Every Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Thing Arie Did in Part 1 of the Awful, Riveting, No Fun, Painfully Mesmerizing 'Bachelor' Finale

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So, as it turns out: “needle dick” was a pretty solid assessment of a highly thoughtless person, gifted to us during The Bachelor’s season 22 “Women Tell All” special a few weeks ago. Yes, it was an assessment made by a pathological narcissist with a YouTube channel and a WebMD printout of “laryngitis” symptoms, but still

On Monday night, The Bachelor decided to air three hours’ worth of their chosen testicle-in-charge Arie repeatedly telling his final two sister-girlfriends that he was so in love with each of them, choosing one to propose marriage to, and then breaking off the engagement with That One while a camera crew filmed the whole thing because he figured out he was actually in love with The Other One. Now, let’s be clear: Becca K. as she’s known around the Bachelor Thunderdome, has dodged the most boring of bullets. When all is said and done — or in the case of Arie and Lauren, when all is just done — this situation will ultimately be nothing but a win for Becca K. She comes out looking like a Minnesota rose with the most treasured quality of all: not being engaged to Arie.

But this entire show is designed to make Becca fall in love with Arie, and she did that. Becca did exactly what The Bachelor asked of her, and they repaid her by having a dude whose personality amounts to “cars go vroom vroom” break up with her in real time on national television. Obviously, the very worst thing Arie did on Monday night was setting his fiancé up for a blindside, and agreeing to film it for mass consumption. But in The Bachelor world, it’s near impossible to know what’s contractually obligated and what kind of behind-the-scenes manipulation is at play. I put the burden of airing Becca’s heartbreak on this franchise; at least until the final two hours of this trainwreck air on Tuesday night when perhaps Arie will explain himself [ed. note: hahhahahahaha omg srsly, wut am i thinking?].

Even with that benefit of the doubt given to Arie about just how callous and insensitive we could believe him to be to the women he claims to love, our Bachelor still spent the entire three hours of Monday’s filmed finale in “hold my beer, watch this” mode. Truly, he had moves we’ve never seen — and a few we’ve all seen. Without needing to hear a single thing he has to say live on Tuesday night, these are unequivocally The Worst Things Arie did in Monday night’s Bachelor finale:

TELLING BOTH WOMEN HE LOVED THEM EVERY TIME THEY GLANCED IN HIS DIRECTION

At some point, Arie decided to replace his most-used catch phrase, “I love that,” which is entirely devoid of meaning, with a variation—"I love you"—which is one of the most important phrases in the English language. When Ben Higgins told both of his final two women that he loved them, he immediately knew he’d made a mistake, and spent the rest of the finale looking like he was going to throw up on his penny loafers. Because Ben realized telling them such an important thing would make both women feel extremely confident, and eventually one of them would be extra hurt and confused, knowing that he loved her a day ago when they were making out by a waterfall, but he’s now rejecting her next to a pedestal from Home Goods with Chris Harrison lurking around in the background. Basically, Ben took one single moment to consider his girlfriends’ feelings and was like, Ohhhh, I’m a fucking idiot.

Arie is a fucking idiot who will never, ever realize it, as is evidenced over and over again in his final, excruciating breakup with Becca. He loved that Becca and Lauren both felt so confident about their relationship with him, almost like he never once considered that one of them would be completely traumatized once they hobbled down a Peruvian hillside in the name of an engagement to the man they loved—and who loved them!—only to get a swift Kanye to the face [ed note: you know, Imma let you finish, but Becca had the best wife potential of all time]. Arie telling both women he loved them repeatedly, often, and with mounting conviction wasn’t his worst mistake, but it was his most fundamental mistake. It’s the infrastructural jackassery upon which his Mount Rushmore of his jackassery stands. Shall we proceed?

ASKING HIS FAMILY WHICH OF HIS TWO BELOVED GIRLFRIENDS HE SHOULD MARRY

Okay, I did kind of savor how rude Arie’s parents were without seeming to have any idea how awful they were being. While I could empathetically understand that it would suck for Becca that Arie’s family kept being like, Yes when we met Arie Jr.’s other girlfriend Lauren yesterday, we enjoyed her exactly as much as we are currently enjoying you…it was also a little hilarious how insensitively clueless they were. Heyyyy, it’s almost like that characteristic runs in the family or something! Food for thought.

