The episode starts with Nick's family arriving in Finland to meet his two girlfriends and potential wives. Raven's first at bat.
I'm going to pretend that Raven's freaky eye makeup is the work of an evil producer who convinced her that it's not only acceptable, but also breathtakingly beautiful, to use an entire tube of mascara on your lower lashes. The Viall family deserves a Nobel peace prize for being able to overlook Raven's crusty lashes and her long, stringy, Morticia Adams black hair. Sometimes I feel like Raven is actually a character from an urban legend who somehow found a way to infiltrate our world.
The most important thing you need to know about the family meet and greet is that Bella is Team Raven-claw. The second most important thing you need to know is that Bella looks like a young Jennifer Garner. Proof:
Nick's mom also cries, because she's either very sensitive and loves her son a lot or she's a depressive. Either way, I may start writing fan fiction about Nick's mom and Chris Harrison a la Bridges of Madison County. I like to imagine they are secretly in love and that's actually why Nick's father broke down. How can any man compete with Chris Harrison and his collection of perfectly crisp buttondowns?
His family warns Nick that Vanessa's his type (strong women)-- which hasn't worked out for him in the past. What is the message here, ABC? If he wants to be happy he needs to find a weak female who will cater to his every whim? Nick's penchant for strong females only makes me like him more. He should marry me, because I am so strong that I will cut a bitch if they get my takeout order wrong. I nearly left my husband the other night, because when I said I wanted lettuce cups and pot stickers, he thought i said "I want lettuce cups or potstickers" and he only ordered the lettuce cups. Fuck that bullshit! Mama needs her carbs!
Strong women for the win.
The date ends with Vanessa crying, because Nick isn't making her feel special and she doesn't like any of his answers about anything. She apparently didn't get the memo that he's contractually obligated to be vague. Vanessa says that she doesn't want him to propose to her if he only loves her slightly more than another woman. Am I crazy or do the producers tell the remaining contestants not to refer to the other by name? It's always like "Nick might have stronger feelings for someone else" or "There's still another woman here and I don't know how Nick feels about her" etc. It's not a fucking mystery. The other woman is Raven.
Ravenclaw's last date with Nick is far better than Vanessa's and it's also where ABC starts to perform inception on my brain. Nick and Raven skate on ice, make out on ice, and dance like no one's watching on ice. They're adorable. They have chemistry. Nick is in good spirits and seems happy. I completely lap it up. I love this side to Nick. He's a goofball at heart and I'm into it. And then they play that Six Pence None the Richer song again and I realize that A) this song could make a video of cows getting slaughtered seem cute and romantic. B) Raven must be the winner at the end. Why else would ABC pay to license a 90s pop song??
BUT Raven's overconfidence starts to concern me. I know how this show works. The winner is always the one with doubts who's terrified she will have her heart broken at the end of the episode. The loser is always the one who has complete confidence in her relationship and has zero doubts that she's a day away from getting engaged. BUTTTTT Nick seems so certain and confident, too. Maybe it's just reverse bachelor psychology. I'm so confused.
Vanessa to Nick: This is SO hard for me.
Raven to Nick: This must be SO hard for you.
In the end, the victor is Vanessa.
Raven gets dumped in a room that looks like it's going to host an arts & crafts fair later in the day. Nick lets her pour her heart out and then says he's not "in" love with her and sends her home WITHOUT HER JACKET. Did Raven ever get her jacket back? Did she really have to walk to a limo, in the snow, in just an evening gown? I honestly think it would be more humane if he just sent her a text with a crying face emoji and a broken heart, and saved her all that time she spent grooming for fiance sex.
Raven remains stoic, because she's actually just the ghost of a teenaged hitchhiker who has spent the afterlife roaming the highway she got murdered on, until the night she got picked up in a limo and brought to the bachelor house to fall in love with Nick.
I know many of you are angry that Raven didn't win in the end, but I'm cool with it. At twenty-five, she's a whopping eleven years younger than Nick and needs to catch a few more dicks before settling down.
As for Nick's proposal to Vanessa, it just proves that we've been fools all along. He didn't wake up that morning deciding to propose to Vanessa. He's been falling in love with her since the second rose ceremony. She's always been the one. Everyone else was just collateral damage on a reality TV show. Nick is a sociopath who was totally fine with stringing Raven around till the bitter end. Vanessa says "YES" to his marriage proposal and just like that, they're engaged. But they need to leave right away cause that arts & crafts fair starts in like an hour.
I have so many mixed feelings about Vanessa.
My first thought: this is good for women (which is ridiculous since NOTHING related to the Bachelor is actually good for women), but hear me out. What would it say if the more amenable female was "the one"? The woman who preferred to reassure VS challenge and question? The woman who decided the way to Nick's heart was by announcing to the world she'd never had an orgasm AND THEN announcing to the world that Nick gave her one. The woman who was described as "fun" and "easy."
I liked Raven, because she had a personality. It's a bummer for her that ABC decided to stop being racist, because otherwise, she would have been the obvious choice for The Bachelorette. But I also think she represents that kind of ideal female who laughs all the time, never gets mad, and wants nothing more than to make her man happy. Raven is all of us at twenty-five.
In case you think I'm over-analyzing, here's a text exchange between me and my brother:
This is normal though, because none of us should expect a relationship to last between two people who met on a reality TV show and "dated" for eight weeks, and then had to keep their engagement secret for months and not be seen in public together. I give them credit for admitting that things have been tough and it hasn't been perfect. Surprisingly, Vanessa says that her decision to leave Montreal was actually a non-issue and she's totally fine with moving.
This relationship will never survive Dancing with the Stars. Raven would have been happy to cheer Nick on from the sidelines, ice his butt, and massage his sore calves every night after he got home from rehearsal. Vanessa, on the other hand, will be two bottles of malbec deep and will chastise him for not making her feel special.
But the simmering hatred between Nick and Vanessa isn't even the worst part of the after show. The worst part of the show is that RACIST ABC does Rachel (our first black bachelorette) a total disservice by pulling a fast one and starting her season in front of a live studio audience, with a cheap ass backdrop of the Bachelor mansion. Rachel (who looks fucking amazing) gets to meet four of her suitors. The whole thing is awkward and uncomfortable and lame. Especially when one of the guys says "I'm ready to go black and I'm never going back." STOP. Does ABC need to hire a racism consultant? Is this shit for real? What behind-the-scenes person approved that opening line? I truly hope they treat the white men on the show the same way all the minorities have been treated for the last 33 seasons.
There should only be four white guys. They should all be named Mike, Chris, Josh, and Matt. Three of them should be sent home in the first episode. The remaining one should get sent home in the middle of a group date in a sketchy cab in Mexico #NeverForgetJubilee.
That's it for my recaps of The Bachelor. Thanks for reading, guys! Until we meet again in May....
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