Fantasy Suites Raised The Bachelorette's Two Villains To New Heights

Photo: Courtesy of ABC.
It has become increasingly impossible to enjoy The Bachelorette as an independent universe unto itself. Scandal has consistently rocked the Bachelor Nation offshoot since Rachel Lindsay’s season in 2017, when one of her suitors was revealed to be a racist. This season's proceedings have been particularly plagued by drama from the beginning. On the first night of her season, Hannah Brown had to send home one man for hiding a girlfriend back home. In the present timeline, viewers know the beleaguered Scott Anderson wasn’t season 15’s only suitor to led a suspicious romantic life seconds before getting on the plane to film.
This unstoppable information leak creates a Bachelorette that exists in two worlds. The first is the one crafted by producers for our viewing pleasure (or viewing rage, depending). Luke Parker is the villain of that domain. Then, there is the real time world that the audience inhabits. That is the one that knows frontrunner Jed Wyatt reportedly kept a girlfriend on hold while he went to compete for Alabama Hannah’s heart as a bid for music career fame. Both men infuriate viewers in different ways.
And, Fantasy Suite week heightened the villainy of both men to great, enraging effect. The Bachelorette “Week 10” proves Luke and Jed are different sides of the same terrible coin.
Fans have waited for Luke’s official fall from grace for weeks. At the very beginning of her season, trailers suggested Hannah would find herself in an argument with Luke over hypothetical sexual encounters with other contestants. “Week 10” confirmed the blowout is even more intense than we originally believed. Yes, a big part of the confrontation boils down to Luke telling Hannah he would “remove himself from the relationship” if she soiled the prospective “marriage bed” by hooking up with another Bachelorette guy. The Fantasy Suites episode confirms Luke is predictably slut-shaming during the conversation.
However, the far darker portion of the episode arises when Hannah realizes Luke is only hurting her and asks him to leave. At last, she has “clarity,” as she says, on the toxic relationship. Luke refuses to respect Hannah’s wishes because he cannot accept Hannah saying no to him. Instead, Luke tells Hannah she owes him the allowance of an explanation and refuses to move.
Over the course of the season, these are the moments of doubt Luke has used to worm his way back into Hannah’s heart. That’s why he goes into a canned spiel about loving Hannah and never judging her, despite judging her seconds earlier. The conversation evolves into a quick gaslighting scheme as he continues, “I don’t even care what you just said to me about you feeling like you have clarity on this. I still feel like you don’t. There is something in me that is refusing me to get into that vehicle right now.” Luke admits he simply doesn’t care what Hannah thinks.
That bizarre last ditch effort doesn’t work as Hannah realizes how many chances she has given Luke. He’s not owed another. “I’m so mad,” she says repeatedly before dropping her last bombshell: the sex she shared with Peter Weber in a windmill. With that final push, Luke agrees to leave. However, as trailers confirm, this is not the last we have seen of Luke. He will forcibly return for the rose ceremony next week to stake his claim on Hannah once again. “Hannah thought there’s no way I’d want to be with her anymore … she’s sadly mistaken,” he says directly to a shaky handheld camera. It’s a chilling look at a delusional man happy to manipulate Hannah.
Unfortunately, Hannah’s real frontrunner, Jed Wyatt, also appears prepared to bend her to his will. During their fantasy suite date, Jed pauses the romance to give Hannah a stern talking to about her feelings for Luke (a subject neither Peter nor Tyler Cameron felt compelled to raise in “Week 10”). Jed claims he is hurt because he and Luke were the last ones on the chopping block during the “Week 9” rose ceremony. Yet, that’s not where Jed’s problems end.
“I don’t want to see you hurt. And I want to see you be with the best person you can be with,” Jed says. “I’ve seen him lie.”
The show raises this revelation as a sweet sentiment from one of Hannah’s Good Guys. However, in real life, the maneuver smacks of treachery. Jed is the guy who allegedly told his before-Bachelorette girlfriend Haley Stevens he was purposefully going onto the show to gain a little fame for his country music career — and he would be back for her when the cameras were gone. Jed’s own family heavily suggested something was amiss with his Bachelorette relationship when Hannah visited for hometown dates. This is the person who makes Hannah cry multiple times throughout “Week 10” over her remaining feelings for Luke and his lies?
What about Jed's own lies?
This painful matter is made worse by Hannah and Jed's dinner. The singer spends the meal suggesting Hannah is fundamentally damaged over her continued interest in Luke and is unable to let go of unhealthy attachments. Hannah has suggested over the season some version of that problem kept her in prior bad relationships — hence her pained face over dinner at Jed's accusation. It’s likely no greater allegation would make Hannah want to prove her feelings more. So, her eventual trip to the Fantasy Suite with Jed isn't a surprise.
Pilot Pete may have some shady skeletons in his closet, but he would never do any of this.

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