At last, the day of reckoning has arrived. What are the odds that it falls on a date when President Trump is golfing?
Tonight we will learn whether Rachel will give her hand in marriage, or at least a stab at a sham engagement, to Bryan, Peter, or Eric. Has she fallen in love with the sexy chiropractor, the brooding business owner, or the double-negative-using personal trainer? All that matters is that whoever she chooses to spend her life with, she gets a discount on a useful product or service.
Here’s an even more interesting tidbit: The house that was represented as Rachel’s family manor during the guys’ visits to Dallas was actually a loaner from someone who had it up for sale. Foremost, this means the Lindsays didn’t necessarily buy out the local Pottery Barn the last time they redecorated.
Why the ringer McMansion? Apparently, Rachel’s dad’s safety as a federal judge might be compromised by having this drivelous broadcast associated with him–I mean, by identifying his address for a bunch of obsessed Tweeters whose bios inform us they are followers of Christ and the New England Patriots. Now they’ll be sending their hate mail to some stranger who only wanted a month’s mortgage covered while his place was listed. And while the dad-is-a-federal-employee excuse is plausible, it doesn’t explain why every other contestant’s home looks like an overstock.com homepage.
Anyway, Chris Harrison recently confirmed to that scion of journalistic veracity, Glamour, that Rachel is indeed still with the winning guy. Citing a text from his producer, he revealed, “She’s engaged, she’s happy, and they’re in love.” Nevertheless, he acknowledges there’s no way to be sure, as he himself is divorced, and even Ben and Lauren are a footnote in history. The fact is, if Anna Faris and Chris Pratt can’t make it, Queen Elizabeth and Prince Phillip are this close to fighting over custody of the Corgis.
Chris reminds us that Rachel’s journey to find love took her to Spain. We review how she feels about each guy as the Rioja tourism board nods in appreciation. All is joy and fulfillment with Bryan and Eric, she reports, but the situation with Peter is foreboding and fraught with uncertainty, which means she picked him.
As the studio audience claps manically, Chris claims a very special guest will join them to watch the show and comment. Gasp, it’s Rachel! I hoped it would be me, although I would never fit in that dress. She’s nervous to see the footage this time, as she usually watches the show alone, in yoga pants and eating a bowl of Blue Bunny’s cookie dough. Tonight, she must take care not to disturb her double-stick tape throughout the three-hour live ordeal. But first we learn that Juan-Pablo is married, which means there’s hope for all of us, even Dean.
They discuss Petergate. To come that far in the script only to find out that Peter was unsure was disheartening for Rachel, who expected every guy to fall for her like a R2-D2-shaped USB car charger by week four. Let’s see how it all played out after the point when Rachel had started crying, but her eyelashes were still in place.
If she agrees to just date Peter, as he prefers, will it end in grief, with arguments over who bought the colander and how to divide the cell phone bill if he used twice as many minutes that month? He tries to reassure her of his strong feelings, but his body language communicates that he would rather be a redwood deck. He is nevertheless given the key card, and she lets him make the call whether to share the room. He certainly isn’t unsure about having sex. Yet Rachel still has reservations. She decides she will be true to herself and follow her heart, which is what I do when ordering on Seamless.
They are enthralled with each other the next morning. Peter’s feelings of doubt are starting to fade–not end, just fade, like he’s made progress sanding an end-table. The romance is palpable. Meanwhile, Rachel never imagined she might pick someone who wouldn’t propose. I’ve often felt that way about George Clooney.
Next she meets Bryan in a sun-kissed field where gentle horses nibble the sweet grasses and lush vineyards dominate the landscape like an all-green Rubik’s cube. Rachel chooses the brown horse, while Bryan gets the white one. It should be the other way around if they’re riding them.
Bryan is smitten with the lovely, vibrant attorney who could have a conflict if one of her clients sues him for malpractice. He remarks that he expressed to her family how strongly he feels, and he believes they were impressed. But after Peter’s bland, inexplicable reluctance to propose, Rachel remains uncertain. Bryan is aware that Rachel is preoccupied, and he is troubled. For once, wine isn’t the answer. Meanwhile, the horses could not give a single damn. I’m with them.
