It was delayed by a pandemic.
It's been shrouded in mystery and speculation.
And the opening night was blanketed by drama and the teasing of an unprecedented development.
All that said, though, folks, The Bachelorette is back... and all once again feels right in the television universe!
To open the season premiere on Tuesday night, Chris Harrison acknowledged the unusual circumstances brought on by the coronavirus, coming to viewers from a La Quinta resort in California.
"How are we going to make a romantic dating show during times like these?" the host said. "Well, it took a lot of work, a lot of patience and a whole lot of testing."
After confirming that everyone on air was negative for COVID-19, the show took us to Clare's home in Sacramento and then took us back to all the tears she shed over the years on The Bachelor and Bachelor in Paradise.
Now, however, she's in charge!
"I've been looking for love my entire life, and never really fully felt like I found my person," Crawley explained.
"I'm proud to be sitting here at 39, because I know for a fact this is my time. I want a man who will be open and emotional and won't put up the walls, and this time, I'm going to follow my gut.
"Nothing is going to stop me from trying to find my husband."
As The Bachelorette spoilers have confirmed, Clare does, indeed, find a potential husband in record time this year -- but we'll get to that shortly.
Before meeting her men, Clare sat down for a chat with Harrison, reflecting on how far she's come in the seven years since her time on Juan Pablo Galavis' The Bachelor season.
"I'm a woman that knows what I want and I follow my gut," she said. "I can pick my husband out the second I meet him, so I'm ready to get the night started."
Cue the entrances!
Overall, Crawley mete 31 suitors on opening night -- but as we've been told for weeks, one stood out way, way above the rest.
“I knew it. I definitely feel like I just met my husband,” she remarked after being introduced to Dale Moss. “Oh, my God. I’m shaking.”
Harrison even stepped in to clarify the star's emotions.
“Every other guy, I felt confident with, but with Dale, everything else went dark around me,” she explained through tears. “I felt everything that I haven’t felt ever. … I felt it. I just know.
"I'm 39, like, you know these things. I know what I want, I know when I feel that feeling."
Moss and Crawley, who delved deeply into each other's social media accounts before The Bachelorette, only grew closer during the cocktail party.
Clare opened up about her mom, and Dale, whose sister has underlying health issues, said he could relate.
"It's so crazy. Everything feels so natural with Dale," Clare admitted during a confessional.
"There's those butterflies, the nervousness, but that's just because I like him. I know what I'm looking for, and I am big on energy and vibes."
Moss stole most of the headlines from the premiere because he seems to have stolen Clare's heart already.
However, serious drama also brewed between two other contestants, Tyler Cottrill and Yosef Aborady.
The former had evidently come across information about the latter messaging women on Instagram and chose to spill the tea, albeit vaguely, with a few of the contestants.
"A lot of being reckless on Instagram, flirting with girls where I'm from and who know me," he alleged.
Tyler eventually pulled Aborady aside to talk, insisting that he was trying to "protect" Crawley.
Yosef denied the allegation and took it to Clare himself, accusing Tyler of attempting to drag his name through the mud.
Clare, to her credit, immediately brought Tyler over to force the two men to hash it out.
She wanted to nip this rivalry directly in the bud and seemed satisfied once Yosaf swore his intentions were pure.
From there, Crawley sought out Blake Moynes, the one suitor who actually reached out to her early in the pandemic.
"I was struggling really bad," she said as part of a confessional. "My mom had just fallen and broke her nose, and Blake messaged me. He took that risk just to let me know that he was thinking about me."
Yes, that's against the rules.
But Clare made it clear to Blake that she didn't mind. Quite the contrary, in fact.
"Over quarantine, it was really hard for me. And you were the only guy that reached out to me the entire time," she told Blake
"I didn't want to bring this up, but there are these weird rules that we have to follow for the show of not contacting somebody. So you broke the rule.
But I want you to know that that time you broke the rule meant everything to me.
The fact that you risked not coming on here and putting that on the line, at a time where I was really struggling, it meant everything to me."
Moynes earned a kiss for his rule-breaking.
But Moss, to no one's surprise, earned Crawley's first impression rose.
Finally, at the rose ceremony, Clare whittled her choices down from 31 to 23. Farewell, Tyler C. The original Tyler C. reigns supreme.
She sent home Tyler C., Page, Chris, AJ, Jeremy, Jordan M., Mike and Robby.