There’s an episode of How I Met Your Mother where Katy Perry plays a young woman called Honey because the gang can’t remember her real name. It’s not because she reminds them of the titular character played by Jessica Alba in the 2003 hip-hop dance movie. They call her Honey because every time she tells them a story — for example, she tells them her film career is going to take off because she met a film producer … who lives behind a KFC — they collectively go, “Oh, honey.” I feel like Kaitlyn this whole episode and this whole season has been a Honey because she’s so trusting and makes openhearted mistakes, but you still want to grab her shoulder and shake your head and go, “Oh, honey.” Because Kaitlyn behaves so earnestly and approaches life like a child looking at Golden Corral’s chocolate fountain.
Buuuuuuuuuuut homegirl could use someone to tell her to shut up once in a while. Don’t tell your parents you had sex with Nick. Don’t tell Shawn you told your parents you had sex with Nick. Don’t overexplain your rationale for not picking one contesticle over the other. No one wants to hear any of those things.
Shawn, on the other hand, is something we in the African-American community call “This Motherfucker Right Here.” He’s one of those people you see walking toward you and you lean in to your girlfriend and, if possible, adjust the fabulous hat you’re wearing and just mutter, “Here comes This Motherfucker Right Here.” This Motherfucker Right Here is someone where you know exactly what he’s going to do or say before he even says it, and you know it’s about to be some bullshit. He comes to the cookout and eats three plates of food and takes a plate home and didn’t bring anything. Even Tawanna’s unemployed husband brought ice! No one is excited to see him walk in the door, but for some reason he’s always around.
A Honey and a This Motherfucker Right Here aren’t a good match. But here we are, America.
And Poor Nick. Never in my goddamn life would I ever think I would be typing the words Poor Nick. But here we are, America.
It’s easy to feel bad for Nick if you can get past the incredible patriarchal entitlement Nick had to Kaitlyn.
PSYCH! I CAN’T GET PAST PATRIARCHAL ENTITLEMENT!
Even when Nick meets with Kaitlyn’s family, he tells them that he saw Kaitlyn and couldn’t stand the thought of her ending up with someone else because he had his shot with her. Because that’s how it works, I guess? Because every woman has to give you a shot once you’ve decided you want her?
I know it’s like their story or whatever, but that’s a crappy story. Kaitlyn’s family seemed to buy it. Well, Kaitlyn’s mom, who was either dressed like the brown-haired Charlie’s Angel from the ’70s or a secretary from season seven of Mad Men, questioned Nick about how he was on Andi’s season. He was possessive and jealous, and that worries her. Did she mix up some uncut footage from this season, and does she have face blindness and voice deafness that made her mix up Shawn and Nick?
Can we also talk about how Kaitlyn told her family that she totally banged Nick, and she told them that story no fewer than four times? Is this some strange Canadian tradition that’s some holdover from when everyone was a fur trapper? You lived in a lodge with one room, so you announced your conquest to everyone when you brought home some Québécois stud. Because if it is, that’s weird.
Nick also wore a completely offensive deep-V undershirt with a completely open chambray shirt. I know Kaitlyn’s sister Haley is still rocking those Coke and Vanilla highlights like Kelly Clarkson circa 2002, but Nick was the one who looked like a goddamn idiot.
Nick gets Kaitlyn’s father’s blessing to propose. He won over her mother when he cried. Kaitlyn’s family is tough. Then Kaitlyn and Nick lie on a boat and make out all day. I’m so glad I don’t have to watch anymore basic white people make ou— what? I’m recapping Bachelor in Paradise? FINE.
The next day Shawn gets to meet Kaitlyn’s family, and her mom zeroes right in on his insecurity and grills him about that. Shawn’s story, while still full of entitlement, is a little sweeter. His sisters told him to watch The Bachelor because they thought Kaitlyn was his type, and he sent a Snapchat of her face with a heart drawn on it to all his guy friends. A man who is willing to tell his boys that he’s smitten might be a keeper.
PSYCH! HE’S NOT A KEEPER BECAUSE HE’S LITERALLY SHAWN.
Shawn asks all 18 of Kaitlyn’s parents for her hand, and they all accept.
Isn’t it time to do away with the Bachelorette waiting for a man to propose? It’s 2015. Women propose to men all the time. This isn’t some Canadian fur-trapping fort!
Shawn and Nick both give Kaitlyn gifts to represent their relationships. Nick gives her a grainy photo of them kissing and a handwritten poem. It includes lines like, “There’s electricity in your lips / and when I kiss you I feel your energy,” except in his draft, energy is misspelled. Powerful omen. Shawn gives Kaitlyn a jar of crap the producers and set designers got at Spencer’s Gifts to remember their dates together. I guess they’re cute gifts?
Kaitlyn has a mad awkward two-part date with Shawn where they make small talk like two people who don’t even know each other (OH, MAYBE BECAUSE THEY DON’T), and each tries to push the other one into saying that there are problems in the relationship? It’s emotional chicken for douchebags. “I want to know what’s going on in your head.” “I want to know what’s going on in your head.” The start of a beautiful life together.
Nathan Lane … er, Neil Lane brings Shawn and Nick two of the largest non–J.Lo engagement rings, and the final two contesticles prepare their proposals.
Nick goes to meet Kaitlyn first, and as he pulls out that big rock, Kaitlyn stops him. “No? Alright,” he says. So resigned. Poor thing. What am I saying? Kaitlyn begins to tell Nick that she was falling in love with him, that nothing went wrong but that her heart is with someone else.
Then Nick and Kaitlyn proceed to have the breakup conversation I’ve had no less than eight times, most recently, last Wednesday. If I’m so great and nothing is wrong and you want to be with me, why are we breaking up? Why are you suggesting that we’d be better as friends with benefits? Is that how you see me? Just some plaything to be used for your enjoyment? Because if you had all the feelings you’re saying you do, we wouldn’t be breaking up, right, Bob— I mean, Kaitlyn. Yes. Kaitlyn. Nick gets in the limo and slams the engagement ring onto the floor. He also takes off his claddagh ring and throws that away, too. A dramatic gesture that I’m sure takes place all over Ireland when teenagers break up at the end of Irish summer camp. In the traditional Gaelic, summer camp is spelled suughhemmer cffamp. We sure did learn a lot in Ireland this season.
Then it’s time. It’s time for Honey to give the final rose to This Motherfucker Right Here. Kaitlyn tells Shawn he looks “so freakin’ good,” so there’s that. He launches into his speech about the first time he saw her at the mansion and how his life was never going to be the same. Every time he grabbed her in his hands, he’s never felt this way before.
He calls her the love of his life. Okay, you’re 28 and you’ve known her for two months, bro. I’ve had mascaras longer, and Benefit They’re Real! mascara is just okay.
Then Kaitlyn goes into her speech, and she’s hitting on the “faithful” theme a little too hard. I understand stressing being with one person, but I swear I could hear the italics when Kaitlyn said “only yours.”
Shawn’s proposal contained the words, “I’m not supposed to live my life without you and I’m not going to.” Proposal or threat? Who cares? These crazy kids are in love!
I think the final moment of the episode tells us the most about Kaitlyn and Shawn’s relationship. She tells him, “I love you,” and he answers, “I love you more.”
Yes, you do, Shawn. Yes, you do.
Britt and Brody sewed their wedding garments from upcycled flour sacks.
See you crazy kids in Paradise! Have at the After the Rose special in the comments. My personal favorite moment was when Shawn’s eyes went dead like a shark’s when Host Chris brought up Nick.