The Bachelor season finale recap: Peter gives out final rose, all Hell breaks loose
For women, the (old-fashioned, heteronormative) rule is, “You have to kiss a lot of frogs before you find your prince.” Increasingly, rose lovers, the rule for men on The Bachelor is this: You have to propose to the wrong woman before you wise up and choose the right one.
Tonight, Peter Weber joined the Bachelor “bait-and-switch” club, first proposing to Hannah Ann before realizing — whoops! — that it was Madison he wanted all along. While I’m not sure that Peter and Madison will live normally ever after like Jason and Molly or Arie and Lauren, the good news is that Hannah Ann is finally free from Pilot Pete’s wishy-washy whims.
Let’s recap, shall we?
Peter begins the (not) final day of his Bachelor journey with a jog through the Australian outback. “Madison left, and that’s been really, really rough for me,” he says. “But I do believe that things happen for a reason.” (Spoiler: They don’t.)
Anyhow, suddenly Peter is certain that the “true love” he has with Hannah Ann is the only love he needs. “Right now, it just feels right and real with Hannah Ann.” Keywords: “Right now.” Never mind that he was heartbroken a few days ago over Madison. Never mind that he’s obviously just talking himself into choosing Hannah Ann because he’s terrified of being alone. NEVER MIND ALL OF THAT, PEOPLE. Let’s go ring shopping!!
Having procured the rock, Peter suits up and FaceTimes Hannah Ann’s dad to get his “blessing.” Unfortunately, the person whose blessing he really needs is having some doubts. “Last night, Peter told me that his heart was being pulled in two different directions,” says Hannah Ann. “And that was like a knife in my heart.” Is it so unreasonable to want a guy to be 100 percent devoted to you before accepting his proposal? No, no it’s not. And Hannah Ann doesn’t think Peter is there. “I don’t know what to do,” she sighs. “Everything in me just wants to put up my guard and tap out.”
Honey, can’t you have your breakdown standing up? You’re going to wrinkle that lovely dress!!
Meanwhile, Peter’s just milling about at the Proposal Platform when Chris Harrison arrives with some news about Hannah Ann. “To be honest, I’m not positive she’s coming,” says the host. Peter’s all, Wait — doesn’t she know she’s a sure thing? Madison’s not even here! Sorry pal, but you were the one who was supposed to tell her that Madison was gone. Instead, you let her bottle-feed baby kangaroos in total ignorance. Now those kangaroos are coming home to roost, buddy! (Yes, I know that makes no sense. Just let me have this.)
Eventually, producers take Peter inside a nearby cottage so he can lie down and cool off. “She doesn’t even know if she wants to come here right now — that makes no sense!” moans the Bachelor. Actually, it makes total sense you dum-dum: THE LAST TIME YOU SAW HANNAH ANN, YOU TOLD HER YOU WERE STILL TORN BETWEEN TWO WOMEN.
Even so, Hannah Ann decides to come and get her ring/man. “In my heart, I believe that our love is so strong, and that’s why I’m still here,” she says. “But you know, it’s me and Madison left, and I can’t go through with this unless I’m sure that I’m the only one that he loves.” Two things: It isn't, and you’re not. But that’s up to Peter to explain.
Though the “lady” usually talks first, producers have waived that rule under the circumstances. “I told you that my heart was torn in two different directions,” begins Peter. “And now I have to follow my heart.” Oh man, we have to pause for a minute to appreciate Hannah Ann’s “crap I’m about to get some really bad news” face:
But the news is good! Or at least, the news Peter is choosing to share with her is good: “So, Madison… she actually left two days ago.”
That’s it. Madison “left.” Not, “She left me, and I was really heartbroken about it” — just, “she left.” This, kids, is what’s known as a lie of omission. Hannah Ann deserves to know how and why Madison left before accepting Peter’s proposal. But… for now, that’s not going to happen.
“My heart chooses you forever,” says the Bachelor through tears. “I love you, Hannah Ann.” And her response is just heartbreaking: “You love me? Oh, my God!” Gurl, someday you’ll hear that from a man who deserves you, but today is not that day.
Of course, she says yes. “I can’t believe you’re all mine!” marvels Hannah Ann. “I get to love you forever!” He’s not, and you don’t, but we won’t get into that right now.
After all, now is a time for celebrating! Peter has chosen a bride-to-be, and she just happens to be the one his mother Barb hoped, dreamed, and prayed for! Now that the Bachelor is back in the states, his first order of business is telling his family which “lady” he chose.
