Usually, when Chris Harrison promises “the most dramatic finale in Bachelor history,” he’s tricking us. This time, though, he wasn’t lying—Monday and Tuesday really did deliver the most dramatic finale in Bachelor history. That’s thanks to Peter’s poor decision-making, Madison’s ultimatum, and Peter’s mom, Barb, more or less choosing a reality show contestant over her own son. It’s a lot, we’ll get to it below.
1. What is your tweet-length review of this season of The Bachelor?
Ben Lindbergh: Total train wreck, but … I think that actually was the most dramatic finale ever?
I hate everyone on this season, including barb and madison—yes the rumors are true, I hate them both!— amelia wedemeyer (@ameliadeew) March 11, 2020
It's no wonder why Peter might have trouble handling his emotions when his OWN MOTHER won't support him emotionally during a difficult time in his life and is going even as far as CHEERING AGAINST HIM. I feel sick watching this.— Kevin O'Connor (@KevinOConnorNBA) March 11, 2020
2. What was the most savage moment of the two-part finale?
Lindbergh: Hannah Ann saying, “If you want to be with a woman, you’ve got to become a real man,” followed by Barb’s enthusiastic applause. I may never recover, and I wasn’t the one being buried by a tag team of my ex-fiancée and my own mom. RIPeter.
Wedemeyer: Every time Barb did something to undermine Peter and Madison’s relationship, which was a good chunk of the second half of the finale. The woman has no shame! From her looks of utter contempt to her whispering into Peter Sr.’s ear, goading him in Spanish to say something negative about the relationship, Barb might go down as the most savage character to ever appear on The Bachelor.
O’Connor: The moment Barb said Peter needs to fail before he succeeds. In the context of the conversation, it was one of the most disturbing moments we’ll ever witness on live television. The Bachelor/ette has never made me feel more than it did in that moment. It made me feel even more grateful for the loving and supporting parents that raised me. It made me miss my dad even more than I already do. It made me give my mom an even bigger hug than usual before she went to bed. It reminded me to never take for granted the unconditional love that I’ll always have with my parents.
Gruttadaro: “He’s gonna have to fail to succeed.” Peter’s mom looked into Peter’s new girlfriend’s eyes and said that shit.
3. Did Hannah Ann know that Madison dumped Peter before this live finale?
Wedemeyer: I don’t think so, and honestly, I’m getting so much secondhand embarrassment for Hannah Ann that I can’t think about this any longer.
Lindbergh: She definitely didn’t know when she agreed to get engaged! But I’m going to guess she found out before this week.
Gruttadaro: I really don’t think so! Which, among all of the bonkers things that happened Tuesday night, stands out to me. On Tuesday night, people kept acting as though Peter had agency in everything that happened—that he agreed to break up with Madison, that he chose Hannah Ann, that he actively ended his engagement with her, that he made an effort to win Madison back. But no: Madison dumped him, Hannah Ann won by default, and then eviscerated him when she realized he didn’t love her, and then Chris Harrison got Madison back for him! The answer to this question is Peter in a nutshell.
4. Pitch a spinoff reality show starring Peter’s mom.
Lindbergh: Do I even need to pitch this? ABC probably already green-lit Are the Webers Still on Speaking Terms? Just a live feed of the family therapy sessions.
Gruttadaro: DTF, a show where Peter’s mom tells contestants whether they’re ready to have sex with any and all of her family members.
Wedemeyer: Give us The Real Housewives of Westlake Village! I’m sure Barb has some wild, rich lady friends who would love to mix it up with her on cable TV.
O’Connor: Nah, I’m good. I’d rather never see Barb’s face again unless it’s during an apology. I would, however, love to watch a Lifetime movie loosely based on what just transpired.
5. Arie-Becca; Hannah-Jed; Peter–Hannah Ann—should anyone actually want to win The Bachelor/ette?
Gruttadaro: The fact is that in the Bachelor world, there are more successful relationships between leads and non-winners than there are between leads and actual winners. At this point, if you win the show, you should immediately fear for your relationship.
O’Connor: With the way the show has evolved over the years, it’s clearly never over even when the dream vacations end and the cameras go away, so the goal shouldn’t be to “win” but to just find love—which makes this show more real than ever. Sometimes finding love is smooth. Sometimes finding love is messy. In recent years, we’ve just seen plenty of the latter.