My family’s opinion matters to me too — wanting to keep that opinion hovering around “only slightly worried about her delayed progression into adulthood” is one of the many reasons I would never go on The Bachelor (the other reasons are that The Bachelor wouldn’t take me because I have curly hair, have never been a catalog model, and unabashedly ate a cookie for breakfast last week). What I’m saying, is your family’s opinions go out the window the minute you decide to do any of this. But Arie clearly couldn’t get past his family’s assessment of two women they’d spent maybe three hours with, and whose only immediate differentiating features are: one is shy-nice, and one is outgoing-nice and they have two different hair colors, though I can’t for the life of me remember which belonged to which woman. I want to say there was a Sarah. Was someone named Sarah, Arie Jr.??? Anyway, pick Becca—she talks!

AT LEAST ARIE’S FAMILY COULD EXPLAIN WHY THEY CHOSE BECCA OVER LAUREN

This situation was doomed from the moment ol’ Pillow Lips himself explained that he wanted to be able to tell Lauren something that would help her understand why he was breaking up with her, “But I have no real reason to give her.”

All I wanted to say to Arie throughout the entire finale was: TRY, Arie. Why don’t you just try to explain it? It’s a good practice, trying! I get that it’s hard, but if you put in the work, and try even a little bit to understand your feelings, I swear you can ink something out, even if it’s just: I do love this, and I don’t love this. Those words are very solidly in your vocabulary, I know it. Just TRY to relay your feelings to the people you supposedly love, you weak-willed doofus!

LETTING LAUREN LAY OUT ALL THE REASONS SHE LOVES HIM BEFORE TELLING HER HE’S BREAKING UP WITH HER

Rude, so rude. This woman literally hates to speak, Arie—that is what you love about her! (I think!) And you’re going to let her go on and on, quite eloquently might I add, about how you’ve inspired her to let her walls down and how she’s soooo glad she finally let herself believe that this love could be real??? This man’s spine is made of pudding cups.

TELLING LAUREN HE LOVED HER AS SHE GOT IN THE BREAKUP LIMO

At this point, the idiocy truly became astounding. Not only has he blindsided and traumatized a woman who he has been telling that he loves for weeks by choosing another women over her, but now he’s going to tell Lauren that he loves her moments before proposing to Becca? Has he considered that might be painful for his alleged future wife? Of course not! I think if you told Arie that other people have internal thoughts and feelings just like him, his head would explode, and then he’d just go on living his exact same life as a headless torso being told what to do by the Bachelor producers. But at least this brings us to…

HONORABLE MENTION: THE BEST THING LAUREN DID

I know this will shock you, but the best thing Lauren did during the finale was speak a series of words out loud — and boy were those words dead on the money. In the limo, feeling shocked and betrayed, she repeats out loud one of the idiotic things Arie told her when he broke up with her: that he didn’t know who he was going to choose until just that morning. “Does that not terrify him?” she asks. “How could you get down on one knee if you weren’t sure, like, three hours ago?” An excellent question, and proof that even Lauren would have been a more equipped Bachelor than Arie.  

PROPOSING TO BECCA

Obviously, Arie’s biggest mistake, from which there is no turning back—although he sure does try, that stinker!—was exactly what Lauren couldn’t wrap her head around: he got down on one knee and proposed marriage to Becca when he had been completely in love with another woman and unsure of who he wanted to spend the rest of his life with just hours before. 

Never has it been clearer how toxic the construct of this show is than now, when it’s been thrust upon a canvas as blank and malleable as Arie. He spends the entire finale saying he’s not sure about one woman, spending time with that woman, and then being completely reassured that he’s in love with her, basically because she is in love with him; lather, rinse, repeat with the next one. I truly believe that if Becca had the first final date with Arie, and Lauren had the second spot, Arie would have chosen Lauren instead. He has the emotional retention span of a drunken dance floor makeout. I think a baby trying ice cream for the first time might have a stronger grasp on what love is than Arie.

