White smoke, a lot of prayer: this was one of the most historical moments in history. A buzzed-about event of elephantine proportions: The One would be chosen, at last. The word of one man to change the course of time. Like the similarly-revered ceremony in Vatican City, a man made a pact with a higher power. Only this higher power was ABC, and the pact was to be with Cathertine Giudici til death do they part. Surprise! Sean Lowe met The One, and after several weeks of true blue love searching, The Bachelor himself is engaged. It was an obvious choice to most viewers, amplified times a billion in the 3 hours of tear-stained fluff that played out Monday night. But it wasn't all easy-peasy (because that makes for really boring television), so a Disney fairy tale was constructed, starring former-lost-soul-turned-Princses-to-be Catherine and the sad and lowly pixie street child Lindsay (I learned that one just in the nick of time!). Cue the stage-setting!
Sean's family arrived to meet both of the girls. Oh, so lovely they are! Both so young and wonderful and interesting and complex and deep and unique and fun and funny and great and perfect! But Sean knew that a decision had to be made, and one should never decide upon the Eve to one's Adam alone. But it's hard because feelings! Our main dude went and attached a True Love sentiment onto his order of higher power approval, and well, that just really feels like you're asking for a lot, Sean. Nobody gets to be chosen by some fancy higher-power/glittery finger AND find eternal happiness. Don't you read? You can't have it all!
Both girls are beloved by Sean's family, and both believe (thanks, Daddy Lowe) that THE PROCESS WORKS (I was so worried.) and are unique snowflake, special flower types. No help at all!
But — cue dramatic music — all is not well with Momma Lowe, who really doesn't want Sean to propose. Nor did she think any of this really falls in line with how serious she takes marriage. Tears were shed and Sean asserted that for him, The Bachelor wasn't a game, much like marriage is to mom. But love it isn't a show, Sean: though his revelation that his marriage to Catherine will be on television certainly sounds like one. To mom, the whole "process" (that works!) could end badly. Don't just pick one to pick one, marriage is for keeps.
To propose or not to propose, that is the question mused by Sean of the SansShirt. Whether 'tis nobler in the mind to suffer the slings and arrows made of rose thorns from a lady who isn't the one? Everything is cupcakes, rainbows, honeydew kisses and butterfly fairy tales. It is all rose-scented vanilla.
Lindsay's final date involved the philosphical quandry of the ages: whether one will be hot when they're old. (Obviously!) Because that's all that matters outside of the fact that she loved him, meant it! Love is hot pink short shorts and being hot old people caricatures together. (Sidenote: did anyone else think her eye make-up made her look like a child playing adult, but in a way that made you sort of sad? It made me feel kind of sad, you guys.) Lindsay was concerned (though braggartly optimistic) for a fleeting moment about whether or not she was the one. But, she knew! She knew the truth was that she was the one (she wasn't the one). But hey! Getting blindsided makes for great television, so let's crank that s**t up to eleven. For a moment, Sean thought he was really in love. But lo, how fleeting that moment was.
Because Catherine is here! Game over, Lindsay. ABC has really reached into the Disney half of its ownership and poured on the fairy tale schmaltz real f**king thick with these two. I mean, seriously. Everything — and lord do I mean everything — ran tinny and tinged with an over-the-top, incredibly-orchestrated-everything feeling. Catherine and Sean rode some elephants around scenic overlooks of Thailand's finest. Catherine even had a real Kristen Bell moment about the Dumbos. It was impressive, this show's ability to be such…a perfect Disney fairytale in Real Life. Right guys? What a coinkidink! I love how they try to make this s**t come across as anything but an incredibly subtle study of production calculations and manipulations. And I don't just mean the will-they, won't-they situation. Catherine's dates are epic elephant rides in the mountains overlooking majestic vistas. And Lindsay's dates are … talking about being hot and old! Catherine is being pegged as the Disney Princess of this show. Poor Lindsay was just the roadbump that got in the way.
