Liam is away, so I’m filling in for Part One of The Bachelorette‘s two-night finale. But don’t worry, he’ll be back tomorrow to lead us into the sunset of Hannah‘s season.
This episode was an emotional rollercoaster, to say the least. I laughed. I cried (seriously). I screamed! (Four times?! We’ll get to that in a bit…)
We begin live in the studio with Chris Harrison and an audience, with Chris promising the next two nights will be like nothing we’ve experienced before. Sure, we know he says that every season, but he doesn’t always say, “Even I don’t really know what’s going to take place on this stage live.” Oh man… what are we in for here?
Cut to the three remaining guys back in Greece — Tyler C., Peter, and Jed — still giddy and whispering amongst themselves now that Luke’s finally gone for good. But when Chris comes in and moves the rose pedestal back to its normal spot (lol), everyone remembers why they’re lined up. The show must go on!
We hear the usual pre-elimination clips of each guy talking about how much he loves Hannah. Jed says he’s put his heart on the line. Tyler says she’s everything he’s ever wanted. Peter says he “100 percent can see this woman as my wife.” Jed gets the first rose… and Tyler gets the second.
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That means Peter is going home?! After the sauna? After the plane ride? After the windmill? Hannah walks him out, crying, and Peter holds back his own tears. She tells him, “Everything that our relationship has been has been perfect, and so easy. You’re like the dream guy.” When she was playing with her dolls and dreaming of this day, she says, he was like the Ken doll. Is there anything worse than hearing person who’s dumping you list your great qualities and then tell you you did nothing wrong?
Peter takes it in stride — or maybe he’s just in shock. Hannah says, “This week was…” and Peter says, “‘Yeah.” Something about that sweet half-finished sentence makes me even sadder for them. They really did have a connection! He tells her he’s trying to be strong and that she’ll always have a piece of his heart, but he doesn’t regret anything. They hug tightly, and that’s when Peter starts to cry. In the limo, he says, “I’m not mad at Hannah. I’m really not. It hurts like a bitch right now, but I’ll never forget this journey.” He’s so mature it makes you wonder: Are these the words of an enlightened man, or someone who just realized he might have a shot at The Bachelor?
The next thing we know, we’re LIVE with Peter — and his adorable parents in the audience! He tells Chris it was hard to watch that back, and his mom, Barbara, mouths “I love you!” through her tears. Barbara says she wishes she could have gone through that pain in Peter’s place because it’s so hard to watch your child get hurt. I think I’d watch a weekly show that was just Peter’s parents crying about how much they love him.
Chris asks Peter about his connection with Hannah. He says he knew he was in love while they were watching fireworks in Latvia (the first time he’s told anyone that), but that it was tough for him to open up completely to Hannah early on while knowing he might not be the last one standing. Chris does say, sweetly, that if it’s any consolation, he thinks Hannah knew Peter loved her earlier than he was able to say it out loud. Then he does the usual, “Do you still love her?” and Peter gives the usual, “It’s been hard… but a part of me will always love her.”
It’s time for Hannah to come out. They look happy to see each other, but Peter’s nerves seem to come back (understandably!) when Chris gives him the floor. In a roundabout way, he explains that everything seemed to be going unbelievably well (windmill included), so for the last two months he’s really been trying to pinpoint the turning point that caused her to end their relationship.
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Hannah, again, tells him there wasn’t anything wrong and that she was so sure he was going to meet her family. Helpful, Hannah! But she reminds him, as the lead always does, that she was also falling for two other guys and had to “follow her heart.” Peter says, “That’s all I could have ever asked. You said on night one that’s what you were going to do, and I respect that.”
But then it stops getting generic, and this is what’s been so refreshing about Hannah. Eventually, she cuts the clichés and really does try to explain her feelings in an open and honest way. “I think maybe… I wish I would have known a little bit sooner about how you felt, because I was scared. And I think I felt like you were scared to love me,” she says. It reminds me of what she said about why she’d latched onto Luke so early: That she was anxious the guys would be disappointed she was the Bachelorette and that she worried she didn’t deserve it, so it was immensely comforting when Luke made it clear he was there for her.
