For a season that might have had its lulls, this was certainly a finale to remember. I found myself very emotionally invested by the time the episode came to a close and was almost embarrassingly moved by that proposal. Then I found myself hyper-analyzing JoJo and Jordan’s After The Final Rose happiness levels and body language to decipher if they are indeed all good because I, too, saw all those gossip mags on my frequent jaunts to Duane Reade [America’s Shoppers Drug Mart equivalent]. But I’m getting ahead of myself.
First, the highlight of the actual finale episode was without a doubt JoJo’s family. I loved her mother’s real deal, uncensored take on things and how the whole family being there brought out a side of JoJo we hadn’t seen all season. She was raw and not necessarily on her best behaviour; there was a moment where she sort of snapped at her mom, and it was so daughter-like, real, and and relatable. Her descriptions of her fears with each path seemed better articulated and thus more understandable when she was laying it out for her family. Even her infamous brothers seemed to have been able to fend off any producer nudging to act up as they were completely drama free. They were also quite perceptive, like when her brother Ben pointed out how, when the whole family seemed to be #TeamRobby, JoJo jumped to Jordan’s defense. Yup, I loved JoJo’s family.
I think this was the first episode where JoJo expressed what seemed to be the most powerful factor in her relationship with Robby: how adored she felt. Her words: “I don’t know if I’ve ever felt so cherished by somebody.” It’s easy to criticize that as simple frivolity, but as a woman I could appreciate that statement deeply. How many of us have stayed in relationships far longer than we should have (with no filming deadlines, of course) because we were afraid of never finding the same level of love and adoration elsewhere? Being cherished on its own isn’t enough for a healthy relationship, of course, but it is a very difficult thing to shun. Watching that factor alone—JoJo recognizing that adoration, appreciating, reciprocating, and ultimately rejecting it—was fascinating. Television sped the process up and forced an outcome sooner than later, so it was like a fast-forwarded social experiment. Yay, reality TV!
As for the happy couple, honestly I really love them together. A lot. During the episode, I appreciated Jordan’s off-the-beaten path hesitation leading up to the final day and how, in his overcoming that and taking that “leap of faith,” he had his own mini story arc. His proposal speech was loaded with that specificity I’m always harping about, and I think anyone who doubted him or them together had their foots in their mouths watching that tearjerker of a proposal. On After The Final Rose, I couldn’t help but notice JoJo seemed a tinge somber, but then again, Chris Harrison was insistent on grilling them almost exclusively about negative topics. She had a visible repulsion to discussing Aaron Rodgers and the “family feud” (which is more than understandable) but lit up when discussing the future. That inability to slap on a smile regardless was one of the many reasons I loved JoJo at the helm. As Bachelorette, she was reasonable and thus relatable, unpredictable (I think she sent home more guys on dates than anyone ever?) and emotional and thus entertaining, and above all, almost painfully transparent and thus very real. I applaud her and know I’m not alone in wishing the happy couple heartfelt congratulations!
Thanks for following along, dear readers! Tune in tomorrow for my take on the third season of the classiest show on TV, Bachelor in Paradise. When a show’s own host describes said show on national television as “truly a trainwreck,” you know you’re in for a treat.
For more on this season of The Bachelorette from Sharleen Joynt, visit her blog, All the Pretty Pandas.
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