The season 8 finale of Bachelor in Paradise brought us engagements, breakups, matching tattoos, and some harsh words at the reunion.
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Not all interminable things can come to an end — hence, you know, the "in" prefix — but praise the Lord and pass the Franzia, rose lovers, because season 8 of Bachelor in Paradise is finally over! [pause for applause] Tonight's two-hour After the Final Crab special had engagements, post-engagement breakups, matching tattoos, and more.

Let's recap!

Jesse Palmer welcomes us to the Tealight Candle Thunderdome, where most of the season 8 Paradisians are gathered. OMG, did they seriously invite Salley? Yes. Yes, they did. And are they seriously making Wells stand in the corner at a makeshift Tiki bar rather than giving him a seat? Yes. Yes, they are.

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Poor guy just has to stand there for hours.
| Credit: ABC

Important note: Rodney wins the Thunderdome audience applause-o-meter, followed closely by Genevieve. Palmer starts with Romeo, I guess just to make sure he's not being held hostage by Kira. "Blink twice if you're doing okay," says the host. In response, we get this:

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Kira and Romeo
| Credit: ABC

Uh, congrats? From there, the conversation turns to Split Week, which I barely remember because it happened "literally eons" ago in BiP time. More importantly, this leads us to Kate, which leads us to her inevitable apology for all the crappy, judgmental things she said about Logan on camera. ("I know that you literally can't afford to work out at Equinox!") Is it any surprise, rose lovers, that Kate's apology is totally underwhelming?

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Kate is the worst.
| Credit: ABC

"The way that those concerns came across, that was so out-of-pocket, and I hate that you had to hear that," she says. "When I was vocalizing those concerns, it was to my girlfriends, in private, something that I never, ever wanted you to hear." Could someone please get Kate a dictionary so she can look up the definition of "private"? Girl, you dissed him for being a dog walker while staring straight into a confessional camera. You want a dude with money, just admit it.

Instead, Kate insists that her concerns weren't really about material things like Logan's car — they were about "deeper issues," like him not being ready for a relationship. Logan clearly isn't buying it.

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Logan is skeptical
| Credit: ABC

He talks honestly about working odd jobs to support his goal of working in the film industry. "I ended up building an amazing career using a camera, and I'm so proud of that," says Logan, who now works in TV production. "I told that to Kate, and she made fun of me for it… I wish you did say it to me," he continues. "It would have really showed who you were." The crowd LOVES it. Or maybe they're just applauding for his suit-jacket/turtleneck combo.

Hold up, what's going on here?

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Jill and Jacob
| Credit: ABC

Yep, Jacob just walked over to Jill and asked her if she could give him — and their "connection" — a second chance. And she said yes! Awwww, I do like these goofballs. And judging from the cheers of the Thunderdome crowd, Bachelor Nation wants to believe it can work, too. Good luck, you weirdos!

Enough with the minor love triangles! Let us now rehash the Holy Trinity of Hot Mess: Rodney, Eliza, and Justin! Palmer plays a highlight reel of their Paradise pain, and then turns to Rodney for his reaction. "Watching it and reliving it has been, uh, really difficult," he says, adding that he thought all of his "hopes and dreams" of settling down and getting married were about to come true.

Eliza, too, says she's sad and disappointed about how things fell apart. Fine, but everyone knows your reaction to the whole Justin date card situation is why the relationship fell apart. "All I needed to hear in that moment was, 'I don't want you to [go],'" she tells Rodney. His response: "Even though I told you, 'I don't want you to go,' was that just not enough?" The audience LOVES it.

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Three cheers for Rodney
| Credit: ABC

A tearful Eliza says she "never stopped" having feelings for Rodney. "I think I made a mistake," she whimpers. Poor Rodney is near tears himself, but he's not quite sure how to process everything that happened. "I felt hurt and humiliated in front of everyone," he says. He's finally starting to heal, though, and he wishes her all the best.

In case you haven't figured it out by now, we're going to rehash every broken relationship on the beach before we see what happens with the final two couples (Brandon and Serene, and Johnny and Victoria). Next up is the Tumultuous Twosome, the Melodramatic Duo, the Breakup Boomerangs… Genevieve and Aaron!

