One of the major problems of this show is we’re not able to get any introspection on the part of Peter. I’d love to know what’s rolling around in that bandaged head of his. Frankly, not enough men are able look deep inside themselves and realize how or why they’re making the same mistakes over and over again. Because honestly, I need Peter to look inside himself and realize that he’s a Carrie.
He thinks he’s a Charlotte but he’s a goddamn Carrie. And listen, he’s not even the fun aspects of Carrie. He’s middle of season three Carrie. The Worst Carrie. Peter is self-sabotaging all over the place and has completely conflated drama with … passion, I guess? Peter is freaking out that the women he’s dating are too young and directionless, but then eliminates the two of the three oldest women there. Peter keeps waking up in a cold sweat because Aiden is too loving. No, wait. That one was Carrie.
The biggest issue is that neither Peter nor the audience knows a single thing about these women. If MTV’s Are You the One: Come One, Come All could manage to tell more compelling love stories along with games where they had to assemble Ikea furniture as a couple, what is ABC’s fucking problem? The fact that it’s a week before hometown dates and we know literally nothing about Hannah Ann or Victoria F. and we’re just finding out that Madison is religious and Kelsey’s parents are divorced is a complete mismanagement of resources. I know more about the Miss USA pageant drama than I do about Victoria F.’s home life. Well, I know that Marlin Lives Matter in her home. Let’s get to this mess.
We’re starting the episode in Lima, Peru! Another place for Peter to show off his ninth-grade Spanish! Peter says his biggest fear is getting to the end of this and the women not feeling the same way. Do we have any evidence of this happening in his past, or even with any of the current women? I mean, his concern over choosing someone who is there for him would definitely be mitigated if he didn’t end the episode by eliminating two of the most mature and well-balanced women in favor of someone who literally tells him “You’re in a MOOD!”
But I’m getting ahead of myself. Before the first date card arrives, Peter decides to stop by the ladytestants’ hotel room to warn them that he’s looking for a wife and a future. What does any of that mean? How many kids does he want? Where does he want to live? UNCLEAR but he’s SERIOUS! This is some Carrie bullshit. The first date card arrives the next morning and it’s Madison! Natasha still hasn’t had a one-on-one but it’s time for Peter’s second one-on-ones with everyone else! Madison says she’s got a lot on her heart to share with Peter and I wish I knew literally anything about her that would give me any idea what she’s talking about.
Peter and Madison head out for a fishing-themed date. Also, Peter’s bandages are finally off and he’s got a long scar on his forehead that makes him look like a bad-ass Woody doll. Peter says that this date is something he would love to do with his future wife: travel to a new country and explore. It’s totally something he would do. Again, we would know that about him if that was presented to us at any point beside this one.
While Peter and Maddy — wait, has anyone heard this nickname before? This is adorable and feels really sweet! Man! ABC, get it together! We want to see the cute nicknames and lil’ romantic rituals. Everyone knows the best part of a romantic comedy is like three-fifths of the way in when they’re all happy and going to see movies in the park and wearing matching sweaters. ABC is convinced the best part of the romantic comedy is ten minutes before the movie starts, where the romantic leads are essentially strangers to each other.
Anyway, Natasha’s date card arrives while Peter and Maddy are getting ready for the evening portion of the date. Maddy has worked up the courage to tell Peter that she’s religious and from what it sounds like, pretty traditionally religious in her views of what role a husband should play in the household. She’s looking for a man of faith who will be the spiritual leader of the household. Are we really trying to hand men more responsibilities in 2020? I hate to sound like a female comedian in 1985, but Peter can’t even get into a golf cart safely and you want him to guide your household?
The best part of this is that Peter tells Maddy that he’s only done religion socially but he’s definitely willing to experiment. Guess what, Maddy! PETER IS NOT SAYING HE WANTS TO BE THE RELIGIOUS LEADER IN YOUR HOME. He’s agreeing to like the thing that the pretty girl he likes is into so she’ll keep talking to him, because then Peter tells her that he’s falling in love with her. Oh, Peter. You get the sense he’s always said, “I’m falling for you” in every single relationship he’s ever been in, don’t you? Madison gets the rose.
Up next is his date with Natasha. Poor Natasha. We all knew what was happening on this date before we even got there. There was no romantic boat ride or trip up the mountains on the back of an alpaca. The “walking around the city” date this late in the season? You’re being let down easy, Natasha. Natasha tells Peter she hasn’t brought a date home to meet her parents in like four years and she’s got brothers who will try to grill him. You can feel Peter’s butthole clench at the thought of someone with emotional boundaries and having to answer for himself. At the night portion of the date, Peter asks if Natasha sees anything special between them. Fucking brutal. Natasha gives perfectly reasonable answers for a guy you’ve been on ONE DATE with: their lives line up and she likes the way he is. She also says that she needs to suspend her feelings until she knows how this will all play out.
