People in Becca’s home state of Minnesota are angry, and not just about Al Franken being forced out of the Senate. An anonymous group put up billboards that say, among other things, what we were all thinking last night: “Arie. . .not okay, just leave.” While Bachelor Nation Midwest could have put this money toward feeding the hungry or cancer research, it’s hard not to sympathize with the message. I’m thinking of starting a GoFundMe for billboards that say “Chris. . . not dramatic, just shut up.”
Speaking of whom, despite widespread criticism of ABC broadcasting Arie’s ham-handed break-up with Becca, Chris supports the decision, as well as the increased ad revenue it generated. Even Ben Higgins, JoJo Fletcher, and people who think Roy Moore is innocent of the charges objected to the network forcing America to peer through the keyhole at this most private, if boring, moment.
Nevertheless, the Bachelor host told Good Morning, America that the publicly aired emotional evisceration was “breathtaking,” and is going to take time for him to process. Apparently he doesn’t get out that much. He even said it with a straight face, although to be fair, that might be the Botox.
Meanwhile, in the greatest understatement since Emperor Hirohito said the war in the Pacific had not necessarily developed in Japan’s favor, Becca observed, “I don’t think Arie thought it through.” Bekah M. was a little more forthright, tweeting that Arie is the “the biggest f***ing tool I’ve ever seen.” She’s proven she’s as mature as a 73-year-old grandpa with dyspepsia.
Tonight, on a very special live edition of After the Final Rose, Chris will continue to pour sea salt on the wounds of everyone involved. We open with an off-screen voice asking Becca if she still loves Arie, and she collapses in tears. Oh, the humanity!
Will Lauren take him back? Will Arie have a panic attack? Will Chris stop acting like we just witnessed an alien invasion? As he tells the studio audience about what we’ll see during these two hours, it appears he spoils that Arie will propose to Lauren here tonight. Oops! Dock him some vacation days, ABC. He should only get six months off this year.
But first, we must review what we watched less than 24 hours ago. Clips underscore that Arie and Becca rarely speak in words of more than two syllables, so it takes less time to get the inane point across over and over and over. Becca remains blindsided, confused, and discombobulated. After Arie is driven away, not with sticks, but by the limo, we watch Becca sitting dejectedly in the airport, alone on the plane, and trudging to the luggage carousel. We feel an intimate connection to her annoyance at how it seems her suitcase is always, always, the last to come out.
Arie rushes to see Lauren, determined to make her his second fiancee in a month. But then he panics outside her house, and must breathe into a paper bag. Next we see Becca’s nose dripping as she looks through the eight photos and half-dozen souvenirs of her and Arie’s time together. At least she gets to keep the fab shoes she got on their first one-on-one. They’ll be more useful than Arie, anyway.
Then Becca torments herself with audio by watching videos of her and Arie. Give it a rest, hon. She then complains about Arie being unable to articulate his feelings, and how she can’t see him and Lauren together. To be fair, no one can see him with any woman who isn’t inflatable.
Finally, Arie commands the courage to knock on Lauren’s door. She tears it open and leaps into his embrace. He wants her to know that he made a mistake, and is willing to make it up to her every day if she’ll have him. Even Jane Eyre knew that’s no way to start a marriage.
Another tearful scene ensues as Lauren tells Arie how crappy she made him feel. She also wants to know about his relationship with Becca. Why did he propose to her? What made him take such a decisive step when he was so unsure? The conversations during the Hindenburg disaster were more eloquent then this.
Arie suggests that when he chose Becca, his practical side took over his emotional one. In the heat of the moment, he chose a mutual fund over high-risk tech stocks. But Lauren forgives him and his pathetic rationale that shames any scriptwriter worth his salt. They smooch. She remarks pointedly that he better propose to her ASAP, so we already know who’s wearing the pants in this family.
