This season of The Bachelor was a bonfire at a gas station, multiple combustible parts all waiting to explode at the same time. That time occurred on Tuesday night, when Peter Weber got engaged to Hannah Ann, broke up with Hannah Ann, got eviscerated by Hannah Ann in a pre-filmed segment AND on live television, reconnected with Madison, asked Madison for a second chance, and then idly sat as his stubborn mother Barb railed against Madison in front of his face. It was all so bad, so awful, so difficult to comprehend on so many levels. It may have been the most entertaining episode in Bachelor history.
Enduring Peter’s journey on The Bachelor was like watching a car teetering on a cliff, always in danger of crashing and burning but somehow keeping its balance. Peter flailed through this entire season, determined to follow a heart with a poor sense of direction. He was a pilot deliberately steering into the storm, a scar-bearing living metaphor for his self-imposed demolition derby of breakups. Peter embraced unsteadiness and rewarded tears in an attempt to satisfy the pillars The Bachelor stands upon. As a result, he was not only dethroned but depantsed, by his ex-fiancée and mother alike. The final two hours of the season revealed several truths: Peter proposed to someone he didn’t fully love; Barb is nutso; and Peter and Madison want to give this relationship another whirl, despite the Uluru-sized obstacle that stands in their way.
Peter knew he loved Madison more than he loved Hannah Ann. The audience could see it. His parents were privy to it – hence the “Bring her HOOOooome!” plea to try to sway his feelings toward Hannah Ann. And Hannah Ann even had an inkling he was not 100 percent committed to her. Nonetheless, Peter hit up Neil Lane and dropped to a knee, because that’s what The Bachelor is supposed to do before they go back to the real world. To not give out that final rose would mean that he failed in his mission as Bachelor, and so he assuaged his own uncertainties about his and Hannah Ann’s relationship and made it official. The problem is he wasn’t over Madison, a fact of which he was fully aware. But that televised proposal in Australia, though.
When Peter welcomed Hannah Ann into the breakup house, she was understandably pissed that he took what she hoped would be her only engagement away from her. We saw shades of Melissa Rycroft and Becca Kufrin in this moment. We also saw a completely new side of Hannah Ann, outspoken and unflinching. She handed Peter what he deserved, putting him in his place for being dishonest, placing the ring on his open palm and clasping his fingers on top for dramatic effect. On set with Chris Harrison, Hannah Ann continued to lay into her ex, questioning his manhood while Peter’s misguided mother clapped along. Meanwhile, Chris went to fetch Madison from Auburn, and she admitted she still loved Peter. This was all setting up for a storybook ending, the kind The Bachelor desperately pines for each season.
The live stage was ready for Madison and Peter to start dating once again, Jason-and-Molly style. There was just one glaring issue with that. BARB. As The Bachelor prepared for a tidy wrap-up to a chaotic season, Barb continued to talk trash to Madison to her face. Madison held her ground, confidently, boldly and respectfully. Peter, meanwhile, failed again. He didn’t exactly back Madison up, and he didn’t stand up to his mother either. Barb was so defiantly against her elder son’s choice that it’s likely she would have traded Hannah Ann for Peter and a couple draft picks if she had the opportunity to acquire a new child. As for Madison, it seems her and Peter’s renewed relationship is already on life support. There’s no removing Barb’s tattoo of disapproval, unless Peter severs ties with his mom completely. He can’t win.
This season managed to ruin the lives of all who were involved in some way, and yet here we are gearing up for another round of it. We hate it. We love it. This terrible, terrible show called The Bachelor.
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