Everything you need to know going into the finale

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The end of season 20 of The Bachelorette has arrived, and now the beginning of a new life for Charity Lawson, a 27-year-old child and family therapist from Columbus, GA potentially awaits with one of the two — or maybe even three —three suitors who remain.

A lot has happened in just eight short weeks — from the rise and fall of Brayden to a few dramatic exits and everything in between — so before we find out who’s getting down on one knee, who might be getting a “yes” and who’s gonna be headed home with a sad face, here is a recap of how Charity arrived to this season’s finale with Dotun, Joey and Aaron B. still vying for her heart.

Night One

After learning a bit more about Charity — like, she’s the youngest of four siblings and appeared on season 27 of The Bachelor with Zach Shallcross — it was time for her to meet 25 new guys all hoping to find a connection and, eventually, an engagement with Charity.

With her brother Nehemiah disguised as a bartender and watching on, we met the eventual finalists like Dotun, a 30-year-old integrative medicine specialist from Brooklyn who emigrated from Nigeria with his family when he was 4 years old.

“He’s a charmer,” Charity said as he walked away from their first encounter. “I’ve gotta keep my eye on him.”

We also met Joey, a 27-year-old tennis pro who grew up in Pennsylvania but now lives in Hawaii; Xavier, a 27-year-old biomedical scientist who got the first kiss of the season; and Aaron B., a 29-year-old software salesman who ended up playing the piano and reciting a spoken word poem about Charity, for Charity.

And then, of course, this is where we met Brayden, a 24-year-old nurse from San Diego whose ongoing drama would be a central theme this season. He ended up kissing Charity and then overly boasting about it later, a move that didn’t sit well with her bartending brother. So bro told his sis what he heard, but Brayden ended up with the first impression rose anyway, while six other guys were already sent packing.

Week Two

Week two included the spoken word guy, Aaron B., getting the first one-on-one date, which ended with a “private” concert by former American Idol star Lauren Alaina.

The first group date of the season featured guys in banana hammocks playing against each other in a game of beach dodgeball. Adrian, a 33-year-old realtor from Northridge, CA won the MVP award and later bickered back and forth with Brayden about whether or not he deserved it.

A second daytime group date turned into just a one-on-one date that night with Joey, a move that Brayden thought was disrespectful to the other guys — though he wasn’t even on that group date — and threatened to leave the show. Of course, he didn’t leave, and despite later telling Charity he “had a lot of doubt about” her character, he ended up sticking around.

Meanwhile, Joey got the date rose, Dotun had another great quality moment with Charity, and she sent home five more suitors.

Week Three

Charity and Brayden choppered into San Diego's Petco Park for a stadium date.

Charity and Brayden choppered into San Diego’s Petco Park for a stadium date.

The third episode of the season brought the gang down to Oceanside, CA, with Charity and Brayden going there by helicopter and landing in San Diego’s Petco Park for a fun one-on-one date.

The episode also included a Barbie-themed group date, another poignant moment between Charity and Dotun that resulted in him getting a date rose, and yet again more drama from Brayden.

This time he made the mistake of admitting to others that he’s not sure if he’ll be able to propose at the end of the season after she was also dating “20 other dudes.” Naturally, word got back to Charity who ultimately decided to keep Brayden around for another week, while sending home three more men instead.

Week Four

With just 10 guys left during episode four, the group went on a trip to the Pacific Northwest. While there, Charity bungee jumped with Dotun — who also ate s’mores for the first time — before giving him a date rose.

Brayden ended up as part of the group date and it didn’t go that well for him. He later talked more about his wavering commitment issues and ultimately ended up in a serious chat with Charity, who let him go at the end of it.

But that wasn’t the end for Brayden, who came back the next night during a cocktail party to confront Charity. She sent him packing a second time, and he was then confronted by the remaining guys on his way to the van, where things momentarily got heated.

Meanwhile, Joey also received a date rose and Charity said goodbye to three others.

Week Five

The final six remaining guys joined Charity on a trip to New Orleans for the fifth episode, where she ultimately had trouble picking two guys to send home.

Joey got a one-on-one date, where the two discussed the potential of being an interracial relationship among other topics, on his way to securing a rose and a spot in the following week’s hometown dates. He also dropped the line, “I’m falling in love with you,” and Charity reciprocated the sentiment.

