Monday, April 4, 2011

After the Final Rose: It's all fun and games until somebody pokes the bear.

After all the exotic vacations and the tears and the jealousy...after the giant Neal Laine engagement ring and the "I love yous" and "I mean its"...what comes next? This episode!!! Welcome to After the Final Rose! Aka "haha, we tricked you into watching 3 FREAKING HOURS of this show in one night! What a huge sucker you are!"

(I did watch this all in one night, I really did. My only excuse for taking like, 18 years to finally post this is that, happens. The advantage to all this procrastination is that I'm watching the atfr one last time, just to make sure I didn't miss anything, while eating chinese dumplings and drinking beer. It's a pretty good way to wrap things up.)

Before we see the happy's Chantal! You know that party where you pull out all the stops, because your ex is going to be there and you want to fill him with longing and regret? This is like that. Only there are millions and millions of people watching. At this party, you want to look damn good. Chantal looks damn good. Chantal was in love with Brad, but she has no regrets. Chris asks her if she'd like to see Brad. Of course this means that Brad is RIGHT THERE IN THE STUDIO. He and Channy share a nice friendly hug. They joke for a while about how awkward this is. Chantal wants to know: at what point did you know it wasn't me? Brad says he wants to be honest, and then gives a totally bullshit answer, all like, I was attracted to Emily from the beginning, but you and I had this great connection, friendship, blah blah blah, and Chantal totally calls him on it because Chantal is awesome. She's like, so you just kept me around because I was fun? Even though you knew you were going to dump me? Brad looks mad and the best answer he can come up with is "not so much", which means - yes, exactly. Chantal's a little upset because she feels like Brad is devaluing they had - but screw him because she totally has a new boyfriend! Yay Chantal! I mean, is it any surprise when she looks like that?

Before they bring out Emily, Chris has a heart-to-heart with Brad so he can ask him a bunch of leading questions. All sorts of juicy tidbits come out, such as: Brad tried to marry Emily while the show was airing! He'd marry her right now! He'd marry her in Anguila! In a box! With a fox! The audience cheers and Brad's all like, "what's up, haters? who says I can't commit NOW?"

There's just one teensy weensy problem...PEOPLE ARE TRYING TO BREAK THIS RELATIONSHIPS DOWN. Who are these people? You and me. WE are these people. We read supermarket tabloids that tell SLANDEROUS LIES. We think things, based on what we saw on TV- what the hell do we know? - and by thinking these things, by DARING TO HAVE OPINIONS about this stupid crap show - WE ARE TEARING THIS RELATIONSHIP DOWN. Um...whatever, Brad.

Because of all the TEARING DOWN and the TABLOIDS and the turns out, Brad and Emily ACTUALLY BROKE UP. SHOCKED and ANGRY murmurs from the audience. But wait! As far as Brad's concerned, they're still in a relationship. So I guess they got back together? Or maybe they just got back together in Brad's head? So many questions. Then Chris delivers the kicker. Oh, Chris. "In your mind...are you engaged to her?"

Brad: "I've always been engaged to her. I'm never letting her go." Brad? Chris? THAT IS THE CRAZIEST DAMN THING I HAVE EVER HEARD. You cannot be engaged IN YOUR HEAD! AN ENGAGEMENT TAKES TWO PEOPLE. THAT IS THE WHOLE FREAKING IDEA!!


So of course they have to bring out Emily to set the record straight. She comes out and immediately kisses Brad, so I guess that means they're together in her head, too. I am pleased to report that Emily's skin and hair are now a somewhat normal color.

Now it's Emily's turn to be interrogated by Chris. Turns out she also thinks she and Brad are engaged. Whew. What a relief! Chris wants to know if this means they're ready to like, get married. Emily's response: "right now? I love you," SHOCKED response from the audience. I don't want to marry him?? THAT IS WHAT BEING ENGAGED MEANS. Just ask Chantal.

Emily needs to get to know Brad better. She is not ready to move to Austin. GASPS from the audience. Annoying smug smile from Brad because now HE's the comitted one and HOW DO YOU LIKE THAT?

Emily talks about how hard it was to watch Brad making out and woodenly flirting with all the other girls every week, when she thought he was only woodenly flirting with her, and Chris makes this face. It is the most sympathetic face ever.

I'm Chris Harrison and I UNDERSTAND, man.

The relationship that was hardest to watch was Brad and Chantal. Not because Brad was in lurve with Chantal, but because their dates were super fun and Emily's were super boring. "I would've picked her, too!" says Emily. Sorry, Em. I like you more for saying that - but your dates were boring. Really, really boring. Total yawners. Take that one up with Mike Fleiss. Now there's a battle I'd like to see.

Chris asks Emily why she is SABOTAGING the relationship. Emily's afraid of losing someone again, and Brad's like, you're not losing my love. I want you to know that, no matter what happens, we will always be engaged IN MY HEAD. Awww.'s time to hear from our favorite Bachelor couples! By which I think they mean "the only Bachelor couples who are still together". We've got Ali and Roberto, we've got Jason and Molly, we've got Trista and Ryan from way back in the stone age when this show first aired. Ryan's there, and he's clapping or whatever, but his face is saying - why do I still have to do this shit?

They are going to give Brad and Emily some advice or something, because they are the ONLY PEOPLE IN THE WORLD who understand what Brad and Emily are going through. Except, you know, for all those other couples who aren't here who ultimately FAILED.

Molly says: Ignore the haters! Like all those people, hiding their cowardly jerkitude behind computer monitors! Especially that Nancy girl. Roberto says: live in a bubble. Just the two of you, in your special couple-bubble. Ryan says something about a lifeboat. He and Trista were in a lifeboat and then something happened and then...yeah, you kinda lost me there. I'm not sure it makes any sense to him, either. His eyes are kinda glazed over.

So Chris interrupts and is all like, guys, you're NOT ALONE. These people, they are your FAMILY. The BACHELOR FAMILY. Brad and Emily are both like, shiiiiit. Because their alternatives are pretty much A, break up, or B, continue making bullshit appearances like this forever until their souls have dried up into tiny shriveled husks.

It's not looking good.

But lest you think this is all about desperate famewhoring - it's time to revisit Brad and Emily's story of twoo luuuv. Cue five minutes of footage we've already seen before. I can't help being a little touched. That the two most boring people on earth somehow found each other...well, that's a miracle.

My verdict? This relationship is totally doomed. But Emily looks about 500 times better now without the fake tan. And that's something we can all feel good about.


  1. Thanks, Nancy! So, so funny! And it absolutely takes the edge off Butler's loss last night. Sigh.


  2. GREAT recap - still wonderful even later :) Thanks!

  3. Here's the thing about Chantal's complaint about him keeping her around: he had to keep somebody around. That is an obvious condition of the television program that she, Chantal, went out of her way to be on. I hope she's got some giant sugarcubes ready for her high horse, is all I'm saying.

  4. I see your point. This happens every season - in the last episode the Bachelor is all like, ooooh, I'm torn between two women!! Who should I choooose? It's SO HARD! But then he almost always tells his final pick at the atfr that he knew it was her all along. So which one is it? And then of course the runner-up is all pissed, because she got lied to. I would imagine that, even if you know how the show works, it still doesn't feel so great to find out that you're the one that got strung along.

    That's sort of an essential problem with this show - like you said, the Bachelor has to take SOMEBODY to the final round, lie to them all along (because he probably already knows what his final choice will be) and then dump them. So he pretty much has to sign a contract at the beginning of the show promising to be a huge jackass to at least one girl. Which, I think, is a big part of why these relationships don't last - you have to be a little bit of a jerk to agree to be the Bachelor to begin with.