Tonight’s the night. Katie Thurston‘s journey to find love is officially coming to an end and there’s only two men left vying for that final rose. Will she choose Blake or Justin — or walk away empty-handed? And what happens when she comes face-to-face with Greg after their heart-wrenching goodbye? Read on for everything that goes down on The Bachelorette finale.
So, we kick off the evening with Katie in the studio with hosts Kaitlyn Bristowe and Tayshia Adams. Immediately, she’s questioned about her breakup with Greg. But despite the emotional goodbye she had with the former frontrunner, it seems as though her sadness has turned to anger towards him. “To watch him talk down to me and twice walk away from me, that’s not a man,” she admits. Greg and Katie haven’t spoken since that difficult day in New Mexico and tonight will be the first time the two get to have another conversation — and something tells me this isn’t going to be pretty.
But before we get to that convo with Greg, which we’re all desperately waiting to see, we cut back to Katie’s journey with her final two men. We see her in bed totally distraught over Greg leaving. She’s questioning if it’s even worth finishing the journey now that her frontrunner is gone.
Kaitlyn and Tayshia pop by to deliver the surprising news to Blake and Justin that Greg has eliminated himself and the men are clearly shocked. That’s right, Justin managed to make it to the final two and literally NO ONE understands how, but there’s no time to dissect that one. Right now, we’re focusing on the additional time the men will get now that Greg’s gone. Starting with Blake…
Blake’s overnight date
Is it just me, or did Katie’s tears dry really fast? We see her sipping champagne, chillin’ in the hot tub, and basically just loving life with Blake right now. But the Greg situation does get brought up. She tells Blake that she wanted to quit the show after he left and wanted to be honest about how she’s been feeling. Blake’s clearly overwhelmed by that bomb, as he wasn’t aware of how deep her connection with Greg was. But still, he’s all smiles while kissing Katie in the hot tub, seemingly confident that an overnight date will cure any lingering heartache Katie may have.
Later that night, Blake brings up why he hasn’t said the L-word to Katie yet. He admits that he’s very careful with who he shares that word with. Instead of saying it, he tries to express it through physical affection. But tonight, he’s ready to change that. He tells her that during their hometown date last week, he realized that he loves her. “I love you and I’m f–king really excited about life,” he says with a huge smile.
Katie’s face lights up as she comes to terms with Blake’s confession. She tells him she’s wanted to wait to say the L-word as well, but now with Greg gone (and come on, Justin is not a contender I’m sorry), there’s no point in holding anything back. “I f**king love you so much,” she says. And the two head to a fantasy suite for a very intimate night, I’m guessing.
It’s now the next morning and these two are still rock solid. They lay in bed together eating breakfast and they’re both completely smitten. “Last night was everything I could’ve hoped for,” she tells him before kissing him goodbye.
But now it’s time to let Justin go. Yes, he’s still here. I almost forgot, too.
Obviously,w Justin’s getting the boot now that Katie has magically realized that Blake is the one. But regardless, it’s not an easy thing to do. “You are someone I wanted to explore things with, but given how I now feel about Blake, knowing that I am in love with him, it wouldn’t make sense to have us move forward,” she says.
To be honest, Justin doesn’t seem that shocked. He has to know that he wasn’t the first choice (or even second, or third?) in Katie’s mind. Still, he’s bummed to be leaving empty-handed after making it so far.
“I hope he knows what he has, I hope he doesn’t take you for granted,” he says of Blake before taking off.
We cut to the studio with Kaitlyn and Tayshia, and Justin comes face-to-face with Katie for the first time since she broke things off. Right away, Justin gets choked up and is unable to speak. Through tears, he asks if he was only in the spot that he ended up in because others left the show. Katie dances around the answer and tells him that he was there for a reason. Still, he doesn’t seem sold on the fact that he would’ve been in the final two if Greg or even Michael had stayed on the show.
But to be honest, we can’t waste too much more time on these two because we need to get to that proposal and all the Greg stuff, so let’s move on, shall we?
Blake meets Katie’s family
There’s only one man left standing now, and Blake is the only guy who gets to meet Katie’s mom and aunt. While Blake is sharing details of his life — including where he’s from and his “career” — it’s clear that Katie’s aunt isn’t confident that these two have what it takes to last. Katie’s aunt pulls him aside and starts to grill him on why he showed up this season. Surprisingly, he’s still not able to convince her that “they both just click” is a reason to get engaged.
And it’s clear that Katie and Blake haven’t mapped out the logistics of their relationship, with Blake living in Canada and Katie living in the US. Blake also throws out there that he plans to travel to Africa for work once he’s off the show, which adds another layer of difficulty.
