'The Bachelor' Finale Recap: Who Won Sean's Heart?
'The Bachelor' Finale Recap: Who Won Sean's Heart?
Bill King
Bill King
Contributing Writer, BuddyTV
After three months of holding Sean Lowe's hand (and reminding him to wear a shirt) as he walked down the path to love and whittled 26 women down to just two, the big day is finally here. Little Sean is all grown up, and even though his parents don't want him to, he's ready to drop to one knee and offer one special lady a rose ring ... and his heart. Yes, it's the season finale of The Bachelor, when one hunky man + one cute and goofy lady + one final rose = three magical hours of television. Yes, that's correct. THREE HOURS. But who will Sean choose? Will it be Lindsay or Catherine?

As we build up to the live "After the Final Rose" show, the women will get one last chance to lock up Sean for good. Apparently both the graphic designer from Seattle and the Army brat substitute teacher from Missouri make good first impressions with Sean's family, which only muddles his decision even further. Sean's family begs him not to propose to either and just take his time, but there's no indication he heeds that advice.

Personally, I am rooting for Catherine, just because I feel like his connection with her is completely based around being yourself in a relationship. It's wacky and fun, and you never feel self conscious. I feel like with Lindsay, it's more physical. Still, she would mesh with his life better than Catherine, and it would be easier for her to uproot herself and move to Texas.


There's also the mysterious letter that Chris Harrison delivers to Sean as he stands on the romantic dock just prior to revealing his decision. What will it say? Will it sway his opinion at all? We'll be covering the first two hours of The Bachelor live, so feel free to watch along with us and comment throughout the show. I'll do my best to respond (most likely during commercial breaks). So keep the interactions coming, and let me know who YOU want Sean to end up with!

Let's Get Live!

Apparently we'll be watching along with Chris Harrison and an entire live viewing party in Los Angeles. And apparently there is late-breaking news that could affect Sean's future in a Bachelor first. Who knows what bombshells are in store for us tonight?

Sean arrives in Pa Sak Tong, Thailand, for his final week before he's allowed to say "I love you" to someone he's not related to. The only problem is that he's in love with two different women, and he's hoping his arriving family will help him make his decision. He greets his parents, sister, brother-in-law and a couple little ones, one of whom reminds him that Emily Maynard didn't pick him. That's probably good, cause he'd likely be single now. 

Sean's mom is concerned that if a proposal is coming, he should already have his mind made up. But the fact that he doesn't adds to her "excitement" level to meet both women.

Catherine Makes an Impression

She wins points with Sean's dad because she played football in sixth grade on an all boys' team until she broke her arm and her mom made her quit. And she calms some of mom's fears when she talks about how skeptical she was coming in to the whole experience and how far she's come in terms of learning about herself. Then it's time for some one-on-one with mom, who wants to see enough passion that everyone will just "know."

Catherine tells her about their secret nerdy little notes, when she realized she was falling in love with Sean, and how she's ready and excited for what's to come. She reiterates my feelings of them completely being themselves around each other, and mom is very satisfied. Still, she wishes the couple had more time to spend together before making such a big decision. 

Dad asks her if she believes in The Bachelor process and how you know you're in love before you get married, and she basically gives the perfect answer that you can't be sure, you just know and work at it despite hardships. Dad gives us goose bumps and makes Catherine cry by promising that if she ends up with Sean, he'd be her biggest cheerleader and love her like a daughter. He'd be the dad that she didn't have on her side for a long time. She wants IN this family as much as she wants Sean. Then he loads her in a van and ships her on her way. 

What did you think about Catherine's meeting with the family? Just a love fest all around, right?

Lindsay's Turn to Impress

Lindsay gets out of the van and plants one of her signature kisses on her man, which still seem like they may be the best in show history. She's clearly nervous though, but Sean's family seems like they'd put anyone normal at ease (They'd probably have shot down Tierra). 

They talk about feeding monkeys before the Lindsay wedding dress arrival comes up. The family members were apparently fans of the idea and said it took guts, which is much nicer than saying it's totally crazy and she's lucky to have made it to day two.

Lindsay sits down with dad first, and he lays the same questions about love on her. She said she just knows, and she wants to hang out with Sean for the rest of her life for a laundry list of Sean-centric reasons. Her answer is also on point, but it seems like both her and Catherine gave cookie- cutter responses. He makes Lindsay cry, too, though, because that's what good dads do. Then she throws him for a curve ball by asking for his son's hand in marriage. Nice touch.

Dad is in the same boat as Sean in that he can't pick one, so maybe mom will have better luck. She asks the same questions, too, and gets similar answers. To the parents, it has to seem like these two relationships are almost exactly the same. Then Lindsay gets a little too emotional for my liking with Sean's mom, because it seems like it's less of an equal relationship. But everyone loves her just like they did Catherine.

