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The Bachelor Episode 9 Recap: Peter Knows He Has to Pick One, Right?

On this week’s episode of The BachelorPeter is all set to take the remaining three women (Hannah Ann, Victoria F., and Madison) to fantasy suites when Madison runs over with a last-minute confession. While Hannah and Victoria think she’s telling Peter about her own virginity, Madison decides to share something different. She tells Peter that, if he is intimate with the other two women, she’ll have to walk away from the process. And just like that: the episode gets a whole lot more interesting.

Peter greets Madison’s announcement with all the maturity and depth we’ve come to expect from him — basically, he tells her to “define intimate.” If he sleeps in a bed with one of them, does that count? Or does it have to be full sex? Madison demurs, but it seems like she’d be okay with a chaste sleepover. Clearly, this is not what Peter had in mind for his week. “I feel like you’re sad right now,” he tells Madison. She is.

Everyone flies Australia’s Gold Coast, where the producers have vengefully decided to have all three women share lodging during their fantasy suite dates. (No, this is not typical. It’s literally just to torture Madison as she watches the other women not come home from their dates.) Also vengeful: They have Madison go last in the line-up of dates.

Hannah Ann is up first. She and Peter go jet skiing, shouting “woo hoo” at each other from across the waves. They sit down by the water and Peter tells her he likes how much she smiles. She asks if he’s been feeling okay emotionally, and — while I truly don’t like to nitpick about this sort of thing — says “you know” upward of 20 times. Suffice it to say, her concern doesn’t seem totally genuine.

Peter says he’s fine and he doesn’t want to think about anyone else. They make out a lot and Hannah Ann tells the producers she can see Peter being her husband. They accept the fantasy suite card and go into a very swanky hotel suite. Peter tells the producers that Hannah is “the most perfect woman that I’ve always dreamt of.” We see (one of) the most famous shots of this season’s preview: the sweaty hand on a glass-paneled door, à la Titanic. 

As is always the case with fantasy suites, there’s no sex shown — but it’s pretty heavily implied.

Back at the house (and again, the women are usually in separate apartments at this point), Madison sits with Victoria. “I’m so close to reaching my breaking point,” she says. Hannah comes home. “How did it go?” they ask her. “It went really well,” she says, looking completely miserable as she sits down next to Madison.

The next date is Victoria F. Weirdly enough, it starts off with Peter yet again apologizing for…trying to have half a conversation about some troubling accusations? “I trust you and I have your back,” he tells Victoria. (PSA: People who ask you to “have their back” and “trust” without giving you straight answers are bad news. Peter, why are you doing this?)

They go on a helicopter ride over the stunning Gold Coast, and seem to be having a great time (AKA they’re not yet screaming at each other). Peter is brightly telling the producers all the red flags in their relationship as a voice-over.

“There’s obviously that fire, I’m actually really attracted to that,” he says, beaming. “As many times as she’s wanted to walk away, she hasn’t!” Ah yes. The foundation of every strong relationship.

They sit down for the serious afternoon chat part of their date and address the fact that they have terrible communication skills. Victoria says she has trust issues from her last longterm relationship, and Peter doesn’t ask a single follow-up question. He asks her why she keeps pushing him away, and keeps pressing her until she starts crying. Then he gives her a hug.

“Cheers to us never giving up,” he says, clinking champagne flutes. “I feel like we’re definitely on the same page now,” Victoria says. They go to the fantasy suite, and we watch them make out on the bed for a while. “I am in love with three women,” Peter tells the producers. I’m pretty sure this week has done nothing to help clear his mind.

While Victoria’s still gone, Madison tells Hannah Ann what she told Peter about fantasy suites. “These are the expectations that I have for our relationship,” she says. Hannah Ann looks uncomfortable, because she definitely had sex with Peter the night before.

Luckily, Victoria F. comes in and takes over as the woman to most recently have had sex with Madison’s boyfriend. “You look so cute,” she coos to the other women. “You look skinny!” they cry back. Peter, why have you left us with these women?

Finally, it’s Madison’s turn for her date. Instead of doing the obvious thing of asking him upfront whether he was intimate with the other women, she decides to play out their full date first. (What? More screen time.) She and Peter climb SkyPoint, because Peter’s personality is basically just liking heights, and something about the adrenaline is working for Madison.

“I feel so safe and secure,” she says. She realizes that she’s in love with Peter (but doesn’t tell him), and they make out on the tower.

Hannah Ann decides that Victoria should know about Madison’s conversation with Peter too. “Madison told Peter her expectations for him as far as intimacy,” she relays. “What are her expectations and why?” Victoria demands, getting more indignant by the second. “It’s kind of an ultimatum,” she declares a minute later. Neither woman seems to think Madison was fair to suggest this. But then again, they did both just have sex with Peter in the last 48 hours. No one’s thinking objectively here.

It’s time for the dinner portion of Peter and Madison’s date, and — finally — they’re going to broach the only important question. “I just want to start off being very honest with you,” Peter tells her, before proceeding to beat around the bush for 20 minutes. “I have been going through a lot.”

Madison decides it’s time for her other confession: “I decided that I want to save myself for marriage,” she tells him. Peter is immediately, visibly troubled. “I do expect that this point for us to be honest about the expectations that we have for each other,” she tells him.

“I respect the hell out of you,” Peter says back, looking more like a guy trying to buy time than anyone I’ve ever seen. Desperate to say anything other than, “yes, I did have sex with those other two women,” he tries this: “You would want to give up a forever with each other because of something that happened this week? In another relationship of mine?”

He puts on his best incredulous face, but Madison’s not swayed. “You’re down on one knee, six days earlier you slept with someone else?” As she said before, she doesn’t think she could get past it.

Peter still doesn’t want to tell her what she needs to know. Before he says anything, he wants her to promise she wouldn’t walk away, and convince her that he did nothing wrong. But Madison drew a clear line, and Peter crossed it.

“I’ve sacrificed a lot and I’ve compromised a lot and I’ve pushed myself in a lot of ways,” she tells him. The final line she wasn’t willing to cross? Peter having sex with two other women a week before they get engaged. “It’s why I voiced it to you,” she reminds him. Go Madison! Whatever you think of her views on marriage, she knows what she needs and she’s holding firm. You love to see it.

“I have been intimate,” Peter says finally, “and I can’t lie to you.” Madison takes it hard: she immediately starts rubbing her face then excuses herself.

Peter leaves her alone for a few minutes, then follows her out there and starts manically rubbing her shoulders and cheeks, pressing his forehead into hers. “I hate this situation,” he whispers. “I can’t lose you.”

“I can’t change who I am,” she says. “Don’t walk away,” he begs. “Please don’t walk away from this.” But walk away she does…and next week, it looks like only Victoria and Hannah Ann are waiting at the chopping block. I’m not sure I believe she’s gone for good — but if Peter’s mother really is begging for him to bring Madison back, that’s honestly hilarious. To be fair, faced with Hannah Ann and Victoria, I might feel the same way.

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