There are six women left and four hometown dates, and this is the episode (probably) where we find out whose families we will meet. So Peter will have to dump two girlfriends tonight. The edit has made it pretty clear that Peter is interested in Madison (the player of boring basketball) and Hannah Ann (the falsely-accused champagne thief). Despite red flags, Peter seems to like Victoria F (White Lives Matter model) and Kelsey (champagne accuser and poor champagne drinker). And then there are Kelley (the lawyer Peter met before) and Natasha (the event planner who has been critical of Peter thus far). Though it is fair to say that another descriptor of these three pairs would be “too young, but very pretty,” “not too young, very pretty but maybe pretty challenging,” and “mature enough for marriage and annoyed that Peter seems not to be… also very pretty.” We could probably wrap the recap now, but I get paid by the word so let’s all root for the underdogs, AKA, two beautiful women over the age of 26 who like Peter and would like him to stop making decisions that seem calibrated to reward bad behavior.
Oh, and we will be doing all of this in Peru. The show is heading back to Peru. It worked for Arie, in that he proposed to two of the women he brought to Peru. Kelley says she knows Peru has alpacas and she would like to see some of them.
Peter walks around the city of Lima and checks out some street art of Don Quixote and windmills. Don Quixote is a Spain thing but “fucking in a windmill” is a Peter thing. Peter stops by the Lima Swissotel to see his girlfriends and to tell them that his “biggest fear” is “falling for someone” who isn’t ready to “have a family” with Peter. No one walks out, even though the alpacas are definitely calling to Kelley. Madison tells the camera that “marriage is a thing you do one time.” It is possible that Madison’s Alabama-tiny-school-with-very-boring-basketball background is going to be pretty socially conservative. We get some exposition on this when Hannah Ann and Kelsey (having buried their champagne beef) discuss Madison’s being “very religious” and expecting her husband to “lead her family in faith.” I mean, we will almost certainly meet her family in the hometowns episode, so the decision to lay this groundwork is probably intentional.
Madison One-on-one Date
Madison has notably already had a one-on-one date. It was the first one, Peter’s parents renewed their vows. And now she gets the first one in Peru. Natasha still has not had a one-on-one date. I wonder what else is unique about Natasha? Oh right, she’s the only black woman and the only contestant over thirty. Coincidences!
Peter shows Madison, or “Maddy” as he calls her, that the bandage is off his face. He has a pretty good scar forming, and Madison says it looks like he fought a tiger. Madison’s dad coaches at Auburn, home of the Tigers, and yet Madison doesn’t seem to have a good grasp on what kind of damage a tiger would do to this clumsy pilot in a fight. Peter and Madison are going fishing. Fishing is pretty boring, but at least Peter won’t cut his face open doing that. They catch one fish and then start drinking and chatting. Madison tells Peter she is glad that he is so serious about this process. Peter tells “Maddy” that once he falls, he will fall hard. Madison assures Peter that she really likes him. Then they kiss a bunch.
On the way to dinner we get a chance to see Peter’s patented mediocre-but-earnest dancing at a bar where everyone is wearing drab colors except Madison, who is in bright red. The dinner is in a very nice courtyard and Madison tells Peter she is looking for a guy who is like her dad, including having “such a strong relationship with the Lord.” To his credit, Peter does not audibly gulp. But Peter stood out somewhat on Hannah B’s season in his lack of overt religiosity. Peter responds with “I totally hear that.”
Peter says “I’ve been raised in a Christian household and I definitely have faith… I do feel like my faith could be stronger and I do struggle with that sometimes. But it is something that is important to me.” An awkward aspect of this conversation is that religiosity is probably very important to a religious person and less important to a less-religious person, such that Peter might feel like his answer would assuage a non-serious concern of Madison’s, but Madison may not feel like Peter was totally honest with her if it turns out his commitment to his faith doesn’t extend much beyond trying to make his very attractive girlfriend not dump him. Peter then tells Madison “I’m falling in love with you” and that is the story of the date for now. They kiss, Madison is very happy, a rose is offered and accepted. But this show famously is going to try to get Peter to bone it down with three women, and it is possible Madison is not going to accept that from her potential leader-in-faith. I mean, could a devout Christian really support a leader who, I don’t know, got divorced twice and married three times, allegedly cheating on all three of his wives?
