- The Bachelor Season 16, Episode 1 Recap: Let the Drunken Times Begin!
- The Bachelor Season 16, Episode 2 Recap: Wizards & Dragons & Stage 5 Clingers, Oh My
- The Bachelor Season 16, Episode 3 Recap: In Which Making Out Is the Answer to Everything
- The Bachelor Season 16, Episode 4 Recap: Fishers of Ben
- The Bachelor Season 16, Episode 5 Recap: “Who knew strippers could play baseball?”
- The Bachelor Season 16, Episode 6 Recap: Survival of the Skankiest
- The Bachelor Season 16, Episode 7 Recap: Do You Belize In Love?
- The Bachelor Season 16, Episode 8 Recap: Over the River and Through the Woods
- The Bachelor Season 16, Episode 9 Recap: “Very Close to the Future”
Congratulations, you made it through the 20th season of America’s favorite trainwreck, The Bachelor. Are you ready for what we’re promised is the “most controversial finale in Bachelor history”? Better be, because here we go.
The finale opens with Ben is his same old spot, staring out a window, this time of a train, which is still in Switzerland, near the famous Matterhorn.
Ben explains that there are “two incredible women” that he’s “head over heels in love with.” He says he needs more time with Lindzi, and he likes her because she “lights up the room.” He has some doubts about Courtney but he’s been crazy about her since their first date in Sonoma.
Suddenly we hear the dulcet tunes of the season’s theme song, “This Year’s Love.” Ben says that he’s sure he’s found love and he feels great. We get shots of everyone — Ben, Lindi and Courtney — in cozy mountain cabins of their own. Ben remarks that “somehow the Matterhorn gives me hope” as he stares off in the distance.
Now it’s time for Mom and Sister Flajnik (Julia). Ben’s sis has his exact same hair and looks a lot like crazy Shawntel to me. It’s cute when Ben says that he’s thrilled that his “back-up” has arrived; you can tell he’s close to them. He’s anxious for their outside perspective and approval.
Julia tells him that she’s “good with reading women,” and it sounds a little strange. Ben first tells them about Lindzi, and I guess the only way he can describe her is to say that she “lights up a room,” because that’s all he keeps saying.
Julia then asks Ben very pointedly if there was a girl that didn’t get along with the other girls on the show. This had to be set up by the producers, yes? Ben is like, “Actually, yeah, and her name is Courtney.” He tries to defend her, but Sis Flajnik is smart and FINALLY tells him that it’s a super-big red flag when a girl doesn’t get along with other girls. This is what we have all been screaming at the television for the entire season.
Ben explains that his sis is hard on his girlfriends and “does not normally approve.” It is clear that Ben desperately wants approval.
We’re back from a commercial with another shot of the majestic Matterhorn, and Lindz is walking toward Ben in a super-cute tweed coat with military accents. They wave hi, which is a little awkward, and it looks like she’s brought chocolates for Mom and Sis. They kiss and she admits she’s nervous to meet them.
Lindzi tells the camera that she hasn’t ever felt about anyone the way she feels about Ben, and she’s falling in love and wants to spend the rest of her life with him.
Lindz and Ben walk in to meet his mom and sis, and the group sits down. Ben is introducing Lindz to them, and says something about how they both enjoy the city and the country! Yay! So much in common. He again tells the tale of the horse entrance which he’s clearly still obsessed with.
Everyone sits down for a meal, and Lindz awkwardly says that she “gets a little stressed out when i have to eat proper.” This is evidenced by the fact that she keeps dropping her utensils. You may also be able to blame this on the fact that they’re guzzling wine in what looks like the middle of the day. Who knows?
Mom and Lindz sit down for a chat later, and she asks Lindz why she likes her son. Lindz sighs and says, “Oh, there’s so much! He’s so caring,” and I honestly thought for a second that she said he was so “hairy.” Also would have been true. She spills some more cliches about opening up and letting people in, and says Ben feels like someone she’s known forever, she’s in love, et cetera et cetera.