Oh, and let’s not forget this standout line from Arie’s proposal of marriage: “I choose you today, and I choose you every day from here on out.” Arie apparently thought “here-on-out” was like one of those Old English words like “wherefore” or “fortnight” where it sounds like it means one thing (forever), but actually means another (two months, or whenever the camera crew is available to come out to this mansion in the Hills).

THE ENTIRE BREAK UP CONVERSATION WITH BECCA, START TO (ATTEMPTED) FINISH

Assessing the production genius and emotional sociopathy of the decision to show Arie breaking Becca’s heart in real-time split-screen is for another time. For now, let’s just block off the next four hours to discuss every single stupid thing Arie did during said exploitative disaster. First, after sitting Becca down for a serious talk, Arie tries to ask her how a recent trip to Las Vegas was and compliment a new tattoo. [Ed. note: The distraction of trying to figure out if the tattoo had anything to do with Arie, and ultimately, the immense relief that it did not but was merely your average bumblebee wrist-tattoo, was at least appreciated.]

Becca, however, is like, cut the shit and tell me what you want to talk about; that is our first sign that Becca is equipped to deal with the fuck boi nonsense that is about to be presented to her. I would like to be clear though, that just because Becca is strong, and Arie is weak, would not make this any less painful for her. 

Arie then proceeds to explain in great detail how he can’t explain why he’s breaking up with her, except to say it in the absolute harshest, and most callous way possible: “The more I hung out with you, the more I felt like I was losing the possibility of maybe reconciling things with Lauren.” I honestly think the worst part of that awful statement isn’t saying that you’ve been thinking about someone else the entire time you’ve been with Becca; it isn’t saying that you’re leaving her for another woman; it isn’t naming that woman by name just to really drive the knife right in the bumblebee tattoo; it’s calling your engagement “hanging out.” GROW UP, ARIE!!!

Becca’s flawless response: “Are you fucking kidding me?” NEVER CHANGE, BECCA!!!

Arie goes on to say just about every wrong thing possible. He didn’t think “it would be fair” to stay with Becca if he was only half in the relationship. “So are you going to be half in with her?” Becca asks. Nope, Arie’s gonna full-love Lauren, and he feels like he’s been “pretty upfront” with Becca about how he’s been struggling to get past his feelings for Lauren. That’s when Becca’s left hand with her giant engagement ring briefly dips below the split-screen, and without saying anything, comes back up diamondless. And that’s when I fall in full-love with Becca. Perhaps, Arie says, he didn’t let Becca know “the extent” to which he hadn’t moved on from Lauren. “Clearly,” says Becca, a queen.

Then this martyr-ass-muthafucka tells the fiancé he’s breaking up with in order to go chase after another woman that he “thought it would be good for us to talk about this now,” rather than doing it on After the Final Rose. Becca tells him it would have been good if he hadn’t proposed to her in the first place. She says she’s done here, and goes in the back of the house to start re-packing the suitcases she brought with her when she was assuming this would be a romantic weekend with her fiancé…

NOT FUCKING LEAVING WHEN BECCA ASKED HIM TO FUCKING LEAVE 100 DIFFERENT TIMES

People talk to me about The Bachelor a lot. Even when I’m not writing about a season, or not really watching it, they know I’ll be down to clown about The Bachelor and I love that — always talk to me about The Bachelor, I beg of you.

The number one thing I’ve heard from women who watched last night’s slow-motion disaster, is how sick they felt watching Arie hang around that house and follow Becca around, and ask her to talk to him, even after she’d repeatedly told him that she wanted him to leave and had nothing to say to him. Because there is a certain type of immature man than many women (and men, I’d imagine) have dealt with: men who want women to reassure them that they’re still good men even though they’re doing a bad thing. Arie begged Becca to talk to him some more, and when she relented, he stared at her in silence. Because he was waiting and waiting for her alleviate the emotional weight of his guilt for him, so that he wouldn’t have to feel it anymore.

Becca refused to do that: she refused to hug him goodbye. She refused to tell him that it was okay. She refused to tie an ugly situation up with a pretty bow in order to take this man’s emotional baggage onto her already heaving load. And that is the admirable, strong, very good, incredibly courageous thing Becca did.