Bachelor Nation, this was the week the men of The Bachelorette have long been waiting for, the payoff for their patience, the carrot at the end of the ever-elongating stick: With a flick of Chris Harrison’s wrist, they left the mansion—for the wintry cold east coast. Destination of choice? Rhode Island.
Hannah welcomes the men to the state with a grand tour that is just as confusing for viewers as it is for the men, but likely not as confusing as the fact that her first date of the week, a one-on-one with sweet, sensitive Jed, takes place not in Rhode Island, but in Boston. All the confusion is definitely worth it, though, just to hear Jed’s great sound bite of the night: “If I had a tail, I’d wag it.”
The pair embark on the wholesomest of wholesome dates, including a photo booth smooch-fest (Jed tries his best not to look terrified in the confined space), and a drink at a bar that’s a throwback to Cheers-era TV America, complete with friendly strangers who would rather coax two strangers to kiss than start a drunken fistfight.
“We’re just two Southern people joining together in love, joining together to love on each other in Boston,” Hannah awkwardly tries to sum up the situation. After the bar, the pair take a stroll in the park, where — oh hey! A Halo Top® ice cream cart. What’s that? With flavors as varied as chocolate chip and birthday cake? Two, please!
Anyway, where were we? Right. The date. After smooching some more in the grass after enjoying their Halo Top® ice creams, the pair skip off to the Auerbach Center, where they’re met by the Celtics’ Jaylen Brown and Terry Rozier. No real explanation as to why these two players in particular made the cut to appear on The Bachelorette (my bet’s on the fact that they’re both megafans of the show), but they do help to add some much-needed energy to the otherwise sweet-but-uneventful date. At one point, Hannah even seeks some love advice from Jaylen Brown (“My last name’s Brown, too!”) just to give the guys a little more screen time.
A courtside makeout sesh and blind swoosh later, the pair are on their way to the latter part of their date.
Meanwhile, cut to the guys back at their new Rhode Island digs, where a date card has arrived. John Paul Jones gets the high honor of reading the card out loud, and the long list of men on the group date feels almost like a role call: Dylan, Matteo, John Paul Jones, Connor, Garrett, Dustin, Grant, Peter, Kevin, Mike, Luke S., and … Luke P. The date card reads “True love requires blood, sweat, and tears,” and you can bet that Luke P.’s eyes lit up at that description.
“Boys, I’m excited. I’m a competitor. It’s about to get bloody,” he says to no one in particular.
We know, Luke P. We know.
Back at the haunted mansion du jour, Hannah and Jed are enjoying the evening portion of their date, with dinner by candlelight. The two enjoy an easy chemistry until Jed feels like he needs to get something off his chest. In a surprisingly candid, breaking-the-fourth-wall moment, he tells Hannah that music is his passion, and he originally signed up for the show in hopes of helping gain a fanbase for his career. Instead, though, he sees that he’s found love.
“Now, more than anything, I want to be with you,” he says kind of convincingly as Hannah smiles uncertainly. Ultimately though, Jed’s smooth-talking wins her over, and she offers up a rose, admitting to him that she’s “catching feels.” So much so, in fact, that she feels the need to offer up a quiet “hey-o” when he leans in for a smooch. The pair make out and thus ends their sweet, still largely uneventful date.
The next day’s group date couldn’t be more different. The 12 guys gather in the bitter Rhode Island cold all decked out in workout gear, uncertain of what they’re about to get themselves into, but Luke P., for one, is pumped. He’s even more pumped when it turns out that the men will be playing rugby with “no helmets, no pads — just you, a mouthpiece, and your cleats.”
Hannah’s search for a “manly man” continues, with the men showing off their fitness finesse during drills. Garrett and his hair are “Wooooo feelin’ good!,” he says at one point. Once the actual game begins, however, he and his hair start singing a different tune.
Luke P., as expected, dominates the field, and the fans in the colosseum-like field scream for bloody murder. Kevin is taken to the hospital after dislocating his shoulder at one point, but his injury hardly compares to the reverberating effects of a scuffle between Luke P. and Luke S. that happens largely off-camera (there’s a thud and then a gasp from the fans).
Luke S. tells the guys that Luke P. essentially stiff-armed him, then body-slammed him and kneed him in the face. Luke P. tries to apologize to Luke S., claiming that he only acted out of self-defense, but none of the guys are buying it.
