Before we dive all the way into night one of a two-part finale, I should note that Alexa and Jasmine are not dating, but are “best friends.” Good for them still! Also, I considered putting everything into one post during the eight hours I spent at the emergency room today (not for anything serious, as evidenced by having to spend eight hours there). But for you, dear reader, I am going to write two mediocre posts! As has become the custom of late, the finale is being watched by a studio audience, so we get occasional and meaningless cuts to Chris Harrison in a studio with an audience promising that things are going to be very dramatic and even Peter doesn’t know how it will end.
Hannah Ann Meets the Webers
Peter is in Alice Springs hiding from Reality Steve and reuniting with his family. He tells parents Peter Sr. and Barbara and brother Jack the the deal with Hannah Ann and Madison (one loves him, one told him not to fuck but he did). Peter seems to be “Team Madison” and his family is “Team Umm… Are You Sure?” They seem really stoked about this Hannah Ann character sight-unseen, in the way of people who aren’t ready to have Madison at the rest of their big family events.
A weird thing is that now when Hannah Ann shows up to meet the parents they will know for sure that she boned their son. Do most people tell their parents and younger brother whether or not they have had sex with the person they are about to introduce them to? While Hannah Ann is talking to Peter’s mom, Peter starts kissing her bare shoulder. Barbara Weber says “I see you and me in them!” to Peter’s dad. Apparently the early days of the Weber courtship were marked by inappropriate levels of PDA in front of parents. Barbara is worried that Peter falls too hard for women, but Barbara should maybe consider that she is the Weber who has lost their mind over Hannah Ann.
Hannah Ann does an excellent job on this date. She reassures Barbara that she loves her son, and she makes a good impression on Pete Sr. as well. We don’t see her interact with Jack but it is clear later that Jack is also a fan. But our lead struggles while talking to his father about the fact that he has no idea who to choose because he loves both of them. I mean, I think he loves Madison more. But Hannah Ann is a great catch, and Barbara drives this point home saying “I feel like I’ve known you my entire life” when saying goodbye to Hannah Ann. I don’t think she said that to Madison at her vows renewal.
Meets Sees the Webers
When Peter greets Madison he says “how’s it going?” and she says “not good.” She tells Peter that he put his “needs and wants” above Madison’s, and that was hurtful. During his monologue Madison also says the line “I know you’re a big boy…” and I think that is an odd turn of phrase that took me out of the moment. Peter has his own grievances to air, including that he does think Madison gave him an ultimatum and also he doesn’t know how Madison feels about him. This seems like a reasonable gripe for a lead, but not for a guy who just flagrantly ignored a request from his girlfriend that he not sleep with anyone else.
Madison comes back at Peter, noting that she held back because of the uncertainty of dating someone with other serious relationships going and saying he probably would have too. And, as luck would have it, Peter was in the exact same spot. Madison says “at this point I feel like I am hanging on by a thread, if I’m being honest.” “Let’s go meet my parents!” is not the right response to this situation, but the show is the show. Peter and Madison sit awkwardly together for a bit while Madison buries her head in her hands and Peter says “I don’t want you to go, I want us to get through this.” Madison admits to Peter that no matter how mad she is at him, she doesn’t want to leave him.
Madison notes that this is “the part of the journey where you’re supposed to be the best.” “You’re supposed to be the best in the sack in the fantasy suite.” Peter mumbles under his breath. He does not, that would have been the wrong thing to do there. Madison tells Peter that she has been fighting for their relationship and “love is not the issue.” Peter tells Madison he needs her to fight, and they reference a story that we have not heard about Madison being knocked out of a basketball game and losing a tooth, and then her dad asked her to get back in the game. Coach Prew probably wishes she had said something about the concussion protocol there, but I’m sure everything was handled correctly.
Somehow Peter convinces Madison to say she loves Peter and to agree to meet his parents, though she is not going to be at her best because she is still furious that Peter boned the lady his parents just met. A woman Peter’s mom “feels like she has known her whole life.” Madison is a trooper, though, and she is fighting for this relationship like a woozy point guard missing a tooth and running a four-corners offense. Everyone but Peter in this meeting is going to know that Madison and Peter should not be getting engaged to each other this week. And if you are Pete Sr and Barbara, you have a parental obligation to keep Peter from proposing to Madison. Somehow (the producers were involved, I am certain) Pete Sr asks Madison what caused their recent strain. Madison, awkwardly, explains that it was because she told Peter not to bone and then he boned. It is low-key insane that Pete Sr asked this question. I mean, it would be prying a bit if he didn’t know the answer, but he totally did! He just forced Madison to tell him that she got mad because Peter had sex with other women, even though he already knew about it from Peter!