Peter is not interested in any of that shit. He has a strong friendship with Natasha but a wife is not a friend! Peter has to send Natasha home and he tells her that she’s going to find someone. Peter needs to quit that shit. It’s not helpful, it’s not comforting, it’s condescending. Carrie.
It’s time for Kelsey’s one-on-one date. They’re going to ride ATVs up the mountainside and Peter and Kelsey are completely out of breath because they’re up in the clouds and also Peter clearly doesn’t work out. This date is also completely up Peter’s alley. I guess I’ll have to take his word for what his hobbies and interests are. Kelsey talks about how she wants to have kids but only work two or three days a week so she can spend time with them. Kelsey is a professional clothier, which is a job that I definitely know what that is, but I guess it has a very flexible work schedule. She wants to have time to pursue her passion which is………
Kelsey is also worried that she won’t be able to offer Peter what he wants, which is…………
On the night portion of the date, Kelsey opens up about her family life and her relationship with her father. There has been some chatter on deeper, darker parts of the Bachelor-sphere about exactly how shady Kelsey’s dad has been. In the narrative of this show, if you don’t come from a nuclear family with parents who are still married, then that’s something to answer for and get out ahead of. Kelsey doesn’t want Peter to wonder why no one would bring up her dad or where he would be. Listen, if you have a reasonable, responsible dad that you’ve never had to tell your friends, “He’s just on some bullshit right now so I’m not texting him back,” you’re in the minority.
Peter says that his relationship with Kelsey has been unique and he’s gotten the validation he needs from her. BOOM. CARRIE-LEVEL BULLSHIT. Peter says that Kelsey has a strength and a grace that isn’t shown enough in the world we live in today. What the actual fuck does that mean? Peter’s favorite female wrestler is clearly Lacey Evans and that’s a problem. She gets the rose.
It’s time for the final three-on-one date. Victoria F., Kelley, and Hannah Ann are going on the date. Okay. Kelley is going home, right? I mean… do we even have to do this? When Peter is given the choice between an aspiring model in her early twenties and an actual attorney in her late twenties, he’s picking the Influencer. Forced to pick between someone he feels a sense of companionship with and someone he has to endure extreme conflicting emotions from, he’s picking someone who will cry and then yell and then pout and then make out and then cry again.
They head to a hacienda and meet an old man who has been married a long time so therefore he has wisdom. After chatting with the man whose family has married on this hacienda for over a hundred years, Peter steals Hannah Ann away first. She wrote him a letter on the same paper Elle Woods’ resume is printed on with all the reasons that she’s falling in love with him. She basically drew hearts over the I’s. Some of the reasons include: he makes time for her, makes her feel like there is no one else for him, and makes her feel beautiful even with hot dog on her face. This list was written this morning.
Peter grabs Kelley and she basically tells him, “Are you a fucking moron? Pick me. We have fun and a relationship can be easy and fun.” You can hear Peter’s brain melting out of his ears. A … fun … relationship? Peter tells her that he doesn’t like that she uses the word fun so much. Get over yourself, Daniel Day-Lewis. Peter has convinced himself that if he’s not working to make a relationship work or make his partner calm, then she’ll leave him because deep down, he’s boring. His utility in a relationship is making the woman happy, and then she’ll validate that he’s a good boy worthy of love. It’s bleak, but it’s what he’s dealing with.
All that explains Victoria F.’s continued presence. Knowing that Peter has to satisfy the emotional whims of his partner is the only thing that explains her still being there. I haven’t seen anything between them that implies that either of them is enjoying themselves. Victoria F. spends all her time with Peter telling him that he’s in a bad mood and that he’s frustrating her. She’s actively pushing him away because she’s Negaverse Julia Fox from Uncut Gems. Victoria F. is mortified that their relationship went the way it did even though she is an adult who has control over what she says and does. So of course, Peter gives her a rose first.
It’s between Hannah Ann and Kelley and Kelley hasn’t humiliated herself trying to demonstrate to Peter that she loves him, so Hannah Ann gets the final rose. Peter even says that he could see having a lifelong friendship with Kelley but FRIEND IS NOT WIFE!
They’re off to hometowns with four emotionally immature women! There’s no way this isn’t going to end poorly!