In the studio, the other rejected B’ettes are arrayed in various combinations of lace, cut-outs, and sequins. Bekah, in a sheer top with her bra featured, calls Arie an incredibly manipulative person who did not even attempt to curate a presence of zen. But Kendall feels that he was sincere when talking to Lauren in the last scene. Others disagree vehemently, including Mr. and Mrs. Luyendyk, Sr.
Chris asks how they feel about ABC showing the unedited, uncut scenes. Kendall liked witnessing how strong Becca is. Seinne felt the footage needed to be shown, and reveals that Lauren knew what he was going to do before he did it. Tia tells how Lauren got a momentous DM from the hopelessly romantic Arie just before the premiere of the show. Bekah thinks Lauren should ditch his indecisive ass. Kendall favors a successful outcome for the controversial pair. She is quite the Pollyanna.
The group continues psychoanalyzing Arie, Lauren, and Becca, discussing how they might feel in the same situation and the range of emotions one would experience, until Chris cuts them off abruptly. He’s such a friggin’ Arie.
Looking like the Duchess of Cambridge preparing to go to Studio 54, Becca returns next to rehash the whole ugly business yet again. How does she feel about the raw, emotional footage, Chris questions? It was hard to see that heartbreak again, she tells us, but it helps her get closure on her feelings, and she also learned not to wear those skinny jeans in HD again.
Chris wants to know when she found out about Arie’s feelings for Lauren. She recounts how Arie told her in Peru that he had said “I love you” to both women, so she suggested he get his own closure about dumping Lauren by talking with her about it. She reminded him not to use any terms not routinely appearing in Women’s World magazine.
Chris tells Becca that no cast member has ever received the outpouring of love that Becca has. He shows her those billboards as an example of wasted money. Bachelor Nation has also started a fund for her. To pay for what, therapy? A makeover? Taking out a hit on Arie? They have already collected $6,000, which Becca will donate to needy single women who find it hard to be vulnerable and open up.
Now it’s time for Becca to see Arie for the first time since the break-up. They hug briefly. She has had so many questions since that day, the biggest being when did he know that he wanted to leave her for Lauren? Does she think he has a notarized document with a time stamp? He tells her he wanted to be sure before he smashed her faith in true love to smithereens.
Next: Why did he hide his conversation with Lauren from her? I thought she told him to have a conversation with Lauren. He explains he didn’t want to be rash, like, say, proposing to a woman when he wasn’t certain he loved her as much as another woman. He reminds Becca that he did tell her he was mourning the loss of Lauren, hopefully not while she was holding a fish knife. She suspects he didn’t go into his conversation with Lauren knowing what he expected from it, other than some phone sex.
Chris wants to know if Arie has regrets. Yes, he admits: he regrets that he proposed to Becca, and also that he once ate an entire 15-ounce bag of Doritos Loaded Nacho Cheese Breaded Cheese Snacks. But he proposed to Becca under pressure that the previous 21 seasons might be considered more dramatic than his. Becca is annoyed at this excuse, despite him saying it was all on him. Who else would it be on, Neil Lane?
Nevertheless, Becca forgives Arie. She is now ready to move on to appearing on Survivor. She hopes Arie has found the happiness he seeks with Lauren, and will be honest with her. I’ve read Sunday strips of Mary Worth that were more substantive.
Now we’ll talk with Jason Mesnick and his own second-tier bride of eight years, Molly Malaney. So she’s Molly Malaney Mesnick? Reason enough not to marry the guy. What would Jason have advised Arie, if he had been directed to ask on tape? Jason suggests it’s preferable to decimate a woman’s deepest soul privately, perhaps only on InDemand.
Chris points out that Arie’s situation played out in the digital age, while during Jason’s season everyone was sending abusive Telexes. In fact, Arie–and Chris, too–are being scolded, condemned, even threatened online, although that’s probably a typical Tuesday for Chris. How can Arie handle that problem? Jason and Molly suggest moving to a cabin in the Pine Barrens to live off the land using simple hand tools until another Bachelor screws up worse.
