This is the second night of the finale, which will reveal to us whether the new “it” couple to appear on Kimmel, the cover of People, and the bottom of hamster cages everywhere will be Preweber or Petah Ann. At this point, though, Peter is just as likely to become the president’s fifth Chief of Staff.
Spoilers insist it’s Madison who prevails, but with a turn in the road that sends your car into a ditch. She chooses not to attend the Final Rose Ceremony, probably because she has tickets to a local production of Hadestown. Meanwhile, Hannah Ann gets the ring from Peter and attention from the press for a few days—longer if she gets coronavirus.
Apparently, Madison reenters the picture after deciding it’s not incompatible with her faith to love a man whose willy has visited more unfamiliar locations than Paul Theroux. This is after she learns that Hannah Ann and Peter have broken up.
As of blog time, the raven-haired Alabaman and the scruffy-faced pilot are still together, but not engaged, possibly because Neil Lane only distributes free diamonds once per season. Peter’s mom may also have had some influence on their still-single status, much as Joan Crawford did how her kids organized their closets.
After the Final Rose addresses the tale woven by these events in the land down under, where pageant girls glow and bachelors plunder. We’ll learn more about the bitterness, rancor, and resentment that are the inevitable result of concocting romance in a petri dish.
At the show’s opening, Chris informs us that we won’t believe how Peter’s journey ends. We can only hope it’s not like Airport ’77 did. And unless Peter transmogrifies into a chupacabra, I will believe how it ends just fine. Chris goes on to tell us that no one knows what will happen tonight, except the script supervisor, Reality Steve, and anyone who’s ever seen a Lifetime movie. Neil Lane is in the audience, as well as some of the ex-bachelorettes and a crowd of ladies hepped up on Red Bull.
In Australia, Peter takes a jog through the desert. He forgot his water bottle. He pauses to rest on a rock and ponder the nature of love, or whatever it is that’s going on between him and the two girls. Madison is the one he loves, but it also feels right and real with Hannah Ann, too. When they’re out of Double Stuf, you can just have two regular Oreos.
Neil Lane arrives at Peter’s suite to discuss pear shapes and carat weights long enough for the dimwit to choose something more faputzed than an Elvis jumpsuit. Peter than calls Hannah Ann’s dad to ask for his blessing. After that’s signed off, the paperwork filed, and the ring insured, the groom-to-be is ready to propose.
Meanwhile, Hannah reflects on the special moment to come. She hopes to have the validation that she’s found her person. She has been searching for so long, nearly three fiscal years, yet she remains troubled by Peter’s feelings for Madison. She understands, though, as she personally has trouble deciding between a turtleneck and a cowl.
At the proposal site, Peter is waiting anxiously. Chris appears and reports somberly that he’s not positive Hannah Ann is coming. Didn’t the producer mention anything? Peter is shocked and bereft, which he indicates by stalking around and staring at the ground a lot. Will there be no chocolate sandwich cookies after all this?
At the studio, the audience is thrilled at Peter’s dismay. What will Hannah Ann do? Will there be no one to propose to? What happens to the Neil Lane ring? Peter moves to his suite to kvetch and face-palm some more, until Chris comes to tell him that Hannah Ann is on her way. We need more cute Australian animals to provide relief from this nonsense.
Peter returns to the ceremony site, but he looks uncertain about what he is about to do. The music suggests he’s in a remake of The Exorcist. Meanwhile, Hannah Ann has convinced herself that their love is strong, but she does wonder if she’s truly Peter’s first choice, or really third since he wanted to marry Hannah Brown. Neither of these two is in the best state of mind to make a lifetime commitment that includes choosing a home insurance provider.
Peter reminds Hannah Ann that he gave her the First Impression Rose. Since then, they have made beautiful music together. Not stuff that charted or anything, but catchy enough. He updates her on Madison ditching him, but since Hannah Ann is by the same manufacturer, it’s pretty much all the same to him.
He kneels and shows her the branded ring box. I’ve seen more tasteful jewelry come out of a bubble gum machine. Hannah Ann is ecstatic. She squeals and quivers like she just won Miss Junior Knoxville for the second time.