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Chris says Hannah’s goodbye with Peter was “easily the toughest,” and Hannah explains that she was hurting herself, too. Her feelings didn’t just evaporate when she said goodbye. She says she was scared she was letting go of the perfect guy — at which point an audience member screams: “YOU DID!” — and Peter says he understands.
To lighten things up, Chris says nobody will ever look at a windmill the same way again. And then, the absolute Best Moment of the Night:
As the applause dies down, Hannah says, “I will say, I was a little dishonest about something. I mean, since it’s out there, and I did say there was something we did twice… Well, it was actually four times.”
It was ACTUALLY. FOUR. TIMES. Reader, I shrieked! How did she send Peter home?!
The camera pans (many times) to Peter’s applauding parents. Honestly, I’d love to know what this moment was like for them. And for someone else… Chris says, “Somewhere, Luke P.’s head just exploded.” I’m giddy at the thought.
But enough windmills for now: It’s time to meet the Browns!
Tyler’s up first, and he’ll be meeting Hannah’s mom, Suzanne, and her dad, Robert, along with some other family members who don’t really speak and don’t matter. (Sorry, guys.) Hannah tells them about Tyler’s dad getting sick, that he loves her, and that she was worried that she was falling in lust with him, not love. But after their non-physical, super respectful fantasy suite, she knows there’s more to their relationship, and she’s finally ready to let herself be vulnerable with him.
There’s no other way to put it: Tyler kills it. He tells Robert and Suzanne how proud they should be of their daughter. He talks about taking dance classes in college (and failing a couple academic ones, which doesn’t seem to bother them?), tells Suzanne he’s an open book and will be honest when it comes to their future disagreements, and knows the importance of communication because of his parents’ divorce.
With Robert, he recounts their evening in the fantasy suite and how they were able to just connect and talk. Is there any way to make a protective father happier than by saying you didn’t pressure his daughter into sex — especially when you look like that?! Doubt it. Robert says Tyler shows good character, and Tyler said he wants Hannah to lead their family in faith the way she’s done on this whole journey. Alone, Suzanne asks Hannah if she can see herself getting engaged to him at the end, and Hannah says, “Yeah.”
Hannah explains her lust vs. love revelation to Tyler and tells him she’s falling in love with him. He’s giddy. He’s throwing out “I love yous” like confetti.
End the show now! They’re perfect! It’s done!
Oh, but it isn’t done. Enter: Jed.
For this meeting, Hannah is more nervous. In part, it’s because this is getting real. She has to make a decision soon. But she’s also nervous because she really likes Jed. “Jed was the one I was like, ‘This person fits into my life,'” she tells her family. She knows Tyler’s day with them went incredibly well, and that’s part of the problem. Even Suzanne says, “I’m trying to give him a fair shot, but yesterday the bar was set high.”
And as you might expect, just like Jed’s hometown, the conversations end up revolving mostly around music and his priorities. Robert goes in on Jed, asking about his goals, and more importantly, how he’s going to provide for Hannah financially. Jed explains that he wants to have multiple income sources to support himself and his family as best he can, and says that his most major accomplishment right now is that he signed a deal with… a dog food company. (Did you think he was going to say record label? Yeah, same here.) But it’s OK, guys: He’s already written a jingle!
In all seriousness, that is an accomplishment (and if he’s a good jingle-writer, that could end up being more lucrative than a mediocre career as a singer-songwriter). It’s easy to make fun of it because, well, it’s Jed. And it’s dog food. But I do feel a little bad for Jed that he has an actual passion (unlike most of the contestants on this show), and everyone paints it as some kind of weakness.
Mom asks him about music, too, and gets basically the same answers. “You’ve been in Nashville for a while now, right?” she asks pointedly. (Later she tells Hannah, “He has qualities.” OUCH.) Hannah, obviously, isn’t happy about her parents’ opinions. “I knew this was going to happen,” she tells her mom.
Hannah’s dad explains that she’s their No. 1 priority, and they’re there to support her. They’re not just going to sit by and act like everything is cool — they actually want to help her make this decision. But the emphasis on “providing for her” rubs Hannah the wrong way, and I loved what she said in response.
