It's do or die time in Paradise, folks. As longtime Bachelor host Chris Harrison revealed in last week's penultimate episode of Bachelor in Paradise, everything you thought you knew about the show is no longer true. In his words, there are "no more date cards, no more new arrivals, and no more rose ceremonies." The finale is all about the remaining six couples and their relationships —many of which won't last even one of the two hours remaining in the series' first season. Let's recap! (Spoiler alert, obviously.)
The episode picks up on the morning after the final rose ceremony. Everyone is anxious about the changes Chris Harrison teased the night before, and with good reason. He greets them the next morning with an ultimatum: Commit to being in a real relationship, or pack your bags and go. "Don't fool yourselves, don't fool each other, don't try and fool me," he warns them. So, where does each couple stand?
Christy and Tasos: Split
Christy and Tasos have had just one date, so neither of them is super invested in the other. They decide pretty quickly that there's not enough between them to stay.
Jackie and Zack: Split
Jackie is similarly uninspired by her relationship with Zack. He wants to stay and get to know her better, but respects her decision to bail early, seeing as how they, too, have had only one night together.
AshLee and Graham: Split
AshLee is feeling great about the future of her relationship with Graham, which is a sure sign that something is about to go terribly wrong. "If everyone in the house could feel as great as I do with Graham, this would be the best love story ever," she gushes. "I think what we've built here in Paradise is a great foundation for something else to happen."
Michelle disagrees — and she has no problem telling her BFF Graham what she thinks of AshLee. "I don't think she's genuine. And i don't think that she's here for you. I think she's here to put on a show," Michelle tells him in a private heart-to-heart. "I'm telling you right now, I don't think she's right for you."
Hearing that isn't easy for Graham, but he ultimately realizes she's right. After their chat, he finds AshLee and begins the awkward task of breaking up with her. "We've had our missteps. It scares me," Graham tells her. "I just don't think I can continue on. I'm sorry."
AshLee is blindsided — and totally heartbroken. She tries to convince Graham of her feelings for him, but he says he doesn't think they have what it takes to go the distance. Afterward, he admits he's surprised by how sad he is. "I thought I'd feel a little bit more relief," he confesses. "It was the right thing to do for both of us, but it sucked. It's hard to say goodbye to the concept of loving someone…Reflecting back on it, for me, Paradise is lost."
Sarah and Robert: Split
Things are great for Sarah and Robert at the beginning of the finale, but their bliss is short-lived. Though both agree they're ready to take the next step — a night in the Fantasy Suite together — they have different ideas about what that step should entail. "Tonight is this perfect opportunity [for Robert] to get to know me in every way possible," Sarah gushes over a shot of the two making out in a hot tub. "I hope he goes there. I hope he digs deep."
The next morning, Robert is on top of the world. But Sarah is considerably less thrilled. "I wanted to be awake all night, getting to know Robert and Robert getting to know me. And that didn't happen. At all," she laments. "I felt rejected. Robert didn't want to be physical with me…I want to be leaving Paradise in love, but right now I'm not feeling that way."
Her doubts are amplified when she sees how happy and in love the other two remaining couples are. "Last night was not really how I would have envisioned time with you in the Fantasy Suite," she tells him. "I don't feel like you're excited about me."
Robert is pretty shaken up. "I liked taking it slow with Sarah, and I liked building a relationship with her…I kept using the phrase 'I like you' because I'm a little scared," he admitted after their split, tearing up. "It's hard for me to tell people that I love them, but I gave it my best shot. I guess it just wasn't enough."
Michelle and Cody: Still Together
Cody is "head over heels" for Michelle, but initially, at least, she's conflicted about whether she wants to move forward with their relationship. Torn, she seeks advice from her daughter, who tells her the only thing that matters is whether Cody has a good personality and will treat her well. Michelle is touched by the "beautiful, simple feedback," and inspired to stay for at least one more night. "I really think that by tomorrow morning, I will have such a clear understanding of which direction to go," she declares. "I feel like it could go either way."
In the end, it goes in Cody's favor. Though she jokes before the date that he's not going to get laid, she tells Lacy the next morning that he's amazing in bed. "After the time that I got to spend with Cody last night, I am so crystal clear about what it is I want right now," she raves. "And I want Cody."
Later, she and Cody join Marcus and Lacy at the villa, where Chris Harrison is waiting with three Bachelor/Bachelorette success stories — Jason and Molly Mesnick, Sean and Catherine Lowe, and Desiree Hartsock and Chris Siegfried. Each of the three engaged or married couples sits down with the Bachelor in Paradise twosomes to assess their connection — and Jason, at least, is pleasantly surprised by Michelle and Cody. "I came into this thinking there was no way Michelle and Cody were a legitimate couple, and I was completely wrong," he says.
Having gotten the stamp of approval from all three Bachelor/Bachelorette pairs, Cody and Michelle go through the formality of giving each other roses. "I can honestly look you in the eyes today and tell you that I'm crazy about you, and I'm madly in love with you," he says. "I'm excited to leave Paradise and get our lives going."
Michelle replies in kind, telling him, "You came into my life exactly when I needed you…You have made me feel so loved. And the way that you have included my daughter in every thought and every plan for the future has meant more to me than you'll ever know…You are the sugar and I am the spice, and we go together so well."
Lacy and Marcus: Engaged
Marcus professed his love for Lacy several episodes ago, and she finally follows suit in the finale, telling him her heart is all his. "You're everything I ever wanted. I love you," she gushes on their Fantasy Suite date.
The next morning, she raves about what an amazing night they had together. "I feel so great that I was able to be in an intimate setting with Marcus, emotionally and physically," she coos. "We stayed up all night talking and just loving on one another."
Their connection is evident — even Molly and Jason are "obsessed" with them. "They're the best looking Bachelor couple ever," Molly proclaims. "I honestly came in with low expectations of the couples truly being into it, but I actually truly believe that they love each other." Adds Desiree: "Marcus and Lacy have good chemistry that could definitely work outside of Paradise."
They're about to go through the final exchange of roses when Marcus asks if he can have a minute alone with Lacy. He takes her to a little deck on the beach and launches into a speech about how meeting her is the best gift he's ever received. "Being around you and holding you and kissing you and feeling truly cared about and loved by you has been some of the most memorable times of my life, and I want to continue that with you forever," he says, dropping to one knee and pulling a diamond ring out of his pocket. "So, Lacy, will you marry me?"
She says yes, of course, prompting cheers from the three Bachelor/Bachelorette couples, as well as from Chris Harrison and Cody and Michelle. "We just got engaged!" she exclaims.
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