The Bachelorette: 2017, Finale!
HEY GUYS! Say....what’s that light-headed feeling? Why are you suddenly out of breath and sweaty? And what's up with that finish line suddenly materializing in front of your very eyes?
We’re entering the FINAL LAP in our Bachelorette marathon!
But before we get into all that, just curious......did you happen to catch the “Men Tell All” special last week? It was momentous for two reasons: the men truly TOLD ALL, except Alex, local fan fave, who didn’t get to speak once, and (more importantly): Lee got told.
When Lee’s racists tweets were first uncovered, I figured that he would refuse to be on the reunion. Then I remembered that it’s likely that his contract required him to appear, so I reasoned that there would be a few minutes spared for his and Kenny’s “conflict” and the big "r word” would never be uttered.
So imagine how very SHOCKED I was when an entire segment was devoted to Lee and his racism. And they said it! They actually called it racism, and they didn’t let him off the hook after he (sort of) apologized. Of course, Lee tried his best to slide his way into an apology/redemption without actually describing his actions as racist, but he wasn’t allowed to. Anthony, who we really should have gotten more time with, stood up and ran intellectual circles around Lee, explaining Lee’s own racism to himself. Chris Harrison even had to discuss the NAACP! I never thought I’d see any of those things on this franchise.
Of course, this is all a very low bar. Calling racism racist isn’t a noble and brave act, but it’s still one that I never expected to see on this show.
BUT, here’s the thing: ABC let this racist douchebag on the show in the first place, and then mined the drama for all it was worth over many episodes. If some anybody on the internet was able to find Lee’s racist tweets, then I’m willing to bet they were available to Bachelorette producers. They were only from 2016.
They then let Lee on the show and put him in the path of Kenny, Josiah, Anthony, Will, and any other black contestant on this show who had the audacity to exist and go after the same woman Lee was supposedly after. ABC should give all those men “I’m sorry” million dollar bills and be required to do better next time.
It was a wild ride. I’m just glad Kenny got a redemptive arc with his adorable daughter, Rachel got her own chance to tell off Lee, and hopefully we’ll never see Lee again. He’s not going to Paradise Island.....right? Damn I just gave myself shivers.
BUT here we are TONIGHT! Let’s put out of our mind all things of the past. Let’s focus on romantic Spain, Rachel coming to the end of her journey, and me coming to the bottom of my bottle of wine. Let’s focus on LOVE.
Will it be Bryan, a man? Or Peter, yet another man? Or Eric, still one more man?
Chris Harrison is trapped in front of a large studio audience, whom he welcomes to this unforgettable night. He seems in high spirits, even though he’s being forced to host for THREE hours. Guess he’s playing nice after all those rumors (that I started)surfaced about ABC looking for a new host. Never get too comfortable, Chris! And look - Rachel will be on hand to watch the finale along with the viewing audience. How delightful and not at all stupid and pointless. I hope they paid her extra for this nonsense.
We jump right into the fun and exciting drama of Peter dicking Rachel around some more. “What if I told you I went on this show to find a wife but now I’m not sure I want a wife?” He basically says. Classic Peter.
Can’t Peter just give Rachel what she wants and then they can get to know each other after the show, like normal people? NOBODY gets married right after getting engaged on this show, so why not just play nice and give the people, namely ME, and countless others in Bachelor Nation, what they want!?! Oh God - do I consider myself part of Bachelor Nation? How and when did I get drafted!?!? These are all heady questions and I’m not emotionally equipped to answer them right now.
During the last recap, I said that I was having a tough time imagining how this fight could lead to a FANTASY SUITE date, and it turns out it happens like this: Rachel hands him an envelope and says they still have a lot to “talk” about. Peter says he wants to spend as much time with Rachel as humanly possible. They kiss. True to form, once someone starts kissing her, Rachel quickly forgets everything that she was upset about. Thus, she is able to escort Peter into FANTASY LAND.
The next morning! Peter makes eggs (without a shirt! Unsafe, but I’ll allow it) and feels really good about their relationships all over the place. <fin>
The next day! Whether you like it or not, Bryan is here. The two are going on a horse riding date, and this is the perfect opportunity to post my favorite pic from this entire franchise. HORSE HUMPING!
They jaunt around a vineyard. Rachel is in a cute and casual jean jacket and on-trend choker necklace (remember this was filmed several months ago). She seems very happy. I will admit this is better than her being anxious and unsure around Peter.
Oh lord. We get to watch Rachel watching the show.
“I feel like I’m wasting my time,” Rachel says, and while it’s true she’s talking about her date with Peter last night, it also neatly expresses my feelings on this entire venture.
