Bachelorette Season Finale: And Rachel’s fiancé is…

Our Host Chris Harrison warned us. He said that the bachelorette season finale was going to be emotional and I have to say, he was right. Carly and Evan are having a baby. Juan Pablo is getting married. The Bachelor in Paradise promo clip is disturbing. Mike Fleiss introduces a discombobulated finale format that feels like we have to sit through a two-hour presentation on time shares before we get to the good stuff.

And Rachel ends up with Bryan.

Why yes, Harrison, I am feeling all sorts of emotions during the bachelorette season finale. The first one being, “WHAT IS HAPPENING RIGHT NOW?”

Madness. It’s all madness and I have multiple thoughts that will fly all over the map. I’m sure you do too and I can’t wait to hear/read them.

First of all, what’s the deal with Rachel providing color commentary for the episode? And why didn’t she tuck her boobs in? Moreover, why didn’t she wear an actual dress instead of parading around on national television in full body spanx?

PS: Her skin is still F-L-A-W-L-E-S-S.

It’s the top of the hour and Harrison wants to get to the bottom of last week’s abruptly ended date with Peter. Sweet, debonair Peter who is unwilling to utter those four little words Rachel wants to hear at the end of her very long journey: “Will you marry me?”

They decide to remain as a couple in the fantasy suite, which is a darling efficiency apartment secured through a local airbnb in Spain. I bet the little old lady who rents out that room gives you a hearty serving of paella when guests arrive.

The next morning, Peter fixes Rachel an egg (borrowed from downstairs abuela no doubt). Everything seems copacetic with these two, so I feel good about her leaving to go on her next date with Bryan. I also felt pretty good about Rachel’s nod to the ‘90s. The plaid shirt, denim jacket, boots, and choker were on full display. All we needed was a scrunchie in her hair and the ensemble would be complete.

Rachel selects a brown horse because “it matches me” and watches as Bryan crawls up onto a white noble steed. (#foreshadowing) They make their way to a gazebo with lawn furniture so they can talk about how distracted Rachel is, thanks to Peter getting into her head.

Back in the studio, Rachel admits that she contemplated sending Peter home on fantasy suite night and that Peter dominated her mental space when she was on her date with Bryan. Of course Bryan picked up on it. Cut to dinner that night and Bryan calling her out for being “weird all day.” Rachel gives Bryan major points for picking up on that and reading her so well. Bryan reminds her that he didn’t come here for anything less than a proposal.

Rachel hands him the forge card, a legit old timey key, and smiles as Bryan pretends to contemplate if he wants to spend the night with her. He calls his mom to let her know that he’s about to put his phone on airplane mode and then escorts Rachel to a room with a real door and a bathroom the same square footage as Peter’s entire fantasy suite. They make out a little bit before Bryan slips the “do not disturb” sign on the door knob.

ROSE CEREMONY

That’s right, people, we have a rose ceremony. Remember darling Eric? Yeah. He’s still in the picture, about to get his heart broken into a million little pieces which Rachel will then fashion onto another pair of sleeves to go with a transparent dress that showcases a leotard underneath what looks like the exact same one I wore in high school.

Bachelorette Finale Rachel

Bryan gets the first rose. Then she monologues about how important it is for someone (SHE’S LOOKING AT YOU, PETER) to propose to her at the end. She wants everyone to know that she’s following her heart, and her gut, before handing the last boutonniere to Peter.

Eric’s good-bye is classy. He’s in love with Rachel, sure, but he’s also stronger for this experience and has no regrets. He then confesses in the rejection limo that whoever follows Rachel will have to be really special, because she is the bar with which all women will be measured.

In the studio, Harrison brings out Eric and I’m all, “Wait, what? Oh we’re doing this now?” The audience cheers as Rachel gazes upon the second runner-up with the affection of a doting older sister or fun-loving cousin at a family reunion. A devastatingly handsome Eric strolls onto the stage. His shoes are not white canvas. The suit is impeccably tailored. And the facial hair gives him a maturity that definitely works in his favor.

Eric explains that he was ready and locked in. He wanted to marry Rachel. He doesn’t do things halfway. He’s 100. And he thought their progression was beautiful. Eric was also confident at the rose ceremony. Whoopsie.

He looks Rachel in the eyes and thanks her for filling his heart and helping him understand what it means to receive love. Now his life can really begin. Rachel tears up, happy that America is able to see what a wonderful man he is and hopes nothing but the best.

Eric leaves with all the class in the world.

It’s hour two now and I’m getting nervous. Rachel has her final date with Bryan, which takes place on a freaking hot air balloon. So cool. At dinner, Bryan drones on and on about how heartbroken he would be if he lost Rachel to a gap-toothed guy who doesn’t understand the importance of a quick courtship on national television. To prove his undying love, he gifts Rachel with a Spanish dictionary. All of the important words are highlighted. Wife. Love. Pineapple.

