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‘The Bachelorette’ Recap: Is the Decision Really That Difficult?

On the one hand you’ve got an extremely hot guy who’s beloved by Hannah’s parents and who doesn’t have an extra girlfriend; on the other hand, you’ve got a guy for whom the exact opposite is true. What are we missing here?

ABC

Monday night was the first part of the two-part finale of The Bachelorette, which is already an oxymoron. A “finale” is the final episode of a season. How can we have a two-episode final episode?!

Equally confusing is Hannah’s overwhelming angst regarding her final decision. At this point in the season, Hannah has winnowed down her field of 30 to two final contenders and is, as we’re told before the credits roll on Monday night, completely torn up about it. But how can a decision tear someone up when it’s completely obvious what the right choice is?

Monday night’s episode begins with an it-was-all-a-dream-style reset after the Luke chaos of last week’s episode: Chris Harrison literally moves the table that Hannah moved to circumvent Luke back to its original spot, allowing the rose ceremony to carry on as the Bachelorette gods intended. She eliminates Pilot Pete, she cries, he cries, and then we carry on with the two remaining men: Tyler and Jed.

From that point on, the episode is pretty straightforward. Tyler meets Hannah’s family; Jed meets Hannah’s family. Tyler goes on a daylong date with Hannah (they ride horses, for the second time this season, even though Tyler has already publicly admitted to hating horses) and the two retire to his room; Jed goes on a daylong date with Hannah (they ride a yacht, Hannah gets seasick—approximately the 14th time she has fallen ill this season) and the two retire to his room.

However, there is a noted difference in the tenor of the two dates. Hannah’s family loves Tyler, who wows them with his charm. As for Jed, Hannah’s family is intensely skeptical of him, as he lacks Tyler’s charm while also failing to satisfy their concerns about his seemingly unsuccessful career as a musician. Later, Tyler and Hannah have a perfect date and a perfect evening, while Jed and Hannah spend most of their date discussing Hannah’s upcoming decision.

We the viewers have plenty of evidence Tyler is the right guy here—since the show ended, he’s been doing charity work and seeking out USWNT haters to dunk on, while Jed has been getting roasted for cheating on his pre-show girlfriend before leaving her in hopes of achieving television fame. But even to Hannah, the choice should be clear. Let’s run down what she knows about these two guys. First up, Tyler:

  • Extremely handsome and strong and athletic
  • Tons of sexual chemistry with Hannah (i.e., lots of straddling and shirtless makeouts)
  • Overwhelmingly respectful and kind and caring and wildly supportive and encouraging and nurturing
  • Sex-positive feminist who wants the world to know that consent is hot
  • Extremely handsome (did we mention that?)
  • Gives great speeches
  • Ran his dad’s business for a while, has an MBA
  • Excellent bad dancer
  • Laughed at Luke instead of getting into weird passive-aggressive fights with him
  • Is willing to tolerate horses and not having sex because he loves Hannah so much
  • Successfully took Hannah on a boat without getting her seasick
  • Has a touching relationship with his sick dad
  • Charmed Hannah’s family to dangerous levels
  • Once went 5-for-19 with three interceptions against Florida State (hopefully she can ignore this)

Next up, Jed:

  • Handsome, but, like ... let’s be real: not as handsome
  • Significantly less straddling, fewer makeouts
  • Plays music! Did you know he plays music? He plays music. He plays a few instruments—specifically, he plays music on them.
  • Told Hannah he initially went on The Bachelorette to boost his struggling music career (this makes the “plays music” thing much less cool)
  • Spends virtually every conversation with Hannah worrying about other guys (first Luke, now Tyler)
  • His own family gave off really weird vibes and basically told Hannah they didn’t trust anything about this relationship; they were one step away from yelling, “HE HAS A GIRLFRIEND!”
  • Did not bond with Hannah’s family
  • Did not complete one single pass against Florida State

Tyler vs. Jed is not even close! Unless we listen to Hannah, who is genuinely unsure whom she should pick. To which I scream: How?! Tyler is a steak dinner, and Jed is a raw slab of meat inside plastic wrapping in a grocery store fridge. Maybe that meat will taste good if she knows how to cook it, but, like … take the steak dinner. Somebody has already lovingly prepared it, and it comes with multiple sides.

I don’t read Bachelor spoilers, so I’m not sure what happens next. But I have a creeping suspicion Hannah actually picks Jed. It seems telling that ABC’s response to Jed’s GirlfriendGate so far has been roughly the same as their response to last season’s big post-filming controversy, the discovery of a ton of iffy behavior on social media by eventual winner Garrett. Don’t jump to conclusions! Let the whole thing play out and see how you feel! Maybe you’ll realize the bad person is actually nice, after our heavily edited finale!

