You gotta give it to producers. They know what the people want. All of us tuned in for two reasons last night: To see who Rachel would choose even though it was super obvious since literally Week 1, and more importantly, to enjoy some solid Bachelor in Paradise teasers.
With that knowledge, these evil little producers thought to themselves, how do we ensure that we get Bachelor Nation to watch all THREE hours of the finale? We combine After the Final Rose into the actual episode, therefore showing the proposal an hour later than normal, and save BIP footage until the very end.
It’s a darn good thing I took an quick 15 minute-turned 2.5 hour-nap yesterday afternoon. Perk of being pregnant: No one really judges you for napping, even though on the inside you know you feel perfectly well enough to behave like a functioning member of society. I also had leftover pizza for breakfast today, so I think the real moral of the story here is that I’m gross.
Anyway, Rachel skipped the pizza for breakfast so that she could fit into her pale pink bodycon dress that showed off more than just her ripped arms. I could not stop staring at her boobs, which were forcefully lifted toward her collar bones by inserts that rival those found in my pageant swimsuit. Talk about little but fierce. Side note, I miss JoJo
Before Rachel, Chris Harrison, and a studio audience watch the episode live as it airs onto our televisions, Chris Harrison announces that Juan Pablo is married. My brother, a talent agent in NYC, immediately texted me and asked how much I think JP’s publicist paid for that announcement. My guess was 35k plus the promise that they’ll never re-air a single episode of his season on any streaming device.
Chris Harrison’s clap for Juan Pablo sounds a lonely echo throughout the studio. Not the redemption moment JP was looking for, I’m afraid. Es okay, Juan. I’m glad you found the Juan.
Time to jump back into Rachel’s world. Setting: Rioja, Spain. Date: May 2017. Dilemma: Peter thinks a proposal means you are ready to marry the person, and Rachel disagrees.
I don’t think I’m alone when I say that none of us really understand what Rachel thinks a proposal is.
Rachel chooses to put the debate on the back burner for the time being, and invite Peter to the Fantasy Suite. Either Chris Harrison has the most basic millennial female handwriting I’ve ever seen, or he does not write the Fantasy Suite cards himself. We may never know. Peter accepts Chris’/Rachel’s invitation in a way that screams “I’m doing this for the off-camera conversation, not the sex,” which only made me love him more.
I’d like to point out that a lot of you have though I’m #TeamBryan this whole time, when in reality, I’ve just predicted that he’ll win. I haven’t necessarily stated that he should win. Big difference. And yes, I thought he was the hottest guy on this show…but I will admit that in the last few weeks, Peter surpassed him on the hottie patottie scale.
Peter gets the least bougie Fantasy Suite ever seen on this show, which is actually an AirB&B in the middle of tiny Spanish village. I wasn’t even sure if there was a window until the next morning when we see Rachel and Peter peeking their heads out of two tiny squares cut into the humble stucco siding. Peter isn’t wearing a shirt, and Rachel is wearing a silk robe, but there’s no sign of a post-coital bed, so that’s refreshing.
Peter cooks her breakfast in the tiny kitchen, spurring a wave of application downloads from The Bachelor casting website.
On a full stomach and perhaps a quick rinse, Rachel heads off to greet Bryan for their Fantasy Suite date. She leads him to a pair of saddled horses and proclaims that she gets the brown one because it matches her skin. Duh.
They ride through the vineyards, stopping under a pagoda…not to be confused with a #parugala, which I called it last night…for some red wine and contemplation. Bryan can sense she’s distant, which Rachel tells the camera is because Peter got in her head. Otherwise known as her pants.
That evening, she decides to give Bryan her full, undivided attention. My full, undivided attention is on her fabulous coat dress with structured shoulders and subtle fringe. Gimme dat.
After rubbing her purple lipstick all over his face (no hands!), Rachel pulls out the Fantasy Suite card with a little hesitation, which is probably because her lady parts have been through enough already between Peter and the horseback ride. He swipes it real quick before she can change her mind, and practically bolts to the hotel room. This might hurt a little if it’s anything like his kisses. Buckle up, Big Rach.
Wait, remember Eric? He’s still here. LOL.
Bryan obeys producers for all of 12 seconds by sitting on the couch and telling Rachel that he’s in love with her before kicking everyone out of the room.
Cut to the live viewing, where Chris Harrison asks Rachel how she was able to go from Peter to Bryan so quickly. She ignores the slut shaming undertones, and tells him that she compartmentalized them through comparing their credit scores and health insurance plans. That’s one way to do it!
If I had to guess, I’d say that Bryan the chiropractor has better health insurance, but more debt. Peter probably has Obamacare or whatever it is these days (sue me for avoiding the news because it depresses me ok??), but he strikes me as the type who’s really good at saving money.
Rachel and Bryan feed each other strawberries in bed as the sunrise peeps into their suite, and we peep at the black lace bra showing beneath Rachel’s robe.
Time for the Rose Ceremony!
I’ll save you a few breaths of your life and get straight to it:
Rachel sends Eric home while she wears a red dress that my brother nicknamed The Scorpion. I’m not going to even describe what it looked like. Just let “The Scorpion” take your mind wherever it may, and the image you conjure will probably be pretty accurate.
Eric gets a moment on the live show to have a “closure conversation” with Rachel, and it’s boring. Eric looks great with more facial hair, though.
Back in Spain, Rachel takes Bryan on their last date. A hot air balloon ride! The scenery is as gorgeous as Brachel’s kiss is disgusting. Imagine two dying fish flopping helplessly between mouths.
