Hannah and her men descend on Scotland. Loch Ness Luke continues to dominate the conversation… and the screen time. But a bevy of kilts gives some much need levity when Hannah gets a glimpse of everyone’s nuts and berries. Mike finally gets a one-on-one and, much like him, I cannot stop smiling about it. Is it the whiskey talking, or is love blooming? Tighten your tartan scarf, your recaps starts now!
The show picks up where we left off – with Hannah attempting to mediate a showdown between Luke S. and Luke P. in a continuing “he said/he said” fallout over tackles and tequila. Luke S. reasons that his (yet unnamed?) tequila company doesn’t even exist yet. Luke P. claims that Mr. S. is “not here for the right reasons.” There is much back & forth and, while for some reason the obvious continues to elude Hannah, the fact remains: Luke P. is a gaslighting, manipulative bully. Luke S. knows it. The other men in the house know it. Twitter definitely knows it. Heck, even that hunk of garbage Luke P. knows it. Sadly, Hannah still hasn’t gotten the message. She walks off, leaving the two Lukes to glower at one another in silence.
No rest for the wicked – it’s time for the delayed Rose Ceremony! Hannah kicks off the rather subdued proceedings with a toast about how difficult things have been, specifically citing her confusion. (Girl, what is there to be confused about?) She’s just about ready to begin handing out the roses when Luke S. steps forward to ask for a word. Hannah can barely conceal her irritation – hasn’t he already had plenty of her time? But she agrees.
The chat is brief. Luke S. has officially decided to withdraw from the competition so Hannah can focus on the stronger relationships. He also has no interest in continuing to defend his character from the onslaught of a relentless psychopath. He apologizes for causing her pain and strongly urges her to keep her eyes open. (Hint: there is a monster in your path, and he is a squat man with stubble and dead eyes.) And with that, Luke S. is free to ferment his agave in peace. Godspeed, liquor lover!
And here’s who’s staying – with a reminder that Tyler, Jed, and Garrett have flowers from the last episode and Luke S. obviously just removed himself. Rose receivers include: Peter, Connor, Dillon, Dustin, Mike, Kevin, Devin, Grant, and… Luke P. (Seriously, Hannah?!) That means we’re saying goodbye to Matteo and John Paul Jones (argh – just as he was growing on me!). (And no JPJ exit interview? A missed opportunity for comedy gold. Bachelor in Paradise can’t come soon enough!) Luke delivers a disturbing toast about “being on the hunt.” Everyone shifts uncomfortably. This man is a nightmare.
So, Luke P. (simply Luke moving forward) is sticking around, but first there’s a one-on-one and it starts now, with Hannah inviting Mike to spend the day with her exploring Inverness. And thank god – I think we need a palate cleanser after that distasteful decision!
That’s right – now that we’ve cleared the ceremony, the remaining contestants are off to Inverness, Scotland! Hannah wants to leave the drama behind her (begging the question – then why did she allow Luke to accompany them overseas?), and the men are wowed by the gorgeous countryside. They reconvene in a pub, Mike gets asked on a date, and serious cuteness ensues. They try on hats. They visit a bookstore. They read poetry together. They get seriously buzzed at a whiskey tasting. A crafty local convinces them to try haggis – something he never deigns to eat – and Hannah almost vomits when she finds out what it is. But not even a boiled sheep’s stomach stuffed with innards can quell this chemistry – Mike and Hannah continue to have a lovely day.
Bonus – the finally get to talk about something other than Luke! During the evening portion of the date, Mike reveals that he got his heart seriously broken and hasn’t been in love in years. He’s absolutely terrified of falling again but can’t seem to stop himself here. Hannah is understanding – she too feels that she spent years adapting to men, versus being herself, but she’s ready now. They both understand what they’re doing is scary and are mutually appreciative of one another’s vulnerabilities. He says he’s ready to get down on one knee in a few weeks, but in the meantime, he nabs the coveted Date Rose. I’m on official cuteness overload – Mike’s smile could power an entire city. Happy sigh. (Attention ABC: This is who Bachelor Nation wants as the next lead. It is who we deserve! Period.)
Back at the swanky hotel, a Date Card is delivered. It says, “Love is a battlefield,” and it is for: Devin, Tyler, Jed, Dillon, Grant, Connor, Dustin, Peter, Kevin, and Garrett. That means – yep – that Luke is getting the next one-on-one. Ugh. Devin pronounces Luke a “big ass douche canoe.” Devin is a man of few words, but when he speaks, they are the right ones!
The upside of Luke grabbing the solo date means that this is one of the first group outings that isn’t infected with his toxic attitude. So, in other words, lighthearted! Finally.
A grizzled man named Charlie emerges from the woods. He is a world-renowned battle reenactor, and he’s here to help Hannah find her “brave heart” with some Highland Games. There is the requisite axe-throwing, along with a yogurt race (that’s a thing!), and some wrestling. Because men.
The wrestling portion provides two things: 1. For Hannah to “check out the bagpipes” as the men are brief-free under the kilts they changed into for this challenge. 2. Me to curse the black box that covers said “bagpipes.” I feel ripped off. If there’s one thing I deserve for sitting through the agony that is Luke it is a glimpse of bait and tackle. (Shakes fist at sky.)
Jed gives the battle cry, “War is my duty, but I’m fighting for Hannah’s booty!” He asks to wrestle Hannah, pours watery yogurt over himself, and is declared the Highland Games Winner. That’s how you get it done in Scotland!