Julia and Lindz have a talk next, and Julia asks if it would scare her if Ben proposed. Lindz says no, she’s just excited. Then, Sis asks about what other girls thought about Court! Whoa, don’t think this has ever happened, that a family member has asked one of the final two about the other. Lindzi tries to be polite and says that Coutney is “different than myself.” She explains that she’s more of a people person, and Courtney was “shut off.”
And Sis is clearly already not a fan of Court! She says she feels relaxed around Lindzi: “I pride myself on being able to see your character, and whatnot.” Sis is fully on Team Lindzi, and tells Ben she approves.
The couple departs, and Ben looks a little pained when she kisses him. Mom tells the camera that Lindz is a “nice young woman, great.” AKA bland.
Now Ben is filling Mom and Sis in about Courtney, and they already DO NOT like the fact that she’s a model. Funny how that word can scare people.
We return from another commercial, and Ben’s in a women’s cardigan, staring at the Matterhorn yet again. He still doesn’t believe the girls saw “the real Courtney,” and points out that his family is all women. He doesn’t know what he’s going to do if they don’t give their approval.
Court finally meets up with Ben, and I can’t tell what her gift for the Ladies Flajnik is. Ben says he’s nervous for her to meet them. He must know that she can be difficult! He tells the camera that he doesn’t want his mom and sister to prejudge her. Mom admits to Courtney after they meet that she’s scared of word “model.” Court says the other girls were “judgey” about it, and it’s interesting that she brings up the other girls first. She then basically lies to their faces and keeps talking about how she tried to be nice to everyone.
Time for a Sis and Court chat: Sis comes right out with it and pretty much says, WTF? Court lies again, and tries to say that the other girls weren’t interested in getting to know her. She does admit that she could have tried harder, and says the show brought out a bad side. She says she’s in love with Ben.
Next, Courtney and Mom chat, and she tells Mom that Ben is “so smart, and so funny,” and she just loves him! She’s “pretty confident in their connection.”
Eventually, after Courtney leaves, Julia/Sis says she was blown away by how great Courtney was, and that she was “very, very sweet,” and that she shouldn’t have judged the book by its cover.
Mom, meanwhile, thinks Courtney is “kind,” and can tell Ben’s in love with her. Courtney tells the camera that she’s ready to be engaged.
Now we get a recap sesh with Ben and his female family. They think he has two amazing girls. Lindz is “sweet and easy to like.” Ben says that his and Lindzi’s relationship is a “slow burn,” and Courtney’s blossomed earlier. Mom calls both of them accomplished and says there’s “depth” to Courtney. Right.
Sis says that Courtney was “honest,” and we know now that she was able to fool them just like she did with Ben. Sis says that it’s clear Courtney is what Ben wants. Ben anticipates that people are going to hate Courtney, and he knows it will be difficult.
“If i propose to her, I know there will be hurdles, but I’ll stick by her side,” he says, and it’s so obvious that his mind is made up. The producers make him say, “But this is not over, I still have two incredible women.”
Mom’s parting words to her son are: “Do what’s right for you, nobody else.”
Time for the last dates. Ben comes to pick up Lindzi in a horse-drawn carriage. She jumps in his arms, FINALLY, as this is the trademark bachelor move and it hasn’t really been seen this season! The carriage takes them through town, and then he explains that they’re going skiing. She’s never been before. They take a private gondola up the mountain, and there’s a romantic little picnic spread out. Of course.
Lindzi is so happy that it’s “just me and Ben.” And a camera crew. She says that she knows she has to “open up more,” because one can never be too open on this show. She seems so, so nervous.
“Can you see an ‘us’ in your future?” Lindz asks Ben. He says he’s already seen it. “I want to be the best I can be for you,” she says. Ick. They head down the slope on skis in tandem, with her holding on to him. “I can trust him both on the slopes and in life,” is her genius comment.
