Previously on The Bachelor: Brooke, unable to handle Nick dating three women at once even though that was the smallest number of women he’d been dating since the show started, left. And Nick, unable to tell Brooke that he liked her even though when she wasn’t around he couldn’t stop saying how much he loved her, let her go. And the world burned.
Tonight on The Bachelor: we go through the motions.
Yes, it’s time for the Bachelor finale, when we find out whether Nick will choose the semi-vivacious blonde Sophie or the occasionally-engaging brunette Brittany, and ponder how we got ourselves into this mess. For the women it’s a big night, as they discover which of them will fulfil every little girl’s dream: beginning a relationship with a man who looks kind of like Noddy Holder.
According to the TV guide, this episode is one hour and forty-seven minutes long, so brace yourself.
“Welcome to the beautiful island paradise of New Caledonia,” says TAFKAAG, walking the lush green hills of this most stunning of vestiges of the horrors of French colonialism. Why are they in New Caledonia? Nobody knows, and nobody will ever find out.
Back in Sydney, Nick is at the airport in a provocatively nationalistic hat. “Holy strewth,” he says in voiceover, raising suspicions that he doesn’t know how “strewth” works. He muses on how unlikely it is that anyone would ever find him attractive. “I’m hardly the most conventional-looking rooster,” he says, but that’s where he’s wrong: he looks a LOT like a conventional rooster.
It is now time for flashbacks. First Nick reminisces on the times he spent with Brittany, going on boats, feeding crocodiles and groping each other in pools. Then he reminisces about the times he spent with Sophie, going on boats, playing ice hockey and groping each other in pools. The question that remains for Nick is: does he want to spend the rest of his life feeding crocodiles or playing ice hockey.
“Both of these beautiful women mean so much to me, but they’re so different,” Nick says, because it’s in his contract to say this. In actual fact, the only obvious difference between them is hair colour and neither of them mean as much to him as Brooke.
Brittany is sitting on a beach looking out to sea, wondering how many venomous octopuses are out there. She’s concerned because she doesn’t know whether Nick was going to send her home at the last rose ceremony before Brooke left. Also, what if he’s still with Cass? Brittany considers calling Cass to ask her what positions she and Nick did it in, but first she has to sit on this beach for a bit longer.
Meanwhile Sophie is in a pool. She leans on the edge of the pool and looks winsomely at nothing. This sums up Sophie, pretty much.
In New Caledonia, Nick is on a beach. I have the feeling we’re going to be seeing a lot more beaches before this thing is done.
Nick has invited his family to New Caledonia to discuss his choice. Seems it would have been easier for them to just get together in Sydney for a chat, but it’s important for them to be in New Caledonia for reasons that are a closely guarded secret. His family sit on a New Caledonian couch and talk about how he’s definitely in love with Brooke and Brooke is definitely one of the final two because they know how well he connected with Brooke and there is zero chance that Brooke isn’t there.
Nick arrives and tells them the final two are Brittany and Sophie and his family is all like WTF dude? Nick explains that Brooke left even though he didn’t want her to but he’s actually fine with that and he’s not constantly tormented by the thought of what he’s lost and he doesn’t mind at all that Brooke is gone and he’s perfectly happy with whatsherface and thingummy being the last two.
It is time for Brittany to meet Nick’s family. Brittany admits that she’s nervous because if Nick’s family is anything like her family, they are going to attack her with knives. They sit down and have an awkward and boring conversation. Nick is incredibly enthusiastic about his passionate love for Brittany, declaring flatly, “I could learn a lot from Brooke”. Impressed by his openness, his family give their blessing to Brittany becoming Nick’s maths tutor.
Brittany speaks excitedly about how well she got on with Nick’s family, meaning she’s either lying or she wasn’t actually there. “They remind me a lot of my own family,” she says, making it even harder to suspend our disbelief. His family right now could not hit it off with anyone, they’re still trying to process the fact that Brooke’s not there.
