Recap: The Bachelorette, The Final Rose

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It’s been two weeks since we left Ali crying over faux-Frank in Tahiti, and—after what appeared to be a short commercial for Bora Bora but was actually the opening of the show—we’re in Bora Bora with our bachelorette, Roberto, Chris, and Ali’s mom, dad, brother, and sister, who’ve traveled from the states to meet Ali on the final leg of her tour de love. “After literally going around the world to find love, it’s not where I am but who I’m with,” says Ali. I’m sure ABC’s accountant was glad to hear it.

True to The Bachelorette’s “final rose” format, Roberto and Chris both get to meet Ali’s family on this episode. First up: Roberto. The outfit: plaid button down and shorts. The gift: something in a paper bag with a censored logo (Tahitian contraband? Fox Network merchandise? We’ll never know).  Roberto’s nervous, but only in that whole I-Make-Nervous-Look-Smooth way of his, and Ali’s family takes to him right away.  He chit-chats with Ali’s brother and sister, emotes with Ali’s mother (“As a man, as hopefully a husband one day, what can I do to make sure she is always happy and keep her happy?” he asks) and, finally, Roberto asks Papa Fedotowsky for his blessing, which garners this ringing endorsement: “I don’t see a problem with that.”

Cue the salsa music! Before calling it a day, Roberto breaks out his inner Latin dancing instructor and the family takes a whirl around the teak deck.

In the morning, everyone’s in for a serious case of déjà vu—except this time Ali brings Chris to meet her family. The outfit: a buttonless white button down and shorts (what, you think he just didn’t button that gauzy thing?). The gift: a fruit basket. The Fedotowskys: feeling island florals.  After some quick conversation, which turned to Chris’ mom’s passing in two seconds flat, Chris and Ali’s family get all small-world-y:  Chris was once a teacher. So was Ali’s sister! So was Ali’s brother! Chris’ dad grew up in Montreal. Ali’s dad as born there!

Oddly, during his one-on-one date time with her siblings, Chris plays sorta hard to get—am I right ladies?—and reveals his Bachelorette strategy. “I didn’t want to just walk up like, ‘Hi. I‘m Chris, I love you,’” he explains, “because that’s weird.”  True…but so is competing with 25 men for one woman. We kid! After some quality time on that teak deck, Chris also asks Papa Fedotowsky for his blessing. “I would have no problem offering my blessing,” he repeats. After a fun group swim in the ocean, Chris and Ali say goodbye.  “I really think that Ali is my soulmate perfect person,” he says.

One short Cymbalta commercial later (impending breakups suck!) the Fedotowskys consider the merits of Roberto and Chris around the still-full fruit basket. Dad votes for Roberto. Sister and Brother vote for Chris. Mom is simply overjoyed. “It’s been a really insightful day,” says Ali.

Family time behind her, Ali, fending off a white and yellow polka-dot tunic on the offensive, meets Roberto for their Last Chance date. They hop on jet skis, ride some waves, swim with sting rays (it’s The Deadliest Catch—get it!? Sorry.), picnic on a private island, kiss in the rain, and work their tans before meeting up for a dinner date in Roberto’s cabana (he lights candles, sets the table, and places a beautifully wrapped present on the bed. She wears a jumpsuit.)

“I’ve definitely, definitely fallen in love with you,” Roberto tells Ali after giving her a framed photo from their one-on-one date in the heart-shaped lagoon. She beams, then tells the cameras, ““I love Roberto. I love him.”

In the morning, Chris talks about falling in love with Ali while waiting for his Last Chance date. Then he waits some more. And then he waits some more. When Ali finally arrives, she gets right down to breaking Bachelorette rules. “I’m at a point where there are two guys here and I don’t know what to do,” she says. “I feel like you have all the qualities that I want in somebody…And I think even if two people like really enjoy spending time together and hanging out, that it doesn’t necessarily mean that it is supposed to be. Do you understand what I’m saying? I’m in love with somebody else.”

“Out of respect for you I needed to not put you through anything else when I feel like I know what I need to do,” she says. No sting rays. No tropical storms. No nothing. “Good luck tomorrow,” he says, shocked.

And then, after Ali has left but before Chris has finished saying nice things like “I want her to be happy,” a movie-perfect, island-spanning rainbow appears in the distance. “That’s just my mom saying, ‘You know what? When you put yourself out there for love there’s always the chance that you’re going to get hurt’… I know she’s like, Good job, Chris.” By sunset, he’s on a catamaran heading home to “keep looking” for The One.

Hours later, Ali tosses what little Bachelorette discretion she has left to the wind and declares her true love for Roberto. “My heart is not capable of loving more than one man,” she says. “I am in love with Roberto and nothing is going to change that.”

Enter jeweler to the stars and Bachelorette proposal pusher Neil Lane. After “going slow” (taking 30 seconds) Roberto selects a super sparkly diamond engagement ring—then vows to think long and hard about taking vows before maybe possibly proposing to Ali.

Oh come on, you know what happens next! Roberto pulls himself together in a great but tropic-unfriendly suit, Ali is helped into a fairytale gown by half of a man in flip flops, and they meet on a windy bluff overlooking the beach.

“You told me how important it was for your husband to love you unconditionally and to always be by your side no matter what,” he says. “I want to be that man for you. I want to make you laugh. I want to make you smile. I want to make sure you wake up every morning for the rest of your life knowing that you are so, so loved … I want to share my life my life with you. Share my life with me? Ali Fedotowsky, will you marry me?”

And she will! They hug, they kiss, she giggles, “Can You Feel the Love Tonight” starts playing, romantics and Lion King fans everywhere cry (for different reasons), and Roberto carries Ali off into the Tahitian sunset.

I’ll see you again at the start of the next Bachelor’s journey to find love.

Until then, mucho amor.