Much like Bryan on his final climb to the top of that castle, I feel like this has been a long journey for all of us. Somehow, we made it through Lucas trying to make “whaboom” happen, Dean trying to make skinny jeans happen, and Lee trying to make racism happen (thankfully, he’s been schooled) to end up in Rioja, Spain, the place where all of Rachel’s dreams will come true. But will she choose the 6’2″ Colombian who’s so charming his own mother is madly in love with him, or the 6’3″ tattooed dream whose greatest flaw is having a solid head on his shoulders? (What? I clearly don’t have a preference.)
Well, let’s go ahead and get this out of the way: She chooses Bryan, but nobody cares about that, because her breakup with Peter is so upsetting. Honestly, aside from like Homeward Bound and any movie about war, HAVE YOU EVER SEEN SOMETHING SO SAD?! Rachel might not have pulled a full Mesnick, but I think I might’ve.
Before we get to the good/terrible stuff, let me share some news that will excite pretty much no one: This year, the live finale is functioning a little differently. In fact, this show is doing something it’s never done before (and that no one asked for)! Rachel is going to sit on stage with Chris Harrison and watch the finale WITH US so that she can share some insight on what went down. Basically, it’s the watch party you didn’t RSVP to and had planned on skipping. Get excited, Bachelor nation!
Finally getting to the show, we pick up with Peter and Rachel’s overnight date. The Cliff’s Notes: Peter equates a proposal with a marriage and therefore only wants to do it once. Because of that, he’s not ready to propose to Rachel just yet. Rachel, however, has no interest in getting out of this show with a boyfriend — which, by the way they use it, might as well be a dirty word on this show. Talking about it, Rachel gets upset, but oddly, that’s just what Peter needed to see. After all, there’s nothing like watching a woman cry to get some clarity! Peter promises Rachel that her tears weren’t shed in vain because they showed him just how much he cares. In other words, he hates to see her cry, but not when it helps him figure some stuff out.
With both of them needing more time to “fix this” — always a good phrase for any relationship — Peter accepts the fantasy suite card, which Chris Harrison has started turning into tiny novels. (We get it, Chris. You wrote a book. You’re a writer now.) While Rachel and Peter head off to the fantasy suite, Rachel claims, “I don’t know where we go from here.” Except you’re literally walking to the fantasy suite, Rachel. For the first time in your relationship, your next step is painfully obvious. Also, is this the smallest fantasy suite ever?
For Rachel, she’s hoping she’ll have clarity by morning. Spoiler: She doesn’t really get it. But she does get a shirtless Peter cooking her breakfast, so if we’re being honest, she got something better than clarity.
With that, she’s off to spend the day with Bryan…but only physically. Mentally, she’ll still be thinking about Peter, and the rest of us will get to watch as Bryan panics when his “charm” doesn’t work for once, despite the fact that he loves Rachel “tremendously.” All day, everything he says quite literally gets blown away by the wind before it reaches Rachel’s ears. (And he should probably be happy that’s all that was blown away with that wind.) She is checked out, and Bryan can feel it.
That night, Bryan addresses the fact that their day felt “off” because he didn’t feel like he had 100 percent of Rachel. Rachel’s happy he called her out on it, but she assures him it had nothing to do with him. She apologizes and attacks him with kisses when he says it made him feel “down.” She doesn’t want to think about Peter; she wants to focus on Bryan. Yeah, and I want to focus on this juice cleanse, but all I’m thinking about right now is a brownie, so we can only control so much, Rach.
Together, they head to the fantasy suite, where Bryan tries to make up for all the charm Rachel missed during the day: “I love you, I’m in love with you, and I want to be with you forever,” he says before ruining it by adding on a “whatever happens happens.” Yeah, that took a turn.
The next morning, the birds are chirping, the bees are buzzing, and the Bachelorette producers are as subtle as ever. As Rachel and Bryan have breakfast in bed, I’m not sure they notice the cameras have returned because she asks him, “What tastes better, the strawberry or me?” THERE IS A MIC IN THE ROOM.
With the two of them closer than ever and the chemistry hotter than ever, Rachel gets ready for her final rose ceremony. After she calls Peter out by saying to all three men that she’s not interested in having a boyfriend at the end of all this, she sends home Eric, and the poor guy can barely hear her goodbye over the sound of her dress sleeves. What he doesn’t hear is her saying that she has stronger feelings for the other two guys, and although she loves Eric, she’s not in love with him. (Next: Bryan’s final date with Rachel)