Finale. Finis. Finally.

Dear Season Finale,

I came to this journey with an open mind and heart. I truly tried to find love but I was unable to get there with you. Maybe Katie is my season. Maybe Michelle is my season. But [cue Steve Perry It Won’t Be You].

And mama used to say/”Take your time young man”

The relationship was progressing nicely at the start. Mom and brother liked both girls. But when Mom’s motherly advice sent Matt off the rails, it was clear that the heart-to-heart with Dad didn’t come close to resolving Matt’s doubts about his ability to have a long-term relationship (even more evidence would come later). But off the rails doesn’t come close to describing the train wreck that was coming.

The Chris-Matt “Talk”. I dragged Chris really bad about this to My Daughter Diandra (MDD) but I’ve changed my mind after re-watching it. I thought at the time he was being too leading and directive in his questions to Matt in order to get Matt to propose. However, in retrospect Chris was asking good paraphrasing questions to deepen his understanding and to help Matt further explore/explain his feelings. Good facilitation, Chris

The Michelle Breakup. This was totally didn’t see that coming! Allowing that it’s easy to be critical from afar; that there’s no good time or way to do these things; and that producer-inspired shenanigans may have also played a role, somehow Matt still managed to really screw this up really badly. He let the evening and Michelle’s “I got this” mood go on too long before delivering the blow he came into the date intending to deliver. It was humiliating.

And then it got even worse!! We find out in After the Final Rose that HE WOULDN’T EVEN LET HER TALK TO HIM AFER THAT!! She was left a crying mess – “I was not alright” – in front of the producers with no way of gaining closure about it all. And Matt’s weak apology began with, “If I’d known how you were feeling . . .” SERIOUSLY??????? He couldn’t see outside of his own feelings enough to realize what he had just done to her feelings???

The Chris-Matt “Talk”: The Sequel. Matt is even more unresolved about his ability to be in a long-term relationship. Chris listens with empathy but I’m sure is fighting the less empathetic voice in his head.

The Rachael Situation I. Chris shows up at Rachael’s room to deliver a message: “I was with Matt last night. He was emotional and to be honest, lost. And the last thing he said to me was, “I need some time.” “And . . . I’m sorry I’m the one to tell you this [pause] but unfortunately there’s not going to be a date today . . . we will let you know as soon as possible what’s up.” And then very casually he says, “Alright I’ll talk to you soon.”

Chris then turns around and leaves. WHAT THE %^$#* WAS THAT ALL ABOUT?????

Chris, Chris, Chris. You above everybody should understand how the final women are feeling at this point. It’s a complete and utter lack of sensitivity to 1) drop a bomb like that; 2) with so little context around it; 3) with no regard to how SHE was feeling both before and after the bomb drop; 4) and then act like there was no bomb drop at all.

The Rachael Situation: The Sequel. It incomprehensibly got worse – and we’re still not close to the race stuff yet. Racheal gets a note “from Matt” – in the typical date card handwriting.

This says nothing and was way more ominous than it needed to be. I do suspect the producers’ hand in this to heighten the sense of drama around their relationship.

Neil Lane. Amidst all of Matt’s indecision – fully approved by Chris et al – they send Neil Lane in with engagement rings???? WTF????

Worse yet, Neil pulls out the classic salesman trick of “Don’t let them leave the showroom.” I know it’s a big decision. I can see your hesitancy. It’s fine. Everybody feels that way. Go ahead and pick a ring and take it home. Test drive it for a while. If you decide you’re not interested, go ahead and bring it back. No problem. Oh, I see you like this one . . .

The Rachael Situation: The Sequel’s Sequel. We actually had a satisfying ending – putting aside the race situation that we didn’t know about when the season was filmed. They rationally decide to date and see how things go. Kudos to the producers for making the outcome seem so in doubt.

After the Final Rose. I’ll be straightforward here. I’m tired of thinking about this season and really need to put it all behind me.

1. I already discussed the horrifying revelation that Matt wouldn’t talk to Michelle after the breakup.

2. Rachael appears like she gets it. She seems to be sincerely owning accountability for the situations she allowed her naivety to put herself in.

3. That said, My Daughter Diandra (MDD) and I had to put the TV on mute during the Rachael-Matt time. Too painful to watch, too uncomfortable to watch, too unentertaining to watch. So I can’t account for how Racheal did then.

4. Matt is a mess for many reasons besides Rachael. It’s unfortunate. He’ll be more known for being a bad Bachelor in a badly produced season than for being the first black Bachelor.

5. I’m fine with the choice of two Bachelorette seasons, especially with Michelle and Katie, especially with Katie. I would have been fine with Bri if it wasn’t Michelle.

6. Emmanuel Acho did a good job given the limitations and expectations of the format. One nitpick: I would have given credit to Rachael’s bravery in showing up. Even if she were contractually obligated (which is likely), I still would have acknowledged her courage up front and shown her that I understood how difficult the evening would be for her.

Miscellany. The interweb was all instatwitter over Matt’s musician brother John the Scorpio. You can check out his stuff here.

The wine. Black Girl Magic Riesling. Absolutely Amazing. And yes, chosen by intent for the ending of this particular season.

It’s over.

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