“I tried so hard and got so far, but in the end, it doesn’t even matter. I had to fall to lose it all, but in the end, it doesn’t even matter.” Linkin Park, In the End
Hello everyone and welcome for the moment we’ve all been waiting for- and no, that’s not to see if Bachelor Nick chooses Raven or Vanessa (duh- it’s been obvious all along)- the glorious end of a season that seems to have gone on forever. But before you start high-fiving and getting excited to never see Nick Viall’s face on your TV screen again, not so fast, because for some ungodly reason, he’s going to be on Dancing with the Stars in the upcoming season. Normally, this would not affect me in the least, having given up watching these so-called “stars” dance many seasons ago, but this year, one miss Erika Jayne neè Girardi is going to be competing, and she’s a goddamn national treasure, so it’s just my luck to have to start watching again on the season where Nick Viall and his bad perm and likely worse dance moves will be invading my TV viewing once again. But I’ll take a few of Nick’s dorky dance moves if it means I get to see Erika “pat the puss.” (If you don’t watch Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, that went completely over your head. And also, shame on you. Second only to RHONY, it’s one of the crown jewels of Bravo.) So without further ado, let’s dissect this episode and with any luck, never have to utter the name Nick Viall ever again.
Where to begin? First and foremost, it seems Nick falls in love A LOT. He says he’s in love with both Raven and Vanessa and is sticking to the story that he was in love with Andi and Kaitlyn too. That’s a lot of “love” in a few years. CH tells us it’s another “dramatic” three hours, but at least he has something to do this time other than counting roses for us, as he’s hosting some sort of “live show.” He has mentioned the word “desperate” no fewer than three times in the first ten minutes of the show when talking about Nick’s “search for love.” We open in Rovaniemi, Finland (I hope I spelled that right) and I still hate Nick’s winter wardrobe. (Not that his summer wardrobe was any better in paradise, lest we forget his tiny shorts that he insisted on rocking through most of his stay there.) He walks through the snow and looks contemplative. Or maybe he’s just as over him being on this show as we are. Either way, he meets up with his family where his mom and dad and six of their seemingly thousands of children are waiting for him. His cute little sister Bella is back, along with another young sibling and I can’t help but think that they should both be in school instead of traipsing off to Finland to try to help their loser brother find a wife for the third time on this show. Shame on you, Mama and Daddy Viall.
Raven is first up to meet the family, even though she already met them early on when they went back to Nick’s hometown. Bella loves Raven- they bonded when they met before- and she gives her the whole “I don’t want to see him get hurt again speech.” She’s adorable, but it seems that Nick’s whole family shares the concern he might be rejected again. But Raven tells Daddy Viall that she loves Nick and Dad says, “She had a maturity” that he hadn’t expected. Mama Viall also shares her concerns that Nick might get dumped again and be heartbroken. Thanks for the vote of confidence, family. But I mean, I get it. We all get it. It’s Nick. Nobody expects that he could get any of these girls in a million years. It adds up.
Next, we see Vanessa enter the house. They are going to hate her almost as much as I hate Nick’s furry green sweater. She’s talking a lot and she doesn’t seem warm or sweet like Raven. When she talks to Nick’s mom, Vanessa hints that she isn’t 100% ready to be engaged at the end of this “journey.” “What if we’re not ready for the next chapter?” she says, and notice that Vanessa always looks so smug. Dad pulls Nick aside again and shares his concerns that Vanessa may be too much Nick’s “type” (read: a bitch) and reminds him that he hasn’t had much success with his “type” in the past. Then Daddy Viall talks to Vanessa and again, she says she isn’t ready to get engaged. She takes her engagement very seriously, guys. That’s why she went on a reality show to find a husband. Daddy Viall starts to cry and he’s never reminded me so much of Nick. Vanessa stays ice cold, but then eventually breaks down crying and that’s enough for Daddy Viall- he’s convinced Vanessa loves Nick. After it’s all over and the girls have left, Mama Viall remarks that “each experience we’ve had with this has gotten worse and worse.” Nick’s young siblings look tired and over it. Keep doing you, Nick, but stop dragging your little siblings around to help you land a woman. They have schoolwork to catch up on and Bella is probably missing soccer! Nick says, “There’s no sure thing” (except you appearing on another reality show) and Daddy Viall says, “I hope he’ll be able to choose someone who will accept his proposal.” Or, you know, maybe he could just stop proposing to women on TV.
They head back to Lapland and ride horses and Vanessa calls it her “perfect vacation.” I mean, I know you’re Canadian and all, but have you never sipped champagne on a warm beach somewhere? That’s a perfect vacation. Anyway, they ride their frozen asses to a frighteningly tiny wood cabin, and wouldn’t you know it- “Santa” answers the door. I mean, this season has seen some terrible dates, but this is beyond bad and Nick and Vanessa have to sit in this cramped hovel and pretend to believe in this bullshit, where they both wish for love and then get a weird picture of them that looks like it has been drawn from a bad cartoon and has some “fertility” symbol on it. And once that’s over, it’s time for Vanessa to go from being almost nice to being the ball-busting killjoy she normally is.
She tells him she loved his family and I don’t think he believes her. I certainly don’t. And then she’s all pissy because he hasn’t made up his mind yet. She says, “I guess I want to feel different” as if she didn’t know she was signing up for a show where he would be dating at most 30 other women and at the very least one other. She tells Nick she may not be ready to get engaged because he still has feelings for another woman. This is actually torture to watch because it’s boring and it’s uncomfortable as hell, and I hate Vanessa so hard for making me actually feel sorry for Nick. She asks him,”Do you feel ready to propose?” to which he replies, “The week’s not over yet.” Touché Nick. She gets mad and whines that even if they did get engaged, it would be less romantic. Exactly, Vanessa. That’s why you don’t sign up to do this on TV and compete with a bunch of other girls and hope he picks you. They don’t leave things in the best way, as she sobs on the bed and he tries to comfort her.
