In order to make this season of the Bachelor “historic” the most exciting thing they could think to do is make the finale a whole three hours. Whoa.
Sean’s family meets him in Thailand to help him make his big decision, and instead of making him take his shirt off, women are swooning over the big bear hug Sean gives his niece and nephew upon seeing them arrive. A collective “awwww” was heard all across America.
Mom is apprehensive as Sean admits that he’s got strong feelings for both women, and Sean’s hope is that his family will provide some clarity.
Catherine Meets Sean’s Family
Catherine arrives and is very nervous because she knows how important Sean’s family is to him and how important family is to her. Pretty much, if today goes bad, she’s screwed. And she knows it.
“I played football in sixth grade. All boys and me; I was the only girl…And then I broke my arm…so I went onto cheerleading. And I got hurt way more.” – Catherine, winning dad over.
Mom asks Catherine flat out if it’s love and Catherine shares her side of their love story and what she’s most proud of: how good she feels about herself when she’s with him. Mom is pleased. And relieved.
“I am consumed by him. Very much so.” — Catherine, explaining her love for Sean to his dad.
“How do you know for sure that you really are in love before you get married?” — Sean’s dad with the tough questions.
Her response: “For me, it’s just been being my complete self and giving myself to him, and him to me. I know we’ll experience hardships…but I’m a fighter.”
“If it’s you that Sean ends up marrying, you will never have a bigger fan than me. And that’s the truth. Okay? I’ll love you like my daughter. And there’s gonna be no holding that back. And I’ll support you.” — Sean’s dad saying the sweetest thing that’s ever been said on this show. Ever.
Sean says he can see himself marrying Catherine. Buuuut…he can also see himself marrying Lindsay.
Lindsay Meet’s Sean’s Family
It seems to be going swimmingly with the fam — everyone is all smiles and giggles.
Again, Sean’s dad asks: “how do you know that you’re truly in love for life before you get married?”
Her response: “I just know. I want to hang out with him. I want to hang out with him for the rest of my life. He challenges me. He gets me. He is so supportive. He makes me feel beautiful. He is everything I’ve been looking for and more.”
More hard questions from dad, like this one: “What does a married couple do in a situation where one’s got their mind made up and the other one says ‘I don’t know’?”
Lindsay’s answer: “Well, marriage is compromise. You have to work with each other. It’s a lot of prayer, communication, and trying to figure out where we can meet in the middle.”
Dad’s retort: “Would you talk to my wife?!” Ha! Funny guy!
“When Sean was born, we began on that day praying for his wife. And so we prayed every day for her. Wherever she was. And you know, sometimes you wonder when you look in someone’s eyes – like yours – you wonder is that the one I’ve been praying for all these years? And if it is, I couldn’t be more happy. I just want you to know that.” — Sean’s dad. Sweetest thing ever said on this show #2. Wow. This guy is smooth.
Lindsay scores points with mom talking about her values and how important family is to her. Mom loves her.
“I think Lindsay is a perfect fit for me. And I’m glad that my family got to see how much she loves me. Lindsay makes me feel loved, and that’s such an incredible feeling.” – Sean
“It’s a win-win. They’re both very special. They’ll fit right in. We like ’em both.” — the collective family opinion.
Talking with mom, Sean — in a very respectful way — tells mom that he needs her support more than he needs her opinion. She cries a bit, worried about how big of a deal a proposal should be in his life. Mom believes that if he doesn’t know by now, he shouldn’t propose to either one.
Sean’s family leaves after being absolutely no help to him for they, too, love both Lindsay and Catherine. Well, it was worth a shot.
Lindsay’s Last Date
The couple takes a raft ride down the brown river and it all seems very rural minus the champagne. Sean and Lindsay act goofy and make out a lot. I don’t think we’ve ever seen this serious side Lindsay swears they have. I see the goofy. I see the sucking face. A lot.
“I can picture you being a hot old chick.” — Sean to Lindsay.
Lindsay is overwhelmed and excited and scared by how much she loves Sean and how close she is to getting everything she’s ever wanted in life. I’m a bit worried for her as well. She’s got a 50/50 chance at getting what she wants. But, she seems like the kind of gal that would be okay if this didn’t work out for her. Like she wouldn’t need to ask Chris Harrison for a reference to that therapist Brad was toting around his whole season. But, if she decided to go off the deep end a bit, she can swim around there with AshLee, who would be happy to have some company for a while.
Sean tells Lindsay not to be nervous, trying to reassure her, which seems nice but if she’s not the one in the end, well, it’s this sorta stuff that’s going to haunt her.
Lindsay has made three paper lanterns for them to light and release into the sky — Love, Happiness, and Family — the three things she says she and Sean need in their relationship to last forever. And at this moment, Sean says he thinks Lindsay is the girl for him. (But then, there’s always tomorrow!)
Catherine’s Last Date
Seans says he’s looking for a sign that Catherine is the one. I think the fact that she got the purple memo is a good one. Also, the first thing she gushes to Sean about is the fact that she got to touch an elephant walking around the resort the day before. And Sean can hardly contain his excitement to reveal that they’ll be riding an elephant that day. So cool! I want one. [Side note: I read an article where Chris Harrison said “elephants are the new helicopters. helicopters are so last season.” Ha! That’s about the funniest thing he’s ever said. Ever.]
