The Bachelor finale recap: 'She's not there for you'
One of Peter's potential wives makes an unexpected getaway, and we finally learn who Barbara is crying about. ("Don't let her go!")
Happy The Bachelor finale week, rose lovers! I know we’re supposed to be thinking about Peter’s “journey” to find “love” right now, but as soon as the lights went up in the Tealight Candle Thunderdome, the only thing I could focus on was this question: Did all these people wash their hands?
Fortunately, we’re soon off to Alice Springs, the “red center” of Australia, where the Bachelor will bring his two final “ladies” to meet his parents. Look at Barb and Pete Sr., looking chic in their vacation attire!
Peter informs them that his final two women are Madison, who they met at their vow renewal, and Hannah Ann, the recipient of his First Impression Rose. Barb’s first question is if both “ladies” have said “I love you” to him yet, which is all the proof I need that the Webers are nothing like my WASPy family. After Peter explains the whole Madison/Fantasy Suite week situation, Mom and Dad admit that Madison’s ultimatum concerns them quite a bit. “That’s a big issue,” says Barb. “You have to think about that.” Pete’s adorable younger brother Jack is all, Calm down, guys — if Peter can get over it, we can too. This is a Weber Bachelor I could really get behind.
Anyhow, Hannah Ann’s up first! “I could be meeting my future family,” says the model through tears. “I want to walk away and [have] them know, ‘That girl loves our son.’” Indeed, she doesn’t waste any time sharing her feelings with Barb and Pete Sr. “I can’t wait to share with each of you guys just how much I love him!” she tells the Weber clan. “He just means so much to me.” (Hannah Ann also says she’s “proud” to be a “part” of Peter, but that’s just weird so let’s pretend it didn’t happen.) Anyway, Peter LOVES it.
“I see you and me!” says Barb to her husband, which is quite high praise for a woman she’s known about 47 seconds. During her interview with the producer, though, she’s a little more reserved. Hannah Ann seems like a “sweet girl, a lovely girl, but Peter falls so hard,” she says. “I have to tell you, that was a huge concern of mine.”
During their one-on-one chat, Barb tells Hannah Ann that she wants Peter to marry someone who will love him “with all of her heart.” Hannah Ann’s like, Check! She’s never had a connection “with a future” with a man the way she has with Peter. Oh God, Hannah’s crying again.
Barb gently suggests that Hannah Ann focus on the “positive” things, like the love she clearly has for Peter (even though she has no idea if he loves her back). Pete Sr. tells Hannah Ann that she and his son seem “extremely compatible,” and he doesn’t even bat an eye when she says it was “love at first sight” with Peter. “I could see what a genuine person she was,” says Dad.
Later, Pete Sr. asks his son if he’s “leaning one way or the other” with the women. There’s a long pause — though if you listen closely, you can hear all of Bachelor Nation screaming “MADISON” at their screens. To his credit, Peter is consistent in his frustrating inability to make a choice. “I see what I have with Hannah Ann, but my heart is with Madi as well,” says the Bachelor. Hannah Ann is “making it easy” for him, but Madison is “making it not-so-easy” — and we all know how human nature goes, rose lovers. Why would we happily accept the easy thing when we could get hung up on the not-so-easy thing instead? Oh no, now Peter’s crying.
“I don’t know how I’m gonna do this,” he says with a quavering voice. Papa Weber is supportive, of course. “It’ll come,” he says. “You know we only love you, bud, and we only want the best for you, but this is a big decision.” It sure is, pop! Here’s hoping Madison can offer your son some much-needed clarity.
Aaaand I spoke too soon.
Though Peter says he is “so in love” with Madison, things start to go downhill right after she greets him with a big heartbeat hug. Yes, she knows Peter’s a “big boy” who can make his own decisions, and yes, she accepted his most recent rose, but Madison still can’t get past his Fantasy Suite indiscretion(s). “I felt like you really just put your feelings and your needs and your wants way above mine,” she says. “And, like, that was really hurtful.” Making matters worse, Madison says that earlier that day she was ready to accept a proposal from him! But then Peter took the rug, or whatever.
What is Peter supposed to say that he hasn’t said already? He’s “so sorry,” he “totally” gets where she’s coming from, etc. Then comes the tough love: “You’re the only person that I truly don’t really know how I feel,” he says. Peter wants Madison to think about how he felt that night. “This woman still hasn’t even told me how she feels about me, and is now… [giving me] kind of like an ultimatum,” he says, adding that he was bummed out that for the first time, she was fixating on his relationship with the other women rather than being laser-focused on him.
“The decisions that you make, they do affect our relationship,” she shoots back. As for the “I love you” bit, Madison says, “Can you honestly say that you didn’t hold back at all when you were on this side of it?” Peter says he gets it — but what he doesn’t say is this: “With all due respect, miss, I didn’t tell Hannah B. to stay celibate in the Fantasy Suite.”
