On night one of The Bachelorette’s two-night finale, our Ms. Hannah Brown candidly fumed, “F**k me, this is why you don’t date two men at the same time!” But when this very dramatic season ended once and for all in part 2, her love life got even more complicated (before it got much, much better). Ready your wine goblets, Bachelor Nation — because this one’s a doozy.
“It’s so hard because a life with Tyler is so different from [a life with] Jed, and I am conflicted in my heart,” Hannah says in voiceover as both Tyler and Jed turn their respective Neil Lane rings over and over in their hands. (Unfortunately, the finale was so full of drama that our good ole pal Neil Lane didn’t get to make his bi-annual TV appearance.)
At one point, as Hannah’s in the car en route to the proposal spot, she asks the driver to pull over, at which point she promptly gets out, gown and heels and all, and stumbles down a hill. A producer runs to her aid, stray dogs raise a ruckus, and Hannah continues to sit on the road, defeated. Finally, after goodness knows how long, the producer asks her one more time, “Do you think you can do this?” and she lets out a long whistle. “I’m ready.”
Annnnd we’re back! Hannah continues to hem and haw over her decision as she approaches Chris Harrison and the final rose and her future. “I don’t know how to tell somebody today that they’re not enough, because it’s not true,” she says. “There’s really no good way to say that to somebody.”
Then she drops this bombshell: “The man that I’m going to end things with today is not going to expect it.”
Doesn’t anyone around here care about spoiler alerts anymore? It comes as no surprise, then, when Tyler steps out of the first black SUV looking confident and handsome, with Chris Harrison escorting him solemnly on the march toward his own funeral.
“This love is forever right here,” Tyler says, his smile stretching ear to ear. “The future holds for us a love and a bond that’ll never break. … [She’s] the woman of my dreams.” Oh, Tyler. Poor, beautiful Tyler. Hannah allows him to begin his proposal after a long, emotional hug, but as he starts to talk about the moment he started falling in love with her, she just can’t stay silent any longer and cuts him off. His face falls.
“I am so lucky to be loved by you and to feel that,” she begins, as his mouth begins to twitch uncomfortably. “You have supported me, you have been so sweet and strong for me, and done everything that I’ve asked and more. And loved me so much, and my life with you would be (here, Tyler looks like he’s being subjected to a million tiny paper cuts) amazing. And when I told you that I was falling in love with you, I meant it. But I love someone else.”
Hannah apologizes a few more times, but Tyler, ever the gentleman, pushes through the pain and tells her that he’ll always be her “biggest fan.”
“I wish you a perfect success with Jed,” he says finally. “You guys will be great.”
Talk about a bad omen. Whether or not Tyler knew what he was saying, his good dude vibes at very least linger for a bit just as Jed’s black SUV pulls up to the proposal location. Our not-so-smooth musician hops out of the car with a guitar (of course) and strides confidently toward his would-be wife as though she were a gig he has to get to.
“Hey, you,” he says in greeting as a clearly still-emotional Hannah beams back at him. Jed then launches into his proposal, which feels a whole lot like lines from a song and — Oh! Guess he brought his guitar along for a reason! Jed then proceeds to sing the rest of his proposal, with such cheesy lines as “After all that you’ve been through / And those times you wish you knew / Who was on the other side of al those restless nights / We always knew it’s me and you.”
And despite the slightly off-tune crooning (blame it on the nerves!), Hannah clearly loves it, and tells a stoic Jed that she’s been praying for her future husband since she was a little girl, and turns out he’s the one! Jed drops to one knee and does the proposal thing, and then she does the rose thing, and then it’s all “happily ever after” — except not, obviously, because it’s only been 35 minutes into the two-hour second half of the finale, and Chris Harrison hasn’t had enough screen time yet.
Fast-forward to a few days post-engagement, and Jed and Hannah look happy enough in their video logs. But even at that early stage, the things Jed’s saying (“We’re actually engaged!”) and the things Hannah’s saying (“Oh my gosh, I’m going to be Mrs. Wyatt”) carry a certain weight of dread and gloom.
“He is so real with me, and I’m so real with him, and that’s what I wanted from the very start,” Hannah says happily at one point.
The show then takes a turn for the worse when Hannah explains how she found out, in real time, about Jed’s rumored ex, Haley Stevens, who came forward to tell People magazine that Jed isn’t exactly the upstanding dude he’s portrayed himself to be.
“Jed has muddied the waters of our future together, and it’s not what I thought I said yes to,” a devastated Hannah says not five minutes after the pair just shared a happy proposal moment onscreen. “I don’t know if he understands the depths of how much this hurts me. … I love the person I got engaged to, but I don’t know how I feel about this person.”
Neither does Bachelor Nation. Jed and Hannah’s reunion at a safe house that looks an awful lot like the spot where Becca K. and Arie had their super uncomfortable, super devastating break up is interspersed with reaction shots from the audience, and the fans were not having it. Hannah and Jed share a lukewarm hug, and she pointedly doesn’t respond to him when he says a limp “missed you” as a greeting. Doesn’t seem like this is going to go over well, bud.
