The Bachelor season finale recap: Wave the Red Flag

Ben's "journey" ends with a proposal we all hoped he wouldn't make and a promise of "forever" -- which lasts about three minutes.
Ep. 11 | Aired Mar 12, 2012

MATTERHORNY: The Bachelor picks a ring for his beloved as the majestic mountain looms in the background

And forever ends... about three minutes later. As we can see from the previews for tonight's After the Final Rose special, today Ben and Courtney are more about tears and accusations than kisses and declarations of love. Harrison, for the love of God, please help us understand! "Just minutes ago, Ben Flajnik did what millions of viewers hoped he would not do," intones the host. "He proposed marriage to Courtney, the girl that the whole country loves to hate." Yeah, we remember. So how does he feel today, now that he's spent 10 weeks being made a fool of on national television? Ben, come on out here and spill! The Bachelor emerges to applause, though I'm guessing no one is clapping for his hair, which is longer and, amazingly, greasier than ever. Out of the gate, Harrison asks the million-dollar question: "Do you love the woman that you saw on TV?" The host does not get an answer, really; instead, Ben just acknowledges that it wasn't "the Courtney that I know," and it was "hard" to watch. He did listen to those multiple warnings, insists the Bachelor -- really it's the fault of the "ladies" that he kept on with Courtney; after all, they never really gave him anything concrete to work with. Still, Ben concedes that he found Courtney's antics embarrassing, and says he and the meanie model stopped speaking for "a period of time" while the show aired: "We were, essentially, broken up."

That revelation gives Harrison the perfect segue into the rumors of Ben's infidelities, fueled by tabloid reports and photos. Perhaps, then, Ben was using the old Ross Gellar "We were on a break!" excuse? Never! "On my father's grave, I haven't kissed another woman," insists the nervous Bachelor. "Those are friends from San Francisco, those are past photos, these are things that are just tabloid fodder." When pressed, Ben essentially tries to use the Jedi mind trick on Harrison, saying, "I'm not kissing those women in those photos." (Even though, again, this.) So back off! He and Courtney were so determined to quash the cheating rumors that she deliberately went out and tried on wedding dresses soon after the photos were published. Marvels a giddy Harrison, "You guys clearly are very weird." Or very good at following directions. (Nice move, Team Bachelor!)

After the commercial break, it's Courtney's turn to vent. She arrives to a mixed bag of applause and boos, which she calls "disappointing." While she feels partly responsible for America hating her ("I've got a little sass in me," she admits), mostly Courtney still just feels like a victim -- especially after Ben temporarily dumped her. He didn't even send her carnations on Valentines Day! "There were days where I just didn't leave the house... I laid there and cried," says Courtney, who claims she tried to get a hold of Ben, to no avail. "He abandoned me." [Some audience members cluck their tongues, and/or chuckle] Even so, she will not give up on her fairytale "forever" love. "We're together... I think," she says in her small voice, before breaking down. "I don't know... I'm not ready to turn my back on him. I'm willing to try." But is Ben?

NEXT: Courtney gets her ring back.

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