Natasha One-on-one Date
Natasha tells the camera that she “couldn’t fathom” taking Peter home without one-on-one time. Good news, Natasha gets a one-on-one date. It says “vamos a explorar.” “Let’s explore, right?” is Kelsey’s accurate guess, though Hannah Ann didn’t do her any favors with her pronunciation.
The date starts in the Plaza de Armas and it is nice enough. Natasha, unlike Madison, immediately noticed the lack of a bandage on Peter’s face. Like Madison, Natasha said it “looks good.” Peter gets pretty stoked about some street food, including arroz con leche, which Peter says is his “absolute favorite dessert.” Because Kelsey and Kelley aren’t around, I will say that means “rice with milk.”
Natasha and Peter seem to enjoy hanging out with each other, but it doesn’t seem like Peter will be declaring his love at dinner or exaggerating his Christianity to make Natasha happy. Natasha and Peter buy some dumb hats and stuffed alpaca toys and Peter says Natasha his been “nothing but honest… to the point of too honest, but I love that.” Natasha says she has a bunch of older brothers, and that is why she is as tough as she is. Natasha says her parents haven’t met a guy she was dating in four years. Peter toasts “a woman who has always spoken the truth with me” and they drink. Then they abandon their alpaca toys at the bar and head to dinner. I assume Peter is considering whether he wants to meet Natasha’s many older brothers before he dumps her when he has the option of not doing that.
Peter tells the camera he is falling in love with Madison again, and this isn’t a great sign for Natasha. Natasha and Peter discuss their lives and how they would combine them. Peter says he has thought about combining lives, but “only to a certain extent.” I think that means “with Madison, Hannah Ann… maybe Hannah B.” Peter asks Natasha how she feels about him and where they are at in their relationship. Natasha gives an honest and thoughtful answer that essentially boils down to “I think we could have something, but I need to know how you feel since this is our first date.” Peter tells Natasha he “sees something special” but that is not what he told Madison about his feelings for her.
Peter tells the camera he and Natasha are just friends, and not so much “romantically invested.” Peter picks up the rose before he starts talking because he is not kind to his friends. He says “Natasha, I owe you all the honesty you’ve given me, and with the relationships I have, and where I’m at with them, I can’t give you this rose. And I’m so sorry about that.” Natasha says “that’s too bad.” Peter follows up with “I don’t know if I waited too long to truly give us that chance.” Natasha handles this pretty well, and after thinking for a second she agrees to let Peter walk her out.
I can’t say Peter is wrong. He probably should meet the parents of the women he actually wants to marry. And I think he is right that he probably didn’t give Natasha a fair shot. Natasha seems not to be too surprised or broken up about it. And I would like to see more Natasha. Paradise for sure if she is available over the summer, and having someone who is a little more honest than the average contestant and is actually interested in an adult relationship with another adult might be a nice way to spend a season of the Bachelorette. Until then, we see a PA walk in to grab Natasha’s pre-packed suitcase in front of the other women and Peter looking down from a balcony at a courtyard with a Peruvian orchestra that would have played for Natasha if Peter had given her that rose.
Kelsey One-on-one Date
The arrival of the Kelsey date card means Kelley, Victoria F, and Hannah Ann will be competing for the two remaining roses. Or, I guess, Peter could dump Kelsey and really take the drama out of the group date. But that seems unlikely. And really, Victoria F and Kelley will be competing with each other, because let’s be honest: Hannah Ann is not getting the boot. But now it is Kelsey’s time to shine on a date to Pachacamac. To really rub salt in Kelley’s wounds, it seems like the area around Pachacamac is chock full of alpacas.
