(This post contains spoilers for the Love Is Blind Season 4 finale.)
Zack Goytowski might have a degree in law, but he appears to have only read one love story. At least, he’s referenced a certain one twice during this season of Love Is Blind—and both times, in the same way.
During the Season 4 finale, which debuted Friday, Zack sits with his friends at a poker table set for a game they’re definitely not playing so that they can talk before his wedding ceremony. While Zack effusively praises his fiancée, Bliss Poureetezadi, one of his buddies astutely asks why he didn’t pick her first and instead chose his other pod flame, Irina Solomonova. It apparently came down to Bliss’s family, and Zack’s fear during their initial conversations that he might not receive her father’s approval.
“You know,” Zack says, “Romeo and Juliet didn’t work out for a reason.”
These are not words most brides would want coming out of her man’s mouth right before he saunters up to the altar, but then again, this is Love Is Blind. Given some of the pre-wedding antics seen even in this episode, Zack’s looking good. In the end, the couple decides to get married—making Love Is Blind history in the process as the first couple to break up in the pods and still wind up together.
Zack and Bliss’s wedding ceremony was one of the most suspenseful this season, alongside Kwame Appiah and Chelsea Griffin’s, but was there ever really a universe in which two would say “no”? I mean, their moms both dedicated the song “I Hope You Dance” by Lee Ann Womack to them! And more importantly, Bliss already chose to come back to date a man who dumped her for a 25-year-old whom he openly describes as “vicious.”
She’s seen his owl art and knows that he paid real, American dollars for a device that plays Harry Potter music whenever he opens his bedroom door. And then, after their awkward post-breakup lunch date at a vibeless café, he botched their steaks the first time he cooked for her. If you stick with a man through all of that, you’re getting married whether you secretly hate him or not.
(I’m not the only one getting that vibe, right? Like, she brings up the fact that he picked her second a lot, and then he does that awkward thing where he refuses to even acknowledge that he did, just because he regretted it? Also, while we’re here, if Zack’s big fear is being with someone whose family hates him, why is he running head-first into a relationship in which this appears to be exactly the case?
Also-also, if these two already broke the mold of the show and didn’t go on a honeymoon together, are they technically even supposed to be here right now? Does Nick and Vanessa Lachey’s Funhouse of Emotional Torture actually have no rules? And most importantly, couldn’t Zack and Bliss just be dating the normal way right now if all they wanted was a relationship and not the screen time that comes with it?!)
There never seemed to be much question that Zack would “yes,” either. He’s spent the entire back half of the season making the case that he’s known Bliss was the one for him all along, even though he didn’t pick her first—and as a lawyer, you know he’d hate to lose a case.
Heading into the wedding, Bliss’s father can’t help but land one last dig on his daughter’s husband-to-be. “Hopefully this young man can keep up with you,” he says. “Not sure if he can, but hopefully he can. … Remember you’re the person that has everything to offer, right?” To add insult to injury, it’s right around this moment that you might notice the wedding’s welcome sign, which misspells Zack’s name as “Zach.”
Nevertheless, the groom persisted—with a wedding speech that reminded us all, once again, that he did not pick his bride first. (Remember that time he brought it up with her family, to her visible displeasure?)
“I think the moment that I knew that I loved you was when I told you goodbye,” Zack tells Bliss at the altar. “It was when I said goodbye that I knew what I had lost. And when you were gone and I was alone and I was lonely and sad, and when I’d lay down at night, I’d think about how much you understood me—how well you got me, how much we had in common. And it was when you were gone that I thought about you and how your actions speak so much more loudly than anything anyone could ever say.”
Bliss had to correct Zack when he told the crowd she’d stayed up for four hours making cupcakes—“It was two hours, okay?”—but eventually, the groom got to the good stuff. “I love you,” he said. “I love everything about you. You are brilliant. You’re beautiful. You’re caring, you’re thoughtful, you’re generous. I didn’t know I loved you until I left. For sure. I felt it, but it was when you were gone that I knew that I really loved you.”
The bride, meanwhile, kept things brief. “I think the biggest thing is your perspective on the world is so beautiful, and you really believe in second chances,” she said. “You believe in seeing the best in people. Just meeting a man who is so kind is a unique thing. Seeing how you care about others and how smart you are, and truly how smart you are as a person. I’ve never met someone like you before. You’re everything.”
Then came the moment we’ve all been waiting for since the pods: a first dance, set to Lee Ann Womack’s song, now their song. Romeo and Juliet, who?
As for the other Love Is Blind couples this season? Kwame and Chelsea did get married, as did Brett Brown and Tiffany Pennywell. (Marshall Glaze even showed up at the latter wedding to wish his LIB BFF good luck—although he obviously did not bring Jackie as a date, after their break-up and her subsequent decision to date her other pod flame, Josh Demas.) Micah Lussier and Paul Peden, meanwhile, broke up at the altar after she challenged him to choose her first and he declined to do so.
Each season of Love Is Blind seems to find subtle new ways to heighten its drama, and this season felt, to borrow a turn of phrase from The Bachelor, like the most dramatic season ever. At the same time,this season’s production felt a little more heavy-handed than in seasons past. From Zack and Bliss’s reunion to Brett’s pre-wedding trip to the tailor, certain moments felt a little too orchestrated. Then again, maybe that will make the show’s upcoming live reunion special even more fun when it drops on Sunday.
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