Pete Sr asks Madison if she and Peter are “completely compatible.” Madison notes there are differences, and Madison says “faith is my whole world and my whole life and Peter could grow that.” Not sure Pete Sr is excited for his son to grow his faith a whole ton. Pete Sr might not think Peter is capable of being the person Madison needs, or at least he doesn’t want to see what it looks like when Peter tries. Also, his wife REALLY liked Hannah Ann, and Pete Sr probably doesn’t want to spend 20 hours on a flight home with a disappointed Barbara.
Peter’s brother Jack says “obviously you are very physical” and that is a weird thing to say to your big brother! Jack adds, “you wouldn’t be able to be have sex until you’re married, have you thought about that?” Peter talks to his brother in the way you would if your little brother started asking you dumb questions and implying that you might not be able to function if you weren’t having regular intercourse. Jack tells the camera that Hannah Ann is seemingly perfect and Madison is not a good fit. This will be weird at Thanksgiving when Peter marries Madison. “Umm… Jack, could you pass the sweet potatoes? I must say, with the marshmallow topping, these sweet potatoes are as perfect as you thought Hannah Ann was for your brother!”
Barbara starts in on Madison, noting that Peter is “spiritual like I am spiritual” and adds “Peter’s lifestyle is he socializes and parties.” A weird thing is that all of the Webers seemed to want to remind Peter that he goes out and linedances a lot, as if that is incompatible with marrying Madison. I mean, I bet they linedance in Alabama, and a point guard has to have good footwork. Barbara adds “I wouldn’t want you to change him, I respect you for your values, and if you don’t want to go to the fantasy suite, that’s okay, but to tell him he can’t be with other girls…” Madison handles this critique with aplomb, explaining that she is who she is and that it was important to her. For a second it appears she might win over Barbara a bit with her willingness to fight for her relationship. I was a bit won over by Madison’s willingness not to be visibly offended that her boyfriend’s mom was calling her a prude for not wanting him to sleep with other ladies the week before potentially proposing to her. It was a rough date, and while Madison doesn’t seem to have enjoyed this, she probably knows a little better where she stands with Peter’s family.
Peter doesn’t seem to understand that the date didn’t go great until after he escorts Madison out and returns to his mother literally breaking down in his arms and saying “she’s not there for you, bud.” Barbara says she prayed to the Lord to guide Peter and Madison to realize they are not right for each other and then Peter can be with Hannah Ann. I’m not God, so I am going to just try to put myself in God’s… shoes? This would be a weird prayer to hear, right? “Dear Lord, please guide my son and his not-putting-out girlfriend to the realization that she’s too into… You… and he should be with the other girl that sins on occasion. Lord, I’m not super religious but I am very spiritual and I think you should step in to steer Your girl Madison away from my sexaholic linedancer of a son. Cool? Cool. K-thanx. Amen.”
Peter’s family asks Peter where he “is at.” Peter says he “has a lot of love in [his] heart for Madison.” Peter’s family is like “why would you risk the Hannah Ann thing for this buzzkill?” They all agree that this situation is like Hannah B’s. In that Peter is going to pick the wrong person and not Hannah Ann, who I guess is Peter in this analogy (though realistically Hannah Ann is probably Tyler C). What Peter doesn’t seem to understand is that he likes Madison way more than Hannah Ann yet he keeps saying he likes them both equally, so his parents are telling him to choose their preference among two equal options when, to Peter, they are not equal. This is the scene, teased all season, where a tearful Barbara says “don’t let her go, bring her home to us.” She is talking about Hannah Ann, though maybe she is talking about “anyone-but-Madison.” Barbara and Hannah Ann might have the fastest connection of two people in the history of the show. Peter’s response is a frustrated “you gotta stop doing this.” Also acceptable, “then YOU marry Hannah Ann.”
It seems like Peter just likes Madison more, which is fine. People like people. Hannah Ann will be okay without this engagement. Peter tells the camera “I love Maddy more than anything.” See! That’s what I mean. You know what is in the category of “anything?” Hannah Ann. So you could accurately say “I love Maddy more than Hannah Ann.” And if you do that application of the transitive property, you have your answer.
Also filed under “good ideas Peter didn’t try,” he should have brought Victoria F to the final two. That would have put Barbara in Maddy’s corner in a hot second. She’d have cried the whole time! “Wait, how many marriages did she break up? Your friend literally said she threatened to slash her tires? She said ‘White Lives Matter’ was a marlins thing? The logo is a confederate flag! You know we have reddit, right? She’s a mess! Bring home that Madison girl! Bring her home to us, bud!”