For now, let’s enjoy the one blessing of the oxymoronic two-part finale: This 24-hour period where we can all hope Hannah makes the right call.

Weirdest Plotline: Jed’s Financial Stability

Hannah’s family grills Jed over his career as a musician: Will he make enough money to support their daughter? What if he doesn’t have his big break? And even if he does, what sort of quality of life will they have, with Jed needing to spend so much of his time touring and performing?

I’m all for people chasing their dreams, but Jed’s music career seems … not that great. He proudly boasts to the Browns that he recently booked his first-ever songwriting gig … recording a jingle for a dog food company. We know he supplements his income by taking off his shirt for Nashville bachelorette parties (lowercase-b bachelorette, not italics-uppercase-B Bachelorette). And, yeah, sure, everybody needs to make ends meet, but he’s also plainly not that good at singing. We’ve all heard Jed try to hit the high notes on “Mr. Right,” the song he wrote for Hannah. Even his most professional YouTube videos feature pitchy whisper-singing. Maybe I’m being too harsh—I guess I’ll have to wait until his Purina mixtape drops.

That said, do these people realize their daughter is the Bachelorette on the TV show The Bachelorette? Even the contestants who get eliminated a month into The Bachelor can quit their jobs to be professionally Pretty Online. If you’re The Bachelorette, you can spin that into a legit career. Take JoJo and Rachel, the two Dallas-area professionals who served as The Bachelorette in 2016 and 2017. JoJo recently debuted a reality TV show on CNBC with her fiancé, Jordan, where they make people’s homes into Airbnbs. (Jordan, of course, became a college football analyst on the ABC-owned SEC Network, a development I predicted during his season.) Rachel, who was a lawyer when she made her TV debut—a job that requires years of intense post-grad training and fetches good money—seems to have quit law so she can appear on ABC-owned ESPN hosting TV and radio shows about sports. (She even hosted First Take a couple of times!)

When Hannah leaves The Bachelorette, she will not be stepping back into normalcy. The job they list under your name doesn’t matter anymore once you’re reality-TV famous. I suspect even Jed will be able to make money playing music (or at least recording Cameos) once this is all over. Hannah will probably be fine financially, single or not. But really, she should be looking for the guy with whom she can maximize her post-Bachelorette fame—and the ideal way to do that isn’t by picking the guy with the best career options, but the guy who she fits best with. Once you’re off The Bachelorette, being a couple is your career.

I’d also like to point out that Tyler has over a million Instagram followers and Jed is still short of 500,000. This is an easy call.

Episode Winner: Pilot Peter

Yes, Peter got eliminated, which is shocking, especially now that we know that he and Hannah had sex in a windmill not once, not twice, but FOUR TIMES. But I have to say that right now, he’s strapped into the pilot’s seat to be the star of the next season of The Bachelor. He hit all the marks: He made it into the final three, which is huge—six of the last eight Bachelor stars have finished third or higher, with Juan Pablo (seventh) and Colton (fourth) being the two outliers. He cried in the limo, which is also huge—people like guys who cry in the limo. And he’s a pilot. You know ABC is just dying to reboot “On the Wings of Love.” Peter would be perfect.

Of course, it’s possible he won’t be the Bachelorit’s widely suspected that Mike, who finished sixth, will get it. Mike, an Air Force veteran and investor, did a great job standing up for Hannah all season long and was a reliable source for quality quotes about the lunacy of Luke. He would also be the first black Bachelor, which is long overdue—next year will be the 24th season of The Bachelor. Peter, like me, is a white guy who confuses everybody by mentioning that he’s half-Cuban, and we are not underrepresented on reality TV. We already had What Would Ryan Lochte Do?

While both Peter and Mike are aviation experts, I’m giving the nod to Peter based on one critical category: Mike made it clear several times over the course of the season that he actually has a personality. And ABC has made it clear several times over that their ideal candidate for The Bachelor is a total blank slate capable of nothing besides smiling, nodding, and perhaps mildly chuckling when things go wild in the house. Just look at our last few Bachelors: farmer Chris; software salesman Ben, who wasn’t a farmer but was sometimes depicted on a farm because software sales are less interesting than farming; Nick, who was also a software salesman; Guy Who Had the Same Job as His Dad Arie; and Colton, one of the most boring Bachelors in history before he was driven to jump over a fence. These five men have roughly as much personality together as Hannah alone. Peter fits the mold. We love our Bland Bachelor Boyz. It must be him.