Breakups are the ultimate equalizer.
Young or old, rich or poor, we’ve all experienced heartbreak and it sucks.
Nowhere is that more apparent than in Part 1 of the season finale of Bachelorette, where Des’ fairy-tale love story with Brooks comes to a crashing end.
But first, she has fantasy dates in Antigua with the other two men — and it’s glaringly obvious they are in a distant second place.
Des and Drew play the part of tourists in love, pulling over to kiss on the side of the road and buying kitschy souvenirs from street vendors. All the while Drew is blindly (foolishly) confident that they’ll end up together.
“All of this stuff is going to go in our house one day,” he says. Sure.
Meanwhile, with Chris, Des says a strong physical attraction and shared values make for a solid foundation.
“It’s something I could see lasting.” When they discuss uprooting, Des says she’d be open to moving to Seattle for him.
With both men, though, there’s clearly something holding her back — her love for Brooks.
Brooks isn’t on the same page. He visits his sister and mom, admitting, “The idea of me proposing to her at the end of this makes me really uncomfortable.” Later, he has a painstaking conversation with host Chris Harrison where he comes to the conclusion that even though he loves spending time with Des, he’s not in love with her and never will be.
“I wish I were there,” he says.
Bearing that in mind, he sets off to break the news to her. Des can barely contain her excitement to see him.
“I’m in love with Brooks and I miss him every day that he’s not around,” she says in a straight-to-camera interview.
As soon as they spot each other, Des senses that something is wrong. Brooks launches into his speech and though it’s somewhat convoluted — “There are all of these things that I’ve checked off”; “I want to be madly in love with you” — Des begins to see the picture. She starts sobbing, placing her hands between her knees and flinching at Brooks’ embrace.
Then she comes clean with her feelings.
“I don’t care that you just broke my heart. I love you,” she says. Later, she admits that her feelings for Brooks are what kept her conflicted throughout the show.
“I didn’t want to share my heart because I wanted to give it to you.”
There’s that awful post-breakup awkwardness when both parties realize that nothing will ever be the same. Eventually, Brooks grasps the idea that he can’t be the one to comfort her and they say their goodbyes. He leaves in tears proclaiming, “This is the f–king worst day of my life.”
Brooks is shocked by the intensity of Des’ feelings for him, but now that they’ve been revealed it’s clear that there’s no way she can be with Chris or Drew.
“For me, it’s over,” she says.
This last comment means that in next week’s finale we can almost certainly look forward to two more brutal breakups. It’s almost depressing enough make me yearn for the cliché fairy-tale references. Almost, but not quite.