We've seen some interesting relatives over the years, but Bachelor Nation actually got Katie's Aunt Lindsey trending all by herself for how she callously ripped everyone to shreds!
Things got messy on "The Bachelorette" finale as Katie Thurston first had to decide if she even wanted to continue her journey with Blake and Justin after Greg became her second front-runner in a row to skedaddle.
Okay, we'll kill that suspense right now because of course she did. But there was still plenty of drama to be had, both in New Mexico and on the soundstage where they filmed their "After the Final Rose" segments.
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Back at the resort, Katie had to choose between Blake and Justin -- and decide if maybe it was time to drop the "l"-word after how badly her unwillingness to do things led to Greg's abrupt departure -- maybe try and enjoy some fantasy suites and introduce her family to her suitors ... and Bachelor Nation to her Aunt Lindsey.
Katie wasn't joking when she said that her Aunt was cold and emotionless. She's also dismissive, arrogant and confrontational to a fault. Basically, everything you say to her is "cute" because you're clearly an idiot who doesn't know how the world works.
She and Katie's mom, Rhonda Lee, also made sure that everyone knew that no woman in their family needs a man. No woman should ever need a man. If a man is privileged to be chosen to be a part of their lives, he'd better thank his lucky stars every day.
We stan a confident woman, but wowzers this was ratcheted up to an 11 from the jump. At least Rhonda Lee seemed to soften a bit when it came down to it, wanting only her daughter's happiness. Aunt Lindsey looked ready to slap a bitch and whoever was sitting opposite her was the bitch.
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Fantasy Suite & Sour
When it came time for the Fantasy Suites, Blake got the first shot at solidifying his relationship with Katie. We have to give her credit for absolutely owning up to the fact that she nearly walked after the back-to-back walkouts of Michael A and Greg.
We can understand being rattled when half of your Final 4 quits on you, but we were still impressed with how candidly she opened up to it, knowing full well that perhaps Blake wouldn't take too well to basically being told she almost quit the show, even knowing he was still there.
But Blake was strong enough in his own feelings, and his understanding of the impossible position of being a lead on this franchise, to hang in there with her. It helped that her spirits were sky-high while they were together.
We got pretty nervous when Blake revealed he intended to tell her that he loved her, because we've seen how awfully that can go if she doesn't reciprocate. Like Greg, he admitted this was a big fear for him.
But when the moment came, and the worlds came out, he emphasized how important that word was to him as well, while also acknowledging all those other nonverbal ways that couples can express love without saying the word.
In other words, he navigated it perfectly for her situation. And then, in a shocking twist, she said it back to him. Was she about to violate her policy to only say it when there was one man left? Did Greg quitting shake her resolve this much?
Admittedly, it was a sketchy policy anyway because it left her somewhat shackled in those vulnerable moments. And when she was admitting in confessionals that she was in love, it meant she was being somewhat disingenuous in those moments.
At the same time, she was in an impossible situation and trying to respect the sanctity of that one, true love she was actually on the show for. Is there one right way to do it? Of course not. She definitely made things harder on herself.
By the end of the date, though, things were even more serious than that. Not only did she love Blake, but she declared him her person. Uh ... Justin?
Yeah, that was an awkward moment, as producers gave us his whole optimistic internal monologue about their upcoming Fantasy Suite date before she dropped a somber, "Can we talk?"
At the same time, kudos to her for being true to her heart and her journey, and respecting Justin enough to cut him loose. Honestly, he never got the boyfriend edit on this show anyway, and had Michael A and Greg not left we're not sure he'd have made it this far -- a realization not lost on Justin, either.
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A Ring and a Rose
We've seen it all fall apart at the end, and shortly after the end, so just because it was down to Blake and only Blake didn't mean things were going to be smooth sailing. They hadn't even gotten to the part where he meets her family, and we meet Aunt Lindsey!
You just know producers were furious that Katie had eliminated everyone else so only one person had the pleasure of getting dressed down by her aunt. Seriously, Aunt Lindsey seemed absolutely delighted to tell Blake that everything he said was "cute," which is code for stupid.
It's one thing to be startlingly direct, but she basically laughed at everything he said and told him he was flat-out wrong in his perception of love, life and the world. We have to know how world-weary she is. She's clearly married, right? Or she wouldn't know that his naïve perception of it is "cute."
At least she treated Katie only marginally better. Katie seemed to know enough to just laugh it off, even telling the cameras that she was cold and absolutely emotionless. After meeting her, we have to know. Is she happy? Does she need a hug?
Bachelor Nation couldn't get enough of her -- meaning producers were right to lament we didn't get to hear her tear into Michael A or Greg or Justin -- getting her trending right up there with Katie's name and the show itself. That's quite an accomplishment for a woman who only got a few minutes total screentime in a three-hour show.