Catherine even hit us with the tortured soul storyline! She's so guarded and ysterious about her emotions because she just loves so deep! This melts Sean's heart. Cue: heartbeating noise. In a moment that felt more intimate than viewers should be privy to (seriously, is nothing sacred anymore, asks the Athiest?), Catherine whispered to Sean, "I love you," setting off a landslide of worry but also commitment from her end. Now, what I heard Sean say was "that's it for today," pretty much telling her she's the one, though Harrison claimed differently ("thank you for today"). Regardless, the over-dramatic bit of talk (seriously with the strings, ABC) about her not knowing that she's oh-so-obviously the one (we've all been watching!)? Guys, it's so obvious who you were rooting for from the get-go. This is a straight-up romantic fairy-tale narrative. This is a story. Sure, Catherine and Sean seem super-duper in like (and maybe even in love, who's to say other than them), so it could've worked either way, but this s**t is straight-up cinematic in its storytelling. As if Disney hasn't ruined people's perceptions of relationships enough already, now they go and let ABC do this, undoubtedly continuing that unrealistic ridiculousness in some poor sad Bump-It brain.
So obviously to balance all that sappy syrup out, Neil Lane showed up for his once-per-season plug — an interlude between Sean's shirtless moments, natch. This show is all about balance, you guys! So rational and realistic. And also, Sean cried.
Sean cried all of the times: at every moment during the end, he was just constantly overcome with emotions, feelings, and eyeball water. Making choices is hard. And also stinks.
But a decision must be made! So both girls put their sparkliest, dare-I-say-it sorta showgirly foot forward, (accessorized with tears) for The Final Rose (Til Death Do Us Part Edition). One thing of note: ain't no limos in Thailland. Poor girls had to settle for an SUV.
Lindsay is up first, to get the icy cold slap of reality right across her face. Step right up! And oh, the look on her face when she realized he was breaking up with her? Epic. Made all the more crushing after Sean told Lindsay he loved her! Oh no, Sean! Worse! She, of course because society, assumed it was all her fault and asked Sean "was it me?" Which, ugh, girl? No. No no no no no. Noooooooooo! The exasperation, it stings. No time to linger though, guys, because after dumping one woman he loved, Sean now had to propose to the woman he loves. Chop chop! Time is money. In "a weird, sick, twisted place" (the nice, normal human place) in her head she's happy for them Even though, wah, Sean took away everything Lindsay ever wanted and (so weird, right?) she never, ever, ever wanted to ever feel this way. (Because the rest of us just beg for pain and heartbreak.) But, hey, three cheers for Ms. "I don't want to be alone" Lindsay, right? Thanks for displaying your earth-shattering heartbreak and bleeding insecurity about self-worth outside of relationships on camera for our entertainment. Hooray AMERICA!
Then, it was time for Catherine. But wait! A letter! Could it be the highly-insinuated break-up note that ABC so hoped would pique your interest enough to tune in? No! Of course not, it was a good ole switcharoo. Because, ha ha, Catherine is apparently so crazy in love with Sean, nothing else matters. There are more tears (a whole bunch of which are from Sean) and a lot of feelings. There are The Perfect Words and The Gasping Breath of Relief and The Perfect Question and Answer and Shock and Awe. And there it was, the Final Rose to End All Roses. Catherine and Sean are finally complete!
After the episode, ABC decided to grace us with yet another hour of inanity, explaining that "tonight is the night that none of us will soon forget." He also claimed there was some "late-breaking news" about Sean and Catherine's relationship (oh, the guffaws), which, ha. ABC is more liberal with their definition of "breaking news" than CNN — which is really saying something. Harrison also found time to put on his Ebert hat, and declared the Television Event of the Decade both "incredible" and "heart wrenching" to watch. Man,ABC's true love s**t should nab them all of the awards.
Sean first spoke with Lindsay and the two were immedially all LOL Prayer! Seriously: everyone was a-prayin', what a gas, huh? Anyone else laugh at the fact that Lindsay was wearing a white (sorry, ecru? off-white?) during the After The Final Rose? Lindsay still thinks she did something wrong rather than just not being the proper shirt to contain Sean Lowe, but he then puts it all on the notorious g.o.d. (Here's an answer for you, girl: was your tattoo, Lindsay! VISIBLE PERMA-SIN! ha ha ha just kidding (I think)!)
Looking back on fair shirtless, it's safe to say he's had quite a year. In the course of that year (how long Sean's known Chris Harrison), Sean Lowe has been in love three times: Emily, Lindsay, and Catherine. Wedding bills are ringing ASAP (probably because they want to b-o-n-e, yo! Also because true love or something), and we'll all get to watch it play out, nationally!
Oh, and guess what guys? Desiree is the new Bachelorette because THE PROCESS WORKS.
What did you think of tonight's finale? Surprised or happy about the winner? Let us know in the comments!
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[Photo Credit: ABC]