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‘Bachelorette’ finale part 1 recap: Aven, Erich hesitate to propose

“He said, ‘I want to continue to date you. ‘That doesn’t scream, ‘I want to propose,'” Gabby Windey said.

The first installment of Season 19’s “Bachelorette” two-part finale aired on Tuesday, Sept. 13, with bachelorettes Rachel Recchia and Gabby Windey introducing their remaining suitors to their families and having tearful conversations about post-show plans.

The second finale will air on Tuesday, Sept. 19 with a three-hour episode.

Here’s what to know about what happened in the penultimate episode of the show, including the similar pattern of two front-runners not being able to commit to proposing, but wanting to continue with the relationship after the final episode.

Not recapped are Recchia and Windey’s live expressions as the episode unfolds in front of a live studio audience. If only we could read their minds!

Rachel Recchia

On tonight’s episode, Recchia introduced her two remaining suitors — Aven Jones and Tino Franco — to her parents (including the one and only Big Tony) and two best friends.

Zach Shallcross decided to go home ahead of the rose ceremony, saying that he sensed tension during their Fantasy Suite portion.

During his hometown visit, Jones spoke to Recchia’s friends and revealed he wasn’t ready to be engaged. He could “get there,” but he wasn’t “there” yet, and might need more time to date. “He couldn’t give me an answer,” Nate, Recchia’s friend, said.

This came as a surprise to Recchia, as she said Jones told her that he was ready for an engagement during the Fantasy Suites.

Speaking to Jones one-on-one after hearing what he told her friends, he clarified some things — or tried to. Jones said he had no doubts about her, but had doubts about the timing.

“I want to make sure it’s 100 percent right for us, right now,’ he said, explaining his hesitation. He wants to be with her, he said, but “this is both of our lives. This is a big deal.”

Franco, meanwhile, seems “nervous” to meet Recchia’s family, as her mom Mary Anne observes — and Recchia was nervous, too. She had a rocky time meeting his parents and feel that they don’t like her. Franco, however, assures Mary Anne that his family will come around.

Tony Recchia is hesitant because of Franco’s job as a contractor: He’ll be rooted while putting up skyscrapers, and Recchia wants to fly as a pilot. Historically, Tony has been protective over Recchia’s career, and always cautioned her to choose someone who would let her be ambitious.

Franco tells Tony, “I’m going to make your daughter happy forever.” Tony responds, “Well, I do like you.” In Recchia’s summary? “Today went better than I thought it would.”

Following both parent visits, Recchia spoke to Jones again in private. The conversation goes back-and-forth, before ultimately culminating in a break-up. Viewers of Rachel Lindsay’s “Bachelorette” season may be having flashbacks to her breakup with frontrunner Peter Kraus over similar grounds.

He reiterates that he wants them to be “fully, fully in love with each other” before getting engaged, and wants to travel and experience life together.

Recchia, tearfully, goes back to the discrepancy between what Jones told her in private and what he told her friends. “The one thing I wanted out of this was when you sat down with my family, we were on the same page. I feel so blindsided by you. I can’t even tell you,” she said.

Jones says, “I want to leave here with you. I want that more than anything. I’m sitting here, trying to fight for it … a life after this is something that I want with you.” He chalks him telling her he was “ready to get engaged in two weeks” up to being “caught up in it.”

Recchia shakes her head, saying she’s not willing “sacrifice” the idea of someone who’s not “sure” about her.

“I feel like I can’t move forward,” she says, tears getting progressively more intense.

He is more composed but seems shocked. “I’m never getting over this,” he says. “I didn’t intend for this to happen at all.”

“I didn’t think I was going to be leaving here without Rachel,” he says in an interview. He believes that with enough time, they “would’ve gotten there.”

During an interview at the live show, Jones apologizes once again. “I didn’t fully understand what you needed and wanted,” he says.

As for whether anything could’ve been different? Recchia says no. “I don’t know if there’s anything that we could’ve done to salvage it because we were being true in the moment,” she says.

She doesn’t appear to have hard feelings for him. “You can always go back on ‘what if,’ but at the time, he was doing what was best for him. We weren’t at the same page at the end of the same day. You were perfect,” she says.

Gabby Windey

Erich Schwer, Windey’s remaining suitor, reunites with Windey’s grandfather, Bachelor nation favorite Grandpa John, as well as her dad Patrick and aunt. “He loves me in a way that I haven’t had before but I know I need,” Windey tells her dad and aunt.

Overwhelmed by emotion, Windey breaks into tears while thinking abut how much she loves Schwer. Her aunt encourages her to tell Schwer how she feels.

They have a kiss-filled date — but soon, tension comes. Windey expresses how she wants an engagement at the end of the process. Schwer is ultimately hesitant to commit to a proposal.

From there, Windey starts to cry. “He said, ‘I want to continue to date you.’ That doesn’t scream, I want to propose,” Windey says, recapping the interaction to people who appear to be producers.

“What am I supposed to do? Walk away because he doesn’t want to propose?” Gabby asks, calling the event a “dumpster fire” and a “big mess.”

Where does this leave us for part 2 of the finale?

Interestingly, both Recchia and Windey are left with only one suitor: Windey with Schwer, Recchia with Franco. Meanwhile, Schwer isn’t ready to propose, based on the interaction we just saw.

This set-up is unusual for “The Bachelor” or “The Bachelorette,” a show that generally turns the final proposal into a game of suspense.

In this way, franchise history repeats itself: Recchia was in a similar position last season of “The Bachelor,” when two of Clayton Echard’s top three women left (at least, until both came back — it’s a long story).

The teaser shows more drama: The word “lying” getting thrown around quite a bit between Recchia and Franco, Windey saying she might “walk away,” and Recchia saying she felt “blindsided and betrayed.”

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