Boy, she made the most of them, though.
Aunt Lindsey is the scariest supporting character on this show I’ve ever met. #thebachlorette pic.twitter.com/2AmwzziYW5— BRAVO BACH BOOZE (@BravoBachBooze) August 10, 2021 @BravoBachBooze
Thank the gods this pure soul was spared the wrath of Aunt Lindsey🙌 #TheBachelorette pic.twitter.com/lUn4KVylhX— Sarah P (@Sarah071122) August 10, 2021 @Sarah071122
Justin watching Blake getting roasted by Aunt Lindsey and being glad he got sent home early like #TheBachelorette pic.twitter.com/uAD2tVaJj5— Brett S. Vergara (@BrettSVergara) August 10, 2021 @BrettSVergara
Blake: we love each other and we’re going to work it out— Llama Drama (@sweatsandpizza) August 10, 2021 @sweatsandpizza
Aunt Lindsey: #TheBacheloretteABC #thebachelorette #TheBacheloretteFinale pic.twitter.com/nM4WHFrkJk
Me at the commercial break trying to get Aunt Lindsey's terrifying energy out of my house #TheBachelorette pic.twitter.com/lVqZyET2h7— natalie grim (@natalieegrim) August 10, 2021 @natalieegrim
Blake: “Hi, nice to meet y—— Paige Anderson (@paigelizabeth26) August 10, 2021 @paigelizabeth26
I feel like Aunt Lindsey needs to be on the view— Kaitlyn Bristowe (@kaitlynbristowe) August 10, 2021 @kaitlynbristowe
Luckily, none of the strong women in Katie's family scared Blake off -- he'd already fallen in love with one of them -- and so despite some dramatic tension baked in because that's what BN producers do in their sleep, Katie got her happy ending.
Blake adorably faked her out at the last minute, making her believe that maybe he wasn't going to propose, but he absolutely did. And during the "After the Final Rose" segment, he came out and they're still happily together and growing closer.
Hilariously, though, Katie also revealed that she had not yet told her family they'd gotten engaged. She didn't trust them to keep it a secret. So they found out right along with the rest of Bachelor Nation.
No kidding she didn't tell Aunt Lindsey! #bachelorette pic.twitter.com/lXQ6MBQteI— Melanie Albanese (@MelsAnamCara) August 10, 2021 @MelsAnamCara
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Katie v Greg II: The Final Reckoning
While Katie got her happy ending, the finale took some time to check in with the guys who fell just short, including Greg and Justin. The latter's moment was short and sweet, with him needing some validation that he wasn't there "by default."
Katie was able to offer him that, though we still think he wouldn't have made Final 2 if Michael A and Greg were still there -- we're not sure Blake would have, honestly, though that Hometown really brought them closer.
We also got a fun montage of Justin's truly incredible facial expressions, which both he and Katie got a huge kick out of. Most importantly, we saw that they got some closure and were able to close their time together on the show in a laughing place, a good place.
But that was Justin. Then there was Greg, who easily had one of the most controversial exits in the history of the show. He also had one of the most combative returns, with Katie just unloading on him for walking out on her, talking down to her, the whole works.
What was interesting is that the studio audience reaction was actually about as mixed as the social media reaction last week when he bailed on the show. There's the contingency that thinks he was a little callous to walk out over one moment where he didn't get what he wanted and she seemed to be trying to understand.
Others stood by his claim the following day when he told her, "I deserve more." It's a similar sentiment to what Andrew S said when Katie second-guessed her decision to eliminated him and asked him to return.
The difference is that Katie didn't choose Andrew S, so he was standing up for his own self-worth (and hopefully he's going to be our next "Bachelor" ... or one of them). Greg self-eliminated, so Katie had never rejected him.
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She told him he was a front-runner and that he would definitely be here next week, and that he had a rose, but all of that only made things worse, because he felt like that was her playing a role. She certainly didn't help her case by looking at him awkwardly after he said he loved her and when asked what she was thinking, responding with, "I just like looking at you." It's easy to see why that left him totally flummoxed.
Saying she playing a role in that moment was an interesting accusation, as she turned around and lobbed the same one at him. Greg studied acting for a few years, and Katie apparently heard through the grapevine that he's a cocky, self-assured Jersey boy; nothing like the shy unassuming guy on the show. She accused his whole journey of being an act.
Greg was smug in his response to that, joking that he's no Meryl Streep, but was that wounded pride, or was she right? The audience seemed to have applause for both of them at times, giving Greg support when he said he deserved more from her than a "pat on the back" after he poured his heart out to her following their Hometowns.
