The Bachelor AU S3 Ep 16 – FINALE

The Bachelor AU S3 Ep 16 – FINALE

Bachelor recap FINALE Thursday 17.09.15

Final episode, two women left, here it is. Snez v Lana in a fight to the death.

Brief recaps on both women, Lana first, Sam keeps saying “she came out of nowhere and knocked me out” – I want to see that, I want to see her leap out from behind a hedge and smash him unconscious. That would be cool. But in reality she came out of a limo and smiled. According to Sam she’s incredibly beautiful, she’s smart, and she has the most gorgeous eyes. During the season Sam took her parasailing and made her sway to a creepy dude with a guitar and then forced her to engage in weird extreme-water-sports, and she’s probably crippled for life although she’s pretending it’s ok, no doubt she’s popping painkillers constantly. The Man owes her, in my opinion. Before the horrible water-sports incident I thought he genuinely seemed to like her, and he really does go on about how well-read well-travelled and intelligent she is, to the point where I believe firmly that we’ve never been shown any of their real conversations. I don’t know why. They must have had them, at some point, because Sam’s not stupid and he thinks she’s Leigh Sales. I feel a bit ripped-off. I feel like I don’t know Lana in the way that Sam knows her. This is frustrating. I want to know. I want more information. I want one conversation wherein she says some stuff that’s perceptive or cool or unrelated to their relationship. I think this a lot, even with the US bachelor as well – WHY can’t we see them talking about stuff – politics, or religion, or society, or anything vaguely controversial? I assume it’s because the network or production company or both are scared that people will switch off. I wonder about this. I think more people would switch on. I could be wrong, I don’t know. What would happen if Sam said, “I think Tony Abbott was a terrific Prime Minister.” Or “Bill Shorten has been awesome in standing up for traditional Labor values.” I guess I might switch off; I’d more likely throw up, and keep watching. I’d certainly be surprised. I think I would watch more closely, trying to figure out how apparently normal people can get into this kind of headspace. I’d still want to know how his SEARCH FOR LOVE pans out. Surely it would be more interesting – especially if he was falling for someone who, for example, was a hardcore Marxist or even just a half-decent human being. I’d watch. BUT ALSO it wouldn’t have to be politics, fuck it, I don’t care, leave the politics out but give us something, anything, maybe they talk about crazy drug experiences they’ve had, or inept bosses they’ve endured, or people they’ve inappropriately leapt upon, or how much they hate Christmas or whatevs you know what I’m saying here. Give me some opinions, on some stuff, and let’s see the effect this has on the mating ritual.

Moving on. Snez recap and I can’t describe it properly. There are two types of people in this world: there are those who have seen Snez, and those who haven’t. Actually there is a third type, but I’m not going into that right here because as everyone knows, I keep my recaps family-friendly.

COMING UP ON yes sshh I don’t want to know yet shut the fuck up.

Voice-over from Osher tells us “we’ve left the city behind and moved to the country.” WHERE?? Where the hell are we? One of the weirder aspects of this series in Australia is the product placement, or lack thereof. Like, if this were a US show the Voice-Over would say here we are AT THE XYZEE RESORT in SEXYPLACE HERE’s the ADDRESS here’s THE MENU here’s THE BOOKING FORM, XYZEE RESORT and all the contestants would be saying, sincerely, you know I love it here at the XYZEE RESORT in wonderful SEXYPLACE and you’d get a real handle on where the romance is going down, and you’d contemplate booking XYZEE for your next extended dirty weekend. But here, it’s more like: we’re at a place, somewhere. Which is weird. Did you not do some kind of promo deal somewhere, to get free accomm? What how why what how is this rolling? It’s doing my head in.

So yeah anyway they’re at some place, somewhere. Rural-like. And Sam’s jogging, like a knob, and doing leg-stretches, and his hair is perfect. It’s PERFECT. And then he puts some clothes on and his family turns up – Dad, brother, sister. Mum passed away, a while back, and Sam doesn’t talk about it much and certainly not for the TV cameras and that’s one of the reasons I love Sam and this show. This is not The Voice, wherein Sam would mention his deceased mother roughly once every 4 seconds and milk the fucking shit out of it for the cameras. No, in this series, it’s dealt with quietly and respectfully. I LOVE THE BACHELOR.

