When we look back on Peter Weber’s Bachelor season, we will likely remember two things, the first has yet to unfold: the much-promised “shocking finale,” whose outcome host Chris Harrison has repeatedly told us is still even unknown to Peter. Then, there is the prolonged, poorly-managed drama that plagued the 2020 Bachelor until its final weeks. The never-ending infighting of the season revealed Peter to be an easily distracted Bachelor at best and a producer-level glutton for reality TV squabbles at worst.
However, Peter is finally steered away from his beloved drama with the first half of The Bachelor's season 24 finale, “Season Finale, Part 1.” In place of the usual chaos around Pilot Pete, the episode is fueled by decisiveness and intention. Of course, these narrative-pushing attitudes don’t come from Peter himself — they are driven by his obvious frontrunner, Madison Prewett, who breaks up with Peter by the end of the episode.
After a season of mess, Madison has finally saved Peter’s The Bachelor from its many infuriating tendencies.
Madison has three major conversations over “Finale, Part 1,” that cement her as the most outspoken and thoughtful person on the 2020 cycle of The Bachelor. In the first, she and Peter sit down to talk about their disastrous Fantasy Suites dinner date. During that “Week 9” moment, Peter admitted to “being intimate” with contestants after Madison told him she may not be able to continue if he slept with other women (her request was not as clear as it could have been). Madison does not waver in her defense of her feelings on the topic.
“I felt like you really put your feelings and your needs and your wants way above mine. And that was really hurtful,” Madison says, capturing all of her complicated emotions in two sentences. Peter persistently claims he was attempting to explore his other relationships to their fullest potential through his Fantasy Suites hookups. But from Madison’s point of view, the fact that Peter needed those experiences after she shared her truth means their relationship isn’t where she would need it to be for engagement.
During previous contentious conversations like this one, Peter used a couple of different tactics to avoid making a direct decision. He polled the contestant around him, like the day of the terrible pool party. He brought contestants into closed door meetings and watched them argue directly (see: Alayah Benavidez and Victoria Paul’s final showdown). He picked up and left the situation until a contestant — like Hannah Ann Sluss or Victoria Fuller — followed him crying. Peter has none of these escape routes with Madisons and her deliberate argument. He simply has to sit there and have a prolonged adult conversation. This is The Bachelor season 24 at its most interesting.
That’s likely why producers allowed viewers to see 10 full minutes of Madison and Peter’s discussion, as opposed to a handful of choppy glimpses.
Madison brings that same energy to her meeting with Peter’s mom, Barbara Weber. Barbara spends this time defending her son’s “lifestyle” of “partying” and freedom to get “physical” with whomever he chooses in the Fantasy Suites. Madison could easily buckle in this tough situation. She does not. Instead, Madison responds, “But also at the same time, my expectations and feelings are valid just as much as his. I totally get that’s his journey, but it’s also mine.” Instantly, a Bachelor conversation that is usually more simpering that riveting becomes raw, and is only intensified as Madison continues, “I have the standards that I have. I’m not going to apologize for that. I’m not going to be ashamed of that.”
No one in the Weber family is allowed to escape Madison’s convictions — they can only face them head on. This dynamic forces Peter to actually do some internal soul searching, and actively reject the counsel of people around him, like his parents and brother, Jake. It’s easy to see Peter may be making a mistake by stubbornly insisting that Madison is likely The One, but at least it’s a decision the Bachelor has come to on his own.
Still, just because Peter wants Madison, that doesn’t mean he will get her. In one final crucial move, Madison takes her bizarre, fly-filed desert picnic date with Peter as an opportunity to question whether she should remain on The Bachelor. “I just got more of a sight into life outside of this and just how different it all is,” she says, adding that neither of them should have to change core parts of themselves to be happy in a relationship. She is correct; Peter is dumbfounded.
“I don’t know that we’re the best for each other,” Madison concludes, announcing it is time to end things. Within two minutes of crying and hugging, Peter is walking Madison to her car to leave.
It is unclear if Madison will stay gone — previews for the second night of the finale suggest the answer is no — but she did clearly share her entire unvarnished truth. Now Peter can only react. It's a painful reality that creates can't-look-away television.