As far as the actual episode, this was as tough a call as it’s been on this show in a while, determining who would get the final rose of the season. (C’mon — was anyone all that shocked that Jake didn’t pick Tenley earlier this year? In fact, does anyone out there even remember who Tenley is?)
Ali herself acknowledges at the start of the episode that she has two great guys to choose from, and that it’s a “dream” to be in Bora Bora with both of them. (Uh-oh! If we’ve learned anything about our everyday life from Inception — and we clearly have — it’s that this might in fact all be a dream. Hurry, Ali — spin your top!)
Ali’s family members have all flown into Bora Bora to meet the two guys, and that includes Ali’s dad, Alex, who was MIA when Ali’s family met Jake last season. So let’s get this straight: Alex wasn’t able to meet with Jake in Massachusetts, but he was able to miracualously find the time to meet these two guys in Bora Bora? Funny how that works! Okay, so Alex might be an okay guy, but he’s clearly not going to be challenging the real-life dad from Pursuit of Happyness for “Father of the Year” or anything!
Ali’s mom, Beth, declares that Roberto is the “tall, dark, handsome man of Ali’s dream.” (Or is he the man of Beth’s dreams?! May the best woman win!) And Ali says what she likes about Roberto is that he sings and dances for her. Uh, that’s what she’s looking for in a man? Who knew that, after all this time, Ali was apparently just hoping to find a boy-band member?
Next, it’s Chris’s time to have awkward conversations with Ali’s family. He talks a lot about his own family, but Chris could have pretty much said anything, considering that they automatically loved him after hearing that he’s from Massachusetts. (Biased much?)
Ali’s dad tells Chris that he would have “no problem” giving his blessing to Chris if he chose to propose, and we realize that those are the exact same words that her dad had said to Roberto about his blessing. So the words that Ali’s dad chose to use for both guys were, “No problem”?! We too are all about being laid-back, but come on. It’s your daughter’s marriage proposal, buddy! Try to muster up a little enthusiasm!
And we also find out that Ali and her sister used to dress up their brother Michael as a girl, which included a feather boa. Michael finally gets his moment on TV, and this is the story that his sisters choose to tell! Do they want the poor guy to ever get laid?
Once the guys have left, the family has time to discuss their impressions of the two Bachelors. Ali’s dad likes that Roberto is ready to get married to Ali, but her mom and siblings sound more taken with Chris. (Ali’s parents couldn’t even agree on this one thing while the cameras were rolling for national TV? What a shock that they ended up getting divorced!)
We now move on to Ali’s final dates with each of the two guys... or so we think. Anyway, we start with her date with Roberto, who jogs toward Ali at the start of the date and says that he doesn't want to any waste time. We're with you, Roberto — this show is three hours long! Let's try to keep things moving!
Roberto and Ali end up riding jet skis with Ali to visit a school of stingrays. Okay, so it’s not exactly swimming with dolphins, but at least it’s something. (Not to mention that it’s another reminder of the mascot of the pro baseball team that drafted him, but then didn’t advance him within their farm system. Not that being an insurance salesman is any less exciting that a professional athlete — right, Roberto?)
Back inside their hut, Roberto has a gift for Ali, which is a framed photo of the two of them — their first framed photo together. Aw. (Not as valuable a gift as, say, a framed photo by Annie Leibovitz, but still.) He has also written a message on the back, something about their memories together and about how she makes him a better man. Uh... that’s it? Okay, so Roberto might be sweet, but he’s not exactly “the voice of his generation.” (Kanye West’s title is safe for another day.)
Ali tells us that she’s not ready to go on a date with Chris tomorrow, and that — when she’s with Roberto — her heart feels like it’s exploding out of her chest. (Exploding out of her chest? Doesn’t Dick Cheney take a cocktail of pills to prevent that?)
Next up is Chris, and from the moment that Ali proclaims that it’s been “a crazy week,” we know that something is afoot. She tells Chris that, even though they were supposed to have a date today, she wants to let Chris go early. And we’re like: You’re turning down an all-expenses-paid date on a tropical paradise with a great guy? This isn’t like turning down a free sample at Baskin Robbins! (We also bet that Ali — if she found a wallet in a taxi — would try to track down the person who lost it. Seriously, what’s wrong with her?!)
We have to endure the conversation in which Ali takes Chris off-guard and says goodbye, and we swear that we didn’t shed any tears during that scene. (We’re serious! We promise that we didn’t cry at all! Why are you looking at us like that?!) Chris tells Ali that she should go find out if Roberto loves her, and we realize that we can’t wait to start watching Chris find love on the next season of The Bachelor! (Come on, ABC — make it happen!)
Chris then watches Ali leave, before telling us that he appreciates Ali letting him go when he did, and that the rainbow that he spots means his mom is watching him. Seriously, we’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: Chris reminds us of deep-fried Oreos, in that he’s impossible to dislike.
In fact, Roberto proposes, she says yes, and we watch a montage of their most romantic moments, set to the tune of Elton John’s “Can You Feel The Love Tonight?” (which alluded to their time together in The Lion King). We don’t remember ABC playing an Elton John song in the background when Vienna and Jake reunited a few weeks ago on the show, but if they had, we’re guessing that they might have chosen “The Bitch Is Back.”
The episode is, per usual, followed by the “After The Final Rose” special, in which the biggest surprise might have been the person who was supposed to show up but canceled at the eleventh hour: Frank. Wait — so you’re expecting us to believe that Frank had planned to do something but then changed his mind at the last minute?! We’re completely shocked!
So instead of interviewing Frank, Chris instead has to show us lengthy clips of the show that we just finished watching. Uh... how about, “No, thanks”? (Do we really need to re-watch The Bachelorette? It’s not exactly Inception or anything.)
Chris and Ali reunite, and again we hear that the word “slow” is used to describe their progress. Doesn’t Ali realize that there are certain things that a person should use the word “slowly” to describe, but the progression of a relationship isn’t one of them! (Now, if this were a documentary about, say, how quickly the bubonic plague spread across Europe, then “slowly” might be a word that people would want to be using.)
And Ali also uses very clever, unique ways to let Chris down gently. No, wait — she says that he’s the kind of guy that “any woman would be lucky to be with.” Right — because that sounds like it’s from the heart!
Then, Chris is put out of his misery, and we get to see Ali and Roberto’s first appearance as an engaged couple. They tell us that they have only been able to see each other every two weeks since the final episode was taped, and since they couldn’t go anywhere, they had to come up with ways to entertain each like... inventing a secret handshake. A secret handshake? Seriously?! So evidently, as far as couples go who are involved in thrilling pursuits, let’s just say that Ali and Roberto aren’t exactly Julius and Ethel Rosenberg or anything.
But they’ve already rented a place to share in San Diego, and they plan to get married sometime next summer, although Roberto keeps trying to make it happen sooner! So just maybe — just maybe — they are meant to be together. But we’re still not sure that we’re quite ready to give up hope for Ali and Chris Hasek-Wyatt yet! Who’s with us? Show of hands! (Seriously, you can go ahead and raise your hands now. Why aren’t we seeing very many hands?)