Before we get to tonight’s finale of The Bachelorette, can we take a moment to consider my soul? I was recently revisiting NBC’s excellent freshman comedy, The Good Place, and noticed that one of the things that will send a person immediately to “The Bad Place,” in its conception of the afterlife, is an emotional investment in the Bachelor franchise. This is explicitly stated by Ted Danson’s character, Michael. Now, I wouldn’t say I’m “emotionally” invested in tonight’s outcome, but if Bryan wins I am going to scream and cry and smash all my mugs, so…am I going to “The Bad Place?” Damn it, I’m invested.
You will remember from the previous episode (not including the “Men Tell All” special) that Rachel introduced her family to all three of her remaining suitors: Eric, the nice one; Hot Peter, the hot one; and Bryan, the other one. (We have not done Fantasy Suites yet; you didn’t miss that.)
If these men were utensils, Eric would be a spoon, Hot Peter would be a fork, and Bryan would be a knife. If they were flavors of LaCroix, Eric would be Pamplemousse, Hot Peter would be Original, and Bryan would be room temperature. If they were Buffy characters, Eric would be Xander, Hot Peter would be Buffy, and Bryan would be Kennedy.
Sorry, are you bored already? Well, buckle in because tonight’s episode is three friggin’ hours, for the love of, well, Hot Peter. LET’S GO ALREADY.
We are in historic and beautiful España slash also live in Los Angeles with Chris Harrison, who is working more in this episode than he has all season. Rachel is also there, watching herself with us (why?).
“I don’t know why y’all keep doing stuff like this to me” – Rachel
All three final men are also in the studio. Is she gonna…trade one for the other? Winner becomes runner-up? Is there a point to this?
“Can I leave?” – Rachel
Someone named Juan Pablo is married?
If Rachel sends Hot Peter home for being too reasonable, I am going to lose my mind. JK FANTSY SUITE CARD, HELLS YES. Rachel and Hot Peter do what America has wanted all summer and head off to bang-a-lang.
Hot Peter has a number of tattoos I would love to really get into here, but it’s not the place or time, so um, back to their relationship. Hot Peter and Rachel are closer but still not as close as they need to be? The proposal issue is still, well, an issue. Ugh, and now we’re cutting to Bryan. So far this is like a meal where the first course is caviar, and the second is a soggy French fry.
“It matches me.” – Rachel, about a brown horse.
Bryan says a bunch of dumb stuff and overuses the word “beautiful.” Then they…talk or something? And then Chris and Rachel talk about how Bryan and Rachel talked, and now here I am writing about it. We are so far removed from reality. We are in space. We are living in the movie Gravity, starring Oscar winner Sandra Bullock and George Clooney.
“Who will be leaving Spain forever?” – Chris Harrison, insinuating
that if you don’t win The Bachelorette, you are never allowed to
return to the country of Spain.
Rachel understandably spent her whole date with Bryan thinking about how to get Hot Peter to propose to her, so now Bryan’s all, “Hey baby, what’s wrong?” and Rachel’s like “Um, it’s fine; we don’t need to talk about it.”
I don’t know what Bryan’s talking about; I’m tuning him out. Let’s focus on Rachel’s incredible dress-coat-thing. It has fringe at the bottom and shoulder pads up top. It’s so great!
Rachel explains that she went into the Fantasy Suite dates with a list of questions, which sounds about right. Personally, I like to make men fill out a basic questionnaire before we go out, but I understand that other people’s processes are different.
“What tastes better: the strawberry or me?” – Rachel, corny
We’re at the first rose ceremony. Hot Peter’s pocket square has me all Heart Eyes Emoji.
Aww, bye Eric. You were really cool and probably too nice of a person to be on reality television. Eric is wonderfully kind in his goodbye, but like, he will always love her? Always? Like…always? Eric, no, don’t do that.
Meanwhile, back in L.A., Eric has grown some excellent facial hair. (And speaking of sexy, this Black Panther preview.) Nothing against Chris Harrison, but how do we feel about the idea of Eric as a host? He’s very genuine and positive and seemingly empathetic. And a cutie!
Eric thanks Rachel for “making him a man” by “giving him love.” This is all too real. I do not watch The Bachelorette for realness.
It’s the last date with Bryan! They are exploring Rioja by hot air balloon, a method of travel that was honestly ruined by The Wizard Of Oz. I mean, I’m just not trying to end up in another realm, you know?
