After getting through the business of drama thus far, we finally got around to some actual dating this week on "The Bachelor" with Peter having some important decisions to make right before hometowns. And for the most part, Peter had a good week, sitting down with some quality conversations and fielding some real relationship-relevant questions. He even broke up with one contestant well without immediately wanting to undo it, giving her an automatic finalist rose and then un-undoing. Peter, are you ... maturing?
Nope. False alarm. The final date happened, and of course, Peter botched it. Classic Petey Propellers.
But let's start with the good stuff: Peter and company traveled off to Peru this week, where Kelley is very excited to see some alpacas. Yeah, sure, they've got culture and cuisine – and that's right; I guess Peter is there too – but Kelley is mainly on board for some alpaca action. Fair. Meanwhile, Peter Skypes his mom because, while he may be a bad Bachelor, he's a still a good son.
Madison gets the first one-on-one date of the episode – and it's strange because I feel like this is the first time we've hung out with Madison in a very long time. At one point, she talked to the camera, and I thought, "SHE CAN DO THAT!?" I think that's a compliment to her that she's been totally unattached to any of the annoying and petty drama that's burned like a raging dumpster fire over the past month or so. And they have a pretty lovely date! They skip some stones and meander around the city while Peter talks about how great she is and how they feel like best friends in a relationship and how Peter feels so comfortable with her and OK, WE GET IT, JUST SEND HER TO THE FINALE ALREADY.
The only drama comes during the dinner portion of the night when Madison brings up her faith (and also her dad again ... girl really loves her dad). Faith is a significant portion of her life, and she wants somebody just as thoughtful in that regard as she is. And after an approximately 40-minute pause, Peter says, "Yeah, sure, that sounds fine by me." He admits that his faith could be stronger, but it's something he's looking forward to improving about himself. It's always a pleasant shock when a real, adult, coherent conversation makes its way onto this show – especially this season. The two end the date with Peter dropping the big sentence: "I'm falling in love with you." CAN'T SEE THESE LATEST DEVELOPMENTS BECOMING AN ISSUE DURING SLEAZY-ASS FANTASY SUITE WEEK!
Meanwhile, back at the hotel, poor Natasha finally scores herself a date card. Yay! She's almost certainly going home!
Besides the omnipresent sense of doom hanging over the entire date, Natasha's day out with Peter is quite nice too! They meander around the city as well, eating tasty desserts (MY KIND OF DATE!) and running into a bunch of random dancers in the street, joining in and not completely embarrassing themselves. They, too, have an oddly mature conversation about their pasts, with Natasha talking about how her last serious relationship ended because she was too intense for him.
It's a nice chat – but by the end, Peter notes that they feel more like friends. He grabs the rose ... and then sends her home anyways. POOR FORM! I don't why that's a part of the process – yes, I'm sure it's a producer's note for maximum drama – but don't grab the rose when you have no intention of giving it to your date! That's a jerk move. DON'T DO THAT ANYMORE! Anyways, even though he emotionally jukes her out like a total jagoff, Natasha seems pretty relaxed and chill about the whole thing, more bummed out than broken up about it. I guess when you haven't had a one-on-one the entire season, you have to assume you're the Whitney of the season. Oh, and I guess a full orchestra was invited along for some reason?
See, stuff like that helps explain why we spent a budget-friendly week in Cleveland.
Kelsey gets the next one-on-one date, which involves ATVing around the hills of Peru and admiring its plentiful goats and horses. I gotta say all of these dates seem perfect, and Peru looks gorgeous – especially on this date. Well done, Peru Department of Tourism! Even beyond the beautiful backdrop, this date also goes well. The thing about Kelsey is, when she's not drunkenly sobbing into a swimming pool or leaving her bougie champagne out to be stolen, she seems pretty cool and normal. She talks about what home is like for her back in Iowa, where they may have dumb app-hijacked caucuses at least her mom makes terrific chocolate chip cookies. She also opens up about her parents' divorce and how her dad put the blame on God for his decision, which she thought was a coward's answer. After some time apart, her father reached out to her out of the blue, and the two began to reconcile – though her mom doesn't know. Somewhere off-camera, Harrison's diabolically nodding his head with a sinister smile knowing he's gonna blow this family up next week. But until then, Kelsey can be happy she's made it to hometowns.
