Seven episodes and 14 hours later… we’ve reached the season finale of this dramatic season. It’s kept us on edge, kept us screaming at the TV and has left us with some pretty entertaining moments (“stalaglites”), but now it all comes to an end. Chris Harrison started off the episode by letting the final 12 they’re about to be put to the test. While some couples seem pretty sure they can make it work post-Paradise, others (like Michelle) are much more confused. The guys and girls split up and immediately started to talk through their relationships and if they’re “there” yet, but some were definitely still in the getting-to-know-each-other phase.
While AshLee was yammering on about how awesome her relationship is with Graham, he was telling the guys that there are still things he wants and needs to learn about her, but Michelle saw right through it all. Michelle went off to talk to Graham about AshLee, while AshLee was blissfully unaware (or just completely fake) about what Michelle was going to say. When AshLee was singing Michelle’s praise, she started crying, which made us think that she was a little more afraid than she was letting the cameras know. Lacy tried to pry any laden fears from AshLee, but she didn’t seem to be letting that guard down. Meanwhile, Michelle was telling Graham how fake she thought AshLee was. Graham took the news better than you’d expect, but he still had some talking to do with AshLee to see for himself. Graham took AshLee aside to talk to her about their future, saying he was worried about them outside of Paradise. She tried to make herself seem less crazy, saying that she wanted to just see how it goes outside of Paradise, but Graham told her flat out that he didn’t want to continue their relationship. Obviously taking a lot of stock in what Michelle said, Graham broke it off, but didn’t feel the relief he was expecting after doing so. AshLee tried to make a dramatic turnaround “I don’t want it to be like this,” but Graham just hugged her and sent her on her merry way, while giving the camera a speech about pursuing the need to love someone and be loved. Michelle went to console Graham while AshLee was off crying and being consoled by Jackie. After her embarrassing breakup, AshLee left Paradise in tears. After Graham said his goodbyes, he left Paradise too.
Michelle went back to the girls even more confused, giving the rest of the group something to be concerned about too, not knowing where they all stand. Cody was worried that he and Michelle might not work. Tasos sat down with Christy and they amicably broke their relationship off too, with Jackie and Zack following close behind on the separation. Knowing that timing was a bit of a factor while remembering that Chris sort of implied it should be marriage or nothing at this point, some of these couples had to let it go. Sarah and Rob seemed to be pretty solid, as did match-made-in-heaven Lacy and Marcus, but Michelle was having some serious doubts.
Michelle complained a bit more about her feelings and how this isn’t the way she should have to choose love (yet she’s back on the show…), but decided she needed to talk to her daughter and get some perspective—which she totally got from the insightful nine-year-old Brielle on the other line. Giving some seriously sound advice (where the heck is this kid in my life?!), Michelle decided to take a leap of faith and spend more time with Cody. Just then, Chris walked in and was happy to see the couples left standing. Giving them the opportunity to take “the next step,” Chris gave each couple one more overnight date to try and figure out where these relationships are going in their regular everyday lives.
Everyone started their dates off on a high note, but Marcus was hoping for Lacy to say a little something to him, while Michelle was hoping for some clarity with Cody. Sarah and Rob started their date off with Sarah hoping for some serious romance with Rob, who seemed to be looking forward to the same thing. After some wine, they went for a dip in the hot tub (complete with smooching) before moving to the hotel room to get to know one another a bit better.
On Lacy and Marcus’ date, Marcus was dishing out adorable compliments about how much he loved her, but Lacy seemed to be holding back saying things like “you complete me” and “my heart is all yours,” but she finally said it to him, and their disgustingly cute love reigned on into the late-night date.
Michelle told Cody how safe and loved she felt with Cody, including her fears with moving forward with someone given that she has a child, but Cody was willing to do whatever it took to be with her and make her happy. Michelle decided she wanted to spend the night with Cody—but made it very clear he wasn’t getting laid—to try and get a better sense of how she should move forward with Cody, or if she should nip it in the bud now.
The next morning, Marcus and Lacy walked out with that post-love-making glow (even though they just stayed up all night “talking”—riiiight). Rob seemed to have an amazing night with Sarah, as did Michelle and Cody, who as it happens, might have done a little more than talking. But as everyone was gushing about their loves and their nights together, Sarah started sharing her doubts saying that their night was “off.” Sarah admitted that though they were doing some kissing, he wanted to go to bed early and even slept in his jeans, not wanting to be physical at all. Sarah felt rejected and dejected when her date night with Rob didn’t go as planned and left her much more confused than she was before.
Michelle went on and on about how Cody’s muscles weren’t the only thing that was big while Sarah literally got shut down when she tried to unbuckle Rob’s jeans. Sarah pulled him aside (not sure if he has a penis) to let him know how she was feeling based on their date night dud. Sarah expressed her concerns about being in a fantasy suite with a guy who didn’t want to touch her, but Rob seemed genuinely happy with their date together. Rob took Sarah’s feelings to heart and even started getting teary-eyed (poor guy), but instead of trying again with Rob and letting him state his case better, Sarah decided to break it off. Breaking alllll of our hearts (why can’t the underdogs find love?!?!?), Rob left Paradise while the girls ran down to the beach to console Sarah. Rob admitted he was scared of diving into a relationship, but was no less sad to be leaving without Sarah (though our theory is that maybe he wasn’t as into Sarah as we all thought, but didn’t want to be the bad guy), and Sarah was going back and forth with whether or not she made the right decision.
Walking hand-in-hand, the last two couples standing—Lacy and Marcus and Michelle and Cody—met up with Chris. Wanting to show the couples how life can be post-Paradise, he brought on three past couples—Sean and Catherine, Desiree and Chris and Trista and Ryan—to give the remaining contestants some insight. After sitting down with everyone, the verdict seemed to be unanimous that the remaining four were truly in love.
Having one last (unnecessary) rose ceremony, Cody and Michelle offered each other their final roses (Cody got kinda choked up—it was so cute), along with some heartfelt love-professing and ended their time in Paradise hoping to continue their relationship. They kept kissing and kissing and kissing until they finally left Paradise together, hand-in-hand. Marcus and Lacy were up next, and Marcus was a little sweaty, but requested a moment alone with Lacy before the roses.
Marcus took Lacy down to the beach to tell her face-to-face how much he loves her and how great his experience has been with her. Getting seriously choked up, Marcus professed his undying love to Lacy and then got down on one knee and PROPOSED (honestly, if you didn’t see this coming, you weren’t watching the show right). Saying a breathless, happy “YES!” the roses weren’t even needed, followed by hugs all around from the past couples still lingering. Chris still made them exchange roses (really, Chris?), which, compared to the rock Marcus gave Lacy was absolutely NOTHING, but the show ended on a high note, even though some couples didn’t make it until the end.
Coming up roses: Michelle & Cody,
Paradise pairings: Lacy & Marcus, Michelle & Cody
Kiss count: Sarah & Rob, Lacy & Marcus, Michelle & Cody (Episode-3; Season-27)
Late-night date count: Sarah & Rob, Lacy & Marcus, Michelle & Cody (Episode-3; Season-5)
Cry count: AshLee, Graham, Michelle, Rob, Sarah, Lacy, Marcus (Episode-7; Season-22)
Catfight count: NOT NEARLY ENOUGH THIS SEASON (Episode-0; Season-2)