Bachelorette Finalé: I Left My Lashes in Rioja
As we come to the (3-hour, live, excruciating) end of this season, we want to say a huge thank you to our deeply insightful and always hilarious recappers, Fia Alvarez and Josh Allen, for keeping it real with us on The Final Rosé Report. Read on to hear them discuss the strange end of a wild season.
Suggested Pairing: Travel with Rachel and her boys to Rioja in your mouth with Bodega Muga’s Rosado, one of our faves!
JOSH: And this one is for all the marbles, ladies and gentlemen. I can’t believe we’re already here. It seems like just yesterday that we were dealing with Whaabooom, giant tickle hands, and something vaguely resembling the puppet from the Saw movies. Time flies when you’re drunk on #summerwater.
FIA: I kind of can’t believe when we start this episode that we are still in fantasy suites. Also there’s a new format here where Rachel is watching the episode live with Chris Harrison. Here’s my theory on the switch – BiP was scheduled to start airing August 8th. Obviously, that schedule was pushed for reasons we need not get into, we all know what they are and it is a conversation for another recap. Wanting to have no bi-week between Rachel’s finale and the start of BiP – they had to stretch what should have been two episodes (fantasy suites, finale) into three. That means there was not enough content to play out this finale w/o breaking away to these mini-chats with Rachel and Chris Harrison. Now, this is only my theory – who knows – but that said – I kind of loved this. I liked having Rachel comment in the moment. I liked how she talked to Eric and Peter right after having to watch their goodbyes (although I was peeved that Peter coming out ruined the suspense that he might Dustin Hoffman in The Graduate her engagement to Bryan.) And I really liked – though this goes back two eps and was just because Rachel’s sis was preg – that the Lindsays met all three of the final dudes in their family home which seems more appropriate, intense and real than the vacation setting. So we had some change-ups this season. I would expect nothing less from my favorite Bachelorette – whom I am choosing to believe when she says she’s living her best life – even if we were all hoping her best life would have looked a little different.
After last week’s Fantasy Suites romp with Eric, I’ve decided to make my Bachelorette analysis far more rigorous and scientific. Therefore, I will be watching Rachel’s tangled weave to see just how messy it is. According to my calculations, the messier the bedhead, the messier the bedtime shenanigans.
But before we can get to bed, or even read the suite invitations expertly written by the PA with the world’s greatest handwriting, we’ve gotta get through our dates. Tonight’s date with Peter was painful in its realness, as he makes clear that he only intends to get engaged as many times as he intends to get married: once. This, of course, makes Rachel cry, but Peter accepts the invite to the Fantasy Suite anyway, because they have a lot more to “talk” about, and then I officially wish I could go back in time and Single-White-Female Rachel so I can sleep with Peter and then have him make me eggs the next morning wearing nothing but a pair of gray sweatpants. Like seriously. Somebody get my smelling salts. Aunt Pittypat’s got the vapors.
Rachel can’t just spend the day in bed with Peter, because life is patently unfair, but what can you do? Oh, that’s right. You can go horseback riding in wine country with Bryan. But because Rachel is still thinking about Peter and what he said to her last night, she can’t enjoy herself with Bryan. I will say, at this moment, I had the thought that Peter could be the last man standing, for a couple of reasons.
- Bryan would make an awesome Bachelor (he’s got a picky mom, so you can just imagine the trips home with his finalists), even though Chris Harrison has said publicly that they’re looking throughout Bachelor Nation for the next Bachelor, not just among Rachel’s castoffs.
- Television loves a narrative, and what better arc could there be than to have Peter go from doubtful and unsure to picking out rings with Neil Lane and getting down on one knee? Bryan getting the final rose would certainly make sense, but it would also be pretty straightforward.
Either that, or Peter is gonna be the lightweight Brooks of the season. Hard to say.
Josh, shut your mouth – how dare you resign us to a possible full season of Bryan’s make out face? I don’t even want to imagine it. Though, yes, the mom stuff would be fun. And I agree with you. I was also pretty sold Peter would be last man standing at this point and all the “will he / won’t he” propose stuff was just to throw us off the scent. Boy was I wrong!