The next day, he meets up with Raven and they play in the snow. Raven is everything Vanessa isn’t- fun, positive, sweet, up for anything- and that’s exactly why he won’t choose her. They go ice skating and Nick looks like an idiot trying to ice dance. It’s so bad but I can’t look away. They lie down and make out on the ice. Their chemistry is off, somehow. It’s like they think they should like each other. Nick’s bangs sticking out of his beanie make him look like a preteen girl with a bad haircut and I’ve never been so repulsed by the sight of him. But then he brings out some puppies for them to play with and I’m distracted for a minute cause they are really cute. They go off to Raven’s chalet to chat and she makes sure he knows that she’s all in and has no doubts- again, the antithesis of Vanessa. His hair looks extra dorky and sweaters do him no favors. Raven seems very confident that they will be getting engaged and I kind of just want to give her a hug because we all know that ain’t happening. He tells her he wants to “brag about her” whatever that means and she keeps calling him Nicholas for some reason. When he leaves, she walks out into the cold (in her minidress with no tights. I legitimately felt badly about how much she must have suffered in those freezing temps just to try to look cute) and says it may be the last night she and Nick ever call each other boyfriend and girlfriend. I agree with her, but for very different reasons, as she thinks she’s going to be getting engaged but we all know she’s getting dumped.
Later, Nick gets a visit from his old friend Neil Lane and I’m wondering if it’s a punchcard kind of situation- 3 rings and the 4th is free. Not that Bachelor Nick has ever paid a dime for any of these rings, but I still think there should be some kind of rewards program. Meanwhile, we see Vanessa complaining and Raven being “nervous but hopeful.” They are literally the human embodiment of glass half empty versus half full. We see a limo pulling up and I always think it’s interesting that they have never once switched up the order- whoever arrives first is always the loser. I mean, I get it- you don’t want to get engaged and then excuse yourself to go break up with someone- but they could still film it that way and edit it to throw us off. At this point I’m looking for any kind of twist in this predictable show. Raven arrives, Nick cries, tells her she’s great but he’s not sure he’s in love with her, etc, etc. She actually takes it pretty well and waits until the limo to break down. But when she does, she says that guys always tell her she’s everything they want but they never love her. I just want to hug her and tell her that it’s because she’s 24 and she’s picking the wrong guys because that’s what you do at 24. But she’s young and cute. I have no doubt she will figure it all out. And until then, there’s always Paradise.
Vanessa arrives and I notice the room they are in is cluttered and pretty kitschy. Could they not have picked a nicer location? And why are the reindeer tied up outside? Do they often escape? So. Many. Questions. Vanessa gets out of the limo and takes off her fur shrug and she has brought the girls out to play. Holy cleavage. I guess she wants to look hot if she’s getting engaged and wants him to see what he’s missing if she’s not. He starts to give a speech and cries (of course) and then says, “I’ll never forget the first time I started falling in love with you.” I’m basically dozing off at this point, but he finally gets around to proposing and I realize that I dislike them equally, therefore they are perfect together. He gets down on one knee and she wastes no time in saying yes, even after all the threats that she wouldn’t. She does the ugly cry and he offers her the final rose and sweet mother of God, we still have an hour of this left. They exit in a horse drawn carriage in the freezing cold and ride off into happily ever after, or at least to After the Final Rose.
I’m not going to lie- I didn’t take any notes on ATFR. I’ll sum up a few key points. Raven seemed rather emotionless about Nick, which is good, cause it means she got over it quickly. She confirmed she will be going to Paradise. Vanessa came out next and talked about how hard it was to watch the show and how hard it is that they haven’t been able to spend much time together and currently live in separate countries. Then Nick and Vanessa came out together and it legitimately seemed like they hated each other- zero chemistry, not much physical contact, and kind of an icy demeanor from Vanessa, but what else is new? She said they’ve had some huge fights, they said they’ve decided to live in the US (we will see about that) and that they are still working on “getting to know each other.” As you do AFTER you get engaged and not before like normal people. My favorite part was when Vanessa gave her whole spiel about how seriously she takes engagement- she’s only going to be engaged once, just like she’s only going to be married once and she sees it as the step on the way to marriage, yada, yada. So CH asked, “So are you guys getting married?” To which Nick and Vanessa replied, “We’re working on it.” Which means they will announce their split shortly after Nick finishes his run on DWTS, which, based on the moves he showed us while skating with Raven, will likely be early on in the season. So I am still betting that we haven’t seen the last of Nick Viall on this franchise. My money is on him heading to Paradise to dry hump Corinne some more, if she’ll have him. After Vanessa and Nick leave, Rachel Lindsay comes out (looking flawless) to talk about how excited she is to start her “journey” and CH “surprises” her with a few of the men from her season. She’s so cute and seems genuine and I’m really excited to watch her be the Bachelorette, but that whole segment seemed forced and stupid. But “with that being said” we’ve come to the end of the line- no more Nick and his bad hair and terrible outfits and awkward sense of humor, no more watching Vanessa sulk or yell every five minutes, and no more of Raven’s accent and her little bit of crazy that would creep out every now and again and was actually pretty entertaining. I am happy to close the book on this chapter and I’m looking forward to seeing what next season brings. Until then, let’s all take a big sip and toast to never seeing Nick’s face again on this show which,of course, we will. Much like Arnold, he will be back. Of that I’m certain. Cheers, guys. See you next time.