We get back to Rachel and Bryan’s date. Bryan is all “I feel like I’m just getting one 1/3rd of you, any idea where that’s coming from?” LOL, Bryan. She’s not your girlfriend yet, chill out.
Rachel still has Peter on the brain, which is making it tough to focus on the person currently in front of her, waiting to get a FANTASY SUITES key. She manages to shake that all off and give Bryan a night in paradise (but not Paradise). I will say it’s nice that they don’t make each man get down in the same room. Classy touch, ABC.
Back to the studio audience, Chris asks Rachel: "How important are those overnight dates?” LOL Chris, you dog! Always trying to get the dirty deets. You have (begrudgingly) earned your salary THIS episode.
The next day, Bryan and Rachel are lounging in bed and eating strawberries, real normal like.
And the fact that I almost just typed “Peter” instead of "Bryan" shows how much investment I have in these final men. Can’t Rachel just start over with a batch of men that her mom and sister picked? Why weren’t they involved from the GET GO!?
Ouch. We’re on to the Rose Ceremony. Not looking forward to this. Neither is Rachel, as she’s keenly aware that this is the Rose Ceremony that she went home on during Nick’s season. The show is so circular in it's meticulous plotting.
One by one, the men exit the limo, adjust their suits (Peter, a former model, really excels in this portion of the evening), and line up to be judged. I can’t imagine an outcome in which Bryan isn’t given the first rose, and thus it comes to pass that Bryan is given the first rose. He accepts the rose, in case you are invested in the outcome of this show or whatever.
The other rose goes to Peter.
Poor Eric. He looks like he’s actually holding back tears. Also - this show’s worst feature is that they make the person who just got eliminated go and have a talk with the person who just eliminated them. Who wants to see that!? How can it help the person leaving to hear “I have strong feelings for you. I just have stronger feelings for others,” and “I love you. I’m just not in love with you,” both of which Rachel says to Eric.
Eric thanks Rachel for opening him up and allowing him to get what he needed (love), and that he’ll always love her. A nice, classy exit. Good job Eric.
Of course, Rachel immediately questions whether or not she’s making a mistake. Probably! You are wearing one of those weird sheer dresses with a bodysuit underneath! I normally applaud your fashion choices, but maybe this is a subtle call for help.
Peter says that when Rachel said she is “expecting a proposal,” she looked him dead in his eyes. When Chris later asks her if that's true, she’s all “hell yes I did that!”
What’s emphatically not LOL is that we now have to witness Rachel interact with Eric in front of the live studio audience, after presumably not seeing him for three months. Eric looks good, he sounds good, he’s a good person! He and Rachel seem comfortable and happy with each other. So of course they aren't the final couple standing. Chris, never one to let anyone get by without digging into the wound just a bit, asks if she can give Eric just one reason why she didn’t pick him. C’mon Chris. Let’s let this go.
We soon get whisked back to Spain, where we.....get another Bryan date? Didn’t we just DO THIS!? I’m nearly positive they scheduled it this way so Peter can get the last date, and then they’ll make a big deal about Peter getting the first date AND last date. Let’s count down to that moment.
They stumble upon a hot air balloon and jump in - hey, why not!? They repay the kindness of the hot air balloon operator by acting extremely inappropriately in his sky vessel. Thanks dudes.
“I think it would be a mistake if you didn’t choose me.” Bryan says. Raise your hand if you’re shocked that Bryan thinks he’s the frontrunner! Now put your hands down - I can’t SEE you, reader! We’re separated by two screens at least, silly.
Ok! Now it’s the final date before Rachel ruins her life forever! LOL, just kidding. She did that last season! Peter and Rachel have both chosen earth tones for this occasion. What does it mean!?!?!
They explore a very beautiful cathedral, where I’m hoping a surprise wedding awaits them both. That would be such a good prank on Peter! "You're so scared of marriage.....well, GOTCHA!" But alas, it’s just more talking, and if you’re worried we won’t get more dramatic will he/won’t he dramz, you needn’t have worried! We get SO MUCH OF IT.
Peter talks some more about their future and about that damn farmer’s market in Madison. Why doesn’t he MARRY IT if he loves it so goddamn much!?
Peter is basically worried that he and Rachel might break up which, considering this show’s abysmal track record, is fair. What’s NOT fair is that we have to WATCH him hemming and hawing. Again - does Peter even like Rachel? He’s certainly not acting like he’s that excited by the prospect of being with her. I think Eric was the last guy here who seemed to like Rachel as a person, not as a platform for more Instagram followers or a potential Bachelor season of one’s own.
