he says with his perfectly-quaffed hair). The Higgins’ are clearly on #TeamJoJo, which bodes well for the future.
Back at the studio, we find that Chris Harrison’s psychopathy knows no bounds, as he’s now kidnapped Ben’s pastor as well as JoJo and Lauren B’s families backstage (which, awkward). Somebody must stop this man before his reckless quest for true love devastates half of Southern California.
On his date with Lauren, Ben takes his stress out by kissing Lauren B’s neck while she does her best to forward the plot. The two keep reiterating the talking point fed to them by the producers that they haven’t faced much adversity together, as if Ben and JoJo have already gone through the plot of Kramer v. Kramer in the past two months.
That night, Ben seems to start pumping the breaks for disappointment, talking about how much better of a man Lauren’s made him while what I’m pretty sure is the Spotlight sound track plays in the background and later Lauren B. is forced to ugly cry in front of a camera.
Gotta feel for Ben though — sure he created this mess, but as the poor guy admits, “this situation is tearing me apart.”
For Ben’s date with JoJo, he picks her up in a Jeep, hopefully to smoke a jazz cigarette and record a dub album somewhere in the Kingston side streets. But because we can’t have nice things, they instead go to some lame waterfall. After doing the obligatory make-out in the water, JoJo and Ben get serious, with JoJo relaying, “Your mom asked me where I saw this going afterwards, and we never really talked about that” BECAUSE WHY WOULD YOU TALK ABOUT THE FUTURE WHEN YOU’RE ON A COMPETITION TO FIND YOUR OSTENSIBLE LIFE PARTNER!?!?
At their meetup that night, JoJo admits “I’ve been scared a few times in my life, but I’ve never been this scared,” because she clearly lived a very sheltered life.
Later, while the two are sitting on the bathroom floor in a clear attempt to salvage whatever semblance of privacy and general human decency they have left, Ben admits to JoJo that he told Lauren he loved her too, which JoJo (reasonably) doesn’t take so great. “I’m so tired of competing,” says JoJo, WHO SIGNED UP FOR A REALITY COMPETITION THAT ENDS IN A PROPOSAL, all of which is captured and forcibly reverberated by the producers, who are always listening. Always watching.
Advantage: Draw. Maybe if you don’t know who you love one day before you’re supposed to propose, don’t propose to anybody. I don’t know, just my two cents.
In a brief aside of sublime comedy, ABC decided it was a good idea to bring in a ring guy for Ben, and handpicked somebody who looks like he’s doing an impersonation of John Travolta doing his impersonation of Robert Shapiro in The People v. OJ. The plastic faced man tries his best to sound sincere when asking Ben who the ring is for, and Ben’s reaction of indecision is so priceless it almost feels genuine.
Finally, it’s time.
JoJo arrives in the helicopter, and delivers a pretty great speech either penned by her or a former Ivy League intern. But Ben, ever the wussy, delivers his own wishy washy speech about how he still loves her, and without even actually saying she’s not the one for him, turns her the eff down.
It’s not a good look for Ben, and it’s a bummer for JoJo because she’s great and deserves better than Ben’s weak-ass mumbling about how he still loves her, but hey, at the very least, it gives us one more excuse to play this:
As JoJo pulls away, Ben sheds some weak-ass insipid tears, because he’s being as much of a girl about this as anybody else on the show. At least now hopefully we’ll get a follow up ABC show where JoJo’s brothers beat the crap out of Ben. Or maybe JoJo’s oil baron father will order Chris Harrison summarily executed for forcing him to sit backstage during the show. A guy can hope.
Finally, we see Ben calling Lauren B’s father, because Ben is a classy man who tells a woman he loves her while saying he won’t propose to her. It’s sweet I guess, although is it really worth the overcharges for an international call?
Lauren arrives, gives her speech, Ben goes down on one knee with the fugliest ring you’ve seen this side of Hoboken (after 100 p looking at pre-prepared notes for his speech), and we can all rest easy knowing that, 20 seasons later, the institution of network television-condoned vague sexism and misogyny is strong.