The remaining guys have the dubious distinction of being in the “Final 15,” down from the original 30 contestants. This feels a little bit like being the 26th runner up in the Miss America Pageant -- not bad, but not actually something you can put on a resume if you want anyone to take you seriously.
The episode opens with The Great Dude Collective gathered around in the mansion, reflecting on the previous rose ceremony. Jed(!) says that Cam going home “proves that guilt tripping your way into time with Hannah isn’t going to go well for you.” The guys generally agree before quickly moving on to talking about how hot Hannah is. I, however, was completely distracted by something magical during this time -- John Paul Jones’ wardrobe. Let’s just discuss this for a second. Hell, we don’t even have to talk about it, just BEHOLD:
Look on my shawl-collar cardigan, ye Mighty, and despair! | Screencap © ABC
Dude looks like he’s got a major in Wintering in New England (if they also were shoeless up there ever), which just happens to be RIDICULOUSLY CONVENIENT as shortly after we glimpse this glorious outfit, Chris Harrison rolls in and tells the gents they’re all heading to Newport, RI.
Once the Great Dude Pile arrives up north, the first date card goes to...Jed(!)! The card says “meet me in Boston,” and while I know that the two cities aren’t that far, it seemed even more aggressive than usual for the show to cut straight from the paid “[Insert Place Here] is beautiful!” section to pulling the lead out of the city. Maybe Hannah just really likes Boston?
Nope! “I don’t know much about Boston except they threw a bunch of tea into some body of water,” she tells the camera. “There was a chant!” Jed(!) arrives for the date and Hannah starts making up facts about America because, “[She] found out [she’s] really good at [it] like 10 minutes ago.” They both seem really into each other and very smiley and fun; I feel like I have to type Jed(!)(!)’s name with an exclamation point from now on because he’s just so happy here.
They wander all around the Boston tourist areas, ending up at Cheers and talk about how easy they feel around each other. Hannah tells Jed(!) she couldn’t have done this date with anyone else, because it needed to be someone who was “up for it.” The bar starts chanting for them to kiss, and they do. It’s all very cute.
Jed(!): I wonder what that monument is?
Hannah: Who knows. You could literally just make it up.
Hannah makes it up as she goes. | Screencap © ABC
As they’re walking in the park, they pass an ice cream cart where some dude literally just hands each of them a full pint of Halo Top, and everyone acts like this is normal and fine and not at all product-placement-y as they eat their FULL PINTS in the park WITH METAL SPOONS. “Being with Jed(!) feels...easy”. There’s one more surprise -- “Only fun!” says Hannah -- and they walk into the Boston Celtics’ practice center. Jaylen Brown and Terry Rozier from the Celtics are on the court, hanging out, and tell Hannah and Jed(!) to get “suited up.” Hannah’s never looked more excited than when she hears those words; if she’s faking it, she’s a champ. They play a little two-on-two. At one point, Hannah sits down with Jaylen to talk about how things are with Jed(!). She asks him what he thinks she should look for in a date, and Jaylen actually gives her some really good advice. Athletes -- they’re just like us (assuming “us” is “other TV personalities looking for romance)! The whole event looks like a ton of fun, and both Jed(!) and Hannah seem to be enjoying both each other as well as the date.
This is begging to be memed. | Screencap © ABC
Later, over dinner, Hannah and Jed(!) swap their favorite parts of the day. Hannah’s favorite moment was when they were kissing and one of the Celtics made a 3pt shot. Jed(!)’s was when they were in a photo booth. They agree that their relationship is the real thing. Jed(!) says it makes him feel like he can be totally upfront with her. He then confesses to her that music is his lifelong passion, and when he first signed up for the Bachelorette, it was with the intention of using it as a promotional platform. Now, however, he’s falling for Hannah and just wants to be with her. Hannah is kind but skeptical, asking how he plans on moving from that attitude towards one where marriage is the goal. “Now that I see who you are,” Jed(!) responds, “that’s all I want...I’m starting to feel like I’m falling for you.” Hannah accepts this answer, they kiss, and he gets the rose. Awwww!
