Welcome back, Bachelor Nation! Tonight’s the night that Nick finally gets to propose to someone he’s just met (for the 3rd time) because he’s “ready to fall in love” (for at least the 4th time on national TV). So yeah, I think it’s fair to say Nick Viall is actually the biggest threat to traditional marriage in our country. Buckle up everyone, it’s finale time!
Rovaniemi is for lovers
You know, being on this show puts the families through a lot of nonsense. They invite a bunch of goofballs like yours truly into their lives but in return, there are some cool perks. One of those perks is a baller vacation to meet your son or daughter’s suitors. How totally pissed do you think Nick’s family was when ABC let them know they’d be headed to the Arctic Circle in winter for the finale? On top of that, we only see a couple of his siblings so it’s clear that Chris Harrison’s penny pinching only allowed for a fraction of Nick’s 13 person family make the trek.
We open up the show with the aforementioned “meet Nick’s family” part of the finale. Raven gets first crack at the Viall clan and it seems her and Nick’s preteen sister are “best friends”. I thought this was just a cute quip but Bella and Raven actually had the first 1:1 time together. Super weird. Side note, how many future sister in laws has Nick introduced Bella to? Yikes.
Vanessa gets the next Viall sesh and she came to play. She got super serious with Nick’s dad who is understandably quite emotional and concerned that his son is going to get hurt again. While I question Nick’s ability to feel feelings, I don’t question that his father wants what is best for him and this is a genuinely sweet exchange. Let’s be clear though, Vanessa is the girl who yoinked on the Vomit Comet and then made out with Nick. #neverforget
Overall, the family seemed to like Raven more, but that’s because Vanessa was just being honest with how crazy this whole thing is. Also, because Vanessa is going to tear up their son/brother as soon as the show’s over, and they can all see it coming a mile away.
Finnish Santa isn’t for the faint of heart
Vanessa gets the first date of the finale and not only is it cheap, but it’s terrifying. Finnish Santa totally looks like one of those creepy clowns that terrorizes suburbs. The shots of the couple inside his murder hut are unsettling to say the least.
After a tense session with Buffalo Bill, er, I mean St. Nick, the couple continues their date with some 1:1 time to discuss feelings or whatever. Vanessa is looking for some assurances and Nick responds by using qualifiers like “if it works out”. Nice. Vanessa expresses that she’s feeling unsettled and has a problem with Nick having feelings for another woman. This is perhaps the most reasonable thing anyone has every said on The Bachelor. She then breaks down, overcome by the weight of it all. Nothing like a good ugly cry leading up to potentially getting engaged. #setupforsuccess
Side note, I think that Vanessa’s taking the power move of never mentioning the other contestant by name is the right way to go. Raven is essentially equivalent to Voldemort in the finale.
Raven is all that
It’s now Raven’s turn for closing arguments with Nick. They arrive at a sketchy looking frozen lake to go ice skating on. Anyone else have the scene from “The Good Son” flash through their head when Macaulay Culkin pushes the girl towards thin ice? No? Just me? Ok then! As they started skating around, “Kiss Me” fades in for the second time this season. Sixpence None the Richer hasn’t had a payday like this since “She’s All That” was killing it in the box office.
When we bring things inside to wrap up the date, Raven lets us know how good she’s feeling about her relationship with Nick. I’m sorry but Raven is too sure that it’s going to work out for it actually to work out. She opens up to him and breaks down how ready she is to get married and start a life together. Has Raven learned nothing over the last couple of months? Telling Nick that you’re ready to get married is a surefire way to guarantee that he won’t marry you. Vanessa gets this (see: every episode).
Neil Lane: Third Time’s a Charm
It’s that time again, for ABC to fulfill their contract with the one and only Neil Lane. This guy has to be grumbling about all the rings he’s wasted on Nick but being the pro that he is, he shows up with some great choices. Nick is surprisingly uncertain for a guy who has picked out 3 engagement rings (that we know of) already. For all the rings Nick has picked out, I’m surprised he didn’t bust out his own loupe.
The Final Rose
Every season, the most suspenseful moment is when that limo (or helicopter when ABC isn’t slashing their budget) arrives and you get a shot of someone’s shoes. Bachelor Nation knows that the first person to arrive is the one going home. This season, those unlucky kicks belonged to Raven. Nick was actually pretty nice to her, unlike basically every other rejection this season and cried real tears. Either that or more likely he rubbed some sriracha in his eyes. To Raven’s credit, she was super classy about being dumped on primetime TV and handled it like a pro. Based on her appearance on “After the Final Rose”, she did enough to earn a ticket to “Paradise” and I couldn’t be happier for her.
That leaves Vanessa as the last woman standing. She walks in on an emotionally exhausted Nick (I know, I was shocked too). The whole season, she’s taken a hard line on not wanting to be proposed to if Nick wasn’t serious or if things weren’t right. Up until she walked into the room, she was questioning her next step. As soon as Nick dropped to one knee, she buckled and agreed to his proposal. Way to stick to your guns, Vanessa. After collecting themselves, they hop in a sled and are shown being pulled off somewhere. Did Vanessa and Nick leave to visit Santa’s weird fertility cabin?
Vanessa Viall? Not so fast
There are a lot of outstanding questions for Nick and Vanessa after the finale and their time on “After the Final Rose” didn’t do much to answer them. Questions like where they’ll live? Nick, being a patriot, has been hesitant to move to Canada. They also seem to be both very strong willed and will likely challenge each other quite a bit. “After the Final Rose” revealed that Nick and Vanessa are indeed fighting pretty much nonstop, and that Vanessa has no inclination to stop doing so. That relationship will be the longest six months of Nick’s life.
I have my doubts on the long term viability of this relationship. It’s not that Nick doesn’t really like Vanessa – I think he actually does. It’s that Nick strikes me as a guy who wants things to be easy. He seems like the type of guy who uses the handicapped stall in a public restroom because it’s more comfortable. I wish Nick and Vanessa the best and hope they prove me wrong but I think they have a long road ahead of them. If there is a bachelor whose resilience has been tested, and he has risen above, it’s Nick Viall.