Looks like we made it, rose lovers! And I'm experiencing a new sensation when it comes to a Bachelor season finale: satisfaction. Honestly, it's a little disorienting and I'm feeling a bit woozy, so please forgive me if I have to take a break at some point and go lie down.
The final step of our "journey" begins in Cape Town, South Africa, which is truly one of the most beautiful places I've ever been. It's there that Brad first sees his family, and he holds it together just long enough to get a hug from his mom before totally breaking down. It is then that we get the first and only Bachelor Balcony Cry (trademark pending) of the evening, as Brad hunches over the railing and tries to shake off all these confusing emotions. Once he's calmed down, Brad's twin brother Chad -- who, by the way, doesn't look all that much like Brad, which made that whole "can you tell us apart" gag from Brad's first season pretty pointless -- asks if he's ready to propose. Survey says: YES! (Like, duh.)
Mama Womack, bless her heart, has her game face on for her son, despite having gone through this ritual farce once before in 2007. "We were all apprehensive about the girl we were going to meet because of the hurt he went through the first time, because we lived it," says Pamela. "If he was with someone that we didn't think was right for him, then we would let him know, and we have done that." Well, Mom, you may get a chance to relive that experience because here comes Chantal, toting a bottle of wine (what else?) in a green gift bag. Chantal begins talking a thousand miles a minute, telling the family about how she fell in love with Brad when they got rained on in Costa Rica, and oh, by the way, they just "talked for several hours" when they went back to his hotel room. Brothers Chad and Wes pull her aside to do have the protective "are you for real?" conversation, and they find Chantal's insistence that she'd get married to Brad on the spot encouraging rather than off-putting. Mama seems to be a little more skeptical, and her one-on-one with Chantal begins point blank: "I have to ask, how did you fall in love so quick?" The ever-garrulous bachelorette (perhaps fueled by her Cougar Town-sized glass of wine) chatters on and on and on about how she learned so much from her divorce and her heart is so open and yada yada yada, and eventually the conversation devolves into a lovefest with Pamela calling Chantal "precious" and declaring, "I can see you to the end, and I hope that I do." Nice work, girl! You're mama approved -- Emily may as well just go home now. Of course, we're barely half an hour into the show; I suppose there's a slight chance this is more red herring than done deal…
NEXT: Emily makes Team Womack cry