The Bachelorette season finale recap: 'That's not what I said yes to'
Gah, what do you call it when you spend two and a half months getting emotionally invested in the lives of strangers, only to learn that everything you just watched was completely moot thanks to a wannabe country singer? Oh, that’s right — it’s called being a Bachelorette fan!
It’s been a very long night, rose lovers, with a lot of relationship chaos, a lot of weak bulls— (mostly spewed by Jed), and a long promo for the new season of Bachelor in Paradise. I know we’re all tired, angry, and perhaps a little drunk, but stick with me, dear readers, and let’s recap the end of Hannah’s “journey.”
First, let’s go back to a simpler time when Hannah had the relatively simple task of choosing between two dudes. Though Monday’s episode ended with Hannah bemoaning her lack of “clarity about which guy to pick,” now Tuesday is here, and she appears to have (almost) made a decision. “The unknown is still there,” she says, “but I know I’ll have somebody to hold my hand through it.”
You know what that means: It’s Neil Lane time! Tyler chooses a square-cut ring that he feels represents Hannah’s “loud and proud” nature, while Jed selects an oval rock because ovals, like his relationship with Hannah, are “more of a constant.” (These are words he’ll come to regret, no doubt.)
On a side note, I think Tyler bites his nails.
“This week has been the hardest decision of my life,” says the Bachelorette. “It’s so hard because life with Tyler is different than Jed, and I am conflicted in my heart.” Um, Hannah? You’re literally in the SUV on the way to the Proposal Platform. Now is not a great time to be having a crisis of conscience.
“I can’t do this,” says Hannah, before asking the driver to stop the car. If only she had thought to take her heels off before taking a stroll to clear her head.
A producer comes running. “Are you okay?” Of course she’s not okay, buddy! She just wiped out in a beaded gown worth thousands of dollars, and now her elbow is scraped up and she’s not sure which guy to marry. Eventually, Hannah picks herself up from the ground (without making use of the producer’s outstretched hand), and stands smack dab in the middle of the street, contemplating her future.
Poor Hannah. She probably thought that was the hardest moment of her life to date. As we’ll see later, it absolutely is not. After an unspecified amount of time, Hannah is ready to proceed to the Proposal Platform, where she’ll break one man’s heart before getting engaged to another. So who will get out of the limo first, thereby revealing himself to be the soon-to-be-dumpee?
Please, reality TV gods, please let Jed get out first. Please please please please please…
Crap. “The future holds for us a love and a bond that will never break,” says Tyler, as he makes his way down the rocky path toward Hannah. “I want her more than anything I’ve ever wanted in my life.”
As soon as Tyler started his proposal pitch with, “Hannah Brown,” I had to cover my eyes in mortification for him. He goes on to say that Hannah helped him grow so much “emotionally and spiritually,” and that he’s “madly in love.” Hannah can barely listen either; she keeps looking away and grimacing in distress. Just as Tyler starts talking about the moment he started to fall in love with her, Hannah interrupts with a whispered word: “Tyler.” What’s coming next is not good, and he knows it.
Hannah still hasn’t been able to speak, but she doesn’t need to. “This isn’t it,” says Tyler sadly. Finally, Hannah finds her words. “Just… just… I am so lucky to be loved by you… My life with you would be amazing. And when I told you I was falling in love with you, I mean it,” says Hannah. But… “I love someone else. I’m so sorry.”
Tyler Cameron, who somehow is always able to say the right thing and mean it, does not disappoint here. “That’s gonna hurt,” he says. “But I’m still gonna be your biggest fan rooting for you. I wish you and Jed nothing but success. I really mean that.” They share a long and emotional hug.
For the love of all that’s holy, why hasn’t science mastered the art of time travel yet? Come on, NASA! MIT! Somebody! Get on it so Hannah can go back and remedy this mistake ASAP! “It feels like a million uppercuts to the gut right now,” sighs Tyler, as he rides away in the Reject Minivan. Dammit, he even looks hot when he’s crying.
Welp, I guess we can’t avoid what’s coming next, rose lovers. Take my hand and let’s just get through it. “I’ve been waiting my whole life to have my happy ending,” says Hannah, as we see Jed riding toward the Proposal Platform with the oval Neil Lane ring in hand. (Oh, cruel irony — why must you torment our Bachelorette so?) God, just look at this jackass with his ever-present gee-tar.
Side note: Do you think the folks at Better Bowl dog food are second-guessing their decision to use Jed’s (pretty terrible) jingle? Discuss.
