Peter Weber isn’t a regular Bachelor. He’s… a sad Bachelor. The 28-year-old pilot has found himself in a situation unlike any other as he takes the ABC reality mantle: Filming his leg of the Bachelor(ette) franchise while his Bachelor Nation ex is out in the world, single, (usually) thriving, and still weeping over him in the back room of a theater like a sparkle-adorned Phantom of the Opera. When most Bachelors begin their “journey” to love, which starts about four months after Bachelorette production wraps in May, their former Bachelorette lead is happily engaged and beaming on the cover of tabloids.
“Week 2” immediately throws us back into the unfinished drama of last week’s season 24 premiere. Hannah is supposed to be hosting one of Peter’s first dates as the Bachelor. The theme of the date is “sex stories,” probably to keep viewers — and likely cast — thinking about Hannah and Peter’s now-infamous four-time windmill romp. But Hannah isn’t coaching the contestant, and Peter isn’t flirting with his favorite ladies. Instead, the exes are ensconced in the backstage area of their date, crying and clinging to each other. The desperate chemistry between Hannah and Peter is palpable. Hannah admits she didn't ask Peter out because she thought he wanted to be the Bachelor; Peter repeatedly suggests Hannah should join his season of The Bachelor.
These are not the actions of a man who is over the woman he nearly proposed to just a few months prior.
Peter further proves this sentiment with his many “Week 2” murmurs. “I can’t help feeling what I feel. I just do,” he tells Hannah, confirming he is still holding a torch for her. “You’re the one who said no to me. I’ve never said no to you.”
These confessions already suggest Peter isn’t ready to be the Bachelor, which is understandable. The woman he thought he was gong to spend the rest of his life with is now sobbing in front of him hinting they could still salvage their relationship. Most people would find such promise tempting. But when you take into account Peter and Hannah’s body language through this exchange — the former is rubbing the latter’s bare back for much of the conversation — you realize how intimate this all really is.
“I just want someone to want me as bad as I want them. And you tell me that you have feelings still and you made mistakes,” Peter continues. “I want to hear that and I want to believe that, but then I’m also like Is she just missing the what-ifs? Not actually missing me?” Hannah admits some of her behavior stems from regret, but a lot of it comes from a place of true attraction. Petter is befuddled. Rather than going back to his contestants, Peter sits in his confusion with Hannah for a few more long minutes. He puts his head in Hannah’s lap and on her chest. Hannah finds a way to perch more directly in Peter’s lap and the two stare into each other’s eyes while wrapped in a sad, sexually-charged embrace.
If Peter does end up choosing a contestant from this season, it is impossible to imagine her watching this display of raw emotion unfold at the same time the Bachelor is supposed to be getting to know her. It is particularly damning if Peter’s eventual winner is on this hellish date, feeling abandoned a few yards away while Peter intensely flirts with his ex. Even after Peter announces he should “get back to the girls,” he remains cradling Hannah in the back room. Should Peter currently have a girlfriend or fiancée from this season, this footage puts a dark new shadow on the infancy of their relationship.
Peter himself confirms he is too “confused” to actually perform his Bachelor duties. “I wanted to kiss her, yes. That’s what I was feeling,” he tells cameras in a confessional. “That’s what I wanted to do. I mean, it wasn’t that long ago, I know, that we broke up.” Peter than admits he is “scared” he isn’t “where he needs to be” in his situation. Seconds later, he cancels the day portion of the date and promises his emotional state will improve by the time the after party that evening begins.
The most disturbing part of this train wreck outing comes during the afterparty, when Peter has seemingly done a full about-face on his feelings for Hannah. “I want to completely put this in the past. Just look forward,” he says at one point. It is totally unexplained what caused this rapid emotional evolution. Later, Peter tells dubious contestant Natasha Parker, “I’m telling you right now: I am moving forward and Hannah B. is in the past. I’m excited about you and all of this.”
It’s difficult to tell if Peter is trying to convince Natasha of the truth in his words — or himself.