The final four women for Season 24 have been fixed in perpetuity. Peter will meet their families in Knoxville, Des Moines, Auburn, and Virginia Beach. It’s like a National Geographic special about hell.
As you would presume, things don’t go smoothly this episode for anyone but the craft services crew, who reportedly got a deal on an entire pallet of Lay’s Flamin’ Hot Dill Pickle snacks.
During tonight’s visits to rented domiciles decorated with overstock from Pottery Barn, Hannah Ann’s dad will insist Peter make a promise, and it’s not to always remember to take out the garbage. Kelsey will reveal feelings she has so far withheld from the fatuous flyboy, most likely that she’s upset there are no plans to make a movie about The Riddler. Meanwhile, Madison’s family suspects she and Peter aren’t on the same page, even though they both enjoyed that one scene in Fleishman Is In Trouble.
Things get even more distressing than Jeff Bezos creating a $10 billion fund to fight climate change, yet raising the cost of a Prime membership. Another “unexpected” visitor appears to make a stunning accusation that may endanger Victoria’s chances to be the first Mrs. Weber. Is it that she was arrested for a DUI three years ago, or is that neither stunning nor worse than having to act happy to be in Des Moines?
All four of the girls are falling love with Peter, despite him being nothing like Cary Grant in Notorious or even Race Bannon in the Attack of the Tree People episode of Jonny Quest. At the outset of the show, we’re still in Lima, where Peter is thrilled to think that one these chicks will be his wife. He hasn’t eliminated even one choice yet? I can do that in the cereal aisle in just moments.
Off he goes to meet Hannah Ann’s family in Knoxville. Her dad is in the lumber industry and therefore, more masculine that John Wayne, The Rock, and a Canadian hockey player combined. They throw some axes at targets to prove Peter worthy of being Senior Vice President of Oak Acquisition at the lumber company.
As they cool down after this grueling activity, Peter recites from a Post-It note list of all the assets Hannah Ann brings to their relationship, none of which include real property. Hannah Ann is delighted, but still trepidatious that all will not go smoothly tonight.
Later, the couple heads out to meet Hannah Ann’s family. Her mom, her dad and some siblings are there to hug them and kvell. Peter knows that he has to impress Hannah Ann’s dad, who looks dubious. He wonders if Peter really loves Hannah Ann, or if the writers have pegged Hannah Ann for next season’s Bachelorette.
Hannah Ann tells her sister that she’s falling for Peter. She shows her the list Peter read to her earlier, which shows he has the handwriting of a serial killer. Sis is so happy she’s weeping. She can’t wait to have the room to herself.
Peter talks with Mom next. He tells her he’s awaiting the opportunity to tell Hannah Ann he loves her, which is a few pages along in the script. Mom advises him that Dad isn’t an easy sell on this whole “exploring the options of the other girls like they’re 2019 Toyotas that have to be off the lot by February” thing. That approach is usually reserved for episodes of Law & Order: SVU.
Dad, who proves he’s in the lumber business by wearing a quilted nylon vest indoors, speaks sternly to Peter. “You present yourself well,” he admits, as if the scruffy pilot has submitted a resume for Assistant Manager of a Wendy’s. Peter asserts that he is falling in love with Hannah Ann. He just wants her to know it without having to include a card.
Dad is surprised to hear this. He thought that kind of thing didn’t happen til there were only three girls left. He instructs Peter, however, not to say it to Hannah Ann if he doesn’t mean it. Peter seems shocked that a father wouldn’t want his daughter manipulated by a bunch of strangers in a writers’ room, where they probably spent several hours Googling for naked pictures of her.
Peter discusses Dad’s draconian conditions for a relationship with Hannah Ann. It’s not a concern, though, because Peter can honestly tell her he’s falling in love with her. He’s even willing to text it to her. Hannah informs him the feeling is mutual. I hope Dad took some Valium.
Now we join Kelsey in Des Moines to meet up with Peter. She feels good about the progress of their relationship, which is similar to the progress of ketchup leaving a bottle. She looks forward to sharing more feelings with him, perhaps L through Q in her file. They make out in some outbuilding before heading to a winery to create some of their own brew. There’s corn wine?
In keeping with the theme, Peter describes their relationship thus: “The after-taste is always leaving you wanting more.” They can have a Tic Tac after a quarrel.