The family arrives and they are genuinely, achingly AWESOME. My head is exploding. Sam’s dad is straight-up, but funny, and warm, and cool, and great. The sister is lovely, and a bit shy, and fabulous and completely in Sam’s corner and so is the brother, he’s got the dry sense of humour. Holy shit I LOVE THIS FAMILY. They are what Australians used to be like, and clearly still are, in some places, and at the risk of sounding stupid, I suddenly remember that Australia is NOT totally populated by people like Joe Hockey or Cory Bernardi or their fans/supporters/allies, or the jabbering racist crackpots I see on the news, or the ghastly mob hell-bent on destroying the Barrier Reef, or the Legion Of Homophobes, or even the self-absorbed dog-toting lycra-clad dipshits who gather daily on the footpath up the street. I NEED TO STOP WATCHING THE NEWS, at least for a few days, and maybe I need to get out & go on tour or something. I NEED TO GO BACK OUT ON TOUR. Or maybe just a holiday, to Tasmania, or East Maitland, or the Gold Coast, or Freo, or any one of a million destinations in this loveliest of nations wherein I’ve had the good fortune in the past to hang out with average people who rock.

Just for being awesome, Sam’s family-members win the ultimate prize: they get to meet Snez.

SNEZ is unbelievable, she’s wearing a balloon, some kind of dress made out of a hot-air balloon, it looks like she might’ve been walking down the street and Richard Branson crashed into her. Anyone else wearing that would look like a fucking idiot, but she just owns it and she’s warm and amusing and down-to-earth without being earnest and she’s just herself, really. She’s just herself. Nobody even bothers to ask her why she’s dressed weird. And she talks alone to the Dad, asks him about stuff that’s real, asks him about Sam’s life and Sam’s mum and I KNOW that she must have had similar conversations with Sam along the way but WE NEVER SAW THEM because we were only ever allowed to see the bits wherein they talk about their own romance. Anyway the Dad talks and she listens and she actually seems to give a shit. And the Dad tears-up and then I start crying and the whole thing sounds mawkish when I write it here but it just simply fucking WASN’T at the time, OK and if you weren’t there, you can never understand – I would put this moment in the same basket as Nirvana playing at the Phoenician Club in 1992 — in years to come, everyone will claim to have been there, but you and I know differently. There are those who have seen Snez, and those who haven’t. There’s this amazing moment too when she says to the Dad: “I really like you.” It’s just matter-of-fact, it seems perfectly natural coming from her, and I can’t think of another person on the planet who could deliver that line and make it sound real. If I did it, everyone would think I was taking the piss. That’s the tragedy of my life: realness, mistaken for unrealness.

But this is not about me. For the moment this is all about Snez and the family loves her. Who wouldn’t.

Then Snez is hustled away and Lana arrives, spends similar time with the family. I’m thinking, cripes, Lana, you just can’t compete – but I’m wrong, I’m totally wrong. This is very much like the US Open final last week – Federer v Djokovic – two unbelievable contestants, supernatural talent, we’re at the end of the second set and I still have no idea how this is going to roll. Matching shot-for-shot: Lana takes the sister aside and makes her cry. A return-serve, an ace, call it what you like. Lana is the most charming she’s been all season. The sister calls her “a little bubble of goodness” and Sam can’t keep his hands off her and everyone agrees that she and Sam are so similar in outlook [if not intellect] it’s amazing. There’s quite a lot of discussion about how surprised we all are, because not one of us – not Sam, not Lana, not the family – knew there’d be a meet-the-family moment on the show. Clearly, none of them has ever watched The Bachelor, in any form. This blows my mind. Would YOU commit to a reality show you’d never seen? And if there were 17+ seasons already made, would you not watch one of them, to find out what you’re in for? It does my head in. I want to see the episode of MasterChef where a contestant says, “Cooking? What the fuck? You want me to cook??? Jesus, I had no idea….” Actually maybe I have seen that episode, a few times.

