Finally, our long-awaited talkshow-like episode, where the ladies bring their fashion A-game and hash out their time on the show. I will never not love this episode because it’s as close to “reality” as we might get in a season. For example, I’m always wary of any woman’s villain status until I see the others band together outside of the pressure-cooker environment with specific examples and alibis describing what made her terrible (like Dee confirming Brittany W’s bed story about Shanti as true). Until that, it could always be an exaggeration.
I will keep with (3.5 year old!) tradition of naming my top 3 most notable moments or storylines of the Tell All episode. Drumroll, please…
3. The Never-Ended Story
I’m just going to say it: Chris’s justification for sending Dee home was bullshit. We know he wasn’t gung-ho about her already having a family and that is totally his prerogative. He should have just owned it and then that would’ve been an interesting conversation unto itself. No one gets the situation better than Dee—in many ITMs she said she was fully aware that her already having a kid wouldn’t be every man’s cup of tea—so why give a bad lie of an excuse? When Dee pressed him about it, Chris stuttered, “I felt like our connection was kind of, like… (shrugs) … at a standstill.” Let’s analyze that through a timeline, shall we?
Episode 1 Chris talks with Dee on Night One and, out of 20 women, gives her the First Impression Rose
Episode 2 Chris finds out from Shanti (ugh) that Dee has a daughter; Chris and Dee never have a private conversation about it (!)—from what we’re shown, anyway
Episodes 3 & 4 No meaningful 1-on-1 time or conversation between Chris and Dee is ever shown again
Episode 4 Chris sends Dee home
If what we were shown is to be believed (and if their conversation really was dry or awful, we should’ve been shown that), there was no relationship in place for things to even come to a standstill. It never even began. Last night, Dee’s response and reaction to Chris’s “reason” also weren’t shown (FAIL) but the moral of this story is: You can’t leave the FIR recipient storyline hanging. It is incredibly unsatisfying and insulting to us as viewers. And here I am on my soapbox, several episodes later, still talking about it. We will NOT forget.
2. Mirror, Mirror On The Wall
You’ve heard me go on about this before, but the best part about Tell Alls is watching the women in the present, reflecting on their experiences in the past. You can tell so much about a person by their ability to reflect, to learn from watching themselves interact with others, and to even possibly admit fault. In this respect, by far the worst showing was (unsurprisingly) Shanti. She proved she’s not an ounce more self-aware than she appeared to be on the show and I found myself irked that they even gave her the substantial airtime (especially considering she left in episode 2) that she so obviously fed off. Her laughing at her many conflicts on the show was downright painful to watch, and I saw it as an unconvincing attempt to lay some sort of claim to her edit, like she was somehow in on it all and meant to become the villain. Lisa said it best when she told Shanti, “You need help.” Reality television aside, I sincerely do hope she’s seeking that out for her own day-to-day happiness.
Conversely, the clear MVP in last night’s episode was Catie. She was the queen of self awareness. She admitted, “I’ve had cringe moments watching myself” (can you even imagine Shanti saying something like that?!) and it’s for confessions like this that I tune in. I want to know how it felt for people to watch themselves on TV and I love that little rectangle in the corner of their real time reactions during the season montages. It’s time to reflect and look BACK, not to fight the same insignificant battles you were fighting when you were in an unrealistic, temporary scenario. Other triumphs of Catie’s were her admitting that the concept of “Soulmate Chris” 100 percent coloured her experience and perception of Chris, and that she realized she talks a lot. It’s all too easy to take for granted that she can admit these things about herself.
Unfortunately, with the talking-too-much thing, this is where I felt Noah Cappe overstepped as host. I didn’t appreciate his shaming Catie for talking about talking a lot by interrupting her to say, “You know you’re doing it again.” This struck me as cruel considering this was her moment and they gave her the Hot Seat to have this moment. Let her freaking talk! Furthermore, she was getting to a point, and her point in mentioning realizing she talks a lot obviously came from a place of self-criticism and humility. I usually like Noah Cappe but this felt rude and like the Tell All version of mocking clown music, which has accompanied far too much of Catie’s airtime as is. Then, the edit cut right to the next question and right past the point Catie was even getting at in mentioning this in the first place. (FAIL)
1. All The (Good) Feels
Finally, the sweet part of the episode: Meghan. What I love about Meghan is she represents the positive impact this experience can have for some people. We spend a lot of time focusing on the trauma of heartbreak and feeling blindsided, the producer manipulation, the edits, the bullying in the house, the nasty online trolls. But there really is a very real positive outcome and I do think it applies to anyone who sticks around for a meaningful amount of time during filming. For me—and I don’t think I was a particularly insecure person to begin with—I absolutely left with more confidence in who I am, what I believe in, and what I look for and value in both platonic and romantic relationships. As Noah Cappe aptly said, there was a transformation with Meghan. She left valuing herself, having an idea of how she deserves to be treated, and with about a dozen girlfriends who adore her. It wasn’t really ever about Meghan and Chris—we all knew things weren’t going to end with the two of them—but themes that don’t involve Happily Ever After with the lead are rarely shown. I give props to Chris for seeing and highlighting the good in Meghan, and to the show for showing us this feel-good storyline.
Watch The Bachelor Canada Wednesdays at 9:00 p.m. EST on W Network. Then, head on over to FLARE.com/themorningafter for Sharleen Joynt’s always on-point recaps.