Once again, rose lovers, we are at an impasse. Madison says she is “hanging on by a thread.” And Peter cannot undo what (or who) has already been done. “I, like, don’t even know what to do,” says Madison, burying her face in her hands.
“You just have to meet me halfway,” whispers Peter. Madison wants to work it out, but she’s not sure how to get through “all this other crap” blocking their road to a happy ending. The Bachelor assures here that they’ll figure it out because it’s “not too late.” He likens it to the time that Madison got knocked down during a basketball game and lost her tooth — but kept playing because her dad-slash-coach said he needed her on the court. This personal sports analogy makes Madison smile, and she starts to soften a little more.
You guys, did Peter Weber just say the right thing during a tense moment with a “lady”? Miracles can happen!
And here’s another miracle: Madison finally tells Peter that she loves him! Of course, it’s a sort of retroactive declaration, in that she says she was thinking “I love you” while they were climbing the skyscraper the week before… but hey, he’ll take it. “I’ve been wanting to hear that,” says the Bachelor. “I’m all smiles for the rest of the day!” Look at how happy this poor guy is.
“I have zero worries!” says Peter, as he and Madison walk into the house to meet the Webers. Dude, why are you jinxing it???
The first thing I, and I’m sure most viewers, noticed is that Barb is wearing what will heretofore be known as the “Don’t Let Her Go” outfit: Yellow sweater over a white shirt, hoop earrings and jeans. We’re getting warmer, folks!
The second thing I noticed is that things got very awkward, very quickly. If editing is to be believed (LOL), within a minute of sitting down, Madison was explaining to Barb, Pete Sr., and Jack that she didn’t want their son to “sleep with someone else” in the Fantasy Suite. Still, “I love him,” says Madison. “And I do see a future with him.” Great! Should we just wrap this up now? Does Harrison have Neil Lane on speed dial?
Nope, sorry — Pete Sr. and Barb still want to “get some answers” from the principled young woman sitting before them. Dad asks her if she and Peter have any differences that “bother” her, and she says, indirectly, that she knows Peter isn’t as religious as she is — but she’s clinging to the idea that he’s willing to “grow” his faith. Oh man, now Madison is crying.
“He is someone very special,” says Madison, “and he deserves to be with someone very special, with the love that he wants and needs.”
Call me a sucker, folks, but I believe her. Hey, I wonder what Jack and Pilot Pete are talking about.
Jack, who knows his brother is “very physical” in relationships, can’t wrap his mind around the idea that Peter would choose someone who would ask him to hold off on sex until the wedding. “Is that something that you realistically see yourself doing?” he asks. Peter’s all, YES I CAN, SHEESH! But Jack’s not done. He wants to know if Peter, who likes to hit the clubs and go line dancing and whatnot, really thinks his lifestyle is compatible with Madison, who is “very big into ministry.” Peter’s all, YES IT WILL BE FINE, SHEESH!
“I just want to make sure you’re not compromising any level of yourself and how you would normally be in a relationship,” says Jack. It’s a good point, but Peter does not cotton to his brother’s insight. “That’s what relationships are!” replies the Bachelor. “Of course I’m going to be compromising part of myself.”
Hold up, buddy: Relationships require compromises, for sure. (Did I want a giant compost drum in our backyard? No! But my husband has always wanted his own compost heap, so I compromised because I love him.) But relationships shouldn’t require you to compromise who you are as a person. That said, I don’t think Peter’s thinking on this is deeper than, like, “If I want to go line dancing one night and Madison wants to go to a church social, I’ll do her thing. Compromise!”
The Bachelor’s brother simply can’t understand why Peter is struggling when he’s got Hannah Ann, a “seemingly perfect girl” with “no issues whatsoever” just dying to accept his final rose. Madison, meanwhile, is “raising a lot of red flags” for the family. Peter can tell his family is concerned, and it’s bothering him a lot. “You guys don’t know the Madi that I know,” he tells Dad.
Meanwhile, Barb is getting down to the nitty-gritty with Madison. Peter is “very spiritual,” she says, but he’s not on the same religious “level” as she is. Plus, “He socializes, he parties. It seems like you two have a little bit — actually, not a little bit, quite a bit, different lifestyles,” says Barb. “And I don’t want anyone to change him.” Though she respects Madison’s “values,” Barb admits she was a bit put off by Madison’s Fantasy Suite ultimatum: “That’s up to him.”
