I know. I KNOW. The world is topsy turvy and it feels like election night all over again. How did we get here? What is happening? WHOSE RESPONSIBLE THIS?
Before we dig into this three hour mess, let’s first and foremost recognize that Rachel is the greatest Bachelorette we’ve ever had. #TeamRachel forever, you guys. What other Bachelorette sent husbands packing with this degree of efficiency? Who else had such a great wardrobe of evening gowns + fur coats? Did you believe Jojo any time she stared into the camera, dead-eyed, and said “______ is a great place to fall in love”? NO. YOU DID NOT. But I bet you believed Rachel. She took being the Bachelorette to new heights, and we’re all better off for it.
REMEMBER WHEN WE WERE IN SPAIN
The real episode picks up after Chris Harrison informs us we’re going to be here for 3 hours and that Rachel is going to watch the show live. Chris Harrison, you spray-tanned trickster god! Baking the After The Final Rose into the real episode is a diabolical move. Rachel clearly isn’t happy about having to watch herself break up with her exes for 3 hours either. And really, 3 hours?! ABC is desperate to drag this out as long as possible while plugging their Fall TV lineup. Quit talking about The Good Doctor, Chris Harrison! Why do we care about a Doogie Howser remake?
We cut back to Rachel and Peter’s disagreement in Spain – she’s gunning for a proposal, and he’s not sure he’s ready. They both need time to work it out, which they can do in the Fantasy Suite! Peter accepts the key and they head to an attic. NOT A GREAT SIGN. Rachel hopes for more clarity in the morning, and America hopes that Peter will take his shirt off again. Only one of those things happens!
Rachel still has her Fantasy Suite date with Bryan the next day. He’s supremely confident as usual and IN LOVE with her and also his wardrobe of red henleys. They ride horses and Bryan says he thinks his time with Rachel’s family went well. OH REALLY?
On the evening portion of the date, Bryan intuits that since Rachel was quiet most of the day, something is on her mind. GOOD ONE! She’s hung up on Peter, but focuses on Bryan and getting into the Fantasy Suite. It’s a hotel room and is much nicer than Peter’s fantasy attic. After an entire season of aggressive kissing between the two, they finally get to bone. The next morning they eat strawberries in bed and I feel like Bryan’s entire romantic life is modeled after David Hasselhoff music videos.
ERIC SAYS GOODBYE
Technically we still have three guys left. Poor Eric hasn’t been mentioned at all this entire episode, which doesn’t bode well for him in the Rose Ceremony. He wears a t-shirt under a suit so I feel like he’s mentally prepared to head home. Rachel stares directly at Peter and says she’s looking for someone to propose to her and gives him the rose. Eric leaves, but not before giving an emotional speech thanking Rachel for letting him experience life with her.
Back in our timeline, Eric comes out and tells Rachel that she taught him how to love and fixed his broken heart. Also he grew a beard and finally stopped wearing t-shirts with his suit! ERIC 4 BACHELOR.
WE AREN’T EVEN HALFWAY THROUGH WHY
Bryan and Rachel have one more regular, non sexy time date where they float around in a hot air balloon and keep on kissing. We’ve established that’s Bryan’s primary way of communication, and seemingly it’s been working for him. Moving on.
On her final date with Peter, Rachel is unsure how things are going to go. Then Peter gets out of a car in a tight sweater so things are going to go OK for now! They explore an old monastery and Peter talks about all the sports games they’ll watch in the future. He sure likes Rachel, but proposing tomorrow? Rachel is like WELL YA BETTER FIGURE IT OUT SOON, BRO.
Ugh guys this was so bad to watch.
Ultimately, Peter and Rachel both make fair points. It IS absurd to propose to someone you met on a TV show after a few weeks, Peter – but you knew what you signed up for! Plus, as Rachel points out, he’s choosing to only propose once in his life – it’s not like he’d be smote by the gods of TV marriage if it didn’t work out between the two of them. Rachel wants a sign of commitment, because she’s been strung along before (although 5 years of dating ≠ 6 weeks on a TV show).
Things escalate and Peter flips the script on Rachel – is he really the man she wants to spend the rest of her life with? She’s contractually obligated not to answer that, so they both just ugly cry. The desperation escalates and Peter offers to propose, but Rachel knows it’d only be to please her. “Then go find someone to have a mediocre life with,” Peter snaps. OUCH.
THERE ARE MORE TEARS. Rachel cries her eyelashes off as she realizes this is going to be the end of the line. Neither of them are going to get what they want, so they decide to say goodbye. With kissing. Lots of tearful, passionate kissing. And Peter saying I love you. And Rachel saying it back?!?!?! What?? NO!
THEN SHE LEAVES? GO AFTER HER PETER! Instead, he tears off his sweater and uses it as a giant handkerchief to ugly cry into.
IT GETS WORSE
For everyone hoping that Rachel and Peter bounce back from this, Chris Harrison brings Peter out on the live show and things are TENSE. She scooches away from him on the couch and he tries not to cry because HE’S STILL IN LOVE WITH HER. Rachel’s moved on though. Peter apologizes for telling her to have a mediocre life, and she responds that she’s actually “living her best life” without him in it. Rachel praises Peter’s qualities as a person, but seriously doubts the “process” of the show is going to work for him. Say goodbye to being the next Bachelor, guy! Because Chris Harrison is a fucking gremlin, he closes the interview by asking Peter if he still has feelings for Rachel. Peter looks like he swallowed a bunch of broken glass and admits that yes, he does.
Back in Spain, Neil Lane’s reanimated corpse greets Bryan with his horde of blood diamonds. Bryan picks out a large pear shaped one and IT IS UGLY.
He’s “supremely confident” as usual. He strolls up to the castle where Rachel is waiting to be proposed to. The wind is whipping and Nature itself is trying to blow Rachel back into Peter’s arms. She still looks happy to see Bryan, who delivers a speech about how when he met Rachel “a chemistry bomb exploded” and he knew that she was the one. Fine. Whatever.
Rachel starts her speech but is interrupted by Bryan trying to open mouth kiss her. She shoves him off and tells him that she loves him and it was always him. He gets down on one knee and she squeals in delight, blinded by Neil Lane’s ring. He gets the final rose.
Where is Copper? Do we know her dog likes him? Did she not see that clip of Bryan on The Player? Is this really how it ends?
Back in the studio, Bryan comes out and he and Rachel kiss EVEN MORE. They’re together, they’re happy, Chris Harrison is happy, AMERICA IS SAD. America is also tired, because this three hours felt like a solid eight. It was WORK.
And with that, another season of The Bachelorette ends. I’ll see you all next week for Bachelor in Paradise, which I am still watching despite being controversial. Rachel may be living her best life, but I’m living my garbage clown life.