For a recap of night two of the "Bachelor" finale, click here.
It all makes sense now.
About midway though Monday night's (almost) season finale, a scene happened that suddenly explained everything about Peter's bad season of "The Bachelor." It was like the great questions of the universe suddenly snapped together and I could see the world as it truly is, like Neo being able to see the code of "The Matrix." The flip-flopping decision-making skills. The inability to turn down tears. The easy emotional manipulation and appreciation of drama over all else. All of Peter's missteps suddenly had a reason after this scene – and best of all, it was the moment we'd been waiting for in the first place: Peter's mom losing it over ... somebody and tearfully demanding that he DON'T LET HER GO! Last night's episode doesn't excuse all the bad decisions Peter's made this season – and he's pretty much only made bad decisions – but it certainly helps explain a little bit why Peter's been so bad at being "The Bachelor."
On the set of Disney's future live-action "Rescuers Down Under" remake, Peter's getting ready to introduce his family to his final two women: Hannah Ann Jenna Dewan and Madison. But first, he explains to his mom, his dad (who may be Sully Sullenberger) and his brother how he got to this point – and that means telling his parents about how he got in trouble with Madison for, literally, sleeping around too much. Always a fun conversation I love to have on camera with my son! He explains the Madison Ultimatum (which I believe was the third movie after the Madison Identity and the Madison Supremacy) and that Madison told him that she would have a hard time staying with him if he decided to have sex with his other two girlfriends – so Peter ignored that and had sex with his other two girlfriends. After they get all of that out of the way, the family asks about Peter's self-stabbing scar before talking about Hannah Ann – which feels like a bad sign. They wanted to know more about his Harry Potter scar than you, Hannah Ann.
Anyways, after Peter goes outside to pensively think and stare into the middle distance for a bit, he grabs Hannahannannannann and introduces her to the family. She notes that getting to know Peter has been the best part of her experience (though the free vacations and the free clothes she won in that runway competition probably come in a close second). And then, because she did her research and studied before this date, Hannah Ann Bananarama quickly and regularly starts tearing up. A MASTERFUL PLAY! She knows Peter can't resist that human rain. She's definitely the leader in the clubhouse after that move – though her actual conversations with the rest of the family go well too as she talks nicely with Peter's mom about how they're going to grow together as a couple, not change each other, as well as with Peter's dad about how he thought she was great in the first "Step Up" movie.
Overall, Hannah Ann seems a little scripted, like she's memorized the "Bachelor" Season Finale Contestant playbook rather than actually feeling this stuff, but she seems pleasant and nice in general – and the family seems to really like and believe her. She would not be a bad winner; she's basically like Lauren B. from Arie's season, but slightly more interesting and with more lines.
Hannah Ann Duran Duran's date was always going to be the easy part, though. Now it's Madison's turn to meet the family – but first, they still have a lot to talk about because Madison's still frustrated by Peter. She's upset that she shared her heart and shared something important to her and their relationship, and he put his own desires and his other relationships (or at least the physical aspect of them) above that. Peter's a little frustrated too, upset that it took so long for Madison to tell him about her expectations – and then did so with an ultimatum – all while keeping her feelings seemingly close to the vest. The two sit outside for a LONG time, marinating in their frustrated feelings and trying to figure out the best way forward. Meanwhile, Peter's family is stuck inside twiddling their thumbs, wondering if Harrison gave Madison's Uber the directions to the right house. Somewhere, Victoria F.'s family can relate.
Eventually, Madison starts thinking about their good times – like dangling off the side of a giant building like they're cosplaying "Mission Impossible" – and after she opens up about falling in love with Peter, the two decide to keep trying to make this work. GOOD FOR YOU KIDS! And what better way to relax after finally mending one's relationship than awkwardly meeting a guy's family and talking more about that time you got in a fight because he had sex with his two other girlfriends when you specifically asked him not to! WEEEEE!
After that fun chat, the family all snags some one-on-one chat time with Madison and Peter – and THINGS GET FUN. First, Peter's brother has some real questions about this whole thing, mainly that Peter is seemingly a party animal and he wonders how Madison will feel about all of that. I'm sure Peter's brother does his share of nightlife-ing as well, but the vibe of this conversation is VERY much that Lil' Peter is not impressed with his brother's choices.
But if you thought the brother was bringing the fire, YOU DON'T KNOW THE MEANING OF THE WORDS because Peter's mom is chatting with Madison – and she is a lot. Even more so than you might've assumed from the tearful "BRING HER HOME TO US!" clip! She challenges Madison about her faith-based lifestyle choices and how compatible they are with Peter's "socializing." This is a fair point – but the way it's addressed by the family, particularly the mom, feels REAL judgmental toward Madison's life choices, coming off much more peeved that she stood up for herself and might get in the way of her son's partying days. Your son getting laid four times in a windmill on national television? Confetti! Your son's new girlfriend standing up for her personal beliefs and her say in a relationship? Concerning. AND HERE I WAS THINKING THAT THE FAMILY WOULD LIKE SOMEBODY WHO STOOD UP FOR HERSELF!