Madison’s response is polite but firm: “I didn’t tell him what to do. All I said was, it’s going to be hard for me to work through this if this happens,” she says. And yes, Madison knows she and Peter have a lot of differences, but she hopes that the whole fight will be worth it. Still, the day has clearly taken its toll. “What an emotional, hard, long, exhausting day,” she sighs. “We are kind of on different pages in what we want, what we need, what we expect, how we live, like, literally in every way. I think going into tomorrow, I have to think about what’s best.”
Uh… that does not sound promising. But I shouldn’t get ahead of myself, rose lovers, because I think we’re about to witness the Mom Tears Heard ‘Round the World!
After saying goodbye to Madison, Peter comes inside, and Barb bursts into tears. “Why are you crying?” says Peter, alarmed. “What’s wrong?” Oh, Mom’s going to tell you what’s wrong, buddy.
When I tell you I gasped! Is “don’t let her go” about Hannah Ann??? It sure seems to be headed that way. Barb tells her son that she asked God to guide him and Madison to make the choice that was right for both of them. “You have a gem waiting for you who is madly, head-over-heels in love with you,” says Barb. “And God put her there for you.”
Yikes, Mom — you’re allowed to like Hannah Ann more than Madison, but suggesting that Our Lord and Savior hand-picked her for Peter to marry might be a bit too much pressure for him to handle. “Madison is a sweet girl, lovely girl,” Barb tells us, “but Hannah Ann is an angel on earth.”
AN ANGEL ON EARTH! What is happening right now??? Look, I get that Barb does not want her son to be heartbroken again, and so she is pushing him to pick the sure thing. But if this show (and raising human children) has taught us anything, it’s that when parents really, really want their children to do something, the kids are usually going to do the opposite. “All I can do is pray that God enlightens him and sends him a sign of who the right girl is,” she says. “A mother’s intuition is never wrong.” Still, as the old saying goes, you can lead a pilot to a potential child bride, but you can’t make him propose.
Once Pete Sr. and Jack join the conversation, they agree with Barb’s assertion that Peter’s situation is very similar to what happened with Hannah B. on The Bachelorette. “You were head over heels in love with Hannah B., but unfortunately she went and picked the wrong person,” says Mom. “And now you have a perfect girl right in front of you, and you’re going to risk that, bud?”
Yeah, Peter! Do you want to end up like Hannah B., briefly engaged to a crappy dog-food jingle writer with questionable morals? Man, poor Peter is just getting pummeled. If only his parents could present a third option: Maybe just skip the “will you marry me?” part and date for a while. But this is not Barb and Pete Sr.’s first Bachelor-franchise rodeo, and they’re just following the (implied) rules.
“You guys don’t know the Madi I know,” says Peter. “I hear you guys, but you guys also have to trust me as much as I trust you guys.” Barb starts to cry again. (At this point, I may or may not have yelled, “Oh my God, here it comes!” at my screen.)
“Hannah Ann loves you with all of her heart,” sobs Barb.
“Bring her home,” she says, weeping. “Bring her home to us. We will welcome her with open arms… She’s a dream come true, and God has placed her there for you! And that’s what love stories are made of!”
Finally, the Bachelor has heard enough. “You’ve gotta stop doing this,” he pleads. “You’ve gotta stop doing this! No, you’ve gotta stop! It’s literally destroying me right now, you push me… Please, don’t do that to me.” Gah, do I actually feel sorry for this poor sap? Look at how sad and stressed out he is!
Mom tries to backtrack — “I trust you, I trust you, I trust you with all of my heart” — but the damage is done. “I don’t have their support with Madison,” sighs Peter. “It sucks. It really sucks.” Even so, the Bachelor seems to have made his choice: “I want Madi more than anything.”
Unfortunately for Peter, though, the suckage is only beginning. The day arrives for their last-chance date, which starts with — wait for it — a helicopter tour over the sacred rock of Uluru. “I do love Peter,” says Madison. But… “As great as our relationship is when we’re together, I do now see that we are very different people… We have fought, we haven’t given up, but I’ve just realized, you know, it’s kinda time to surrender.”
Ooof. No amount of sparkling apple juice is going to help this conversation go down smoothly. “Cheers to the most amazing journey that I’ve ever had,” says Peter, raising a glass, “and seeing if our love is as strong as that rock over there.”
Narrator: It’s not.
Madison tells Peter that she “wants this so badly,” but she also thinks both of them “can’t see clearly” right now. “As much as we want this, I don’t know that we can, like, give each other what we need,” she says softly. “Sometimes I think being a great warrior… is knowing when to surrender.” To that end, Madison says she’s going to “walk away” so that Peter can “get what [he] came here to find.”
The Bachelor is stunned. “You told me yesterday that you wanted to tell me on the tower that you did love me,” he mumbles. “Now, it’s like a couple days later and this conversation is happening — it makes absolutely no sense to me.” Again, Madison says things changed for her “that night” (their Fantasy Suite date), and her worries have compounded since. She doesn’t come right out and say “your family drove home how incompatible we are,” but she’s obviously thinking it.