Brittany and Nick’s sister Bernadette sit down for a private chat. “Wish me luck,” Brittany says, but nobody wishes her luck because she is not Brooke. “Have you ever spoken about the future?” Bernadette asks, wanting to know exactly what kind of sci-fi novel Brittany is planning to write. Brittany replies that she wishes to own several dogs and some vegetables. Bernadette is concerned because Nick is not yet ready to settle down: he still has many bodies of water to stare at. Brittany reveals that she was truly amazed when she found out that Nick was born at the same hospital as her, and that from that point on “the similarities kept growing”. She does not explain what any of these similarities are but she promises her office will get back to us with a full list of similarities by COB Friday.”Keep doing what you’re doing,” says Bernadette, so Brittany goes to sit on the beach and think obsessively about Cass.
Suddenly it becomes strikingly clear that Bernadette looks like a character from Asterix comics. This could be a game-changer.
Brittany and Nick engage in some excruciating banter seemingly specifically designed to show us how little they enjoy each other’s company. Nick’s whole family join in with some uproarious forced laughter that creates the impression the cameraman has a gun trained on them.
It’s a new day, and we have to look at another beach. Sophie is walking through a garden. “I feel a thousand feelings,” she says, which seems excessive. I mean, after excitement and nervousness, what else is she feeling? Ennui? Schadenfreude? Grief?
Sophie meets Nick’s family, who once more hide their anger that she isn’t Brooke. Apparently it’s a normal thing for all of the family to hug and kiss women they don’t know, which is slightly creepy. Nick and Sophie tell a funny story about a jetski and they laugh like an old married couple who are trying to hide their impending divorce from their kids.
Speaking of kids, Bernadette believes that Sophie brings out the kid in Nick. How she came to this conclusion is uncertain: maybe it’s because Nick wet his pants as soon as she sat down. Meanwhile, as Sophie banters, Nick’s brother Luke is looking at her like he’s just remembered witnessing her murdering a homeless man. He asks Sophie to join him for a private chat so he can make his loathing more obvious.
“Nick sees something in you,” says Luke, making it quite clear that he finds this fact inexplicable. He asks Sophie how committed she is to Nick. “My feelings are really strong,” she replies, refusing to answer the question. She confesses she is scared to say that she loves Nick, because Brittany is still here, lurking behind trees with her blowgun. Sophie begins to cry, which is a cheap trick to pull, but it works. Luke completely falls for her devious tears and tells her he’s impressed by how real she is. They return to the family, where Nick’s father makes a baffling joke and nervous laughter ensues.
Having sent Sophie back to her burrow, Nick asks his family to tell him what they think of the two women he has reluctantly brought along in place of the one he actually wants. Luke tells him that Sophie is a “jack-in-the-box”, but does not elaborate. Bernadette says that she sees both women as both right and wrong for Nick, but she only says it to us, not to him, so it’s completely useless and Bernadette has let her brother down shamefully. Luke tells his brother that he has to do what’s right for him, which is pointless because Brooke already went home.
At this point we should pause to note that there is still no reason for them to be in New Caledonia.
Nick takes a walk along the beach, hoping one of his merman brothers is there to talk to. The producer is in a panic as there’s only an hour left in the episode and they still have fifty beach scenes to shoot to fill their quota.
Now Sophie is walking along the beach, preparing for her final date with Nick. She has worn her very best pair of incredibly high-waisted denim shorts, as Nick hinted yesterday that their date would take place in a food court in 1991. Nick arrives on a jetski, knowing that he cannot achieve arousal without one. “I just want to make the most of every moment,” says Sophie, implying that she is dying.
“Looking at New Caledonia from the water,” Sophie declares, “I’ve never seen anything like it. This place is just absolutely gorgeous.” She goes on to describe the number of affordable packages available for singles, couples and families wishing for a New Caledonian getaway, and direct us to the New Caledonia Tourism website, where we can find details on the many fun activities that this jewel of the South Pacific offers for travellers seeking both luxury and adventure. Now over to Catriona Rowntree, who’s got some exciting news about Dunk Island.