Before Peter even gets through the door, Barb starts crying. “Bud! Oh, Bud!” she sobs. “We missed you so much!” Take it down a notch, Mom — it’s only been a week. Making matters worse, Peter drags out his wife reveal like he’s Ryan Seacrest announcing the bottom three singers on American Idol.
“I am engaged,” he says. “And, um, I’m so happy. [pause] I really am. [pause] Um [pause], it’s with my person… [pause]…” Barb’s nerves are about to snap. “Who is it???” she cries. After a few more painful pauses, Peter finally spits it out: “On the last day in Australia, I got down on one knee, and I asked… Hannah Ann to marry me.” Mom totally takes the news in stride.
“This is the best news ever!” wails Barb. “We love her so much! We love her! We love her!” But just when mom is starting to get her composure back, Peter whips out his phone to FaceTime his fiancée. “How’s our daughter?” a giddy Barb asks her never-to-be daughter-in-law. “We love you and miss you!” Of course, it’s nice that the Webers are being so welcoming to Peter’s (temporary) true love, but I wish Barb would refrain from saying things like, “And they lived happily ever after.” This relationship doesn’t need any more bad juju.
We cut back to the Tealight Candle Thunderdome, where Pilot Pete is live on stage to discuss his engagement to Hannah Ann and… what happened next. Shall we flash forward to the inevitable? Suddenly, Hannah Ann and Peter are having a “happy couple” visit in Los Angeles — the first one they’ve had in a month. Peter says he’s been “honest” with Hannah Ann about his “struggles.” And so she had to know that when Bachelor producers called and asked her to show up for an on-camera “happy couple” visit, it wasn’t going to be good news.
“I think we both know that this has been hard,” she sighs. Hannah Ann says she wants to keep being Peter’s “rock,” but she needs and deserves to know if she’s wasting her time. “When I said yes to you, like, I said yes to a partnership. And I said yes to us being teammates… But if you can’t give me that love in return, that’s not a relationship.”
YES, GURL, YES! ONE-THOUSAND-MILLION TIMES YES!
“I never intended to give my heart to two people,” Peter replies, wiping away tears. “I want so badly to be able to give you everything, give you my entire heart… and I can’t do that. I’m so sorry.”
Welp, there it is. Hannah Ann, please feel free to get angry.
“You took that away from me,” snaps Hannah Ann. “Because I trusted you!” With that, she excuses herself to go to the bathroom/get away from the cameras. Of course, Peter follows her, because these men never just give a girl some space when she asks for it! “I’m so sorry,” he whimpers again. “Like, this is, like, never what I ever, ever envisioned, ever.”
Hannah Ann’s all, Yeah, me neither, dumbass. “I said yes, and I get this?” she asks, taking the Neil Lane engagement ring out of her pocket and waving it in Peter’s face. “Why didn’t you just let me go… instead of taking this [gestures with ring] away from me?”
EXCELLENT QUESTION! I really like Angry Hannah Ann. When Peter keeps apologizing, the spurned Hannah Ann goes into full 1-800-NOT-HAVING-IT mode. “Sorry for what?” she asks. “For not being man enough to follow through with your words? For not being true to your words? Not being true to your feelings? Is that what you’re sorry for?”
READ! HIM! HIS! RIGHTS!
“Torn and conflicted Peter,” continues Hannah Ann, with a sneer in her voice. “And all throughout, I stood by your side. And you took the most precious moment that I could ever imagine away from me. Because you, selfishly, just did not want me to walk away.”
Peter, sad-sack and sorry, knows there’s nothing he can say to make this better. He knows he’s hurt Hannah Ann and her family. He knows he’s screwed this whole thing up. “I can’t even look at you anymore,” says Hannah Ann. “You’ve done enough damage.” With that, Hannah Ann gives him back the ring. “We’re done,” she whispers. “And I mean that.”
The Bachelor makes a few more attempts to talk to Hannah Ann (WHY? LEAVE HER ALONE!), but she refuses to engage. “I’m going to get my life back on track now,” she says. “Where it originally was before… I’ve been my own rock throughout this. You don’t have to worry about me.” And then, when Peter tries one last time to speak to her before sending her off in the Escape SUV, she shuts him down hard.
HANNAH ANN FOR THE BACHELORETTE IN 2027! (Let’s wait until she’s 30.)
