The Bachelor Season 28 Finale: Joey Proposes, Daisy Produces

The Bachelor

Finale & After the Final Rose

Season 28

Episode 11

Editor’s Rating

3 stars

Photo: ABC

It has been a minute since I’ve had to watch the bizarre ritual of a Live Most Dramatic Ever Bachelor Finale. I forgot about all the longing looks off balconies in Tulum. I forgot about all the moments where the ladytestants hold their dress up to their face like they’re doing the most busted color analysis in the world. Am I a Winter? Or a Bright Spring? Or a Neutral Jovani? I forgot about the moment when one ladytestant produces her own Bachelorette audition tape and completely hijacks the most unabashedly romantic proposal we’ve seen in years. Wait … that last one doesn’t sound right.

Daisy put her producer hat on this episode, and it was truly a wild choice. Like, I guess it was heartwarming that Daisy and Kelsey rode to the final proposal together but … wha? Wha? Is this a girl-power move or a careful plot to manufacture a little drama in the finale and for Daisy to craft her narrative for The Bachelorette? This certainly doesn’t look good to all the Daisy’s-not-here-for-the-right-reasons truthers out there, and I’m a little inclined to believe them now. Starting at Hometowns, whenever Daisy had to explain how Joey made her feel or what she liked about him, it was all about how he’s changed her life and given her new confidence and how her standard of relationships has changed after being with him. Everything she said was about what she’d take with her going forward, and Joey never seemed to be on that list until later in the season.

But the real error isn’t Daisy attempting to produce her own segment like she’s Heather Gay on Real Housewives of Salt Lake City. It’s that Daisy’s story was already narratively complete. She came, she realized she wasn’t the one, she left in an SUV. I have no lingering questions about Daisy that would be best explored on a season of The Bachelorette. She girlbossed too hard. She if you love something, let it go-ed too close to the sun. She scripted herself into a corner. “If I love the wrong person this much, imagine how much I can love the right person.” Please excuse my French, but get the fuck outta here. Screenwriters, this is what we protested against, non-union Bachelor contestants wielding AI to write dialogue.

There are so very many parts to this Most Dramatic History-Making Live Bachelor Finale that it’s almost overwhelming to talk about them all. And it was all capped off with the most baffling (but actually history-making) Bachelorette reveal that I don’t think anyone on this planet Earth expected. So, one more time, let’s get into it.

It’s time for history to be made. Lea is wearing some absolutely absurd faux-fur sleeves. Gabby and her non–Bachelor Nation girlfriend are in the audience along with Pilot Rachel, who will be providing the commedia dell’arte faces for the evening’s performance. Jesse lets us know that something that’s never happened before will happen tonight. Joey is getting ready for the biggest week of his life by writing in the biggest notebook I’ve ever seen in my life. I think it’s one of those thick-ass sketchbooks. He’s going to be taking both women to meet his family, and again, as a person who knows absolutely nothing about Joey and has not made any effort to find out, to learn that he is a Man of Sisters makes total sense. Being a Man of Sisters gives a guy a certain awareness of Disney Channel Original Movies and American Girl Dolls that really pays off. Combine that with Rustic Gemstone Jewelry and Linen Tunic Mom, and you’ve got the most emotionally intelligent Bachelor we’ve ever seen.

First up is Daisy, and honestly, she crushes it. How many of our second-place finishers crush it with the family? She sits down with his sisters and says that she’s in love with Joey but she hasn’t told him yet and if he proposed, she’d 100 percent say yes. Joey’s sisters report back to him that Daisy is all in and Joey talks about how much of a struggle this is going to be. I think throughout the episode, Joey isn’t describing a struggle to decide between the two women, but a struggle to figure out how to break up with Daisy. He keeps talking about how someone is going to be heartbroken after being all in, and he knows it’s Daisy.

When Daisy sits down with Joey’s mom, his mom asks what makes Daisy unique and I cackled. I, too, would like to know, Joey’s mom. Daisy says that she loves very deeply, she loves very big, and she doesn’t give up on herself or other people. OH. OKAY THEN. The sit-down ends with Joey’s mom telling her that she would be honored if Daisy were her daughter-in-law and everyone is crying. Daisy gets the seal of approval.

Then it’s time for Kelsey’s visit with the family and, y’all … his parents know. Joey is staring deeply into Kelsey’s eyes when they first sit down, and later, she gently wipes a little bit of lipstick off his face and you see his mom lean into his dad and beam. He is SMITTEN. His family wants to know if Kelsey is in it for the long haul. A rapid-fire theory: Whoever the lead ends up with has a harder time with the family because the family can tell just how in love they are and wants to “make sure” the front-runner is ready for the incoming proposal, so they press a little harder with the questions. Boom!

When Kelsey sits down with Joey’s sisters, she says that she wants to choose Joey every day and she doesn’t feel the need to be married, but it’s all about the right person. The subtext that never gets said out loud is that Joey is that person, so the narrative swiftly becomes, “Is Kelsey an infatuation?” Well, considering Kelsey breaks down anytime she even thinks about not ending up with Joey, I’m gonna say no.

