The Bachelorette Season 5, Episode 11: Finale Recap - Featured

In the season finale of The Bachelorette, Jillian chooses her man after some well-timed eruptions and a not-that-surprising surprise return.

Welcome back to our recap. With me as always is my enchanting, beautiful fiancee. I almost missed this edition because I was returning from a perfect wedding in my new favorite city, Minneapolis. Congratulations, Jen and Jeremy, and may your relationship be nothing like the ones on The Bachelor/ette. (Except the one between Jillian and the guy she picks, because they, of course, will last forever.)

We begin back in Hawaii, where Jillian says she's been on a rocky road, but it's worth it. Two incredible guys adore her. First we're reacquainted with Ed, the Chicago businessman who briefly left the show because his boss called him back to work. Other things he's known for? His tiny green swimsuit, acting giddy when he's drunk, and not being able, to, um, take things to the next level with Jillian. In an, um, physical sense.

Fiancee: Just say he couldn't [filthy euphemism for making sweet love].

Me: Once again I am forced to condemn your intemperate remarks.

Ed, perhaps trying to explain his inability to explain, says he's been way stressed lately. To help alleviate all that tension, Jillian's mom, in her first meeting with Ed, asks him 66 questions. No, this isn't a random number we made up to be funny. She actually asks him 66 [filthy euphemism for making love] questions. Among them are, "Do you want kids?" and "How do you see your relationship 30 or 40 years from now?"

Ed asks Glen, Jill's dad, if he would be okay with him proposing to Jillian.

Glen: I'd do somersaults.

Smooth move, Ed: Every dad likes when you ask permission. Except one.

Me: Remember when I asked your dad's permission?

Fiancee: Yeah. What'd he say?

Me: "Sure, if you want. It's none of my business."

Next Jillian's family next meets Kiptyn, the twelve-packed San Diego-area guy with whom Jillian describes her physical chemistry as "through the roof." See how they're building tension here? Physical chemistry with Ed: not through the roof.

The family eats dinner and things go well. Jillian's mom steals Kiptyn away and pulls out more questions. She comes away thinking Kip is like Jillian, a free spirit. Then we meet the person whose opinion matters most: Jillian's grandmother. As loyal fans know, Jillian wants a relationship like that of her grandparents, who are, she constantly reminds us, best friends. After their fateful meeting, Jillian's family seems to favor Kiptyn 3-1.

Jillian's dad is the only one who remains very much on Team Ed, and I have to say: kind of a bad move on Kiptyn's part not to ask dad's permission. At least give him a chance to express his utter apathy.

Fiancee: You shouldn't have asked my dad for his permission when he was distracted. He was talking to his accountant on speaker phone during a windstorm.

Me: I didn't want him to have time to think.

Jillian pulls her sister aside to talk about "the incident." By which we mean [joke we keep returning to, and are maybe overusing].

Sis: That's a big thing. That's a very big thing.

On Jillian's last date with Ed before decision time, they go up in a, yes, helicopter, official vehicle of the Bachelor/ette franchise. They fly over a volcano and talk about building tension. Anyone see where this is going? Later, after a walk through a rainforest-like area, Ed tells Jillian why he finds her so appealing.

Ed: You could be one of my best guy friends, but you could also be the person I could be with the rest of my life.

Me: Whoa, nice work-in of the friends thing. Way to pass the grandma test!

Fiancee: I feel like "the grandma test" should be something in a commercial for cookies, not something to decide who you [filthy euphemism for making sweet love] for the rest of your life.

They go to a secluded waterfall, where Ed again wears some small green shorts. Their return fills us with the nostalgia for all the Bachelorette memes and characters of this past season, and so we'd like to take a moment to offer this special salute to Wes, Daniel Plainview, Prudence Merriweather, Thor, and all the other fantastic characters who've made Jillian's journey to happiness so entertaining for us as well. We only wish the show weren't so dead-set against bringing back former competitors back under any circumstances.

But seriously, folks: Why hasn't Reid shown up yet?

Back at the secluded waterfall, Ed invites Jillian to stay at his place tonight. She accepts, and reminds us the stakes are high, which is totally unnecessary. We took a lot of English lit classes in college and totally followed the whole volcano metaphor.

Jillian: There's a part of me that worries he'll stress out like he did last time.

