Monsters and Critics columnist Liz Long recaps The Bachelorette, Season 16, Episode 13, Finale, with a little help from a glass of pinot (or two) …
Well we made it Rose-Lovers! Tonight, our beloved Tayshia concluded her love journey … her quest for marriage … her last chance on Earth to find love. And dang it if it didn’t make this snarky little recapper cry.
I can’t remember the last time that ever happened on a Bachelorette/Bachelor finale. But the proposal was good. Like real good.
Just how did we get here?
Well, there was a Ben along the way … a Daddy Desmond spreading doubts … and a Tayshia getting in the way of her own self. But in the end, the Zac Attack won! And I’m here for it.
Ben gives Ivan the boot!
We picked up the night with Ben telling Tayshia he loves her. To which she was all, “I wish you would have told me sooner–as in like 12 hours ago–because now it’s been 13 hours, Ben, and so I’m not sure what I can do. How about you just stick around for the rose ceremony and we’ll see what happens.” (I paraphrase.)
In a miraculous turn of events, Ben actually stayed and Ivan went home! This had something to do with a difference of religious viewpoints (Tayshia is religious and Ivan is not(?))–an issue not totally fleshed out–but when it was all said and done, all I know is that Ben and his capris stood next to Zac as Tayshia’s final two.
And with that, my confidence in Zac being Tayshia’s Chosen One was all but sealed. I mean, come on, Ben already went home!
Ben meets the parents!
But being dumped once wasn’t going to stop Ben from trying. I mean, the boy came prepared with his lines alright. He had three to be exact, and they went as follows:
- “What I love about Tayshia is the way she makes me feel.”
- “I showed up for her;” and
- “Full disclosure, I’m in love with your daughter.”
He hit all three verbatim (multiple times, in fact). So by all accounts, he had a successful “meet the parents” night, right?
Hold your scooters, peeps. It all felt a little too “going through the motions” for me. There was no wow factor–well, minus the fact Tayshia’s family plus Ben all rode their own respective scooters on the way out.
But, other than that, I was just watching it thinking, ABC … Tayshia … you expect me to believe this?!
Like I just can’t get over the fact that Ben already went home and now that he has come back with his lines, you expect me to think he can compete with the likes of Zac C.!? I banish the thought!
West Point or no West Point.
Zac meets the parents!
I kept thinking, once Tayshia’s family meets Zac, they will be blown away. I waited for it … waited for it … but much like the flatbread pizza that chilled on the coffee table before the New York-style pizza arrived, there was some hesitation in the welcome.
Tayshia’s “Daddy” (Desmond is his name), no doubt, had his doubts. In case you guys didn’t get the memo, Tayshia has been divorced. And this is just something Daddy Desmond cannot see his daughter go through a second time.
Fear not, Dad. Zac is about to lay it on thick and give you total conviction and meaty sentences that were completely lacking from Ben’s interaction with you.
“You set the bar high, Desmond. I get it. And I look forward to the challenge.”
With that, Zac seemed to chip away Desmond’s worries, and, by the end, the whole family was eating “New York” style pizza and Zac was even telling Tayshia’s mom to “get over here” for a hug.
Tayshia fights through doubts, Ben, and her own head
But, like Ben, Desmond isn’t going down without a fight! He stops by his precious daughter’s suite to all but tell her he doesn’t really want her to get married to either man … in the most indirect way possible. I thought our dear Bachelorette might go home destitute and all alone after this little chat with dad, but dang it if Zac’s love for Tayshia didn’t conquer all.
First, Tayshia tried to ward off her Romeo as they learned a wedding dance. “We’re all off, Zac.”
“Look at me” he tells her.
And just then, they fall back in sync, Tayshia is in the moment, and the clouds open up, revealing her destiny.
It’s Zac I’m supposed to be with! He doesn’t care if I’m a housewife in five years or even a waitress! He loves me for me and that’s all I need!
And, finally, at 9:25 pm, the whole Ben jig is up as Tayshia lets him go … again. I thought we might witness Ben’s first tear, but, alas, a tear never fell. I have high hopes for you Ben. You’ll make some bad decisions on BIP and it will be a great time for you.
Zac proposes to Tayshia!
And, now, the moment we’ve all been waiting for …
Zac picked out a ring from Brendan’s new pal, Neil Lane, while Tayshia fluffed her hair for what felt like a solid 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, Chris, who I believe was sporting some fresh new dark hair dye, waited on the side of a cliff for his Bachelorette daughter to arrive. Naturally, she had a little last-minute cry of uncertainty, but all she needed was a little nudge from Papa Harrison.
This is what we’ve waited for, he tells her.
And what a moment it was, friends. Zac either has a gift with words or Tayshia has turned him into a poet because he said all the things to her that just lit. her. up.
It was as if her little walls came crumbling down, allowing her to finally let out a genuine cry …
She found her man in Zac Clark. A man who has promised to stay loyal to her. A man who recognizes she can be a “dork” at times. A man who I believe will allow her to be a better Tayshia and vice versa. Wow, talk about some good Clare “leftovers,” huh?
I seriously wept like a baby, and I hope these two can look back on this proposal when they do feel a little skittish. I don’t know, guys. It just did something for me. My tears turned into laughter as they hailed their little taxi off into the sunset, shuffling off like the two dorks they are. It was, indeed, “scarily beautiful,” and I wish you kids nothing but the best.
Okay, enough of that. On January 4th, we get to begin our new Bachelor Matt James’s “Matt-nificent” journey that appears to have sugar babies and spice and all the things nice.
I see ABC hasn’t stopped with the bad puns for our lead. I’ll go with it, ABC. You got me feeling all sappy right now, so I’ll go with ya for another season. I hope you join me as well. Ah, who are we kidding? Bachelor Nation is a glutton for punishment, so I’ll see you on the 4th Rose-Lovers.
Cheers, and thanks for sticking through this journey with me.
The Bachelor starring Matt James will premier January 4, 2021, at 8/7c on ABC.