I’ll admit that was a cool gift. I’ll also admit that I wondered how many of those dictionaries Bryan has on his bedside table?

Suddenly, the scene switches to Peter’s date. Both wear a military-inspired outfit to a monastery where they talk to a monk about the importance of marriage. Of course they do. I was a little distracted by Peter’s olive green Henley.

Bachelorette Finale Rachel

To quote my friend Susan, “Is that a microphone or two nubbins?”

Rachel and Peter sit on the edge of a wall so they can stew in the fact that they love each other, but are facing one major hurdle. She claims that he runs too easily. He calmly tells her that “run” is too strong of a word because he is right there beside her. Exactly where he wants to be. He has never not committed to the relationship. In fact, he sees them together at football games and farmer’s markets. You can’t get much more committed than third and long downs or an organic sack of kale.

They go to dinner that night and match again in un-snapped baby onesies and grey sweaters. This is when things go south fast. Let me see if I can sum things up for you:

Rachel wants a ring at the end of the show, which is the next day. Peter does not want to propose the next day, but he does verbally commit to Rachel.

Rachel: I’m confused. How can we talk about the future if you’re not willing to commit?
Peter: I am ready to commit. Just not with a ring TOMORROW.

Rachel: You’re skipping steps. And that’s not fair.
Peter: I’m not skipping steps. The steps are coming. Just not TOMORROW.

Rachel: This has happened before with guys. They all say they will commit, but then they never propose.
Lincee: Yeah, but those guys probably didn’t feel the pressure to propose TOMORROW.

Rachel: You are choosing not to propose. You could, but you won’t.
Peter: Am I the one you want to spend the rest of her life with?
Rachel: I can’t answer that.

Rachel begins to cry, which makes Peter visibly upset. He starts to well up too.

Rachel: Where do we go from here?
Peter: We are not breaking up.

Rachel: But you’re not willing to take a risk and move forward.
Peter: I will. I’ll give tomorrow a chance.

Rachel: But what will change overnight, Peter?
Peter: I’ll do it for you. To pursue the relationship. I don’t want to lose you.

Rachel gets REALLY upset now. Tears flowing all over the place. Eyelashes popping out left and right.

Rachel: I don’t want to pressure you into this.
Peter: Then we have to split now. But I’m willing to make the sacrifice for you. If I have to.

Rachel: But I want you to propose because you want to.
Peter: And I want to. In the correct time.

Rachel: Tomorrow?
Peter: No. But you are the person. So I’m willing to make that sacrifice. I will not lose you.

Rachel: Would you be resentful?
Peter: No. But I will be emotional. I can’t make promises.

Rachel: I feel like you don’t know what you want to do.
Peter: I don’t know what I want to do TOMORROW.

He’s done. Peter blows a gasket and tells Rachel that if she’s ready for a mediocre life, then she should go. And all he can do is wish her nothing but the best. If she changes her mind, she knows where to find him.

Peter: I think we will regret this decision.

(Notice he said “we” and not “you.”)

For the next five minutes, the cameras show Rachel breaking down in Peter’s arms. He is equally as devastated. They walk to the elevator, unwilling to admit this is happening. She’s a mess. He’s a mess. I’m quite sure after watching this package, Bryan’s mama is a mess too. Rachel better watch her six the next time she visits Miami.

Seriously. How in the world can Bryan think, “Oh good! She picked me!” after watching this horrible “break-up” which wasn’t really a break-up? This is what we call a stalemate. Rachel is unwilling to budge because she feels like the end game is a Neil Lane ring. And Peter is definitely not going to give that to her.

Peter is unwilling to budge because he holds the sanctity of marriage sacred. He doesn’t want to commit to a life with a woman he’s technically known for six weeks and only been on a handful of dates with because she was busy dating 24 other eligible bachelors (excluding DeMario.)

Most of you are probably thinking, “Then why did home boy sign up for a reality show that’s been on the air since 2003 and everyone knows that the end game is a ring at the conclusion of this journey?”

My assumption is that Peter took a risk, assuming that he probably wouldn’t find love on a silly faux reality show. Then he did. Now what? He doesn’t want to play the game anymore. But he does want the girl.

When Harrison asks Rachel about the break-up, she keeps using the word frustrating. I thought it was frustrating too, because I hesitated the entire exchange wondering if it was an actual break-up. Was ABC duping me? Could Peter roll up at the final rose ceremony and surprise Rachel with a grand gesture of sacrificial love?

That would be a great big NO. Our Host invites Peter, PETER, to the stage so he can have closure with Rachel, who gives him so much shade that I have to turn on a light in the living room. What’s up with the frigid demeanor, Ms. Lindsay?

