Game of Thorns: The finale of ‘The Bachelor’ is somehow underwhelming despite low expectations


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The road has been long and winding, and we have finally made it to the finish line — Peter has finally narrowed down his 30 women to two 23-year-old brunettes with blue eyes. Which one will be his wife? Which one will inevitably go on “Bachelor in Paradise” and enjoy mild success on Instagram? Let’s dig into the four hours of finale coverage that the producers subjected us to!

Before Peter has his final dates with his final ladies, they must face the dreaded potential in-law test. Peter preps his family by giving them the lowdown on what has been happening, while the Webers keep calling Peter “Bub” in every other sentence. Barbara Weber is not impressed with Madison’s ultimatum, which is awkward considering that Madison went to their vow renewal ceremony. 

Hannah Ann is up first, wooing Peter’s family with her mild demeanor and ability to tear up when thinking about how much she loves Peter, which Peter’s mom approves of. Barb gushes about how much she sees herself and Peter Weber Sr. in Hannah Ann and Peter. Later, when Peter and Peter Sr., who looks suspiciously like Captain Sullenberger, have a heart-to-heart about his choices, Peter tears up, making it clear that he is way more into Madison than Hannah Ann.

Peter’s family is less than impressed with Madison, however. They each bring up the spiritual elephant in the room, and Madison’s best solution is that she hopes Peter will become more religious when they’re together. Barb’s lips cannot get more pursed. Peter’s brother Jack asks Peter if he can really give up all the partying and sex Peter is apparently into — because Peter’s lifestyle just screams frat bro with his cuffed skinny jeans and cream Henley shirt — for Madison. Peter assures him that he is willing to compromise. 

After Madison leaves, Barb immediately bursts into tears and begs Peter to choose Hannah Ann, stating that while Madison is fine and all, Hannah Ann is a literal “angel on earth” and a “dream come true.” Through her weeping, she pleads with Peter not to “let (Hannah Ann) go” and to “bring her home to us.” Peter, who is so done with women in his life crying to get their way, does everything but the “quiet coyote” hand gesture to get Barb to stop. 

But, as it turns out, Barb and Madison are on the same page about Peter and Madison’s incompatibility — the next day, on their final date, Madison talks to Peter and tells him that the thread she was hanging on to has snapped, leaving Peter heartbroken in the Australian wilderness.

So now it’s down to only Hannah Ann! Peter goes on his final date with her and conspicuously does not tell her that Madison has left. Instead, he tells her that his heart is still being pulled in two different directions, which are also not the words you want to hear from your future fiance. Hannah Ann is not jazzed by this, but they still have a tepidly nice date. (Although tepidly nice are not words you want to use to describe the day before your engagement.)

Tuesday’s episode begins with Peter at his proposal spot, with the ring and final rose, ready for his second choice. Because this pilot just cannot catch a break, Chris Harrison comes up to Peter and tells him that Hannah Ann might not show up. Peter promptly has a meltdown on a bed at the idea of being the only Bachelor in history to have both final girls self-eliminate. But luckily, Hannah Ann ends up coming. 

Peter gets down on one knee to a shocked Hannah Ann, conveniently slipping in the fact that Madison left two days ago right before asking Hannah Ann if she will marry him. Hannah Ann, of course, says yes and the newly engaged couple celebrates. Peter breaks the news to his family and Barb immediately bawls from happiness.

Much like an episode of “Black Mirror,” however, “The Bachelor” almost rarely ends on a happy note. Flash forward to Los Angeles after filming, with Peter and Hannah Ann reuniting at a safehouse for some supposedly fun couple romps. But Peter has other things on his mind, which he is not in the slightest good at articulating, but Hannah Ann gets the gist that Peter is not fully in it. She is not happy and finally shows an emotion beyond “cardboard sipping champagne” and “cardboard in love.” Hannah Ann is furious but composed with Peter for taking her engagement virginity and not following through. 

And she’s still not finished! Chris Harrison, in all his Caesar Flickerman glory, brings out Hannah Ann during the live studio taping to confront Peter again. She lets him have it, and suddenly, all of us have become Hannah Ann fans. Even Barb is in the audience cheering her on.

After Hannah Ann has her moment of retribution, we segue into what else happened after the show finished taping. After (yet another) televised “Bachelor” break-up, Chris Harrison, in all his Patti Stanger-millionaire-matchmaker glory, flew to Auburn, Alabama to win back Madison’s heart for Peter. Madison agrees to fly out to LA and she and Peter reunite. It’s the closest thing to a fairy tale ending on a reality show!

But the evil stepmother needs to have a final word before the happily ever after. Madison comes out to the live studio audience to rereunite with Peter, but before they can get too cuddly, Chris Harrison asks Barb, whose lips have somehow gotten even more pursed, how she feels about everything. Barb is still definitely not happy with Madison’s antics and continues to publicly disapprove of their relationship. Madison, however, claps back at Barb’s comments. 

And that’s the ending we get for Peter’s entire journey — a broken engagement, a tepid new relationship and a disapproving mother. We expected nothing, yet somehow had our expectations lowered throughout the season and were still disappointed from this finale. At least we’re not Hannah Ann, who not only didn’t end up engaged but also is not going to be the Bachelorette. But she’s a hot, 23-year-old model. Something tells us that she will be just fine.

Julie Lim covers television. Contact her at [email protected].