the bachelorette, season thirteen, episode eleven: is there ANYTHING that can get me excited for paradise?
It’s time for the final two dates, thank god. Bryan and Rachel go on a hot air balloon and I cannot begin to give any kind of a fuck about him. I actually got up and cooked bacon in their date because I don’t even care. The whole date takes less than 6 and a half minutes, so they know we want to get to the goods. Bryan gives Rachel a custom Spanish-English Language dictionary and if women could lose their boners, this would make me look into a Viagra prescription. I can GOOGLE, motherfucker.
We enter into Peter’s final date and shit feels ominous. A monk takes them on a tour of a monastery, where Peter is feeling anxious about the idea of proposing to Rachel. Peter knows he’s falling in love with her, that he wants to spend his life with her, but he doesn’t know if it’s true love. He wants Rachel to be his wife and marriage doesn’t scare him, but he doesn’t know if he can propose.
Uh, Peter? You need one to get to the other. Stop talking about the future with her if you’re not going to give her what she wants.
They head into the evening part of their dates when Rachel and Peter are wearing the same thing. Rachel tells him that the “Motherfucker, don’t get me up on that platform just to shoot me down” part of her speech in the rose ceremony was mostly for him. He tells her he loves her, but he’s not ready to propose because they’ve known each other about sixteen hours in total. Rachel calls him out for selling her a dream, and she doesn’t want someone who just wants to date her, she wants to know that whatever happens will eventually end in marriage.
The thing is, in any other scenario, Peter is correct. In this one, though, he’s wrong. Peter, you went on a fucking game show. I hate to call a woman a “prize” because women are not objects to be won, but the simple premise of this show is to fucking win. And to hopefully find love/marriage/sex/babies and all of that, but it’s mostly to WIN, and in this case, the prize is an engagement. You knew that going in. It’s like going on Jeopardy and being upset that you’re already given the answers and you have to provide the question.
Alec Trebek would have a field day with you, Peter.
When he says “I only have one opportunity at a proposal”, Rachel is right to call him out that he’s only allowing himself one opportunity. He’s choosing to be stubborn. He wants her to tell him that he’s the man she’s going to spend her life with, even though he knows she can’t and isn’t allowed to answer that question. We saw it implode in Ben’s face when he told both of his F2 that he loved them. But what I am sure of is if she had, he would have proposed. As much as Rachel wanted assuredness and confidence that This Was It, so did Peter. But The Bachelorette is not a conventional way to fall in love. You have to gamble on your feelings. That's the entire conceit of the show. You're always going to wonder if this person loves you as much as you love them.
Finally, Peter says that if it will keep her in his life, he’s willing to go through the whole shebang with her and get down on one knee the next day. He doesn’t think it’s the right time, but she’s the right person. He’ll go against his own personal stance on proposals and marriage just to keep her. And Rachel doesn’t want a proposal just to see how things might work out.
Personally, I think Peter wanted to have fun and potentially become The Bachelor and didn’t realize until it was time that - OH SHIT - he might have to get on one knee and ask this girl to marry him. It’s all fun and games until someone gets hurt. Rachel was pretty much begging him to ask her to marry him and then realized: oh wait, I have another dude who’s super into me and who I don’t have to literally beg to be in love with and want me. There’s no guarantee with Peter, unfortunately, and no one wants to be the one who pressured someone to want to be with them.
I hate that I get it. I don’t agree with it, but I get it.
Peter wishes Rachel the very best when Rachel says she can’t go through the rose ceremony if he’s just going to be her boyfriend. It’s soul crushing. There all is aching.
And then I realize: FUCKING BRYAN WINS BY FUCKING DEFAULT??????????????????
And then I’m in a rage unlike any other that could possibly be seen in my lifetime. I knew it was going to happen, I didn’t want it to, but here we are. Alas. I can’t even cry when Peter says they’re both going to regret this decision. I mean, maybe? I don’t think so, though. Peter, you knew what you were getting into. You knew, and you couldn’t bring yourself to do it. This ain’t right, but it’s what had to happen. He tells her that she’ll have a mediocre life without him, and I gasped aloud. Oh my god. What a thing to say. Choosing a man in general is settling for mediocrity because that's heterosexual dating in 2017, but damn, Peter.
Our last shot of Peter is him ripping off his sweater and crying into it. Peter, I still don’t want you to be The Bachelor, but UGH.
Here’s the thing, though: we already had this finale. We had it twice - Desiree and Andi’s seasons, respectively. Well, not really. If you married both of those finales together, dabbled a little more awkwardness in there, you’d get this episode. At least Desiree didn’t have to sit there and watch herself sob hysterically over Brooks deciding to eliminate himself despite her only wanting and being interested in him the entire time only to turn around the next day and get engaged to another man in front of a live audience. Andi - a lawyer from the South - picked Josh Murray (barf) - a smarmy, skeevy, kind-of-good-looking-in-a-tilt-your-head-and-the-light-hits-him-just-right-kind-of-way former baseball player. We’ve seen it before, and I’m disappointed as all hell by it. Then again, this show only ever has three results they just rotate from season-to-season.
Peter comes out to talk to Rachel with Chris Harrison, and things are tense as hell. Peter tries to explain himself but really just blathers on for a bit because he doesn’t know how he couldn’t get to a proposal. Rachel mentions that it wasn’t that she wanted a proposal, she wanted to feel like he was really going to commit to her instead of just saying empty things and not going through with them. Be less of a Junot Diaz novel, Peter. Quit it with the empty platitudes. Rachel throws mad shade when he tries to be like “I couldn’t get out of my own head,” and she’s like “Nah, you took your time and worked at your own pace and stuck to your guns, but this format isn’t for you.”
Read: You Should Not Be The Bachelor.
And I think she has a good point, despite people on the internet thinking this was a nasty, shady comment. If Peter thinks being The Bachelor means he’ll have the reins, he’s wrong. You lose even more of your agency when you become the lead of this show, and everyone who’s read an article with Jason Mesnick knows this. The producers have a show to make, and you’re just as much of a player in their game as the other contestants. We’ve seen what happens when the Bachelor tries to go rogue (Juan Pablo had to leave the country, for fuck's sake). You can’t “take your time” when you're on someone else's dime. He tries to apologize for the “mediocre life” comment, and Rachel shuts that shit down because she’s living her “best life” without him anyway.
Peter claims that he “feels attacked”, a classic move by white people towards black people upon being held accountable for their actions. It’s misogynoir to prey upon the “angry black woman” trope, and I am fucking tired of seeing it happen, even subconsciously. Rachel’s assessing her feelings on the situation, not attacking you, Peter. Sorry you feel attacked but that's on you, not on Rachel. We find out that Peter tried to reach out to Rachel but he wasn’t allowed to, for obvious reasons, and that he left her eyelashes on the floor for two days. Wasn’t he staying in a hotel? I'm legit imagining Housekeeping coming in and trying to sweep them up and him emphatically yelling NOOOOOOOOOOOO.
Also, if you break up with a girl due to your lack of commitment, don’t contact her again. She doesn't want to hear from you, because you probably haven't changed your mind - just hoping she changed hers.
I guess we’ll get through the proposal even though I’m gagging. And not in the good Drag Race kind of way, either.
Amanda’s Final Assessments of the Season as a Whole: