‘The Bachelorette’ Breaks off Engagement in Show’s Finale, Gives Runner-Up a Second Chance

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Boy oh boy, this season of The Bachelorette — ABC’s reality TV dating show that features one woman choosing a future husband from a pool of 30 men — has been a ride. While there’s always one egregiously awful contestant that the audience hates, this year the show positively hinged on its villain, Luke P. After a vicious round of shaming a few episodes ago, Hannah finally gave Luke the boot, leaving her with three men who could potentially become her husband. Surely, after dealing with an obnoxious, over-zealous religious misogynist, Hannah had to have seen the worst, right?

Well, listen. About that…

Last night saw this season of The Bachelorette come to a close, and in the middle of beautiful Greece, Hannah B. made her choice. But that was only the start of all the drama that was to come. Who did she pick? What did it say about her overall journey this year? And are all men literally trash (not even on The Bachelorette, just like, in general)?

Heading into the finale as the internet’s favorite, Tyler C. had shown Hannah kindness, grace, and respect all season long. He is also quite possibly the most attractive man on God’s green earth which, let’s be honest, helps.

Seemingly coming into the finale with the most momentum, Jed is a potential country music star. To be fair, technically all of us are potential country music superstars, in that we live in a universe with infinite possibilities. Doesn’t mean it’s likely, though. And best of all? He has a deep, dark secret. Oh wait, did I say “best of all”? I meant “worst of all.”

A sweet and pure little baby face, Pilot Pete was a great match for Hannah (even though he looks like he’s about 12 years old).

Hannah let Pete go at the beginning of the finale, and you could tell it hurt her to do it. This was a man she’d cared about from the start, and he had objectively the cutest moment of the season when he asked Hannah if she’d be his girlfriend.

The most meme’d moment of this Bachelorette run came when Hannah revealed she and Pete were intimate in a windmill. Here in the studio, before Pete’s parents even, Hannah drilled into that night, saying they had done it not just twice as she’d said before, but four times. And when they cut to Pete’s parents, they were stoked about it. Just a tough look for everyone involved.

Hannah’s parents were flown out to Greece (being the parent to a Bachelorette is a nice gig if you can get it) to meet their daughter’s last two suitors. And like the rest of America, they loved Tyler and hated Jed.

When Hannah’s father asked Jed what he was most proud of in is music career, he jumped at the chance to talk about the dog food company that had just hired him to write them a jingle. It was clear from his face that Hannah’s dad was not impressed, but maybe that’s just because he thought Jed would get paid in dog food.

Eventually, Hannah would sit down with her parents to get their thoughts on the boys. Her father was the one to bring up Jed’s finances, saying, “The man of the house has his obligations.” I guess I missed the part where they mentioned that Hannah’s dad has been frozen in ice since 1952 when those kind of gender roles were important.

A few episodes ago, Luke P., a contestant who should’ve listed “Toxic Misogynist” as his occupation, did his best to shame Hannah for doing the deed in a windmill. But Hannah was having none of it, shutting him down and booting him off the show.

The intent is obviously very different, but both Luke P. and Hannah’s dad were using gender-based assumptions — like women shouldn’t be intimate or women must be provided for — to get her to make the decisions they want her to make. Be it through intercourse or through making money, men have a lot of methods for controlling women.

… Hannah was going to pick Jed. It was absolutely going to happen. The moment her dad said (in so many words) that Jed was forbidden, he made that stinking musician the sexiest man in the world.

This man had some sweet words to say to Hannah, including, “I knew the man I wanted to be, but I didn’t know how I was gonna get there. Until I met you.” Hell, when I heard that, I got down on one knee to propose to him. And I was just at home, watching him on my TV.

In one of the most devastating moments of the year, Hannah started bobbing her head all around while Tyler poured his heart out. Finally, Hannah cut him off, and the world was heart-broken.

Of course, he sang a song, since this proposal was all about himself and his own interests. God forbid you do something Hannah would like, Jed, like dressing up like an Alabama Crimson Tide linebacker.

They were doing all the things you’d expect an overwhelmingly joyous couple to do — they danced and kissed and looked into each other’s eyes and lied about their deep and dark secret and held hands.

And then she dropped this bomb: “But that’s not what happened.”

See, all season, we’ve known that Jed has a girlfriend.

A People article detailing Jed’s relationship worth a woman that he did not break up with before going on The Bachelorette hit somewhere between the filming of the finale and yesterday’s live special. Hannah did not take it in stride.

In the very first episode of the season, a contestant named Scott tried to pull a similar scheme — going on The Bachelorette for all the wrong reasons — and was chastised and sent home by Hannah. At that point, Jed should’ve known to come clean.

In a segment shot well after the proposal, Hannah welcomed Jed into her home so they could talk things through. First, Hannah asked why he waited so long to say anything, and Jed responded, “For…?” as though he didn’t know what she was talking about.

In what was a rough scene for ol’ Jed, he listed a bunch of reasons as to why this woman he’d promised to return to once his Bachelorette stint was done was not his girlfriend. The best excuse saw Jed tell Hannah that he and the girlfriend weren’t together when he met her because, in his mind, he’d already broken up with her. And to one more time be fair to Jed, his old girlfriend did have a special gift she called “the shining,” which allows her to understand what people mean without them ever having to say it out loud.

It took Hannah an entire season to see Luke P. for the monster he was. At least it didn’t take her long to get to the “Oh, you’re trash, huh?” phase with Jed.

Saying she needed some time to figure things out, Hannah gave Jed back the ring he’d proposed with. And you just know he’s going to pawn it off to buy a harmonica neck holder for his next gig at the Piccadilly Pour House just there off Route 65.

And the crowd response for Jed was cold as ice. Last week, on the Bachelorette Men Tell All episode, even Luke P. got a smattering of applause. Not that Jed didn’t deserve it, but the audience didn’t give him a single clap. Instead they glowered at him like he was Bernie Madoff making a perp walk.

Lying about going into this thing with a girlfriend shattered Hannah’s trust, and she didn’t feel the same way about Jed as she did the day she asked him to propose to her.

After Jed was yanked off-stage by a long-handled hook (not really, but a boy can dream, can’t he?), Hannah talked about what it meant to her to end her relationship with Jed.

Numerous times throughout this season, Hannah’s made decisions about what was best for her and acted upon them, from asking for another rose before Hometowns to KO’ing Luke P. for slut-shaming her.

This experience taught Hannah something important. She said, “I want a husband, but I don’t need a husband.” Truly, that is a revolutionary thing to be said on The Bachelorette, a show literally about needing to find a husband.

Our big, brawny, respectful man Tyler C. came back out onstage to say hi to Hannah. The moment was so huge, all it needed was legendary WWE announcer Jim Ross to shout, “Bah god, that’s Tyler C.’s music!”

And she asked him out.

No longer tied to stifling gender roles, Hannah decided she would ask Tyler C. out for a drink. The big galoot said yes, and now the guy who should have won gets a chance to court the girl of his dreams the old fashioned way — without cameras recording their every move.

The Bachelorette‘s premise is in and of itself is a little outdated. It suggests that a woman’s most important job is finding a man. But this ending subverted that, with Hannah shrugging off her engagement and choosing to pursue love on her own terms. Whether she ends up with Tyler C. or not, Hannah’s future is bright. And that’s why I’ve decided to vote for her to be the 2020 Democratic presidential nominee.