Charity also had a one-on-one date with Dotun who, after helping put the “fun” in a 10k Fun Run with Charity, earned himself a rose and his own spot in the hometown dates.

Then there’s Sean and Tanner who got a two-on-one date with Charity and neither received a rose. Sean didn’t like that very much and later showed up at Charity’s room to basically demand a rose from her. Instead, he was sent home.

As for Tanner, he got sent home later after a three-on-one date that left just Joey, Dotun, Xavier and Aaron B. for the hometown dates.

Week Six

For the hometown dates in the sixth week of the season, Charity met up with Aaron B. in Houston where she had to try to win over his mom, Ethel, and seemed to succeed.

She also went to a knitting class with Xavier in Cleveland and hung out with Dotun in Fresno, where his parents came home early from a long trip to Nigeria to surprise them.

But it was while she was on a tennis date with Joey in his hometown of Collegeville, PA, that the drama of the episode really started to heat up, thanks to his Uncle Joe. After showing up unannounced, the uncle proceeded to openly question if his nephew was rushing things and trying to be someone he isn’t. Eventually, Charity started to catch on to the vibe and asked Uncle Joe if he thinks Joey is truly ready to be a husband and a father one day.

“I think he is going to be an amazing husband and an amazing dad,” Joe said. “But is he ready right now? I don’t know.”

Despite a tough ending to that date, luckily Uncle Joe didn’t quite ruin it for his nephew as Charity ended up sending Aaron B. home instead, which came as a surprise to some viewers. And that left only Dotun, Xavier and Joey still remaining.

Week Seven

Charity and Dotun romancing island-style.

Charity and Dotun romancing island-style.

After narrowing down the field of 25 men to just three, it was time to head out on a series of “overnight” dates on the islands of Fiji.

First up first was Xavier, whose solid daytime date gave way to a rather rocky dinner portion in the evening. Knowing that infidelity was a major concern and very triggering for Charity, Xavier finally decided to come clean about his most recent serious relationship, in which he was unfaithful.

And in the series of questions that followed, Charity was not satisfied with what he had done to learn from and better himself. She abruptly decided to walk Xavier to the minivan for his Bachelorette exit while sending the internet into a frenzy during her post-dumping interview with the line: “This isn’t build-a-man workshop. I have no choice but to move forward.”

Things went much better for Dotun and Joey who both managed to make it to the morning portion for their “overnight” dates. However, just when you thought the final two was set, more drama was quickly stirred up with the return of Aaron B., who showed up to a happy reaction from Charity and a cliffhanger ending for viewers.

Men Tell All

Arriving in the week between the “overnight” dates and the finale was the Men Tell Tall special, which was pretty much just Brayden vs. the world. But really the only person whose opinion actually matters in this case was Charity’s.

“I will be honest; I did not like how you talked about our relationship to a lot of the guys. That was really hard for me to watch back,” Charity said to him during the special. “I gave you a lot more grace than I think I should have given you if I’m being honest.”

In the least surprising move of the night, it was announced that Brayden will be appearing on the spin-off show Bachelor in Paradise, and a preview clip showed him getting close with Kat, who was also on season 27 of The Bachelor.

Looking ahead at Monday’s finale of The Bachelorette, we know that things will continue in Fiji where host Jesse Palmer said it’s “more emotional and more heartbreaking than you can even imagine.”

That’s because it appears that Aaron B.’s surprise arrival put him right back into the thick of things, of course further complicating an already difficult decision for Charity. The fact that he was sent home once isn’t always a good sign, but Charity’s comments in the trailer show the other side of that coin as well.

“I’m glad that he did not give up on this and that he saw me as someone worth fighting for. But there is this new added layer of pressure,” she said.

Elsewhere, Dotun has been a fan and critic favorite — not to mention one of Charity’s consistent favorites — throughout the season and seems to be doubling down on his commitment to her in the previews. And Joey, who has also endeared plenty of fans and created some memorable moments with Charity along the way, could also make a strong case for their future together.

As long as his Uncle Joe doesn’t show up in Fiji.

The Bachelorette finale airs Monday at 8 p.m. on ABC.


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