First, we check in with Katie Morton and Chris Bukowski. Their issue so far has been that Chris hasn’t been totally clear with his feelings, but he speaks up in the way Katie wants: telling her he wants to see “where we go from here.” (I feel like he's already been saying that, but sure.) Where they go from there is into the fantasy suite. Their relationship has for a long time seemed more mature and has moved more slowly than some of the others. I mean, these people are only in Paradise for a couple weeks.
Next up are Hannah Godwin and Dylan Barbour, who are taking things fast. “I’m insanely in love with you,” Dylan says. “I want to have a family with you.” Hannah agrees, but she says something about how she wants them to meet each other’s family and friends before getting engaged. They go in the fantasy suite.
Kristian Haggerty and Demi Burnett are also very much in love. Demi says that when she was on The Bachelor, she got a lot of comments about how she was “undeniably herself,” but she didn’t feel like that was true until now. They go in the fantasy suite.
Nicole Lopez-Alvar and Clay Harbor are last, and this relationship has had some red flags for a while now. Namely, commitment issues from Clay, which he can’t totally be blamed for because, again, they’re only on this beach for a couple weeks. He says he needs some time to think, so an upset Nicole tells him he better go then, and she takes over the fantasy suite for herself. As we see a montage of the other couples cuddling and making out, Nicole gazes at fireworks alone, a bucket of champagne sitting beside her.
The next day, Nicole and Clay are the first to meet at the beach for a potential proposal. She gives a speech about their (very short) history and how much she loves him, but ends it, saying, “I just need you to answer this one question … Do you love me?” Clay responds, “I’m not there yet.” He wants to date like normal people back home, but she won’t have it. “I deserve a love so deep the ocean would be jealous,” Nicole says. “You know or you don’t. That’s it Clay. I’m sorry.” She leaves.
In the drive away from the beach, Nicole says Clay “fooled” her into thinking he was falling in love, begging the question: What does it even mean to be “falling in love”? That can be any point between meeting someone and being in love with them, right? “Falling in love” as its own separate emotion is such a Bachelor thing. But, since it’s also a Nicole thing, I guess these two wouldn’t have worked out, anyway. During his ride away, Clay is very surprised by the turn of events — his offer was reasonable, after all. He jokes to the driver, “I’ll stop at the local pub.” (This is the last we hear from these two. They aren’t shown at the reunion.)
That leaves us with three. Katie is “giddy” when she wakes up next to Chris. In a confessional Chris “Verified Grown-Ass Man” Bukowski says that he’ll know in the moment if he’s going to propose to her. That makes it seem like he definitely shouldn’t, but he ends up going through with it, and it seems very genuine. “You make me feel calm, comfortable,” he says. “You make me feel like myself.” That’s pretty good! These things are usually much more corny. They both cry, and Katie accepts the proposal. Immediately after, Chris Harrison warns us that we’ll have to wait and see if they’re still together when we get to the reunion segment. Come on, dude! Let us have a moment.
Hannah and Dylan are next. They each give a nice, loving speech, but Hannah says that she’s apprehensive about getting engaged, because she’s “been burned in the past” when her dad gave his blessing. (This is about Colton Underwood, of course.) Dylan says that he wants to fly to Alabama right away and meet her family. This makes it seem like they’re going to leave together instead of getting engaged. But, Dylan says, “I can’t leave here without showing you how much I love you,” and then proposes. And she says yes. Uh… what? If this is their way of being honest in their feelings, but still getting that Neil Lane ring, I gotta respect it.
Kristian and Demi are last. Going in, these two have been super clear about being in love. It’s been less clear whether they want to get engaged. But, they can’t see their lives without one another. Demi tells Kristian, “I came here to find myself, but I found myself in you.” Then, Demi gets down on one need to propose, and Kristian says yes. They’re super excited afterward and Kristian tells the camera about the ring, “You have to get one, too.” Demi responds, “We’re working on that.” What? Neil Lane couldn’t get two rings in time? (Spoiler: This will be resolved soon.)
With that, Paradise is closed.