Alas, this is the season of We Can’t Have Nice Things, so cut to Luke P, professional creep, telling the guys, “I’m hungry for my one-on-one” back at the hotel. Sadly for Mr. Crazy Eyes, it’s a group date that he’s on, along with Dylan, Mateo, John Paul Jones, Connor, Garrett, Dustin, Devin, Grant, Peter, Kevin, Mike, and Luke S. This means Tyler gets the one-on-one and Luke P pretends like he’s fine when he finds out.
The date card says something about “Blood, sweat and tears.” Turns out, it’s a rugby game, held at the home of the Newport Rugby Club. We see all the guys standing on the sidelines, watching with some real concerned looks. Hannah, standing next to the group, is grinning from ear to ear. She’s clearly hype for the violence. “You get smashed, you stand up and you smash somebody,” the man training the gang tells them. Hannah seems extremely into watching the guys, saying, “I want a manly man who wants to get down and dirty.” But also she seems to just be really into rugby as a whole? She even practices charging one of the players! Hannah also says her number one priority is not for anyone to get hurt, just to “have fun and be sexy.” The second she says that, you just have to know that something bad’s coming.
After a seemingly infinite number of tackling drills, the guys split up into teams. John Paul Jones, Luke P, Mateo, Peter, and Grant are on one team, the rest of the guys on the other. Mike claims there’s over 1,000 spectators at this game. Sure. The game seems to be going pretty well at first -- Hannah is having a blast. The guys are doing the legal and safe (?) amount of tackling. A bunch of the Bachelorette fans in the stands are chanting “Kill him!” and smiling. Just another normal group date so far! We get to halftime and Kevin asks for a medic. He thinks he dislocated his shoulder and ends up being taken out of the game and off to the hospital. Hannah reiterates that she doesn’t really want anyone to get hurt, just to have fun. Everything is fine!
[*screams in John Paul Jones*] | Screencap © ABC
After halftime, we watch Luke P literally grab Dylan by the shirt collar and throw him on the ground. Apparently that’s legal in rugby, because Luke P goes on to score! There’s lots of talk of “fighting for Hannah,” even though she’s sitting on the sidelines, and about Luke P being maaaaaybe a teeeensy bit too aggressive. And then The Moment happens:
Blue Blob Luke body-slamming Green Blob Luke to the ground for no apparent reason | Screencap © ABC, blurriness © my screencap skills
Luke S goes to run back on the field near Luke P, who promptly picks up Luke S and slams him to the dirt. As you can tell from the screencap, there aren’t any other players around. What you can’t tell from the screencap is that the action is on the far right side of the screen; Hannah’s not looking anywhere near them and whips around when she hears Luke S hit the dirt. At that moment, the game ends, and the blue team wins, 10-7. Luke P tries to apologize, claiming “it was self defense,” but Luke S hits him with the “Talk To the Hand.” Garrett tries to talk Luke S off the ledge, saying, “it’s about how you respond to it...don’t worry, that’s his problem.” The other dudes don’t seem as eager for things to die down, and are quickly on Luke S’ side.
At the cocktail party, Luke P gets the first one-on-one time with Hannah in her silver pants suit of shininess. He tells Hannah what happened at the game, and claims he did it because Luke S was “marching up to him with clenched fists.” He also tells Hannah that Luke S only talks about his liquor brand in the house, and never about Hannah. Now obviously, I don’t know either of these dudes in real life, but I can tell straight up from the 3 minutes of camera time I’ve had with them that everything Luke P said was 100% a lie. Hannah of course then talks to Luke S, who says that a lot of guys in the house are irritated with Luke P, and she should ask them all about it. Dustin finally gets some screen time...but it’s only to talk about Luke.
