It really was the most shocking finale ever, as Jason, the biggest tool in ''Bachelor'' history, breaks the land-speed record for relationship flameouts by dumping Melissa ''After the Final Rose''

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March 13, 2015 at 09:54 PM EDT

Okay, so here’s the good news: For once, the hyperbole was true — it really was the ”most dramatic season finale in Bachelor history.” And now for the bad news: As it turns out, Ty’s father is an even bigger jackass than we thought. Honestly, my heart just breaks for that kid.

It’s not like we hadn’t been warned by Reality Steve. Still, up until tonight, I couldn’t quite believe the rumors were true. After all, the producers have promised ”heart-stopping” shocks countless times before and they’ve never delivered, so why would this time be any different? I’m not a conspiracy theorist, though, and I don’t believe producers scripted this or any other finale — if they were in the habit of fixing the Bachelor’s ”journey,” they’d make sure it ended with an insane twist every year. Nope, I think this season they just got lucky — lucky enough to find a Bachelor with a spectacular lack of judgment and self-awareness, and they simply edited his idiotic actions into the most compelling, surprising narrative possible. Once team Bachelor learned that Jason wanted to dump Melissa, did they encourage him to do it on-camera rather than in private like a decent human being? I’m sure they did. But he didn’t have to say yes. As annoyed as we all may be at the outcome, my friends, the producers were simply doing their job: making good TV. Jason might be contractually obligated to have a final rose ceremony — as former Bachelor Brad Womack contests — and he’s no doubt obligated to appear on the After the Final Rose special. He is not, however, contractually obligated to act like an a–hole — I believe he managed to do that all by himself.

But I’m getting ahead of myself. Let’s go back to the beginning of tonight’s ”journey” and work through our feelings about The Great Bachelor Implosion of 2009 together. We open on a beautiful New Zealand beach, where Jason and Ty have a tearful reunion in the sand. The poor little dude has been shipped half way across the world to meet one of the two ”ladies” his daddy is thinking about marrying. ”It’s so important that I make the right choice,” says Jason. ”And I’m just at the point now where Ty, in his own way, will help me figure it out.” Melissa is first to take the toddler test, and though she is nervous about meeting Ty, she gives off a cuddly, kindergarten teacher vibe that kids respond to — and she was also smart enough to come prepared with an arsenal of knock-knock jokes. Ty seems comfortable enough with Melissa, even when Jason leaves the two of them alone while he fetches a lamb off camera. During those 30 seconds, she manages to keep Ty from choking on his own tongue or otherwise harming himself, so I’m pretty sure that makes her Bachelor-certified stepmom material.

The real test is next. Once Ty goes down for his nap, Jason brings Melissa to meet his mom, dad, brothers, and sister-in-law. Jason’s family grills her on all the predictable topics: meeting Ty, moving to Seattle, her feelings for Jason. They all eye her warily, especially when the topic of her MIA parents comes up. Melissa’s defense: ”Am I OK that they potentially could not meet him before this process is over? No.” Once they’re alone, Mama Mesnick continues to hammer Melissa about her family, prompting the anxious ex-cheerleader to start talking really fast about how close she is with her parents and what ”happy people” they are.

NEXT PAGE: Jason’s mom sets the feminist movement back 60 years

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