Also with that, there are still two hours of the show left, because it’s time for the (previously taped) reunion. Amid all the flashback montages, there actually are some surprises, as well as updates on which couples are still together.
The first hot seat interview with Chris Harrison goes to Blake Horstmann, who was the center of the drama on this season for so long, but that seems like years ago at this point. His conversation is primarily about him sharing the texts between himself and Caelynn Miller-Keyes after their Stagecoach hookup. He maintains that he shared them to defend himself against her claims that he (in his words) “sweet talked her into bed and then silenced her.”
She admits she overreacted to feeling ignored on the beach by making it seem that way, but she still never would have shared personal texts. Blake apologizes for the texts leading people to attack Caelynn about her sex life online, but he doesn’t apologize for actually posting the texts. This whole situation is messy from both sides, but it’s always seemed to me that Blake could have defended himself without posting texts. Even with them, it was still his word against hers since he was the one hand-picking which texts to post. He could have just posted a bunch of selfie mode Instagram stories of him explaining his side and gotten on with things.
On a completely different note, because, man, we have really exhausted Blake Horstmann talk this summer, Tayshia Adams and John Paul Jones are together. In the real world. For real. She realized she made a mistake by leaving Paradise without him, so she (and a camera crew) went to Maryland to get him back. Obviously, John Paul Jones was receptive. “Meet my girlfriend, isn’t she hot?” JPJ told the camera right away. Back in the studio, JPJ plays a prank on Tayshia, and all of us, by getting down on one knee... and reciting some lines from Hamlet, as is his way. Good for them. (Not for me. I’m sorry! I don’t see it!)
Another surprise comes when Carly Waddell and Evan Bass agree to have a “gender reveal” on the show. A giant fake cake is rolled onto the stage and Wells Adams pops out dressed in a blue onesie. “It’s a boy!” he exclaims. I really like Carly and Evan, but this is evidence that three hours for a finale is truly too long. We don’t need this!
Finally, we get updates from the three couples who got engaged:
Hannah and Dylan are still together. Hannah’s moving to California to be closer to him. (And, presumably, to career opportunities. Can’t blame her.)
Demi and Kristian are also still together. Demi moved to California to be closer to Kristian. Of their relationship Demi says, “The hate that we get is drowned out by all of the love,” which is so great to hear. They are the first same-sex relationship and engagement on an American Bachelor show, it's been so important to see on network television, and the show did well to treat it like any other relationship on the show. More than Stagecoach and Blake’s texts, that’s what this season will be remembered for. By the way, they get another Neil Lane ring! Kristian gets to propose to Demi this time. Tears are cried. Rose petals rain down on them.
And then there’s Katie and Chris. Things are… not going well. First, Katie talks to Chris Harrison and say she’s exhausted, because communication with Chris has been so hard. “I fell in love with potential that may never come to fruition, but I’m just praying it does,” she says. Oof. This whole thing is rough. She doesn’t even have her engagement ring on. When Chris comes out, it doesn’t get any better, but they both say they still want to make their relationship work. Then a production assistant has to bring Katie’s ring back out, which is just too much. (Also, why did they have it? She took it off and gave it to production?) We also get a look at Chris and Katie’s conversation backstage after their segment. Chris says he felt blindsided, basically, by her saying so much about how bad things are. “What was I supposed to do? Go up there and say, ‘I’m happy. Let’s have babies’?” Katie says as Chris walks away. Well, I’ve always said their relationship has seemed the most real. (And, real world update, they are still together, as Chris explained on Twitter.)
The last moment of the night is the reveal of the next Bachelor: Peter “Pete the Pilot” Weber. Pete always seemed nice on The Bachelorette, but this really should have been Mike Johnson’s season. May he and Demi Lovato have a nice life together, instead. (By the way, the inevitable windmill sex promos have already started.)
And that's it. Bachelor in Paradise season 6 is a wrap. Three couples came out of it engaged, and three more are still dating. That's a lot! Now we just have to see where things stand a year from now. Some could end up married... and some could end up on the beach yet again.