Which girl do you think made a better impression on Sean's family? There's one more date for each of them, and then it's decision time! Have your feelings changed at all? Do you still think Catherine? Do you still think Lindsay??

The Family Feedback

Sean thinks he could have a long, happy marriage with either of the women, so now it's the family's turn to weigh in. Sean is afraid they'll be just as confused as he is, and his word of the day is "clarity," because he just said it for the 37th time. Both women are great and would fit in perfectly with the family, but mom's only advice is not to propose. He says he'd like her opinion and approval, but all he really wants is her support. She cries, saying it's such a huge decision, and he promises her it's not something he's taking lightly.

Then it's hugs and goodbyes, because the family didn't help at all, and it's time to go. He didn't get the clarity he was looking for, and he realizes he's really on his own with the decision. Do you agree with Sean's mom? If he loves both of them, does that me he shouldn't propose to either?

Lindsay's Final Date

I wonder how much date placement goes in helping Sean make his decision? Does it help or hurt Lindsay that's she's up first? Does that give Catherine the edge, because the memory of her is fresher? Or does it make it harder on Catherine because Sean is comparing everything to the date he just had with Lindsay?

They take a taking a boat ride down the Mekong River, and she's rocking some tiny shorts and ties her shirt up around her belly button to show off some skin. He offers her some geography tidbits a producer told him right before they pushed off. 

They talk about his family and do some more smooching, while she talks about the butterflies fluttering around in her stomach. They relive their previous dates, realizing that this could be the last time they ever hang out as a couple. They have the big things you need in a marriage, and she calls him her best friend and says she loves him. Someone's heart is getting broken tonight (our tonight, not theirs). 

She's wearing a tight orange dress for the their last night together, and he makes a really loud gulping noise as he swallows his wine. Anyone else notice that? They kiss as they talk about the path to this point, and I really feel like they make out to fill their awkward silences. And I don't think that happens as much with Catherine. Still, Lindsay tells him he is everything she wants in a husband, and that she doesn't know what she'd do without him. Then more silence and more kissing, which is good because she says his kisses tell her everything. "That's why we're always kissing, because I feel like that's how he can really express himself to me right now." Maybe. But sometimes it's better to use words.

She also has one last surprise for him, and it's three of those Asian flying lanterns that you write wishes on, light on fire and send to the sky. Their wishes are love, happiness and family, and I wonder if any of those things ever fly into trees and start forest fires. It doesn't bode well for Lindsay that my first thought is that instead of their love, but Sean says that in this moment, he thinks she's the one for him. 

Can Catherine Top That?

Of course she can! Especially when you toss an elephant into the mix. We all know just how romantic it smells when you walk by the elephant pen at the zoo. But first, Sean is all smiles when Catherine runs up to him and jumps into his arms. He's right, she does look cute, and I love how she excitedly jumps around when she talks about the elephant, which is their mode of transportation for the date. He picked an activity that he knew she would love, instead of just one that is nice. 

They take in some beautiful nature scenes, and they don't NEED to talk to communicate, because their moments of silence aren't awkward. She's excited, but she's also a little scared as they talk about the future. She says that this was one of the most memorable days of her life, because she feels like she fits and that everything makes sense. And she wants to make sure Sean knows she sees them growing old together. 

As they share champagne on potentially their last night together, she knows she has to lay it all on the line and open up completely. It's always been hard for her, because love has been a sore spot in her life. They share some a moment of awkwardness before she gets there, but it's one of those things where you can tell she has something she needs to get off her chest. She talks about how they've grown together, how welcome his family made her feel and how emotionally involved she is in their relationship. 

He tries to put her mind at ease, but she's still feeling the pressure and anxiety of taking such a risk out of her comfort zone. They cap off the date with some kisses by the door, and she tells him she loves him. She looks for a glimmer in his reaction that he feels the same way, but all he says is, "Thanks for today," which leaves her extremely hurt heading into the unknown.

She follows him outside, in tears, and lets him hold her a bit more. She calls it a horrible goodbye, and it was pretty awkward. Also, she's just pissed and wants more from him, and now she's uncertain about everything. Her level of difficulty with this experience is definitely one of the more visceral reactions we've seen in all 208 seasons of the show.

Who Will Sean Pick? Will He Propose? What Does the Letter Say?

Sean's decision is the only thing that remains, but after 90 minutes of dates and family meet-and-greets, we're still no closer to an answer as to who he'll choose. We get some topless towel shots just to remind us that he shaves his chest. He calls Catherine his best friend, but he has a spark with Lindsay that has developed into a massive flame, and he thinks he knows everything he needs to know.

He could be with either one of them forever, but when he woke up, he knew there was a woman he couldn't stand to live without. He's made up his mind.