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Genevieve and Aaron
| Credit: ABC

It turns out these two lunatics (relax, I say that with love) haven't spoken since the day they broke up in Mexico. Can they get through this meeting without it devolving into a tearful meltdown over, I don't know, the right way to hang the toilet paper? Let's listen in…

"I know I made a lot of mistakes, and I take full accountability for being emotionally, like, reactive," begins Genevieve. "I just want to apologize for my part in that, and for not handling the tough times better." Aaron, too, is feeling repentant. "I was prideful, I was foolish, I was a straight-up d--- at times," he admits. Aaron goes on to apologize for not being "a kind, understanding, generous man." You guys, is it me, or is this really sweet? Look, they're hugging it out!

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I know I shouldn't want them to get back together...
| Credit: ABC

Side note: The Mexican blanket décor never fails to make me laugh.

Genevieve and Aaron seem to have left things on good terms. That's not the case for our next couple, Brittany and Tyler. Though they left Paradise together, their relationship is now deader than a half-eaten fish corpse on the beach. "We're not together," says Tyler, who comes out to sit on the couch first. "Everything was awesome. She came to Jersey right away. I went to Chicago not soon after, met her family, it was perfect."

Until it wasn't. Tyler explains that Brittany decided to take a European vacation on her own, and she ended up FaceTiming him from Italy with some bad news. "She just felt like we were two different people with two different lives," he says. "And she couldn't do it anymore." Making matters worse, this bummer of a FaceTime came the very same day that Rachel sent Tyler home on The Bachelorette. Ooof, the universe hit him with a double whammy! Poor guy.

Welp, you know what comes next, rose lovers: Brittany's here to share her side of this sad story. And the audience is definitely not on her side. I think I heard some boos? Maybe they were coming from these folks:

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That lady absolutely disapproves.
| Credit: ABC

"When we left Paradise together, I felt like our relationship was at an all-time high," says Brittany. "And just… I don't know. I just feel like I slowly kind of just didn't feel the same way." This sounds reasonable, rose lovers. In Paradise, these people literally have nothing to do but talk about and obsess over their relationships. Most couples enter into a sort of mutual Stockholm Syndrome situation where they both feel the other person is necessary to their survival. Once they've been freed from that Paradise bubble, it's only natural that they'd emerge from their humidity-induced romance trance.

This is all cold comfort to Tyler, though. "You would tell me every day that you loved me," he says. "And I loved you, too." Brittany's all, Hold up, Captain Revisionist History. "I did ask you for a break, and within two hours, you were Snapchatting me," she notes. "Within four hours, you started DM'ing me, and then 12 hours later you're like, 'Hey, can we actually talk right now?'" It's pretty awkward, but Romeo is LOVING it.

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Romeo soaks in the tea.
| Credit: ABC

It does sound like Tyler was coming on a bit strong, and Brittany was maybe, possibly not as into him as she once thought. Still, she insists that she did love him, and that they just really sucked at communicating their feelings. Tyler's still hurt not only about their breakup, but also that Brittany didn't reach out to him at all after the split. "If you love somebody, you check up on them. You see how they're doing," he says, his voice breaking. "That's all I gotta say."

Confession time: At first, I thought Tyler's responses in this segment were more of a calculated attempt to position himself as Bachelor material than a genuine display of emotion. But upon reflection (yes, I reflect on the Bachelor franchise!), his fragility here does track with his previous behavior. The dude was "all in" on Rachel pretty fast, and I'm guessing that his neediness stems from a desire to define himself by a relationship — which is understandable, since he's 25. Go forth and live your life off-camera, young man! Eventually, you'll be glad you did.

And now for something completely different: Happy couple news!

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Danielle and Michael
| Credit: ABC

Awww, aren't they cute? And Danielle looks good as a strawberry blonde. Paradise's resident mom and dad are still going strong. "It's been pretty frickin' wonderful," says Danielle. Adds Michael, "Meeting Danielle has, like, changed my life." It's all so adorable, and Palmer looks like his heart is about to burst with host-ly pride. Of course, Michael's "journey" in Paradise was not without a little drama. Sir, is there something you'd like to say to Sierra (who, by the way, is looking GORGEOUS tonight)?

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Looking good is the best revenge.
| Credit: ABC

What Michael should say is, "I'm sorry I didn't just come clean and admit that I just wasn't that into you rather than claiming that I wasn't ready for a relationship." What Michael does say is, "Looking back on the breakup, I know that I didn't give you the kind of closure that you needed. You deserve a lot more than that, and I couldn't give you the type of love that you were giving back to me. And the most respectful thing to do was to let you know. I'm incredibly sorry that I hurt you."