Anyway Sophie and Nick splash around in the water and Nick puts on a dumb accent and Sophie replaces her armpit shorts with a long red thing and they sit down by a fire on the beach to discuss what’s to be done about Piggy and the boys (literary reference – classy AF). Here the pair have a deep and meaningful conversation, swapping empty cliches about feelings until they’re both spent. Sophie then makes a long speech about how incredibly she’s in love with Nick while he gazes deeply into her eyes and thinks about Brooke. Finally Nick kisses her to shut her up. “I’m glad you’re here,” he says. Whoa, Nick, slow down, no need to gush so extravagantly! Is this relationship really serious enough to justify “glad you’re here” talk?
The TV guide says there’s still 48 minutes of this, by the way. It’s so interminable, it’s like the show is trying to make us experience what it’s like for Nick on a date with one of these women.
Brittany is on a golf course, which is a clear violation of the Every Scene Must Be On A Beach clause in the contract. Nick shows up in a helicopter, having decided that today’s date will be a recreation of Apocalypse Now. Nick muses that Brittany makes him feel “like a dog with two tails”, which I presume means she arouses a feeling of inbreeding in him. He takes Brittany up in the chopper, from where they can see numerous beaches.
“The view up here is incredible,” Brittany says. “So many shades of blue!” She explains that New Caledonia offers more than just pristine waters, though – the cultural pursuits, friendly locals and wide range of recreational activities on offer make it an all-round holiday experience to satisfy everyone from the casual tourist to the hardy adventurer. Flights right now are cheaper than ever, Brittany says.
Nick takes Brittany to a treehouse, where they make stink bombs and plan revenge on Bruiser Murphy. Brittany admits that she is head over heels in love with Nick and wants a future with him, but is scared because they’re quite high up.
“The day was perfect,” says Brittany, so we assume they cut quite a lot of footage out because all we saw was them standing in a treehouse for several minutes. They repair to a couch – they have the couches even in New Caledonia! On the couch Brittany tells Nick that she is wildly in love with him and now that he is in her life, everything makes sense – a dangerous attitude to take because science is making new discoveries every day and the point at which you think you know it all is the point at which you stop learning.
“I’m falling in love with you,” says Brittany. This is what they all say. They never say, “I’m in love with you”, they say, “I’m falling in love with you”, like they want him to hang on a minute while the love buffers or something. Nick responds by kissing her and then pinching his nose stressfully. “Oh Brit,” he says, like a man talking to a cat that has yet again vomited on the carpet. He tells her that she’s the complete package, but not a complete package in the sense of someone he wants to be with, more like a complete package in the sense of someone he doesn’t like very much.
“I want the same things you want,” says Nick, who like Brittany wishes to marry Nick Cummins, “but I’m not sure the timeline is right.” He too wants dogs and vegetables, but not till he’s seventy or so. Brittany is devastated to hear that Nick thinks she’s perfect but also would like her to go away as soon as possible. It’s always a blow to find out that finding a life partner on reality TV is not as straightforward as you’d thought.
Nick is on his balcony, looking out at the landscape and wishing he was on a beach. He is pondering furiously, wondering whether he should choose Sophie, whose company he finds somewhat enjoyable, or Brittany, who he considers mildly personable. It’s a tough choice. “Both these girls deserve all the respect in the world,” he says, demonstrating just how strong his feelings are for Brooke.
Nick looks at a ring in a box as he waits for the moment of truth. “This has really shown me what I want in a girl,” he says – it’s shown him that he wants Brooke. He meets TAFKAAG in the middle of a pond, where the host has been catching frogs for breakfast. “Good luck, mate,” says TAFKAAG, leaving Nick to wait for the women and wonder who that weird guy in the suit was.
“I feel sick,” says Sophie, who has also been eating frogs. She gets in a car to take her to the pond. Meanwhile Brittany is also in a car. “I do feel like Nick is the one for me,” she says, in the flat tones of a woman who has thoroughly given up.
