The Bachelorette Recap - Rachel Lindsay Finale: Who's Going to Propose?
When we left off last week, Eric had completed a successful Fantasy Suite date and Peter reached an awkward impasse at a potential proposal. Let's see who gets consumed by dragonflame and who bends the knee in the finale of Rachel's season of The Bachelorette!
Chris Harrison is hosting the live show for the finale, and he immediately breaks my heart by announcing its three-hour length. I'm hoping an hour of that is After the Final Rose, which is too boring to recap. He brings Rachel onstage to watch along with the crowd, and here we go...
Just kidding! We're delayed by a segment congratulating former Bachelor disaster artist Juan Pablo on his recent marriage. No one in the crowd cheers because no one liked him after his questionable comments about women and marriage itself.
Choosing sides in this one is tough; Peter is right to be nervous about going from "you have two other boyfriends" to "will you marry me?" in the span of a week, but Rachel is the Bachelorette a show where the inevitable result is a proposal and a short engagement. Peter can't pretend he didn't see this coming.
Rachel gathers herself to explain her feelings. Peter attempts to reaffirm strong feelings without the "L" word, and gets the shrug in response:
The conversation returns to normal, and Rachel offers the Fantasy Suite card to provide more time to talk through their issues. They snog and head off to their room in the least intimate pre-Fantasy Suite moment I've seen on this show. I didn't tune in to the Fantasy Suite episode to watch implicated talking through issues!
While Peter gets breakfast ready the next morning, I can't help but miss Rachel's awesome pajamas from last season. Despite their long night of chit-chat, Rachel is no more confident Peter will propose, but she's considering accepting it. Not good enough for the middle of three Fantasy Suite dates, Peter.
Fantasy Suite Date: Bryan
Because this show hates my bank account and vacation balance, Rachel and Bryan's date begins with a horseback ride through a vineyard:
Rachel is visibly distracted by the Peter and Eric elements in play; it's possible her family's concerns over Bryan's near-immediate feelings of love seeped into her head, especially on the heels of Peter's more measured approach.
At dinner, Bryan comments on the unusual tension, and Rachel is happy he picked up on it but assure him it has nothing to with him. With the bubble burst, they're soon chatting and smiling, and Rachel offers him the Fantasy Suite card. Bryan quickly accepts, but I'm not convinced Rachel isn't thinking of Peter:
They don't show who cooks breakfast the next day, but whoever it is needs to cook their bacon a little longer:
The Rose Ceremony
Bryan, Eric, and Peter meet Rachel in yet another vineyard, and as Rachel summarizes her feelings, it's increasingly clear that Peter's reluctance to propose is going to be a deal-breaker. He was my front-runner from the beginning, but Rachel's welcome doesn't bode well: she expounds on her hopes for a proposal while looking directly at Peter. His response?
Surviving to the Final Two: Bryan and Peter
Heading Home: Eric
It was a misdirect! Rachel walks Eric to the limo, stopping to explain her decision. It sounds like Eric somehow found himself in the friend zone:
Eric handles it with admirable class and rides into the sunset. I hope they stop at one of the vineyards. Pull over, give the guy a bottle of wine!
Rachel returns to the site of the Rose Ceremony; things still aren't looking great for Peter, and he knows it:
Unfortunately, our Bachelorette action is interrupted by a live interaction between Rachel and Eric on the ABC stage. He's grown a beard since leaving the show, and receives a very nice ovation before getting to interact awkwardly with his ex. It is, at least, a good opportunity to kick your feet up and drink, because the "relationships" and "I love yous" are flowing fast.
Eric once again conducts himself with class, and seems to be in a good place after being on this show. Knucks, Eric.
Rachel and Bryan's Final Date
I think Rachel gives away the winner in the lead-up to her date with Bryan:
Yeah, real tough call, Rachel Anyway, their date involves a hot air balloon, and it looks terrifying:
It also looks very pretty and romantic, and Bryan wisely keeps the Breitling watch Rachel bought him on display. Bryan makes his final pitch, and they snog and exchange gifts. Rachel leaves Bryan to wait uncomfortably for the final judgment:
Rachel and Peter's Final Date
Rachel enters her last day alone with Peter looking for the slightest hint of a willingness to propose. They light some candles in a monastery while Peter rolls the concept around in his head, and a priest eventually appears to guide them on a tour.
Peter explains the source of his consternation: a strong aversion to proposing twice. Rachel is...unconvinced:
Rachel visits Peter again that night to gain clarity on their situation. Peter plainly answers that he isn't ready to propose, and Rachel responds with frustration about his "mixed messages." Having been in a fruitless long-term relationship before, Rachel wants something more. Peter shows surprising backbone and doesn't capitulate, holding a hope to propose only once in his life. He flips the script, asking if Rachel is ready for such a commitment; this reasonable, logical approach is like a unicorn in this show, and I don't know what to do besides offer some knucks:
With the conversation stalled after he considers budging for fear of losing her and both of them crying, Peter wishes Rachel all the best Even sadder, the cake is left all on its own:
Peter and Rachel both say, "I love you," snog, and part ways in tears.
Back in the ABC Studio
Chris Harrison and Rachel confirm that this episode is truly three hours long. This is unfortunate, but I didn't come this far to not even learn if Rachel gets engaged, so I guess we should grab another drink!
Peter is brought on stage, and they're prodded to talk through their last moments as a couple in front of a live studio audience. Peter holds to his stance on the issue that divided them, but Rachel is uninterested. I'm sure you're shocked, but they make no progress on the issue.
The Fairy-Tale Ending
Bryan meets with Neil Lane while Rachel dons her finale dress. Rachel awaits Bryan at a castle above an oddly long walk:
Bryan launches right into his speech, and Rachel's response focuses on her confusion before she turns around and says, "I love you." After a few more words, Bryan drops to a knee and proposes, and Rachel happily accepts.
With the proposal out of the way, I'm jumping ship on this season of The Bachelorette. It was a good run, with plenty of unrealized drama, and once again a couple is engaged after a two-month, all-expenses-paid, globe-spanning, non-exclusive relationship. Let's see how long it lasts!
That's all for Rachel's season of The Bachelorette! Check back next week for a recap of the finale, and please comment below with any ideas or suggestions you have for our Bachelor Franchise material.
This episode racked up 88 drinks according to our Bachelorette Drinking Game Rules, with a long runtime but plenty of "I love you"s from the Bachelorette to balance it out. See you next season!