Side note: As if this conversation wasn’t sad and uncomfortable enough, they’re having to deal with flies buzzing around them at the same time.
The idea of fighting for an against-all-odds love is romantic, sure, but Madison is a pragmatist. “I have to think about life outside of this,” she says. “Compatibility — I have to think about those things, you know? I just… I don’t know that we’re the best for each other.”
“I’m going to miss him every day,” says Madison, as the SUV drives her out of Peter’s life… forever. (Maybe.)
Well that was brutal, wasn’t it, rose lovers? Surely now that Madison has broken up with him, Peter is going to realize that he cannot go on with this “journey,” right? RIGHT?
The next morning, the brokenhearted Bachelor gets out of bed and heads out to see the one man who can help him “pick up those pieces.”
“I don’t know how to go about this,” says Peter. “I’m mourning this relationship right now… but I also know that I’m in love with Hannah Ann.”
Sorry, but I need to take a moment to rant. How is it humanly possible that Peter still thinks he’s equally in love with Hannah Ann as he is with Madi? Is he truly so clueless about his own emotions that he can’t even take a second to consider that maybe, just maybe, he’s clinging to the Hannah Ann relationship in order to avoid feeling the full weight of his heartbreak over Madison? HANNAH ANN IS NOT A BOX OF RICE-A-RONI, BUDDY — SHE IS NOT YOUR CONSOLATION PRIZE!
End of rant.
“Can you get over this heartbreak?” Harrison asks. “Or is this over?” Peter simply doesn’t know. “It’s kind of, like, all up in the air right now.”
And yet… suddenly we cut to his last-chance date with Hannah Ann, who is still blissfully unaware that her “boyfriend” is a husk of his former self. “I’m in love with Peter Weber,” she chirps. “Today’s going to be his last opportunity to really look at me and think, ‘Do I see a future with her?’” Girl, you don’t know the half of it.
A ruggedly handsome Australian man greets Peter and Hannah Ann out in the bush and takes them to a kangaroo sanctuary. It is, quite possibly, the cutest thing ever.
“I had my heart broken yesterday,” says Peter, “and I’m still here right now, giving it my all with the person that I love.” Shouldn’t that be “the OTHER person that I love,” buddy?
Yep, Peter is in full-on “talking himself into choosing Hannah Ann” mode. “I see exactly what I have in front of me, and it’s the most perfect woman,” he tells us. Now he just has to make sure he can “move past everything” and that Hannah Ann is someone he wants to “pick first, every day, and every day for the rest of my life.”
I don’t know about you, rose lovers, but I’m not optimistic. And it’s not just because this “hug” looks more like a trying-too-hard stranglehold.
Hannah Ann knows something is wrong. “Looking into Peter’s eyes, something is off,” she says. “I’m scared.”
Though she hopes to eradicate all of Peter’s doubts during the evening portion of their last-chance date, it doesn’t go as planned. “Tomorrow is a big day,” she begins. “I hope I’m the person that makes you the happiest. I hope I’m the person that makes you feel the most loved.” In response, Hannah Ann gets this:
Sure, Peter said a lot of nice stuff before that (“I know what I have with you;” “I’ve never questioned, like, where your heart’s been at all”), but the bottom line is this: He still loves Madi. More accurately, he still loves Madi more than he loves her.
Poor Hannah Ann. “It’s not what I want to hear, you know?” she says, wiping away tears. “It just hurts when I’m so sure, and you’re not.” Did anyone else start screaming “WALK AWAY, WOMAN!” at their screen, or was that just me?
“I’ve given, and I’ve given, and I’ve given, and I just want something in return,” adds Hannah Ann. “You just seem not, you know, completely there, like I am.” Look, I’ve never been a big Hannah Ann fan (try saying that three times fast), but she deserves better than this indecisive, weak-willed fool. WALK AWAY, WOMAN! ACTUALLY, RUN!!!!!!
But Hannah Ann is determined to tough it out. “This is the first time I’m truly scared to lose him,” she says sadly. Don’t be scared, tiny little woman. Losing Pilot Pete will likely be the best thing that ever happened to you (and your Instagram account).
Welp, rose lovers… that happened. And from the looks of that preview, things are going to get even messier before this “journey” is over. And good Lord, who is Barbara crying about now?
Before you go rest up for part two tomorrow night, let me know your thoughts: Was Barbara out of line with her pro-Hannah Ann pushing, or was she just doing her duty as a mom? Did Madison do the right thing — or is she right to be (apparently) second-guessing her decision? And when was the last time you washed your hands? Post your thoughts below!
The Bachelor finale part 2 airs Tuesday, March 10 at 8 p.m. on ABC