Tuesday, August 8, 2017

the bachelorette & the BLOW OFF: season finale

Have we all recovered from last night's finale? The correct answer to this question is NO. I will never recover from last night's finale. The way it ended will never not hurt. I'm angry. I'm frustrated. I'm heartbroken. I truly believe we witnessed someone make the biggest mistake of their life. I don't know if this will be a recap or just an epic rant about fame and modern love and diamond engagement rings. I apologize if what follows is just a litany of complaints. Beginning with:


The new format. WTF was ABC thinking with this wonky format? Just let us watch the show in peace without constantly interrupting the drama with Chris Harrison interviewing Rachel, followed by live reaction shots from an audience of people who get all their clothes from Ross Dress for Less. I used to be a network executive, so I understand the thought process behind this decision. There's a significant ratings drop off in the 10pm hour when ABC usually airs the After the Final Rose. In order to keep viewers engaged for the entire THREE HOURS, they decided to do a hybrid finale/after show. But this took out so much of the suspense, and didn't allow me to remain in denial till the last possible minute.

Anyway. The show picked up where it left off last week with Rachel and Peter having a heart to heart about whether or not Peter would be ready to propose at the end of the show. Rachel makes it clear that she wants a proposal. Peter makes it clear that he doesn't think he's going to be ready for that, because he's not an insane person. He believes an engagement is followed by marriage. Rachel believes that an engagement is followed by dating and getting to know each other, while wearing a sparkly diamond. Despite their differences, they decide to forgo their individual suites and spend the night together in the fantasy suite... except it appears the producers blew their entire budget on Bryan's watch and booked them a quaint airbnb instead. They pretty much were forced to have sex in a loft bed. There's a 1000% chance they woke up riddled with bed bug bites. But Rachel and Peter seem happy. They got closer last night and maybe, just maybe, they can get on the same page by go time.

I don't remember much about Bryan and Rachel's last date together except that Rachel was still a bit off-kilter from her date with Peter. Luckily, she had thirsty AF Bry to cheer her up. This guy would probably agree to marry her on the spot if it guaranteed him a stint on Celebrity Marriage Boot Camp. Their fantasy suite is-- no joke-- a mansion compared to where she spent the night with Peter. Bryan gifts her with a Spanish-English dictionary and highlights essential words like "Wife" and "famous" and "money" and "fancy watches" and "blow jobs." Can any of my Spanish speaking friends confirm whether Bry is actually fluent in Espanol? I swear that every time he speaks it sounds like he's just adding a vowel to English words.

Bryan to Rachel: Tu looka spectaculara.
Bryan to Rachel: Yo quiero make-a lov-a con tu.
Bryan to Rachel: Abre your moutha, so yo peudo sticka mi tongue-a down it.
Um, no you're not.
Needless to say, I hate Bryan. I dislike so much about him. His terrible beard. The way he speaks. His fashion sense. His fake cheeks. His overbearing mother. I could freeze to death from the douche chills he gives off.

Rose ceremony time. At this point, I'm fairly certain that Eric will be sent home (making it official that NO African-American contestant has ever made it further than fantasy suite dates). I was REALLY sad to see Eric go. I truly believe he was the only one who was in love with Rachel and ready to marry her. Bryan just wanted to win the contest and Peter wanted to have a normal relationship before taking that step. Eric knew that a woman like Rachel was hard to come by and he wasn't going to let her slip through his fingers. But Rachel was smart to let Eric go at this stage to prevent the finale from turning into a black guy VS white guy debate. (Instead, it turned into the most amazing guy in the world VS reject from a late 90s boy band debate).

Eric also handled the break up like a champ, because he's an incredible guy and manages to have a positive attitude about everything. And that is a quality you want in the person you spend the rest of your life with. My husband is unrelentingly positive about EVERYTHING and even though it can be kind of annoying at times, it makes life so much more pleasant and less daunting. My heart breaks into a million pieces when Eric confesses in his exit interview that he will always be in love with Rachel.

I nearly choke on my own vomit and die when Bryan makes a show of hugging and comforting Rachel after the rose ceremony. Forcing Peter to stand next to Bryan is like watching Hillary Clinton tolerate Donald Trump during the presidential debates. It's laughable that these two should even be in the same category together.