I look away from the screen for so long to make sure that their kiss is over that the the next time I look up, they’re sitting in a hotel room for the evening part of their date. Bryan gives her a Spanish dictionary, and they part ways in the least passionate manner I’ve seen from them all season. Part of this is editing, because they always edit the winner to seem like the loser in the finale episode. And part of this is because Rachel has realized that she might actually be better off with Peter.
The next day, she takes Peter to a monastery, which wasn’t a hot air balloon but I guess it was pretty. As expected, Rachel presses the notion of an engagement again, asking Peter why he’s so scared of marriage. He tells her he’s not scared of marriage, he’s scared of MULTIPLE marriages.
PETER! PETER! PETER!
That night, the same conversation spirals into one of the most frustrating conversations I’ve ever witnessed. They go in circles about their different views of an engagement. Peter says he can see forever with her, but wants to get to know each other more in a normal setting before popping the question. He said he’s committed to making it work and to moving toward marriage with her, but when he gives her a ring, he wants that to be a sign that he’s 100% ready to actually get married.
She says that she wants to get engaged, and then start working toward being ready for marriage. To her, the ring represents commitment to make things work even when it gets hard.
He promises he’s committed to that, too. He just would rather propose when they’re actually ready for marriage. (AND THE CHURCH SAYS AMEN.)
Basically, Rachel would rather get engaged and then evaluate things as they go, and Peter would rather evaluate things before getting engaged. He isn’t down with the thought of breaking up with someone he proposed to, while she isn’t down with never getting to call herself fiancé, even if that never means becoming a wife.
If Rachel’s argument is confusing you, don’t worry, I’m so confused that I barely even know what I’m typing.
We see Peter begin to tear up out of frustration. Here he is, offering her a lifetime of love and commitment with the intent to work toward marriage, and she won’t accept anything less than a ring. He doesn’t understand why the bigger picture isn’t more important to her than what happens tomorrow on the Bachelor proposal stage.
For the second time this season, I’m super disappointed in Rachel. First time was when she sent home Dean right after forcing him to go through emotional trauma with his family. This time, she breaks up with Peter because he says, “I don’t think tomorrow is the correct time, but I think you are the correct person.” PERFECTLY SAID, my beautiful Peter. If Rachel can’t understand that sentiment, she doesn’t deserve you.
They both sob as they part ways, so much so that her fake lashes fall off. If that ain’t real, I don’t know what is.
This was seriously the most heartbreaking Bachelor breakup I’ve ever witnessed. They keep not wanting to say goodbye, and hugging longer, both visibly torn up. Peter kisses her in the most passionate, genuine, “please stay with me” manner that really needs to be used as training video for all actors cast in future Nicolas Sparks movies.
I truly think that she would’ve chosen Peter if he’d been willing to propose. Even though Bryan was always one length ahead in the race, something about that breakup made me think Peter had begun to pull ahead.
The live studio audience and Chris Harrison are all pretty shocked at Rachel’s decision. No one really understands her obsession with a ring instead of staying with someone you clearly love and vice versa. Peter comes out onto the stage, and they hash out their definitions of an engagement once again.
I was sorely disappointed in how Rachel talked to him in this live portion. She was super condescending, acting as though she was almost angry at him. He told her he felt a bit attacked by her reaction to watching the episode, which made her even more hostile. “How do you feel attacked right now?? HOW?” Uh, maybe because he had his heart broken by you, just had to relive it, is now seeing you again for the first time, and you’re acting like he’s the bad guy for not wanting to propose.
I’d be supes pissed if I was Bryan backstage. Someone who is over their ex doesn’t harbor all that anger and resentment anymore. Rachel has alllllll the anger and resentment toward Peter, it seems. And Peter is clearly still just confused and sad. The whole thing was hard to watch.
I do not understand how I was supposed to care about Bryan’s proposal to Rachel after all of that went down with Peter. I was at emotional capacity.
I barely pay attention as we see footage of Bryan picking out a ring and walking up the 4,000 stairs to the proposal scene at the top of a castle. I did notice that Rachel’s hair wouldn’t stay in place thanks to high winds, but honestly my heart wasn’t in a good place by that part, so I kind of chalked the wind up to karma.
The slit of Rachel’s silver dress is held together by a few tiny strings, which perfectly represents her engagement to Bryan.
Okay, no, that’s bad. I don’t know these people. Relationships are complicated. Even though viewers were so Team Peter by the end of this episode that Twitter was exploding with comparisons to the 2016 election, none of us can say for certain that Rachel and Bryan won’t be perfectly happy. They certainly had fantastic chemistry all season, so who knows??
I mean, is it a great sign when a woman shouts “Give it to me!!” when the guy gets on his knee and opens the ring box? Mmmm, probably not. But maybe that’s just Rachel’s sense of humor, so if it didn’t bother Bryan, then I’ll do my best to not let it bother me.
My best is not perfect, however.
During their first public appearance together since the engagement, you can sense a huge cloud hanging over the room. No one had recovered emotionally from the Peter trauma, so it just felt uncomfortable to see Bryan and Rachel together during this live show. Their interactions were very reminiscent of Josh/Andi. Dun dun dun.
Chris Harrison barely gives them 5 minutes of airtime before his professional side kicks in and he realizes he desperately needs to lighten the mood. Especially after Rachel says they’re not rushing into planning a wedding, and instead are just going to get to know each other better in the “real world.”
Peter is backstage trying not to lose it. He literally told her that’s exactly what he wanted to do.
Chris wisely begins his speech about Bachelor in Paradise, and cues the teasers for next week’s premier. Raven and Jasmine kissing! Dean breaking hearts! Corrine and DeMario shutting down production! Danielle M’s fake boobs! Daniel the Alien’s Canadian speedo! The twins are back!
All of this for your viewing pleasure, next Monday at 8pm on ABC.