Chris Soules has 48 hours to decide between Whitney and Becca (though his number one girl will always be Arlington).
Credit: Nicole Kohl/ABC
4. Season 5 (Jesse Palmer)

Nine weeks ago, I stepped out of the limo in a too-short dress and asked you all for a shot at becoming your wife recapper. In that moment, I asked that you all consider pulling a Desiree. After saying goodbye to Brooks, you are left to decide if this Chris deserves your final rose. And now, we’re here. I know that I have made mistakes along the way, but there are a few things I know for sure: My voice is at least three octaves deeper than Whitney’s, I’ve never picked an onion, and I shower regularly. So with that final pitch, I’ll let you consider your decision while Chris considers his.

Just in case you all thought they hadn’t played up the small town angle enough this season, cast your worries aside, because we are back in Arlington, and this time, we get to watch as Chris walks through his snowy fields in nothing but a peacoat and some loafers. In other words, Iowa hates what Hollywood has done to him right now.

Currently, Chris is searching for clarity as he falls in love with two women. HE COULD GO IN EITHER DIRECTION. Because, you know, that’s something your future wife always likes to hear: You really didn’t know that you loved her enough even 48 hours before your engagement.

While Chris sits with his eager family, Whitney gets ready in the hopping metropolis of Dubuque, Iowa, before taking a ride to Chris’ family house. I love how the car drops the women a good 50 feet from Chris so that they can get that classic “running through the snow in heels while holding stuff” moment on camera. Totally worth risking a broken limb for that one, am I right?

Arriving in flannel—and saying things like “gosh darn”—Whitney has clearly brought her A game. Well, except for the time she says his “family are so warm.”

Sitting down with the family, Whitney does what she does best what she’ll never stop doing: She talks. First, she tells the story of how she and Chris made a baby, and then she moves to how she used to watch the show with her friends (who think she’s just perfect for Chris). But wait. Put down that food, Soules family. You can’t eat just yet, because Whitney has more talking to do! Although, this is a welcome interruption when she brings tears to Chris’ parents’ eyes when she tells them that she loves their son. (And only then are they allowed to drink.)

When Chris’ sisters take Whitney aside, Whitney continues talking. Fun fact: Apparently her voice never gets hoarse. As Kelsey would say, we’re all, as viewers, #immeasurablyblessed.

Sitting with his sisters, Whitney explains that she’s ready to move to Arlington, start a family, and have a new set of parents to call mom and dad. And the sisters are eating it up. Heck, they’ll even miss her when she leaves.

But it seems that the sisters are perhaps more in love with Whitney than Chris. Sitting down with their brother, they all but inform him that Whitney is the one when Chris starts defending Becca. Sure, Becca might not be as unwavering in her love for Chris, but Chris says their chemistry is hard to find. Plus, he thinks she’s “witty and charming.” And if he thinks Becca is witty, he clearly loves her.

But Chris’ sisters don’t seem to care about all of Becca’s “cool qualities.” They—and by they, I mean Lori—think the fact that Chris can’t articulate what he loves about Becca is a red flag. In that case, this entire, incredibly inarticulate season has been one enormous red flag.

Random aside/burning question: Now seeing Chris’ family, where does he get that laugh?! I need someone to blame.

NEXT: Chris’ family thinks Becca is funny

Sitting down with Chris’ adorable mother, Whitney explains why she KNOWS she’s in love with Chris. Because he makes her feel like she’s the only girl in the world. Also, he makes her happy from the “bottom of my soul.” And for those of you wondering, last time we saw Whitney, we were measuring our souls in inches. Now it’s ounces, and Whitney loves Chris with every ounce of that soul of hers. And so does his mother. Chris’ mom eats it up, hoping “Christopher” makes the right decision. “He will,” Whitney says, with just a hint of an evil twinkle in that eye.

After saying goodbye to Whitney and her more-than-ready-to-have-kids-tomorrow uterus, Chris and all of the Soules men head into the garage to talk things out. And by talk things out, I mean that Chris tells them that they really can’t talk until they meet Becca. So for now, we’ll have to settle for Chris’ brother-in-law asking if Becca is playing hard to get and if that’s pulling Chris in. His answer? We’ll never know. So, that conversation was a complete waste of time.

Now, we turn our attention to Becca, who wants to know she’s in love before she moves, and right now, all she can say is that she’s falling in love. But it’s a risk Chris is willing to take for the way he feels about her. And considering she didn’t turn around and leave him after that goofy wave, I think it’s safe to say this girl is (unknowingly) in love.

In the hour’s most exciting twist so far, Becca brings cookies instead of flowers to meet the family—gasp!—and clearly, it was the right choice, because after only a few moments, she has everyone laughing. Yes, you read that right. Becca has this family cracking up! What is happening?!

Talking about her last trip to Arlington’s “downtown,” and how she’d love to bring back the whole convention of “getting mail,” Becca has the family in stitches… until it’s her turn to talk to the sisters.