But all of this gets interrupted by the live interview with Rachel and Eric that should have taken place AFTER the show. At the start of the live show, we saw Eric, Peter, and Bryan waiting backstage and Eric was sporting a new beard. This was a dead giveaway that he gets dumped. Men grow beards after break-ups. It's a proven fact. Once again, Eric was cordial and diplomatic with Rachel and wished her all the best. I'm also pretty sure he let slip that he asked both Rachel's mom and dad for her hand in marriage. This bodes the question: Did Papa Lindsay meet all the guys off camera?! Someone find out! Anyway, I completely approve of Eric as the next Bachelor... except for the fact that I'm not ready to quit Peter.
Literally every female across America when Peter was on our TVs
And that brings me to the most heart-wrenching moment of the finale. It's Rachel and Peter's last date, and the topic of the proposal comes up. Things get tense quickly when Peter says he's still not ready to ask her to marry him by tomorrow. Rachel tells him that she MUST get a proposal at the end of this. Peter wants to know if he's the guy who Rachel wants to marry, and she says she can't answer that (cause she's not allowed contractually). The conversation is super heated, painful, and completely realistic. We all rooted for Peter when he said, "I choose to have one opportunity [to propose] and that is my choice." He also warns Rachel that she'll be choosing a mediocre life if they end things now (um, agreed! Also, nice burn to Bryan!) It was hard to watch, because we've all been there. We've all talked in circles with someone we've loved-- knowing that one of us would have to say "uncle" first, bringing the relationship to its inevitable end. And that we'd have to say good bye, knowing we might not see that person ever again. It's fucking brutal. It's so dramatic that for once they didn't even need to have music playing in the background.
actual video of me watching Peter & Rachel break up
In the end, neither is willing to give in and they decide it's time to say good bye. Rachel cries so hard that her fake eyelashes fall off (thank God, they were so over the top). They say "I love you" to each other and Rachel leaves. Peter cries so hard that he needs to take his shirt off to wipe his tears. I felt gutted by the time it was over. Peter was being sensible and logical and that made me fall in love with him even more. I've read a few think pieces and some are saying that Peter knew the kind of show that he signed up for, and he should have been willing to play by the rules and get down on one knee (however, the show doesn't always end with an engagement). Perhaps he was angling to be The Bachelor all along, but don't think that was the case. The tears prove that he was wrecked by the whole thing and that he knew there was a very good chance he would regret letting Rachel go. I also believe that he did fight for her. He did everything in his power to beg her to reconsider. He may have actually gotten down on one knee, but Rachel didn't want the proposal to come from a place of peer pressure. (Instead, she got one that came from a place of a pure desire for fame and a televised wedding.)

I totally get that this whole conversation was a trigger for Rachel and that she's felt strung along in past relationships, BUT this was a guy she'd only been dating for six weeks. You can't compare his reluctance to get engaged with the reluctance of someone you'd been with for five years.

I know all of us were hoping that there would be some crazy third act twist and that Peter would change his mind. He'd stop Neil Lane at the airport, get another ring, race to the winery in Rioja, and just as he got out the limo... he'd punch Bryan in the face, and tell Rachel that there's no one he'd rather peruse a farmer's market with. The wind would die down just as they'd come in for a kiss... and all of us would live happily ever after.

But our hopes were dashed when Peter joined Rachel on stage during the after show, and they publicly hashed out their break up. Peter was petrified to see Rachel again. He was shaking the whole time. He was clearly emotional... and I think that made Rachel feel things she didn't want to feel. She was defensive and borderline mean at times. The word "angry" was thrown around (which HELLO, CHRIS HARRISON-- that has some super negative racial connotations to it), and Peter said he felt like he was being attacked. I will be honest-- I felt like he was being attacked too. I understand why this accusation wouldn't sit well with Rachel, but the way she turned to him and said "I'M LIVING MY BEST LIFE" was meant as a dig. It also made me wonder if she goes to bed at night saying, "I'm living my best life" over and over again until she believes it.
Rachel.

I also really felt Peter's pain when he said he stared at Rachel's fake eyelashes that were left on the floor for two days. It's kind of symbolic, no? All he had left of her was the facade forced upon her by reality TV. But Rachel also didn't mince words when she said that Peter isn't right for this show/process. According to her, he's someone who needs to take his time with relationships, so maybe this franchise isn't for him. Translation: "You will be the next bachelor over my dead body." This is when I start to get angry. I'm not ready to say good bye to Peter. I need him to be the next Bachelor. Rachel doesn't get a say anymore.
All of us at the end of the finale.
The remaining 40 minutes of the show were difficult to stomach. Stupid fuckface Bryan picks out his engagement ring. Rachel waits for him in an atrocious silver dress (side note: what happened to her fashion sense in this episode? Every outfit looked straight out of Wet Seal circa 1994).  It's windy. Like, it's the end of the world windy. Apparently, even Mother Nature was Team Peter. Rachel claims to be confused about things after her break up with Peter, but then she very happily accepts a proposal from a guy who described their first kiss as,  "a chemistry bomb." Ugh, Bryan is the absolute worst! I never once disliked Rachel Lindsay until she flashed her engagement ring and giggled like a lovesick teenager. I expect this from the other bachelorettes, but not her. She's too smart and interesting and accomplished to care this much about a diamond ring paid for by product placement.

