Holy crap – Bachelor Nation got played harder than that locker room attendant Tom Brady threw under the bus for Deflategate. Yep, there were a lot of sad balls last night and the culprit was a stubbled sportsman. This time it was attention hog Luke – the nightmare of a human who managed to derail the proceedings so badly that we ended up with an hour of filler only six episodes in. Our despondent Bachelorette was so thrown by the bickering that she almost quit the show, despite the allure of Latvia. But it was the audience who was really left stranded, forced to re-watch footage that aired just weeks before. And folks, it was as painful as it sounds. Come scream into the void with me – your recap starts now!
We pick up with the purgatory that was last week – with Hannah begging Luke for some kind of emotional connection, Luke refusing, and Hannah retaliating by withdrawing the promise of a rose. Hannah is pissed, saying, “We were in the most beautiful place I’ve ever been today, and yet I was so frustrated.” Yes, even the famed Scottish countryside and its picturesque surroundings were felled by the wet blanket that is Luke.
Luke responds, “I was frustrated today with myself too. I guess all I can say is please think about everything we’ve talked about. And every little detail, from day one. I am the first one to say I screwed up. I take full ownership. Let’s move on.” So… he gives a little speech, briefly “takes ownership,” and then is ready to move on? Okay then. Thankfully Hannah doesn’t buy it, claiming that giving him a rose tonight “doesn’t make sense.” (It doesn’t make sense tonight, or any night.) Luke does quick math and realizes that means he’s going home. They hug, he walks out the door, and Twitter rejoices.
Ah, but the celebration is brutally brief. As Luke strolls through the darkness, he muses that he is “shocked and confused.” Apparently, it never crossed his mind that he’d go home – despite his poor behavior and sheer unlikability – and the completely reasonable consequence is now “a tough pill to swallow.” He claims he’s tried to be “quite frankly, perfect,” but now his eyes are open. (The thought that the past few weeks have been Luke’s version of perfection sends a cold chill down my spine.)
Only now that Hannah has asked him to walk away have the veils been removed from his eyes! Now there’s nothing standing in his way – nothing to crowd or clutter his (already empty) mind! He is a man with one mission – and that mission is to pursue Hannah for “the rest of his life.” While meant as a missive of love, it definitely sounds more like a threat. This has turned into a horror movie.
With that, Luke turns around and heads back to the castle where he and Hannah have been having their endless one-on-one. Ugh, why?! What have we done to deserve such a punishment? I do not understand. Bachelor Nation collectively mourns this disappointing turn of events.
Our pleas fall on deaf ears. Hannah is shocked to see Luke return, but listens patiently as he claims he “didn’t know what emotions he was having,” but he’s clear now. Heck, he even thought he might “have a tear roll down his face.” And it’s that promise of single milligram of moisture that opens the door to another (excruciatingly long) conversation about Luke and his (lack of) feelings.
Seriously, it gets so convoluted that only the two of them could possibly even know what they’re talking about – and I’m not even sure they know. I’ve had conversations like this – I’d struggle to make my point, which always felt just out of reach because I didn’t yet have the language to express myself. That’s because I was teenager. To watch these two (supposed) adults struggle this desperately is disturbing, to say the least.
But struggle they do! Luke says he’s felt like screaming (he’s not alone there), to which Hannah encourages him. Yes, please – she wants him to do something – anything – resembling any kind of emotion. Taking it literally (because he’s a terrifying combination of dumb and manipulative), he asks to take a step back. Why? To yell, of course! He shouts, “Seriously, Hannah; I want to move mountains for you! I hate this. I can’t stand it. Seriously. I cannot stand it. I hate being in this position.” It sounds like a bad high school play of some senior reciting the work of Shakespeare without understanding the context. But look at those words in black and white, for Luke tells us exactly what he’s feeling. Hannah should really be listening. This is classic emotional manipulation – he’ll mimic compassion, tell her exactly what she wants to hear, only to disarm her in again in the (near) future. At any rate, he still doesn’t get the rose, but he does get to stay. Effing hell.
Back at the hotel, the men are staring at Luke’s suitcase poised by the door, praying a driver walks in to roll it away. It’s no secret that the household would be thrilled to be free of the pestilence that is Luke. However, there is no relief. The door is thrust open, and… in walks Luke. The guys (and the audience) are crestfallen.
Luke addresses the room, acknowledging that he’s coming back from “the worst one-on-one date Hannah’s ever had.” He admits that he didn’t get a rose, but that Hannah still wants him there, so he will be heading to the Rose Ceremony with the rest of the contestants. Alright, then.
The guys try to recover. Garrett hopes he accomplished this on his own “without bringing up anyone else.” Jed sighs and hopes Luke “takes advantage” of the opportunity Hannah has given him. Mike, the delightful voice of reason, “thinks it’s absurd” we have to continue this for another day. Point: Mike.
Meanwhile, Hannah is aware that no one likes Luke. But she’s convinced that keeping him on is “the right decision” for her and is confident Luke is “finally meeting her where she needs him to be.” (Is that the gaslighting loony bin? Because that’s where we are, by my assessment.) She believes he’s “met her with real emotion and struggle.” Because he took a step back to repeat the lines you fed him in his yelling voice? Oh, honey. Please aim higher.
Luke takes a break from the madness he created to go pray. Because naturally. The hypocrisy of this man is unparalleled, and it’s a miracle the church didn’t spontaneously combust into flames as the spawn of Satan knelt at its hearth. (I’ve been binging Netflix’s Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, in case you can’t tell. Really wishing we could banish Luke to that miner’s tunnel, if you know what I’m saying.)