Back in the studio, Chris reveals that he was staring at Rachel the whole time to study her reactions. That’s even more disturbing than Peter’s Spock-like emotional state. When we return, Chris enthuses, we’ll find out who’s leaving Spain forever. What, can’t the guy use his miles to go back?
Bryan doesn’t want to walk away from Rachel, although he’s a shoo-in for next season’s The Bachelor. He’s worried that this week was difficult for her, what with all the luxurious suites, gourmet meals, and free booze, but he can’t articulate why. It was off, he tells Rachel, a different energy was coming from her, a vibe of some kind. Maybe they should light up a doobie and listen to some Pink Floyd to resolve the issue.
Rachel apologizes for having inspired all that vague psycho-babble. She admits to us that she can’t stop thinking about Peter. Now he’s in her head instead of Bryan, a dramatic device often effectively used in Archie comics. Nevertheless, he’s willing to shtup her. In the suite, amid the candlelight and piled pillows, he declares his love for her, which Rachel finds promising for their future, not to mention the ratings.
In the studio, Chris remarks on how troubled Rachel was in these scenes. She managed the whirlwind of emotions by recalling her own experience with Nick, which you’d think would mean begging for the relief of being dumped. Soon they’ll watch the Rose Ceremony, which is always so hard, especially for the florist.
Rachel and Bryan greet each other the next morning, satisfied that they made progress of some kind, either while moaning and sweating or watching Netflix. Possibly both. As Ceremony time approaches, Rachel is wracked with uncertainty and self-doubt. She likes Bryan’s security and confidence, but wants to be sure their mutual feelings are real. She and Eric, whom we forgot exists, are also progressing smoothly. But with Peter, ver vays. This herring is redder than a freshly boiled Commie lobster.
Rachel announces again her goal to find a husband ASAP, and no pretenders to the throne will be tolerated. Never mind that her dress looks like a medieval wench’s hostess gown. Bryan predictably gets the first rose, and for a moment we are held in an intriguing combination of suspense and boredom. The presentation of the next rose will be a result of Rachel following her heart and her gut. That means Peter gets the second rose, although it’s more because she followed the market research.
Escorting him outside, Rachel tells Eric she loves him, but is not in love with him. Even Veronica Lodge never tried that line. He accepts it gracefully, but he will miss her. He can always follow her on Instagram.
And now it’s time to see which of the final two men can win Rachel’s heart. They both have their concerns. Bryan is certain of his standing with the woman he loves, but there’s still another man to consider. Meanwhile, Peter bemoans his own hesitation. In the studio, Chris forgets his lines and covers by claiming he can’t read Rachel’s face after this seminal scene. She regrets breaking Eric’s heart, and worried at the time if she’d made a mistake rejecting him. Maybe he’ll burst into the church as she’s marrying Peter, scream her name from the balcony, and she’ll run to him as Simon and Garfunkel plays.
At the studio, Eric comes out to join Rachel and Chris on the Armless Sofas of Expected Revelations. He just watched his last scene for the first time, and like us, notices how the mic pack throws off the line of Rachel’s dress from the back. He asks if she’s happy, and she is; she asks him if he is, to which he replies that he’s phenomenal. He’s personally training twice as many people these days.
However, Eric does wonder what happened after their final date, which went well if you think riding in a helicopter is a means to understand another person’s essence. But he asserts that moving forward is the best way to recover, as well as to get aerobic exercise. Ultimately, Eric was grateful to let love in, and to let money in via Venmo.
To paraphrase her explanation for this imperfect outcome, Rachel says, “What did you expect to happen on a show that’s obnoxious and absurd in its very premise.” But she is glad that America got to tweet about Eric. While it was hard to see him again, with all the emotions it stirred up, she is humbled to be the woman who inspired him to feel love only to be rejected.
Back to the footage. Rachel takes the requisite pensive walk in nature as her voice-over discusses her complicated feelings about her current situation. After offering several new ways to say “I don’t know which guy to pick,” she meets Bryan for another six minutes of conversation over a soundtrack. He reports that he would propose to Rachel right now, “no questions asked.” He would express it as a declarative statement.