This date will feature riding ATVs, something that Kelsey has never done. Peter gets a chance to show her the ropes like a guy who didn’t cut his face open failing to get a ride on a golf cart. Peter and Kelsey try to run up a hill, and both of them underestimate the altitude in Peru. They don’t get very far before deciding to lie down in the grass. Peter says “I want to do these kinds of things for the rest of our lives.” That will be weird for Peter’s fiancee Hannah Ann if he is running up Peruvian mountains with Kelsey for the rest of his life!
Peter and Kelsey talk about how much Kelsey will work while raising their kids. “Two days a week” is the answer, FWIW. Kelsey says this is the best date she has ever been on, and it is very pretty and part of a free trip to Peru, so it is believable. Kelsey tears up telling the camera she sees a future with Peter, and we cut away to the Lima hotel suite to see Kelley correctly guess that Kelsey will not be going home because Peter likes a “hopeless romantic.” “Also, it would be pretty weird if there were three roses on the three-on-one date” she thinks to herself.
Kelsey says her mom is “very sweet” and her dad “will not be there.” Kelsey says her dad reached out to her “shortly after [she] won Miss Iowa.” Kelsey says there were red flags when they tried to have a relationship, I assume in addition to the “reaching out after Miss Iowa” thing. But then Kelsey tells Peter that her dad reached out again later when Kelsey “was in Chile and going through a hard time,” and Kelsey responded and is now in contact with her dad again… but Kelsey’s mom doesn’t know this. So Kelsey is going to need Peter to keep a secret on hometowns and I assume Kelsey and her in-the-loop sisters will do some hilarious shenanigans to keep Kelsey’s mom from watching her daughter on the Bachelor for at least one episode. Or, you know, Kelsey is going to give her mom a heads up when she gets to Des Moines. Peter says it is inspiring that Kelsey could give her dad a second chance “just like I gave Alayah a second chance” he does not add.
Kelsey tells Peter that she “could have been married and settled” but she wants to be “in love.” Kelsey tells Peter that he is really special to her and she “sees [him] in [her] future.” This is odd, they’ve been on two dates without Peter’s other girlfriends. Peter picks up the rose and Kelsey immediately says “does this mean we’re going to Iowa?” Peter tells Kelsey he admires her and admires “her strength and her grace” and gives her the rose. Pilot Pete says “we’re going to Iowa!” It worked for Mayor Pete, why not? Peter says he and Kelsey “have a very mature relationship” adding “it has not been conventional, and I love that.”
Whatever happens, going from this:
— GIPHY Pop (@GiphyPop) January 14, 2020
to a hometown is a very impressive performance.
This final group date is a high-stakes date, and no one really comes out of one of these looking good. Kelley notes that she is kind of annoyed to be on this date and then tells the camera that “Hannah Ann and Victoria F are children” and “it is annoying to go on dates with children.” Not that way, Prince Andrew! I get where Kelley is coming from, but this will not look good for her tonight or I suppose at the Women Tell All if she doesn’t get to the final two. Kelley tells the camera that Hannah Ann is “too young” and Victoria F is “a hot mess.” Unfortunately for Kelley, she doesn’t get to decide who gets the roses.
This date is at a hacienda so Peter speaks some Spanish with the proprietor even though the proprietor totally speaks English. Hilariously in the post-credits joke scene we see the proprietor try to comprehend the fact that all three of these women are dating Peter.
Peter says “with every rose I hand out, I need to know, can I see them as my wife?” Peter takes Hannah Ann away first and Hannah Ann tells Peter it has been a really hard week for her and she made a list of “the reasons [she is] starting to fall for Peter.” Guess, what, the dot on the “i” in “Things” is a heart. Kelley’s allegation that Hannah Ann is “too young” is getting some support.
Victoria F tells the camera that “it’s annoying to be around [Victoria F]” because I guess when she is nervous she can be a bit much. Kelley thinks this will ensure that Peter keeps Kelley, and says she is “confident in [her] relationship with Peter.” Kelley says she is “the only one mature enough to like actually be ready for a relationship.” But perhaps Kelley is overestimating Peter’s ability to discern who is ready for a relationship?
If Victoria F’s nervous tic is “being hard to be around” then Kelley’s is “excessive confidence.” I don’t think that would be my reaction to hearing that I will be on a date with two people who are both younger than me and also models. I’m not saying there isn’t a theory of the case for Kelley, but I don’t get her certainty.
