Vital information to consider for tonight’s episode:
- Hannah Ann’s last name is Sluss.
- Jimmy Kimmel thinks she’s going to win and become Hannah Ann Sluss-Weber, which sounds like a 19th-century German chemist with a large bosom.
- She’s friends with Hannah G. from Colton Underwood’s season. In fact, the legions of Bachelor-based Hannahs maintain a Facebook group where they discuss chandelier earrings and the quality of Fantasy Suite towels.
Furthermore, Reality Steve reports that Peter does not enjoy a “normal” ending this season, as if proposing to a virtual stranger on TV is a routine practice. We already know he has an abnormal libido. Maybe he can even do it five times when accompanied by a wind machine.
Rumors are that the lusty pilot with the boyish punim did not select a fiancee at the Final Rose Ceremony. Maybe he suffered performance anxiety when the Fantasy Suite was in a grist mill. Nevertheless, he may be engaged as we speak, but to whom is unknown. Could the potential Mrs. Weber be Hannah Brown? Another Hannah with a different one-syllable last name? Hannah Montana? Hanna Barbera? Daryl Hannah?
Let us now turn to Chris Harrison for his unique insight, born of years of experience reciting the same trite dialogue every week. At least some of the living rooms came out differently on Designer’s Challenge. Shockingly, Chris claims this season might feature the most dramatic, riveting, and gut-wrenching finale ever. I expect Captain Jean-Luc Picard to travel through time for one last group date with all the girls.
The show launches with the usual “Previously, on The Bachelor” followed by footage of predictable claptrap, contrived drama, and close-ups that make people’s complexions look like gravel driveways. The first scene is Peter telling Hannah Brown how he feels. “I’ve never said no to you,” he tells her pleadingly, especially not in the windmill. Should she move into the mansion? Leave and see if Juan Pablo is available these days?
A smeary-eyed Hannah agonizes that she doesn’t know what to do. She should consult Reality Steve like the rest of us. Amid tears and sighs, the disconsolate pair discuss what’s in their hearts and next episode’s script. To help him find clarity, Hannah climbs onto Peter’s lap and sticks her cleavage in his face. That usually works for me when I’m choosing a phone at the Sprint store.
Neither knows how to proceed, so Peter leaves Hannah with the situation unresolved, similar to the impeachment proceedings right now.
Meanwhile, the other girls fret about Hannah possibly throwing a sequinned monkey wrench into their plans. As if they didn’t have enough to worry about, what with sagging dress straps and limited gluten-free options at the mansion.
Peter paces anxiously. He then invites the girls to stand in a line so he can debrief them on Operation Hannah Redux. He describes his emotional encounter with the former Bachelorette, using an old copy of a Young Romance comic as a visual aid. Unfortunately, they can’t continue with this group date. Peter needs some time to gather his thoughts, and possibly review their photos to determine which one Hannah could replace.
Later, they assemble again to booze it up and fuss about getting time with this twerp. Peter worries that this is a step back for their progress, which occurs more incrementally than osmosis of solvent molecules. Despite his repeated apologies over Hannah’s additional paycheck, none of the women feels reassured.
“I want to get to know a free Peter,” declares Alexa with disdain. “I’m not gonna compete with an ex.” She prefers to compete with the two dozen women present who didn’t have sex with him four times in a windmill.
Sydney describes for Peter her experience being bullied as a biracial girl in a small town in the south. The mere presence of Hannah Brown is peanuts compared to that. Taking a starkly different approach to developing a rapport, Mykenna asks Peter to teach her to line dance. He uses the opportunity to paw at her like in that story of the blind men who try to figure out what an elephant is solely by touch.
At the end of the evening, the rose goes to someone who shared her heart, as well as extensive saliva, with Peter. That person is Sydney. Mykenna realizes the line dance method fell short. Next time, she better find a way to make being a skinny blond with perfect teeth a source of suffering.
The cocktail party follows. Peter tells the women how hard it was for him and Hannah when the writers forced them to meet again that day—but he won’t let the episode minimize the week’s experience, even as it maximizes ABC’s ratings. No one looks very convinced, although Lexi does feel that Peter’s eagerness to continue making out with all of them indicates character. This show lowers the bar further than a limbo game in hell.
For her part, Kelsey plans to share a bottle of champagne with Peter, which she has saved for just such an occasion. Similarly, I have a box of Little Debbie Nutty Buddies stashed away for the day Clooney is ever single again. Another chick wants to talk with Peter about the simple things, like how redheads should never wear pink, and whether lobsters actually scream when you put them in boiling water.
Peter fondles Madison next, recalling their weird one-on-one date. She laughs gaily in between muttering monosyllabic phrases. He has a surprise for her, he reveals, although it’s not in his pants like his usual gifts. He presents her with a framed photo of them at his parent’s wedding vow renewal ceremony. She will store it lovingly in a drawer for eternity.
Then drama ensues as Hannah Ann pops open Kelsey’s champagne, which was conveniently waiting by the hearth. It’s like a scene from a bad Pinter play as Kelsey witnesses this bubbly betrayal, then flees in tears. Will her mascara be as convincingly streaky as Hannah Brown’s?
Peter realizes this is a dangerous situation not unlike the cabin pressure falling at 27,000 feet, but Kelsey refuses to talk to him. That bottle came from Des Moines’ finest discount liquor store. Instead, she rushes over to yell at Hannah Ann, who points out there’s another bottle of champagne available, as the place is always stocked with more booze than a frat house.