Bryan’s Fantasy Date continues to go as planned, and he levels with her that he’s concerned by her distance. He felt like she was “elsewhere” all day, and Rachel can’t even lie. She basically told him he was lucky she didn’t call him Peter while she was trying to drown her thoughts in Spanish vino.
This scene in hindsight is actually one of the reasons why I am on Rachel’s side re: all this Peter stuff. Her inability to focus on Bryan doesn’t feel like it’s because her night with Peter was “so great”. This is the face of someone trying to piece together a mind fuck – He likes me but he doesn’t love me? He doesn’t wanna lose me but he doesn’t wanna commit to me? He’s the hottest guy here but his high school yearbook claims he’s wanted to be the bachelor for twelve years? Not that she knew that last part but we do. Don’t forget – WE DO!
So obvi, Bryan spends the night, and now that I’ve seen Rachel’s morning-after weave on all three occasions, I have to scientifically conclude that the Bryan sex was the wildest. Thoughts?
I will agree solely because I trust your bedhead analysis the most.
I can’t say I was totally surprised at the results of the rose ceremony. Eric is classy and wonderful and I wish him all the best. Frankly, I just want him to be happy and never go near an ABC camera again. He’s too real and too good (and honestly, not entertaining enough) for Paradise, and there’s no universe in which I see him as anybody’s Bachelor.
This episode made me so firmly #ericforbachelor that I tweeted to Mike Fleiss twice! You are right and he doesn’t belong on paradise. I also don’t think ABC is woke enough to give us to black leads in a row – but let’s take that out of it for a sec. The person who comes in third (eric) and was closed off or scared of love at the beginning of the season (also eric) and who then is able to OPEN UP (eric) and declare they are now ready for love (eric) BECAUSE OF THIS PROCESS (eric, eric, eric) in seasons past is ALWAYS THE PERSON WHO GETS THE GIG. I mean, it’s crazy how on schedule he is re: his journey. Also he is so good at talking about his emotions. Which is a huge part of being the lead. Peter, dreamy as he is, really struggles in this arena. Also, that beard. Come on, that beard. He looks so much cuter. It’s like he hired a stylist who told him – if you want a shot at bachelor, you gotta grow a beard.
Then it’s time for final dates. The final date with Bryan goes predictably well, with no drama, and I think I am starting to see what’s happening. She’s going to choose Bryan precisely because there’s no drama. But I’m sorry. It is dramatic to get engaged to someone on television after only knowing them for a few weeks. That’s dramatic. And I don’t trust anyone who doesn’t have a moment’s pause.
Yeah, but gotta say – no drama marriage is pretty nice. Like my pal Ina Garten says in Cooking for Jeffrey – let your career be complicated, keep your personal life easy. Or something like that. Maybe just buy the cookbook.
In so many ways, the story of Peter and Rachel is classic. Rachel kept Peter around because she had the faith that one more episode’s worth of time was going to get him some place he warned her he wasn’t going to get to. And then when faced with the prospect of losing Rachel, he said he was willing to “make the sacrifice” to propose to her, totally not hearing Rachel when she said she wanted to be proposed to by a man who wanted it, not a man who was scared. And I applaud the two of them for having a real conversation, but it seems like Peter forgot the rules of the show when he flat-out asked Rachel if he’s the man she wants to spend the rest of her life with. Um, hi? Peter? When she says she can’t answer that question, it’s because she literally can’t answer that question. The producers would promptly kill her dead.
So then we’re treated to the longest, teariest, most excruciating goodbye in Bachelorette history. Peter dramatically takes off his sweatshirt, already stained with Rachel’s tears and mascara, so that he can mix them with his own. The camera pushes in on Peter weeping as he says to himself, “what’s wrong with me?”
Does it make me a monster if the finales where the front-runner Brookses are my favorite episodes of all? I would so much rather watch a real break-up like Rachel and Peter’s (or Desiree’s and Brooks) than see someone not get a rose. It’s so much more interesting. And then seeing them on the couch together after, also priceless. And I LOVED when she put the smack down on Peter’s bid to become bachelor. I LOVED IT. I am #teamrachel and unfortunately in this instance that means being against #teampeter, regardless of how I may feel about #teambryan.