Madi: is family oriented, speaks her mind, fights for what she loves, stands up for her beliefs
Peter’s family: but she won’t party with you..... #TheBachelor pic.twitter.com/jfYrgljr1y — Larissa Cambusano (@LCambusano) March 10, 2020
After Madison leaves, Peter's mom lays it straight out for her son: SHE DOES NOT LIKE MADISON. She's not there for you, she argues to Peter. She wants Hannah Ann – because, hey, she's known her for a whole 45 minutes. Peter's mom also notes that she prayed for someone to make her son happy, and that person is clearly (to her and her alone) Hannah Ann – which feels like a gross way to top off this conversation. You spent the last ten minutes judging one woman and questioning her compatibility based on her faith, but then use religion as the trump card to back your particular favorite contestant? HARD PASS.
And then, The Scene happens, as Peter's mom breaks down and begs Peter to bring Hannah Ann – sure as hell not Madison – back home to them. And boy, does this help explain why Peter's been such a bad "Bachelor" this season. No wonder he's so painfully susceptible to crying and giving in to women making big dramatic emotional scenes. No wonder he's so easily manipulated and wishy-washy in making decisions. THAT'S APPARENTLY BEHAVIOR HE'S LIVED WITH HIS ENTIRE LIFE! This scene's like the Rosetta Stone of understanding a bad "Bachelor"; it just unlocks everything. All of a sudden, everything with Victoria F. makes infinitely more sense after seeing Peter's mom try to get her way with her son by causing a big crying and irrationally emotional scene – all in the name of a woman she's known for maybe an hour, all in the name of her son getting to still party and get laid. Hey, your son's almost 30 now and trying to get married; maybe it's not the worst thing in the world if he's not hitting the clubs on the regular now?
Anyway, while the audience is feeling like the detective at the end of "Usual Suspects," mentally putting all the pieces together and finally solving the case of why Peter's not good at this (though, important note, Peter's a grown-ass man and only has himself to blame for his own many, many bad decisions this season) even he's put off by how hard his mom is pushing her own feelings and opinions onto him. As a result, he leaves to sit on a rock like a sad seven-year-old.
After all of that drama, Peter and Madison need some more time to think about their relationship and what all happened with his family. So they take a helicopter ride above the Australian wilderness in awkward silence – save for Peter quick reading off a Wikipedia page about the Uluru rock formation. So yeah, the chemistry right now is THAT GOOD. The two park the helicopter, hang out with the comic relief villain hyenas from "The Lion King" and then have an important chat – or at least TRY to have an important chat, but a whole mess of bugs want to hang out instead and apparently nobody on the crew packed bugspray.
In between bug bites, Madison comes to the conclusion that they're not actually good together. She's thinking about the bigger picture – and maybe his family's actually right and they're just not compatible. Plus, there's no chance she wouldn't spend much of their relationship thinking about the time he chose sex with two other women over her. That's the kind of thing that will stick with a person. So after a sad hug goodbye, Madison drives back into society while Peter continues to roam the desert, thinking about his life choices and getting bitten by more flies. Or maybe he wants to wander the desert to impress Madison because YOU KNOW WHO ELSE WANDERED THE DESERT THINKING ABOUT TEMPTATION!?
After 40 days and 40 nights in the desert – or maybe just 40 minutes – Peter's in a rough spot, so much so even Harrison looks haggard. But he's still got a decision to make – a slightly easier one now, you would think, considering there's literally only one person left. But he still wants to take his time apparently with Hannah Ann, so the two go back out into the desert for a date with off-brand Crocodile Dundee and some adorable baby kangaroos. YOU DON'T DESERVE PRECIOUS JOEYS RIGHT NOW, PETER! And apparently he feels the same way because, despite the cuteness overload and being with a woman he's fallen in love with, he seems distant and out of it – so much so that even Hannah Ann notices.
So, later that night, they meet up another date – Hannah Ann dressed to the nines in a beautiful cocktail dress, Peter in a friggin' hoodie and a T-shirt. WAY TO PUT FORTH AN EFFORT, DUDE. And props to Hannah Ann, she calls him out on it – OK, not on the wardrobe choice, but on the fact that she feels like she's putting in the effort and really trying to be the one for him ... and Peter's not picking her. WAIT UNTIL SHE FINDS OUT THAT HER COMPETITION RIGHT NOW IS LITERALLY NO COMPETITION! Peter has no other options – and he's STILL on the fence and lukewarm about committing to her.
That just leaves one more episode – and one more prediction. Based on what we've seen, I'm betting that Harrison talks with Madison and she decides to come back right before the rose ceremony. That's the news that Harrison breaks to Peter, when he's like, "We just found out about this now ..." in the commercials. Peter gets all stressed, sad and confused to a degree that he can't make a decision and calls it a show – probably making his mom really sad because HE DIDN'T BRING HANNAH ANN HOME! Then, in the live studio finale, since Peter "doesn't" "even" "know" "how" "this" "will" "end," he'll propose to Madison – or at least try to get back together with her while his mom watches from the crowd seething that she's not getting grandkids anytime soon.
Or maybe Peter will pull an Amelia Earhart and just fly away, never to be seen or heard from ever again. Finally, Harrison would be right: THAT would be the most dramatic season finale yet.
As much as it is a gigantic cliché to say that one has always had a passion for film, Matt Mueller has always had a passion for film. Whether it was bringing in the latest movie reviews for his first grade show-and-tell or writing film reviews for the St. Norbert College Times as a high school student, Matt is way too obsessed with movies for his own good.
When he's not writing about the latest blockbuster or talking much too glowingly about "Piranha 3D," Matt can probably be found watching literally any sport (minus cricket) or working at - get this - a local movie theater. Or watching a movie. Yeah, he's probably watching a movie.