They kiss. Bryan professes his love. He continues to refer to Rachel as “this woman,” and I wanna throw myself down a well and wait for Hot Peter to come get me.
Has anyone ever wanted to be someplace less than Rachel wants to be sitting with Chris Harrison talking about herself? Whatever, it’s time for Hot Peter. Their date is “exploring a monastery,” which sounds like the beginning of a Mummy spin-off about vacationing lovers who uncover an ancient evil, but actually they just look around. Somehow, the Bachelorette producers have convinced a Spanish monk to grill Rachel and Hot Peter about their marriage/proposal plans and give them relationship advice.
Hot Peter tells Rachel how he feels about her and all the things he sees in their future, like “football games” and “wine night with painting” which, I don’t know what that means exactly, but sure?
Still unclear about what she wants and where they’re at, Rachel goes to Hot Peter’s room that night to talk. Hot Peter’s still like, “I’m not gonna propose tomorrow,” which, for some reason, confuses Rachel even though he’s been singing this tune the whole time.
Rachel cries; she’s been dragged along in previous relationships and she’s scared that Hot Peter will never propose to her, and she’ll just wind up single again.
AND THEN HOT PETER CALLS RACHEL OUT because, like, how can he be expected to know for sure that they are meant to be if she can’t say that, either? I mean, technically, she’s still dating Bryan. But on the other hand, he knew that proposing at the end was the premise of the show when he signed up, right?
This discussion has gotten very tear-filled and very real and if she just goes running to Bryan after this intense discussion, I’m gonna melt.
“Then go find someone to have a mediocre life with” – Hot Peter with
They have the most drawn-out teary goodbye of all time and it is SAD and I am UPSET and they are both BEAUTIFUL and cannot stop kissing and please just stay together. Please don’t screw this up, you two.
“What is wrong with me?” – Hot Peter (NOTHING! YOU ARE PERFECT!)
(OK but, like, what…just…happened? Did she send him home, or is he invited to the rose ceremony or, like, what is happening? Does Bryan just automatically win? Does Rachel just decide, “Whatever, I’m gonna meet men the normal way?” What is going on? WHAT IS GOING ON? I am stressed.)
“I cried my eyelashes off.” – Rachel
OK, now Rachel and Hot Peter are talking and it’s awkward AF and I hate it. What the heck is GOING ON? Also, why couldn’t you have worked it out FOR THE LOVE OF LOVE?
It is after 10 P.M., and Rachel is giving Hot Peter relationship advice. Is the rest of this hour gonna be about Rachel and her great life with…Bryan?
“I’m not living a mediocre life. I’m living my best life!” – Rachel
Hot Peter and Rachel are both “frustrated” because it’s “hard.” This is the best and worst television program that has ever aired. Everything and nothing is happening. Apparently, Hot Peter tried to reach out to Rachel after filming, but she said no, or the show said no? Or something? This is….deeply uncomfortable. And then Peter just leaves and we still have 40 minutes left in the episode (including a Bachelor in Paradise sneak peek that I’m not gonna recap because I’m just gonna recap the premiere next week, anyway).
WHO THE HELL IS RACHEL ENGAGED TO? BRYAN? CHRIS HARRISON? KEVIN DURANT? I’m exhausted.
Aaaaaand now we’re back in Spain. Bryan is shopping for a Neil Lane (TM) ring, and Rachel is wondering if she is rushing into a proposal. Rachel, resplendently dressed as a disco ball high atop a hillside castle, waits patiently for Bryan. It is very windy. When he greets her, Bryan recites the Spanish compliments from night one.
Rachel tells Bryan she sees her forever when she looks at him.
They get engaged.
Bryan comes out onto the set, and he’s wearing the watch she got him. He proposes again so she can start wearing that ring. This is, hm, how to put it generously? Rehearsed. He continues to repeatedly refer to Rachel as “this woman.”
As for wedding plans, Rachel says they aren’t rushing; they’re taking their time. (OH, NOW YOU’RE PATIENT? NOW YOU CAN TAKE TIME? BUT WHEN HOT PETER WANTED TO GET TO KNOW EACH OTHER BETTER, YOU WERE ALL RUSH, RUSH, RUSH! RACHEL, WHAT GIVES?)
Bryan’s notoriously difficult mother is apparently thrilled with the match.
We do not get a final look at Rachel’s dog, Copper.
Bryan and Rachel are on the cover of this week’s People magazine. (Hot Peter is on it, too, all teeny-tiny and “devastated.”)
The end…until Bachelor in Paradise, of course!