Our three-hour Bachelor special opens with Chris Harrison calling this the most important Rose Ceremony and episode of the season.
We pick up where we left off in Finland, after Raven’s overnight date. Now it’s Rachel’s turn. Rachel feels like she’s in Narnia. They attempt to cross-country ski to “The Lapland Safari,” but it’s really just reindeer in a pen. They cuddle up by a fire and discuss their relationship. Rachel still hasn’t told Nick she loves him.
“I’m afraid of rejection. I’m afraid to put myself out there. Do I guard my heart or let myself be open?” Rachel asks herself. She explains she’s scared that she feels the way she does because she didn’t think she’d get to this point in the process. Rachel wants to be certain Nick can reciprocate her feelings.
“You’re rare and refreshing,” Rachel says when Nick compliments the openness of their relationship, to which Nick states, “I may be white but I’m still a minority.” Hmm. They then precede to make out in a reindeer-sleigh. Later that night, Rachel admits she has a hard time verbalizing things, before blurting out that she’s falling in love with him. One week before the finale seems like a fairly last ditch effort to do so, but it wins her the key to the Fantasy Suite. She has a renewed sense of confidence now, which is a little sad because, as we have known for weeks, Rachel and Nick do not end up together despite her proclamation that “Nick is exactly the man [she’s] supposed to be with.”
The next morning, as Nick makes them breakfast, we see that Rachel chose a penguin onesie to wear on their overnight date. Good for her. She’s at the point where she’s looking forward to meeting Nick’s parents. Poor, naive Rachel. I feel for her now, I really do. It’s heartbreaking to see how hopeful she is.
Vanessa and Nick revisit the Lapland Safari on their one-on-one, where Nick presents her with an ice bath. He calls it “embracing the Finnish culture,” but I think anyone else would call it stupid. They have matching swimsuits and beanies, which is kind of cute, if you are ignoring the whole submerging themselves in freezing cold water while there is snow on the ground thing. They then get the opportunity to make out in the sauna before repeating the ice bath. Vanessa is a real trooper. Nick has brought her along on some crazy dates, but both of them agree it speaks to the strength of their relationship.
In the hot tub later, they talk about their core values. Vanessa says she won’t compromise on her family traditions. Nick is really stretching for flaws now, and presents the difficulty of potentially being too similar to Vanessa.
They snuggle in a teepee while they discuss living situations. Nick can’t imagine moving to Canada.
“Not to sound really corny, but I’m really proud to be an American,” Nick says. The conversation gets a little tense when they talk about their differences.
“In my head, being engaged is like being married, and I want to be married once,” Vanessa says. Nick agrees, saying he understands where she’s coming from. And, unsurprisingly, Nick gives Vanessa the Fantasy Suite Card.
An actual Rose Ceremony? Is this happening? Could it be real? Yes, there they are, the long-absent evening dresses. There are two roses on the table. I’m literally giddy at the thought of Nick finally passing them out. This rose means meeting Nick’s family and the potential to be proposed to. Nick doesn’t get three words out before he starts crying again. Raven and Vanessa accept Nick’s roses. So this is where we finally say goodbye to Rachel. It is Bachelor tradition for the third runner up to become the next season’s Bachelor or Bachelorette, so this was predictable. They share a heartfelt, tear-stained goodbye. Cheer up, Rachel, you’ll have your pick of 25 men in a few months.
The close of this week’s episode was followed by The Women Tell All special. Tune in for the finale and Nick’s final decision next week on ABC at 8 p.m.
Julia Mancini is a staff writer for The Daily Campus. She can be reached via email at Julia.firstname.lastname@example.org.