The end of their elephant ride puts them atop a tall treehouse type structure where the conversation seems to be a little more serious than it was with Lindsay. Catherine confides that she’s been trying not to think too much about the future so as not to have her hopes crushed, however, she feels she’s in a good place and that she should be excited about those things. Confidence is good. Sean doesn’t seem to have it, so maybe that’s what he’s looking for in one of the girls.
Quite confidently, Catherine tells Sean that the only way she can see this story ending is with her accepting his proposal. Catherine follows Sean out crying after he leaves because she needs to be reassured but he’s clearly not going to give her what she needs. Frustrating.
It looks like she gave him a gift, but we don’t get to see what it was. A scrapbook? A collection of poems? All of their love notes?
The Man With the Rings
My favorite man from The Bachelor arrives: Neil Lane. The guy that shows up with diamonds is always going to be the best guy in my book. Neil shows Sean some fancy schmancy diamond engagement rings for the girl he says he woke up that morning and realized he couldn’t live without. It appears Sean chooses a cushion cut with micro-pave sides — what Neil calls “very romantic and classically made.” Good choice. They should really make that segment longer. Cut out the studio audience and show us more engagement rings!
Before the Proposal/Break-Up
Sean is emotional telling us how happy he is he took a leap of faith and decided to go through everything he’s been through to get here. He’s excited and ready to start his life with the woman he loves. And he’s crying a lot.
Lindsay is also happy and excited about how much her life is going to change, whereas Catherine’s mood seems a bit more somber — she’s crying because of how intense the unknown is right now.
Lindsay can’t imagine her life without Sean and she hopes her intuition is right. Catherine is confused and unsure if she’s ready.
[Side note: I’m not going to talk about the live show parts of the episode — so lame, right? And not sure why Lesley, Sarah, AshLee and Jackie were brought back, except maybe to throw people off the scent of the new Bachelorette. Hmmmm…]
Sean says he has absolutely no reason to be breaking up with the girl he’s saying goodbye to…and the girl that steps out of the limo is Lindsay. Poor girl has no clue what’s coming; she thinks she’s getting a really fancy ring, when instead she’s getting an empty goodbye. I guess it doesn’t matter who shows up in a wedding dress, it really only matters who ends up in one.
Sean: “You have been such a surprise. I didn’t see our relationship coming…I didn’t know the depth I would find. Every time I’m with you, I’m so amazed. I’m amazed by your strength, your courage, your love, your generosity. You…you blow me away. You really do. Um…” (and now she knows) “…Lindsay, this is the toughest thing I’ve ever had to do. I want to give you my heart so bad. But my heart is leading me somewhere else, and as of yesterday, I didn’t know what I was doing. I’ve been so confused. I’ve been searching for clarity, and praying for clarity, and I think I’ve finally gotten it. Now I have to say goodbye to you. And, it’s by far the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do because I know how incredible you are.”
And that’s where he should have ended his speech and said goodbye. But he didn’t. He continued with this:
Sean: “And, I love you. That’s the hardest part. I love you. I know I do. I’m sorry.”
Lindsay: “It’s okay. Please, just don’t. It’s okay.”
Sean: “I think it’s important that you to know how hard this is for me because you’ve supported me from the very beginning…”
Lindsay: “Stop. Just, no, stop. Just leave. It’s okay. Was it me?”
Sean: “What I can promise you is: it’s not you. And, when it comes down to it, I just…I can’t think of one thing you don’t possess that I don’t need in a wife. I’m so sorry.”
Lindsay: “Oh my gosh. Okay, well, I’m going to go. Because this is just really painful. This is my nightmare. I really didn’t see this coming so um, I’m happy for you. I’m happy that you found love but I honestly can’t imagine my life without you and that’s something that um, I’m going to have to figure out.”
And I love that Lindsay takes off her heels so she can walk out faster. Smart move.
Sean: “Lindsay, I just want you to know how much you mean to me and I feel so blessed to have gotten to know you. Sorry.”
Lindsay: “Good luck.”
Lindsay’s car ride is a rough one. It’s true it’s not fair.
After Sean says a tearful goodbye to Lindsay, Chris delivers a letter from Catherine. Well, I guess it’s only fitting as she’s been giving him little love notes all season long. Adorable.
Sean: “This has been such a crazy journey and there have been so many unexpected, wonderful moments with you. I knew from the very beginning that you were someone I wanted to be around I just had no idea that my feelings were going to turn into what they’ve turned into. You never cease to amaze me. You never do. I think the world of you and I miss you. Every time we have to say goodbye I miss you. I don’t want to have to say goodbye to you anymore. Catherine, I want to spend the rest of my life telling you I love you and making you feel like the most special, beautiful woman in the world. (On one knee) Catherine, will you marry me?”
“Yes!” she gasps!
“I love you so much,” he whispers in her ear as they hug.
Catherine: “Oh my gosh this is so…oh my gosh…is this for real?”
Sean: “I love you so much. I do. I’m going to tell you every day. I promise you that.”
And then I just love when she says “I’m so addicted to you.” How darling. And with that, Sean gives Catherine the final rose. And they ride off into the sunset. On an elephant.