I don’t even want to repeat anything Jed says to Hannah during his proposal, because as we all know now, it was COMPLETE AND UTTER BALONEY. So let’s just ignore… Oh Lord have mercy, he’s singing, rose lovers. HE IS SINGING HIS PROPOSAL PITCH and I think I might actually throw up.
Does anyone have a defibrillator? I think my heart just gave out from sheer mortification. Once Jed finishes “singing” his “song” (sample lyrics: “After all you’ve been through / And those times you wish you knew / Who was on the other side of all those restless nights / We always knew it’s me and you”), Hannah giggles and claps weakly. “I really liked that,” she says with a determined smile. (This is about as ringing an endorsement as when Hannah’s mom said of Jed, “He has qualities.”)
I’d also rather not spend too much time on what Hannah says to Jed, because watching her profess her love for this asshat is almost too much to bear, knowing what we know now. Suffice it to say, Hannah used to wonder why God let her experience so many heartbreaks in the past, but now she feels that it was all worth it, because “it led me to this moment, and it’s led me to you.” The Bachelorette goes on to profess her love for Jed, and thus prompted, the aspiring singer-songwriter-reality TV villain gets down on one knee and pops the question.
“I didn’t even look at the ring, really, but I’m sure it’s really pretty,” Hannah says, after accepting Jed’s (tainted) proposal. Oh, honey, don’t get too attached — Jed most certainly is not Mr. Right, boyyyyy.
Now, rose lovers, it’s time for the aftermath. First, we see cutesy phone videos of Jed and Hannah cavorting together during their “happy couple” visits. “She’s gonna be a Wyatt,” Jed drawls, as Hannah smooches him giddily.
“When I chose Jed at the end… I was excited,” Hannah tells us via voice-over, as footage of her goofing off with Jed rolls. “The first thought that went through my head is, ‘This is it. He is so real with me, and I am so real with him. And that’s what I’ve wanted from the very start.’” Then things get real sad, real quick. “With Jed, I was so happy because I thought I was getting this person that I could spend life with who was sweet and sincere and honest, and…” She pauses, and her voice tightens. “That’s not been the case.”
You see, two nights after she and Jed got engaged, he told Hannah that he’d been “hanging out” with a girl before he left for the show. “He told me it was nothing,” she explains. “It was hard to hear, but I tried to let that go.” But then came the PEOPLE article, featuring an interview with a woman named Haley, who says she was dating Jed at the time he left for the show. Among her claims: That she and Jed “spent the night together” the night before he left to film The Bachelorette, and that his last words to her were, “I love you, and I’ll call you when I get back.”
In other words, “It was not the same story that I was told,” Hannah says. “What was withheld from me after I’ve already said yes is not okay.” Correct, Hannah — and now it’s time to hold Captain Dog Food accountable because all of the pain he’s caused you is also definitely not okay. “This last week has been the hardest week of me either screaming, or crying, or falling to my knees, like, not knowing what to do,” says Hannah, her voice trembling. “I love the person I got engaged to. I don’t know how I feel about this person.”
Jed arrives at the neutral-location-condo looking grim. (I may have yelled “Dead man walking!” at my screen.) Upon opening the door, Hannah hugs him, but when Jed says, “I miss you,” she does not respond in kind. Once they’re both seated on the couch (shades of Arie and Becca’s breakup!), Hannah demands answers. “Why did you wait until all of this happened to… let me find out what actually happened?”
Anyone who has ever dealt with a trifling man will not be surprised by Jed’s initial defense, which can be boiled down to, Bitches be crazy. Haley’s got it all wrong, he insists. He was “dating around” and his fling with Haley wasn’t an “exclusive thing,” and they just “hung out a few times.” Hannah’s BS antennae are immediately raised. “What is ‘hanging out a few times’?” she asks. Oh, dinner and a movie and sex, says Jed… and a weekend getaway to Gatlinburg.
“And you’re not dating?” Hannah exclaims, rolling her eyes. Jed insists that he never “put a label” on his relationship with Haley, and he was still hooking up with other women. Oh, and Haley met his parents. Oh, and she threw him a surprise birthday party… and her parents bought Jed a trip for two to the Bahamas for his birthday. Hannah is fuming. “You don’t call that dating?” she marvels angrily.
But wait, there’s more! Three days before the Birthday Bahamas trip, Jed was cast on The Bachelorette. Haley was “sad” but “also excited,” says Jed, who admits again that he only agreed to be on the show so he could promote his music. “And you probably just kept reassuring her, ‘This is a music thing,’” snaps Hannah. “I know this is what happened!”