Wedemeyer: Absolutely not. Honestly, the best you can aim for is that you make a lasting-enough impression that you’re invited to partake in Bachelor in Paradise. There should really be some kind of cash incentive for winning the whole thing.
Lindbergh: Maybe I’m a romantic, but I still say yes, and not just for the followers and the sponcon cash. Only a few find lasting love on The Bachelor(ette); Peter, on the other hand, might be the first finalist or lead to actually lose love from his immediate family members.
6. How long do you give Peter and Madison?
Lindbergh: Negative however many minutes it’s been since Barb bodied both of them on national TV. Unless their mutual resentment of Barb brings them closer together—but based on Peter’s past inability to make up his own mind, nah.
Wedemeyer: Clearly not long if Barb has her way. And because Peter still lives with his parents, it’s really not looking good for them.
O’Connor: Longer than I would have originally expected. They will rally against Barb; her hate will fuel their relationship in the early stages. If Barb is right about one thing, it’s that there are undeniably fundamental differences between Madi and Peter. Madi will need to budge a bit. But I don’t see longevity in their relationship unless Peter’s family apologizes and grows to love Madi. It seems like a lot to ask, but I’m rooting for them.
Gruttadaro: They might have a Spite Relationship that powers on for a year. But really, I think they break up, like, tomorrow night when Peter tries to have sex and Madison is like, “Wait, did you assume I was gonna budge on the whole wait-until-marriage thing just because you picked me on a reality show?”
7. Who from Season 24 of The Bachelor will be the MVP on Bachelor in Paradise?
Gruttadaro: The easy money is on Tammy, but her villain thing is a bit too rehearsed for me. Give me Kelsey, a woman who admits herself that she is incapable of controlling her emotions. Or honestly, give me Hannah Ann. After Tuesday night’s performance, H.A. can chill on Paradise for a couple of years, get above the age of 26, and then become the Bachelorette.
Wedemeyer: Even though we all want her gone, I have a sinking feeling that we haven’t seen the last of Victoria F. As much as it pains me to say it, Paradise was made for someone like Victoria F.—she’s a schemer, she’s dramatic, and … yes, she’s HOT. [Sighs.] My only hope is that the producers bring on Merissa Pence (Peter’s ex and the woman whose blurred face graced our TVs a few weeks ago) to confront Victoria F. about the allegations against her.
O’Connor: Tammy. Let’s not forget when Tammy met Peter, she cuffed him, patted him down, planted a condom in his pocket, and then tongue wrestled with him. It was only a preview of the drama that came with the girls in the house. More moments like that and she’ll wrap up the Paradise MVP.
Lindbergh: I disliked the cast of this season so much that I probably won’t be watching. But I hope Hannah Ann gets the Becca Bachelorette rebound in a subsequent season. I haven’t forgiven Clare for how she treated Benoit on Winter Games.
8. Where does Peter rank on the all-time list of Bachelors?
O’Connor: Barb changed everything. I thought Peter botched this season because he had zero clue how to handle his emotions, which would’ve ranked him low on the all-time list of Bachelors. But it’s no wonder why he acted the way he did knowing what kind of emotionally manipulative mother he had at home. I can’t help but feel for him, which bumps him up the rankings. I wish Peter all the best in growing from this experience.
Wedemeyer: Many people are ranking him in a tier with Jake Pavelka, Juan Pablo Galavis, and Arie Luyendyk Jr., which is never a good sign. However, I don’t think Peter is intentionally evil, so I’d rank him above those dummies. He clearly mistakes drama for love (I wonder why), though, and that doesn’t help his position. So, maybe somewhere on the lower end of the spectrum, but not dead last.
Gruttadaro: I think he’s just above Juan Pablo by virtue of not being a monster, but Peter is easily one of the worst Bachelors of all time: wishy-washy, easily manipulated, and sometimes just plain dumb. So much of this season’s drama could’ve been avoided if he was a better game manager. So much could’ve gone differently if he picked the women who simply made him happy. (Novel concept, I know.) And so much of this finale’s drama would’ve been avoided if he didn’t just listen to what his mother told him.
Lindbergh: Peter was truly terrible at being the Bachelor, evincing such suspect decision-making that the FAA should consider revoking his pilot’s license. But I do have some sympathy after seeing him suffer from his domineering mother’s bid to become the most viral Barb since Stranger Things. Maybe being raised by Barb was what made him a bad Bachelor?