Handicapping The Bachelorette: The Crushing Heartbreak We’ve All Been Waiting For

Finally, the tears came, and it was a flood. After an entire season of teasers filled with a crying Des, she arrived last night. The Bachelorette devoted half of the season’s penultimate episode to (SPOILER ALERT!!) Brooks dumping Des. He wasn’t sure that Des was his one true love, the woman with whom he wants to spend the rest of his life. And if he wasn’t feeling it now, he wouldn’t be feeling it ever. I haven’t ruled out the possibility that he saw the daily footage revealing Des’s many abysmal outfits in Antigua — the rags she arrived on the island in, the wide-leg pants and bikini top outfit she wore as she waded in the ocean. That would confirm any of my own fears, too. Of course, the breakup only came after two pointless dates with Drew and Chris, an agonizing conversation with Chris Harrison, and the actual confrontation with Desiree.

 

The only things you need to know about Des’s date with Drew

The best day of Drew’s life was when Des met Drew’s sister, and he was excited about the Fantasy Suite because, as he says, “it’s the perfect place for us to be ourselves.” No further comment.

Odds Des chooses him: 100-1

 

The only things you need to know about Des’s date with Chris

Chris went the practical route on his date with Des, asking whether she’d be willing to move to Seattle with him. He has a job there that he likes. She explains that California has been her home because it’s where she feels comfortable, but she’ll go wherever she fits in. That’s a conditional yes, but the main condition is that she never planned on picking Chris. And, of course, there was more poetry.

Odds Des chooses him: 75-1

 

Finally, the Brooks Breakup

No momentous bachelor occasion transpires without a healthy dose of Harrison. So upon arriving in Antigua, Brooks sat down with Harrison to discuss his feelings. This segment was eight minutes of TV time (meaning it must have been much longer in real time), and based on Harrison’s facial expressions, it must have been uncomfortable — physically uncomfortable. As Brooks begins to explain his inner turmoil, Harrison looks like this:

Chris Harrison

Where was the PA to hand Harrison sunglasses? Sure, sunglasses on him or Brooks would have inhibited our ability to understand the depth of emotion here, but maybe they would have enhanced Harrison’s impersonation of a therapist. He needed them!

Chris Harrison

Nonetheless, Harrison did his best to overcome the sun and the glare to push Brooks with commands like “explain what love feels like.”

Chris Harrison

Harrison recognizes that there’s no hope here. Brooks has made up his mind, so Harrison gives up too. Back to the original squint, matched with a lot of nodding. Did the sun also take away his ability to speak engagingly?

Chris Harrison

As a reminder, Des declared that she loved Brooks three weeks ago. We’ve been waiting since then for the twist. It was too early for Des to declare the winner, but Brooks leaving the show seemed too obvious. Thus, when the two finally saw each other in Antigua, I waited for yet another twist. But as it turns out, the only twist was that we’d have to suffer through 40 minutes of them crying while they spoke in mostly unintelligible platitudes.

Brooks managed to deliver a coherent opening statement, explaining that he doesn’t know if their relationship can last outside of the show and that he doesn’t miss Des when they’re not together. Des responds by telling him that she loves him and disintegrating into a puddle. It was actually very sad. Except then the crying and agonizing continues for 20 more minutes as they repeat the same things, leading Brooks to feel even worse and cry a lot as well. After each commercial break, it seemed like Brooks might change his mind, especially since he seemed genuinely surprised to find out that he was the only one Des said she loved. This fact seemed like a game changer for him, or at least made the breakup that much harder.

We saw Brooks get into the limo to drive away, so what happens next week? Do we really have to watch two hours of Des talking to Harrison followed by her dumping Drew and Chris? Chris seems to think he’s going to win, so I imagine he’ll be upset. Drew can’t really think he has a shot, right? I wondered when Brooks recorded his postmortem interviews — the ones where he is inside, reflecting on the day. This footage replaced the usual in-limo exit interview. I suspect that Brooks is still in Antigua. Unlike in Ali’s season, when Frank left Tahiti to be with his ex-girlfriend, we didn’t see Brooks drive off with his luggage wheely backpack in tow. I think there’s still a chance Des sees him again, giving them a chance to reconcile. But if they do, is Brooks doing it for the wrong reasons? Truth and time and next week’s finale will tell all.

Odds Des still ends up with him: 4-1

Filed Under: ABC, Chris Harrison, Desiree Hartsock, Reality TV, The Bachelorette

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Juliet Litman works on the Grantland Quarterly.

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