Let’s have a cocktail party, shall we?! Lord knows we could all use a drink right now. There’s a brief moment of joy in this slog of an episode when we get to see Tyler dressing for the evening’s event. He understands that people are “pressing and stressing” on their connections. Happily, he’s not one of them. Peter is also feeling good, as he has every reason to be confident as well, even if he “doesn’t know where her head is at.”
Hannah arrives at the party, feeling “enlightened” because the lord has “place a verse on her heart” that encompasses how she feels. It is “don’t focus on the seen, but the unseen.” (This is a quote from Hannah. I didn’t look up the bible verse, and I am not going to because that’s not my jam.) She initiates another stumbling toast to “being comfortable sharing the uncomfortable.” Nothing facilitates that more effectively than alcohol, so let’s get to the boozing!
Garrett grabs her first, understanding he “needs to be bold.” He is motivated to open up. He liked being out of his comfort zone by wearing a kilt. That has nothing to do with emotions, but we’ll take it! Relish in it, because it’s not long before he’s talking about everyone’s least favorite subject, Mr. Luke. Sigh. He wants confirmation from Hannah that Luke kept the other men’s names out of his mouth. Hannah affirms. Well, except for… Mike. And Devin. And Dillon. I want to shout at the screen for her to stop, but it’s in vain. She then claims that it’s “her fault” because “she asked him.” I cannot tell you the ways in which this disturbs and distresses me to watch her take responsibility for Luke’s actions. She is being classically conditioned for emotional abuse and not one part of me condones this. It’s a terrible message to send – to both Hannah and any young person watching this show.
The evening continues to devolve from here. The men argue, and argue, and argue with Luke, going endless rounds of more “he said/he said,” which is pointless. Hannah is trying to have a conversation with Connor (so sweet, but rapidly losing ground), but is distracted by the yelling in the next room. It’s time for a lady intervention!
Hannah enters and is (rightfully) ticked. She addresses the guys with, “I am aware of the situation. I am tired of hearing screaming. I know you don’t like him. But I’m sick of the fights. If you have questions, you can ask me, and I will tell you.” She also tells them to “stay in their freaking lanes,” before stomping out of the room.
The men are properly chagrined. For a moment. Then the fighting starts all over again, with Luke baiting them, and various guys taking said bait. It is exhausting. You would think one of them would realize that the Bachelorette – the very person they are fighting for/over – is not even in the room. And, perhaps, it might be a wise choice to go check on her – or, better yet, interact with her. But no. Everyone is striving to make their own points heard while Hannah weeps in another room, drinking alone. Remember when you thought it would be fun to date 20 guys at once, Hannah? Ah, the innocence!
Now our lead is seriously pissed. She delivers the following ultimatum, “Luke, stop making excuses. Own up to your flaws and try to fix them. Also, stop focusing on him. Because I can figure that out. Focus on me. I am a grown ass woman. Please stop pointing fingers. Focus on yourself and what I need from you. I feel like you guys think it’s Luke that makes me psycho. But honestly, it’s all of you. You don’t know anything about me. You haven’t asked me anything because all we do is focus on stupid shit. At this point, I am defeated from all of you. I don’t want to do this.”
But friends, somehow there is still a Rose Ceremony. Here’s who’s staying: Connor, Tyler, Dustin, Peter, Dylan, and Garrett. Receiving the “final rose of the evening” is… Luke. If you’re surprised by this, you’re new to this show. (Thankfully Mike and Jed are also staying on, safe with their flowers from the previous episode.)
That means, while we should be saying adios to Luke, we’re forced to bid goodbye to: Devin, Grant, and Kevin. All express bafflement to be getting the boot instead of Luke. Right there with you!
And, as if summoned by magic, Chris Harrison arrives! He offers up horrible advice to Hannah, reasoning that the guys are acting so poorly because “they like her so much.” So, basically, he’s giving the old “the boy pulled your hair because he’s into you” argument, which is antiquated AF. My blood is boiling.
While I simmer away, the show heads to Latvia, which looks gorgeous. Not that we’ll see much of it, because this is where Hannah completely shuts down. And not only does Hannah shut down, it appears production shuts down as well because there is NO NEW FOOTAGE FOR THE REST OF THE BROADCAST. I’m talking an hour plus of recaps in a two-hour show. It was insulting, boring, and frustrating. (When they hit the part where they talked about a zit Hannah had at the beginning of the season, I had to refrain from chucking my remote at the television. I have a feeling I’d lose in small claims court against the monolith that is ABC, so I took to Twitter to vent with the rest of Bachelor Nation.)
After an excruciating montage of this season’s “highlights” from the episodes that just aired, Chris finally convinces Hannah to stay. She’d better be ready to hustle like a motherfucker, because she just lost a boatload of goodwill that she did not have to spare.
Things look to be back to “normal” next week with the usual promise of tears, drama, and partial nudity. A glimpse into the rest of the season shows Luke still being an abusive, judgmental asshole, with the rest of the men continuing to question Hannah’s choices. Hannah is jonesing to get into those Fantasy Suites, but not before the hypocrite that is Luke attempts to slut shame her. (Methinks God needs to pay another visit to Luke with something less subtle than a chat in shower.) There’s a myriad of problematic sex-themed issues to tackle, including Luke’s insistence that the marriage bed be kept “pure” and Hannah’s declaration that “marriage is between a man and a woman.” Kids, I have news for you both! In the meantime, let’s shake off this stale, stale episode. See you next week, Rose Lovers – hopefully with a fresh bouquet!
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 – please check them out for all things fabulous with film and more.