“Your passion bucket is still full,” Chris tells the couple, recalling the immortal words of the Bard in his play about breaking up with your fiancee to marry the other woman you dated on a reality show.
Chris asks Arie how bad the last 12 hours have been. He didn’t watch last night’s show, mostly because he’s not a Nielsen family, but he notes that Twitter has been vicious. No one will even buy a condo in Bisbee from him until this blows over. Can his fairy tale have a happy ending if he’s the Cyclops Polyphemus character? Here comes Lauren to tell us.
She’s excited to be here, out in public as a normal couple with Q scores featured on a live network TV show. Chris asks what happened after she left Peru in November. She says Arie contacted her on New Year’s Eve via Instagram. People used to send letters on monogrammed stationery in this kind of situation. He told her he wanted to clear his conscience, which made her curious. Arie has a conscience? She shared with him how difficult things had been for her, and he said the same was true for him. Now she’s deeply in love with him. She tells him that on Snapchat all the time.
What in fact, queries Chris, does Laurenlove about this fatuous buffoon who is being vilified from Machu Picchu to Montenegro. She says it’s his bravery and honesty, and the respectful way he dumped Becca while a boom mic hovered above their heads. What matters to Arie, he announces, is not public opinion, random blogs or Reality Steve’s spoilers, but that he is with Lauren and she remains blond.
They plan to spend some time away from it all, and then Lauren will change her Facebook settings and move to Arizona to be with him. While Arie has experienced a lot of guilt and shame, he manages to cope with it by having a lot of sex in the hot tub.
Chris now gives Arie the last say, which is to invite Lauren to stand with him as he tells her how he loves her, and will dedicate himself to making her happy. Cut to Bekah looking disgusted. He gets down on one knee while Lauren acts surprised and thrilled. He slips a ring on her finger that looks much smaller than Becca’s. Neil Lane resented the show returning that one and asking for a trade-in deal.
Now Chris steps forward, insisting he did not see that proposal coming on page 193 of the script. Now we’ll find out who the new Bachelorette is going to be.
It’s Becca! You’d think she would’ve learned her lesson, but like Jill Stein voters, they never do. She insists she believes the show will help her, at least to grow her wardrobe of flimsy cocktail dresses. Chris asks if she is a love-at-first-sight person. It might happen, she says, if Chris Hemsworth leaves his wife. The other B’ettes rush the stage and flummox Chris with all that exposed young flesh so close by. They are thrilled with Becca being the next shallow woman to throw away her dignity and a generation of feminist advances in pursuit of cheap fame.
But that’s not all. We’ll now meet some of the prime choices from the meat section at the Food Lion. Becca is ready. She wants a man who is loyal, makes her laugh, and is honest. That could be C3P0.
First up is a cutie with a bowtie, massive biceps, and a charming British accent. Everyone approves of his charm and warmth. Also, he calls Arie a wanker. Keeper!
Next is Chase, who has a dweeby haircut and face scruff. He was moved by last night’s break-up scene, and notes that when one door closes, another one opens, which is another way of saying rebounders are easy. The guy after him arrives playing a banjo and singing a song about Becca. He thinks he’s auditioning for American Idol. His name is Ryan and wants to get to know her. I want him to lose that hideous jacket.
Following him is Darius, who seems barely able to express himself, he’s so excited. He apologizes on behalf of his gender. Arie is really getting slammed, which makes you wonder what Lauren thinks of it all. Meanwhile, this is clearly awkward as hell for Becca.
The next guy appears leading a horse. Blake is the guy, Bradley is the horse. Did they give him an enema before he steps onto the set on live TV? I mean Bradley. Blake hoists Becca onto Bradley’s back as Chris ends the show and goes home, where he’ll commence blocking tens of thousands of angry Tweeters.
See you for The Bachelorette! Love to all, mwah.
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