'The Bachelorette' Finale Recap: Katie Gets Her Happy Ending
By Paige Gawley
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Katie Thurston's journey for love has come to an end. On Monday's season finale of The Bachelorette, Katie said goodbye to her runner up, before accepting a proposal from her love -- all of which ET is breaking down in our recap.
The drama didn't stop with the proposal, though, as the After the Final Rose special saw Katie have an awkward conversation with Greg, before ending it all with a romantic reunion with Blake.
Keep reading for the full recap of the season finale of The Bachelorette.
Katie Processes Greg's Exit
After fans saw a dramatic recap of Katie's whole season, the episode picked up right where it left off, with co-host Kaitlyn Bristowe leaving the Bachelorette's hotel room with a hug.
"Greg isn’t somebody I thought would leave like this," Katie said through tears in a confessional. "I just didn’t see it ending, not today. It just all feels disrupted. The love that I had for him is real, which is why today is so f**king heartbreaking."
Katie's heartbreak and confusion over Greg continued from there, as the Bachelorette herself joined Kaitlyn and co-host Tayshia Adams on the After the Final Rose set to discuss her mindset in that moment, something that was made worse by single dad Michael A.'s departure, which came shortly before Greg's.
"In that moment I was defeated. I just finally recovered with Michael leaving, and then all of the sudden Greg is now leaving," she said. "It just has you questioning kind of everything... You really start to question if it's worth continuing moving forward."
Katie admitted to blaming herself for Greg's departure in the moment, but no longer did.
"I am trying everything I can to make him stay. I am literally on my f**king knees begging this man to stay and he tells me it’s not good enough," she said. "I never saw that side of him. I was very caught off guard. I was like, 'Who are you? Do I even know Greg?'"
Greg's exit made Katie question herself and her worth, and even had her considering leaving to show to chase after him. She stayed, though, and had yet to speak to Greg since he walked away from her that fateful day.
"There is part of me that has this anger and sadness," Katie said. "It is disappointing to see the way I was spoken when I'm trying to understand, and communicate, and save our relationship. To watch him talk down to me and twice walk away from me, that’s not a man."
Katie and Blake Say I Love You
Back in the finale episode, Kaitlyn and Tayshia told Blake and Justin that Greg had left, but that Katie had decided to continue her journey.
Blake's overnight date was up first, and, while the pair had a good time throwing paint-filled balloons at each other and lounging in a hot tub, things took a serious turn when Katie admitted that she considered leaving the show when Greg did.
"That was the first time where I was completely off as to where I thought her head was at," Blake said in a confessional. "… I love Katie. I love her a lot, but if Katie’s still hung up on Greg and if she can’t match that, then there’s no point in getting engaged if she’s having doubts going into an engagement."
Blake was able to set his doubts aside, though, and express his feelings during the nighttime portion of his date with Katie, telling her that he knew he was in love after she met his family.
"In that day and that night I felt a lot of love from you. The way that you softly kiss my neck, and the way that we look at each other, and all those little feelings that make it feel real," he said. "It was the one part of the night that just solidified things for me. It was when you took off your high heels and we were playing hockey and you scored a point and you were peddling backwards after you scored, your hands were in the air, and you yelled, 'Go America!'"
"It was when I remembered that moment that, without thinking about it and without trying to think about it, I just realized, and I said to myself, 'F**k, I love her,'" he continued. "It’s scary to say because I promised myself that I wouldn’t say to anybody unless I was sure, but I’ve been telling you all along I have been. I love you and I’m f**king really excited about life with you."
Katie was left "speechless" by Blake's confession, but decided to break her own previously set rule and say those three special words when more than one man still remained.
"As much as I want to be stubborn and, just like you it’s scary and it’s crazy, but I f**king love you so much and I couldn’t be happier that you’re here," she gushed. "I’m so glad."
The pair kissed and made their way to the Fantasy Suite, with Katie feeling as if Blake "completes" her, and Blake considering Katie to be his "person."
The next morning, things were just as good, and Katie told Kaitlyn that she felt "clarity" when Blake dropped the L-word.
"It was just, like, the best day of my life. It’s exciting. It’s crazy. It took a lot to get to this point," Katie said. "For me, saying I love you to Blake is a huge deal... The fact that I feel that for Blake and I’ve given myself all to him, my heart officially belongs to Blake."