Kelley’s read of Victoria F is spot on, as Victoria F seems to actively push Peter away. Her first conversation with Peter of the date (at least that we are shown) starts off downright confrontational. Peter says “I know that we’ve kind of had stuff in the past… and it has me confused right now. I want to know what you make of that.” Victoria F responds “I don’t really know… and if that’s what you want to use our time to talk about… I mean every single time we’re together I feel like you’re always in a mood and it’s extremely frustrating.” They are sort of fighting on an elimination date! That’s rare, friends. Victoria F seems to convince Peter that she is just worried about losing Peter and that is why she is a handful. Victoria F tells the camera she is “mortified” how the conversation went, and tells Hannah Ann and Kelley that they have great relationships with Peter. It is notable that Victoria F has “melted down” on just about every date with Peter and gotten a lot of roses for it. Maybe she has cracked the code?
Kelley seems downright villainous on this date as edited, which means she won’t be the Bachelorette. Kelley tells the camera “I’m an attorney, what are these girls?” In my experience “I’m an attorney” rarely gets you anything anywhere, except I guess money sometimes. Peter says he has everything he needs to make his decision, and asks Victoria F to walk with him. I think we are meant to believe this is a walkout, but Peter is holding a rose, so it is ambiguous. Peter walks Victoria F to a limo, and gives her the rose. I think this is kind of a shitty way to ask her to stay. Victoria F could definitely have thought she was getting dumped, which is what usually happens when you are walked to a waiting car by the Bachelor. Victoria F also could totally have, like, punched him. She is a loose cannon. But I guess she didn’t so Peter puts her into a limo to Lima and not a limo to the airport.
Kelley and Hannah Ann see that Peter is returning without Victoria F or the rose, and they have figured out that Peter is keeping Victoria F around. Peter picks up the last ticket to hometowns and says “Hannah Ann, I have enjoyed so much just your sweet nature and I appreciate your honesty, and I have enjoyed every moment with you up to this point.” Then he turns to Kelley and says “Kelley, I have been so excited about our relationship this entire time and where I could see it going and the potential and I don’t really know why we met the way we did and I’m grateful for it.”
Apparently Victoria F got to hear the verdict in private, but either Kelley or Hannah Ann will get the ax in front of the other. Peter decided to add “fucking with everyone on the group date” to his repertoire. Peter says “this hurts me and this is so difficult… Hannah Ann, will you accept this rose.”
Honestly, if Kelley liked Peter she probably stopped somewhere during this date. He chose two people Kelley doesn’t think much of, and he dumped Kelley to her face in front of Hannah Ann after proving he could do it differently just minutes before when he walked Victoria F away to get his decision. Hannah Ann starts sobbing with relief and Peter walks Kelley to the airport limo. It is now very dark. This was a long hacienda day.
Peter tells Kelley “Believe me I wish that this could have worked, you were the relationship I was most excited about from the beginning.” While dumping someone, it is probably a good idea to tell them that they really dropped the ball somehow. “You had it in the bag, and you let it get away. What is wrong with you?” Peter somehow restrains himself from adding. Kelley seems pretty over it, so if that was the plan it worked great. Her response is “Yeah, it sucks that this didn’t work out. Figure out the things you need to figure out.” Kelley leaves with her head held high. In the limo Kelley says it sucks and then bags on Peter and the “children” he is dating. She adds “thank you for not coming and meeting my family.”
Peter walks Hannah Ann back into the suite and the women seem legit excited to see her. The four women share a bottle of champagne as if champagne-ghazi never happened. The real excitement is in the teaser for the rest of the season. And this teaser might be worth watching if you haven’t. We find out that Madison is “saving herself for marriage” and it sounds like that will be controversial. And I’m not even going to try to figure out what causes all the drama that is clearly coming our way. All indications are that a so-so season with a terrible Bachelor is going to finish strong (or at least in an interesting way). And you know where to get long-winded and not-very-cogent analysis!