Katie got the support when she chided him for literally talking down to her and walking out on her without a goodbye, which she says is indicative he never loved her and is no kind of man. She even accused him of gaslighting her on the show.
After initially saying he had no regrets, he then gave the non-apology of saying he's sorry she felt a certain way about things before finally saying he wishes he would have said things differently. In the end, though, the resentment remained and Bachelor Nation was left conflicted.
Was Katie showing a dark, ugly side in how she handled that confrontation, or a strong and confident side in standing up for herself on the show. As she reminded him, he was looking for her to either quit the show with him or tell him he was the one when there were three guys left, but that's not how the show works. She was still on her journey.
Sometimes, there are no clearer answers than there are heroes and villains. Could it be that neither Greg nor Katie handled their breakup -- or this interview -- by being their very best selves?
“A relationship is a two way street. And yes I know you’re the bachelorette, but still that doesn’t put you any higher on this relationship or me and lower. I emptied my heart out to you on that couch and all I got was a pat on the back”— Kate Douthat (@KDouthat) August 10, 2021 @KDouthat
GREG PREACH #TheBachelorette pic.twitter.com/O8qzo4Zbl9
KATIE RIPPING GASLIGHTING GREG APART IS THE BACHELORETTE WE DESERVE. We never needed an actor when we’ve had our lead actress the entire time. #TheBachelorette pic.twitter.com/vMgiYspcxt— BRAVO BACH BOOZE (@BravoBachBooze) August 10, 2021 @BravoBachBooze
Katie gaslighting Greg while explaining what gaslighting means #bachelorette pic.twitter.com/tfb6GtdYsr— Gio Semekuk (@giosemekuk) August 10, 2021 @giosemekuk
Me witnessing Greg’s murder right now #bachelorette #TheBacheloretteFinale pic.twitter.com/92w9IhZihV— Michael (@MDim15) August 10, 2021 @MDim15
Any respect I had for Katie, completely disappeared during this conversation with Greg tonight #bachelorette pic.twitter.com/7gCAty5ir8— Marissa Rode (@Marissa_Rode) August 10, 2021 @Marissa_Rode
You say “I love you” when it feels right. Didn’t feel right when Greg was hurling insults at her & accusing her of ulterior motives. It’s not rocket science y’all #TheBachelorette #bachelorette pic.twitter.com/ZxpawtY7Wz— Reality_Check (@Realitty_Check) August 10, 2021 @Realitty_Check
Realizing that both katie and Greg are in the wrong and u don’t know who’s side to take #TheBachelorette pic.twitter.com/AmZAPpYYVB— Emily Esarove (@emilyy_shayy) August 10, 2021 @emilyy_shayy
Would’ve paid money to see her interview Greg #bachelorette #bacheloretteabc pic.twitter.com/rPheeI9kRc— Sarah (@sar_endipity61) August 10, 2021 @sar_endipity61
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- "It just all feels so disrupted. The love that I have for him is -- real. Which is why today is so f------ heartbreaking." --Katie (after Greg quit)
- "That was the first time that I was completely off as to where her head's at." --Blake (after finding out Katie almost quit after Greg quit)
- "I love Katie. I love her a lot. But if she's still hung up on Greg, if she can't match that, then there's no point in getting engaged and having doubts going through an engagement." --Blake
- "I would never tell you that I was falling in love with you and then get up and leave. I don't play games with love. And there's reasons why I hold on to that word. And there's a small handful of that people that I share that word with." --Blake
- "I promised myself I wouldn't say it to anybody unless I was sure, but I've been telling you all along that I have been." --Blake
- "I haven't said it to anybody. I wanted to hold it close ... because it's a big deal. It's a huge word. And as much as I wanna be stubborn -- and just like you, it's scary and it's crazy -- but I f------ love you so much. I couldn't be happier that you're here." --Katie
- "I get to go into a Fantasy Suite with a guy that I love." --Katie
- "The way Blake makes me feel, that's what I want. And we want to walk away together at the end of this." --Katie (but what about Justin?)
- "Tell me about it!" -- Kaitlyn (to Katie about Fantasy Suite with Blake)
- "I mean, it was great. I was plenty satisfied -- many times."
- "My heart officially belongs to Blake." --Katie
- "So, obviously, Justin's still here." -- Kaitlyn
- "Can we talk?" --Katie (to Justin -- yikes!)
