Here we are — the Finnish finale where Canada’s pride, Vanessa, and Hoxie’s heartbeat, Raven, battle for that final rose. And then there’s Nick Viall, who has spent more time on ABC than George Stephanopoulos. It feels like time to say goodbye, you know? Nick has chosen a winner, and it’s not who the episode leads you to believe.
All in the family
We open up the night with Raven, who is no stranger to the Viall family. She’s rolling deep with Bella, and in terms of the Viall clan, Raven is a bit of a shoo-in. With that being said, the only Viall who doesn’t seem sold on Raven is Nick.
The next day, Vanessa visits Nick’s family and comes in guns blazing. But she does admit to Mama Mary that she’s not totally sure if she’s ready for this gigantic finale proposal. But even with those questions, Papa Viall seems to be onboard with Vanessa’s honesty.
But after both girl’s have exited, it’s Mary Viall that shines the brightest light on what was so difficult to swallow about this season: Nick has been on four installments of this show. Four. If you want to believe that this show is about truly finding love, that’s a lot to put a family and a heart through. She’s worried about what another rejection would do, and honestly, America can’t afford another season of Nick.
Here comes Santa Claus
With one date remaining, Nick takes the girls to Lapland. Vanessa is up first, and they ride horses through the snow to meet Santa Claus. I’m not even kidding, guys. Turns out Santa doesn’t speak much English, which doesn’t bode well for his future in America, but it’s precious for this finale.
Santa gives Vanessa a present and sends the couple on their way. But, per the Vanessa way, the conversation turns pretty heavy afterward. Vanessa admits that she’s not sure if she’s okay just sneaking out a win from Raven, and Nick isn’t ready to tell her that she’s the only one, no matter how much he says he may be in it.
We leave sad Vanessa behind for Raven, who is just happy that Nick caught her when she jumped in his arms. Isn’t that nice? They play Kiss Me over Nick and Raven’s ice skating date, and we’re all crying because shouldn’t love be this easy? Nick confirms how much his family loves Raven before bringing out
direwolves husky puppies, making a perfect day even more perfect.
Raven is the antithesis of Vanessa — a dichotomy that certainly wasn’t a mistake by production. She’s happy to go with the flow of uncertainty, while Vanessa needs some kind of assurance. She even goes as far as to tell him that if he chooses to propose, she has no reservation in how she’ll respond. And then he reciprocates her words by saying that if he gets down on one knee for her, it’s because of how sincere she is. It’s enough to make you wonder... does Raven have it all tied up?
First is worst
After a quick visit from resident best friend Neil Lane, Nick settles in to make his choice. Of course, per usual, the first is almost always the worst, so when Raven appears first, the cards are stacked against her. She tells him she loves him, but it’s not enough because if one Bachelor mantra is true:
First. Is. Worst.
Nick lets Raven go back into the sweet plains of Hoxie. She deserved more, y’all. She deserved the world, but simplicity is not always the answer. So instead, we pick up with Vanessa, the special education teacher who is on the receiving end of a hopeful proposal from her potential future husband. Though it appears she might deny his proposal, she ultimately accepts what might be the most elaborate ring in Bachelor history.
And with that, our eternal Bachelor has found his potential bride. Was the season of Nick everything you hoped it would be? Or was this just a gateway to the real victory: A season full of Rachel?