Sierra accepts his apology gracefully. Here's hoping that by next summer she will not be eligible to appear on BiP season 9. Someone snap that woman up!

Anyhoo, Danielle is moving to Akron to be closer to Michael — though they're not going to cohabitate just yet. And yes, Danielle has met Michael's son, James, and it sounds like they're getting along famously. "He's laying on her lap, he doesn't want her to leave," reports Michael. "She's remarkable with him." (Not me tearing up at the thought of this little boy getting some much-needed love from a maternal figure after losing his mother… Sob!)

The segment ends on a truly ridiculous note: Producers actually convinced Michael to say "I love you" to Danielle for the first time on national television. No, I have no proof that producers urged him to do it, but we all know they did. Anyhow, when he says it — "I've only said 'I love you' to one person in my entire life, um, but I love you" — her reaction is freeze-frame gold.

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Danielle's mind is blown.
| Credit: ABC

The woman is overwhelmed. "Are you serious?" she says, choking up. "I'm shocked as [bleep] right now!" Though Michael has never dropped the L-bomb before, Danielle has. "It, like, fell out of my mouth one day," she admits. "I was like, '[Bleep]! He's not ready for this yet!'" Apparently, he was, honey!

At long (long) last, it's time to go back to the beach and see how things ended for our final two couples. Up first: Johnny and Victoria. "This is the biggest, scariest, most important decision I've ever made in my entire life," says Johnny, as he heads off to prepare for Proposal Day.

Step one: The Neil Lane sit-down!

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Johnny and Neil Lane
| Credit: ABC

"Are you really ready for an engagement?" asks the jeweler. Johnny's all, Uh, not really, but I kind of feel like we have to do this. "You don't have to do anything," Neil interjects. "I don't have to," agrees Johnny. "But this is something I think I want to do now." Whatever you have to tell yourself, bro.

Given that most of us know where this "engagement" is going, let's just get this part over with. "God has decided to bless me with something as special as you," says Johnny. "No matter what, in this lifetime, I will have your back forever and always… Victoria Fuller, will you marry me?" She's crying, she's crying — it's a yes!

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Johnny and Victoria
| Credit: ABC

That is, it WAS a yes. Back in the Thunderome, Palmer notes that there have been plenty of "online rumors" about what went down next. (TW: This next segment will feature references to Katie's season of The Bachelorette, which most of us would like to forget.)

Johnny comes out first and states the obvious: "Me and Victoria are not engaged anymore." He haltingly fills Palmer in on the details, saying that during their one-month (!) engagement, he started to feel like he was "not good enough for her." Then the arguments started, and rumors followed. "I really wanted to trust her, but… I don't know," he says sadly. So… did she cheat on him with Greg? Were they already broken up when she jetted off to Italy with him? Let's find out.

"When we were on Paradise, things were rainbows and butterflies for us," says Victoria. "Unfortunately, when we got out into the real world, there [were] a lot of concerns — we had a lot of ups and downs, and I expressed to him that I wasn't happy, and I wasn't going to be engaged if I wasn't happy to be married… I was very straightforward with him." Vague enough for you, rose lovers?

Johnny disputes this "narrative," countering that while they were fighting a lot, they had agreed to work on their issues rather than calling the whole engagement off. He accuses her of cheating on him with Greg and then lying about it, but Victoria gets defensive and condescendingly tells him she did not cheat. "I think it's very easy to blame other people for us not working out," she says. "I totally empathize with you. Maybe it is hard to see me moving on, but what is the appropriate amount of time to move on when you called me a f---ing c---?"

Ouch! It's a masterful blow by Victoria — deflecting the attention from her warp-speed "moving on" relationship with Greg to some alleged nasty name-calling by Johnny. "Not only that," she continues, "you said you don't cook, you don't clean. What do you provide to a relationship?" Girl, are you trying to play it like you only found these things out about Johnny after your month in Paradise? Knock it off.

