A season with two Bachelorettes demanded a two-part finale.
On Sept. 13, part one of the explosive Bachelorette finale kicked off with host Jesse Palmer in front of a live studio audience, welcoming both Rachel Recchia and Gabby Windey to the stage in order to re-live the dramatic events that unfolded in Mexico.
First, the cliffhanger between Rachel and Zach from last week had to come to a conclusion. After Zach pulled Rachel away from the rose ceremony in Riviera Maya, he told her he didn't recognize the person he spent the night with in the fantasy suite, saying, "I felt like I was seeing Bachelorette Rachel, not the real Rachel."
Eventually, Zach admitted that things between them had fizzled out. "I did really love you. I saw a future with you," he told Rachel. "But I need to go."
With Zach on his way out of town, Rachel gave roses to her two final suitors, Tito and Aven, and it was time for the remaining men to meet Rachel and Gabby's friends and families.
Aven met Rachel's parents and her two best friends and, almost immediately, won over her father Big Tony. However, Rachel's friends were another story. When they pressed Aven about whether or not he was ready for an immediate engagement, he balked and said, "It's just about the timing of it."
When Rachel confronted him, Aven explained, "I just want to make sure it's 100% right for both of us, right now, in this very moment in time." Rachel eventually became emotional, even accusing Aven of "yelling" at her. Things ended with a kiss, albeit a very tenuous one.
Next up, Gabby introduced Erich, her final suitor, to her parents, aunt and Bachelor Nation fan favorite Grandpa John. The visit itself went very well, with Erich telling Gabby's family, "I can't imagine my life without her."
Back to Rachel, who was still reeling from the confusing conversation with Aven when she introduced Tino to her family. Tino was very awkward and nervous, unable to connect the same way that Aven did. When Big Tony confronted Tino about Tino's family not liking Rachel, Tino expressed that he was just as shocked, saying, "To be honest, all I talk with my dad about is sports."
However, he assured Rachel's family that they would come around and ended the day remarking, "I feel a little bit in awe of how well meeting Rachel's family went."
With potential engagements on the horizon, Rachel and Aven obviously still had plenty to discuss. Rachel visited his room, telling him she felt "blindsided" by his apparently sudden insinuation that he wasn't ready to get engaged.
"I want to leave here with you," Aven told Rachel. "I want that more than anything. I'm sitting here trying to fight for it."
But, Rachel wouldn't accept it.
Rachel broke down sobbing and told Aven that things were over between them. As they both cried, they hugged and Aven whispered, "I'm sorry, Rachel."
Aven, of course, was backstage and came out for a live one-on-one conversation with Rachel, where they both hashed things out. Aven said he regretted not telling Rachel about his engagement hesitancy before her friends, ultimately saying, "I didn't fully understand what you needed and what you wanted."
Not to be outdone, Erich met up with Gabby and expressed similar concerns about getting engaged so quickly. It's like these guys didn't understand the...entire point of the show? But anyway, Erich said he wanted to date Gabby in the real world before committing to an engagement, which Gabby did not appreciate and made her storm out of his room.
"I want to be with Erich forever, so I want him to propose," Gabby said. "So, here we are. Big, fat dumpster fire. Big f--kin' mess."
We couldn't have said it better ourselves!
See if Tino and Erich drop to one knee when part two of The Bachelorette finale airs Sept. 20 at 8 p.m. on ABC.