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Originally published December 16, 2009 at 10:52 AM | Page modified March 2, 2009 at 8:02 PM

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"The Bachelor" finale: Decisions, decisions — and theories galore

What will Jason Mesnick do? Theories abound about the ending — or multiple endings? — of ABC's "The Bachelor," starring the single dad from Kirkland.

Seattle Times staff reporter

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"The Bachelor"

8 tonight; 10 p.m. Tuesday on ABC. Watch prior episodes at www.abc.com. Check back on www.seattletimes.com for recaps after the show airs Monday and Tuesday nights.

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I love Jason Mesnick's love life. What can I say?

But I prefer not to count all the hours I've spent watching and thinking about "The Bachelor" this season. Including all the time I've squandered entertaining various theories about which bachelorette the Kirkland single dad chose when the show finished taping last November.

Mesnick told The Seattle Times in early December that he was indeed engaged and in love. So now that the finale (including two "After the Final Rose" episodes) are scheduled for tonight and Tuesday, it's time to indulge in some straight-up speculation. If you don't want to be clued in to potential endings, avert your eyes now.

The possibilities

In order of very unlikely to highly possible, here are some theories I've "heard" (i.e., read on the Internet). Let us begin.

Jason brings Jillian back.

What should Jason do? Pick second runner-up Jillian.

What will he do? Pick someone else. If you believe this theory, you didn't pay any attention during "The Women Tell All." They are clearly just friends.

Jason reunites with DeAnna.

What should Jason do? Don't do it!

What will he do? He won't do it. ABC has teased ad nauseam the return of "Bachelorette" DeAnna Pappas, who dumped Jason for the snowboarder. The promos include a deceptive cut from DeAnna to a dramatic emotional moment on a balcony.

But Jason wears his finale suit on the balcony, not the lumberjack plaid shirt from the scene with DeAnna. He also has thanked DeAnna in interviews for not picking him. And the Bachelorette who wore only slinky dresses throughout her entire season wears a suit to woo her ex? No one does that.

Jason proposes to Molly.

What should Jason do? I love the drama, and picking Molly now would shock everyone.

What will Jason do? He won't choose Molly. Not yet.

Jason proposes to Melissa.

What should Jason do? Not pick her. See Molly theory.

What will he do? Probably propose. The Internet says so.

Jason proposes to Melissa then dumps her on national television for Molly.

What should Jason do? Who would want to do it?

What will Jason do? If you listen to the Bachelor buzz on the Internet, this is the big twist ABC keeps hinting at. The biggest proponent of this theory is a guy known as Reality Steve. Google if you must, but his site is heavy on the conspiracy about how ABC and Jason have been involved in this from the beginning.

I question the conspiracy part — though I'd never count out ABC when it comes to manipulating our expectations — but from all appearances, Jason's in it for love. I think things got a little messy post-final rose with Melissa, and when you're the Bachelor, you have other options. Like Molly.

Chris Harrison also has been lecturing viewers on his EW.com blog and swears the ending is not scripted. He adds that they haven't shot the second "After the Final Rose" episode. I have no idea what that means, but let the games begin!

Nicole Tsong: 206-464-2150 or ntsong@seattletimes.com

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