He sits down with The Bachelor ring guy to pick out the largest, gaudiest rings humanity has to offer. In the end, he picks one of the simpler gaudy and extremely diamond-errific rings that any woman would kill to have, and he's ready to love like he's never loved before. He cries even thinking about his decision. 

Lindsay doesn't know how to put in to words how in love she is, and she's just so happy. She can't believe any of this happened to her, and her whole life is about to change. Catherine, meanwhile, is having a hard time wrapping her head around everything, and she's a mess. She wants to be excited, but she's just feeling overwhelmed. 

Who Do the Eliminated Bachelorettes Think Sean Will Pick?

I guess they need some filler. We already got some pointless predictions from the audience members, who are apparently overwhelmingly in favor of Catherine. But what do Sean's eliminated suitors think? 

Lesley, Sarah, AshLee and Jackie are on hand to chime in with their thoughts. Lesley is going with Catherine because of their ability to be goofy and serious, while Sarah is leaning towards Lindsay because of the heat. AshLee has lightened her stance a bit from last week ("Really, Sean? Really? You didn't say that?"), and she thinks he needs to follow his heart. She admits Catherine and Lindsay had a lighter, playful side that she probably didn't show to Sean, and her serious nature may have affected their connection. Jackie goes with Lindsay as well. 

Let's Get to the Letter Already!

Enough with the filler, Chris! We've been waiting for months! Sean is struggling greatly with the heartbreak he must inflict, crying some more while dreading the look he'll soon see on her face. The first limo SUV pulls up, and Lindsay steps out. Chris walks her to the dock, and she says she is getting excited for the best day of her life, the day she gets engaged. This is always brutal.

Sean tells her he was amazed by their relationship and didn't see it progressing the way it did, and that she blows him away (perhaps literally?). It's the toughest thing he's ever had to do, but he can't give her his heart the way he can to Catherine. He didn't even know what was going to happen until the day before, but his clarity finally came, and he has to say goodbye. She is crushed, but she handles it really well under the circumstances. He tells her he loves her and he's sorry. 

She tells him it's okay and to stop talking, and she asks if it was her or something she did. He says of course not, but in the end, it was about Catherine. I actually love this quote from her. "Oh my gosh, okay, I'm gonna go. Cause this just really, really painful. It's my nightmare, and I didn't see this coming. I'm happy for you. I'm happy that you found love, but I honestly can't imagine my life without you. And that's something I'm going to have to figure.out." Classy until the the end. But without a lot of bitterness.

He pauses to tell her how much she means to him and how blessed he is to have known her, and she wishes him luck. She takes off her big heels and barefoots it back to the SUV (as Chris points out, that's when you KNOW she's done.), and that's when she falls apart. She feels stupid, like all the second-place finishers do, but it's the nature of the show. It's so sad, poor girl. But someone has to lose. It'll be okay for her. She just had everything she wanted laid out before her and then yanked away. Still, she's happy for Sean and Catherine. She just never loved someone the way she loved him, and she doesn't want to end up alone. 


Sean and Catherine, Together Forever?

Unless the infamous "letter" has anything to say about it! It IS from Catherine, and Sean starts to read it before a final cut to commercial. The answers are coming soon!

The Stunning Conclusion to the Bachelor

Has Sean found the love of his life? Will he propose to Catherine? The journey ends here, but it starts with the letter. Despite the emotions that she's been struggling with, she mans up and REALLY lays it all on the table like she couldn't do the night before. She tosses aside the nerves and the anxiety, tells him she wants nothing but to be his wife and that she will love him forever and has her heart, always. I'll admit it, I got some goose bumps. And Sean knows he made the right decision. 

She's going into this laying it on the line for love, scared, but knowing she'll be better off in the end, either way. His feelings for her have turned into something he can't describe, and she amazes him. Every time they have to say goodbye, he misses her. And he doesn't want to say goodbye anymore. He wants to spent the rest of his life telling her he loves her and that she is the most special, beautiful woman in the world.

And with that, he drops to one knee and opens the box to every woman's dream come true. Tears are streaming down the collective cheeks of America, and Catherine asks if it's for real. He says those three words that make hearts melt, and she tells him he's handsome and that she's addicted to him. He gives her the final rose, and all is right in The Bachelor world.

Do you think Sean made the right decision? Were all your expectations fulfilled by the dramatic conclusion? Do you want your very own Sean Prince to whisk you to faraway lands on an elephant? Is this the best day of YOUR life, too? 

Be sure to check out the After the Final Rose recap, and stick with BuddyTV as your one-stop shop for all things Bachelor. Thanks for reading along, and now let's find out if Sean and Catherine are still engaged, or if they've already gone the way of the other 16 seasons!

The Bachelor: After the Final Rose Recap: How's the Happy Couple >>>

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(Image courtesy of ABC)



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