The Bachelor Season 24 Finale Part 1 Recap: Leave It To Barbara

Photo: Courtesy of ABC.
All season long we have been waiting for the answer to one question: Who is Peter’s mom saying “bring her home” about? The season 24 Bachelor finale delivered at long last — and it’s not who you think. Or, at least, it wasn’t who I thought. This show can still offer surprises, can you believe it?
The first episode of the two-night finale begins in Alice Springs, Northern Territory, Australia. Peter doesn’t even bother making a metaphor, he just says the location “reminds him of falling in love with someone.” Sure. He meets up with his mom Barbara, dad Peter Sr., and brother Mini Nick Viall, and fills them in on the final two women, including telling them about Madison Prewett’s ultimatum and the fact that he “has been intimate” with at least one other contestant. This is all said without an ounce of awkwardness, which is what happens when your family member becomes famous for having sex four times in a windmill and you have several months to let that fact sink in. Peter says that while he’s in love with both Madison and Hannah Ann Sluss, Madison was the one he fell in love with first. But, his family is concerned that she didn’t bring up her issues with him having sex with another woman until so late in the game. This comes up again later in full force.
But it's put on hold for now, because the family is meeting Hannah Ann, who Peter describes to them as “the perfect combination of that pure just beautiful innocence that combines so effortlessly with all the confidence in the world.” This stunning (interpret that as you will) description absolutely floors his parents.
On Hannah Ann’s meet-up it becomes immediately clear that Peter’s family share his penchant for making grand statements. Almost immediately, Barbara says that Hannah Ann and Peter remind her of herself and Peter’s dad. The meeting goes smoothly, because Hannah Ann is a nice lady who is in love with Peter, and Peter’s family have as much faith in this show as he does.
Next up, it’s Madison’s turn, but first, she and Peter have a conversation on their own because they have a lot to discuss. To briefly recap: She said she would struggle to continue their relationship if he had sex with someone else. He did. She still accepted a rose that put her in the final two. 
Madison starts the conversation with, “I felt like you really just put your feelings and your needs and your wants way above mine and that was really hurtful.” Peter understands this, but points out that she’s not the only one he’s in a relationship with. This whole thing is hard to suss out for both them and as someone watching. On the one hand, it’s understandable to not want to get engaged to someone who very recently had sex with someone(s) else. On the other, it’s understandable for him to have sex with someone else he is interested in considering he didn’t even know if Madison was in love with him like he is with her. 
In the end, their conversation takes a positive turn: He says he wants her to stay. They decide to overcome this together. Madison tells him that she’s in love and wanted to tell him the night he revealed he had sex. This makes him so happy. All I can think is that Peter had better go ahead and send Hannah Ann packing, because with the amount of convincing he did, he better be committed to Madison.
Finally, Peter and Madison go inside to see his family. Madison already met them during her first one-on-one date, but that doesn't make this easy. Madison and Peter say that they hit a "roadblock," and Pilot Pete Sr. asks what it was even though Peter already told them. So, poor Madison has to talk about sex to his parents and explain it all over again.
The most entertaining part of the meetup comes when Peter and his brother, Jack, talk. The younger brother begins, “Obviously you’re very physical in relationships” and asks if Peter is cool waiting to have sex with Madison until marriage. Peter’s like, um, yeah, if I love the person, then it’s fine. Jack then asks about Madison being very religious, while Peter’s the type to get back from work and go line dancing. I just like the idea that line dancing is considered the opposite of attending a religious service. 
Meanwhile, Madison and Barbara are also talking, and Barbara, like Jack, is concerned that Madison and Peter are incompatible due to their lifestyles. “He parties,” she says. Things get much heavier than that, though, because Barbara is also bothered that Madison gave Peter an ultimatum when it came to Fantasy Suites. Madison stands up for herself and says that she wasn’t telling him what to do, she was sharing her “expectations and feelings” that are just as “valid” as his. It’s true. It’s also very complicated.
But Barbara isn’t done yet. After Madison leaves, she tells Peter, “She’s not there for you, bud” and explains that her prayers for him came true in the form of Hannah Ann. In her confessional, she adds, “Hannah Ann is an angel on Earth.” 
Clearly, Barbara was made for reality TV and now it’s time for her big moment: The “bring her home” speech. As you might have gathered by now, it’s about Hannah Ann. “Bring her home to us,” Barbara says. “She’s a dream come true and God has placed her there for you.” Peter’s response to his mom crying and begging him to choose Hannah Ann is “You got to stop doing this.” He means that he wants her to stop telling him what to do since he is in love with Madison, too, but I also get the vibe that strong expressions of emotion are Barbara’s thing. 
In his confessional, Peter says, “I’m the one that would spend the rest of my life with her, no one else.” He adds, “I want Maddie more than anything.”
So, in his eyes, it’s a good thing that the first one-on-one date goes to Madison. But when she and Peter stop for a picnic after a helicopter ride, she breaks up with him. Yep. The conversation goes on for a long time, but comes down to Madison not believing they’re compatible. She says it’s based on the night he told her he had sex and everything that came after it. (Like, wild guess, his mom saying they’re incompatible.) Peter, of course, is super broken up over this, and Madison cries as she’s driven away. “To walk away from someone you love, it’s the worst feeling in the world,” she says. Madison, unlike Peter, does not believe love is enough. This is yet another reason they might not be compatible.
The next day, Peter meets up with Chris Harrison and is basically like, this sucks, but I guess I won’t leave the show. Then he has his date with Hannah Ann. She and Peter meet baby kangaroos at a kangaroo sanctuary. It’s the cutest thing that’s ever been on The Bachelor. This is the historic first Chris Harrison should be teasing! Peter and Hannah Ann have a normal lovey-dovey Bachelor picnic chat afterward, but in her confessional Hannah Ann says, “Looking into Peter’s eyes, something is off.” The girl's got intuition. 
Back at her suite at night, Peter talks about how this week was hard and his “heart is being pulled in two different directions.” Hannah Ann says that’s not what she wants to hear the night before potentially getting engaged and, yeah, he really should not have said that. He thanks her for being his “rock," which is not what she should be when it comes to his sadness at another breakup. I know he’s going through a tough time, but this is such a bummer for Hannah Ann. By the way, he doesn't tell her that Madison is gone. I imagine this is because Hannah Ann would be like, "So I win, then?" and he'd be like, "Whoa! Slow your roll."
The episode ends there, but as shown in the trailer for tomorrow night, Madison and Peter’s family both return for part two. It’s possible that Peter and Madison will reconcile, but they now have another “roadblock”: His mom’s incessant praise of Hannah Ann and complete lack of faith in him and Madison. Should be fun.
Winner of the Episode: For entertainment value alone, it's got to go to Barbara Weber.
Loser of the Episode: Peter. That Madison breakup was brutal, as was his entire family telling him not to be with a woman he was super into. He really is in a tough position and while he doesn't handle everything great, I do feel for him.
What Chris Harrison Tells Peter During The Very Teased Finale: This is harder than ever to guess, since Madison is already gone. Maybe that Hannah Ann is having doubts? Maybe something totally unrelated and this has all been meant to throw us off? We'll find out soon.
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