This week on The Bachelorette, Hannah and her band of curious forest imps travel to the hottest vacation spot east of the Mississippi: Newport, Rhode Island! Men who regularly use Facetune on their biceps are forced to embrace their inner Ross Gellers in a degrading game of rugby. Everyone named Luke sheds a tear. The natural laws of New England geography get cut up and tossed into the flames.
Will Hannah pass her APUSH oral exam on the lasting influence of National Treasure? What is Newport supposed to be known for? Is it even legal for these contestants to be fishing lobster? Will Hannah be forced to choose between Luke P. and Luke S. and if so, is she allowed to just do so alphabetically? Why did I write this recap over a week late?
Put on your Bean Boots and let’s start unpacking.
18. LUKE S.
Oh, poor Luke S. You sweet non-GMO scone of a man. Someone recently pointed out to me that Luke S. looks like the kid from Love Actually, grown taller but not necessarily older, and now I can’t unsee it. Luke S. gets tackled by Luke P. in a very confusing rugby incident, which you’d think would garner him some sympathy, but somehow works out in Luke P.’s favor. It’s all really confusing. I like Luke S. but I don’t think this is the environment for him. He’s a 29-year-old political consultant who looks like a teddy bear and also inexplicably has his own tequila company. He’ll be fine.
GRANT IS STILL HERE? Grant IS a used car salesman. I don’t care what his actual profession is. He has tried to sell someone a car that was previously owned by another person at least once. I am certain of this.
It has been four weeks and I don’t know a single thing about Devin.
Dustin has a nose ring.
I thought Matteo had been eliminated because he literally does not appear in this episode, but my friend insisted out that his name was called on the group date card, so I went back and rewatched and she was correct! I think the source of confusion is that Matteo looks exactly like Kevin. Actually, Matteo looks exactly like all men who have ever been on this show. Did you know that Matteo has fathered over a hundred children? Think about THAT on your next trip to the sperm bank.
Connor doesn’t do much this week, but since I didn’t write a recap of last week’s episode, allow me to note here that a major plot point was that Connor was chosen for a one-on-one date but Hannah was too hungover to do whatever was originally planned, so Connor’s romantic TV-ready evening ended up being sitting on a couch with a conked-out pageant queen for like an hour. It was desperately funny.
I refuse to keep calling this kid “John Paul Jones” because I don’t support such a blatant attempt at self-branding, but I actually do quite like John a lot. He looks straight out of some teenager’s fanfic about a Slytherin who starts a boy band.
Blue-eyed Matteo suffers some kind of rugby injury, which, of course he does. I have no idea how this show keeps getting away with these competitive group dates that are nothing but a liability fiesta. Every season there’s boxing, wrestling, rugby, shirtless capture the flag, etc. and every season the group acts shocked when someone breaks their nose or sprains their ankle or, in Kevin’s case, dislocates a shoulder (? It was unclear). Who is making the call to keep including these bonkers athletic competitions? I, as a viewer and licensed Bachelor expert, don’t find them nearly entertaining enough to justify the real danger of putting a bunch of Instagram influencers/dental hygienists up against a bunch of Instagram influencers/Crossfit trainers. It’s not a fair fight!!
I can’t keep track of Garrett. Has he had a one-on-one? Did he get the group date rose this week? Is he maybe a frontrunner?? Where is he from? What does being a “golf pro” actually entail? Why is his hair so big? Is it full of secrets?
Every time Dylan appears on screen he looks like a different person. But I think he seems nice! He had some good one-liners, though none that are memorable enough for me to conjure up at press time. His hair is what it is.
I’m not going to say that Pilot Pete has been living up to (my own, personal, extremely high) night-one expectations, but he’s doing okay. He wears a pink shirt that I really don’t like. Not because it’s pink - pink is the best color and everything should be pink - but because it’s an ugly shirt. You know what’s weird? It’s socially acceptable for men, and I mean specifically like preppy, Vineyard Vines-y men, to wear pink but you just know those same men would lose their damn minds if their sons wore pink because “it’s for girls.” Pink for everyone! Pink is the great equalizer! Anyway. Pilot Pete asks Hannah to be his girlfriend, which is almost as fucking insane as the color of his shirt. That is not what that word means, Petey. An open relationship is one thing but let’s call a spade a spade!
Is Hannah the horniest bachelorette we’ve ever had? I don’t have the data on that, but I am loving it! I am really enjoying Hannah. I really, really enjoyed her made-up history facts on the walking tour of Boston. I really enjoy that she is consistently tipsy and that she knows when to call it a night and end the dates early because she’s tipped too far. I wish she was about three years older. It is honestly kind of painful to watch someone going through their Luke P. phase on national television.
I quite like Mike, though that’s been a controversial opinion at my viewing parties. But the internet seems to like him a lot? But I’m not sure if that’s a good thing? Do I want to side with “the internet?” At any rate, Mike gets extra points this week for being the only one to truly confront Luke P. Do I think he was being, perhaps, a bit melodramatic? Sure! Do I think calling Luke P. a “millennial fuckstick” was an odd choice? I do! However, big props to Mike for finally addressing the elephant in the room: that Luke P. could not possibly have felt physically threatened by Luke S. Luke P. is a Christmas ham that is ready to fight and Luke S. is, I mean, he’s a political consultant.