Becca, being completely honest, tells the Soules Sister Unit that she’s not “there” yet. She knows Whitney is ready for marriage and babies, but she’s not. If Chris picks her, they will have to have a long-distance relationship between Iowa and California until she’s confident enough to make the move. In other words, this is what a healthy relationship outlook looks like, America. Take it all in.

But Lori’s concerned that this is just another case of “She’s just not that into him.” Chris understands but tells his sisters that Becca is worth the risk. Yeah, that’s great and all, but Lori would like the mic back, Chris.

Taking no prisoners, Lori tells her brother that it’s time to ask the hard questions and get some answers. And instead of explaining that Becca is new to this whole “love” thing, Chris sits quietly while Lori makes sure he understands that now is the time to find out how serious Becca is about marriage. You know, because actually taking time and dating someone is just absurd.

Moving on to Becca’s time with Chris’ mother, Mama Linda Soules jumps right into the issue at hand: If Becca had two days to make a decision about Arlington or the relationship would end, what would Becca do? Becca admits that she felt that way last week when she thought she was going home and she was “miserable.” And as Chris’ mom so sweetly informs her: That feeling is “love.” And mom knows, because she’s feeling it right now as she gently brushes Becca’s hair away from her face.

Becca then admits that she’s more worried about Chris than anyone else, and once again, mom informs her that what she’s feeling is love. Then shit gets real when mom tells Becca, “I can feel that it’s up to you.” Basically, if Becca says she’s in, Chris will pick her. That’s what mom sees. She then tells Becca that she can’t go through life without putting herself out there, leaving us with one final thought: Becca is in love, but she just doesn’t recognize it yet. (I love this woman. Can I pay her to be my life coach?)

NEXT: Who’s ready for a Q&A?

At the end of the night, Becca is overwhelmed with decisions while Chris’ family has come to a conclusion: Basically, this is the classic tale of the head versus the heart. As Chris’ dad puts it, Whitney is a sure thing, but Becca is who Chris loves. [Insert dramatic music here.] As far as dad’s concern, he thinks his son is going to take the risky path.

Back in Dubuque, Chris stops by Becca’s room at the Hotel Julien for their final date, which consists of them sitting on her bed and Becca attempting (and mostly failing) to answer Chris’ hard-hitting questions.

Reason she can’t answer his question about her five-year plan: She wants a family and she wants to be married, but she just doesn’t know when.

Reason she doesn’t feel like she’s in love with Chris: She doesn’t know.

But there’s one thing she does know: Right now, she wants Chris. That’s the only thing she’s sure of. Well that, and the fact that there are “steps” that they need to take. However, she doesn’t know what those steps are because she’s never been in love before. In other words, this girl is hella confused.

Here’s where things get interesting: Chris asks for the truth about Arlington, and Becca admits that she’s unsure of what she’d do for work there. And more than anything, she’s scared that she’ll move there and then find out that it’s not for her. Again, a fairly healthy attitude, no? Also healthy? Chris’ response, promising that he’ll have her back no matter what and that they’ll figure it out.

She then tells him that she “can’t wait” before the couple embraces, and Chris admits that he wants Becca in his life. In his camera interview, Chris doubles over in tears, and if Jason Mesnick has taught us anything, this means things are about to get complicated.

The next day, Chris meets up with Whitney—who gets a legit date instead of just a late-night visit because life isn’t fair—and takes her harvesting for the second time in their relationship. Although this time, instead of babies, they’re harvesting corn with Chris’ father.

With Chris in his happy place, Whitney realizes a few things: This could be her future for, like, ever. Chris owns 800 acres. Harvesting corn is sexy. And his house is big enough to hold even her biggest statement necklace. Then she talks some more.

Later that night, Chris visits Whitney at her hotel, where he finds a framed photo that she has from their wedding crashing date. Hoping for an “aha” moment, Chris sits quietly while Whitney talks some more. To sum it up, Arlington > Bali, and being domestic is cool. Also, Whitney believes in #noregrets, which is why she tells Chris that she just feels that thing with him. She likes how comfortable they are together, and how she can tell what he’s thinking from one look. Really? Can you tell him? Because he definitely doesn’t know.

All in all, Whitney is so excited, so excited, so … scared! But her nerves settle when Chris reciprocates all her feelings by basically saying “ditto.” Suddenly, I can picture exactly what their life together will look like.

NEXT: Lady in red … or blue?

And here we are: The day of the final rose ceremony. As much as I appreciate the fact that we’re in Chris’ hometown, I have to say: Watching people ponder their lives in bikinis is much more interesting than watching people ponder in peacoats. (Say that five times fast.)