“Playing sports in general, playing sports competitively, will show true character,” voice-of-reason Mike says. Put another way, by everyman Grant, “Luke’s a complete maniac.”
That night, the men are all on edge at the cocktail party following the Lukes’ ugly sideline showdown. Hannah shows up in silken PJs with shoulder pads for some reason and steals Luke P. away first thing to get what the men presume to be a lecture out of the way first. And indeed, our poor Bachelorette looks so exasperated by Luke P.’s macho ways, which she’s already, by the way, warned him about.
“I really do care about you,” Hannah tells him after he attempts to claim self defense one more time. Backed into a corner, Luke P. tries another route, throwing Luke S. under the bus by claiming that he’s told the guys that he’s really only on the show to promote his tequila brand.
Can Hannah catch a break? What’s up with all these guys trying to promote their brands on The Bachelorette? This is a show about love, not a show about — hey, love that Halo Top®! Anyway, Hannah chats with Luke S. next to try to get to the bottom of things but ends up getting even more frustrated by the he-said, he-said rhetoric. Turns out, though, as she talks to her laundry list of men that night, Luke S. isn’t the only one who has an issue with Luke P. Red flag, much?
Garrett tries a different approach when he sits down to chat with Hannah and avoids the whole Lukes debacle altogether, which turns out to be a smart move, given that he’s rewarded with the group rose date later that night (sweet Pete is pretty bummed by this). Luke S. and Luke P. continue to duke it out in words, with Luke S. spewing some pretty harsh criticism for his new archnemesis. “I’m here for Hannah, and don’t you ever forget it,” he says. “I hate that I have to defend myself against some garbage coming out of a psychopath.”
The next morning, Hannah’s understandably not feelin’ so hot, but she’s got her one-on-one with Tyler C., so she’s trying her best to pull herself together. “Honestly, I don’t want to talk to anyone,” she says, “because I’m just not alright today.”
Fortunately or unfortunately for her, however, Tyler is insistent on showing her a good time (and eating some fresh-caught Rhode Island lobster, yum!), and so the two embark on an innuendo-filled date out on the waters, which Hannah later admits did help cheer her up. “I’m really glad I didn’t let my emotions get in the way of all the fun today,” she says, telling Tyler, “I’m just very calm.”
At dinner that night, Hannah decides it’s time to get “blunt,” as she says, with Tyler. She admits that she originally questioned his intentions coming on the show, assuming he was a “little bit of a player.” After their lobster fishing date, however, she’s feeling a lot better about him, and he about her, and the pair smooch. It helps, no doubt, that Tyler tells her about his own reservations about coming on the show given that his father almost died two months prior to his leaving.
But now? “I’m not here for the Bachelorette. I’m here for Hannah,” he says. He gets the rose, naturally, and the pair head off to their last stop of the night, a concert featuring country crooner Jake Owen. Things are looking up for our girl.
…. But not for long. The next night turns into an all-out Lukes show, with both of the Lukes trying to clear the air and their name with Hannah, causing her to question everything. (Helpful, and super sweet, aside: Peter asks Hannah to be his girlfriend in what just might have been the most adorable two minutes of The Bachelorette, possibly ever.)
Luke P. seems to be in Hannah’s ear, and Luke S. can’t figure out why. The he-said, he-said gets intense, with Luke S. calling Luke P. a “lying, manipulative piece of shit” in front of everyone, and warning him that “karma’s a bitch, and you’re gonna get yours, trust me.”
The episode ends with Hannah pulling both Lukes aside for a talking to, so it looks like we’ll have to wait ‘til next week to see just how ugly this little showdown is going to get, and which Luke triumphs. I’m not a betting woman, but if I were, I’d say that The Bachelorette history has taught us all to expect the unexpected. Keeping us on our toes, Hannah!
Immediately following the hilariously conspicuous Halo Top® ice cream product placement, a Halo Top® commercial aired starring Nick Viall, making me wonder just how deep this sponsorship relationship goes, but also respecting the marketing genius that is Halo Top®.
When the guys are playing rugby during the group date, John Paul Jones takes off with the ball at one point, and the slow-motion action is paired with a rather delightful soundtrack of classical music. Brownie points to the producers for that touch.
Dylan, who has literally had next to zero screen time on the season so far (only Matteo might have had less lines) closes out the episode with a pretty intense, and poignant, “I’ve never disliked anyone more in my entire life,” directed at Luke P.