‘The Bachelor’ recap: Matt and Rachael leave as a couple, but without a proposal

(LOS ANGELES) — The Bachelor‘s historic 25th season concluded on Monday, with Rachael and Michelle meeting Matt’s family and enjoying one last date before he handed out the final rose.

The episode began with each of the ladies meeting Matt’s mom, Patty, and brother, John.

Patty was impressed with her conversations with both Michelle and Rachael, telling Matt later that each woman was “amazing” and that she felt “warmth in her heart” for both.  However, reflecting on her relationship with Matt’s father, she warned him that “Love isn’t the end all be all.”

That conversation left Matt shaken, which led to a shocking turn of events.

During a conversation with Chris Harrison the following day, Matt revealed that the more he learned, the more he was starting to “pump the breaks” on making a commitment to anyone.  Easiest thing to do, he said, is tell them he’s ready and questioned, “What’s the right thing to do.”

A final date with Michelle started out with a romantic outdoor chat by a cozy fire. The catch was they had rappel down the side of a building to get there.  That night, Michelle expressed her commitment to their relationship by pulling out his and her jerseys labeled “Mr. James” and “Mrs. James.”

Unfortunately she was blindsided by Matt’s admission that he didn’t think he could get there with her. Instead of a proposal, Michelle’s journey came to a devastating end.

Matt then cancelled his scheduled date with Rachael, later explaining in a note that she “deserved answers,” which he would provide later in a meeting by the lake.

Rather than a proposal, Rachael got a rose, and a promise from Matt that he was in love with her and saw himself spending his life with her, as well as starting a family together.

However, that was before photos of the 24-year-old graphic designer attending an antebellum plantation-themed ball surfaced on social media.  Rachael has since apologized for her actions, explaining that she was “ignorant” and promising that she would “learn from my mistakes” and encourage people to “use them as a teachable moment.”

During the After the Final Rose special, we learned that Rachael and Matt were no longer a couple, and that while the love he had for her doesn’t “go away overnight,” the work she needed to do was best done on her own.

After the Final Rose host Emmanuel Acho also announced a “curveball” regarding the next Bachelorette, revealing Michelle and Katie from this past season of the Bachelor would star in two separate back-to-back-seasons, beginning this fall.

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