TAFKAAG greets a car. Out of the car steps Sophie. Sad music from the Game of Thrones soundtrack plays. He tells her he doesn’t quite know what purpose he serves on the show, and tells her to go to the pond to see Nick.
“Soph, how are ya?” says Nick, mistaking her for the woman who serves the sausage sandwiches at the rugby club. He tells her that she loves having a good time, which she already knew. “You’ve brought out something in me that I haven’t felt in so long,” he says, referring to his dislike for dating women. He tells her that when he says “I love you” he wants to mean it with his heart. Unfortunately if he said “I love you” to Sophie he would just mean “grab us a tinnie”.
“I’m not able with good conscience to wholeheartedly commit to you right now,” says Nick, suggesting she come back in a few weeks and see what happens. “At this point our journey comes to an end,” he adds. Sophie will now leave and have to find her own way home, as her contract specifically states that if Nick rejects you the network will not cover airfare.
“He didn’t really give me an explanation,” sobs Sophie in the car. What kind of explanation did she want? “You smell funny”? “I like you but your ankles are slightly too thick”? I suppose she expected him to draw a picture of her inadequacies on a whiteboard so she could better understand.
Having kicked Sophie to the kerb, Nick now awaits the arrival of Brittany, who is not as fun-loving or energetic as Sophie, but on the other hand is also a lot less interesting as a person.
Brittany is in the car reflecting on the fact that it’s been a long time since she’s felt this way. I guess it’s been a long time since a man told her he was pretty sure they weren’t right for each other. Still, hope springs eternal, as does TAFKAAG, who greets Brittany with the smug grin of a man who knows he doesn’t have to humiliate himself like this to get a girlfriend. “How do you feel?” he asks. “Surprisingly OK,” Brittany replies, and it does surprise us, because none of us feel OK at all. Then again, Brittany doesn’t have to watch this.
Brittany tells TAFKAAG that she’s “falling in love” with Nick, but is just waiting for escrow or something. Then it’s off to the pond, where Nick says…
“It’s all come to an end.” This is pretty menacing of him, and strongly suggests they are both about to die.
Nick tells her she’s an amazing woman and that he’s developed strong feelings for her. This doesn’t sound good for Brittany. “You’re ready,” he says, which sounds even worse. And then he repeats what he said to Sophie about not wanting to say “I love you” unless he really means it. This sounds positively awful. And then…
“Right now I can’t give 100% to you”.
That’s right…HE’S PICKED NEITHER OF THEM.
It’s a long-winded way of saying, “You’re not Brooke”, but it’s all over. Brittany leaves, confused and miserable and not even realising that she has to give the dress and the jewellery back.
“What a waste of time that was,” Brittany says in the car on the way back, showing a disgusting lack of gratitude for the fact she got a free goddamn trip to New Caledonia. A producer tells her that Sophie doesn’t know that Nick chose nobody, meaning Brittany has a fantastic opportunity to prank Sophie with a phone call to tell her how happy she and Nick are as they frolic together naked on the beach. Instead, Brittany does a typically boring thing and goes to visit Sophie to let her know the truth. They both have a good laugh about, and to be fair it is pretty funny. To tell the truth it’s probably the funniest ending to a reality show Australia has ever seen.
Sophie thinks Nick must be “lost” to have gone through this and “not picked one girl out of all the ones who threw themselves at him”. Indeed, what kind of sick freak has twenty women tell him they want to spend the rest of their lives with him, and then not commit to any of them? What does he think, he could find a woman he likes who ISN’T one of the ones selected for this particular series of this show? Is he MAD? “It’s his loss,” says Brittany, confirming once and for all that it’s not.
And so we all move into the future, a future without Brittany or Sophie or the illusion that true love exists.
Dude. You could’ve just told Brooke you loved her. Dumbass.
Tune in next week, when the Bachelorette makes us all miss The Bachelor.
(they never explained why they were in New Caledonia, by the way)