"The Bachelor" recap: Peter flies off into the sunset - with all the turbulence
Huh. Who would've guessed that a season generally disliked and despised would come to a good ending? Not a happy ending, but the right ending – a hot angry mess of a conclusion that's exactly what this burning clown car season deserved, one with plenty of ridiculous drama, unpredictable characters, kooky twists and shockingly dedicated villains. Tuesday night's "Bachelor" final bow for Peter was so preposterously entertaining and overall ludicrous, Harrison might not have been overstating it this time: It may just be the most dramatic finale they've ever had. (OK, no, Harrison was definitely overstating it – but the fact that I'm even remotely close to saying he wasn't wrong feels like a win.)
Everyone was there in the studio for the finale: Neil Lane was there chilling in the crowd, probably hocking some jewelry; Peter's parents were there dressed in funereal black (GREAT SIGN!); even Kelley was there despite how much the producers allegedly disliked her. They didn't put her in the quality seats though, instead tucking her seemingly in the back in the dark. We got a Peter's Mom Cam throughout most of the episode, putting her reactions in a picture-in-picture at the bottom of the screen, but it was a real missed opportunity to have a Kelley Cam as well, just featuring her smirking for two hours and fist-pumping that she dodged such a poison-dipped bullet. IF THIS IS THE LAST WE SEE OF KELLEY, WE REVOLT AT SUNDOWN! (*looks outside, sees it's already dark*) SUNRISE THEN!
While everyone in the live studio is excited, we've got an actual finale to reveal – so we're off to Australia where Peter's jogging along an abandoned dusty road thinking about his very important and very difficult non-decision. Does he pick Hannannannannann? Or does he pick ... uh ... welp, considering he's run out of women, I guess he's picking Hannah Bananarama! He brings in Neil Lane to snag a comically gaudy engagement ring and Skypes with Hannah Fanna Fo Fanna's dad to ask for his blessing – a moment nowhere near as romantic as the music wants it to be. Props to getting such incredible service, though, in the middle of the damn Outback!
While Peter's happy about finally making his non-choice, Hannah Ann is getting dressed and DRAMATICALLY CONTEMPLATING into the middle distance. She's tired of giving Peter all her energy and heart only for not receive equally in return – aka she's suddenly realizing that, instead of gaining a ton of new Instagram followers and modeling gigs, she might actually have to marry Peter (and his mom) at the end of this, so she's looking around for any reason to hit the eject button. Harrison gets wind of this and, after assumably rubbing his hands together and cackling, goes to give Peter heart palpitations, telling his star that he's not sure Hannannannann is coming anymore. But after Peter has a small myocardial infarction in some random desert shanty, Harrison comes back around to say, "Hey, you know that thing I said about Hannah Ann not coming that took 12 years off your life? I LIED!"
Indeed, Hannah Ann is still coming to the rose ceremony; she just needs to know that she's the only woman Peter loves. OOOH BOY, IF YOU ONLY KNEW YOU'RE THE ONLY WOMAN FOR PETER – BECAUSE LITERALLY, THERE'S NO ONE ELSE LEFT. Eventually she does find out in the middle of Peter's long-winded proposal, as Peter explains that Madison "left two days ago." First of all, that is MAYBE 17 percent of the whole story, Peter – and second of all, he starts that sentence with a dramatic and out-of-the-blue "Madison ..." and I was absolutely convinced that Peter called Hannah Ann the wrong name. I still am! Maybe he did and he just recovered smoothly! But anyways, Peter eventually gets around to actually proposing, and all of Hannah Ann's reservations go out the window as she starts getting giddy and saying yes to the ring. Gotta say: Not really buying her reaction. She busted out some real Sally Field-esque "You like me?! You really like me?!" material like she was still figuring out her escape plan.
But hey, good for the happy couple! Now please get them out of that dusty-ass desert. They've probably got sand everywhere and all in their shoes. I'm annoyed for them.
So far, so not that dramatic – but just wait, because Peter's still got to talk to his mom, Barb, and she's already crying when he arrives back from the set of "Mad Max: Fury Road." Happy tears? Honestly, I don't think so because BARB IS SO SCARED. The family – Barb, Sully Sullenberger and Lil' Peter – is all gathered on couches, stressed out and holding each other's hands like they're waiting on a cancer diagnosis as opposed to a reality dating show update. Peter takes his sweet time getting to it – so much so that even Sully is like, "GET TO THE PUNCHLINE, SON!" – but finally he breaks the news: He chose Hannah Ann. And my god, you'd think the Webers just won the lottery. Barb is crying (again) and rejoicing and already calling Hannah Ann her daughter. It might be the happiest day in her life. Wedding vows renewed? A nice day. Birth of her two sons? Not bad. Finding out that her son can still have sex and go line-dancing at 4 a.m? IT'S CHAMPAGNE O'CLOCK!