Kelsey tells Peter she’s in love with him. She is sure her family will see that, if not tonight, then in the footage on After the Final Rose. Peter also can see a future together with her, possibly with Victoria as a side piece. They can’t wait for him to meet her relatives. I would insist on seeing any relevant documentation as well.
The whole interior of the Kelsey family home is beige, a sign of either no personality or a compulsive vacuumer. They serve Peter crab rangoon, which he tells them excitedly that he and Kelsey have discussed at length. Yet he still doesn’t know where she went to high school.
Kelsey tells her sister about how she and Peter have learned to communicate, hopefully about something besides shellfish dishes. Mom warns Peter not to break her girl’s heart, while Dad is struck by the fact that Kelsey has already told Peter she loves him. He wants to know her largest concern, besides losing her eyebrow pencil.
Kelsey and Mom review the situation next. She tells Mom how much she’s cried throughout the whole experience, especially that time she stubbed her toe on the coffee table. Mom cries over the prospect of Kelsey getting her heart broken. Despite that fear, she one-hundred-percent believes her daughter is in love, although it might be with the FedEx delivery guy.
Kelsey and Peter bid each other goodbye passionately. She would be confident about her relationship with him, too, if it weren’t for those meddling producers.
Next Peter travels to see Madison in Auburn, Alabama, home of Auburn University, where her dad is a coach. They visit the arena where the Eagles dare to play basketball. Evidently hard up for a mortgage payment, Charles Barkley greets them from the Jumbrotron.
A head coach arrives to talk about Madison’s dad, who is the best coach since. . .sorry, I don’t know coaches. The couple then horses around with some basketballs because that’s how you get to know someone’s deepest hopes and dreams. Madison loves Peter sharing in her world, even with the bleachers empty. Peter is nervous to meet her family, and wants to know if they’re anxious about the process. It would be a problem if they weren’t.
“I can’t get enough of this girl,” Peter rhapsodizes about Madison, basically what he just said about Kelsey and Hannah Ann. He better block his future kids from watching this season on YouTube.
They’re now off to meet Mom, Dad, siblings, and various passers-by at yet another home staged like a listing on Zillow. They serve one dinner on the “special plate,” which means everyone else around the table must say something nice about Madison. Is there any reason they can’t just do that with regular plates? Then it’s time to say grace, subtly underscoring that Madison is religious, and that her parents probably enjoyed Davy and Goliath as kids.
Before anyone can take a bite, Madison goes off the chat with Mom. “Why are you still here?” Mom asks bluntly, meaning not kicked off the show for telling lies about another girl. If Kelsey is still hanging on, why not Madison? Mom further wants to know if Madison has discussed the important things with Peter, like that she’s saving herself for marriage and dislikes olives on her pizza. Windmill Man needs to hear both stat.
Dad now interviews Peter, who reveals he’s told Madison he loves her. “She’s so pure,” Dad says, despite his daughter routinely wearing jeans so tight you can read the date on a nickel in her back pocket. Are the two of them compatible, despite his being a filthy manwhore? Peter feels they are, and is willing to put the work in to make Madison not wish she’d tried out some other guys in a windmill.
But Dad demands strong affirmation of Peter’s feelings for Madison. He should also consider consulting with the stylist about a better haircut. Desperate to reassure his potential father-in-law, Peter fumbles the ball in front of the coach by admitting he can’t give him an answer right now.
Dad is not pleased. He questions Madison on the subject. She wants his approval of the relationship, but Dad is worried that the two have only known each other a short time and a fraction of the script. What about addressing morals and faith and Hulu vs. Roku?
After this brutal test, the couple paw each other on the front porch. The issues presented by Dad have not been resolved, and Madison is plagued with doubt. She’s just now realizing all that’s involved in committing to a lifetime with a person without knowing if they snore.
Finally, it’s Victoria’s turn to meet Peter in Virginia Beach. She’s with her dog, who has more personality than Peter and is also better looking. This week, Peter believes, the two have to be “good from beginning to end” to ensure they can move forward in their cardboard-cutout of a relationship.
They don old-timey costumes to take a novelty photo, then share some ice cream with the dog. Seated on a chilly, sunless and empty beach that clearly mirrors her thought process, Victoria is feeling as confident as Chris Harrison during sweeps.
