Thank you, ABC. Thank you for finally doing your job and delivering an actual episode of The Bachelorette. I don’t ask much, I just want two one-on-one dates, a simple and charming group date, and a goddamn rose ceremony. Yes, we got a little drama — which we’re going to definitely get into because Luke has apparently been possessed by the spirit of a 7th Heaven episode — but this episode represents the low bar for a remotely entertaining episode. The Bachelorette, there is a very short list of things you’re supposed to achieve with any given episode, and chief among them “don’t be a clip show.” Congratulations on barely meeting my expectations.
While the actual show is doing what it’s supposed to do, we have to talk about Hannah. Dear, sweet, precious teacup-pig-in-a-party dress Hannah. How is a Southern woman like a teacup pig in a party dress? Because they’re sweet, petite, and are the other white meat!
Can we just let Hannah bang? Because that’s clearly what she wants to do. We’re getting close to the end now and I still don’t know a single thing about these dudes. What motivates Jed, besides playing his hit single “Mr. Right Comma Girl” on national television? What’s the most important thing in the world to Garrett? What makes Dylan smile? What is a Dylan? All I know is that Hannah is absolutely willing and ready to straddle these dudes in some of the most allegedly romantic locations across Europe. If we just let Hannah bang Luke, all of this would be over, because then she might realize that men who spout 12th-century rules of female decorum and claim God talks to them in the shower probably don’t know where the clitoris is.
Let’s get to it.
We’re still in Riga, Latvia, and everyone is walking around the parts of the city that were built before the 1980s and talking about how beautiful it is. The Board of Tourism would like you to know that Riga starts with the same letter as “romantic.”
The contesticles scream Hannah’s name into the Baltic air and it’s time for the first date of the week. Garrett gets the first date card and meets Hannah in the woods. Two thirds of the dates this week start with one of these guys walking deep into the Latvian woods. This is the beginning of a Latvian fairy-tale that ends with someone trapped in a metal box in the woods, listening to a witch sing a Lettish folk song.
Hannah and Garrett come across a river and a bridge and a troll points to the sky. They see a cable car and out jumps two naked-ass people strapped to each other. This is apparently a Latvian tradition, even though modern bungee jumping was invented in 1979. All of the world’s best traditions began in the late ’70s: Listening to ABBA on Christmas morning, taking your Pet Rock for a stroll, and bungee jumping.
For something that should be sexy and funny and interesting, watching Hannah and Garrett bungee jump naked is boring. My God, these two are a snooze. They just saw each other’s naughty bits and the best conversation they can manage about the situation is just repeating the words “fear” and “trust” over and over in what I am obligated to call sentences.
Then it’s time for the evening portion of the date and Garrett reads off one of the producer-provided conversation cards: “Heights are a big hurdle. What’s a big hurdle that’s helped mold you?”
What the fuck? What the actual fuck is happening here? Is this how humans talk?
Then Hannah literally says this: “Living my life for myself. Not letting others control what I do. I would do everything wanted me to. I didn’t want to be rejected and rejection is all fear. I’ve allowed that fear to control me. It’s hard and a battle every single day. It’s a lot easier to fight with the right weapons to bring to the battle. I don’t want this fear to control me.” So wait. Is rejection the hurdle? Or fear? Or control?
We’ve had this problem with other leads before, and it’s rearing its ugly head again. What is Hannah’s story? What is her narrative? What is the one thing the show is telling us that Hannah has to confront, learn to accept about herself in order to find love? What one quality within her must someone respond to in order to understand the real Hannah? It seems like they want to push this story that she had to get over not feeling perfect, I guess? But Hannah keeps referring to letting things and people control her. I wanna hear about that. Give me specific examples. Support your thesis statement with evidence.
Later in the episode, Hannah reveals very casually that she’s been engaged TWICE by age TWENTY FOUR and I was SHOCKED AND STUNNED. Did we already know this?!?!?! I didn’t know this and I transcribe almost every word of each episode. Listen, I’m not saying that you can’t be engaged when you’re young and it’s the right decision for you, but clearly Hannah has a tendency to commit to people and then need to get out of those relationships because they were controlling. Why haven’t we heard more about this? This would be a great conversation to have on air; her committing to her own independence and agency would be good for lots of women to hear.
Instead, we hear mostly from the men that she’s “strong,” which really just means “She had an opinion once.” We don’t actually get to see Hannah define her own identity. She’s the show’s Strong Female Lead who actually has fewer lines than the male villain.
Whatever, Garrett gets the one-on-one date rose and they dance in front of one sad cellist in the Rigan night.
