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Bachelor Recap: Cringe.

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Man, #BachelorNation, it has been a week! And it’s only Wednesday! I’m here one last time to bring you one final recap of the emotional bloodbath that was the Finale and “After the Final Rose” of season 22 of the Bachelor.

“I choose you today, but I choose you every day from here on out.” Wow, Arie really didn’t make things easy on himself with that proposal, did he? In part two of the Finale we are reminded of this sweet exclamation made by our happily engaged Bachelor, only to cut to a heartbroken Becca sobbing on the floor of the airport before making her sad departure back home.

Meanwhile, Arie is feeling pretty bad about the move he just made on public television. If only there were someone who had gone through this exact televised scenario and lived to tell the tale for Arie to lean on for support! Oh wait, there is! Cue Jason Mesnick, the perfect man to inform Arie on the downside of “pulling a Mesnick”. Please, share your wisdom with Arie. “People yelled at me in the street,” Jason says. The bottom line is that if you pull a move like proposing to a woman on TV and then taking back said proposal (also on TV), you should be prepared for strangers to bring the hate. “They’re going to say things that aren’t really nice,” he warns Arie. “Don’t do this unless you’re 100 percent certain.”

I guess he was, because next thing we know he in on a plane to Virginia Beach to win Lauren back while Becca cries over a stack of Polaroids. Arie pauses in front of Laurens home to have a “panic attack” which was apparently fake because as soon Lauren opened the door she literally leaped into his arms. That said, when he asks Lauren for a “second chance,” she isn’t about to say yes without giving Arie a mildly hard time. After he dumped her, Lauren says, she felt “extremely alone,” and she still can’t wrap her head around why Arie proposed to Becca if he wasn’t actually sure he wanted to marry her. (That’s what we’re all thinking!) The best way the Bachelor can explain it is that he thought that it was the “safe decision” for his future. “I think I just let the logic side of myself take over.” And they say televised romance is dead.

Arie promises that he is “1,000% over Becca” (okay, it’s literally been a day), and asks if he can have her back. She immediately responds with “Well you’ve got me!” with a cheerful giggle. Well, that was quick. Somebody get a hold of Neil Lane! Lauren wants a ring on her finger immediately.

And we’re back in the Bachelor studio, where Bekah, Seinne, Tia, Caroline, and Kendall are all in the studio ready to talk trash about Arie with our boy Chris Harrison. Tia has some hot tea to spill, and wants the world to know that Arie did, in fact, confirm with Lauren that she’d take him back before he dumped Becca; she was with Lauren on New Year’s Eve when Arie dm’ed (how crusty) his runner-up on Instagram. And Arie has the audacity to say he was nervous about how Lauren would respond before going to see her in Virginia Beach. The rest of the ladies tell Harrison that Lauren should not get hate, and Arie is solely to blame, Bekah M. saying, “I would’ve done the same if I was in her position.”

Next up, it’s time for Becca to return to the hot seat, where Harrison asks her how she feel about seeing all that go down. “I’m hanging in there. Just trying to take deep breaths right now,” she says. “It’s hard to watch that all back and see how it all went down on the other end.” Speaking of which, the host wants to know how Becca feels about the show ambushing her into an on-camera breakup and then airing the whole unedited mess on national TV. Becca says something that is very simple, but profoundly self-aware for a reality TV contestant: “I signed up for this.” Finally, someone who gets it.

Harrison then turns the conversation to all the “outpouring of love” for Becca – from the billboards, to all the money fans have Venmo’d to Becca so she can drink her pain away. Learning that the “good riddance Arie” fund is now up to $6,000, Becca is thankful, and tells fans she’s going to donate the money to Stand Up 2 Cancer — and Harrison says The Bachelor will match her contribution.

Now it’s time for Arie to face Becca, and all Becca wants to know is, when did Arie know? At least this part of Arie’s story is consistent: He says that as soon as he called Lauren for “closure,” which Becca knew he was doing, he started thinking seriously about giving things with her another shot. So why didn’t he tell Becca as soon as he started having real doubts? “I wanted to be certain in my decision before I came to you,” says Arie.

Naturally Becca wants to know why he proposed if he was feeling so conflicted, and Arie’s response is typically weak: “The pressure of this, the pressure of being the Bachelor. Knowing there’s a timeline.” Still, he admits that any outside pressure, whether real or imagined, is no excuse and he has no one to blame but himself. (This is true.)

When Harrison asks if she’s ready to move on, Becca is once again diplomatic and gracious. “Yeah. I’m always going to have love in my heart for you,” she tells Arie. But “I’ve moved on. I’m ready for the next chapter in my life, and to find somebody better suited for me.” (Or just better, period.) Her parting advice to Arie: Be honest with Lauren, you lying piece of garbage. (I’m paraphrasing.)

Speaking of, out comes Lauren! The couple answers Harrisons obligatory question of “how are you feeling”. Also remember the proposal Chris Harrison was hinting at? I think you know where this is going: Arie stands up and brings Lauren to center stage, where he serves up his second proposal in the last six months. “I’ve made some bad decisions, but the best decision was running back to you,” he says. “I truly believe you are my soul mate.” As he gets down on one knee, we are treated to what is possibly the best reaction shot in Bachelor franchise history:

Anyways she says yes (shocker) and the audience claps politely.

Becca is announced as the next Bachelorette (also shocker). Although she definitely isn’t ready to go through another nine weeks of her heart being dragged through the mud, Becca insists the choice to return to the Bachelor franchise was “easy, honestly, once I got past the initial heartbreak… I want to be the best damn Bachelorette I can be.” The good news is, she certainly can’t be worse than the last Bachelor.

Becca even plays along and acts surprised when Harrison announces that she’ll be meeting some of her future suitors right now on live TV! Up first is Lincoln, a very charming black man with a (possibly?) British accent, who looks sincerely flustered in Becca’s presence. Next is a man named Chase, who has very high hair and a skinny tie. He tells Becca she deserves “better” than Arie, and he hopes to be the proverbial door that opens when another closes.

Unfortunately the next man who arrives is playing a banjo and singing — and even more unfortunately, he seems to have trouble communicating not through song. I think he mumbled something about looking forward to getting to know Becca, but who knows. Darius is next, “I just wanted to formally apologize on behalf of my gender,” he tells Becca. And she LOVES it. Finally, we get Bradley, who arrives on stage leading a horse. “When you fall off the horse, you gotta get back up again,” he explains. The audience is quick to respond with the expected awwwwww.

And that, rose lovers, is officially the end of this wild season of The Bachelor! I’ll admit, there were times I thought I wasn’t going to make it through, but we made it, and I’m hoping next season will be a lot less of a hot mess.

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