That leaves us with a climactic three-on-one date between Kelley, Victoria F. and Hannah Ann, with one of the trio going home (because they got dumped, not for hometowns). "Tomorrow won't be easy" reads the very ominous date card. WOO GET PUMPED FOR A DATE WITH THAT MESSAGE! Though honestly, Peter, this should be very easy: Send Victoria F. home. She's been providing annoying drama all season long with her instability, and everyone can read through her fake attempts at sympathy. Kelley agrees – and is even less kind than my assessment, noting that Hannah Ann Bananarama and Not Shay Mitchell are way too young and way not serious enough in life for Peter to want to marry. So she's thinking she's got this date in the bag.
So she's definitely going home.
The thing is Kelley's not wrong about anything she's saying during this three-on-one date. At 23, Hannah Ann is quite young; at 26, Victoria F. is an immature hot mess; and both are essentially Instagram models shilling for Sonic burgers and tacky t-shirts while she has a real job back home. Both of them have gotten themselves into laughable dramas and petty breakdowns this season while Kelley has just been a model of consistency and normalcy, her only problem according to Peter being that she's not emotionally insecure and manipulative enough. So sure, I get why Kelley spends this entire date smug as hell about her odds of staying next week. If she was dating somebody with two working brain cells to rub together, she'd be a lock.
Unfortunately, she's dating Peter.
So while Kelley chills out and relaxes during their three-on-one date, Not Shay Mitchell and Not The Lead Actress From "Step Up" turn up the drama because they know that's apparently Peter's kink. Smart, savvy, mature women? HARD PASS; GIVE ME THEM WATERWORKS AND INSTABILITY PLEASE! Hannah Ann Bananas B-A-N-A-N-A-S shows up for her alone time with Peter with weaponized tears already locked and loaded in her eyeballs, on the verge of crying from the first word – a masterful strategic move on her part considering how predictably easy Peter is to play. She also busts out a little letter to read to Peter of the things she loves about him. So she's definitely getting a rose.
Meanwhile, Victoria F. tries the opposite approach and immediately stresses out Peter by complaining about how he wants to talk about their relationship (how DARE he!) and is supposedly always in a mood around her – a bold statement since, last we checked, Victoria F. was the one running off to the bathroom mid-date for a sob session for (*checks notes*) literally no reason. She even says to Peter that she's annoying to be around – which YES, BINGO, COULDN'T SAY IT BETTER MYSELF. They're absolutely terrible together, bickering about nothing during their entire conversation – which means she's definitely not getting eliminated tonight. The "Bachelor" producers played their cards a little too hard on this date tonight, making Kelley too confident and Victoria F. too horrible.
As for Kelley, she shows up to her one-on-one time with Peter DARING to sound like a normal human being. Relationships, she reminds Peter, don't have to be a confusing and annoying panic attack; they can be easy, healthy, level-headed and even fun. She's not here for drama – and has never particularly been. She has a good job, so she's not here to boost a followers count. They have a relaxed chemistry that's never been tested by some random breakdown or arbitrary conflict. She's, in conclusion, the best. So of course Peter's like, "AH! A NORMAL, STABLE PERSON! WHAT AM I SUPPOSED TO DO WITH THIS!?" and sends her packing in favor of Hannahannahannah and Victoria F.
You know what? Good for Kelley. She's way too good for Peter, and their relationship would've gone terribly, what with Kelley being seemingly a strong, capable, independent-minded woman and Peter collapsing to the ground every two minutes because his spinal cord is made of overcooked linguini and cowardice.
So congrats to Kelley on getting to date better people (I'm just saying Grocery Joe is also from Chicago AND newly single!) and, best of all, not having to spend anymore time around Victoria F. I wish I could say the same for us viewers.
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.