- "I did have my overnight with Blake, and in that, I did tell him I'm falling in love with him. And that is something I can only say to one person." --Katie (to Justin)
- "I hope you know how special you are ... I hope he knows what he has in you and he doesn't take you for granted." --Justin (to Katie)
- "Blake is the last guy here. And I'm hoping that we're the love story that I wanted." -- Katie
- "I think because it's just me, I'm putting expectations on myself to show why." --Blake (about meeting Katie's family)
- "I will say, she's not affectionate at all. She's like ... cold." --Katie (about Aunt Lindsey)
- "We just want to know if she thinks you're great." --Rhonda Lee (to Blake)
- "We don't care." --Lindsey (let the games begin)
- "So what made you want to go on this season after you flunked out of the last one?" --Lindsey
- "Like, you ultimately mean nothing, like, hate to break it to you, but you better be as secure as f--- coming into our family because at the end of the day, you're here because we want you here, not because we need you here." --Lindsey
- "That's cute, but that's not how anything works." --Lindsey (to basically every answer Blake gave)
- "I'm at a point where I can't picture life without him. I do believe he is my soulmate, and I hope he feels the same way." --Katie
- "She wants to get engaged. If you're not ready for that, if you're still struggling with deciding what to do, then you need to let her go." --Tayshia (to Blake)
- "Honestly, I think my biggest fear is walking away alone." --Katie
- "I know that you, in the past, have talked about how you've had to compromise the way that you are to make relationships work and I don't want you to do that. But, I can't give you what you came here for. Because you deserve 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." --Blake
- "Katie Lane Thurston, will you marry me?" --Blake
- "Yes," --Katie
- "I hate you and I love you." --Katie (for making her believe he may not propose)
- "I feel like we're matchmakers." --Kaitlyn (to Tayshia)
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"After the Final Rose"
- "Is there any part of you [that] felt that it was your fault that Greg left?" --Kaitlyn
- "In that moment, absolutely. I regretted not responding differently. And I kept replaying in my head, 'What did I do that was so massive for someone who's in love with me to then turn around and wanna leave?'" --Katie
- "There is part of me that has this anger and sadness. It's disappointing to see the way I was spoken to when I'm trying to understand and communicate and save our relationship. And to watch him talk down to me and twice walk away from me -- that's not a man." --Katie (about Greg)
- "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." --Justin
- "I couldn't help but think, am I kind of here by default at this point because those guys left?" --Justin (about Michael A and Greg)
- "Do you truly feel like Katie gave you a fair shot?" --Tayshia
- "No." --Justin
- "I guess I didn't really know how unhappy I was until Katie showed me how happy I could be." --Greg
- "Looking back at it all now, is there anything you would have done differently?" --Kaitlyn
- "No, not at all." --Greg
- "You're saying I'm not validating you enough. You got a First Impression Rose, the first One-on-One, a second One-on-One, every single group date. In the moment, I'm not realizing it, but watching it back, I am giving you validation every single week. And for that Hometown to go as perfectly as it did until the very end, and for you to do a 180, I feel like you were looking for the perfect opportunity to escape because you were never ready for an engagement." --Katie (to Greg)
- "I fill a hole in your heart, yet you treated me the way you did. You spoke down to me. You didn't even bother to say goodbye. You say you love me, I don't think you know what love is, because that was a time I needed you most, and you ran away." --Katie (to Greg)
- "A relationship is a two-way street. And yes I know you’re the Bachelorette, but still that doesn’t put you any higher on this relationship or me and lower." --Greg
- "Using me to get the experience, the exposure, dare I say the acting practice? -- Um, at my expense." --Katie (to Greg)
- "The acting? -- I hate to break it to you, as much as I wish I was, I'm not Meryl Streep." --Greg
- "Oh, we know. We know." --Katie
- "You can be an actor and want to be on the show, that's fine. The problem is if you're acting with me. And so, what I've been hearing is that Greg's not this shy guy act that he was doing on the show. He's actually this very confident, cocky boy from Jersey who knows that he's hot s--- and this is an act. And so paired with those rumors and acting school, I really don't know if I actually know who Greg is." --Katie
- "The way you treated me, the way you said that you were so in love with me. I filled a hole in your heart. And the small second that things got awkward for you, uncomfortable, you ran. You're a liar. You did not love me. If you think that's love, you don't know what love is." --Katie
- "I emptied it all out to you on that couch and all I got was a pat on the back." --Greg
- "The way you were speaking to me in that moment, still, it didn't feel like you were on the same level with me on terms of where we were at." --Greg
- "I was still dating three guys at the time. That's how this works!" --Katie (defending her talk about Greg being a frontrunner, getting a rose)
- "I got scared by the terminology you were using and felt like you were playing The Bachelorette role with me instead of just being Katie." --Greg
- "I will say that my family does not know we are engaged. They are finding out with Bachelor Nation ... I didn't trust them to keep a secret." --Katie (about Blake)