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‘The Bachelor’ Recap: BRING [REDACTED] HOME

In Part 1 of the season’s two-part finale, we finally found out who Peter’s mom was talking about during her ridiculously impassioned plea. Also, there were orphaned kangaroos.

Getty Images/Ringer illustration

Normally, when The Bachelor gets to the point where there is only one contestant remaining, the show is over. But you’ve really got to hand it to Peter, a master complicator of simple tasks. With 29 of 30 contestants gone and just Hannah Ann left, this season should be all but wrapped up. But somehow, there’s still one more episode to go—and seemingly plenty of room for Peter to end up the loser on a show designed for him to win.

Peter is not down to his final contestant by choice. In Part 1 of the season finale on Monday night, Peter introduced Hannah Ann and Madison to his family. First came Hannah Ann’s meeting, where everything went smoothly and everybody had a lovely time. Then came Madison’s meeting, and within 45 seconds of her stepping through the door, she was explaining how Peter ignored her request to not sleep with Hannah Ann—to Peter’s mother. When your conversation starts with telling your boyfriend’s mom about your boyfriend’s decision to have sex with another person, it’s probably not a good conversation.

Soon, Peter’s family homed in on the many glaring incompatibilities between Peter and Madison:

  • Madison considers her Christianity to be the most important aspect of her life; Peter is merely “spiritual,” and seems like a Christmas-and-Easter-type of guy at best.
  • Madison doesn’t drink; Peter likes “to go to the club.”
  • Madison is a virgin and is saving herself for marriage; Peter got to become the Bachelor after a stint on The Bachelorette when he had sex with the Bachelorette four times inside of a windmill.

But we’ve spent an entire season watching Peter. He doesn’t give up when things get complicated—he dumped all the women who seemed to make him happy so he could double down on his most fraught relationships. When the going gets tough, Peter asks “How could I make this tougher?” After Peter’s family plainly lays out that he should propose to Hannah Ann, he confesses for the first time that he loves Madison more than Hannah Ann.

Steeled in his decision to propose to a religious, chaste woman despite being a club rat/sex fiend, Peter takes Madison on a helicopter ride into the Outback, after which they sip sparkling apple juice in the shadow of Uluru. (“It’s super spiritual,” Peter explains of the magnificent rock.) There, Madison lets Peter know that she doesn’t think their relationship can make it. But Peter keeps fighting—apparently, all the massive red flags about their relationship were camouflaged against all that red sand. Finally, though, he surrenders, and Madison is driven away in a nearby car. (I suppose Peter just flew back in the helicopter by himself, but for some reason The Bachelor opted not to show us the Sad Solo Helicopter Ride.)

That leaves one choice for Peter—literally. To be honest, I’m not convinced about his relationship with Hannah Ann—she kind of just went along with everything that happened all season long, which is a great way to win a reality TV show but not a great indicator of a lifelong connection. Still, Peter’s choices are between “the girl who is maybe faking it” and “the girl he has basically nothing in common with who just dumped him.” Peter’s next step should’ve been easy.

But this is Peter. Like I said, he complicates things. During Peter’s date with Hannah Ann, he tells her “my heart is being pulled in two different directions.” Peter does not clarify that one of the people pulling just dumped him. Still, it shakes Hannah Ann. “It’s not what you want to hear,” she says, perhaps the only understatement in the entire episode.

There is just one woman remaining, and yet I can think of dozens of ways Peter could potentially screw this up. Will he dump Hannah Ann then learn Madison won’t take him back? Will his fixation on Madison turn Hannah Ann off? Will he end up proposing to nobody? My personal hope is that he tries to win Madison back on live television Tuesday night and fails.

Have you ever been on a plane that flies wayyyy past the airport you’re flying into, then loops around to make a landing? Next time your trip to JFK takes the scenic route to the middle of the Atlantic Ocean before heading back toward Queens, wait until everyone deplanes so you can say hi to the pilot—it’s probably Peter. Last week we wrote about how this season has been pretty enjoyable even though Peter is painfully bad at his job of being the Bachelor. Monday night proved that theory.

Biggest Surprise: The Grand BRING! HERRRRR! HOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOME! Reveal

The worst thing about this show is the Big Bachelor Tease. If the show keeps teasing a fight throughout the season, it almost always turns out to just be some loud yelling. If the show keeps teasing a contestant crying, there was probably just a high pollen count on the day they were filming. If the show keeps teasing an ambulance, somebody banged their head on a golf cart and stabbed themself in the face with a glass.

