Reality TV Ph.D

Here for the wrong reasons.

Episode 12: The Final, Desperate Rose

Hi everyone. This post is going to be long (because this finale WAS THREE HOURS) and it’s also pretty late (because I still have a day job and not actually a Ph.D.) Make a snack, crack open a can of High Life, and get ready for the conclusion of Nick’s desperate search for love (Chris Harrison’s words, not mine).

chris harrison laughs at our pain

Which of these women will Nick pretend to get engaged to this time around? Will it be Raven, the charming southern belle with questionable taste in rompers and an even more disturbing taste for vengeance? Or will it be Vanessa, the trilingual Canadian special ed teacher who has never seen this show and is tortured by all of its twists and turns?


The entire Clan Viall has been flown to icy Finland to meet two more of Nick’s potential brides. Every time the camera cuts to his mom, she is on the verge of tears.

nick's sad mom
please end my suffering

Nick’s many siblings are also here for a free trip to Finland to support their idiot brother. Raven and Nick visit his family first. Nick isn’t too nervous about Raven meeting is family – after all, she already met his parents and younger sister Bella when they were in Waukesha. Raven and Bella are already BFFs, probably because they’re close in age!

Nick’s dad looks haggard and exhausted, as if all the years of traveling around the globe to meet his son’s TV girlfriends have taken a toll on his very core. He cuts right to it with Raven and asks if Nick is in love with her or no. She knows she IS in love with him, so there’s that! Nick’s dad says he was surprised by Raven’s maturity, considering she is 25 and thinking of marrying his nearly 40 year old son.


The next day, Vanessa and Nick sit down with his brood of siblings, and holy smokes does everyone in this room look like they don’t want to be here. Vanessa tells everyone about their first date, when her and Nick got to fly in a space plane and she puked a whole bunch. Romantic!

If you were watching this gathering with no sound and no subtitles, you may think you were watching people at a funeral or memorial service.

nick's miserable family
real grim, folks
  1. Nick’s mom cries talking to Vanessa.
  2. Vanessa cries talking to Nick’s dad.
  3. One of Nick’s sisters cries.
  4. Nick cries.
  5. Nick’s dad cries talking to Vanessa, also because he doesn’t know what he did to deserve this life.

Your future is off to to a good start, I’d say!


With the proposal looming over Nick like a dark cloud of doom, he decides to take each of the women on one last date. Vanessa meets him out in the tundra for an afternoon of horseback riding. Like yachting and taking ice baths, Vanessa has never been on a horse before.

“Just squeeze your thighs, you’re good at that” Nick tells her.

toddlers and tiaras


As they ride horses, a man dressed as Santa Claus peeks out from behind a tree and watches them creepily. This is clearly not the real Santa, because a) He lives in the North Pole, not Finland, and b) this man’s mustache is obviously fake. Vanessa doesn’t care and is overcome with childlike wonder when her and Nick finally meet Santa in his rickety log cabin.

fake santa

Fake Santa: What’s on your wishlist?

Vanessa: LOVE

Fake Santa: …can’t help you there. 

The joy of Christmas is quickly dashed when Vanessa and Nick sit around a fire and she prods him about whether they’ll get engaged. “My heart has no guarantees”, Nick tells her. He makes her cry yet again. WHAT A GUY.


While Vanessa sobs well into the next day, Nick takes Raven ice skating. Out of nowhere, the Cranberries’ “Kiss Me” plays loudly over their conversation. Nick and Raven conclude their ice capades by lying on the ice and making out, much like they did in the swamp in Arkansas. It looks very cold!

They’ve exhausted all of Finland’s date activities at this point, so a producer drives a truckload of husky puppies to where Nick and Raven are hanging out and lets them go wild. It’s probably the best date of the season, and possibly the best day of Raven’s entire life.


Later in the evening, Raven tells Nick that she KNOWS she KNOWS that she’s ready to get engaged to him. Nick tells her that he’s never worried about her feelings for him, which is kind of an awful thing to say!


Neil Lane’s sarcophagus is transported to Finland, and he rises long enough to show Nick some engagement rings. The cold preserves Neil and his hair plugs nicely. Nick selects a ring that resembles a golf ball covered in diamonds and decides he’s ready to ask one of these women who he barely knows to spend the rest of their lives with him. He paces nervously around a cozy hunting lodge and waits for his brides to be delivered to him in their limos.

Raven is up first, which means IT A’INT GONNA BE HER. Chris Harrison takes her coat and shows her to the lodge. Nick takes one look at her and promptly begins sobbing. You’d think Raven would read that as a sign that maybe she doesn’t confess her love for him, but she does it anyway!


Nick snorts and sniffles that while he has love for Raven, he’s not IN love with her. She take it like a champ and doesn’t even cry. “I’m going to miss you,” Nick bawls. “I know,” Raven shrugs. Hopefully she’s going to go play with those puppies again.


Vanessa comes in next, and Nick ALSO starts sobbing almost as soon as he sees her. He tries to make up for the fact that he’s driven her to tears all season by telling her that he knew by the second date they’d be together (not that that deterred him from humping Corinne in a bouncy castle) and that he sees Vanessa as his future. Blah blah blah. Vanessa sobs, Nick proposes, and they wind up happily ever after until…I’m going to say they break up midway through his run on Dancing With the Stars.

the proposal

And with that, IT’S OVER. Thank freakin’ goodness. Here’s hoping Rachel’s season ends up being much, much better. And even if it’s not, we’ll always have Bachelor in Paradise.

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