Chris then throws cold water on the whole thing, which might be best for Peter anyway. He announces to the studio audience that Hannah Ann’s future with her new fiance is no more certain than your Amazon package being delivered in one day if the USPS is handling it. There’s an hour left to find out exactly why.
Peter goes back in Los Angeles to tell his parents he went with their choice of wife. “I’m engaged! I’m getting married!” he rhapsodizes, like he just received his 23andMe results and found out he’s one-sixteenth Viking. He also applied to the college they preferred, gets his hair cut by his dad’s barber, and wears only the brand of underwear his mother likes.
He tells Mom and Dad that he is engaged, and is “so happy, I really am” in the way a child thanks his grandma for the Christmas underwear. When he reveals it is Hannah Ann, his mom screams like someone who just won a stackable washer-dryer on The Price is Right. Dad fist-pumps the air in triumph. Togther, they Facetime Hannah Ann and share their excitement. No one seems to care about telling her parents the news. Maybe they liked Madison better.
Peter then arrives on the studio set. He tells Chris and all the strangers viewing this live that he struggled with putting aside his feelings for Madison. There was barely time to process his feelings before he had to get engaged to someone else. This guy has all the emotional sensitivity of a walrus.
Next we see Hannah Ann coming to visit Peter in LA post-engagement. They haven’t seen each other for a month—half the total time they’ve known each other—and are as awkward and uncomfortable as me trying to order a meal in French. Great swathes of dead silence punctuate their conversation about how hard this whole business is.
Peter reveals he has been struggling. It kills him to put Hannah Ann through this, after she has given him her all and Madison barely let him touch her. Hannah Ann says they should be able to work through things together, although most people think allowing him him fantasize about another woman in the sack is being a little too generous. They both tear up as he admits he can’t be there for her. Another Hannah bites the dust.
“You took away my first engagement,” she tells him in anger. Apparently she’s already anticipating another, so that’s optimistic. Then she rushes from the room, leaving him weeping into the West Elm sofa cushions.
Peter searches the house til he finds her. He tells her he’s sorry, but that doesn’t cut it. She is terse and disgusted, not buying any of his crap. He insists he never imagined this happening, much likes the captain of the Lusitania. Hannah Ann would have preferred he let her walk away or sent her home himself.
“I can’t even look at you anymore,” she says. Hear her roar! “I don’t need anything more from you. You’ve done enough damage.” The guilt is being lathered on like buttercream on a devil’s food cake. In an inset, his parents are. . . clapping? He may be losing out on his inheritance.
Hannah Ann proclaims that she is determined to get her life back the way as it was, when she only whored herself out to beauty pageants. Peter has no response. He leads her outside to the limo, which has its motor running. The driver has seen this kind of thing before.
Back in the studio, Peter is a Gloomy Gus. He regrets tearing the heart out of the most beautiful soul he ever met, but Madison has the most beautiful ass he ever met. Hannah Ann is upset that now she has to face the world as a formerly engaged person, which is even worse than having once performed I Have Nothing at karaoke.
Hannah Ann will now be joining Peter on stage for the first time since their break-up. As Peter’s parents whoop, the former couple hug weakly. She admits things were off for them, but accuses Peter of trying to gloss over it. She confronts him fiercely about him misrepresenting his feelings.
“I did love you, I swear to God, I swear,” Peter babbles. He had never felt a love like she showed him. But he was trying to process his emotions and adhere to his contract with ABC. Hannah Ann cannot let go of her resentment. She should have texted with the crew earlier. Meanwhile, Peter’s mom is all, “You go, gurl!”
Hannah Ann notes that their relationship involved three women: her, Madison, and Hannah Brown. His mother might have been a fourth. Even Princess Diana only had to deal with Camilla.
“You need to become a real man,” Hannah Ann concludes fiercely. It’s hopeless. Like so many men in history, literature, and romance comics, Peter will never learn. And neither will Bernie Sanders. He just lost Michigan, Mississippi, and Missouri.
Next Chris talks with Madison as Peter’s mom glares malevolently from the inset. She’s had a hard time since the day she walked away from Peter. “So you regret what you did,” Chris probes. Madison claims she is unaware of what happened after she left the show, although she’s up to date on Stranger Things. Chris tells her Peter got engaged to Hannah Ann. Madison expression is vacuous but tinged with regret, like that time she broke a nail a mere hour after her manicure.
Chris then reveals that Peter has broken up with Hannah Ann. He is again free to dismiss the importance of her faith. Chris wants to know if Madison still loves Peter, possibly because he has a pitch for a new show. She admits she has “kept Peter in her heart.” “As he kept you in his,” Chris says, blatantly leading the witness. He’s a worse busybody than my Great Aunt Sylvia.
Madison reacts with pleasure to the concept of reuniting with Peter, despite him proving himself an even bigger jerk than before she left him, and now to Hannah Ann as well. But she will rush to his arms just the same. The pay is that good.
Moments later, we watch her approach Peter silently as he stands beside his backyard pool. Good thing he doesn’t have a guard dog. He turns to her with a smile, delighted to see her painted-on jeans and tank top again.
Back in the studio, Chris explains that Peter was expecting him, hence all the cameras and production assistants in the yard. What did the couple discuss during the reunion? Let’s watch the footage with Mrs. Weber.
First they embrace, then the third-grade level discussion ensues. Her feelings have not gone away, so she never got closure. He still wants to have sex with her. “I made a million and one mistakes,” he confesses, but he knows he fell in love with her. That might be mistake number a million and two.
“We can’t change the past,” Madison counsels. It was only three months; she can just delete her Penzu.com account.
Back at the studio, Chris asks Peter is he is in love with Madison. After a long pause, Peter says yes. Madison comes in from backstage. In the timeless prose of the great romantic poets, Peter says it was a very pleasant surprise to see her recently.
Madison reports on her struggle to process everything, complete with bar graphs. Chris wants to know how this is going to end, whereas I just want to know when. Madison loves Peter, Peter loves Madison, but both have been hurt by the other so many times and in so few ways. But Peter is happy to be there with her. His mother’s expression tells another tale, one written by Stephen King.
“Do you want to give this another shot?” Chris asks the couple. Peter suggests taking it one step at a time, possibly waiting first for his mother to complete anger management courses.
Mom is now asked her opinion. Clearly bristling, she expresses her strong dislike for Madison. That girl made the family wait a whole 15 minutes to meet her while she talked with Peter about her distress. Furthermore, Madison was not warm and loving like Hannah Ann, may have been terse in her tone, and failed to thank them for the coffee cake. All that and more on the new series, The Bachelor: Listen to Your Mom.
Madison is asked to respond to this controlling bitch. She reminds them that she can’t change the past, although she might want to look into something called “apologizing.” She was committed to being herself and staying true to her principles, which apparently includes not giving a single damn about a potential mother-in-law.
Will this conflict cause issues if Peter and Madison get back together? Did Harry and Meghan cause issues for the royal family? Peter beseeches his parents to give them a chance. Madison observes his passionate plea while appearing to try to get some spinach out of her teeth.
Mom believes two people who care for each other should compromise. Madison has failed in that respect, while Hannah Ann got high scores. Hey, Ma, you have another son.
Madison expresses the view that Peter and she must address their problems themselves. Mom then pulls out the big guns by announcing that the only solution is for their relationship to fail. The audience gasps like they’re watching America’s Bitches Got Talent.
“I love Madison, and that should be enough,” Peter asserts weakly. Meanwhile, her parents think a downpayment of at least 12 percent is more important.
What does Dad think? He docilely agrees with his wife. Madison smirks through his tortured logic that she is wrong for their son. In the end, she’s just like Peter’s mom, so it’s a perfect match. She notes again that this is between just her and Peter, not his parents, not Chris, not even any psychologists in Bachelor Nation. Watch for an update on their progress on Page Six.
Now we get to meet Clare Crawley, the next Bachelorette who’s so old, her 401k should have reached the low six figures. Clare feels she deserves love from anyone but Juan Pablo. We see her telling him off when he rejects her during his season. She found the moment empowering, apparently in part because watching it made her decide to get a nose job.
I’ll be blogging Clare’s journey to love starting next month. I hope everyone in the cast was tested for coronavirus, or the show will be a documentary.