Lana meanwhile is rocking it. She’s charming the shit out of these people but not in a fake way. Sam’s half-way declaring his love for her, at one point, and suddenly it hits me: she’s going to win this. Lana is seriously going to win this. My head is spinning. Is he really going to send Snez home?? Quite apart from the fact that Snez is eleven out of ten, there is the small matter of IMPORTANCE OF THE CHILD. Surely, as we discussed last week, he cannot break her heart tonight, at the last moment, and send her home to the daughter. Everyone knows you don’t torture the single mum (unless you’re Joe on this season’s Bachelor In Paradise). But it really looks that way. Lana’s killing it. My brain is spinning harder, because as we also discussed last week: this (Australian) version of the show is not big on surprises. All the way through this season, when someone’s going home, we light the way for them. Nina / Rachel / Heather / Sarah — each of those exit-episodes pointed to the person exiting. I guess the most egregious example was Bec’s exit, where the ”teaser” just outright revealed it. So……. here now, watching Lana ……. I’m thinking, everything’s shifted Lana’s way … and therefore either she’s going to win it, or: EVERY SINGLE PREVIOUS EPISODE has actually been calculatedly predictable in order to fuck with my head during the finale. The very idea of this is making me kind of ……. frisky.

Sam and Lana then go on a final date. Sam’s rocking a WWII flying-ace jacket which actually looks good on him and he picks Lana up in a helicopter. This freaks me out, because – given the extreme-sport horror he’s already subjected her to – I think maybe he’s going to throw her out of the chopper. But he resists the urge, and they travel safely to somewhere riverside and they get into a little row-boat together. This makes me anxious too; where’s the hidden motor? Is the chopper going to swoop down and tow them up into the air, up a thousand feet in their little row-boat, with Lana clinging on, trying not to spew, hopped-up on painkillers and hating this whole thing, crying like she did last week after Sam dragged her round the harbour at 56 thousand miles an hour on an inflatable ashtray. This is making me totally anxious. Lana is doing an amazing job of staying calm, but it’s probably the codeine coursing through her veins. After a while Sam gallantly stops messing with her head and gets her out of the boat and back onto dry land, where she’s so overwhelmed with relief that she pashes him. It’s a pretty good kiss. She’s going to win. Can this really be happening?

Then there’s an ad for Sam Frost – The Bachelorette – and she looks so unbelievably ridiculous, I howl with laughter and punch the air. I cannot wait to see the show.

Back to Sam Wood – has there ever been a better name for The Bachelor? – and it’s now night-time with Lana and they’re roasting marshmallows and pashing, and she’s telling him she’s liking him v v much and he says “I see it as an incredible start to a real-life fairytale” and I’m thinking, she’s going to win this. But there’s a large part of me that feels angry/ripped-off, because no matter how mushy they get there’s still a very definite sense of we-barely-know-each-other and this SHOULD NOT BE HAPPENING IN THE FINAL EPISODE. They should have been on a dozen dates, both group and one-on-one, they should’ve been spending a heap of time together, and, as one of the Top Two, Lana should’ve spent a weekend with Sam holed up in a 5-star, BANGING EACH OTHER SENSELESS. They should be at a point now where if he dumps her, it’s going to be HELL ON EARTH, emotionally. But it’s not like that, and the reasons are simple: INTRUDERS. No OVERNIGHTS. Too much time spent parasailing / IDIOT EXTREEEEME SPORTS. Too much time spent back at the mansion listening to Ebru The Obvious trying to make something out of the whole intruder non-drama. This show should be about: here’s 25 contestants. Now let’s cut them down to 7 or 8, really quickly, while getting to know those 7 or 8 very well. And then let’s throw everything at building a genuine, serious romance with the top few. Let’s make it so that when the finale comes, the Bachelor(ette) cannot dump either contestant without extreme emotional repercussions. To put it bluntly, let’s make it more like real life, albeit compressed. Or perhaps a documentary about the first six months after you leave school. The Darwinian mindfuck – I want to see it. Otherwise, why are making the show at all?