This year’s most foreshadowed moment belonged to Peter’s mom. All season long, we had seen promos of Señora Weber tearfully pleading with her son. “Don’t let her go!” she wept. “BRING HER HOME! BRIIING HERRR HOOOOOOOOOME to us!” From the promos, it seemed so much more emotional than what we typically get from family members on this show. It felt like a scene when Peter had told his parents about the woman he had chosen but that there was some complication—and his mom, through tears, needed to convince him to keep pushing. However, after the third or fourth replay of the promo, I became convinced it was nothing but a Big Bachelor Tease. Maybe Peter’s mom wasn’t even talking about a specific person, but just hoping her son found a HER to BRING HOME.

But Monday night, we found out that Barbara was, in fact, urging Peter to fight for a specific person—but she wasn’t necessarily encouraging Peter. In reality, Peter was trying to tell his parents to keep their minds open about Madison, but Barbara was insistent that Peter needed to take the easy road and go with Hannah Ann. In my imagined vision of the BRING HER HOME moment, Peter was inspired and emboldened by his mother’s passionate encouragement. In reality, Peter was kind of pissed that his family didn’t trust his feelings about Madison. In fact, his direct reply to his mom’s tearful overture was a sullen “You gotta stop doing this.” I expected Barbara to be supportive, swept off her feet by her son’s romance. Instead, she was combative, and actually a bit manipulative. Barbara began her speech by explaining how she prayed for Peter and concluded it by telling him that “God has placed her there for you!” Realizing that her son had fallen head-over-heels in love with a hyper-religious woman, she brought religion into the mix. She’s fighting friars with friars!

Perhaps you viewed this as a heel turn—Peter’s sweet, emotional mom trying to talk him out of love and pick the woman she wants. But let’s be honest … she’s right. We’ve spent all season screaming about Peter’s tendency for picking complicated relationships over simple ones. Barbara just did it more emphatically. Either way, what a moment in Bachelor history. I thought it would just be another Big Bachelor Tease. Instead, Peter’s mom brought it home.

MVP: Peter’s Brother

The Bachelor finale always features the Bachelor’s family meeting the remaining women, but it’s generally a formality. The mom and dad have usually been married since 1984 and have raised a conventional family, so everyone’s just confused by how their Handsome Midwestern Son has become a Hot TV Guy with a traveling crew of girlfriends. All they can do is nod and say that the Instagram models their son is dating “seem very nice” and that they “hope he finds what he’s looking for.”

But not Peter’s family. Peter has been trying to get on reality TV since he was 12 years old. They’ve been waiting for this moment for Peter’s whole life. They weren’t cowed by the cameras or the strangeness of the situation—instead, they instantly identified why Madison would be a bad partner for their son and brusquely interrogated her. Their family name is Weber—of course they grilled Madison.

Barbara was the episode’s star, but Peter’s younger brother Jack deserves credit for cutting right to the point. “I see this one girl with no issues whatsoever, and this other girl who has lots of red flags,” he explained. What red flags? “Obviously, you’re very physical in relationships,” he explained to Peter. He then added, “You come home from trips and you like to go clubbing.” The entire family was eager to point out that Peter is a sex-having party machine who has no business with a prude buzzkill—though, they were oddly thrilled about him being a sex-having party machine.

The Real MVP: The Kangaroos

I don’t care about most Bachelor dates. I don’t want a country musician I’ve never heard of to sing to me. I don’t want a shaman to explain to me his culture’s teachings on love. Bungee jumping is a no-go. I don’t need to scale the tallest building in Latvia. I’m weirded out by the fact that you can’t steer hot air balloons—and now that I think about it, 90 percent of Bachelor dates are just various ways to test one’s fear of heights.

But Monday night, The Bachelor had the single best date in the show’s history. They couldn’t go to Australia without getting some dope Australian fauna coverage—but which way would they go? Would they take selfies with quokkas? Would they get zapped by some echidnas? Would Peter contract chlamydia from a koala? No, somehow, the show had a better idea: Hannah Ann and Peter went to feed orphaned kangaroos.

“She was meant to be yours,” Hannah Ann tells Peter as he bottle-feeds an orphaned kangaroo joey. Look at it! With its massive legs and pointless arms and doofy ears!

Now, let’s be honest: All of this is pointless. Even if it weren’t for Peter’s indiscretions with Hannah Ann and Victoria, his relationship with Madison would be doomed. They’re too dissimilar. And we’re all suspicious of Hannah Ann—everything just seems to fake. There have been 23 previous seasons of The Bachelor, and 22 of the guys are not currently with the winner of their season. We can basically guarantee that Peter’s season, which Peter botched from the jump, will not end with a lasting marriage.

The only way Peter could win this season would be to hold on to that perfect orphaned baby kangaroo. Don’t let her go, Peter. God placed her there for you! Shove that joey in your pouch and fly her back to America. Bring her home, Peter! BRING HERRRR HOOOOOOOME!