Okay, I’m just going to cut to the chase here: If you didn’t watch last week’s episode of The Bachelorette or read a certain someone’s recap (ahem), you have some fiery man drama awaiting you, reader!
This week’s episode plops us right down into the epicenter of said male turmoil, with Hannah B. sitting down the Warring Lukes, Luke P. and DC’s very own Luke S., to get to the bottom of their beef with one another.
We’re back in the creepy house in Rhode Island, and the guys sit in front of Hannah B. like they’re two kids called into the principal’s office for giving each other atomic wedgies.
“What’s going on?” she implores, looking between the two coiffed skulls of her suitors. America nods ferociously in agreement. Good freaking question, Hannah B.!
The men immediately start throwing excuses at her like half-assed nunchucks, and she immediately shuts it down. They must talk to each other, she says, not at her, and we are transported to a couple’s therapy session with the Lukes.
The two lob accusations back-and-forth at each other, Hannah B.’s head rotating left and right like a ball at Wimbledon as she tries to keep up: neither of the men think the other is here for the right reasons, both of them think the other is manipulating Hannah B., and on and on in headache-inducing infinitum, this list of grievances best suited to a cabin of tween girls at summer camp.
It’s obvious Hannah B. has had enough—dimples deflated, evening dress rumpled, she gets up and walks away, standing pensively by a fireplace that I’m pretty sure was in the Beauty and the Beast castle.
As she wanders off to shoot this B-roll of tormented gazing, the men sit alone in the room, glaring at each other like former lovers in a custody battle, and seriously, what is this house they’re in? The entire thing is one Victorian haunted nightmare. It’s like they’re sitting in a game of Clue.
And—to add to the nightmare—in comes our host Chris Harrison. He gathers the two Lukes, bringing them into the main room with the other men, who are so perturbed by all this drama they look like their Windsor knots are choking them. The cocktail hour is over, says Harrison, a surgeon delivering a fatal diagnosis. The men will go straight to the Rose Ceremony.
A groan fills the room. None of the other guys even got time with Hannah B. because she was too busy taking care of these man-children!
Tensions in the haunted manor are high to say the least. The only saving grace is a glimpse of our sweet angel JPJ, shuffling around in the background by a schooner diorama. Bless him.
The men shuffle into formation, staring at the trays of roses before them, counting their heartbeats.
“It just continues to get harder and harder,” Hannah B. says of her quest to find true love as she stands before the men, “but it’s really important I continue to tap into the strong woman I am.” Hell yeah, sister!
She leans down, just about to pick up the first rose, when Luke S. steps forward.
Can he talk to her? he asks. Frankly, Hannah B. looks over this crap (which, same) but she knows this is good TV, so she says yes.
Luke S. huddles close to her, looking deep into her eyes. He apologizes if he’s caused her any pain and urges her to keep her eyes open. “You know what I’m talking about,” he ominously intones.
And—what is this? Could it be? With one final look conveying everything he can’t say, Luke S. walks away from it all, making his way down a Gothic flight of marble stairs as the candelabras catch the light in his hair, sending him off with all the goodbyes we’ll never get to say.
The men are shocked. Chris Harrison takes away another rose, and JPJ looks around wildly like he just woke up from a Rip Van Winkle nap and realized where he is. He’s all alone here, the lone Washington man. He’s all we have.
“Luke S. just sent himself home,” says Hannah B., picking up a rose, “and I don’t want anybody who doesn’t want to be here.” The bell has tolled, the message sent. She begins.
She hands them out to all the usual suspects —Jed, Tyler, Pilot Pete—and then we’re down to the final rose. JPJ is up there along with The Other Luke, and America holds its breath. Who’s it going to be? This adorable enigma of a man or this rabid aggressor who broke DC’s Luke?
JPJ shuffles back and forth, looking like a kid who lost his mom in Walmart. He gulps, his gargantuan boulder of a Adam’s apple bobbing as if at sea.
Hannah B. picks up the final rose, looking up at the men. “Luke P,” she says, and the Earth shifts slightly on its axis, as swift as a kick to the gut. That’s it—JPJ is gone. We’re done. Washington’s dreams of a match made in Bachelorette heaven are over.
JPJ looks down and hugs his brethren, crossing the oriental rug like the ghosts of so many men before him, making his way to Hannah B. to say goodbye.
He grabs both her hands, wisps of hair streaming like jet trails across the sky, flowing far, far away as he looks her in the eye.
He whispers good luck, and it’s like he’s speaking to all of us, sitting here alone in the dark with shapes moving across our faces, and then—just like that—he’s gone, and everything is a little quieter.