Well, um …
Okay. Let’s just … huh …
ALL RIGHT! It’s time for … nope.
Arrggh. What was that? What WAS that? How am I supposed to talk about a midseason clip show like this is season six of The Office? We’re all supposed to sit here and reconcile the fact that instead of giving us an actual episode where we get to know literally any person on this television program about getting to know people on television programs, they gave us a clip show? On a TV show where about a third of every episode is “Previously on” and “Coming up this season,” we get clips. We know from clips, okay? We have a whole reunion special and an After the Final Rose Live Extravaganza to contend with.
Really, though, the clip show is obscuring what the real problem is with this season: Hannah just won’t admit she’s wrong about Luke P.
Hannah just needs to admit that she wants desperately to bang Luke P., and when you’re young and relatively inexperienced, you might confuse some of the feelings of lust and love. You’re probably also prone to confusing the things men do to control you or the situation as manly and romantic. It’s not surprising that someone who is young and under pressure to deliver the MOST DRAMATIC SEASON EVER — and who has grown up in the pageant system, which demands perfection and extreme emotional control — would look at someone who looks like the physical embodiment of the word “fraternity” and think “That’s my guy!” But the fact that any woman on earth would look at Luke P.’s chicken-hawk lil ass in that baffling pink windowpane blazer, in a world where Mike and Tyler C. are available, is confusing to me. And I also gotta be honest: Watching this episode after having my own issues with gaslighting and manipulative men was ROUGH.
I still don’t know who Hannah is and what she wants. She says she wants something real and someone honest, but then she keeps Luke P. around when he’s clearly hurting her. Now, we’ve all stayed with people who hurt us because we didn’t understand what was happening in the relationship; the long-distance relationship I was in in college went on way too long, but I still bought that idiot Batman-themed Valentine’s Day gifts for years even though he would rather watch British game shows on YouTube than have sex. So Hannah doesn’t know what she wants and that’s fine. But when she said that she was in a relationship where she gave a lot of herself up to the other person, ended up almost getting married, and spent years getting over that relationship, I screamed. She’s only 24 and she’s spent what is probably her entire adult life either in a relationship that wasn’t good for her, or getting over it. Where is Hannah in all this? Where is the time when she got to be alone, enjoying her own company? It doesn’t surprise me that her personality is just an amalgamation of throw-pillow sayings. “Southern Women Are like Pulled Pork in a Top Hat: Spicy, Rich, and We Take a Long Time to Get Ready.”
So, enough with all my pontificating. Let’s get to it.
The episode starts with all the dudes sitting around on two very tiny couches speculating about how Luke will end his date. And in their defense, there are typically only one of two ways this can go: He either gets the rose and comes back or he doesn’t and he kicks rocks. As the guys all try to keep their muscles from exploding off the tiny Scottish couches, Hannah tells Luke she can’t give him that rose.
Luke’s first reaction is to imitate human facial reactions. He’s confooooooooooosed. Initiate jaw-hanging-agape sequence. Hannah’s reasoning is that she had to raise her voice to get him to be “be the thing I think you are.” If you have to yell at someone to get them to consistently live up to the expectations they set, they aren’t what you think you are. Also Hannah, you said “thing.” Luke can only muster up “my bad,” which upset my boyfriend so much he had to leave the state.
Once Luke and Hannah say a quiet good-bye, Luke begins to walk into the Scottish night when he decides to go back. He goes back to say that he had lots of emotions and he takes full responsibility, and Hannah says, “Okay, why didn’t you do this earlier?” Instead of talking like a reasonable human, Luke takes five paces away from Hannah so he can yell … at … her … romantically? He screams “I WOULD MOVE MOUNTAINS FOR YOU,” and Hannah asks him if he’s taking what she says seriously. Well, his solution to you not giving him a rose was to not listen to you and then scream Fall Out Boy lyrics at you, so …
Hannah sends Luke back to the house with the rest of the guys and when he walks in with no rose, everyone loses their fucking minds. Garrett’s first question is about if Luke brought up anyone else’s name. Luke, forgetting that there’s video footage of his date, tells them that he didn’t. Everyone is pissed that they have to be around Luke for another day and Garrett tells him to be a man about it. Garrett has never met Luke P.
The next morning, the show has decided that Luke is now the protagonist. He’s able to cross the threshold of a church and repent for being a totally uncool dude. Then it’s time for everyone to get ready for the cocktail party. Hannah has a GREAT long white coat over her shoulders and Mike tells her immediately that she looks amazing. And she does. This bitch can wear a dress.
The purpose of the cocktail party is to finally let these relationships progress. So Garrett’s second move is to ask Hannah about Luke. Hannah, who definitely could have played this moment better, tells Garrett to step the fuck off and let her conversations with Luke be her conversations. But instead, she tells Garrett, oh yeah, he mentioned Devin and Dylan, two men who have gotten exactly zero screen time, and Mike. There’s no way this could end badly.
Garrett goes and tattles that Luke is a big ol’ meanie and a liar. Again, instead of confronting Luke one-on-one or just holding that information for himself, Garrett blabs to the whole group. Either Dylan or Devin, I’m unsure, wants to know what Luke said. Does it matter? You know what he probably said. But I guess you gotta get your screen time, Dylvin.
Hannah hears them upstairs and goes back there because she’s so frustrated. She can’t stand that everyone is fighting and she knows what everyone is fighting about so they might as well ask her. She says that she asked Luke about what situations were causing a problem and she didn’t mention anyone else by name. She also says she’s aware that no one likes him, but does no more critical thinking about that point. She tells everyone to stay in their lane. She also tells Luke to Zip It at one point, and it’s glorious.
The second she leaves the room, Luke starts talking about the issue again and saying he didn’t mean to lie to anyone’s face intentionally. He’s just going to do it unconsciously because he’s a liar. The delight of this episode stems from just how bad Luke P. is at this game. Obviously, looking like like an Abercrombie employee in the year of 2019 has gotten him pretty far and he’s never had to rely much on charisma. Instead of actually developing a moral compass or learning how to express human feelings, Luke P. just imitates the behavior of both the villain and the hero in a romantic comedy. He contains multitudes. The problem is all those multitudes are shitty.
Hannah throws back an entire Champagne flute, tosses it into a fireplace, and goes back to tell them to shut the fuck up and she doesn’t see a future with any of them. It’s not just Luke. It’s all of them. And she does no more critical thinking about that point. Dustin chimes in for the first time in three episodes and says, “We were petty! Petty fights! Petty arguments!” Gotta earn your screen time, Dustylvin.
Chris Harrison stops by to make sure Hannah is okay, and he does so by repeating the phrase “Are you okay?” no less than 60 times. He also tells her that the reason these guys are acting so frustratingly is because they love her so much. Oh no. Oh no no no.
It’s time for the rose ceremony.
Connor, Tyler, Dustin, Peter, Dylan, Garrett, and Luke all get roses. Kevin, Devin, and Grant go home and I had no idea who Grant was. Turns out he’s 30 and unemployed. Kevin is the one who looks like a video game Russian.
The next day, they all head to Riga, Latvia, and Peter delivers the very natural fact that Latvia is south of Estonia. That’s how everyone talks.
When they arrive, we get some touristy shots of the city … and NOTHING ELSE. No dates in Latvia. No going to a market and getting advice from a 90-year-old married couple. No fireworks over the Baltic Sea. Just 200 hours of clip show that confirms that Luke will continue to be a problem. Hannah says she feels weighted down and out of control, and that she needs everyone to change and doesn’t understand how this process can work. I have one suggestion for her: SEND. LUKE. HOME.