The interview with Chris Harrison was as terrible as we all expected. Here's a picture of Bryan blowing kisses to the camera before he went on stage:
Bry and Rachel have no plans for a wedding yet. She literally says they just want to date and get to know each other. Bry lets slip that they might move to Los Angeles together (barf). It's also telling that Rachel's family is not in the audience. She says and I quote:

"My family is skeptical. They just needed to get to know Bryan and see who he is. And they have. And they trust me."

It's not exactly a ringing endorsement. She's essentially saying-- they think this is fake ass bullshit, but they haven't disowned me over it.

The NY Times article by writer Amanda Hesse discusses the Peter break up and states: "But even if I wasn’t Team Just Not Bryan, I would feel sad to see it all go down this way. Rachel didn’t deserve this. Didn’t all the white girls get to choose for themselves?"

They actually didn't. Ali Fedotowsky was famously dumped by Frank (and she was a sobbing mess b/c of it). Desiree Hartstock was dumped by Brooks (who was the obvious frontrunner), and we all watched her nearly quit the show only to settle for Chris (whom she married and had a baby with). Unfortunately, I don't know that race is a factor when it comes to the expectation and desire for a "fairy tale" ending. Perhaps it's time that ABC realizes that the audience doesn't need a proposal. As women, we know how rare it is to find someone we're interested in dating-- who's also interested in dating us. That in itself can feel like the stars have finally aligned. It's much more painful to watch someone settle. If getting to know Rachel has proven anything to us-- it's this: she's the last person who should have to settle.

But here's another scenario that might be even more disturbing. Did Rachel settle or did she want Bryan all along? Sure, there were tears when she broke up with Peter and she did seem mighty defensive in an "I still love you" sort of way during their interview, BUT I thought it was obvious throughout the whole season that Bryan was the one to beat. Especially when she got upset with her family for having their doubts about him (like the rest of the world). If this is true, it would also mean that she was pressuring Peter to propose, even though she had no intention of accepting his proposal. 

All of that said, I'm not willing to give up on Peter and Rachel. I think they could still end up together. I for one still have hope that she won't end up married to Bryan... and that perhaps she can't stand the idea of Peter being the next Bachelor, because she's come to her senses and does love him. I'm just going to go on hoping that eventually these two will spend the rest of their lives telling each other when they have kale stuck in the adorable gaps in their front teeth.

So that was it. My last recap of the Bachelor(ette) ever. Guys, it's been SO much fun recapping 17 SEASONS of The Bachelor & Bachelorette & Bachelor in Paradise on this site. Thank you for reading, sharing, and all your comments. I'll miss writing these recaps, but I promise I'll still be watching and tweeting. Follow me @saaaranotsarah for my Bachelor in Paradise live tweets.

xo
Sara

3 comments:

  1. First, I am so sad that this is your last recap. I will miss them so much, though I understand. I too am very angry. I probably have more emotions than one should about two people I do not know on a reality tv show. BUT I don't like Rachel anymore. I do not like that she literally screamed "Gimme Gimme" when she saw the ring (even though it was pear shaped. It was still a Neil Lane Sparkler." I did not like that she was so mean to Peter on ATFR. He was a good guy, he clearly cared about her, he was genuine, heck he offered to give up all he believes in and get down on one knee even though they dated for 6 weeks and she was simultaneously dating other men. He did not deserve that. That was not being strong or sassy, she was a straight up bitter bitch in that moment. There I said it. When Desiree settled for Chris, I remember feeling sad for her. It just seemed like all she wanted was to be loved. And Chris was a good guy. With Rachel, it seems like all she wants is to be engaged. And Brian is a douche. And the fact that he does not seem to care at all that she displayed such strong emotions towards Peter and clearly STILL cares a lot hence all of the bitterness (genuinely happy people are not that bitter towards their exes) is a bit alarming to me. But they get their People Magazine cover and morning talk show circuit so all is well. Whether Rachel wanted Brian all along and just wanted to know that Peter did in fact want to marry her, or really wanted Peter but wanted a ring and televised proposal more, both seem wrong to me. And while I'm sure it would reallllly piss her off to see Peter be The Bachelor and fall in love and propose to someone making her realize that maybe he just didn't want to marry HER, I personally would love to watch. So this is basically like my own blog about it, but you know how I roll. Can't wait for Paradise and I will definitely be following your tweets.

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  2. I thought Bryan was the one all along (eye roll) so she probably was going to make him purpose and then say No. Loved Reading your recaps!I actually looked forward to your weekly recaps more than the actual show! Soo IF Peter is the next bachelor, might you consider a special recap?? I really hope its either Peter or Eric for the next Bachelor!

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  3. I could cry thinking this is the end! Thanks for all you've done.. I agree with Reilly and would love if you surprised us with a special edition post IF Peter (or Eric<<my choice!) Become the next bachelor. In the meantime, I will dust off my never used Twitter account ONLY because the thought of your live tweets during BIP give me hope that I'll still be able to enjoy this franchise without having these hilarious and spot on recaps every week. 💙👏👍😁

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