Back at the live studio, however, it is clearly NOT champagne o'clock for Barb. She is DISPLEASED about something – and if all was well with Peter and Hannah Ann, they would've come out on stage together instead of just Peter sitting on the couch.
Indeed, cut to a month or so after Peter's big proposal, and we see what's caused all the sad faces. Hannah Ann and Peter are meeting up for the first time in a month, and Peter is apologizing because he's still conflicted about his feelings and struggling to give her his entire heart – and Hannah Ann's had enough. She said yes to a partnership with Peter, but she's still not getting equal love in return – and she's done. WHOA, DID I MISS A SCENE, BECAUSE WE WENT FROM ZERO TO SIXTY IN RECORD TIME! At least with Arie and Becca's big finale breakup, the show kind of explained that things were distant and chilly between the two after the show wrapped; this season, the show just jumps right into Hannah Ann and Peter tired and splitting up – complete with Barb Cam in the corner. Hannah Ann rails against Peter for ruining her engagement and says that "he's done enough damage," which earns applause from ... BARB!? Well that's a situation that will eventually end up on the couch of Peter's future therapist!
That's a problem for another time: Right now, Hannah Ann's marching out on Peter and driving away, even giving him the Heisman in the car with no interest in a hug or any pleasantries.
Back in the studio, Harrison brings out Hannannannannann to discuss what all happened, and here's a crazy twist: She had a personality this whole time! Really! Hannah Ann is feisty and strong and a whole lot more interesting than she was over the last two months of television. THE EDIT GAVE YOU A CRAP DEAL! No wonder Barb seems like to like Hannah Ann more than her actual son, applauding all of her no-longer-daughter-in-law's zingers and sharply made points.
And I mean ZINGERS. Hannah Ann is not there to forgive or to make amends. She's there to leave a mark deeper than a head-stabbing with a glass of water. Everyone during the studio interview keeps saying that Peter broke off the engagement, but THAT'S NOT WHAT I SAW! He may have started it, but Hannah Ann decidedly ended it – and fairly so, not only because Peter was still in love with Madison but because he essentially lied about what happened with her at the proposal. Remember: He merely said she left, which is leaves a lot of what ACTUALLY happened out. And as Hannah Ann acutely says, she didn't know what she was saying yes to – which was a guy still dealing with someone else, someone he still loved, basically making his final choice for him by dumping him. AND SPEAKING OF PEOPLE WHO DUMPED HIM, Hannah Ann also reveals that, while Peter was navigating his feelings toward her and Madison, he ALSO reached out to Hannah Brown for "closure." NOT THE TIME, MY BOY!
At the end, Hannah Ann tells Peter that "you need to become a real man," and that kind of deserved savagery on television merits applause – and an apology, Hannah Ann. You turned out to be awesome – and you weren't looking for the eject button as much as I assumed. I'm glad you still found it in the end, though. ENJOY PARADISE!
Between Hannah Ann's burns and Barb's sassy claps, this would've already been a memorable ending – but wait, there's more. Harrison apparently decided to take the show into his own hands and go to Auburn, Alabama to win back Madison for Peter. THIS FEELS LIKE AN OVERSTEP! What if Peter wants to try to work things out with Hannah Ann? What if he's finally moved on from Madison? What if he'd rather work on his clearly fractured relationship with his mom before hopping back into dating? HARRISON, YOU'VE GONE MAD WITH POWER!
Anyways, he drops by to talk to Madison – who honestly seems like she thinks Harrison's going to offer her the role of the next "Bachelorette." Cue sad trumpet sound, because he's actually just there to talk more Peter – all while Barb Cam stink-faces in the corner of the screen. She gets a recap of everything that happened with Peter – mainly Hannah Ann bailing on him and Harrison saying that Peter's kept Madison in his heart through it all. So, after thinking about it, Madison decides to give it another go and meet back with Peter, where happy plucky guitar music greets them so this probably ends well. And indeed, bad news, Barb, but after a quick poolside chat, the two seem interested in trying to date and make things work again. Harrison then brings Madison out to confirm that, even though they haven't seen each other since that day at the pool (BAD START, YOU TWO!), they've been talking productively and, though Peter's in love with Madison and she still has strong feelings for him, they're taking it one day at a time since there's a lot of healing to do.