The meeting doesn’t get much better from there, with a visibly upset Hannah questioning Jed to try to gain some semblance of clarity amid the noise, which Jed still isn’t really able to offer. When Hannah asks, for instance, why Jed waited so long to tell her the truth, he responds that “there’s two very different views of what actually happened.”
From Jed’s perspective, this is what went down: he met a girl in late October when he was “very single” and “dating around,” and they, yes, slept together. Multiple times. Once, after she went over to his house to watch a movie. Once, after dinner. The details unfurl from there: there was a cabin that Jed somehow got for free (is that a detail you really needed to point out, buddy?), a seemingly spontaneous meeting with his parents, a surprise birthday party, and a vacation in the Bahamas, courtesy of her parents.
“And you weren’t dating?” Hannah fumes. “What the freak!”
Same, girl. Same. Confusion abounds as Jed then admits that the first time he told Haley he loved her, he was drunk, and that though he felt conflicted about going on a reality show to find love, he did ultimately find it with Hannah.
Worse still is when he admits that he didn’t necessarily make a clean break with Haley before leaving for the show. “It wasn’t a verbal goodbye,” he says. “To me, I ended it in my heart, not verbally.” Ugh, Jed, just ugh. That’s not how you break up with someone! (If you want to hear his ex's version of the story, you can check out her interview with Refinery29 here.)
After a few more back-and-forths, including Jed calling himself a “coward” and reiterating his love for Hannah, she finally seems to get the clarity she’s been asking for all this time, and slips off her engagement ring. “I just feel like this experience was taken away from me,” she says.
“Clarity means truth,” she continues. “You got to see all of me, and I didn’t get to see all of you,” she tells him, pointing to the ring. “This doesn’t mean the same thing. That’s not what I said yes to.”
Back in the studio audience, Hannah walks out onto the stage in a red dress and Chris Harrison attempts to draw out her tears with the intensity of his stare. “It’s really sad when you have to circle things in an article and send them to your fiance,” she says in response to his questions about how she’s been holding up.
Then, a plot development that everyone saw coming: Hannah announces she’s no longer with Jed, and that the engagement’s off — which is just great, because Chris is about to bring Jed out.
The sad musician stalks out to almost no applause and kicks off the night with an apology. And then proceeds to continue the rest of the night apologizing profusely with no visible change to his affect.
“I’m sorry that I took this experience away from you,” he says. “I’m sorry that this hurt you, your family, your friends, Bachelor Nation, my family.” Ultimately, he says, he had held off on telling Hannah the truth because he was “scared to lose” her.
Cool story, bro. But Alabama Hannah isn’t here for your sob story. Despite Jed’s continued professions of love, Hannah stays resolute in her anger toward him, telling him evenly, “I’m not trying to punish you … but my feelings have changed, and I think when that trust was broken, my feelings really just were broke with that. And I don’t love you like that anymore.”
Jed bows out at that point, and Hannah’s left on the stage alone — for a moment. And in that moment, she grows a few inches taller. “It’s been really heartbreaking, that’s for sure,” she tells Chris Harrison. “[But] I have realized that I don’t need a husband. I want a husband, but I don’t need one. And I’m really proud of the woman I’ve become through this because I am hella strong.”
Well said, Hannah! And you know who else thinks you’re hella strong? Tyler, your handsome lover boy, who’s also waiting in the wings to speak to you face-to-face. C’mon out, Tyler!
Chris senses the sexual chemistry between the two reunited lovebirds (the cat calls from the audience are a nice touch, too) and admits that he feels “like [he] should just leave.” He then proceeds to guide the conversation and reunion like a proud dad. And our gal Hannah can’t stop smiling. Which leads all of us to wonder… will they?
No cliffhangers here: they will! Hannah shyly asks Tyler out in the best way possible: “I want somebody to be bold and I make bold moves. So you’re an incredible guy, and I’m a single girl… so I don’t know, maybe we could go for a drink and just hang out.”
To which he responds in suave Tyler fashion: “Just tell me when.”
Swoon! So looks like Hannah may get her happy ending after all, after all the shenanigans she — and we — have been put through all season. Which is great news for her, great news for Bachelor Nation, and less good news for Jed Wyatt, who’ll no doubt be navigating the choppy waters of social media for weeks and months to come. Good luck, Jed, and good riddance!
A Few Final Words:
Hannah’s always been about body language, and her body language when Jed first arrives at their safe house says “get out.” Also, is it just a pure coincidence that both Hannah and Becca K. were wearing baby blue tops for their meme-worthy, cringe-worthy conversations with their dudes?
Jed’s way of coping with being found out is classic fuckboy behavior, asking Hannah to tell him how to be better, and what to say to make her feel reassured. “What can I do to demonstrate [I care]?” he asks her at one point, to which Hannah responds by actually getting up and leaving the room.
The sweetest moment from the live show is probably when Tyler tells Hannah that he’d been looking forward to their reunion for quite a while, and that watching the season back made him curse. “Sorry, mom,” he says to no one in particular as producers bleeped out his words.