Hello there, friends! I know it’s been a while, but Clayton and Clayton, I’m sorry, Jesse and Jesse, wait that’s still not right, CLAYTON AND JESSE have broken Ryanne’s brain beyond repair, so I’m stepping in. That, or she has school, I can never remember! Thankfully I’ve faithfully watched this season, paying extra close attention to the nuances of Clayton’s character and wardrobe, and I am ready to dissect this absolutely bonkers ending. Shall we begin?
We pick up where we left off, with a live audience that no one asked for and Clayton determined to go after one of his three true loves, Susie. Jesse heads to Susie’s room to go procure her for Clayton, like he’s a member of Leo DiCaprio’s pussy posse talking a 19-year-old blonde model at Coachella into going to his room. Wait, why is Susie even still in Iceland?! And which poor producer had to hold the gun to her head off camera? This seems like a toxic work environment.
Clayton is still at his parents’ Airbnb, explaining that he forced them to go on national TV and meet two women he very much did sleep with, but very much did not intend on marrying, and that he has to pursue Susie.
CLAYTON: Chances are slim to none that Susie will show up
SUSIE: *shows up*
I’m sorry, is this a man in love? Or is this a man who is absolutely in over his head, doesn’t want to face the vast emptiness of being alone, and is begging for death to come get him before he has to have a hard conversation?
They go outside and Clayton apologizes for treating Susie like absolute shit, says he didn’t mean the things that he said, that if she walks away from him he will lose everything, and he knows they have a love that will last a lifetime. What an offer! A lifetime with a man who can’t quite figure out what to wear under a sport coat and will verbally abuse you when he doesn’t get his way! Where do I sign up? Naturally, Susie leaves.
The Group Break Up
Clayton heads back to the hotel to break up with the two girls that he just convinced to stay with him, after confessing he had slept with both of them and told them both he loved them. What is WRONG with this man? He says he “owes it to them” to break up with them. No Clayton, you owe them a time machine to travel back to last night’s rose ceremony and let them leave LIKE THEY WANTED TO. And also maybe so they can slap you, just a small tap, on the face. Because I only condone light violence. That’s what you owe them, Clayton!
OH MY GOD, he is going to break up with them at the same time! Friends, have we ever seen a bigger asshole on TV? Don’t answer that.
CLAYTON, TO GABBY AND RACHEL: So is the rule no-takebacks with ‘I love you’? Because I take it back! Best of luck to you both!
Gabby walks out, and Rachel hangs her head in despair.
Let’s talk about Gabby for a second. I thought she was getting a lot of hype for just being a girl with a modicum of personality amongst a sea of personality-less, extension-laden fembots, but now I know I got it wrong. This girl is a hero. Never have I seen someone on this show articulate so well how they are feeling, be so correct about the situation, and really stick it to a jerk. She tells him that he asked her to stay because his pride was hurt by Susie (correct!), and that she wanted to leave and he wouldn’t let leaving be her decision and now it’s his decision so it’s easier (also correct!), and that he won’t admit that he fought for her to stay for a wrong reason (SO MUCH CORRECT HERE!). I am now, and forever will be, team Gabby.
CLAYTON: Can I walk you out?
I screamed. Truthfully.
Clayton’s Apology Tour, Part 1
Gabby is now on stage in front of the live audience, and she looks gorgeous! Gabby, you are rocking that side part! Does this mean side parts are cool again? This millennial woman and her round face are begging of you, please let side parts be cool again. I promise to get on board with all your off the shoulder shrugs if you will just give me this.
Jesse asks Gabby to relive the moment Clayton dumped her, and Gabby tells him that despite what happened, she doesn’t regret anything, that’s not who she is as a person. Oh wow, Gabby, can I have some of that? Because I let regret eat me alive all day, every day until it seeps into every part of my body, I feel physically ill, and can’t sleep. I thought that was normal?
Gabby confronts Clayton and tells him she gave him every opportunity to tell her the truth. Clayton hangs his head in shame. As it is and always shall be.
Clayton and Rachel’s Goodbye
Now we’re back in Iceland so Clayton can face his second firing squad. And he thought he’d be able to get away with just the one conversation! Rachel is more visibly upset than Gabby, thinking that she would be the one at the end and (rightfully) reminding him that she was the only one that chose to stand there with him at the last rose ceremony. Even as Clayton is walking her to the car, Rachel still thinks that they can make it work. Honey! He’s not worth it! His dad will tell you!