Next they go to hear Hunter Hayes play some music. Did she date him, too? Victoria is certain she will win this thing, possibly because Peter is as shallow as she is. “I do want to marry my best friend,” he reports, which is funny because these two are barely acquaintances.
Suddenly, a mysterious, pixelated blond appears on the scene. “Marissa!” Peter cries out in gladness. “Just be careful,” she warns. It turns out Peter used to date her, yet is just learning that she is from Virginia, which is apparently not for lovers.
“I think you deserve better than what you’re on a date with right now,” Marissa continues in dark tones. According to her, Victoria tears apart relations as easily as I do a chocolate chip muffin. “That’s all I want to say to you,” the woman concludes before departing in a blur of editing software.
Peter is devastated, his face blanker than a new Word template. He does not know what to do with this information, despite all the assistant producers surrounding him. The date had gone so well what with the dancing and the ice cream and the making out. He can’t conceive of Victoria having left off any information from the form she filled out for the audition.
Meanwhile, Victoria admits she is falling for Peter. But when she meets him in front of her family’s house that night, he is somber and troubled. They sit on the stoop to talk. Peter describes Marissa’s vague revelations about the relationship-decimating girl before him, which have put him in a “bad head space.” Instead of defending herself or assuaging Peter’s concerns, Victoria is simply angry at the poor timing. Meanwhile, the faceless Marissa probably didn’t even get paid for her effort.
Peter is irate when Victoria refuses to even address the topic. America is irate at her whining. She is adamant that she has no response to this development, and just pouts and kvetches as Peter tries to understand. She must be fun when she’s losing at Tetris.
“Do you ever fight for anything you really want?” Peter asks her in frustration. She definitely fights off people in Walmart’s electronics department on Black Friday. Wailing that she can’t catch a break on this show, Victoria stalks off. When she returns, Peter feels he must apologize even though he’s always comforting this twerp after her breakdowns. She claims she wanted to tell him she was in love with him, but now it’s impossible because a casting director did his research.
Now Peter becomes defensive, insisting she should know how he feels about her by now. She slobbers fruitlessly. Although he hugs her and speaks soothingly, he is still perturbed. He gets back into the car to leave. Now we’ll never know what Marissa was talking about.
Mom and Dad rush from the house to comfort the sobbing Victoria. “You’ll always have us,” Dad says. More importantly, she’ll always have Bachelor in Paradise.
The next morning, Peter is confused and conflicted. He hates seeing her in that state, which psychologists commonly call a hissy-fit. Then there’s a knock on the door and Victoria comes in. She’s sorry for her childish tantrum of the night before. Peter feels bad about it too, but fears she doesn’t want him to love her the way he does. He cannot invest in such a relationship, which, like endless shrimp, could be taken away at any moment.
They blather on about their feelings for a little longer, but Peter does not want to make a decision right now. Before she leaves his room, she hands him the photo from their last date, on the back of which she has written “Mr. and Mrs. Weber.” Hey, those are his parents!
Now the gals are getting ready for the Rose Ceremony. Peter doesn’t know who he’s sending home, even without having met Victoria’s family. What if they’re all as emotionally fragile as she is? Every Thanksgiving would be a bloodbath.
One by one, the final four arrive for the ceremony in yet another airport hangar, where their cocktail dresses look incongruous. Chris questions each one like he’s Chuck Todd on phenobarbital. Peter appears and says, “It breaks my heart having to end this right now,” which is what he said to Hannah after the fourth time in the windmill.
The first rose goes to Hannah Ann, whose dress covers her less than the two place mats on my cafe table. The next is awarded to Madison. We already know Kelsey will be sent home so we can enjoy Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?-level angst next week. Indeed, this is the result, as predictable as the evening news featuring a humorous moment during the weather report.
Peter earnestly bids Kelsey good-bye. He wishes her a happy life with no one ever stealing her bottle of champagne again. She departs to, I guess, another area of the airport? Peter rejoins the trio remaining, one of whom he envisions will be his wife, but without her clothes on. The other two might be bridesmaids.
Now the group will go off to Australia. Hasn’t it already been punished enough by all the wildfires? But first, Madison wants to talk with him. Virginity, we have a problem.