We actually did it! This is my first season I’ve actually completed each and every recap for each episode of the show. What a journey we’ve been on! Let’s do a quick recap of the finale, though, I’ll tell ya, it was not exactly riveting. When we left Nick, he was at a crossroads, let’s see which path he chooses!
I always forget that they show the finale live to the After the Final Rose taping audience—I sincerely appreciated Chris Harrison’s intro for the final episode when he called Nick’s search for love “desperate”. TOO TRUE. Nick, Vanessa, and Raven are headed to the Arctic Circle, but maybe they’re just staying in Lapland? The geography of this episode is mind boggling. Much of the Viall clan has flown all the way to Finland to meet these girls, even Bella is there and she straight up asks him, “Do you have a favorite?” He does. His parents detail their excruciating pain over these past few seasons and, yeah, honestly I feel bad for this whole family, especially Bella. Raven is the first one to meet the family even though, you know, she’s met many of them before including her bestie Bella. Bella even tells her that she hopes Nick picks her. Poor Bella. Raven and Nick’s dad hang out for a little bit and she tells him that she’s hoping for a proposal—according to his dad, she has more a sense of maturity that he wasn’t expecting. Kinda same. Nick’s mom and Nick chat and she says that she can’t imagine Raven ever hurting Nick, which, I do have to agree. It’s also very clear that Nick loved Kaitlyn WAY more than Andi. They barely even mention her name. But Raven’s day with the fam goes well, which is to be expected. Vanessa is there the next day and I never would have thought it, but she’s actually a really wonderful storyteller—something I envy about her. She talks to both of his parents and with his mom she’s maybe a little too open about the fact that she’s not positive that she wants to get engaged at the end of this. With his dad, she asks him if love is enough to make a relationship work, which clearly it is not. The two of them cry and hug and very clearly Nick’s dad is Team Vanessa. It is interesting, though, that Nick’s family describes Vanessa as “his type” and then goes on to tell him that his type hasn’t exactly worked out in the past. They essentially call Vanessa the safe choice. I gotta say, I disagree with that, but OKAY, VIALLS. It was two relatively uneventful days with the family, minus Vanessa and Nick’s dad crying together, but all in all, it seems like it might be a pretty even playing field for Vanessa and Raven.
Vanessa has her date first, which, if you’re even a slight aficionado, you know that means she’s getting engaged. (Spoiler alert? COME ON, GUYS, IT’S BEEN A FULL WEEK.) Vanessa says that she’s going to try to relax and live in the moment. Hmm alrighty. They’re going to do some “Nordic traditions” in the woods, which is apparently just horseback riding? Wouldn’t that be the tradition of, like, humanity? It is insanely beautiful, though, I wanna horseback ride through the Arctic circle. They pull up to this tiny little cabin—no really, Nick has to duck to knock on the door—and what do ya know? IT’S SANTA CLAUS! Shouldn’t there be a guy that lives up there with a real beard? What’s up with this Mall Santa beard??? They go in and Vanessa wants to snuggle with Santa (gross) and Santa asks them what they want for Christmas. They both want to find happiness and love. Cute. Instead of that, Santa gives them a plaque with other people’s names on it. Santa is apparently wishing Niko and Venla happiness and fertility. My favorite part is that Vanessa is so deep in Bachelor Brainwashing that she earnestly says “It’s nice to hear that Santa sees a future with Nick and I.” LOL. They sit around a fire for awhile and something isn’t sitting right with Vanessa. She cries about it, but I genuinely don’t remember what specifically because, like I said, I know they’re about to get engaged soooooooo I’m not too worried. Nick shows up, presumably, at Vanessa’s cabin that night and they have, what I would consider to be, an actual honest conversation about their relationship. Vanessa is pissed because Nick keeps answering her questions really generally and he also tells her that he doesn’t even know if he wants to propose at the end of the week. Cue tons of tears from Vanessa. Honestly, if I were in that position, that would be me x1000000. Also, did everyone notice Vanessa essentially echoing what Rachel told Nick, that she only makes decisions when she knows the outcome? I would not assume those two make decisions in the same way, but I suppose it makes sense. They part ways and Vanessa says that he thinks Nick loves her, but she’s afraid that he might love Raven, too.
