'Bachelorette' finale: Rachel chooses a fiancé and America does not agree

Spoiler alert: This story contains substantial details from Monday's season finale of ABC's The Bachelorette.

This is where we come, as a family, to remember the often-painful but occasionally enjoyable (unless it’s Juan Pablo's) journey that our Bachelor Nation stars go through to find love. Rachel Lindsay has been a true Queen among royals. We’d support her through anything, right? RIGHT? Let’s chat.

Things weren’t great the last time we left Rachel, particularly with Peter. He wasn’t sure if he was ready to propose, and your girl came here for a PROPOSAL. But here’s the thing — the Power of the Gap is very real, and they decide to continue on. Peter spends the night in the Fantasy Suite, and they appear the next morning like a sexual version of the song Belle from Beauty and the Beast. BONJOUR!

Leaving Peter behind, she finishes off the round of final dates with Bryan, who you have to love for trying. But at the end of the day, something strange happens between Bryan and Rachel. There’s a weird coldness between them that Bryan finally addresses, but Rachel assures Bryan that it’s just a bit of nerves and stress. So Bryan locks in that last Fantasy Suite, and they head off to get know each other more.

The (Nearly) Final Rose

So after Eric, Peter and Bryan all get their time, they come together and the only sure thing is that Rachel’s fashion this episode has been ON POINT. But it’s Bryan, then Peter, who claim roses. Eric leaves on maybe the classiest goodbye speech in my memory, saying he’ll always love Rachel, but she’s about to get what she wants. Guys, maybe we slept on Eric too long?

The producers then bring Eric out to meet Rachel in real time, and Eric has grown out his beard and it’s official: we slept on Eric TOO LONG. It’s an awkward exchange, but it’s a prime showing for Eric and a decent justification for why he should be the next Bachelor.

One Date More

Bryan gets the first go, and he and Rachel take to the skies in a hot air balloon because nothing says love like putting your faith in wicker transportation. They have an amazing time. Later in the night Bryan gives Rachel a book of translation cheat sheets. Love him or hate him, Bryan is bringing his A-game.

And then there’s Peter, who picks up Rachel to go to a church, and it feels right. Do you know what I’m saying? But after spending the day together, he still can’t promise he’s going to propose because that’s what happens when you date for two months, guys!

Rachel shows up at Peter’s place one more time to get her answers because — let’s repeat — our girl is hear for marriage. But Peter pushes back and says he’s still not sure he can make that leap.

And in a non-Bachelorette world, it makes so much sense. But inside of this world, it makes you wonder why our boy is here? And then Peter wonders out loud: Should I go home? He says that he’ll sacrifice and propose because he believes she’s the right person. But when Rachel pushes back, he says, “Then go find someone and have a mediocre life.” LORD.

After a lot of cries, she leaves. And he’s devastated.

So that leads to Peter coming out, LIVE, to talk to Rachel because this season is a TRAGEDY. There’s no sign of a proposal or a finale moment... just painful nationwide therapy. Rachel assesses that this show and this journey was not for Peter. And 10 minutes after we should have had love, we’re sitting with a sad Peter, a potentially sad Rachel, and still no Bryan. The couple finally says that neither would have changed the outcome. And with that, Peter and his gap fly into the sunset.

The actual final rose

So, Neil Lane shows up, per usual. Bryan gets that ring, and he heads to the mountain to propose to Rachel in the hills of Spain. After some pandering, Bryan proposes and she accepts.

But you have to wonder... even if Rachel does love Bryan, and it seems pretty firmly that she does, does that whole heartfelt diatribe with Peter take away from it?

Bonus thoughts!

  • Apparently Juan Pablo is married. And he’s happy. So, good for him. All our prayer requests worked.
  • Eric’s beard is next level, and we think all of #BachelorNation is proud
  • Love can make two otherwise likable people very hostile.
  • Neil Lane is timeless.

So there it is, family. Maybe tonight is a reminder of what family really means: sticking with those you love, even when you don’t always support their decisions. Or are you a giant Bryan fans? Either way, we’ll see you in Paradise.

More from this season:

'Bachelorette' premiere recap: Rachel gets a good group of guys - and a Whaboom

'Bachelorette' recap episode 2: Rachel gets advice from Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, DeMario leaves

'Bachelorette' recap episode 3: Ellen Degeneres makes a cameo, Eric flips out

'Bachelorette' recap episode 4: Lee calls Kenny 'aggressive,' but gets a rose

'Bachelorette' recap episode 5: Rachel sends three guys home as finale nears

'Bachelorette' recap episode 6: Rachel nixes Lee and five other guys

'Bachelorette' recap episode 7: Rachel takes six to four before hometown dates

'Bachelorette' recap episode 8: Dean goes home after emotional hometown dates

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