Jed does not deny it. But he does try to play down the whole “I love you” thing, which he admits saying to Haley while they were on their “extravagant” vacation paid for by her parents. “I had been drinking — I’m not going to make that an excuse, but I had been,” says Jed, making it an excuse. “And I told her that I loved her. When I said it, it didn’t feel right, and I knew it was a mistake because I was leaving.” Hannah calls Jed “selfish” and buries her face in her hands with a groan.
And it only gets worse. Jed goes on to say that when he left to film the show, in his mind his relationship with Haley was over. Of course, he didn’t tell Haley that. “It’s not the right way to do it,” says Jed, now that he’s been caught. “I ended it in my heart and not verbally.”
Hannah, like all of America right now, cannot believe what she’s hearing. “You said you loved her on a phone call and a text the day of!” she cries, pounding her fists into her lap. “What do those words mean to you?”
I can answer that: nothing. They mean nothing to Jed. And Hannah is disgusted. “This is obviously humiliating for me,” she tells Jed. “My brother’s getting messages, my mom’s getting messages. And I have text messages from other girls the night after I was in Nashville. These two girls were in your apartment.” Hannah pulls out her phone and shows Jed even more evidence that he is the worst.
Do I even need to tell you that Jed’s defense is beyond lame? “We didn’t even know who they were!” he replies as if that somehow makes it better. He also cops to throwing these strange women into the pool. As Hannah rightfully points out, this is not how a happily and honestly engaged person should act. “It’s very hurtful,” she says. “How would you ever be ready to be engaged?”
Jed wants to know what he can do to prove to her that he’s not using her for fame, and the short answer is: Nothing. You can do nothing, Jed. Hannah doesn’t go quite so far, though. She just says, “I don’t know,” and heads outside to get some fresh air.
Finally, Hannah comes back inside, and Jed makes his final pitch. “Look, you’re everything that I have ever wanted and needed in a woman,” he says. “From the bottom of my heart I mean it, and whatever I have to prove it, I’ll do it… Please tell me, where do you see me lacking where you want me to be better at?”
Really, dude? Do you really need to be told that where you’re lacking is in the TELLING THE TRUTH department? Hannah says she needs “100 percent honesty” from him going forward. But even now — even after Hannah suggests that perhaps Jed could have said something on night one during the “Scott has a girlfriend” scandal — Jed cannot stop lying. “I didn’t have a girlfriend, though,” he asserts. “But now, when I look back, yeah it was a sh—y thing to do and I should have walked up right then and there and said something, and I didn’t. I should have said something at the Fantasy Suite.”
The lie of omission only got more insurmountable, Jed continues, once he started to fall in love with Hannah, and eventually he was simply too scared to tell her the truth. “I was scared if I told you, you’d walk away from me,” says Jed, adding helpfully that he was a “coward.”
Oh, shut your pie hole, dude. No one believes your tears anyway. Hannah then scolds Jed for telling his friends that he “won” the show. At the time, Hannah says, his phrasing only bugged her a little bit, but now “it makes me think about everything” he’s said and done… AS IT SHOULD. “It makes sense now why your family was so… skeptical of it, no wonder,” she says. And Hannah isn’t here for Jed’s declaration that she makes him want to be a better person: “Well, the first way to be a better person is to be honest about your past. Because now your past was actually current, and now it’s in our future.” Woah, that is deep.
Agreed, Hannah. Please just send this jackhole packing. As Dr. Phil says, the best indication of future behavior is past behavior, and Jed’s past behavior has been dominated by two things: Lying and crappy jingles. “You’re really selfish in this, and right now I feel like my decisions and my choices were all tainted,” says Hannah. All Jed can say at this point is “I’m sorry,” which he does. But it isn’t enough. Or at the very least, it should not be.
“I want to be someone that you’re proud of, Hannah,” he says, but her mind is already elsewhere. She’s fiddling with that giant diamond on her left finger. “This,” she says, pointing to the rock, “doesn’t mean the same thing. That’s not what I said yes to.” And with that, she takes off the ring and puts it on the coffee table.
“You deserve to be mad at me,” says Jed, stating the very obvious. Do not tell her what she deserves, you tool! The segment ends with Hannah holding her head in her hands. “I don’t know if I want this,” she says, her voice muffled. “I don’t know.”