"Victoria, we both know that's not something I would say, and it did not go down like that," Johnny replies. "If anyone knows me, they know I would not demean a person like that… The only reason I'm up here right now is because you made this public." They continue to go back and forth like this for a while — "I didn't cheat!" "Yes, you did!" — but everyone, from the audience to the Paradisians on the panel, seems to be on #TeamJohnny. Here's a brief sampling of their "Bish, please" reactions to Victoria:

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A few reactions to Victoria's story.
| Credit: ABC

Eventually, Palmer steps in and asks Victoria to 'fess up — is she or is she not dating Greg Grippo? "Yes," she answers. "Greg and I are together." She continues to deny that she "cheated," though Johnny points out that seeing someone else while they were supposed to be working on their issues is, at the very least, "emotional cheating." The audience LOVES it, especially this lady on the left:

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These women are Team Johnny.
| Credit: ABC

With that, Palmer sets Johnny free from his Hot Seat prison — but Victoria's going to have to stay put. The host has a few more questions for her, as well as for… THIS GUY!

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Ugh, these two.
| Credit: ABC

UGH. Yep, Greg Grippo is here to back up Victoria's story. (Don't worry — Johnny's already left the building. He's outside in the parking lot being consoled by Tyler.) He enters to a smattering of applause (and a few scattered boos). Greg says he and Victoria have been "friends" for a long time, and though she went to Paradise, they ended up "rekindling" their friendship-turned-relationship in the weeks after she got back.

Mr. Grippo also insists that he suggested the spur-of-the-moment trip to Rome, which was essentially their first date? "We couldn't go and get a drink in New York City or Nashville," explains Victoria. "So we were like, 'Okay, we'll go to Europe and maybe test it out and see how we fit.'" Sure-Jan-dot-gif.

When Palmer points out how shady the optics are with this trip, Victoria is unrepentant. "No one has to understand it. Everyone can hate us if they f---ing want. I don't give two [sh--s]," she scoffs. This girl has the reality TV villain role down, doesn't she? Victoria then proudly displays her new tattoo — "Ciao" — and guess what? Greg has one, too! ("I guess we're doing this," he says a bit reluctantly, taking off his jacket to show off his new ink.) Justin's face says it all, rose lovers:

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Ency and Justin
| Credit: ABC

Let's end this on a happier note, shall we? Brandon and Serene, get your adorable selves out to the Proposal Platform!

Once there, they both profess their love (again), and it's very sweet. "I feel like we have two hearts cut from the same cloth," says Serene. "In you, I've found my best friend." Brandon declares, "My happily ever after could have never started until I started a life with you… I want to start forever with you."

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Serene and Brandon
| Credit: ABC

"Yes," Serene whispers. He puts the ring on her finger, and the audience in the Tealight Candle Thunderdome cheers, cries, and applauds via picture-in-picture. All hail Paradise's most functional couple! Wait… what's going on? Why is Palmer suddenly on the beach?

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Jesse wants to help
| Credit: ABC

That's right. Palmer went online and got ordained — and he's hoping Brandon and Serene will let him perform their wedding RIGHT NOW! In front of God, the cameras, and everybody (except their loved ones)!

Back in the studio, Palmer tries to make it big cliffhanger — DID THEY GET MARRIED ON THE BEACH? — but let's be serious. Can any of you imagine that a softie like Brandon would agree to get married without his family or friends around? He knows better. They will get married, says Brandon, but not without mom and dad. "Brandon's mom did say that she would kill him if in fact he married Serene without the family there," adds Palmer. Either way, these two seem very happy and I will be very, very sad if they break up.

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Serene and Brandon
| Credit: ABC

"I just feel so grateful for you," says Serene. "I love the [bleep] outta you," he returns. You see that, rose lovers? Bachelor in Paradise works! (LOL) Good luck, you beautiful duo!

Naturally, the episode ends with an extended preview for our next bad habit: The new season of The Bachelor, starring Zach Shallcross. It had tears, smooches, fireworks, jealousy… but it's all a little hazy for me now, I'll admit — I kind of had to shut down emotionally after this:

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No. Just no.
| Credit: ABC

No idea what's going on here, but my guess is producers are desperately trying to make bland boy Zach look better by having Sean Lowe, a former Bachelor with an actual personality/sense of humor, "teach" him how to shower on camera. (And gah, did we really need to see Victoria again? If Tahzjuan wants to date Zach, more power to her, I guess. But Ms. Fuller can show herself out.)

We did it, rose lovers! We survived the longest season of television ever! As always, thank you for taking this "journey" with me. Before you go, a few final questions: Do you think Brandon and Serene will last? Are you happy for Michael and Danielle? And is it me, or could you actually see the moment Greg started regretting his relationship with Victoria during their interview? Post your thoughts below!

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Bachelor in Paradise

The Bachelor goes international with a cast of former bachelors and bachelorettes looking for love… and a chance to extend their reality fame.

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