Raven meets up with Nick in the woods next and I am SO thrown off by the fact that she runs toward him saying “Good to see you!” WHAT. YOU MIGHT BE ENGAGED IN 2 DAYS AND YOU SAY “GOOD TO SEE YOU”????? It just felt SO wrong to hear that phrase. They walk through the woods and Nick calls her “my love”, which, wOAH DUDE. Because skating is their “thing”, according to Nick, the two of them ice skate on a frozen lake. I just must say, how did they find a girl from Arkansas and this city boy who are actually just so phenomenally good at skating. I haven’t skated accurately or even well once in my entire life. This is legit impressive. He keeps picking her up, too, and I’m seriously concerned that she’s going to slice him with her skates. After some time, they, too, find a fire to sit next to and talk about her time with his parents. Before you know it, he gets up and BRINGS 3 HUSKY PUPPIES FOR THEM TO PLAY WITH. OMG. WHY WERE WE NOT SHOWN THESE PUPPIES FOR THE REMAINDER OF THE EPISODE????? I’m just over the moon, I love puppies so much, I could have just watched that forever. That night, Nick goes to “Raven’s” cabin, but methinks it’s both Vanessa’s cabin and where his family stayed. Is there only one building in all of the Arctic Circle???? Raven asks, what I consider to be a weird ass question and Nick follows up with a weird ass answer:
R: Without giving me too many details, how are you doing?
N: Well, I can’t move my neck, I’m so stressed.
A couple things with that: 1. RAVEN, HOW DO YOU NOT WANT DETAILS???? I know he’s not gonna give them to you, but surely you want details. 2. Since when is neck rigidity a side effect of stress? I feel like he just pulled it while ice skating. 3. This does not exactly seem like a great exchange for people who are preparing to get engaged. Maybe that’s why they don’t. Raven takes her time to reassure Nick that she has absolutely no hesitation and she’s ready to get engaged. Nick says that he was never worried about Raven, which is half lovely and half kinda insulting. He does say what I believe to be the greatest thing he’s ever said when he says that he’s proud that she’s there and he wants to brag about her. WE ALL DO. AMERICA LOVES RAVEN.
We pull up to the second building in the Arctic Circle and inside is Nick—he opens up the door to let in Neil Lane, a man who says “everyone likes you”. I feel like Neil hasn’t been reading every tabloid ever—definitely not everyone likes Nick. He picks out a ring that is definitely not my taste, but is expensive. We cut to Raven and Vanessa getting ready—Raven has been looking for the other piece of her for her entire adult life and she’s ready to be engaged tonight; Vanessa might not want to be engaged. Cool! Also, correct me if I’m wrong, but we’re about to have the first ever indoor finale???? I’M INTO IT! We watch two black SUVs, each eye in the Bachelor Nation poised to see which foot steps out of the car first: it’s Raven. OMG. She’s just so excited and happy and she really might be one of the best people. She walks in to see Nick and he tells her that she looks beautiful (rude) and she pours her heart out. He pulls the classic “I love you, but I’m not in love with you.” UGH. Why do they make the girl talk first, though???? This is his deal, let him go first. She’s incredibly stoic, but eventually starts crying to prove that she’s not a robot. Nick tells her he’s going to miss her and she says, “I know.” SHE’S AN ICON. He walks her out and she says that she doesn’t know if it’s possible for her to find love so why is she even trying? LET’S FIND OUT ON BACHELOR IN PARADISE, PREMIERING LIKELY IN AUGUST!
We cut back to Nick who says he’s been falling in love with Vanessa for a very long time—he feels like he’s been fighting it, but he’s not fighting it any longer, and he’s going to propose! Ugh! I know I shouldn’t care, but I do legitimately like them so long as they’re acting like they did on their first date! She walks in, he pours his heart out (first, luckily) and she does the same. He tells her that it was the second rose ceremony when he started falling in love with her. UGH. I DON’T EVEN REMEMBER THE REST BECAUSE I WAS ACTUALLY CRYING! Say what you will about Nick or Vanessa or Nick and Vanessa or The Bachelor as a whole, YOU GOTTA BE EXCITED FOR ENGAGEMENTS! They’re excited to start their life together and, also, literally “do it”. Aww.
Well, that’s it, folks! It was a season that almost made me give up on the franchise (Thanks, Corinne), it gave us some seriously quotable moments (Thanks, Corinne), and has given us the first black Bachelorette in history (THANK YOU, ABC). I’ve had the best time. See you in a couple months when Rachel surely knocks it out of the park. And then a few months after that when we SEE MY GIRL ALEXIS ON PARADISE. Bai!