With this conversation and her exit, Rachel is just shedding everywhere. She’s losing nails, she’s shedding eyelashes, her snot is all over the place, and I can only imagine the amount of skin cells all over that hotel room. That girl’s DNA is going to be found in Iceland 2000 years from now. The aliens that eventually colonize us will study it. And then they will discard it because they will just sense that it’s too sad.
Clayton’s Apology Tour, Part 2
Rachel is sobbing in front of the live audience, but would like us to know that it’s not because she still has feelings for Clayton. Sure, Jan! She confronts him and tells him that he claimed he wanted to be transparent with them, but he left out the part where he told Susie he loved her the most. In Clayton’s defense, I don’t really believe he knows what the word transparent means. I believe he was placed in a very secret Bachelor boot camp at a CIA black site before this whole thing started, where the producers wouldn’t let him drink protein shakes, and made him read aloud from classic literature until he was finally broken, and then they conditioned him to say words like “transparent,” “vulnerable,” and “connection” every time he saw a woman he wanted to have sex with. Right?
And then OH MY GOD SHE ASKED HIM IF HE ONLY TOLD HER HE LOVED HER BECAUSE HE WANTED TO HAVE SEX WITH HER!!
CLAYTON: Absolutely not, I would never do that, sex is sacred and for people in love.
Rachel, girl, you went there. And you just restored your dignity.
Clayton’s Sad, Handwritten Proposal
I think it’s time to ask the important question: is Clayton the stupidest Bachelor of all time? He is in literally the worst place with Susie. She basically told him she found his entire demeanor disgusting, and his monkey brain thinks “I should propose!” WHAT? This reminds me of the very first episode when he tried to give a rose to the girl that told him she was leaving before the show even started! A rose (or proposal), does not fix something that would never work. Clayton is clearly the kind of person that would suggest having a baby to save a shitty marriage.
Let’s also discuss another fool: Neil Lane. This cannot be a sound business decision, Neil! At this point, I imagine he is only losing money giving out rings to these people who are clearly going to last about as long as my attention span during my fifth Zoom call of the day. I assume that’s why he’s in the live audience? He’s come to collect?
Shockingly, Susie shows up to this pathetic proposal after reading the note that Clayton bribed the students from last season to write for him. Clayton tells her he loves her and wields the ring box like a threat. I never thought a small velvet box could look like a pair of handcuffs, but that one sure does.
AND THEN. Susie dumps him! She has made the decision to leave Iceland alone!! Does anyone else feel like Clayton just completely did The Bachelor all wrong? He had women leaving night one, he had to convince every single one of his final three to stay with him, and then his number one decides that she doesn’t want to get engaged. That’s supposed to be his line! This is no longer Clayton’s show. At this point, she should have offered to walk him out. The end.
After The Final Rose… Was Not Given Out
“That was hard to watch,” Jesse tells us and the audience. Excuse me? For who? His parents? Nope, even they think he deserved it. For Gabby and Rachel? Nope, I’m pretty sure I heard them cheering in New Jersey. For the audience? Absolutely not, I have not laughed this hard since before the world started burning down around us. The news is hard to watch, Jesse! This was a delight.
Unfortunately, Jesse also tells us that Clayton’s story did not end there, and that one of the women reached out to him after the show. And that’s when they tease a big reveal and it’s…
Susie! My god, Susie, have some respect for yourself! This is 2022.
— Katlynn Hauber (@hauber_katlynn) March 16, 2022
This season of The Bachelor was clearly Susie’s Final Destination film, and death, I’m sorry, Clayton, got her in the end. Best of luck to you Susie, but even your hair, which is not nearly as bouncy as it was on the show, is feeling deflated about this decision.
And finally! We get our Bachelorette announcement. And it’s Gabby & Rachel! While I love them both, let’s just say Jesse did not inspire confidence when he said “I have no idea how this will work”. Yes, we know Jesse, you just show up and repeat the words they say to you in that little earpiece, all the while not-so-secretly wishing this was Monday Night Football.
At least we can end this horrendous trainwreck of a season on a high note, though. Gabby and Rachel clutching hands on the couch makes me feel like, in the end, we got the final couple that we deserve. On to the next!
Images: ABC/Craig Sjodin; Giphy (2); wifflegif; Twitter/hauber_Katlynn