“I’m so vulnerable right now,” says Lindzi next as she drinks wine by the fire and waits for Ben in her room. He shows up in a sweater with a popped collar. They sit and drink more wine. She tells him, “It’s only gonna get better,” in what I imagine she thinks is her sexy voice. They talk about feelings. She says “I love you” and “I want to be a fiancee.” Ben wants to say “I love you,” back, but the show doesn’t allow it. They make out. He’s probably thinking about Courtney.
Finally, time for Court. Ben and C greet each other, and she says she’s head over heels and that she’s not worried about Lindzi. Then she says that Ben has a lot of depth. Interesting.
Aaaand, here comes the helicopter! There had to be at least one. They take off through the Alps. He calls the ride one of the top 10 coolest things he’s ever done.
“I’m hoping that our relationship is progressing to new heights,” Ben comments as they’re in the chopper. Har. They land by a lake, and they’re also pulling a sled. There’s another freaking picnic. Can’t they do anything else?? Isn’t it cold?? How about some hot cocoa? They down what look like mimosas instead as Ben cooks something on a hot plate. Strange date. I really like Courtney’s gray and white Fair Isle sweater.
Ben tells her that his family liked her. They make out. Then make snow angels. He says he feels like himself, like a little kid, and they sled downhill. Ben says “head over heels” again. She has her hand on his ass.
Time for the evening date. Court lights some candles. She says she’s scared, but trying to focus on their “connection.”
Courtney then gives him a gift. Um, Lindz where was yours?? Of course the gift is the traditional bachelor “Here’s some photos I got from the producers” scrapbook. She reads the card out loud and says he was worth the “hard times,” and that he’s the best thing that’s ever happened to her. “You feel like home to me.” He likes it. They lay on the bed awkwardly. She asks if he has any concerns. He says, “nope.” She brings up the other girls and he gets annoyed.
Ben leaves her room for the night, and Court says she’s terrified she won’t get picked. It makes her heart hurt just thinking about it.
Next we find Ben strolling through the Swiss streets pretending to ponder his decision. He thinks Courtney is exciting, and her “spirit and energy” makes her 10 times more attractive to him. He says a life with Lindzi would be “incredible,” and she has “a glow about her” and “amzing qualities.” He feels at ease with her. The producers are trying to sell us on Lindzi.
We watch as Lindz pretends to wake up, with a face full of makeup. She looks over her balcony at the mountain view and says that she “truly feels deep down” that she wants to be engaged. She’s half-excited and half-terrified.
Next we see Court in a tiny nightie. She calls Ben “a breath of fresh air” and says he’s the first man she’s ever trusted. She sips her coffee and says she’s scared, again.
Now it’s Ben’s turn to look over his balcony! There’s that Matterhorn again. “If we get through this, we can get through anything,” he says about his chosen woman. He’s confident and says he knows what he’s doing. So does the rest of America.
And here comes Neil Lane with his Briefcase o’ Diamonds! This is not the first time these two have met, as Ben previously picked out a ring for Ashley Herbert on last season’s Bachelorette. Awkward. Each ring is bigger than the next. He picks a pretty classy one. “I don’t imagine life getting any better,” says Ben.
But first, he has to break someone’s heart. We watch both girls primp and get ready to be proposed to. “This is a moment girls dream of their whole lives,” says Lindzi.
Weirdly, they both add capes to their evening gown ensembles. Courtney’s is kind of cool and minimalist and classic, but Lindzi’s is just awful and looks like a velvet royal shawl. Eek.
Ben takes his position in a carefully staged forest wonderland. He’s still sad he has to say good-bye to someone. Right on cue, Lindzi arrives via helicopter. Her hair is kind of a hot mess. Her voiceover tells us how much she’s looking forward to the proposal. Oh, girl.
When they meet, she starts talking and says she’s so excited and she’s in love. “How are you feelin?” she asks. I think it’s the first time someone’s come out and asked that question in this moment.
Ben starts to talk about her first impression, the damn horse, and actually says he fell in love with her. BUT. “I need those moments to last a lifetime. And, uh. I found that with someone else. I’m sorry. I’m in love with someone else.”
