Recap: The Bachelorette Season Finale

Torinn Fennelly - August 9, 2017

I can’t believe I am going to die one day and I wasted three hours of my life watching this bullshit, only for Rachel to wind up engaged to that sexy, phony chiropractor Bryan.

Where did it all go wrong? If you ask Rachel, she said she knew Peter wasn’t the man for her in Geneva. If you ask me, Rachel decided she didn’t want to be with Peter when it became clear that Peter wasn’t going to be getting down on one knee at the end of this “journey” – which is exactly the kind of thinking that deterred me from watching this show for so many years.

Maybe Rachel truly loves Bryan – I hope she does – but, rather than a grandiose love story, this finale looked more like a rehashing of the time-old trope of a woman prioritizing the guarantee of marriage over an exciting, fulfilling life. I want to be clear: I’m not saying that Rachel should necessarily be with Peter, but I definitely don’t think she should be with Bryan.

Before I get into all that – the episode picks up with Peter’s one-on-one date with Rachel. God, this feels like a year ago. Peter and Rachel are, once again, discussing the fact that Peter doesn’t feel ready to propose yet – he thinks it’s too soon and he doesn’t plan on proposing more than once. I respect that Peter is so principled, but he did go on a reality show that’s whole objective is to get engaged. Rachel gives Peter the ~FANTASY SUITE~ card anyway and they head to the bedroom, which looks more like a cabin bunk on a New Kids on the Block cruise than a romantic boudoir.

The next morning, Rachel spends the morning with a shirtless Peter before heading to her one-on-one date with Bryan. Rachel spends most of the date thinking about her conversation with Peter, which only further proves that Bryan is not the man for her. Surprise, surprise: Bryan gets a ~FANTASY SUITE~ card and they (probably) bone in the hella swanky bedroom. Bryan got the fancy Swiss watch and the super luxe suite? Unfair.

Rachel and Bryan share strawberries in bed. “Which tastes sweeter me or the strawberries?” Rachel asks. Bryan replies “you,” before she’s even done asking the question. It took all the strength I could muster not to vomit at how ridiculously corny they are together. FINALLY, it’s rose ceremony time! Rachel gives the first rose to Bryan before staring directly into Peter’s eyes and stating that she needs to get a ring by the end of this. Peter gets the last rose, sending Eric home. Eric and Rachel share a sweet goodbye – he thanks her and she says that she loves him, but she has stronger feelings for Peter and Bryan. I hope Eric is the next Bachelor. He is so good-looking, especially now that his beard has grown in, and a total sweetheart.

Rachel has a date with each of the final contestants before P-Day (Proposal Day). She and Bryan go in a hot air balloon. Cool? I guess? I never understood why those things were supposed to be romantic.

Rachel and Peter have their final date at a monastery. Hot. Peter keeps talking about a future with Rachel, but still won’t budge his position on proposing. In the evening, they discuss the proposal issue once again while a lonely dessert sits between them untouched. Rachel intensifies her demands for a proposal and Peter retorts by asking her to tell him that she wants to spend the rest of her life with him. She replies that she can’t. Of course, she can’t! The next hour and a half of the finale depend on Rachel not admitting that. However, as a fellow control freak, I understand where Peter is coming from – why should he have to admit to wanting to marry her when she can’t admit that yet either? But! Again! Peter signed up to a be contestant on a television show where he has to risk being emotionally vulnerable and The Bachelorette makes the decisions.

Both of them get teary-eyed – Rachel cries her fake eyelashes off. Peter asks for her to wait for tomorrow, but Rachel says she can’t do that unless he will propose. Peter says he would be willing to compromise his beliefs and propose in order to keep Rachel in his life. Rachel says she doesn’t want to force him to do that. They tell each other they love each other and share a final kiss. Lots of dramatic music. Rachel says that she can’t say goodbye and walks out.

There is palpable tension between Rachel and Peter during the live discussion with Chris Harrison. I think it’s pretty evident that neither of them is over the other. Rachel repeatedly says that Peter isn’t cut out for this expedited process and she’s right. But is anyone cut out for this? Can anyone meet someone, fall in love, get engaged, and be on track for a successful marriage in just nine weeks? I don’t think so.

From this point on, there’s no surprises. Rachel stands on some magical Spanish hill and awaits Bryan’s arrival. He shows up with a pear-shaped Neil Lane diamond in tow. Neither of them seem especially excited or emotional – there was more feeling behind Rachel’s non-goodbye to Peter than there is in this proposal. Bryan bends down on one knee and confidently asks, “Will you be my reina forever and marry me?” to which Rachel replies, “Give it to me!”

I hate pear-shaped diamonds. And I sure as hell hope that, when I get engaged, I am more excited about the man than the ring.

There ya go. That was season 13 of The Bachelorette. It was incredibly depressing to watch a successful, beautiful woman, who seemed so set on building a life with an equal, settle for a fraud with fake cheeks and a garish diamond. I like Rachel and I wish the best to her and Bryan, but it would have been refreshing to see a woman choose the person she really found compelling or to be – gasp – single than end up with someone she and her family are suspicious of just because he was willing to guarantee a wedding.

ABC only made matters worse by having Chris Harrison play the teaser for Bachelor in Paradise, which exploits the show’s recent sexual assault scandal. It broke my heart even more when I found out that my baby Dean is going to be a participant in this nonsense.

It’s been real, Bachelor Nation!

Torinn Fennelly

Torinn Fennelly is a junior English major and Philadelphia native. In addition to writing for the Moviegoer, Torinn works at the Marks Family Center for Programs in Contemporary Writing and is a staff member at the Penn Review. Torinn enjoys writing fiction, visiting museums, and watching Mad Men in her spare time. Some of her favorite filmmakers are Sofia Coppola, Steve McQueen, and Billy Wilder.