But Kelsey is still angry. She tells Hannah Ann she’s fake, something Kelsey is herself not about, unless you count the Raggedy Ann eyelashes and caramel lowlights.
Finally, the gals troop in for the Rose Ceremony, forming a phalanx of synthetic fabric and Claire’s accessories. Champagnegate has affected the mood in the room; everyone is pouting through their Wet n Wild Mega Last High-Shine Lip Color.
Peter addresses the minions, one of whom he is certain will become his wife, or at least provide a few weeks of quality shagging. The first rose goes to Mykenna, followed by Victoria P. and Natasha. Jasmine gets a rose, as do Sarah, Lexi, and Hannah Ann. Big Florist is cleaning up yet again.
Alexa comes forward next, followed by Tammy, Alayah, Deandra, and Victoria F. Shiann an Kiarra also get roses, as does Savannah. Has she spoken a word on the show yet? The final rose now awaits its recipient. It’s Kelsey, of course. Chris appears by Peter’s side to tell the losers to get the hell out.
The remaining ladies are concerned about Kelsey and Hannah Ann’s unresolved conflict, which is second in the historical record only to that between Phyllis Schlafly and Gloria Steinem. Will their perpetual sniping distract Peter from his pursuit of love, or just make him hot?
They’re still discussing it over breakfast the next morning, because apparently no one watches the news or has an inner life. The group date card arrives. You don’t need the Long Island Medium to tell you that it includes both Kelsey and Hannah Ann. You don’t even need a functioning brain stem.
The group sets off to meet Peter in Hollywood, and are invited inside a ritzy boutique. Carson Kressley welcomes them, along with Janice Dickinson and her current face. The girls will participate in a fashion show, during which they will be judged on style, technique, and personality. I thought only rock stars chose their wives that way.
Victoria F. cries, feeling she will be overshadowed by all the other animated store mannequins with evident hair extensions and tutorial-based contouring. The poor girl looks no better than Barbie’s lower-selling friend Casey.
The gals excitedly prepare for their runway appearances. Carson introduces the show, which will feature both daytime and evening wear, in addition to naked product placement. The prize is a new wardrobe, which sounds a lot more useful in the long term than Peter. He loves this date, since he might be able to get an upskirt view from his seat in the audience.
Janice disapproves of overt sexiness at this event. She’s looking for something they’ve never seen before, which would be an overweight middle-aged woman with her original eyebrows. Daytime looks include a lot of denim and exposed flesh, while the evening wear is heavy on the lame and leather. Victoria F. parades out in a black lace teddy that draws Peter onto the stage to smooch her like a damp suction cup.
Carson says two gals were the stand-outs: Hannah Ann and Victoria F. She finally feels noticed by Peter, not to mention all the lotharios who watch the show just for this kind of tawdry display. Now the two women must compete for the prize by modeling the same gown, a slinky black number that’s part silk, part sequins, and part streetwalker.
Hannah Ann wins, possibly because she’s a model, or possibly because the show has pegged her as the one everyone is supposed to resent. Victoria is distraught. She will never measure up without implants and an Ivanka Trump nose. At least Peter would never set up a secret communications channel with the Kremlin.
They all march off to the after-party. Peter enthuses at how he loved the runway show, and the opportunity it presented to select a potential wife based primarily on her physical appearance.
Victoria expresses her self-doubts to him. He assures her she has all of him when they are together, especially his lower half. She cries on his shoulder as she tells him how hard this process is. Come on, we’ve all known that since The Dating Game premiered. Peter tries to be comforting, but he’s already thinking about the next girl’s tongue.
Next he clinks glasses with Kelsey as the remaining girls advise each other to just be honest with him, and try to get validation about something other than what their legs look like in tiny shorts.
But Hannah Ann has another goal for the evening: to inform Peter what a two-faced bitch Kelsey is. Don’t these people ever learn from previous seasons? It’s like my dog continually begging for pizza when it’s never resulted in his getting more than a bit of crust.
Hannah Ann lets Peter compliment her looks before she proceeds to tell him she spent all night crying at Kelsey’s meanness. Her spirit was crushed, she remarks. Peter disapproves. He won’t put up with bullying on his season, but fails to explain how he’ll prevent it when even the First Lady can’t make her husband be polite to U.S. senators. Nevertheless, Hannah feels better, and is up to making out with him.
Time to award the rose. Peter will give it to someone he is really happy is here, and can see a future with. It’s Victoria F. and her dismal lack of self-esteem.
Then he asks to speak to Kelsey. Drum roll, please. He starts with a prolonged “ummm,” then repeats every ugly term Hannah Ann claims she called her. Kelsey insists all those names were apt, if not in the thesarus. In fact, she says, Hannah Ann acts one way in the house, and in a different way with Peter. Even worse, she acts a third way when addressing customer service operators. Kelsey is very upset at Hannah Ann’s accusations, but Peter, despite having witnessed this exact situation on every previous season, has no useful response.
Tension hangs in the air like Peter’s plane would if it were possessed by the demonic forces in The Horror at 37,000 Feet. Kelsey flees to the ladies’ room with tears in her eyes. We overhear her moaning at the unfairness of it all, similar to the tweets from a certain world leader.
The others will complain next week that this, and other petty issues, are taking over the house like the scent of Gwyneth Paltrow’s new vagina candle. Also, they’ll be kvetching and mooning over Peter in Chile soon. Well worth it, as I hear the food there is outstanding.