It’s time for the final dates. Another sign that Joey isn’t going to end up with Daisy is that he gives her the poorly explained/represented Indigenous ritual where they do not touch or speak to each other. Joey says it’s because he knows Daisy is spiritual (which is hilarious because she’s wearing a prominently featured cross necklace the whole episode), but we all know it’s because Joey can close his eyes and imagine he’s three days into the future after he’s had to break up with Daisy. All of this silence and not touching allows Daisy’s mind to do a close reading of every interaction she’s had with Joey. She says that she wants to tell him but it hurts and a producer asks, “What hurts?” Daisy says, “That he’s not sure of me.” Oh, sweetie.

At the end of the ceremony, they have to toss a piece of copal into the fire and basically make a wish. Daisy’s wish is to grow and learn together with Joey and Joey’s wish is, “We both find happiness, either together or apart.” NOW JOEY!!! That is a breakup. But it gets worse. At the evening portion of the date, Daisy decides to tell Joey that she’s in love with him and Joey reacts by holding his face completely still and staring at her until she’s done talking. He then tells her to be grateful for what they’ve built together. And that is a picture-in-picture of Pilot Rachel hiding her face in her hands and mouthing “That’s bad” to Gabby.

It’s at this point that Daisy realizes it’s not going to be her and she breaks out the storyboards and starts plotting her main-character moment.

It’s time for Joey’s final date with Kelsey, who gets the more glamorous and romantic spa day. They’re basically just kicking their feet and giggling while spa staff scrubs them. The real amazing thing is the evening portion of their date. Whenever Kelsey says that she’s anxious thinking about not being chosen or starts to tear up thinking about it, Joey tells her, “I don’t want you to think about that.” He says over and over, “I don’t want you to doubt.” That’s him telling her “YOU WON!!! I AM GOING TO PROPOSE TO YOU!!! Just chill out for 12 more hours. You can do this!” Like … it’s them. It’s THEM! Then Kelsey says, “I want you to know how much I love you, how clearly I can see you and I at the end of this and after this, ten years from now. I can’t get enough. I want to do all the little things, cook breakfast in the morning, wake up next to you, be in your corner, be your best friend. I wanna support you, I want it to be you.” I know the women can’t propose on The Bachelor, but Kelsey just fucking did. Honestly, I want to have my college roommate read that at my wedding. “Love is patient, love is kind, love wants to cook breakfast in the morning.”

It’s the morning of the engagements and Kelsey is strolling around the hotel grounds in her bridal-white feather gown and Daisy is not even dressed yet, lololololol. Daisy has ceased to give a fuck about the competition, but she will be delivering three more scenes. So she goes to Kelsey’s hotel room to ask Kelsey how she’s doing and Kelsey is like, “Suuuuuper great, why girlfriend?” Hahahahaha.

Time for the proposal. Kelsey’s in the car … wait, Daisy’s in the car … THEY’RE IN THE CAR TOGETHER. Why was this necessary? Why did Daisy have to be involved in Kelsey’s proposal at all? Blah, blah, blah, girls’ girl shit, whatever. Do what you got to do, but I’m really confused why Daisy and Kelsey needed to ride together. Because that just means that Kelsey had to wait around in the SUV while Daisy did her little Crazy Rich Asians mahjong scene. Joey asks if he can walk her out and she says, “I think it’s something I should do on my own.” I know she thought she ate that.

Daisy tells Kelsey that her mom would be so proud of her and she would be so happy. That is … almost too emotional for me or anyone else to handle.

It’s time for Kelsey. FINALLY. KELSEY. Joey immediately launches into his proposal speech and doesn’t even let Kelsey say anything. This man is ready. He says there have been tough decisions throughout this journey and today is difficult, but there’s nothing difficult about choosing her. He can’t wait another minute to tell her he loves her. He says he feels a strong flame and it’ll never go out because she’s his light. He always wanted a beautiful life and he didn’t know how beautiful life could be until he met her. WILL YOU MARRY ME??? AAAAAAHHHHH!!!!!! HER DAD, MARK!!! HIS MOM, CATHY!!! KELSEY!!!!! JOEY!!! They did it! They fucking did it! I have never seen a proposal so unproblematic, so loving, so sweet, so giddy in my or my new immune system’s lifetime. We did it! We fucking did it!!

Then there’s the After the Final Rose but … nothing happens. Daisy comes out looking like she’s been trying every service at her local salon and is so smiley I thought for a second she was going to be announced as the Bachelorette. There’s no drama between her and Joey and she says she’s also not interested in dating so she’s out when it comes to the next Bachelorette. Kelsey comes out to join Joey and immediately starts crying. They’re so in love. You ever know a couple that is so in love it’s looped back around to boring? That’s Joey and Kelsey. ABC gifts them a stay in Jasper. Remember when the show gave Nayte and Michelle $20K for a house? No reason.

It’s finally time. Your new Bachelorette is … Jenn?

Jenn? Like, Jenn-Jenn?

Pros: She’s our first Asian American Bachelorette, and honestly, that rules and we should have had one a long time ago. She’s ready to be the main character when Asian Americans have been sidelined in the media.

Cons: She tries to make several jokes and literally none of them are funny. Jesse asks her what she’s looking for in a man and she delivers, “A big … big … big … personality” to complete and total silence. Not even a titter from the crowd. When she says “cheeky banter,” what does she mean? Is the banter in the room with us? Love Island convinced hot people that they were also funny and now we’re all paying the price. Jenn ends her introduction by saying that she’s pioneered “Shot O’Clock” at her house and, oh boy … we’re in for a season. 

Congratulations, Kelsey and Joey!

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