Thankfully, Katie’s mom is a bit softer on Blake. She at least cracks a smile while Blake shares how he feels about her daughter. “She seems so happy and that’s all that matters to a parent,” she says.
Later that evening, the two head to the Burning of Zozobra, a ceremony that celebrates the release of all things negative and brings in new beginnings and growth. They both write down what they want to release in their journals, and to be honest, I’m surprised Katie didn’t bring Greg’s ABC headshot to throw in the fire. Instead, she opens up about her fears of not being good enough for Blake and ultimately losing him. But she throws those fears in the fire.
Blake admits in his interview that, based on his conversation with Katie’s family, he’s questioning if they’re actually ready to get engaged — because of COURSE. There has to be SOMETHING that slows them down or else this would be the most predictable finale in Bachelorette history.
The final day
Even though Blake isn’t 100% certain that he’s going to propose, he still has to choose a sparkly Neil Lane ring just in case. And ABC decides that Tayshia — the woman that Blake fell in love with last season — is the perfect person to help Blake choose the ring. Blake is seriously struggling to choose a ring and walks away. Is this all too soon? Too much pressure? Not really, I mean, this is the third girl he’s fallen for on TV… he was bound to get engaged at some point, right?
Before we know it, Katie’s waiting at the proposal spot waiting to see Blake. He still seems unsure of what he’s going to do as he walks down to see her. Katie grabs his hands and tells him that despite showing up halfway through the season, he showed up at the perfect time. “I’ll never forget the moment we first met, the chemistry was instant,” she says. “I never knew I’d be falling head over heels in love with you.”
“I can’t give you what you came here for,” Blake begins, like the perfect ABC fake-out, “because you deserve a lot more than that. You deserve the world and I’m excited to support you and be there for you every day moving forward.”
And he gets down on one knee. And she says yes. Obviously. “This was meant to be, this exact moment, we were supposed to experience together,” Katie tells him. “This is the start of forever.”
After the Final Rose
Finally, the moment we’ve all been waiting for: Greg walks out on stage for the After the Final Rose special. He admits that he didn’t realize how unhappy he was with himself until Katie showed him how happy he could be with someone. He shares that while he and Katie had a disconnect, his ultimate goal wasn’t to leave. He was hoping to work through their issue and get back on the same page. But regardless, he has no regrets about how things went down.
Katie comes out to meet with Greg face to face and the tension is palpable. She walks right past him without hugging or greeting him. There are about five feet separating the two on that tiny little couch. Immediately, Katie rips right into Greg. She calls him out for needing validation, despite getting constant validation throughout the entire season. “I felt like you were looking for the perfect opportunity to escape because you were never looking for an engagement,” she tells him. “You spoke down to me, you didn’t even bother to say goodbye. I don’t think you know what love is.”
“That is the time I needed you the most,” she continues, “and you walked away.” But it doesn’t end there. She calls Greg out for using the show for “acting practice,” as it’s been rumored that Greg went to acting school prior to filming. “I’m no Meryl Streep,” he says, through uncomfortable laughter.
And it keeps getting worse… and worse. Katie is mad and there’s nothing Greg can really say to change her mind. He apologizes, but his apologies seem empty. Like, he’s saying sorry for her “feeling that way” and not sorry for how he actually treated her.
“A relationship is a two-way street, and I know you’re The Bachelorette, but I emptied my heart out to you on that couch and all I got was a pat on the back,” he says.
Once again these two are just proving that they speak totally different languages. Greg isn’t getting through to Katie and Katie isn’t getting through to Greg. They both end the segment by wishing each other the best, but it’s fairly obvious that they don’t mean it.
Katie’s anger quickly turns to pure bliss as she reunites with Blake on that couch. Katie drops the bomb that she didn’t even tell her family that she was engaged, and they’re learning of the news right at this very moment. “I didn’t think they could keep a secret,” she admits. Wow.
But these two are rock solid and excited to celebrate their love in the real world after having to hide it for so long. “I think everyone can agree that this is exactly who I’m supposed to be with,” Katie says through tears. “I’m just so lucky.”
And Blake shows her just how lucky she is by playing their song, “Memorize You” by Laine Hardy at the ending of the segment. People in the audience start standing up with boomboxes held over their heads, like what Blake did during the season for Katie. The two slow dance as rose petals fall from the ceiling. A happy ending, indeed. And that’s a wrap for Katie’s season.
Bachelor in Paradise premieres Aug. 16 at 8pm EST on ABC.