The Bachelorette‘s big finale was brutal and intense.

Watching Rachel make her final choice was like watching someone order mushrooms and sardines as their pizza toppings when there’s perfectly good barbecue chicken and bacon as an option.

Well, while Peter Kraus decides if he wants to be the Bachelor while nursing a wounded heart, he’s reportedly also wondering if Rachel was just stringing him along all season.

Peter Kraus and Daisy

HollywoodLife reports that a Bachelor Nation insider says that Peter Kraus thinks he may have been played by Rachel Lindsay.

Understandably, like most viewers, he’s grappling to understand what happened in the finale.

“His feelings for Rachel were very real and they ran deep.”

That much was clear, well before he broke down sobbing after Rachel ended their relationship.

“Having it end so abruptly with no real closure has been a huge kick in the heart. When it first happened he couldn’t talk about it without getting tears in his eyes.”

Awwww!

But while time may not quite heal all wounds, time and distance can help you recover from an emotional loss.

(And time Peter spent cuddling with his dog, Daisy)

“But now he’s at a point where he’s questioning if Rachel was ever even sincere with him, he feels like he got played.”

That’s an understandable thing to wonder.

Peter Kraus Instagram Pic

“Peter was devastated by Rachel’s decision, he wasn’t expecting it at all.”

Neither were a lot of viewers.

While we warned everyone in The Bachelorette Spoilers that Peter wouldn’t be Rachel’s final choice, some people like to go into these things blind.

But going in blind — as, of course, Peter did — leads to getting blindsided.

“Right now he’s doing damage control and trying his best to cover up how badly this hurt him but the pain is still there.”

Oh that is so sad. Though you can kind of tell that when he’s interviewed, you know?

“He was so shocked by her decision, he thinks she made a huge mistake but he doesn’t want to seem bitter so he’s trying to keep those thoughts to himself, at least publicly.”

Well, whoever is revealing this isn’t doing him any favors then.

(Or are they? None of this is changing our opinion of Peter)

Peter Kraus on Good Morning America

We suddenly find ourselves wondering if Rachel Lindsay, after realizing that Bryan Abasolo was (inexplicably) the guy for her, strung Peter along like she did with greater purpose.

Not for drama on the show or because she wanted to keep her options open with the Hunky Wisconsin native.

What if Rachel saw that Peter was absolutely perfect to be the next Bachelor, so she strung him along and left him devastated like that on television — almost making herself a villain in the process — setting him up perfectly in terms of storyline (mending his broken heart) and viewer sympathy.

He was a strong contender for The Bachelor before, but after that finale, it’s hard to imagine them announcing someone else without outrage.

(Even precious sweetheart fan favorite Dean Unglert, though we remind you that Dean himself wants Peter to be the next Bachelor)

That way, Rachel gets her happily ever after (or happily however long that lasts) with Bryan Abasolo and she sets up a sweet, handsome guy perfectly for his next role.

Rachel did say that she doesn’t want Peter to be the Bachelor, but that could either be honest or part of that elaborate scheme.

But … enough conspiracy theories.

Peter Kraus Pic

Whatever the case, whatever was going on in Rachel Lindsay’s mind, we don’t have a way of knowing the truth for certain.

But we can understand why Peter would be agonizing over this, wondering how anyone who felt a connection like he did with Rachel could say goodbye to that.

In interviews, though, Peter is being totally cool about it — and that’s how you know that he’s a perfect fit to be the next Bachelor.