All I can think is, man, it’s gonna be hard for Bryan to watch this on TV, no matter what the end result.
But nope. Bryan is all smiles with Neil Lane, he’s all smiles on the windy turret in Spain, and he’s all smiles in the live studio with Rachel and Chris Harrison. I don’t know, y’all. Something about this just kind of leaves me cold. And I definitely get the sense that somewhere in Rachel’s mind, she’s wondering if she made a mistake. She has said time and time again that she second guesses herself all the time and I think going all in with Bryan was part of her attempt to silence those doubts. Like she’s saying to herself, “If I can blind myself with this ridiculous teardrop diamond (ew) and the whole ‘fairytale’ nonsense then I don’t have to think about the alternate universe in which Peter and I are raising gap-toothed mocha-latte babies in a state where I’m already licensed to practice law.” I kept waiting for some third-act twist in which Eric makes a triumphant return to sweep Rachel off her feet, but alas, that’s not to be.
I guess what bugs me the most about this (and I had no idea I’d be this emotionally invested) is that Rachel seems to be choosing Bryan over Peter just because she didn’t want to repeat some past relationship she had. In other words, she’s taking out her past on Peter and selling what could be a good relationship down the river for a ring and a happy ABC ending. I mean, come on, Rach. YOU LEFT YOUR LASHES ON A COLD TILE FLOOR IN SPAIN. That’s how much it hurt you to have to say goodbye to Peter.
I come out on a slightly different side of this. Yes, we all wanted Peter. But, in one of the thousands of interviews she was forced to do yesterday Rachel said, “I’ve dated a lot of Peters.” This was SO CLEAR to me watching the finale and why ultimately, even if he is a little cheesy, I think she is going to be happier with Bryan. I get that she’s suspicious of Peter because of he reminds her of her ex. Yes, he is a different person but isn’t it a common dating trope to repeat different relationships with a similar problem? Aren’t we meant to learn from our mistakes and try and break patterns that have led to unhappiness or frustration in the past? Also, Rachel has proven time and again she is smart AF. So despite how obviously in love with him she was, if she was seeing red flags in Peter, I trust her. In fact that nature of her love for him just might be one of those red flags. I also think Peter was playing mind games – be they intentional or not. And mind games do not a foundation for marriage make.
I’m also of the mind that Rachel might have smelled a rat with Peter. It’s so tragic. Then again, I am an eternal optimist (I couldn’t even type that with a straight face), so maybe Rachel and Bryan will end up like Des and Chris, who are still happily married with an adorable little baby. I saw someone on Twitter yesterday who put it better than I ever could: “Rachel’s a lawyer, so we shouldn’t be surprised that she’d settle.”
I don’t think Rachel was only after a ring – I think that was an editing thing. I think the red flags with Peter were probably more about said mind games and the lack of commitment that the ring represents than just the ring itself. Secondly, and this contradicts a little – OF COURSE SHE WANTS A RING. Peter and Rachel are not in the real world here. The real world is not the context these conversations are happening in. This is an environment designed to make you fall in love quickly. Beyond that, it’s designed to MANIPULATE you into falling in love quickly. If Peter has hesitations in fantasy land, I doubt they are going to subside in Wisconsin.
A lot of bachelorettes on this franchise, once they are down to two men, end up choosing “the guy they’ve always dated” vs. “a new option”. Andi is a classic example. She said herself – Josh was her type to a T aka the guy she always chose, Nick was the new option. We know now that Josh was an abusive timebomb and Nick has narcissistic personality disorder but still, and I might be in the minority here, think had Andi picked Nick all those years ago, they might still be together. And as you stated above, Josh, look what happened when Desiree was forced to end up with her number two pick after the classic Brooksing: marriage and a baby. I think I’ve said this before but I maintain that this show might have more successful track record if the lead was always forced to go with their second choice. Rachel and Bryan could easily end up being another perfect example. I see this lasting.
I’m not gonna be okay for a while. I can’t believe I’m expected to switch gears and deal with the whole DeMario debacle in Paradise now. I need a breather. And perhaps a gallon or two of pink wine before summer ends.