We are at an airstrip near Uluru, perhaps known to you as “Ayers Rock” because your textbook was racist. Madison is in a private plane that is landing in the middle of the outback for what I guess is her and Peter’s last date of the season. They are going up to Uluru in a helicopter and Peter is going to try to convince Madison not to watch the episode where his mom literally begs him not to propose to her. This date is pretty cool and Uluru is pretty cool, if in the middle of a hot and buggy continent full of exceptionally-poisonous spiders and snakes. Madison tells the camera that she isn’t fully present and “it is kinda time to surrender.”
Peter and Madison sip champagne with Uluru in the distance, which is good. They should not be landing helicopters on Uluru. Madison tells Peter that she found love but she doesn’t think love can “conquer all.” Peter spends much of this time swatting away bugs that keep landing on his face, so it takes him a while to realize Madison is maybe dumping his ass. Madison says “being a good fighter includes knowing when to surrender.” Madison is willing to “walk away so [Peter] can get what he came here to find.”
Madison and Peter have a very difficult conversation while Australian flies attack their faces. It is ridiculous how often they swat at bugs while Madison explains that she and Peter aren’t compatible. She’s right, of course. And my only quibble with her is that she should have known that for a while. She could have rejected a rose last week or, I don’t know, stayed in Auburn. Peter and Madison walk to a car that is inexplicably present at the site they needed to access by helicopter. Alas, we have 150 minutes of show left including tomorrow’s episode, so this might not be the end. With that caveat, however, I do like that Madison dumped Peter. It was the right call, and unlike the fantasy suites episode, we can be pretty sure that it wasn’t just because she really didn’t like that Peter had sex. She now also knows that no one thinks this will work and Peter’s family hates her and Peter doesn’t seem to have any sense of how hard things will be.
Hannah Ann Date
We see Chris Harrison greet Peter. Harrison is sporting a few days of Outback facial hair. Peter tells Chris Harrison that he will “never surrender.” When you are dumped, “surrendering” is probably okay. I mean, the alternative is often called “stalking” and is very problematic. Chris Harrison asks Peter if he can “get over this heartbreak.” It is a fair question, and one he should ask Hannah Ann if she is engaged to Peter and watches these last few episodes. Because Peter definitely said it was Madison he loved “more than anything,” and then Madison dumped him. Not everyone in the world is married to their soulmate or their first choice or whatever, but most of us don’t have nationally-televised tape of our spouse saying they wished they could have been with someone else a few days before the engagement.
Peter and Hannah Ann still have a date! An awkward, awkward, awkward date. Neither of them seem to be wearing enough clothing for an outback chock full of poisonous animals. An Australian guide shows up to bring them to see “an animal people rarely see.” It is actually kangaroos, and while I rarely see them in Minneapolis, if you are in Australia they are all over the damn place. That being said, this date convinced me that I would like to hold and bottle-feed some baby kangaroos. Peter says “Hannah Ann is someone I want to pick first and every day for the rest of my life.” But his tone suggests he would add “…if Madison is serious about dumping me.” Hannah Ann doesn’t seem to know that Peter is only dating her right now. But she tells the camera that “something is off” with Peter.
Peter heads to Hannah Ann’s room to talk after they return from the kangaroo date. This visit is a microcosm of the Hannah Ann-Peter relationship. Hannah Ann is lighting approximately 400 candles in her room while wearing a stunning dress. Peter shows up in like shorts and a sweatshirt, clearly not having bathed or shaved since he handled baby kangaroos. Hannah Ann went all out and Peter showed up dressed like a schlub to presumably dump her because his true love left him. Peter tells Hannah Ann that she has been “a rock” for him “every step of the way.” He adds that this has been a very difficult week for him, and Hannah Ann has to know it wasn’t because of her. Hannah Ann tells Peter it hurts to hear that his heart is “being pulled in two different directions” and Hannah Ann says “I’ve given and given and I want something in return.” Peter misses his cue and basically says “I want to be certain of my decision tomorrow.” Poor Hannah Ann, she might have actually fallen for this doofus, and yet not figured out that what Peter really wants is to chase someone who doesn’t really want him.” Still, Hannah Ann’s steadfast reminders that she is “there for Peter” and “sure” seem to work. Now we have I guess our cliffhanger? One girl that Peter likes dumped him, and one girl that Peter likes less is right there, waiting for him to reciprocate the love and affection she has shown him throughout. What could go wrong? I guess we will find out tomorrow.