"The Bachelor" franchise has given us nearly every scenario possible when it comes to happy (and unhappy endings.) Premature proposals? Check. Broken engagements? Check. On-camera fiancee switcheroos? Check. Indecisive bachelors who send both finale hopefuls home? Check.
But this week's episode of "The Bachelorette" may just take the cake. That's because, amid a Caribbean background and a soundtrack that seemed to consist of an entire George Winston album, this season's prize, Desiree Hartsock, got her heart broken big time.
Yes, instead of Des doing the dream-squashing (you know, the way it's supposed to be), Brooks turned the tables and told her the awful truth: He's just not that into her. The extended segment (wow, it was really, really long) featured the full spectrum of emotions: joy (for a millisecond, when Des first saw her man), panic, sadness, denial, anger, guilt, and, in the end, disgust.
In a nutshell -- and after a check-in with Chris Harrison, Relationship Expert -- Brooks came to the conclusion that Des isn't the love of his life and those many, many moments away from her didn't actually bum him out. In fact, it was a case of out of sight, out of mind, honey.
But now that she was in his sight, Brooks was stunned to learn that Des actually loved him. On this show, the star isn't allowed to say those words just yet -- that's saved for finale night along with some Neil Lane bling -- but since the rules were already tossed out the window with this bombshell, Des threw caution to the wind and told her heartbreaker the horrid truth.
"It just sucks that I loved you. I do love you. I do. I can say it -- I don't care. I don't care that you just broke my heart," she told him defiantly. "I love you."
It was a sassy, sad moment on a show that usually feels painfully scripted. But this felt real. Even Brooks' tears, which at first seemed forced, were the real deal by the end. The dude felt bad. He had secretly assumed (or hoped) that his revelation would be no biggie, especially since Des had Drew and Chris waiting in the wings.
But Des had a newsflash for him: "Do you want to know why I was conflicted throughout this whole thing?" she bawled. "Because I didn't want to share my heart -- I wanted to give it to you!"
Of course, now "The Bachelorette" star is in a pickle. The stuff she said about Drew and Chris, how she wished she was with Brooks when she was stuck with them, can't be taken back. If she's with one of them now, it was undoubtedly a very awkward viewing party as they watched the Brooks breakup scene together.
Later, after a shamed Brooks departed, Des said to the cameras, "It breaks my heart knowing I have two amazing, unreal guys who do want to love me, and who do love me. But I just can't love them as much as I know I have to give, and that's not what they deserve. Honestly, for me, it's over."
But is it? Because on a show that's famous for fake outs, it ain't over 'til it's over.
Part 2 of the season finale of "The Bachelorette" Season 9 airs on Monday, Aug. 5 at 8 p.m. ET on ABC.
More from this contributor:
- Arts & Entertainment