The dudes all confront Luke P about making everything about him. Garrett continues to win me over, saying, “I’ve got 14 friends in this house and you could’ve seriously hurt one today.” Mike comes at it a little more directly with, “For the third date, we’ve made it about you, and that’s pissing me off...You laugh because you’re a fucking psychopath, yo.” Luke P tries to explain everything to them, but the rest of the dudes call him on being a liar, and walk out of the room one at a time until it’s just a full Luke-on-Luke showdown.
The only bright spot at this cocktail party continues to be Garrett. He uses his one-on-one time with Hannah to say something extremely important: “I’m crushin’ for ya hard, straight up.” I burn, I pine, I perish. This ends up paying out in spades for him; he gets the group rose.
The 3 R’s of the Bachelorette: Rugby balls, Romance, and Realistic Statues? | Screencap © ABC
Finally, we leave the drama and get to Tyler’s one-on-one date. But much like the crazy eyes, some things never go away. Before Tyler even shows up, Hannah’s in tears. She’s really stressed out about the Luke P situation -- she has really strong feelings for Luke, but is worried based on what the other guys are saying that she might not be able to trust her own heart to make good choices. “Honestly, I don’t want to see anybody...because I’m just not alright today”.
Tyler arrives all smiles, but Hannah starts crying again pretty quickly, telling him all about what she’s going through. To his credit, Tyler is amazingly comforting, saying they’re going to have fun regardless, and they’ll make the most of it. He says he’ll take whatever time he can get with her and wants to show her that he can be the guy who picks her up today.
Hannah seems comforted (I know I was!) and the duo sets out on a boat to go trap lobsters with some Proper New England Fishermen. Tyler makes lots of dating/fishing puns (“What a great catch!”, “Want some tail?”), which made both Hannah and myself laugh probably more than was appropriate. The two of them pull lobsters out of traps, some of which they even steam and eat on the boat. They actually look super cute together in their waders and Hannah’s silly winter hat. Do I have a crush on Hannah now? I think I might?? Over dinner, Tyler tells Hannah some very sad information about his dad almost dying before the show started. It’s very moving and a refreshing change from the Luke stuff earlier. He gets the rose. It’s great, and it’s clear that Tyler’s a real contender to go all the way to the end.
“Butter me up, Bro!” | Screencap © ABC
FINALLY we get to the cocktail party! Someone says in voiceover, “Those Lions! This must be an Alpha dude’s house.” I WISH I KNEW WHO SAID THIS. It was the best thing that happened all night.
In their one-on-one time, Peter tells Hannah, “You’re so friggin’ beautiful”. He then asks Hannah to “officially” be his girlfriend, because even though it’s fast, he’s ready for a relationship with her. “News flash: Peter’s my boyfriend and we’re dating,” Hannah tells the camera, beaming. We get to see them making out pretttttty intensely. Peter’s getting handsy! But it’s Ok! Because he’s Hannah’s Boyfriend And They’re Dating!
Dude drama abounds. Mike tells Hannah that he’d like to make her “his queen”, and that he “doesn’t want to see a woman cry,” both of which are framed as being compliments are actually just patronizing things to say. Mike then follows this up by telling Luke P he’s the cause of all of Hannah’s unhappiness at the moment. Luke says a bunch of stuff that basically boils down to, “Am Not!” Mike calls Luke P a psychopath, and to prove he’s not, he googles “psychopath” on a phone and holds the results up to the camera. It’s all just dumb bloviating and just makes me like these dudes less than I did 10 minutes ago.
No rose ceremony tonight because IT’S A CLIFFHANGER WITH THE LUKES. OH GOODY. I thought we were over this, but I guess we need to drag out Luke vs. Luke as long as possible. I never want to type the name Luke again, but because I love you all, dear readers, I’ll bite the bullet. See you back here, same Luke time, same Luke channel.
TOP LOBSTER: Tyler, Peter the Pilot, Jed(!), Garrett
DOWN IN THE DIRT: Anyone named Luke