‘The Bachelor’ Season 24 Finale Recap and Analysis: How can one man make so many mistakes?

Because she’s been there and done that, literally, former Bachelor contestant/tear fountain Ashley Iaconetti is recapping this season of The Bachelor for Cosmopolitan. With insider insight as well as a clear eye for what’s going down both in front of and behind the cameras, read on for her thoughts.

THIS POST CONTAINS SPOILERS FROM THE TWO-NIGHT FINALE OF THE BACHELOR

Here’s my interpretation of everything that went down over the past two nights. Heads up, I’m serving up the sass…

MADISON, PETER WEBER

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Madison expressed to Peter she was feeling very burdened by his sleeping with Hannah Ann and Victoria F. However, before finding out about his fantasy suite rendezvous, Madison was envisioning engagement with him and feeling love. Peter explains that he had sex with the others because Madi had yet to say, “I love you.” GROSS. This conversation apparently lasted so long that it irritated Peter’s mom, Barb, to her core and attributed to her disgust of Madi. Bachelor production is all about hurry up and wait, Barb!! That’s not on Madi! It might have even been an intentional production move to annoy you. Either way, to hold this wait time against Madi is preposterous! Side note: How weird is it that Barb kept saying “meet Madi.” Lady, you already spent time with Madi at your vow renewals.

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The family visit didn’t go very well for Madi…

Because, uh, Madi has values she stands up for. Peter’s family is concerned Madi won’t want to go to the club (?!) and that Peter is going to have a hard time keeping the snake in the cage during their engagement. Madi expresses worries about their compatibility and refuses to accept some of Peter’s decision-making, so she’s not ready to get engaged in four days. Barb is outraged by this and says that Madison said she didn’t love her son. K, Barb. I’m sure it went more like, “Have you told Peter that you love him?” “No, I haven’t yet because we’re in a tricky place.” You know I don’t stand for emotion shaming, but I also don’t stand for Barb’s manipulating hysterics. She claims that Hannah Ann is an angel from heaven, a gem, that she asked God to send here for her son. God put Hannah Ann on his path. She ironically says this moments after telling Madison that she and Peter are spiritual, not religious, and that this will be a conflict in their relationship.

ABC's

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The family was obsessed with Hannah Ann.

It was truly mind-boggling to see Barb and the Weber family so adamant in believing that Hannah Ann was “perfect” and undoubtably a better match for Peter after a measly few hours with the girl. Peter proposing to Hannah Ann after making it very clear that he would do anything to be with Madison is even more mind-boggling. In what seems like the day after the family visit, Madi tells Peter that she’s gotten clarity. They’re too incompatible and she needs to leave. She believes love conquers all and she believes she’s a great fighter. But Madi also believes that a good warrior knows when to surrender. She needs to give up this fight because she wants Peter to end up with what he came on this journey for…love.

Unfortunately, Peter didn’t really love Hannah Ann.

I know he says he does/did. In my opinion, if he loved her, he wouldn’t have done the things he did. I couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw Peter on the phone with Hannah Ann’s dad asking for permission to take his daughter’s hand in marriage. Two days earlier he was saying he wanted to be with Madison. He was fighting his family to see Madison the way he saw her. He was telling Chris Harrison that he wasn’t sure that he could continue “the journey.” I was flabbergasted that within 48 hours of those conversations, Peter felt like he was ready to commit to forever with Hannah Ann. I can only assume that Peter was putting more trust in his family’s decision-making skills than his own. He HAD to have known how horrible it was going to look on TV. This couldn’t be in an effort to save his image. Did he really think he was behaving like a man truly torn between two women? Hannah Ann was obviously his choice by default.

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I feel like Hannah Ann sensed this was the case for weeks.

She made it clear she felt like number two the night before their engagement. I didn’t think that Peter needed to tell Hannah Ann that Madi decided to leave on their date because I figured he was just using that day to determine how he felt about her, but he certainly should have told her before proposing! He told her during the proposal speech that Madi left a couple of days ago. Could you imagine another woman’s name being dropped in this moment? While he didn’t blatantly say it, he mentioned Madi’s departure to explain why he was choosing Hannah Ann.

