This is the way the season ends …
This is the way the season ends …
This is the way the season ends …
Not with a bang but with the Bachelorette asking out the guy she turned down on a hillside in Greece.
It’s hard to call this finale “disappointing” or “unsatisfactory” when it included some “Happy Couple Visit Turns Into Shattering Emotional Confrontation” action, but man, oh man, it certainly was something. At the end of the day, I’m walking away from Hannah’s season feeling like she was set up for failure, and, to borrow a phrase, it hurts my heart to see her throw herself at this process with all the enthusiasm of a third-grader volunteering to be a magician’s assistant and end up with the grand prize of asking Tyler on a date.
Because the issue never was Hannah. Sure, she was a little too trusting and a little too eager to settle for someone or something because she was supposed to. But we’ve all been that person. I’ve dated improvisers, America. I’m not above telling my girlfriends that I think Adam’s parody Twitter account is going to take off and then he’ll definitely be up for some TV writing jobs and his job as a Whole Foods bagger is just temporary. I’ve just been fortunate enough that my naïve dating years didn’t take place on national television. And even though Hannah turned on the pageant poise to get through having to sit down with her ain’t-shit ex, she was a real person for the entirety of this ordeal, and her willingness to get furious with the dudes and this process was the only glimmering light in this season.
The issue this season was the dudes. These pieces of shit dudes.
Listen, I’m gonna be honest with y’all. I’ve been dealing with some nonsense from some of the men in my family, and I’ve been playing them clips of Jed and Luke as a learning tool. “Write a five-paragraph essay comparing and contrasting your bad behavior to the behavior of the contesticles on The Bachelorette. Be sure to include the terms: ‘minimizing,’ ‘gaslighting,’ and ‘being sorry you got caught.’”
Heading into the finale, there’s always the feeling that even if you don’t really like the guy the lead picks at the end, your heart is eventually warmed by their love. (See: Rachel Lindsay’s season.) This season, we’ve all been so steeped in the shitty offscreen behavior of the front-runner that we couldn’t even be excited for Hannah, even for a moment.
And then Jed took out his guitar and sang that damn song. I immediately flew into a rage. Was that even legally considered a song? There was no chorus, no hook. It was just a collection of vaguely rhyming words sort of set to music. Was it a poem? What makes a poem a song?
Let’s get to it.
The episode starts with Chris Harrison speaking like a guy in a bar trying to tell you the Game of Thrones finale was actually good: “The shocking conclusion to find love that no one saw coming! It’s about the massive destructive forces of lies and betrayal!” The show no longer gives a solitary fuck about spoilers and suspense, and he wanted to reassure us that Hannah wasn’t going to end up with Jed without saying those exact words.
Hannah’s day starts in Crete, as she’s getting ready for a decision she’s completely incapable of making. Jed and Tyler head out to meet Neil Lane. Jed says, “Oh yeah, the one with the oval. This one represents our love. The oval is a constant.” Wait. What, bitch? It’s as if he’s using romantic language but it’s been translated into Romanian and then back to English through Google translate. When you think of universal symbols of love — hearts, roses, knots — no one has ever included THE OVAL. That’s like saying, “I love this trapezoidal ring because our love is a quadrilateral with two parallel sides.”
As Hannah is heading to the craggy Greek hillside, she has a flip-out in the car and demands the driver stop. She gets out and walks down the street and her heel catches on the road and she falls and does two full rotations on the ground. Can this bitch take a single sign from the universe that she should not let Jed propose to her? So far, water and rocks have all tried to stop her from getting close to this man. I’m surprised a gust of wind didn’t blow that oval ring out of his hands.
The vans pull up to the hillside and Jed has his guitar with him. The first shoes out of the van are a sharp pair of monk strap oxf — OH NO, IT’S TYLER. Tyler meets Hannah, and thankfully she stops him before he pulls out the ring, but she can’t even find any words. Tyler has to look at her and say, “This isn’t it.” He stares off into that beautiful Greek middle distance. She tells him that he’s loved and supported her, and life with him would be amazing but she’s in love with someone else. Oof, there’s no good way to break up with someone on this show, is there? Tyler tells her that he wishes her success and he’ll root for her. Tyler’s basic decency continues to inspire and amaze. He wishes her perfect success with Jed and we all know that’s not happening. He says that it feels like a million punches to the gut. There, there, Tyler. Let the thousands of women slipping into your DMs comfort you.
It’s time for Jed’s musical proposal. Put this in the dictionary under “Dramatic Irony.” Jed’s proposal is fine, stiffly delivered, and has an overly twee musical score. It’s like a country version of a Wes Anderson film, where we all know the main characters are filling the holes in their hearts with a love that won’t work. Jed’s proposal is mostly about how great he’s done in this process and how he wanted Hannah to show him her inner light. Hannah delivers an incredibly passionate and earnest speech about her love, and I wish she hadn’t done that. Oh, sweetheart.