Good news, and we feel gross reporting this: He doesn't. Maybe because this time, Jillian doesn't cover him in weird massage oil, and there aren't a bunch of cameras in the room.

Jillian delicately tells us the next day that the "physical, sexual chemistry was still there." And, for the Naked Gun fans in the audience, the editors slip in a shot of a volcano erupting. Subtle.

The happy night is followed by Jillian's final date with Kiptyn. She says she knows they love each other, but at the end of the date, no volcanic activity seems to occur. Does Ed have this thing sewn up?

We won't know for another hour or so. The show next brings us a time-killing montage of Jillian doing her favorite things: thinking, telling us about how much she's thinking, walking on the beach, and pretending to write in her diary.

Fiancee: Don't forget "wearing heinous sleep ensembles." Where did she find grape kulats?

The action resumes with Kiptyn meeting with a famous jeweler to pick out a ring for Jillian. The jeweler is very encouraging. But then Ed meets with the same jeweler, and the jeweler is every bit as encouraging to him as he was to Kiptyn, though he knows they both plan to propose to the same woman.

Me: Whoa, kind of shady!

Fiancee: Some people will do anything to give away free diamonds.

Finally, it's time for the proposals. Kiptyn goes first, which we all know means he's doomed. Jillian says no, she's in love with someone else, and a series of awful, uncomfortable noises ensue.

Kiptyn: Mm.

Jillian: Ah...

Kiptyn: [Whoosh sound.]

Jillian: [Smaller whoosh sound.]

Eventually, Kiptyn tells Jillian how hard it is to be rejected, but that he wishes her and Ed the best. Stay classy, San Diego.

At this point, viewers who didn't see the finale preview wonder how the show will fill the remaining 45 minutes. Those of us who saw the finale preview say smugly, and in unison: Reid. Though we're happy to see the return of the popular Philadelphia realtor, who was ejected in the last round, the show makes clear in gentle ways that he may not be entirely welcome.

When an officially mandated contestant proposes, as we've seen, he arrives in a limo, in an immaculate suit, bearing a diamond from a famous jeweler. Reid, however, shows up in a taxi, without a tie, wearing sneakers. He exits the car to find our fantastic host, Chris Harrison.

Reid: Chris!

Chris [with the ambivalence of my future father-in-law]: Reid.

Chris informs Reid that he doesn't have much time to talk to Jillian — Ed is on his way over. They didn't even slot him any time? Wow. Despite this, he delivers a fairly coherent speech, less caveman-like than any he's delivered before, in which he declares his love for Jillian and says he can't see her with anyone else.

Jill has to think about it. She consults with Chris.

Chris: Are you in love with Reid?

Jillian: How is someone supposed to make a decision like this?

Sweeping music plays as we see Ed riding over in his non-taxi.

Chris: Because you know.

Chris then asks Jillian if she's excited about Ed proposing, and if she loves him and can picture herself marrying him.

Jillian: Yes. Yes. Yes.

Chris: Then there's no question what you need to do.

Bye, Reid. Jillian says she woke up in the morning happy with her decision and she wants to stick with it. Reid goes home, again by taxi.

Me: He's totally the next Bachelor.

Fiancee: I think Kiptyn.

Me: Really? Why?

Fiancee: Because he's got a twelve pack.

Jillian says she knows her heart lies with Ed.

Jillian: Ed better not [filthy euphemism for making sweet love] disappoint me.

He doesn't. Ed arrives at the spot where Jillian has turned down two proposals already. Chris greets him warmly. Soft music plays. And the third time's the charm, as Ed says the word Jillian has waited to hear.

Ed: This is totally awkward, but I just got called in to work again.

No, not really. He says he loves her, and asks if she loves him. Yes. Yes. Yes.

Jillian: There is no doubt in my mind that I am madly in love with you.

Tears follow. Ed, again playing the grandma card, says he wants Jillian to give him "a hard time when we're 80 years old." And then asks the big question.

Ed: Jillian, will you marry me?

Jillian: Absolutely!

Hugs, kisses, etc. We see a montage of Ed and Jillian moments, including, yes, green shorts. They embrace during the closing credits, and Jillian does the thing many of us have wanted her to do all season: correct her own grammar.

Jillian: We're going to have the funnest, wild ride — funnest. Can I take it back? Funnest isn't a word.

Ed: It is now.

Fiancee and me: Keeper.

What did you think of the finale?

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