Peter sits there as Rachel launches into defense mode. She claims that she had misgivings with Peter after Geneva and how there were other “deep rooted issues” that gave her pause when it came to her relationship with him. Peter also reminds Rachel of her last boyfriend who apparently had commitment issues too. So…it could have never worked out.

Peter and I are shocked along with everyone else in my watching party. Then I realize that Rachel is doing major damage control. She has to prove to the “live” audience that Peter was never the one. She’s going to claim weird editing and Peter’s lack of commitment and anything else she can scrounge up, including that “enjoy your mediocre life” comment. It’s called “covering your butt” and she’s doing it well.

In fact, Rachel seemed a little, shall I say, disingenuous during her entire segment with Peter. He even admits that he feels attacked. Rachel riles up a bit and thanks him for remaining true to his beliefs, but she is living a great life right now and didn’t choose a ring over happiness and oh by the way did NOT attack him when he came onto the stage.

Then she flips her hair, turns her body toward Harrison, and stares Our Host down like a boss.

Peter is floored. Harrison picks up on it and pokes that beehive with a big fat stick. He wants to know if Peter is angry? Upset? Frustrated? Confused? Peter apologizes for the mediocre comment, admits that he will always love Rachel, and then sits silent, unwilling to “go there” with Harrison anymore. He continues to stare at the woman who told him she loved him three weeks ago. The same one who had no trouble leaving her falsies strewn all over the hotel floor, yet couldn’t find the courage to get into the elevator.

Rachel sums up her time with Peter by stating that maybe the Bachelor franchise is not the vehicle for him. He probably should go on a reality show that promotes finding love in a short period of time since he has such strong convictions about marriage.

Is she right? Or is this a woman who doesn’t want to see the man who she REALLY loves make out with a bunch of girls on television during next season’s installment? Is Peter just too logical for this show? Time will tell.

Peter stands up before Harrison even goes to commercial break. He. Is. Done. We all are. Even the producers didn’t care to give Bryan even five minutes with Neil Lane. Before we know it, he picks a pear-shaped ring and hikes up a mountain to propose to the woman standing at the top in a silver sparkly dress that was too tight so she had to rip the seam up to her nether regions.

Bryan isn’t the only thing that’s winded. So is the actual wind. The proposal was cut short due to what appears to be a hurricane blowing through. For a hot second I thought Rachel was going to ditch Bryan at the Spanish version of the Casa Depot altar, but she didn’t. Rachel isn’t a quitter. Bryan drops to one knee. I think he proposes, I couldn’t hear, and they celebrate with a big kiss.

Was it just me or did the last thirty minutes of the show fall woefully flat?

When we return to the studio, Harrison invites Bryan (a.k.a Jerome) to the stage. Rachel (in my opinion) plasters on a smile and giggles as Jerome proposes again (so we could hear it this time) and flashes her pear-shaped ring in Our Host’s face.

Harrison asks Rachel when she knew that Bryan was the one. Rachel answers that it was in Dallas during her hometown when she defends him to her family. Bryan admits that he knew he was the one the entire time. Rachel responds by saying that he just felt too good to be true.

Harrison also asks where they will be living and Rachel responds, “Either LA, Dallas, or Miami.” Which is code for, “We will be extending our fifteen minutes of fame for as long as we can in Hollywood.” They are also going to take their time and figure things out as a couple. Although she wants a winter wedding, there are no plans in the immediate future.

Exactly. No plans for a wedding anytime soon. Somewhere backstage, Peter is slamming his head against a wall.

I was team Peter the entire season. It’s no secret that figured he would win and Bryan was going to be the next bachelor. I have to admit that I still believe Rachel picked Peter in her heart, but she was willing to go for the fairytale instead of taking a risk on her heart. This should excite me since her decision gives Peter a one-way ticket to the ballot box for our next bachelor. I’m just not so sure.

If Peter is unwilling to propose at the end, will ABC even approach him? Or does he have too much love from viewers for show runners to ignore? With that said, Eric is someone who unofficially threw his hat into the ring as well. And America loves Dean. Will he be a total horny toad on Bachelor in Paradise like the rest of the cast? If so, his shiny exterior may be tarnished for those of us who watch behind couch cushions.

I will admit that this is the first season I’ve felt sorry for all parties involved. I think Eric’s heart was legitimately broken. Peter is probably still reeling over what just happened. You know Bryan (and his mom) have a ton of questions. And Rachel is going to be fielding “WHAT IN THE WORLD?” backlash for the foreseeable future. I hope they all have thick exteriors because I think Bachelor Nation will have a lot to say.

I imagine Bachelor Nation will have a lot to say about BIP, too. The promo made me want to bathe in Germ Squirt. I had no idea Damn Daniel was back. Does anyone really want to see him walk around in his Canadian man panties?

I have a feeling there will be multiple pineapple moments during each episode. Will you be watching?

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