Anyway……….. Lana marshmallow pash blah blah blah. She’s played it so incredibly well. Is she Federer? Is she Djokovic. I think at this stage we’re being asked to believe she’s the Serb. And it seems quite believable, from this angle, as they sit next to the fire, and it’s freezing, Lana’s teeth are chattering, the smoke is blowing right into her face, she’s close to blacking out from smoke-inhalation, her painkillers are wearing off or maybe coming on it’s hard to tell they have buckets of red wine and Sam’s gazing into her eyes and she says something about “I can see us falling in love” — but it’s framed as part of the future, not the present, and alarm bells ring for me somewhere in the distance, or maybe that’s the fire brigade coming to put the fire out and save the both of them.

SNEZ is waiting as Sam picks her up in a red car that does not look like a Nissan (WTF??!) and Sam’s wearing a leather glove, just like Joan Ferguson in Wentworth Prison and now the amazing connections between this show and Wentworth are just blowing my mind. Is this a secret sign that Lana will win? Even though she wants to kill Dawn’s babies? OR is this a secret sign that Sam Wood is actually The Freak in disguise, and he’s going to betray Lana, and maybe kill her in the fire. The FIRE?! Another secret sign. God this is incredible, I am freaking out with happiness.

Sam takes Snez to a private lake/beach thing and they lie on a blanket and eat chocolate-covered strawberries and Snez says “Meeting Sam’s family, it does make it more real” and I think, no shit, imagine if you’d also had OVERNIGHTS and BANGED EACH OTHER SENSELESS. Imagine if you’d had more than three dates. Imagine if you’d had to spend a few hours in the company of each other’s friends, as weird / inappropriate / ghastly as all of our best friends are. Get off, you know what I’m talking about.

As befits a final date, Sam makes a speech to Snez – a mushy speech about how much he likes her…… but it’s all framed in the past tense. “I’m so glad I did this.” “We have so many memories.” My heart is sinking. In the speech to Lana, it was all about the future, the fairytale, the beginning of something. In this speech, it’s all about the past. “it was great to have met you…” etc etc, OMFG he’s telling her goodbye. My heart is dying, a little bit, I KNOW FOR A FACT that we are meant to be thinking: Snez is going home. And for the reasons stated above, I think maybe she is. How can this be happening? LOOK AT HER MOUTH Jesus H I am sobbing. Shnezzzz is crying to camera, talking about her daughter – does she know? Does she somehow intuit he’s kissing her goodbye?

And then it’s night-time and they’re somewhere in…? Where? What? You have to see this scene to believe it. I will try to describe: there are green hay-bales (fake? real?) and a thousand ugly lanterns and forty-six million candles, Sam and Snez are on a couch made out of haybales, with red wine, and red rose petals scattered everywhere and all sorts of shit tacked to the walls – bits of door, and lattice, and faux-wrought-iron, and more candles. I can’t think straight. It looks at first glance like they’ve wandered into Coco Republic or perhaps more likely Ikea and just bunkered down in one corner. Which, funnily enough, I did once when I was tripping and I stayed there until I was forced to leave by security. But that was a long time ago and there’s exposed brick here as well, which makes me think it could be a warehouse somewhere fuck this is genuinely hurting my brain. They try to talk but it’s awkward – they’re both totally freaked out by the décor, and Sam is getting fake-hay on his shoulders and it really really looks like dandruff, and that’s making Snez gag.

But Snez gathers herself, ignores the hideous surroundings, the candles, the wall-to-wall bric-a-brac, looks him in the eye, summons up every last bit of court-craft she has (she really is Roger Federer) and makes her last-stand match-winning speech because she knows, this is where if you’re Top Two you have to say: I’ve fallen in love with you.

And I can’t watch, I can’t bear it. I think maybe she’s already lost and now this I-love-you speech — it feels like humiliation OH FUCK PLEASE GOD NO and her delivery is incredible, you need to watch it, because what she ultimately says is: “I have falling in love with you.” The mixture of past/present/maybe even future — it’s just actually perfect. It’s right up there with the best. But is it enough. Is it enough. I am losing my mind.