Hannah Ann was probably in too high of a state during the proposal to pick up on this or to question who initiated Madison’s leaving. But she certainly did at some point. The show didn’t make it clear, but I assumed that the friction and inevitable breakup during their L.A. visit was because Hannah Ann found out that Madi left on her own. Hannah Ann knows for sure now that she was his second place and knows she’s not getting the love she deserves from Peter. Should we even bring up the fact that Peter allegedly reached out to Hannah Brown post-engagement for closure. My-Oh-My. This is without exaggeration, the most dramatic season ever. This dude is not in a place in his life to propose.

WHY, OH WHY, DID HE PROPOSE?!

He was probably faced with so much pressure from production because they knew how juicy it would be if he fucked up that massively. (And that it was.) BUT! Like I’ve always said, they can’t force you to do anything! Look, Colton jumped a fence and ran away from them and ended up getting to pursue the ending his way. Peter could have just asked Hannah Ann to date, but instead he recklessly proposed. He took that sacred moment that a person hopes to only experience once in their life away from her. I felt more connected than ever to Hannah Ann when she defended herself amidst their breakup scene. Some of the girl power lines she threw “poor and conflicted” Peter’s way included: “I don’t need anything more from you. You’ve done enough damage. * Hands back engagement ring * I mean that.” AND “You betrayed me and you know it. I need to get my life back on track the way it was before you came into it.”

About Barb’s reactions…

We got to watch Barb’s reaction to all this in a small square and it seems like she’s Team Hannah Ann over Team Peter, which is awesomely feminist but also kind of weird for a mother to not show more sympathy for her son…especially when he may have made this initial decision based on her influence…even though I don’t think that’s a good look either.

Chris Harrison goes to Alabama to tell Madison that Peter broke up with Hannah Ann because he still had lingering feelings for her. This is like the Arie and Jason Mesnick situation gone wrong. Why is Harrison pursuing Madison on Peter’s behalf? This further makes Peter look like a boy and not a man. Maybe he respected and partially agreed that he and Madi are incompatible. Maybe he wasn’t breaking up with Hannah Ann FOR Madi but because he knows he needs to find a love LIKE Madi’s. Between Madi and Peter’s L.A. visit and their time together onstage last night, I don’t feel they’re together or ever going to be together. When Chris Harrison asked about their status, Peter stumbled about the uphill battle they face and that they’ll take it day-to-day. The words “date,” “relationship,” and “girlfriend” were not used. You could tell Madi was pissed by this answer. Their body language was also totally off and it took a while for Peter to defend Madison against the terror that was his mom.

Barb’s eye rolling and relentless criticism of Madi was ridiculous.

And the moment when she whispered to her husband in Spanish, “Say something bad too. Help me” was disgusting. (As if no one who watched The Bachelor can speak Spanish.) I had the biggest problem when Barb said that in a relationship, people need to compromise and Madison wasn’t willing to compromise. Um, no, Madi wasn’t willing to compromise her values and gave your son a CHOICE to respect her feelings or not. I was so proud of Madison for standing up to her and saying that a relationship is two people choosing each other. Just because her son was the Bachelor doesn’t mean he’s the only one choosing in this process. The expression is, “Will you accept this rose?” for a reason. Barb seemed to use the word “compromise” as a nice way to say “honor.” It seemed to me she wanted a woman who was going to give and sacrifice all, including her values in this case, for her son. Gross.

In conclusion…

Harrison looked to be trying to give Barb a last shot at repairing her image when he asked her about Peter and Madi giving their relationship a shot. She said, “He’s going to have to fail to succeed. His family and friends know it won’t last.”At that moment, I decided I didn’t have to sugarcoat anything about Barb’s behavior throughout the finale in my recaps. I also decided I don’t think it’s a good idea for Madi to continue any sort of relationship with the Weber family, Peter included.

 

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