They climb into a hot-air balloon with the cameraman. As they float over the green and gold fields of the Spanish countryside, they make out. Still her mind is not yet made up. I suggest polyamory and starting a Tumblr about it.
Later, she tells Bryan what a great surprise he’s been. He is consistently everything she wants in a man, stable and confident and strong. But she’s used to being the one who supports and helps, so she’s frightened that his perfection is facade, perhaps scripted by producers. He so wants to marry her, though. “I just love you,” he says, shaking his head sheepishly like he’s trying to explain the appeal of anime porn. He then gives her a homemade dictionary so she can learn the Spanish words for husband, wife, and famewhore.
In the studio, Chris asks if Rachel thought Bryan had given his all. She agrees that she knew where she stood with him, but was still confused at that point. Let’s watch her last date with Peter, and see why his beard was equally attractive to her.
Somber music plays as she awaits his arrival. How will she be and feel and act with Peter? Her acting coach was off this week. When he arrives, they embrace, then spend some time making out until Peter pauses to remark on the scenery. They will explore a monastery, which is always helpful for reinforcing relationships. With God.
Peter has had time “to build feelings of love,” he says, citing his favorite technical manual. He doesn’t want to lose Rachel, but marriage is a big, important decision, unless you’re Larry King. The monk advises them on what love means, as if a celibate guy had any idea of relationships among three-dimensional people. Peter is still stumped, though. He needs a good chick flick in his life.
The couple discusses all of this some more. Peter’s afraid of a marriage not lasting, reiterating his freakish view that engagement is virtually the same as marriage, much as people argue that a real estate magnate is the same as a president. Rachel keeps looking for clarity from a guy who can’t explain why he likes scrambled eggs but not omelettes.
Peter says it became clear to him today that he loves Rachel, but still does not feel ready to ask her to marry him. Is there a required incubation period I’m unaware of? Can he become engaged after three months or 350 miles, like the schedule for my Honda’s oil changes? Rachel is understandably frustrated. He insists he wants to build a relationship with her, and apologizes somewhat snootily that his feelings of love weren’t instant. As if. This guy doesn’t instantly know he wants to make a left at the light to get home.
The tear-filled convo ends in a stalemate. Personally, I would have slapped this guy into next Sunday with all his tortured hedging, but Rachel is more generous than I. They sit silently side by side as Rachel weeps. “Where do we go from here?” she finally murmurs. “We’re not breaking up,” he asserts. She figuratively throws up her hands. If he proposes now, she knows he’d only be doing it because she demands it. He is unmoving. Spanish crickets chirp in the gaping silence of their impasse.
“That’s one day that means the rest of my life,” Peter insists, as if she is asking him to donate an organ. He eventually says he’ll hand over a ring just to show his commitment to her, but she won’t accept his insincere proposal of marriage. “If you change your mind, you know where you can find me,” he tells her. Just ask the production assistant.
They leave the room emotionally as piano music indicates their mixed feelings. Wretchedly, after macking on each other like a pair of magnetic-nosed Eskimo dolls, they part. Now alone, Peter sobs, muttering, “What’s wrong with me?” Months of Jungian therapy couldn’t explain.
Silence falls over the studio. Chris cannot articulate what he just watched, similar to when I first saw My Mother the Car. The interesting thing is how Rachel never stumbles and gives away the ending. “But you never said goodbye,” Chris says as emotionally as an animated store mannequin can. Bachelor Nation perks up its ears, but he apparently means they didn’t literally utter those words. No one ever said “Beam me up, Scotty” on Star Trek, either.
Peter is now waiting backstage to talk with her, so I guess they really did break up? Or is it another ruse to throw off poor Reality Steve? Damn show. But Rachel says she hasn’t seen him since the end of his segment on the show. But she has no ring on her finger either. We shall see.
It was difficult for Peter to watch all that blubbering and grimacing, which is also why he won’t watch Judge Jeanine Pirro. Rachel repeats how frustrating it all was, from Geneva to Dallas to Spain to the sauna. Chris asks how he felt when Rachel walked out. He was in pain, and wondered how he couldn’t get to the same point that she was at. He talks about love as if it were toned abs. Are they really planning to devote the next hour to Bryan proposing? That’s more of a letdown than them canning the adorable Asian guy so early.