Meanwhile… in the dystopian nightmare that is anything involving Luke, we find the psycho and the sweetheart Mike sequestered at the Achnagairn Estate while the rest of the men are waving their willies. If anyone can handle being alone with this creep, it’s Mike who is not going to suffer this fool quietly. He confronts Luke about his shifting feelings, expressing concern for Hannah. Luke denies he’s ever said anything other than positive affirmations about his quest for the Bachelorette’s heart. Mike tells Luke he has a selective memory, which Luke (of course) denies, claiming his intentions “haven’t changed one bit.” Insert giant eyeroll here. Mike sees Luke for what he is and isn’t swayed by Luke’s attempts to gaslight him. Mike says to the camera, “He’s giving my girl mixed emotions. But she’s gonna see that he’s a monster.” (Kudos to the camera person, who pulls away to capture Mike reading a book called The Elusive Monster. Production is working overtime, and I’m here for it!)
Mike eventually walks out of the room, leaving Luke to read his little one-on-one Date Card alone. Fitting.
(Also of note: the other men also (deservedly) piled on Luke earlier, gifting him with the nickname The Luke Ness Monster, noting that he’s a liar who’s attempting to poison Hannah’s mind and is only out for himself. Luke and his horror show of a personality is the most open secret since Russia rigging those polls. We all know it. The problem seems to be no one can do anything about it. Fingers crossed Hannah will see the light sooner than later, and that we can get some relief from having to watch this emotional manipulation played out for ratings.)
The group date spills into the evening, with everyone noting how much happier Hannah is without Luke around, including Hannah. (Seriously, girlfriend – what in the fuck is taking so long?)
Free from the prying evil eye of Luke, Hannah sets out to enjoy herself, first with Jed who was awarded a square foot of land for winning the Highland Games. What woman doesn’t love a property owner? Jed is rewarded with a steamy makeout session. And friends, it is hot. So hot that they don’t see poor Kevin try to approach them as he peers sadly from the staircase. Face it Kevin, your lips will not be making contact. Best start your Instagram hunt for Paradise!
Hannah also gets frisky with Peter on a pool table and later pushes Tyler onto a bed. Someone is coming in hot for those Fantasy Suite nights! She also gets time with Garrett, who’s ready to take the next step, Devin, who reads her a poem, and Connor, who claims he will continue to fight for her. But it’s Jed who gets the Date Rose for the “new lease” on their relationship. Tyler wore his kilt, but Jed gets land and a flower? Sure, let’s go with that!
Now it’s time to get on the merry-go-round – the ride with no point and no end that is Hannah and Luke’s one-on-one date. Hannah lets us know in a takeaway interview that she is aware of the red flags and intense dislike that Luke engenders. (She even admitted earlier that it’s her heart that wants Luke to stay, even though her head does not. Hello – please listen to your head!) So why is he getting time today? Well, she needs this moment to figure out what’s really there, and if they can move forward. All of this, despite the one hundred million warning signs. Okay, then…
They greet each other stiffly atop a gorgeous mountain with a view of both the ocean and a cliffside castle. There’s sightseeing to do, but not before Hannah gets some answers. Most pointedly, can he express any real feelings with her? (Spoiler alert: no, he cannot.) She opens with an easy lob – she knows the past few weeks haven’t gone as they’d hoped, but is there anything he’d like to tell her now?
Here’s an opening for Luke to craft a narrative – any narrative – but he can’t think of a single fucking thing to say other than the guys came at him “harsh,” he “maybe” could’ve handled the Luke S. situation “better,” and he hopes that gives her “clarity.” Um, okay. Hannah attempts to dig deeper, trying the classic “how does that make you feel” therapist trick. How does that make Luke feel? Like a caged animal, from all appearances. While Hannah desperately and repeatedly begs him for a glimmer of connection, he continually shrugs and gives her the same maddening answers. She’s so anxious to establish a connection that she asks him his preference between mac & cheese or spaghetti. AND HE CAN’T EVEN ANSWER THAT! Hannah – it’s time to give up the ghost. You got played by your own pussy.
Seriously, it’s obvious that (for whatever horrific unexplainable reason) Hannah wants to bone Luke and she’s looking for any way to justify her chemical attraction. But even she is beginning to see this is a losing battle – there’s nothing to this lunkhead and that’s that. A direct quote from Hannah, “I really like Luke and I hate admitting it. I wish I could send him home like every other guy that pissed me off. I can’t keep making excuses for him when I’m not doing that for anybody else.”
And yet… we continue to the evening portion of the date. For the love of god and all that is holy WHY?! I could break down the nuances of this dialogue-heavy interlude, but there’s really no point as it’s cringingly similar to the same conversations they had early. It’s painful, boring, and utterly maddening. In short, the perfect gaslighting, abusive, manipulative prelude to the life Hannah could have if she picks this nut job. Neat! One upswing – it ends with her saying she can’t give him the Date Rose, so there’s a little glimmer of hope yet.
Next week it’s tears, and lots of them. Everyone gets thrown under the bus. Luke lingers. Chris Harrison questions Hannah’s commitment to “the process.” Hannah continues to sport a nose in Rudolph Red. Twitter fingers hover, ready to scroll into the din. I, for one, can’t wait! See you soon, Rose Lovers.
Be sure to join me for live-tweets during the show at JennaZine1 and check back here for episode recaps every week!
[This post originally appeared on MovieBoozer.com – visit them for all things fab about flicks!]