Katie Says Goodbye to Justin
After her Blake realization, Katie had to have a tough conversation with her runner up. When Justin showed up "excited" for their date, he instead learned that Katie's heart belonged to someone else.
"I did have my overnight with Blake and in that I did tell him that I’m falling in love with him. That is something I can only say to one person," she said. "You are someone I wanted to explore things with, but given how I now feel about Blake, knowing I am in love with him, it doesn’t make sense to have us go forward on this date. It wouldn’t make sense to have you meet my family. That’s where I’m at."
Justin questioned if he should have opened up at all because of the pain he was feeling in that moment, but Katie told him, "When you open up you offer so much," before apologizing for how things turned out.
"I think the world of you," he said. "Everything that I’ve said to you is 100% true. I just hope you know how special you are and what you bring to the table. I hope he knows what he has in you and he doesn’t take you for granted."
The pair parted on good terms, but Justin was still devastated by the split.
"It’s crazy. We’ve spent a month together, getting to know each other, talking about our families. This morning I’m picturing how great today’s going to be and what our life is gonna look like and that’s it," he said. "... It’s hard. It hurts, man. I gave this everything."
On the After the Final Rose stage, Justin said that the heartbreak "hurts just as much now as it did then," before noting, "I can’t tell you to follow your heart and make the decision that’s best for you and then be upset when it’s not me, but that doesn’t make it easier."
When Katie joined him on stage, Justin asked if he remained on the show "by default," something Katie was quick to deny by telling him that they did have "a huge connection."
Things ended on a positive note when Justin thanked Katie for making him a better person, and they wished each other well.
Blake Meets Katie's Family
With her goodbye to Justin behind her, Katie was excited to introduce Blake to her mom and aunt. The women were quick to grill Blake on his job and living situation, before things really got tense when Blake had an individual conversation with Katie's aunt, who, at one point, said that Blake was "not important."
Blake seemed unable to answer Katie's aunt's questions to her satisfaction, but Katie tried to iron things out.
"We’re just going to make it work. We don’t know what that means yet… We really aren’t worried," Katie assured her aunt. "I know these are huge things to figure out, but that’s what we want to do."
Things went a little better with Katie's mom, who commented on Katie's happiness.
"I love your daughter. I appreciate everything that she is," Blake said. "I don’t know exactly what’s going to happen in the next few days, but I do know what I have in her. I don’t want to f**k that up."
Still, the conversations with Katie's family left Blake feel uneasy.
"The intent coming in here was to propose and get engaged, but there’s a difference in talking about it and doing it," he said. "… There's just a lot that I need to take into consideration. I’m just stressed out."
Blake Questions If He Can Propose
As the doubts continued to mount for Blake, he and Katie went on one final date together where they wrote down, read, and burned all of their fears.
Blake said he was "scared" of commitment, but that Katie helped to "eliminate" all of that worry. Katie's fears centered around not being good enough, but she felt as if she was "ready to move past" all of that with Blake.
While Katie said in a confessional that Blake was her "soulmate," he was still struggling.
"It just seems like we would be perfect together, but when it comes to big decisions like this, I just want to make sure," he said. "What if I’m not ready to propose? It’s just stressful. She’ll be devastated."
Those fears continued to mount as Blake looked at rings with Tayshia. Meanwhile, Katie expressed that she had "zero doubts" her final man was going to pop the question.
As the time for the proposal neared, Katie said her biggest fear was "walking away alone," something that seemed like a distinct possibility for Blake, who felt as if he couldn't breathe on the ride over.
When Katie spilled her heart out, though, Blake wound up doing the same.
"You are caring, and supportive, and compassionate, and you love me for me and that’s a love I never knew existed," she said. "The night you told me you love me changed my life forever… You have made me the happiest woman alive… I love you today, tomorrow, and forever, and I can’t wait for our adventure to begin."
Blake responded by commenting on the fairytale-like scenario, telling her, "Since day one it’s been connection and understanding that seemed too good to be true, but I knew. I knew the moment that I first met you."
"I know how great of a wife you’re going to be, mother you’re going to be," he said, before scaring everyone with his next statement. "... I know that you in the past have talked about how you’ve had to compromise to make things work. I don’t want you to do that, but I can’t give you what you came here for."