Rachel psychoanalyzes Peter for a while, ultimately assuring him she hopes he finds what he wants, or least separates the ring from the marriage license. He apologizes for saying jerky things; for example, that she would live a life of mediocrity without him. I understand that’s how Trump proposed to Melania.
After the ad, there’s more litigating of that single emotionally traumatic scene. Rachel is still frustrated, and now Peter is, too. He didn’t want to end things that way, or hurt her, or waste anybody’s time except the crafts services guy who makes those great waffles. But now he feels attacked, which Rachel objects to. Finally, he he admits he wouldn’t change anything he did. She likes that he remains true to himself, which is not always an asset. Charles Manson did it.
Chris reminds them that they have never said goodbye. Peter agrees, mentioning that he walked past her cried-off eyelashes for two days. I did that once with a guy who left me, only instead of eyelashes it was the socks he was always throwing on the floor. All that Rachel wanted was for Peter to be definitive. That’s like expecting my dog to lie down without spinning in circles first. The truth is that the show ‘s nutty format was not for him, just as multiple choice exams aren’t.
Nevertheless, Peter thanks Rachel for helping him feel love. “Do you still love Rachel?” Chris asks, as if polling a registered voter. Peter figures he does, but eventually it will go away, like a rash.
Now that Rachel has closure, it’s time see what fills the next half-hour besides ads for disinfecting wipes and anti-depressants. Rachel’s breakup with Peter now makes her question if she’s rushing Bryan into a decision. She should know she’ll be getting an ugly ring if she lets him proceed.
Wearing a metallic gown slit to mid-thigh, Rachel awaits Bryan’s arrival at some old-timey castle. Chris greets Bryan to escort him 12 feet and walk away. Bryan fears the unknown, which apparently includes what sex with Rachel is like. “She just has to say yes,” he comments.
Wild winds whip around them as he greets her in Spanish, the same sweet nothings as when they first met. He describes the chemistry he felt between them on that night. Now he’s head over heels for her, an expression which is hard to translate into Yiddish. She hesitates in replying, which starts with an “um,” but after a moment in which Bachelor Nations emits a breathless gasp, she tells him how the confusion of this week led her to to soul-search to find courage. And right now, she sees her forever, which will apparently always require homeowner’s insurance.
He kneels and proposes, and she accepts with a delighted screech. Now what? Bloopers from the bridal shower? Bryan is given the final rose, they declare their love for each other, and Peter broods over a bottle of Jack in his room.
Back in the studio, we’re about to meet Bryan and Rachel as a couple. Ideally, Peter will rush from backstage, scream her name, and they run from the set together as Simon & Garfunkel plays. But for now, only Bryan appears. It’s their first time appearing in public together, like Fiona the Baby Hippo and her mom. Bryan immediately proposes again so she can put the rock back on. I never liked a pear-shaped stone.
We learn that because he didn’t know Peter was already gone, Bryan suffered in the final days. He feared losing Rachel to his rival, and also the laundry returned his shirts with too much starch.
What does the future hold? Where will they live? Any details on the wedding? How was the sex? We need to know. Chris points out that Bryan’s mom was a pushy, demanding old broad. But it’s okay–she and Rachel are best pals now, or they will be until Rachel asks her to wear beige to the wedding. Rachel recounts how she explained to her family that Bryan is her best friend. Copper is going to be upset.
After debuting their People over, Chris tells the ecstatic couple that they’ll get an all-expenses-paid honeymoon to the same rustic town in Spain where they were nearly blown off a cliff. Thank goodness, since a chiropractor can barely afford a weekend in the Keys.
Chris now brings up “the controversy,” meaning the Bachelor in Paradise assault allegations that tarnished its wholesome reputation. This opens the way for a lot of footage of girls in bikinis crying and guys in Speedos fighting. It all starts August 14th, when I plan to be on a 17-day golf vacation in New Jersey.
We applaud Rachel and Bryan, their hair and their happiness. If you read back, I predicted it all, right down to the cleavage. Thank you for reading.