And we’re back at the Thunderdome. “Being there that day, how difficult was that?” Harrison asks Peter, who looks like he wants to vom. “That was just, like, tearing my heart out,” he mumbles. “Just knowing that I was going to do that to her… that just tore my heart out.” The Bachelor claims that his lingering feelings for Madison were just “a little bit” of the reason he broke up with Hannah Ann — the biggest reason, says Peter, is that he simply didn’t love her the way she loved him.
The next step in this pain parade is, of course, making Peter face Hannah Ann on live television. She struts out on stage in a red wrap dress to raucous cheering — including from Barb. (Too little, too late, woman!) And boy, is Hannah Ann ready to tell Pilot Pete how she really feels.
“Walking in there and hearing for the first time that you couldn’t give me your full heart, that was very blindsiding,” she says. “You knew exactly what to say to keep me with you… You knew how serious I was about an engagement… You told me things that kept me with you. Even after our breakup, you reached out to my parents saying that you were just processing your emotions and you wish more than anything we had met outside of reality TV. How does that make any sense?” As Hannah Ann tears Peter a new one, he just has to sit there and take it — as do Barb and Pete Sr.
When it’s his turn to talk, Peter what he does best: He offers empty apologies and “I meant it when I said it” excuses. “Everything that you’re saying is 100 percent fair,” he says. “Hannah Ann, when I told you that I loved you, I did love you. I swear to God. Believe me, it kills me so much to know what I took away from you.”
Not good enough, pal. Hannah Ann would also like to know why you waited until the very last moment to tell her that she was the “only woman left” — and even worse, you “downplayed” what had really happened between you and Madison! “I had no idea what I was saying yes to,” she fumes. “You had two days to tell me the full truth.”
Right about now, Peter starts to short circuit. “I did my best,” he fumbles. “Two days prior, yeah, a relationship had ended for me, and I had no way to grieve that like a normal person does.” Still, he didn’t want to give up on his great love with Hannah Ann because of the “temporary pain” he was in at that moment. “I would have regretted that,” he says lamely. (Regretted it more than proposing on TV and then taking it back??? Doubtful.)
Ultimately, he just reverts back to apologizing. “You’re so right,” says Peter. “There are so many things that I would do differently if I could.” Honestly, that should have been this season’s subtitle. The Bachelor: There Are So Many Things He Would Do Different if He Could. It rolls off the tongue!
But Hannah Ann gets the last word. After revealing that Peter insisted on reaching out to Hannah Brown (again) after they got engaged (“That’s three women involved in our engagement!” she quips), Hannah Ann offers Peter some advice: “If you want to be with a woman, you need to become a real man.”
Call the cops, rose lovers — we need to report a murder!
Hmmmm… I wonder how Madison would feel about this development. Let’s travel to Auburn, Ala., and find out!
“You seem surprised to see me,” says Chris Harrison cheekily as he takes a seat in Madison’s living room. “How ya been?” Short answer: Not great. “I’m trying my best not to live in the past, but I can’t help it,” says Madison, her voice tight with emotion. “I’ll be the first to admit, if I was presented with the same situation, I would have done things differently.”
Because she can’t help herself, Madison then asks Harrison what happened with Peter and Hannah Ann after she left. The sad look on her face when she hears the answer — “He got engaged” — is almost too much to bear, even for my ice-cold heart.
Hold those tears, honey! “The reason I’m here today is to give you news,” says Harrison. “Peter is single. He ended his engagement with Hannah Ann.”
Madison can barely process this information. First, she asks if he’s okay (which is pretty sweet). Then she tries to describe how she’s feeling: “I just am… It breaks my heart, it is good, a bunch of things.” Then Harrison poses the million-dollar question: “Are you in love with Peter?” She doesn’t answer directly, but she does say that she was in love with Peter, and those feelings “have not gone away.” So yes, Madison is in love with Peter.
So she’s really going to like what Harrison says next: “I think in his dream, he would be with you.” Finally, Madison allows herself to smile. “I mean, if we had a second chance at this, I’d take it in a heartbeat,” she says. “I guess we’re heading to LA!” Okay, but bring anti-bacterial wipes and wash your hands any time you touch anything. There’s a pandemic out there!
Cut to: Madison in Los Angeles, riding to Peter’s rented digs in the Reunion SUV. The Bachelor is surprised to see her — “What are you doing here?” — because apparently he was expecting Chris Harrison. Now that she’s here, Madison wants Peter to know that she’s “struggled” with her decision every single day since she got home. “I know that I, like, still just have so much, so much love in my heart for you,” she says.
