Reality TV

‘Bachelor In Paradise’ Season Finale Recap: Who Got Engaged? Who Broke Up? (VIDEO)

Recap and review of Bachelor In Paradise – Season 2 Finale:

Well, due to unforeseen problems with my internet, this will end up being a review rather than a live blog. But hey, it fits in (well, sort of) with the overall chaotic nature of Bachelor In Paradise Season 2. I’ve watched a lot of reality TV this year, but I’m not sure any series has been as consistently outlandish and drama-filled as this one, particularly considering that this is a show that is, ostensibly, about finding true love. On the one hand, love is hard to come by, especially when you go on national TV to find it. On the other hand, that shouldn’t necessarily mean that finding love in this fashion should be impossible.

So what we ended up with was a strangely anticlimactic hour of TV. Seriously, this might have been the dullest episode of Bachelor In Paradise this season, and it was the season finale. A lot of it had to do with tying up loose ends, so it was never going to be the type of “holy s***” episode that could match what we got last night. Sure, there were breakups, but none as cataclysmic as Kirk and Carly’s. Instead, what we got was a more pragmatic approach to the final day in Paradise, as the couples looked into whether or not a relationship would be viable outside of this strange dynamic. In more than one case, the answer was yes. In fact, it was a big “yes” in every case but one, which made this a bit of a heartbreaker, considering that the couple that broke up was the only one I felt had a realistic shot at making it, provided they committed to each other seriously.

'Bachelor In Paradise' Season Finale Review Who Got Engaged (VIDEO)

Credit: ABC

Yes, sadly, it was curtains for Tenley and Joshua. I would be lying if I said their breakup wasn’t emotional, albeit for different reasons than the Kirk and Carly breakup. Whereas the latter was a case of shock and horrified heartache, the former was more a situation where two people came to a realistic conclusion about what they were capable of giving to a relationship. In short, Tenley realizes the relationship with Joshua can’t work, since they live too far apart, and their schedules simply wouldn’t allow for them to see one another with any kind of regularity. Joshua seems to want to try anyway, but Tenley comes to the conclusion that any relationship they have with one another will inevitably result in one of them moving away from their hometown to be with the other, and that could lead to resentment, considering how their hometowns are intrinsically linked to who they are as people. Tenley’s tearful declaration that she cares so deeply for Joshua is definitely a heartbreaker, especially when they say their final goodbyes. And yet, it’s hard to fault either of them for the decision they reached, since there isn’t a point in pursuing something that doesn’t have a realistic shot at working out. Still, I ached far more for Tenley than just about anyone else this season, considering how often she’s been through this rigmarole, and how much she comes across as someone who actually deserves to find happiness. I like Tenley a lot, and hope she’s able to find what she’s looking for someday. If nothing else, I hope she doesn’t feel she needs to come back to Paradise next year to find it.

As for the successful couples…well, “success” had different meanings for different people. Samantha accepted Nick’s final rose after talking herself into the absurd notion that she was actually here for Nick the entire time, saying he was her Prince Charming. I struggle to really see Samantha as anything approaching a real person at this point, considering how often she’s changed her mission statement this season. But at least Nick seems happy, in a sort of dumbfounded, “I can’t believe she said yes!” way. Then again, you never know. Maybe they do have a real connection. But those passionless kisses didn’t give me a whole lot of hope for their future (although I do love the notion of Joe watching this at home, and having a conniption fit over Samantha going to the Fantasy Suite with Nick). Strangely enough, Justin and Cassandra seemed just as passionless as Samantha and Nick, despite arguably having far more chemistry. Cassandra does accept Justin’s rose at the end, albeit after refusing to go to the Fantasy Suite with him due to how briefly they’ve known each other. But even in accepting his rose, she doesn’t seem entirely thrilled about the prospect of their future together. Which is shame, because I actually think they’re a pretty good match. At the very least, they seemed to like each other lot last night. I’m not sure what changed, if anything at all, but I’d be surprised now if they managed to last any length time at all.

Not so surprising, however, was the night’s big foregone conclusion: after declaring that he loved her in their Fantasy Suite, Tanner opted to forego giving Jade his final rose, in favor of giving her a wedding ring. Tanner’s proposal was far more emotionally affecting than I expected it to be, even knowing it was obviously going to happen. In a lot of ways, Tanner and Jade sort of ceased being significant characters on this show, and have instead filled separate supporting roles, so that the focus was never really on their relationship. Tanner became the pseudo-narrator of the show, giving his thoughts and opinions on everything going on. Meanwhile, Jade became the moral compass and emotional center, of sorts, offering support to people who were suffering in the home stretch of Paradise (such as Carly). Tanner loved Jade, Jade loved Tanner, and now they’re engaged to be married. That’s all we ever needed to know, because that was, apparently, all that was ever going to happen. It seemed written in the stars from day one, for better or worse. It makes for a dreadfully dull relationship to follow, but that doesn’t mean I’m not still happy for the couple. They really do seem like a good match. And, nearly as importantly, Chris Harrison can now brag about Bachelor In Paradise being two-for-two in producing at least one engagement per season! Maybe Tanner and Jade will be Trista and Ryan, or maybe they’ll be Chris Soules and Whitney Bischoff. It’s hard to say for sure. But good on them for finding something more than a lot of viewers would have expected them to.

Ultimately, this season of Bachelor In Paradise was a hot mess express, but an entertaining one. And, really, that’s all that matters when it comes to reality TV. Of course, finding love is the mission statement of this show, but when the drama was routinely as heightened as it was here, love sort of takes a back seat to chaos. That’s bad for the lovers in Paradise, and great for us viewers. At the very least, this eclipsed Season 1 in absolutely every respect. So…yeah, there’s that. I do hope the show comes back next year, post-show and all. This was a surprisingly fun little one-month ride.

But what did you think of the Bachelor In Paradise season finale? Sound off in the comments!

And for more on Bachelor In Paradise, check out the recap and videos of the biggest breakup in Bachelor franchise history!

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