THE NIGHT.

For those of you who don’t watch the show, or don’t understand it, or are just fucking retarded, here’s how the final bit works: both contestants get dressed up in their finest, and they get into separate limousines (or Nissans, in Australia) and they are driven to the middle of nowhere – usually a cliff-top, on an island. The Bachelor (or The Bachelorette, depending on the season) waits for them there. One of them appears and he tells them how great they are, how fantastically amazing it has been to meet them, how perfect they are in every way, how he meant every word he said along their journey …. except that his heart is now elsewhere, he’s way more in love with someone else, and it’s time to say goodbye. In short, they get dumped. In front of the nation. It’s brutal, it’s sometimes shocking, it’s often genuinely heart-breaking. On both sides. This the show, for realz. But the thing to understand is this:

Whoever gets out of the first limo is the loser.

After that, it’s all academic. First one out of the limo gets her/his heart broken. If they have a heart. At the very least, they’re going to be shocked/humiliated.

Then they have to do the long long walk of shame, and cry in the limo, and go away to die, like a baby leopard left out in the snow.

Then the other contestant appears, not knowing whether they’re up for a win or a loss, shaking with nerves, and The Bachelor/Bachelorette tells them for the first time ever I LOVE YOU (unless it’s Kaitlyn, in which case she’s already told all the contestants and half the crew). Then there might be a marriage proposal, or not, depending on how things stand. But it’s awesome and romantic and the loser is forgotten completely and it’s true love conquers all.

So…………….

Snez and Lana, in separate limos.

Sam waiting, nervous.

And out of the first limo:::::::::: LANA.

Holy shit, I really wasn’t expecting it. Genuinely. I can’t breathe. Well-played YOU DID IT, YOU SURPRISED US. Someone somewhere got this episode completely right. I am overwhelmed. It’s Lana. Lana standing there, shaking, listening to him praise her to the skies. Wanting to puke with nerves, and pain, her back’s killing her, she just wants it to end, and he’s going on and on, and then she hears him say these words: YOU’RE THE PERFECT GIRL.

Pause.

BUT.

“I just… don’t know if you’re the perfect girl for me.”

That’s what he says. Lana doesn’t react. She’s classy. She holds it together. She doesn’t say much at all, just nods, smiles, wants to get the fuck away.

It’s traditional at this point for The Bachelor (or The Bachelorette) to have a decent moment with the runner-up. This, after all, is the heaviest moment of the season. Emotionally it should be like a murder. And you want to give it some respect, especially after hanging with the show so very long. You want some answers, some regret, some sense that this is tearing the heart out of not one but two people. Obviously they can’t have it out completely, here and now – that’s the whole point of After the Final Rose. But given we’re not having that episode, then we need something here. And goddamnit, this girl has been dragged through some stuff, from the whole stupid intruder beat-up to the mind-numbing silliness of extreme-boating. She deserves a minute or two here, surely.

She doesn’t get it. She just gets hauled away to a waiting Nissan – Sam doesn’t even bother walking her out, or sitting with her a moment, or saying anything much at all. His goodbye to Heather was way more emo than this. THIS IS AWFUL. It feels like a deliberate attempt to make him seem reasonable in his decision – but for me it totally backfires, and for the first time this season Sam comes out of it looking like an ass. Hey yeah hi you’re great, you’re perfect, not for me, cheers, your car’s that way. Bring on Snez. Fucking hell. This is horrible, but not in a good way. I can’t help feeling, this is caused by the fact that these two don’t actually know each other. See all of the argument above. This intruder thing, it really fucked the show. She doesn’t even cry in the car home. Yes she has some real feelings but they needed a whole lot more time together for any of it to gel properly. And so their goodbye is all a bit ho-hum. Lana gets driven back to Wentworth Prison, to rise from the ashes and kill Baby Joshie.

Then Snez appears, and he tells her: “I’ve fallen madly in love with you.” Well yeah, who hasn’t.

========= ROLL END CREDITS =================

Leave Reply