“I want my husband to provide for me,” she says. “But I also know that I’m going to be successful, and I’m going to be able to provide for my family, too. I know that I’m going to have talents and gifts to be able to give myself and my family the life I want, too.” Yes, Hannah! It would be one thing if Hannah had made it clear she was happy to stay home and raise a family, but that isn’t what we’ve heard her saying. From early on this season, she’s talked about wanting to be able to call her own shots, and making her own money will be a big part of that in her future.
Still, the whole day just makes Hannah more confused. And Jed, too, understands that he didn’t make a great impression on the family. “They don’t think I’m adequate,” he says in an interview.
Outside, Hannah and Jed do have a sweet moment. She’s freaking out, and Jed wants her to talk to him about everything she’s feeling, which has a lot to do with, uh, her other boyfriend. “I don’t want to talk about another person because I know you don’t want to hear it,” she says. But he doesn’t let jealousy get the best of him. “I don’t care. Talk to me,” he says. “I love you and I want to know how you feel.”
I haven’t been the biggest Jed fan this season (has anyone?) but I have to admit, their conversations do feel more real to me than her conversations with Tyler. Even though she told Tyler she’s falling in love with him, it feels like her guard is still up. With Jed, Hannah lets herself be vulnerable, and really talks out her feelings with him as a partner, not just as the gorgeous prince in some future fantasy life.
Hannah explains that yesterday with Tyler went really well. “He was very straightforward about how he feels about me and everything… and now I’m confused,” she explains. Jed says she knows how he feels about her, and that he believes in them — and in Hannah. “You know what we have,” he says. It helps… but not that much.
We’re down to two more dates: One with each potential husband. Tyler and Hannah get a second chance at riding horses, since it didn’t go so well for Tyler the first time around. This time is better, but not great. They talk about how far they’ve come, and how beautiful their relationship is now. Tyler thanks Hannah for pushing him to be so open and honest, because that’s part of what allowed him to have such great conversations with her parents yesterday. Swoon. After dinner, they talk dreamily about what their life could be. “I know we can be kickass in our marriage,” Tyler says. Hannah says when she thinks about a life with Tyler, “He’s that perfect guy… the one I want to introduce to everybody like, ‘Here’s my husband, Tyler.'” Don’t we all, Hannah!
With Jed, she trades horses for a boat. Again, Hannah’s nerves are getting the best of her: She’s sick almost the whole time, and it’s not just seasickness. “I also don’t feel that great because of the uncertainty of everything,” she says. They talk about how neither of them is happy with how Jed’s conversations with her parents went. “I don’t think he understands the other stuff I do,” Jed says. “I didn’t go into massive detail, but it’s not like I only know how to do music.” (To which I have to say… like what else, Jed? What else?)
At the evening portion of the date, Jed is just as nervous as Hannah. “I need to apologize in advance,” he tells her. “I feel anxious. I just want you to know that I cannot, in any part of myself, picture my life without you at this point.” They talk about music, and how both people in a partnership will need to make sacrifices for the other person. Jed assures her he’d step up to the plate and do whatever it takes. “If I would have met you outside of this, anywhere, I would have loved you with every piece of me,” he says. Knowing what Hannah has said about Luke and about Peter earlier, that’s probably just what she needed to hear to feel secure in that moment. But still, what you feel in one moment doesn’t always carry over into the next…
Back in the live studio, Chris warns us about tomorrow night’s “most shocking finale in Bachelorette history that might leave all of Bachelor Nation in tears.” But I thought you said Peter was her hardest goodbye, Chris?
Then, Hannah takes a moment to address the camera. “Since that last day in Greece, the past couple of months have been really emotional,” she says. “I know there are a lot of rumors out there, and honestly, tomorrow night I don’t know what’s going to happen. But I have a lot of questions that need to be answered, and I hope I’ll be able to do that.”
Say what? Is tomorrow going to be a breakup? A reconciliation? A confrontation? Guess we’ll find out soon enough…
The Bachelorette airs Mondays at 8/7c on ABC. It’s available to stream on Hulu.