If there is a moral to this season's "The Bachelorette," it is this: True love knows no barriers.
The passion of Chicago's Ed Swiderski prevailed over 29 other men, considerable distance, temporary erectile dysfunction, a Hail Mary pass from reject Reid, and even Microsoft.
This is a love that will last.
At least, one hopes, until the "After the Final Rose" special airs tonight.
Jillian Harris had a busy finale, introducing both Kiptyn and Ed to her family on Hawaii's Big Island. It looked as though Kiptyn had a shot - her only complaint about him was that he's "too perfect," and she even trotted out her white bikini for him - but Ed won over a couple of key loved ones: Jillian's dad, who said he'd do somersaults if Ed proposed, and Jillian's grandma, who sized him up by saying, "Terrifically good lookin', huh?" Then he proved his love by hula-dancing in a coconut bikini top.
Ed had a lot of ground to make up. He left the competition at one point because he was afraid of losing his job at Microsoft. "I will never leave you again," he promised Jillian.
And then there was the disastrous overnight date, which both Jillian and Ed slept through. It made Jillian worry that Ed just wasn't that into her. The pressure was on, and it didn't seem as though a helicopter trip would increase intimacy.
But it must have worked. Afterward, the two of them were cuddling in bed when producers cut to a volcano erupting. Really.
Kiptyn was prepared to propose, but Jillian dispatched him quickly - making her the first woman ever to dump him. What luck to have caught it on film!
That left a few extra minutes for dark horse Reid to return in a taxi van, rumpled and untucked, to declare his last-minute love for Jillian. (He decided against wearing his glasses for the occasion.)
Jillian graciously cried and pondered his proposal. But she dismissed the neurotic Chandler Bing lookalike a second time, and then growled, with her hands on hips, "Ed better not [expletive] disappoint me."
He did not. When Ed finally arrived and got down to business - and one knee - he broke out an ostentatious diamond ring, and Jillian let out a little dolphin squeal.
"I want you to give me a hard time when we're 80 years old," Ed said. "Jillian, will you marry me?"
It wasn't long before Jillian jumped up and wrapped her legs around Ed (as she is wont to do). Then she piggy-back-rode him off into the sunset.
A happy ending, yes - but don't forget that the last Bachelor, Jason Mesnick, had a happy ending, too, until the "After the Final Rose" special. That's when he essentially announced to his fiancée, "Just kidding," and switched to his second choice.
So. Will Jillian move to Chicago? Will she still love Ed if he's unemployed? Will Reid get to be the next Bachelor, or can we at least get him a sitcom?
Tonight, let's hope for a little closure.