Chris Harrison is prone to hyperbole, but he wouldn't be exaggerating to say this was the most controversial season of Bachelor in Paradise ever. Even though it turned out to be without merit, the sex scandal that at one point seemed like it had doomed the show hung over the season like a dark cloud. The show handled it badly, and its glib, responsibility-deflecting treatment of serious subject matter made unreservedly enjoying the season impossible.
But Dean Unglert and Kristina Schulman did their best to make us forget by giving us a dramatic storyline that made us hate the handsome guy we loved so much on Rachel's season of The Bachelorette. And the finale made it even better for us/worse for Dean, who has made himself Bachelor Nation's public enemy #1.
In the Paradise half of the episode, Dean broke up with D-Lo, admitting that he was in love with Kristina. It was very dumb. He shouldn't have done that. You would have thought that that would set up a reunion with Kristina, but that very much not what happened, as we learned in the studio half.
While the cast was entering the studio, the audience booed Dean. And it only got worse for him from there.
Kristina started their segment by talking about how D-Lo never talked to her about her relationship with Dean. The fact that Kristina even brought this up is kind of a disturbing indication that she still has feelings for Dean. Like, why isn't all of your ire directed at Dean? D-Lo is in the same boat as you. Even Dean said "You guys should not be arguing with each other. It all falls on me."
Then Dean got in the hot seat. He said he unfollowed her on social media because he couldn't bear to look at her. He didn't say he was still in love with Kristina, but he did say that he still had "very strong emotions" for her. She said that she hopes he doesn't treat the next person he dates like this, but that she "will always have a special place in my heart for you, Dean."
But then! D-Lo came through with some scorching hot tea, saying that Dean hit her up like an hour after he had been crying about Kristina. They even tried dating after the show, and all the while he was still talking to Kristina. Insanity. He admitted that his indecisiveness carried on after the show was over.
Bachelor Nation lost its collective mind with this revelation.
And then in tandem they dragged him to hell.
But after all that, I still wouldn't be surprised if Kristina and Dean got back together. On an episode of Ellen that was taped after this finale, they said they were still talking, and that Kristina would consider getting back with him if he learned from his mistakes. Don't do it, Kristina! Learn from your own mistakes!