Peter’s all, Sorry I proposed to another woman. Can we, like, move past it? Good question! Let’s return to the Tealight Candle Thunderdome LIVE and find out! Peter hasn’t seen Madison since that day in Los Angeles, and Harrison wants to know if he’s in love with her. There’s a long pause, and finally, he answers: “Yeah.”
Doesn’t Barb look thrilled?
Madison emerges from backstage, looking stunning in a hot pink off-the-shoulder dress. “I love Peter, and that hasn’t changed since that day in Australia,” she tells Harrison. At first, hearing Peter was single was “a lot to take in,” but after she had time to “process” her feelings, she knew she still had “so much love in [her] heart” for the scar-faced pilot.
Okay, great. “How is this all going to end?” Harrison asks. Even though Neil Lane is sitting in the audience, unfortunately (actually fortunately) there will not be a proposal on live TV. For once, Peter wants to do the sensible thing. “We’ve both been through the wringer through all of this,” he says. “I’ve made more mistakes than you can ever make as the Bachelor… I know how we both feel about each other, and I think like taking one step at a time, one day at a time, is possibly the smartest way to go with this.”
That’s probably for the best, because Barb has definitely not yet defected from #TeamHannahAnn. When Harrison asks her how she’s feeling about Peter’s decision, she does not mince her words. “Chris, of course I have my feelings. And the show last night, it didn’t show everything,” she says. “When I went for Hannah Ann, she was the one who embraced me with love.”
Things with Madison, however, got off on a “rocky road,” thanks to her doubts about Peter’s Fantasy Suite shenanigans. “She had us wait three hours for her to come in. She didn’t want to meet us,” Barb continues. “We had just come across the world, we were exhausted… and we had to wait three hours. And when she did come in, the whole family, we didn’t get an apology from her. When I proceeded to ask her if she was madly in love with my son, she said no and she would not accept a proposal in four days.”
We interrupt this brutally honest rant to bring you Madison’s “bish, please” listening face.
Yeah, the only thing keeping Madison from sinking her acrylics into Barb’s neck are her good Christian morals. “At the end of the day, it is what it is. You can’t change the past… I came into this journey and I said I was going to be unashamed of who I am and undeniably myself, and that is something that I’ve done throughout this entire journey.”
The crowd erupts in applause. Peter, meanwhile, tries to navigate this intense awkwardness by saying that he knows his family loves him and their concern stemmed from a fear that he’d get his heartbroken. Then he turns to Barb and Pete Sr. “I can tell you guys that I know how she feels for me and I know how I feel for her. I just ask that you guys can give her that chance and trust me,” says Peter. “This is someone that I love, and I fell in love with.”
Barb shoots back with “we want the best for him,” but then she goes on to twist the knife a little more. Madison and Peter are “completely two different people,” and only one of them (ahem, Peter) is willing to compromise. By this point, Madison has had enough. “I disagree!” she says, interrupting Barb. (The crowd LOVES it.) “This isn’t just Peter’s journey… This is my journey too and this isn’t just Peter choosing me, this is me choosing Peter.” Damn right, woman! Barb, please give it a rest, okay?
Good GOD! No wonder Peter is such a mess — his mother makes Cersei Lannister look like Ma Ingalls. Peter, to his credit, pushes back on his (very rude) mother. “I’m telling you that I love Madison, and that should be enough,” he says firmly. “Please. Please. Listen to me. Listen, please.” Poor Pete Sr. says he hates the whole situation, and he just wishes that Peter and Madison didn’t have so many “differences to overcome.” Once again, Madison shuts it down. “This is about me and Peter,” she says. “This is something just he and I should be talking about.”
Hoo boy, that was wildly awkward and very uncomfortable to watch. What a perfect time to segue to our new Bachelorette, Clare Crawley!
The whole Barb vs. Madison battle went on so long, it looks like we’re not going to meet any of Clare’s men tonight. And honestly, I’m okay with that. We’ve had enough insanity for one night. (You can read all my thoughts about Clare here.)
Rose lovers, that was exhausting. Before you collapse into bed (and/or get blackout drunk to forget the last two hours), please let me know your thoughts: Do Madison and Peter stand a chance? How did Hannah Ann go from most annoying to most amazing contestant this season? And will you be watching Listen to Your Heart? Post your thoughts below, and I’ll see you back here on May 18 for the new season of The Bachelorette. As always, thanks for taking this “journey” with me!
This romantic reality competition series follows a gaggle of women vying for the Bachelor’s heart — and a wedding proposal. Will you accept this rose?