Up next is the group date, but before the guys get to leave, Garrett tells them that his date with Hannah involved seeing her nude body. Luke’s internal computer gets so overheated, it has to shut down and turn back on.
Then we’re off on a classic “Walk through the market and look at things” date! Hannah walks around the marketplace and names foods that she sees and then screams in excitement. CHEESE! EEEEEEEE! MOONSHINE! IIIIIIIIIIIIII!!!!! PICKLES! OOOOOOOOOOOOH! She’s like the Guy Fieri of The Bachelorette cinematic universe.
The guys all take advantage of the chaos in the market and take Hannah aside to give her cute little moments. Tyler C. finds a bouquet of flowers and Jed hides her behind a potted plant and tells her that he wants to be her rock. Then Luke decides to Luke the whole good thing up.
When they head to the evening portion of the date, after Tyler C. and his tight-ass pants steal Hannah away, Luke decides to spin the fuck out. First he tells Tyler he’s uncomfortable about how the one-on-one date went down and Tyler continues to be a prince and tells him that she can make her own decisions. What does it say about this show that respecting a woman’s basic agency makes someone a prince?
Luke is not satisfied with being told that a woman is a person and goes to Hannah to tell her that he cannot imagine that she would reveal her navel to a man other than her husband, Luke P. He says it really frustrated him, it pissed him off, her body is a temple, it was a slap in the face, and he’s thinking about how she’s going to meet his family. He also says if she makes a boneheaded mistake in the future, he would support her. Bitch, no one asked you to support anything. If this is support, give me something else. He is so proud telling her all of this because he has correctly identified a feeling and is expressing it with human words. Hannah is … not as proud. She tells him that it wasn’t a sexual thing and she made the decision so that’s that. But Luke had a feeling and now that’s Hannah’s problem! He definitely thinks he’s getting the group date rose.
Tyler and his tight-ass pants get the group date rose.
The final one-on-one date goes to Peter. Can I just not? All they do is make out in a sauna, then in a hot tub, then next to a river. We get MINUTES of footage of them rolling around in a sauna wearing white swimsuits, making out in the silence. I wrote in my notes “THIS IS TOO INTIMATE.” Then Peter tells her the longest proverb I’ve ever heard about a river and some water. Hannah keeps saying that Peter makes her feel like a woman. He makes part of her feel something. Peter gets the one-on-one date rose.
Before the night is over, Jed decides that he needs to promote his album, now available on iTunes, and starts singing his one song outside Hannah’s window. He heads into her hotel room and plays her a positively vulgar song. Listen, I know it’s a sweet singer-songwriter thing but the majority of the lyrics are about him sliding her dress up her thigh. At least John Mayer used metaphors and similes. Jed’s song is straight up “I wanna pull them panties down” and acting like it’s Babyface. Hannah gently takes his guitar and says “That was cute” and straddles him. He tells her that he’s falling in love for her.
The next morning, Hannah comes over before the rose ceremony to take Luke aside because obviously. Hannah clearly explains everything that Luke said to her and how it made her feel and tells him that he’s not her husband and he doesn’t own her. Luke’s response is if Garrett hadn’t told him that Hannah made an adult decision, he wouldn’t be upset! He also tells Hannah that she misunderstood him and he didn’t actually say what she said he did! He says, “I finally feel like we got the train on track” and Hannah says, “Oh, it isn’t.” Yet somehow we’re still here listening to this Abercrombie and Fitch polo shirt gaslight a woman because she was naked with another man. That’s what this is all about. How much more airtime does this backwards fucking idiot need?
Once Hannah sends him back to his room in punishment, the other guys are PISSED that they might miss another rose ceremony and Luke is continuing to talk about them. Luke and Garrett have a standoff that’s just them repeating the words “STAY IN YOUR LANE” over and over. Tyler tells Luke that he’s trying to be the big dog. He also takes the best tactic to dismantling a troll: acting like you don’t understand and asking them to explain their actions. Tyler also calls him out on the hypocrisy of thinking that he can strip on stage during a group date but Hannah can’t be nude. Luke says “THAT’S BETWEEN ME AND HANNAH.” Garrett finally says that bungee jumping was his date with Hannah and suddenly it’s Luke’s problem.
Chris Harrison comes in and says there will be no cocktail party and they’re going straight to the rose ceremony. Every guy’s eyes roll so far back in their head they can see their high school graduation.
It’s time for the Rose Ceremony. Jed, Mike, Connor, and Luke get roses. This is all unfolding exactly how we all could predict. After the rose ceremony, Hannah tells Host Chris that she doesn’t know if she’s in love with Luke or if he’s making her crazy.
Oh. Oh no, teacup pig.