Things that are unnecessarily dragged out and awkward: high school and any episode of The Bachelorette. That said, let’s head into the final recap of Ashley’s search for love or something like it.
This week, Ashley’s family comes to Fiji. “We want to hear all about your adventure!” they squeal. Right. Because she hasn’t been home in between at all… Ashley’s sister is baffled, “You’re in love?! I’m a little more concerned this time than I was last time,” she says. Oh right. Because Ashley’s done this before on the last season of The Bachelor. That’s awks. So is her silent brother.
JP walks into the lion’s den. He pulls out a few one-liners to ease the mood, but later no one gets the funny vibe from him, prompting Ashley’s sister to ask, “Does he make you laugh?” There’s an uncomfortable pause and then Ashley’s all, “I make myself laugh!” Then why did you make one of the group dates a comedy roast?
Mama stands up and makes a toast, “It was great meeting you, and…you’re welcome to our family!” She seems to have added that last bit because she didn’t know how to properly end a toast and realized a moment too late the true implications of what she said.
Ashley talks to Mom and Sis, whose names are not conveniently written under their faces in conventional reality TV fashion, so we must resort to calling them Mom and Sis. Sis thinks JP isn’t for Ashley because he’s too mature and reserved. Ashley cries because she values Sis’ opinion. Mom takes Ashley’s side. She’s all, go with your heart! And Sis is all, be more logical! In the end, it turns out that Mom doesn’t have a strong opinion about JP…except that she just accepted him into the family. You know when you just instinctively say “bless you” when someone sneezes? We guess it was something like that.
Ashley chats it up with her bro. AND HE TALKS BACK! But it wasn’t anything helpful, so we don’t actually remember what he said. We were too shocked by his mouth moving and noise coming out.
Sis sits down with JP and gives him the bad news. JP wants everyone to know that he’s in love with Ashley. Sis addresses the 34-year-old and asks, “As an old fart, why have you not found anyone yet and why are you going for my sister?”(Maybe not in those exact words.) Both Mom and Sis agree that she looked happier with Brad. BAM! This makes wittle JP vewy sad.
Later, Ashley doesn’t get JP’s hopes up. She admits that her family’s opinion means a lot to her and she needs their approval. On that note, she dismisses her defeated beau.
The next day, before Ben comes, Ashley talks to her sister. A little Google snooping reveals that her name is Chrystie. Chrystie tells Ashley that she is “a much more rational person” and she doesn’t want the decision to be based on gut feelings. Ashley, you should trust your sister. She knows all about mistakes. Just look at those tattoo sleeves. Ashley cries and calls Chrystie a bitch, but in the end Chrystie insists, “I’m trying to protect you from yourself.”
Ben finally comes and Ashley struggles to prove to Chrystie that she can be herself around him, so she throws him for a loop with a bunch of quirky behavior like her “dog voice.” You know, the voice she assumes when talking to her dog. Luckily, Ben apparently has a dog voice, too. He and Ashley put a show on for the fam.
Ben has a one-on-one with Chrystie and it kinda feels a lot like a college interview. “Why Ashley?” “What difference do you think you’ll make once you’re with Ashley?” “If you could have dinner with any person in history, would it be Ashley?” In the end, the dean of admissions is smitten.
Ashley’s family leaves and she is left “feeling more confused than ever.”
The next day, Ashley and Ben go on a final date. He looks questionably straight again in bright colors and a straw fedora. Ashley takes Ben on a helicopter ride to a healing mud bath. They rub mud on each other while slow, titillating music plays in the background.
Ashley meets Ben in his room later that night and they drink champagne. Ben tells Ashley he’s in love with her. We watch Ben and Ashley make out on the bed and politely try to look away at the walls or something. In the meantime, we notice the mosquito bite on her right thigh. Ha! People on TV are human after all!
In the morning, Ashley and JP go on their final date, too. He’s still sad about Ashley’s sister because he didn’t have a fun date in between to forget all about his troubles. His veins are popping out of his temples and it’s really scary. JP tells Ashley he’s madly in love with her. Good job, JP. Way to one-up Ben who’s only regularly in love with her. That night, JP gives Ashley a photo album and a love letter.
Cue the voiceover as Ashley walks around the Fiji beach and digs her toes into the sand by palm trees. Ashley says she “can’t let outside influences make the decision for me.” She weighs out both relationships. We space out.
Ben picks out a ring for Ashley and opens up to the clearly indifferent jeweler about his relationship with Ashley. JP goes to choose a ring, too, and the jeweler asks, “How are you feeling?” in the same way that we all come back in September and obligatorily ask, “How was your summer?” and then tune out all responses.
Now there’s just a lot of talking from everyone. We go take the garbage out in the meantime, confident that we won’t miss a thing.
When we come back, Ben is all suited up and lands on the beach in a water plane where Ashley wears mismatched earrings and greets him on a wooden platform surrounded by flowers. He approaches her and she tearily starts, “Um… I…” And he cuts her off, because he’s stupid and doesn’t realize she’s about to spare him a proposal and dump him. He proposes. His hair is matted all weird and looks like a toupee. She says, “I’m sorry.”
Bet he wishes Obama interrupted this week. Ben walks away and Ashley runs over to him and rubs salt into the wound by telling him how great he is. “I don’t need you to sugarcoat it,” he says. He tells Ashley, “JP is a nice guy. I’m sure you’ll have a nice life together,” in a tone that has its middle finger up.
As Ben leaves the island in a boat, JP flies in on aforementioned water plane. Viewers think, “So you’re trying to tell me that JP didn’t see Ben leaving on a boat from his plane and doesn’t know what’s about to go down?”
JP proposes. Ashley says yes. Why are there still 3 minutes left of the show? Oh. To play back all the JP-Ashley moments. We turn off the TV. There’s an “After the Final Rose” show coming up, but we don’t care because we just survived the last two hours of The Bachelorette! We cry with happiness, leap for joy, run into the streets, and kiss the first homeless man we see!
Dearest Ashley, mazal tov on your engagement and here’s to seeing you with your new beau on campus! (Bring him around to Hillel! We all wanna
steal meet this mensch.)