“I Trust Garrett Because I Trust Becca:” Sharleen Joynt on The Bachelorette Finale!

Sharleen Joynt—FLARE columnist and former Bachelor contestant—shares her insider POV on The Bachelorette finale

Gahhh, this show gets me every. single. time. Just when I’m losing interest or find myself annoyed (with, say, questionable edits, insufficient airtime, having my intelligence insulted, being baited by deceiving previews, feeling like I’m watching the same show over and over again, predictability, omnipresent puppet strings…), the show swoops in at the last second and delivers a pretty damn decent finale.

Much credit for Monday night’s quality episode goes to its supporting characters: Becca’s mother and sister. What a fierce trio Becca, Jill and Emily make. You’ve heard me wax poetic about Becca’s smarts and grace for weeks now, and it’s clear she is kept sharp—at least in part—by the two women in her life. Jill was dropping #truth bombs left and right. She asks tough love questions, the kind that require actually caring to ask. (My favourite was when she compared Becca’s lovey-dovey-ness with Garrett to her lovey-dovey-ness with Arie and asked what the difference was.) When Becca cried that she didn’t want to hurt anyone, Jill replied, simply, “Well… it’s going to happen.” Emily was no slouch, either, assessing Blake and Garrett accurately after only brief sit-downs with each of them. She wasn’t one of those overtly difficult or try-hard family members who spews controversial stuff just for the sake of it; she had opinions but shared them in a supportive and compassionate way, making her a rare dream sibling on this show. (Notice how the oft-used suspenseful music never played while Emily met with the guys!) I found Becca, Emily, and Jill—in their wit and sincere care for one another—to be so gosh darn watchable, in a very feel-good way.

We learned a ton about Blake and his relationship with Becca but it was about four episodes too late. It turns out he’s very perceptive in how he (correctly) dissected Becca’s subtle-isms in that final week. On After The Final Rose, he didn’t need Becca to tell him she was happy for him to know just by seeing her. He proved analytical when, during his meet-and-greet with Becca’s family, her mother told him he would be OK regardless of what happened. He called his gut “usually right” and even said, “She’s gonna pick Garrett.” In general, I was impressed with his ability to keep his wits about him given most runners-up are in total denial of the mere possibility of rejection at that point. That said, I suppose it ultimately didn’t really have much of an effect on his actions, but overall Blake’s mind got more airtime than usual and it was a good look.

Oh, and remember all my whining about a lack of specificity? Well, it all came spilling out of Blake like word vomit last night, with him calling Becca “strong,” “sincere,” “honest,” “compassionate,” “goofy,” “funny” and “intelligent.” WHERE WERE ALL THESE ADJECTIVES ALL SEASON??? Seeing Blake’s substance and many facets in this relationship would have gone a long way in getting us more invested. For several weeks now, Blake has come off as more of a fast-talking (seriously, I could legit use subtitles when he speaks!) lovesick puppy than a man known for his natural ability to “challenge” Becca, his theme last night. We were robbed of all this evidence of this earlier in the season, which sucks for us but I have to admit I’m happy we saw it at all.

Blake was a real standout at After The Final Rose. I think a sign of true character is how someone behaves when they’re scorned, and Blake was a model runner-up in that sense. I LOVED when he joked that he’d hoped Becca would appear wearing a hoodie; it showed he was still attracted to her but in a way that wasn’t uncomfortable for anyone. And ultimately, he wished Becca happiness and you knew that he truly meant it; it was a statement for Becca, not for the millions watching him.

Finally, Becca found her man that she couldn’t live without! Despite all the behind-the-scenes information that has (understandably) clouded Garrett’s otherwise squeaky-clean showing this season, I can honestly say I really enjoyed him. I’ve found Garrett to be reasonable and forward when he needed to be (in how he dealt with Chris), while sweet and sincere in his affections for Becca. I understand the assumptions to be made by those Instagram “likes,” and under normal circumstances I do think I would probably be harsher. But when someone apologizes and tells me that’s not who they are, I accept. (If it happens twice, shame on me.) As I said when asked about this over on my blog, I’m making an effort to view him with the same open-mindedness I would like him to use for others. Ultimately, I trust Garrett because I trust Becca. She has proven many times over that she is an astute, intelligent woman. She’s not someone who doesn’t know what she wants or has issues with self worth. I think it’s important to give not only him but HER the benefit of the doubt, since they’re the two that actually know each other.

Finally, that Happy Couple Weekend video said it all. These two are really compatible and cute together. It was like we were flies on the wall of a honeymoon and it was a total treat. I confess I caught myself grinning watching it a few times. Congratulations to the happy couple!

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