With that, we’re back in the Tealight Candle Thunderdome, where Hannah receives a hero’s welcome and a standing ovation. Hannah is holding it together remarkably well (her pageant training at work), but her earrings are pointy and angry.
Hannah reiterates that Jed only gave her part of the story, until the news story broke and he was forced to come clean. “I got the PEOPLE magazine article sent to me, and it’s really sad when you have to circle things in an article and send them to your fiancé,” Hannah says, smiling through her pain. “Everything I thought was true and real wasn’t. I have been mad as hell.”
Of course, Harrison asks the obvious question: “Where does your relationship stand now?” Hannah pauses for just a second. “I… am not with Jed anymore,” she says, as the crowd applauds wildly. “It’s been really hard to grapple with that, but I know that what I got is not what I ever wanted for a life partner.” Damn right, gurl! Damn. Right.
Oh Lord, here comes Jed. He walks out to a few solitary claps — it’s not even enough to call it a smattering of applause. Harrison gives him the floor. “First and foremost from the bottom of my heart, I want you to know that I’m sorry,” he tells Hannah quietly. “I’m sorry that I took away that experience from you. I’m sorry that this has hurt your family, your friends, Bachelor Nation, my family.” He tells Hannah she’s still the woman of his dreams, and reiterates that he didn’t tell her the full truth because he was scared to lose her.
Hannah is far more gracious in her response than she needs to be. “I appreciate your apology,” she says. “It’s hurt me a lot but I know that this has not been easy for you and your family.” The Bachelorette tells Jed that what he did “was not right and not good,” but she isn’t writing him off as a human being yet: “I hope that from this you will be honest and learn and grown into the man that I know that you can be, for whoever in your future.”
Jed, meanwhile, says he still loves Hannah. In fact, he says he’ll “always” love her. That’s great, but Hannah is 1-800-DONE-WITH-YOU. “My feelings have changed since then,” she says. “I don’t love you like that anymore.” At this point, I stood up and cheered like Meryl Streep whooping it up during Patricia Arquette’s Oscar speech.
With that, Jed’s time in the spotlight is over… hopefully forever. Now it’s time for Hannah to sit down with the man she should have chosen: Tyler. When Harrison asks her how she feels about seeing him again, Hannah is a bit coy. “Well, those feelings didn’t just go away…” OMG, this lady in the audience is all of us right now.
And you know what, she just may get her wish. Hannah and Tyler are flirty from the very beginning. Ever the gentleman, Tyler gushes about how “powerful and strong” Hannah is, both during their relationship and after he was sent home. “It’s been tough to see her go through what she’s gone through, but she’s a fighter,” he continues. “She’s one of the strongest people I’ve ever met. She’ll bounce back.”
When Harrison asks Hannah what’s going through her head, she starts out the way you’d expect — “Our relationship was real to me and special and everything I said I meant and I felt” — but things quickly veer into let’s-do-this territory. “It didn’t just go away and I still… I have feelings,” she says, as the crowd whoops and cheers. “You’re an incredible guy and I’m a single girl,” Hannah continues. [insert wild, ear-piercing screams from the women in the audience] “So I just thought maybe we could go for a drink and just hang out?”
Harrison cannot believe his live-TV good fortune. “Just so we’re clear, we’re gonna have a go at this?” he asks. Yes they are, rose lovers! We can ship this, indeed!
I’ve always hated the saying “everything happens for a reason,” because it totally doesn’t. But my God, if Hannah had to go through all of that crap with Jed just so she could end up with a smoking-hot feminist hunk like Tyler, then maybe everything does happen for a reason.
After this truly wild emotional roller coaster, this boisterous and raunchy extended promo for Bachelor in Paradise seems almost tame by comparison. Not sure we’re seeing anything new, but I could watch Demi troll Blake (“Did he bang Chris Harrison?”) all day long. Also happy to see returning players Jordan, Derek, and Wills; less excited about the Blake f—boi drama and John Paul Jones’ emotional meltdown.
Well, rose lovers, we made it through! Hannah went to hell and back, but then she wound up with a heavenly boyfriend (God willing), so all is right in Bachelor Nation. I’m sure you’re just as emotionally exhausted as I am, but don’t go without letting me know your thoughts about Hannah’s “journey.” Will anyone ever date Jed again? Do you think Hannah and Tyler will start dating for real? And who do you want to be the next Bachelor? Post your thoughts below, and as always, thanks for reading!
One single woman searches for her future husband amid a sea of studs in this romantic reality series. Will you accept this rose?