After meeting with Neil Lane—who never thought he’d be coming to Iowa (Read: Get me the hell out of Iowa)—Chris puts on his blue tux and red tie, while Becca puts on her red dress and Whitney slips on a blue one. Get it? He’s wearing MORE blue, but the red tie is closer to his heart. Plus, no matter which woman he picks, her dress will be coordinated with his suit. So which color will he choose?! Well played, Bachelor.

At the barn where he raised his first pig, Chris will now choose his future wife, because nothing says romance like livestock.

And despite Chris feeling “devastated,” the farmer has a choice to make, because the first limo has finally made its way to Iowa, and it is on its way to Chris …

… and out steps Becca. Oh no. It seems he’s choosing blue.

Standing with Becca, Chris says he can see a future with her, but he has to go with his heart and his gut, and he doesn’t think it’s fair for either of them to take a leap at this point. He tells Becca, who’s either in shock or literally a wax figure at this point, that he’s not the guy to give her what she needs.

Finally moving, Becca gracefully thanks Chris—who’s clearly freezing because you can see his breath—and says she couldn’t respect him more for his honesty. She knows that he will be an incredible husband. And with one final hug, we all listen as their mics pick up their rapid heartbeats. (Seriously, someone might need to get these two a doctor. I think I just heard an arrhythmia.)

After putting Becca in the limo, Chris takes some time to cry while Becca can’t get over the shock of what’s just happened. Finally coming around, Becca wonders if love even exists before hoping she doesn’t get home and realize she was in love the whole time. And suddenly, I’m very hopeful for the After the Final Rose.

Now, cue limo number two (and my dread of Whitney’s squeal).

Stepping out of the limo, Whitney is so ready for Chris to put a ring on it, but he’ll have to steady her hand first, because home girl is shaking like a leaf. But don’t worry, because that won’t stop her from talking first. Seriously, you’ve had all season to talk, Whitney. It’s Chris’ turn. He’s literally been savingall his words for this moment! (Or so we can only hope.)

Chris reminisces on their first date together and the moment he thought “Holy cow, this woman is perfect for me.” He loves their natural connection, and yes, he loves Whitney. Finding his favorite word for the second—but definitely not the last—time, Chris says their relationship feels so “perfect.” Getting down on one knee, he asks Whitney to marry him and she says “no.” Just kidding, she says yes! But seriously, did he ever get her sister’s permission?

NEXT: Everything is perfect

Regardless, in this moment, Whitney’s only worry is that she doesn’t want to forget it. (So it’s a good thing that it’s literally being recorded right now.)

Finally, Whitney accepts the final rose—what if she said no? What would that mean?—and the two sit in the barn, looking out over all the land that they now get to christen. And you know what? “It’s perfect.”

So wait. What was the “twist” in this finale? Oh, it’s coming up on the After the Final Rose? We’ll see about that.

Kicking off the After the Final Rose Special, Chris reveals that Whitney is the “perfect” person for him before saying that he doesn’t know if Becca saying “I love you” would’ve changed things, but it doesn’t matter, because he’s not looking back. Oh, and we finally get an answer to Chris’ brother-in-law’s question about Becca playing hard to get: No, it didn’t make Chris more attracted to her.

With that, Becca comes out—all smoking hot in pink—and the two of them are all about honesty and respect. Yes, the show has changed her and helped open her up to love. But no, the show has not made her talk any faster. Seriously, this is painful.

Once Chris Harrison brings Whitney out, things, well, don’t really pick up. With both Whitney and Chris stumbling over their words—did he just say he wanted to marry his sister?—Whitney explains that she still plans to move to Arlington and that she only watched their dates on the show because she’s confident in what they have. As for her feelings about the fact that Chris was so “conflicted” toward the end, she ain’t worried. Chris simply puts his whole heart into things, and she loves that about him. Next question!

The highlight of the night: A deleted scene in which Chris’ parents walk to the barn and find Chris and Whitney to congratulate them right after their engagement. See, Arlington has its perks!

And after a quick visit from Jimmy Kimmel—because, again, this show needs some help with its energy—who gives Chris a cow named Juan Pablo, we learn that Whitney and Chris are making love as regularly as possible. Just in case you were wondering.

In other news, Ashley S. “might” go on Bachelor in Paradise, and Britt and Kaitlyn have been named the show’s first ever dual Bachelorettes! You’re welcome, America!

So, I guess that’s it. Much like Chris, you’ve officially had an entire season to feel out our relationship. And to answer any final questions you have—no, I will not move to Arlington, Iowa, with you. (Sorry, I really like getting mail.)

So what do ya say? Can I get that final rose? I really just want the shiny engagement ring, but I’ll happily take the rose if it gets me there.

Regardless, it’s been fun. I’ll see you all in May for Britt and Kaitlyn’s Bachelorette season, which I promise will be full of threesome jokes, especially considering they already hinted at one tonight. Until then, I’m going to figure out how I can become best friends with Linda Soules and get her to lovingly brush my hair away from my face. Wish me luck.

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