5. JAKE OWEN
I had never heard of Jake Owen before this episode, which tracks, but I really enjoyed his cameo nonetheless. My second worst fear in the world is somehow becoming a contestant on this show and being forced on one of these one-on-ones where the Special Activity is to attend a G-list country singer’s concert and dance around in front of a bunch of screaming teenagers - second ONLY to my fear of somehow becoming a contestant on this show and being forced on one of the one-on-ones where the Special Activity is to attend a G-list country singer’s PRIVATE CONCERT IN AN EMPTY ROOM!!! Anyway, I like Jake Owen because he makes a bunch of faces at Hannah and Tyler, who are openly touching tongues mere feet from his face. I love it when people acknowledge how weird this show is and I love it even more when those people are the outside talent. I actually enjoyed his performance so much that I looked up the song he was singing because I thought it sounded pretty romantic, only to discover that it is actually a song about an accidental teenage pregnancy! Classic mix-up.
4. LUKE P.
Oh boy. It’s a testament to the potency of Luke P.’s pheremones that Hannah’s kept him around this long. In this episode alone, Luke P. A) knees someone in the face B) tries to claim it was self-defense AGAINST LUKE S. C) gaslights everyone, Hannah included, into doubting what they saw with their own eyes. It is, uh, not fun to watch. The guys team up against him and one by one, they take Hannah aside and explain the (easily fact-checkable) ways that he’s disingenuous and possibly dangerous. Hannah registers all of this information and keeps Luke around to stay another day, which I honestly don’t blame her for. The Bachelorette aside, it is disturbingly easy to disregard someone’s bad qualities when you’ve convinced yourself that they’re perfect for you. I think that Hannah and Luke P. had a strong connection right off the bat and that she’s having a hard time reconciling her intense feelings for him with all the not-super-flattering information that’s being laid out in front of her. To quote Bojack Horseman and every thread on Reddit about emotional abuse: “When you’re looking at someone through rose-colored glasses, all the red flags just look like flags.” I know I’ve personally stayed in an unhealthy relationship far longer than I should have because I was so attached to the idea of who I’d originally thought that person was that it took a lot to get me to recognize and accept who they actually were. With people like Luke P., the way that they make you doubt the facts, no matter how trivial, also makes you doubt your own judgment and instincts about them as a person. Listen - if someone manages to make you sincerely doubt something that you clearly remember, it’s time to pack your knives and get out of the Top Chef test kitchen. It happens to the best of us. But in any case, this is not a likability ranking, it is a power ranking, and therefore my hands are tied and I am legally obligated to put Luke P. up here at #4. Also, Luke P. looks like Prince Charming from Shrek 2 and that isn’t a compliment.
I’m not going to say that Jed is like, the most interesting person who has ever lived, but I think he’s nice and cute and has a fun sherpa jacket that he wears in every shot so it’s easy to identify him. Jed and Hannah have a one-on-one date that inexplicably takes place in Boston and Jed does a really good job of not laughing at the Halo Top salesperson that appears from behind a tree to give them low-calorie frozen dairy product under the pretense of being a legitimate food cart. Something about Jed that IS interesting is that he sits Hannah down at their fake dinner and instead of telling her the old same-old same-old about how he cheated on his girlfriend after his brother disappeared in a mysterious beekeeping accident, he explicitly tells her that he came on the show to promote his career as a singer-songwriter. Twist! He isn’t here for the right reasons! Twist!!! Actually, he is! Jed explains that while he, like every person who has ever been on this show, was hopeful that such a wide platform would give him needed exposure, he’s been caught by surprise by the sincerity and depth of his feelings for Hannah. I mean. I am fine with this. No one on the planet goes on The Bachelorette because they think it’s a great way to find a life partner. There are no “right reasons.” The only right reasons are the free international travel and possibility of a free Lull mattress. I like Jed!
The first time I watched this episode, I was kind of like, hanging out with friends and chatting and eating tom kha gai and not paying the MOST attention to Tyler’s date with Hannah. I thought it was cute and fine. But let me tell you, when I rewatched the episode (the next morning, before work, because I am sick in the head), it knocked me fuckin’ sideways. I mean, wow. I don’t feel like I know much about Tyler or, frankly, that there’s all that much about him to know, but their date was such a treat to watch. It reminded me of the Bachelorette days of old - like Ashley-and-JP old. I could say that they have chemistry but that’s not exactly it - Hannah has chemistry with Luke P., for Christ’s sake - it’s moreso that they don’t converse like there are cameras around. Most conversations on this show are a bit stilted, with both parties a tiny bit too cognizant of what they’re saying. Which makes sense! If I were being taped, I’m sure I could barely get a sentence out. But watching Hannah and Tyler interact just felt like I was peeking in on a completely normal date that would have been happening whether or not the cameras were rolling. Tyler somehow remained charming while dancing Hannah around in front of Country Star Jake Owen, which is a superhuman feat as far as I’m concerned. He turned a pouty, possibly hungover Hannah back into our tipsy, red-nosed princess and I love him for it.
1. HALO TOP CREAMERY, LLC
Holy shit. This was surreal.
See you next week! Actually, see you last night! I am so behind! Whatever!