Welcome back to The Bachelor, the only show where "love" actually means "like like — kind of."
Last week, Arie let Kendall off the island just before he detonated a nuclear bomb on Becca and Lauren's respective faces.
But let's start at the beginning.
This week, Arie's little Dutch family flew in from, I'm assuming, Amsterdam. Like most Europeans, the elder generation had accents and airs shaped by socialism. They are tasked with helping their hapless son choose between Becca and the refurbished corpse of Sleeping Beauty. They choose Becca, but just barely. In fact, Arie's father tells Becca he would honestly be fine with either of them, which is the opposite of how Arie feels.
Thus begins the two least important days of Arie's life.
The first last date belongs to Lauren. Arie keeps gushing about how she has finally opened up to him but he must be referring to a covert handy she gave him on the train to Machu Picchu because she still seems to have the most basic grasp of the English language.
Machu Picchu is beautiful. It's so beautiful that I am tempted to chalk up Arie and Lauren's protracted silence to their awe— but, alas, I know too much.
It's important to note that Arie's sister brought up the fact that Arie hadn't been able to have conversations with many of the women he dated in the past and that perhaps, having 25 women to choose from, he would finally be able to remedy that trend.
The lack of shame with which Arie acknowledges the truth of that statement immediately explains to me why he likes Lauren so much. Being able to carry on a conversation is a plus, not a necessity for this man, who will only ever truly love cars and motorboats.
That night, at dinner, Arie asks Lauren how she sees their future together. She says "breakfast, bring our dogs outside to take a shit, go to work, come home and eat dinner, go to bed." Arie gasps as he realizes that's exactly the future he pictured with Lauren.
Then they make out a bunch because they have run out of words to speak to one another in any order that makes sense and then they say I love you so much I love you so much I love you so much and then Arie goes home to his Peruvian cabin in the woods.
The next day, Arie does it all again with Becca, minus Machu Picchu and plus compound sentences.
All of a sudden, the journey comes to a merciful (for us) end and Arie is left alone with his crippling fear of death.
Throughout all of this, the camera has been cutting away to Chris Harrison live in front of what I can only assume is a crowd of actors who are paid to pretend they care. Feigned stoicism belies unadulterated joy as Chris Harrison speaks of the "scandalous actions and heartbreak" we are about to witness. This episode has been Chris Harrison's version of tying a belt around your neck and ferociously masturbating until just before you pass out. Nothing makes him harder than a beautiful woman without doubts who is about to have her entire world crushed.
And this season is delivering not one but two bodies.
That's right. During the final rose ceremony, Arie breaks Lauren's heart when he tells her she will never get to join him and his dog on one of their daily shit walks. Lauren is understandably confused, especially when Arie says, "Goodbye and I love you."
Arie explains that he really wasn't positive what he was going to do until like three minutes before he did it, and explanation that doesn't fly super well with Lauren who is like, how can you propose to Becca when you literally have no idea what you want?
Great question, Lauren, and let me tell you the answer right now — six figures and a very tiny conscience.
Becca gets the proposal and the two of them leap around a Peruvian field screaming, a performance that Becca will very much come to regret in about two weeks.
Because two weeks after Arie proposed to Becca, he changes his mind. And ABC punishes us all by forcing us to watch a 20 minute long unedited clip of their breakup interrupted only by three separate commercial breaks.
And here I was under the impression that Jesus Christ died on the cross for our sins.
But it's still not over yet. Tomorrow we will find out whether or not Lauren has even a tiny modicum of self-respect or if she runs back to her 36-year-old lover who broke her heart the national television.
Thanks for reading. Now please, everyone go read a novel.