'The Bachelorette' Finale: Zach and Rachel Breakup After Their 'Inauthentic' Fantasy Suite

Rachel Recchia and Zach
ABC/Craig Sjodin

The pair called it quits on part 1 of the show's season finale.

Things are over between Rachel Recchia and Zach Shallcross. On Tuesday night's episode of The Bachelorette, Zach and Rachel broke up following a heated conversation over their less-than-ideal Fantasy Suite.

The show's Sept. 6 episode ended on a cliffhanger, when Zach interrupted the rose ceremony to speak to Rachel, a conversation fans finally got to see play out in part 1 of the season finale.

The downward turn of Zach and Rachel's relationship was a surprise to fans, as the pair had a near-perfect Hometown date that made the pilot feel like she could "definitely see myself being a part of his family."

The good vibes continued into Mexico, where Rachel and Zach had a fun date in town and an intimate dinner together, before heading off to the Fantasy Suite.

"In the morning, I’m expecting to feel more in love with the future Mrs. Shallcross," Zach told the cameras. "Nothing coming out of tonight can change that." 

Something did change that, though, as the cameras caught an awkward morning-after between the couple. In a confessional, Zach revealed more about the night, sharing that Rachel had asked if he was ready for marriage at age 25, which is several months younger than her 26.

"It’s like we were two strangers. I don’t know what it could be, but Rachel’s concern came out of nowhere," Zach said. "I think it’s bulls**t, to be honest. She was putting on a front. That scares me. That scares me a lot." 

In a conversation with host Jesse Palmer, Zach noted that he was "blindsided" by Rachel's age concern, stating, "I thought I saw this future with her, and just to be completely gut punched and not feeling it at all... It’s shocking."

Then, in a confessional ahead of the rose ceremony, Zach said his Fantasy Suite talk with Rachel was "the most inauthentic conversation I’ve ever had."

"I was more than ready to get on one knee. The Rachel that I was falling in love with, I trusted her enough at least to show me her real self and I don’t think I got that. And I still don’t know why or how," he said. "What was that Rachel I was getting? That’s the biggest concern to me."

With that in mind, Zach pulled Rachel at the rose ceremony before she could hand out the roses.

"That Fantasy Suite felt a little off," Zach told Rachel during the most recent episode. "... Since day one I've always been honest with you... I thought what I was seeing wasn't the real Rachel, what I was seeing was Bachelorette Rachel." 

Zach added that he's given his "absolute love" to Rachel, and said that feels "upset and disappointed that I wasn't able to get that from you."

"You were picking up on a little bit of a different vibe," Rachel admitted, adding that she "did find" clarity as a result of their Fantasy Suite.

"I was trying to find that missing piece for me," she explained. "I did think if we spent the night talking I could find it."

"I did really love you. I saw a future with you," Zach said. "But I need to go." 

Rachel accepted that, telling Zach, "I wish I could've gotten there."

As he was driven away, an emotional Zach stated, "It's over just like that. I could just see in her eyes that it really meant something different to her than it meant to me. I don't know what I missed... This still doesn't feel real, because she was, in my mind, the future Mrs. Shallcross." 

He went on to describe Rachel's goodbye as "cold," lamenting, "I thought maybe I meant more, but I guess I didn't. One of the things I fell in love with was she made me feel special and cared for. I question if that was real."

Meanwhile, Rachel said the situation was "really sad," before telling her remaining men, Tino and Aven, what happened. 

"For people who say they care about me to... question my character, it's obviously disappointing," Rachel said, before awarding the other two men roses.

During the live portion of the show, Rachel and Zach hugged before clearing the air.

"I just want to say that I do apologize for ever making you feel like I called you out for your character," Zach told her. "... I was really in shock and disbelief... and I am so sorry."

"I'm sorry too," Rachel said. "That was really hard for me to watch back... Those feelings that I had, they were real and I don't want you to ever feel like I was putting on an act."

Leading up to the rose ceremony, Zach said he "was sick to my stomach," before calling the post-Fantasy Suite week "the toughest."

"You meant so much to me. I care about you. I really do want all the happiness in the world for you," Rachel told him. "... I never want you to feel like I would put you through something like that if I didn't see it."

Zach admitted that the whole thing was "a tough pill to swallow," before taking fans back inside the Fantasy Suite to explain how the night went down.

"It was really one of those moments where... it just kind of felt immediately off," he said. "It kind of felt like we were two strangers in a way... Maybe you had already realized I wasn't going to be your future person... It started off very early in the Fantasy Suites and it felt like a tough conversation."

As for Rachel questioning Zach's readiness, she explained, "I was never accusing you of not being ready... I really just wanted to know if you were ready in general... I do know that it was awkward for both of us."

In the end, Zach said he doesn't "really have any regrets," adding that "everything happens for a reason."

"You are such an incredible guy," Rachel told her ex. "... I appreciate you and I really do appreciate this conversation, honestly."

"I want the best for you, always," he replied.

Part 2 of The Bachelorette's live season finale will air Tuesday, Sept. 20 on ABC. Keep up with the historic season by following along with ET's coverage of the series.