Also: A not-important point, but Peter and Madison hug when she first comes out, and "The Bachelor" busts out its "you can hear the heartbeat" move for approximately the fifteenth time these past three episodes. I'M OFFICIALLY RETIRING THAT MOVE, HARRISON!
Welp, sure, maybe it wasn't the happiest ending, but it's certainly a positive ending – oh wait, you thought we were done? Because I just checked my watch; we have 30 minutes left, and the clock just struck Barb Going Savage time. YOU HONESTLY THOUGHT BARB WAS GONNA TAKE THIS SILENTLY!? Here I was, thinking Barb was going to come into the finale a little contrite about how aggressive, judgmental and controlling she seemed in the previous episode – and swing and a miss on that prediction. Barb didn't apologize; she DOUBLED DOWN on Tuesday night.
I'll tell you one thing for sure...Peter is about to lose his tv privileges at home and you can forget about the Xbox.#TheBachelorpic.twitter.com/IllIv9QBmj — morgan_caron (@coloradmo_caron) March 11, 2020
After Peter and Madison explain where they're now at, Harrison asks Barb what she thinks – and in addition saying that she got nice messages in her DMs about her behavior the previous night, she explains why she fell so hard for Hannah Ann. And she does not mince words, saying that while Hannah Ann was loving, organic and easy with the family, Madison showed up three hours late to meeting with the family (feels like more of a Harrison problem than a Madison one, but OK Barb), she didn't want to meet them and she didn't apologize for arriving so late. THIS IS SOME INCREDIBLE PARENT RANTING! What an impeccable mom move to go on live television and complain about your son's girlfriend not being timely. She also says that Madison told the family that she wasn't going to accept a proposal from Peter right away, so as a result, no, Barb and Sully weren't excited about her. Meanwhile, throughout this all, Madison is RIGHT THERE, hearing all of this from Peter's mom and giving her intense "bless your heart" energy. EXCELLENT TELEVISION, HARRISON!
Given a chance to retort, Madison gracefully says that she loves and respects Peter, so she loves and respects his parents too. And if you think that kind and mature response earned Madison some points from the family, YOU! DON'T! KNOW! BARB! After whispering something in secret to Sully (WHERE ARE YOUR MICROPHONES WHEN I NEED THEM, HARRISON!?), Barb continues in on Madison, saying that while Hannah Ann seemed willing to compromise, Madison didn't. Madison accurately points out that, while she understands that Barb will defend her son and his heart, this wasn't just Peter finding a wife but also her finding a husband. This is a two-person journey in the end, not just Peter's. NOT GOOD ENOUGH FOR BARB! In the end, Harrison asks what it will take for Barb will to accept Peter's decision, and she says, "He's going to have to fail to succeed." SAVAGERY! A reminder: MADISON IS RIGHT THERE. IN THE ROOM. LOOKING AT BARB IN THE FACE. LIVE TELEVISION. And Barb gives exactly not one crap.
In the end, Peter tries to say that he loves Madison, and that should be enough. (It will not.) Also: Harrison tries asking Sully Sullenberger what he makes of all of this, and before he answers, Barb DEFINITELY whispers something barely audible to him in Spanish that probably translates out to "don't you dare sell me out on national television." So he coughs up some beige word salad and says essentially nothing while clearly wanting to dig himself a hole to hide in and reminisce about happier times – like that time the crowd was cheering on his son for having sex four times in a windmill.
And, welp, that's all she wrote about Petey Propellers! And you know what, after that finale, I call this season a one million percent success. I mean, obviously Peter was a terrible "Bachelor," most of the season was brutal to watch, the women involved were cruel and catty to a painful degree, the producers' shenanigans were out of control and the final couple will almost certainly split up because GET OUT OF THERE WHILE YOU CAN, MADISON! But if a season's going to be a dumpster fire, you might as well throw a jug of kerosene on it and see how big of a raging blaze you can get – and thanks to this finale, you could see the mesmerizing flames and smoke from space. By the end, we didn't get boring bad; we got batsh*t bad. It got so bad, it went full circle and became great. And that's a victory. I mean, hell, why are we getting "The Bachelor: All Jeds Edition" when CLEARLY we should get a reality show about Barb and Madison trying to coexist together while Sully stares silently and vacantly into the middle distance and Peter flaccidly tries to keep the peace before going out to the club to line-dance the sadness away.
Oh well. Bring on Clare – who congrats on getting to follow Peter. After him, the bar for being a competent "Bachelorette" is so low, it's somewhere melted near the Earth's core.
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