But.....I also get what Peter is saying. It’s absurd to expect a commitment of marriage after two months. Rachel is a smart lawyer, I truly don’t understand how SHE can’t understand why Peter might not be ready to propose hmmm.....tomorrow!?
Peter looks VERY cute in this exchange, but it’s strange that his age seems to veer wildly between his 20s to his 40s, all in one day. Or from like to love in one day, apparently!
We finally get to an impasse where Peter is all “fine I’ll propose if that’s what you want.” Rachel is all “don’t do me any favors, buddy.” And then suddenly.....they are breaking up!?!?!
It’s so unclear. They kiss, say they love each other, Rachel says she can’t say goodbye. And that's it! They are really breaking up!
They are parting ways because they can’t agree on how to move forward after several weeks of dating on a reality show. THESE ARE MANUFACTURED PROBLEMS! Just date like a normal couple after 3 months!
Also - are these tear stains on his sweater?
This show is INTENSE.
OMG Peter rips off his sweater to cry into. What a time to be alive!!!!!!!!
I AM NOT OK WITH THIS!!!!!! For the record, I think that Peter and Rachel made a great couple, and I think they ought to have been able to work through their problems. I do believe that Rachel wanted to pick Peter, but he made it too tough for her to do that in the context of their reality show about GETTING MARRIED.
Oh no oh no oh no, we’re going to have to see Peter now. NOOOOO. This is not going to be the smooth and easy breakup talk we got with Eric.
If you like watching someone's heart break repeatedly over several minutes, then I recommend watching what happens next. It’s all heartache, awkward exchanges, and missed connections. If that doesn't sound like your bag, ignore it and never worry that you made the wrong choice.
Speaking of wrong choices, Rachel says she DOESN’T regret letting Peter go. Maybe not now....but you WILL!
Ugh. Back to a suddenly Peter-less existence, Bryan is on his own one-on-one date with Neil Lane. Does he know he’s now the only guy left in the game? Also this certainly removes some of the suspense from the last moments, doesn’t it?
High atop a windy hill, which really negatively affects the sound quality, Rachel says she sees her forever in Bryan. She loves him, she’s in love him, she can’t imagine spending her life with anyone else, she already regrets letting Peter go (I’m guessing). Bryan gets down on one knee and she squeals a bunch. Not a fan of the ring he chose (shout out to the many readers who are currently thinking of proposing to me).
Rachel gives Bryan one more rose - her last rose! He accepts it 1,000 percent, which is not physically possible. Why does everyone on this show believe that there are percentage points PAST 100?
I dunno guys - this doesn’t seem that electric. It just seems like “eh, somehow we are the last people standing, I guess we have to do this.”
“Seriously, this is like the happiest day of my life.” Rachel says in response to our collective doubt, but it is convincing no one.
“At least she’s happy now.” My boyfriend says. Lol, sweet simpleton! I guess it worked on one viewer!
Back at the live studio audience, Chris introduces Bryan to Rachel (as a couple in public for the first time!) and you can just TELL the audience would rather see Peter in this spot. They would be going nuts for that couple. Riots would be breaking out in the aisles.
Oh god oh god oh god, something is happening. Bryan (still sporting his Breitling watch...get a new trick dude!), re-proposes to Rachel, because apparently he didn’t get enough attention the first time around. I die of embarrassment on behalf of him, but then I am resurrected so I can finish this recap. It’s all very miraculous.
We get confirmation that Bryan in fact did not know Peter had already gone. That’s gotta sting. We also get confirmation that Bryan’s mom still exists. Sorry Rachel!
I will say their body language (particularly Rachel’s) is a lot more convincing than Nick and Vanessa’s was from last season. So at least Rachel is beating Nick Viall, though when was that ever in doubt?
Rachel says she’s looking forward to she and Bryan “getting to know each other,” which is typically what couples say after just becoming engaged (to be married!). They are also taking it slow, and I happened to be checking Twitter when she said that, at which point everyone went absolutely bonkers because of the perceived (and actual!) hypocrisy of her saying that after just letting Peter go because he wanted to take it slow and get to know one another!
I still want what’s best for Rachel, but I’m not sure Rachel herself does.
This three hour assault on our senses ends with discussion of the “controversy” about Bachelor in Paradise, which is a fun fresh way of saying “sexual assault accusation.” See, ABC hasn’t learned anything. There were very real, very troubling accusations made, and ABC (and Chris Harrison) are playing it off for cheap entertainment. Also, Bryan looks seriously disappointed that he’s missing out. Sorry, bro.
Look! I’ve already taken the liberty of writing vows for the new couple!
See you next season maybe!
Hasta la vista! - Marli