After a very long pause, Blake declared that he couldn't give Katie everything she wanted because she deserves "a lot more than that."
"You deserve the world and I’m excited to support you and be there for you every day moving forward," he said, before getting down on one knee and asking, "So that being said, Katie Lane Thurston, will you marry me?"
She accepted his proposal and, after celebrating with Kaitlyn and Tayshia, the pair rode off on horses.
Katie Calls Greg a Liar
The long-awaited confrontation with Greg was even more dramatic than audiences anticipated. Greg's time on the After the Final Rose stage began with him reiterating much of what he said during his initial argument with Katie. As for regrets, Greg said he had none.
Katie walked right by him when she joined him on stage, and the uncomfortable levels only continued to ramp up from there. Katie claimed that Greg never intended to get engaged, a statement that he denied.
Katie next bashed Greg for talking down to her and accused him of going on the show to jumpstart his acting career, a comment that made Greg laugh out loud.
"What it really comes down to is the way you treated me. The way that you said you were so in love with me. I filled a hole in your heart," she said. "The small second that things got awkward for you, uncomfortable, you ran. You’re a liar. If you think that’s love, you don’t know what love is."
Accusations of gaslighting followed, with Katie exclaiming, "You came at me as if I did something so horrible that you had to leave... You could have just been a man and had a normal conversation, instead of being so rude, and dramatic, and leaving without even saying goodbye."
"I’m sorry for making you feel like that. I wish I could go back then and change how I communicated my feelings," Greg replied. "In that moment my head was in a million places at once."
Greg later called Katie out for how she, according to him, put being the Bachelorette above their relationship. Katie, though, said she gave Greg validation "week after week after week after week," and clapped back at him for giving her an ultimatum. He denied doing that, before saying, "Let’s face the facts. If it was me, you would’ve stopped me and I knew that."
Katie got the last word, telling Greg, "All I can say is I had three relationships going on. You keep saying I’m playing the role of the Bachelorette, yeah, I am the Bachelorette. There were relationships that were forming."
"There’s nothing I can do about that except continue to move forward with those," she said. "Yeah, I didn’t leave for you. My person was not Greg. When he left, so did everything I felt for him."
The pair ended things on a semi-cordial note, with both of them wishing the other well.
Katie and Blake Are More in Love Than Ever
After Greg left the stage, Katie was joined by her fiance and the pair couldn't help but gush over each other. Katie praised Blake for his ring selection, and he expressed excitement over starting their lives together.
That life together is news to more than just America, as Katie revealed that her family was learning of her engagement as the show aired, because she hadn't trusted them to keep a secret.
The couple had no problem reliving their love story next, and they both pointed to their Hometown date as the turning point in their relationship. Their love, Katie said, has only continued to grow from there.
"Everyday our love continues to grow stronger and stronger," she said. "We are not even the same couple you just saw go down on one knee. We are so much more already, and we’re just really excited to start our lives together."
Blake had a "crazy weird intuition" that this was all in the cards from the beginning, he said.
"That was just wild how it all kind of spiraled out of control in the best way," Blake gushed, before Katie praised her man for taking the leap to appear on her season.
"It’s actually probably the most romantic thing that someone’s ever done," she said. "… Knowing that I could’ve turned him away and he would’ve looked dumb, he took all these risks for me. No one’s ever believed in me like that. For him to just trust in us early on, it just means everything."
Even though he had some doubts through the process, Katie said she was pleased that Blake took the time to think things through before popping the question.
"It just makes it that much more special that he meant it," she explained, before later adding that all the ups and downs were "1,000 percent" worth it.
"I think everyone can agree that this is exactly who I’m supposed to be with," she said. "… I’m just so lucky. I love him so much."
Blake couldn't let the evening end without one more surprise for Katie telling her, "I just want to say how proud I am of you. The way that you carried yourself was super impressive. When I watch this back, it makes me realize exactly why I came on. You’re everything I thought you were going to be. The way you carry yourself is also really sexy."
Katie got a shock next, as multiple men in the studio audience stood up with boomboxes and a romantic song began playing and the couple stood up to dance.
Amid their dance and through their tears, the couple exchanged one more I love you, as Katie's journey finally came to an end.