Ouch. “I want you to know it didn’t come easy,” he says, and he walks her toward the waiting helicopter. She ends up comforting him because he’s so upset. He tells her she’s incredible. She says “uh, thanks.” She’s already blaming herself, saying she didn’t give him what he needed. Poor thing. “If things don’t work out, call me.” Genius! Well played, Lindz. She knows he’s in for a tough ride with Courtney. Lindz heads back into the helicopter, with the heinous robe back on. Off she flies into the sky.
Courtney prepares to make her entrance and meet her man via helicopter. “Ben and I have the potential to be amazing together,” she says. “It feels like we’re meant to be. I’m a good person, good things happen to good people.” The ‘copter lands. “I know I didn’t behave my best with the women, but I never lied about my feelings with Ben,” her voiceover says.
Chris Harrison leads her to her future fiance. Her black gown sans cape is stunning. I’m even ok with the dramatic elbow-length gloves.
They greet each other and both take deep breaths. “What a journey,” he begins. Ben talks about ups and downs, signs of what life could be. He thinks she’s incredible. Then there’s a “BUT!”
“I had promised myself I wouldn’t get down on one knee again unless I was certain it was forever. And I want to tell you that you are my forever.” He says he’s in love with her, more than she’ll ever know. This whole experience was worth it. He gets down on his freaking knee and proposes to her. She says yes, of course. “I love it!” she exclaims. About the diamond. “I will love you forever,” they both say. There’s no screaming. It’s all very calm. He gives her THE FINAL ROSE.
To end, there’s an awkward interview with them both, where he talks about bumps along the road. He said he loved her for a long time. “Ohmygod this ring is heavy!” are Courtney’s last words. Fitting.
Chris Harrison opens the After the Final Rose segment by saying, “Ben just did what the whole country hoped he wouldn’t. He proposed marriage to Courtney.” And I actually feel kind of bad for her. What was it like for Ben realizing how mean Courtney had been to the other girls? Is ben having an affair? Are they still together?? BURNING QUESTIONS.
Ben shows up with some very non-sexy scruff. His hair is still pretty bad.
Chris and Ben talk about how Courtney took everything a little too far, and was basically awful on the show. Ben says he did listen to the other women but clearly, no, he did not. He says they didn’t give him specific examples about HOW she was awful. Oh, ok. I’m pretty sure Emily the Epidemiologist tried to, and you shut her down.
Ben says he was disappointed by her actions, and she made the process harder for him, and they didn’t talk for a period of time and “essentially were broken up.” THE CROWD GASPS IN HORROR. He says he needed alone time.
Chris brings up the paparazzi photos, and Ben says he hasn’t kissed another woman. Us Weekly begs to differ. He swears he wasn’t kissing any girls. You be the judge.
Next, Ben admits that Court went and tried on wedding dresses the same day these paparazzi photos came out, just to screw with everyone. Clever!
Court sits down with Chris, and talks about how hard it’s been, and says that she regrets a little bit of what happened. Ben didn’t send her anything for Valentine’s, sad. She takes being engaged seriously. She says he abandoned her, but hey are a couple. Then she starts to cry, because she doesn’t really know. She says they need to talk. Yeah, that’s an understatement.
Ben comes back out and says that they’re in a good place and engaged. “We know this is going to work, but we’re going to take our time.” Chris keeps calling them the “most controversial couple in Bachelor history.”
Now we get a recap of what we just saw, the proposal. They both cry and say that the beautiful moment was “soiled” by “all this.” Chris brings their engagement ring back out. Ben gives it back to Courtney and says he wants her to have it. They’re engaged again, hurrah!
I actually really hope these crazy kids can work out. Ben’s right, they’re both weird in their own ways and deserve each other.
Thanks everyone for reading these recaps every Tuesday! I’ve enjoyed writing them, and who knows, maybe we’ll be back with The Bachelorette soon!
Meredith Rose (not her real name) is a writer living, working, and dating in Washington, DC. She enjoys dramatic rose ceremonies, college football and fashion. She has been a friend of HowAboutWe’s since attending the site’s launch party in April 2010.