Once he proposes and Hannah says “yes,” Jed just keeps repeating, “We’re engaged.” You can hear the period at the end and not an exclamation point. Then Hannah sings that “Mr. Riiiiiiiight Guyyyy” song again.
Then it’s time for this episode to become a Dateline special. We get montages of photos of them when they were happy, while Hannah talks about how she didn’t know there was a dark past lurking underneath. Hannah has Jed come over to an Airbnb so she can yell at him.
Listen, as someone who has seen her fair share of cheaters and otherwise mendacious men try to spin their misdeeds as “not that bad,” it’s going to be very hard for me to accurately talk about Jed’s bullshit without projecting my feelings all over him.
So the problem for Hannah is that Jed told her a very watered-down version of his relationship “drama” the day after they got engaged. So he obviously slept with Hannah and basked in her happiness and then told her. As Jed explains exactly what happened with this woman he dated before the show, it gets … bad. Jed claims he never saw her as his girlfriend. Let’s dive into that, shall we?
Slept with her
Spent the night with her
Spent a romantic weekend away
Had her meet his parents
Let her plan a surprise birthday party for him
Accepted a birthday trip from her parents
Said I love you multiple times
If that’s not a girlfriend, what the fuck is?
But the part of this that’s richer than the most decadent chocolate mousse is that JED CLAIMS THAT HE BROKE UP WITH HER IN HIS HEART. It was a spiritual good-bye. Since writing this, I have begun dating and broken up with Channing Tatum and Michael B. Jordan in my heart no fewer than 15 times.
Jed also has had women over to his apartment for parties since being engaged to Hannah, and bragged to his friends that he “won.” He’s not telling people he’s engaged, he’s telling them he won. But honestly, that’s all Jed cared about. He cared that he would make it farther than Luke because he couldn’t stand losing to Luke. He cared about Hannah saying “I love you” at the end, because that would mean he won. He says over and over in their conversation that he’s put himself in an awful position. He mutters under his breath that he doesn’t want to cry on camera. It’s all about Jed and how he looks.
He asks Hannah what he can do and “where do you want me to grow.” This is fucking annoying for two reasons. First, I think she’s laid out where you got some problems. Second, when people ask you to tell them what they need to fix in your relationships, it’s like buying your own Christmas presents, wrapping them, and putting the other person’s name on the “From” tag. Then you have to open them up on Christmas morning and act surprised. “Wow, Jed! I can’t believe you got me the Sunday Riley Favorites gift set! That is a present you selected on your own and I am completely surprised by this present.”
Jed says that he had opportunities to tell Hannah but he didn’t because he didn’t want her to walk away from him. And then he would lose. And he would look like a bad guy on television and that might compromise his hot adult-diaper-jingle prospects. Hannah rightly says that her decision to choose him was based on a lie. She wasn’t making an informed decision and he allowed her to do that for his own benefit. He asks her for grace and patience so he can become someone she can be proud of. Hannah says she’s allowed to be angry and she did have grace for him. This is not what she said yes to.
This is not what she said yes to.
Everyone write that down and refer to it the second someone does some bullshit. Someone invites you to a party at their house and tries to charge you for drinks? “This is not what I said yes to.” Your boss suddenly asks you to take care of their child even though it’s not in your job description? “This is not what I said yes to.” A dude that you’ve been intimate with suddenly claims that your relationship is not that serious so it doesn’t have to be a big deal that he’s still dating his ex-girlfriend? This is not what I said yes to.
Hannah takes her ring off and sets it on the table.
Jed tries to tell her that the two months they spent together was good and he was the person she wanted and that she did say yes. Hannah says it hasn’t been good and his behavior is making her question everything.
We suddenly cut to Hannah in the studio with Chris and their engagement is over. The audience bursts into applause. They do this several times when Hannah says something very sad has happened, including Hannah telling Jed she doesn’t love him anymore. I love a petty audience.
Hannah sits down with Jed and he has some bullshit that he still loves her and he “owns up” to what he did. His line is that he never imagined he would fall in love on the show and didn’t know what it was so … it’s okay? Chris Harrison asks her about three times if the relationship is over. Yeah, Chris. Now bring out Tyler.
Hannah sits down with Tyler and gets very giggly and tells him that her feelings haven’t gone away and she wants to get a drink. Tyler says they’ve got a lot to catch up on.
Umm … okay? I guess this is what we get. It’s not the ending we want, but it’s certainly the ending we deserve.
See you in Paradise!