News of the week: The government argues in court to deny soap to children being kept in cages, the Teen Tournament continues on Jeopardy!, and everybody hates Luke. Only one of those is fun to watch.
On episode 7 of The Bachelorette, the 24-year-old twerp who calls himself an “entrepreneur” while wearing a haircut so out of style, it’s listed on Ranker along with Cosby sweaters and Dunkaroos, loses what fragments remain of his cool when he learns Hannah and Garrett go bungee-jumping naked on their one-on-one date. That could also be called a one-on-two, depending on which body parts are touching.
Alas, Luke is aggrieved when any of the other guys even touch the hem of her garment, which admittedly is always too tight. As you recall, he had a religious awakening before his audition, and his New and Improved God demands chastity for any Bride of Lukenstein. He may be observing the brand of Christianity practiced by the Duggar family, which promises so much sex after marriage, you have to buy diapers by the pallet.
If you want to be as thrilled as I am about who will be voted the new Queens County DA, know that Reality Steve has revised his original report that Tyler C. gave Hannah the Neil Lane ring. He now names Jed the winner of her presumably nail-bitten hand. This is supported by case studies about psychiatric patients who also chose to overlook the fact that a man’s former girlfriend recently claimed that not only had they been dating up to the day he left for the mansion, but he promised to return to her when he’d polished off enough free booze to inspire half a dozen new country songs.
Tonight, Hannah and the nine remaining guys are spirited off to Riga, Latvia, the sole remaining country the president has not insulted. Maybe they’ll shoot down one of our drones to get better publicity than than they do from this show.
We open with Hannah wandering through an empty church, bemoaning her frustration with dating a bunch of lusty young clods who manscape their inner thighs. I think God would’ve recommended letting her mom fix her up, even if He says it in Latvian.
Garrett gets the first date card. He’s psyched! Luke is jealous, but feels confident his rival will not get a rose. For their date Garrett rushes to embrace Hannah in a forest. They agree the regular-looking trees and grass are amazing. Then a cable car arrives overhead, and out spills a naked couple strapped face-to-face to a bungee cord, like a giant Caucasian yo-yo.
The naked couple greet Hannah and Garrett on shore, then wander away like extras paid a little more than scale. Hannah claims she did not know that she and Garrett would have to be naked to bungee-jump. Sure, Jan.
On board the cable car, sandwiched against the bare flesh of man she has never been to the movies with, Hannah is frightened. But is it of the impending jump from high above an icy river, or of seeing his bayonet shrivel in the cold? Embracing her, Garrett assures Hannah that all will be well, both in this situation, and when he’s convicted of embezzling funds from his employer. She then peels off her bra and tosses it on the floor. Was she raised in an Old Navy dressing room?
You have to wonder what the close-up camera is attached to as they plunge head-first toward the water, screaming like little girls. Later, as they don robes and sock back champagne on land, her bra floats toward the bank like the evidence of a Bundy murder. There’s a lot of spit involved in their kissing. Hannah and Garrett are delighted with their date, which would have been romantic even without blocking.
That night, Hannah expresses pleasure that they conquered their fear of jumping out of a cable car naked in a country located on the Baltic Sea. Most people are afraid of spiders or public speaking, but okay. Garrett felt the experience made him very comfortable and confident, as well as interested in searching for Latvian bungee-jumping p*** online. They blather on about the quest for love, a journey fraught with peril for every young, healthy, and attractive white person.
After the group card arrives back at the guys’ suite, we cut to Garrett confiding to Hannah the stirring story of how he hated football and, against all advice, turned to golf, which made him finally feel complete. She appreciates the accessible sports metaphor.
His eyes sparkling, Garrett admits he’s falling in love with Hannah “big-time,” like in the saga of Gone with the Wind or Sluggo buying Nancy a root beer float. He accepts the rose from her, and they repair to listen to violin music.
Next day, Garrett tells all to the group, complete with sweeping gestures and a sprinkling of “awesomes.” Luke is astonished. He can’t comprehend that Hannah agreed to bungee jump naked with a man who’s never told her his favorite breakfast cereal.
Now the group daters meet at the Riga Central Market, which looks like a rollicking good time. Hannah is seen unironically jamming a large pickle into her mouth. They kvell over various foodstuffs, join people dancing in native costume, and throw back some Latvian liquor. Then, right there on Riga public transportation, Hannah describes the naked bungee-jumping. Luke wants to know if the practice is limited to official couples. Yes, Luke, just as sex and sharing secret family recipes is.
Appalled by this revelation, Luke decides his future wife has some splainin’ to do. This scene will be more enjoyable to watch than when Kellyanne Conway is compelled by subpoena to testify before the House Judiciary Committee.
The group will party in an elegant old building filled with tapestries, crystal chandeliers, and gold leaf. The real thing, too, not a Trump Tower penthouse. Tyler C. spirits Hannah away first. She mounts him like he’s a pommel horse as he praises her stellar qualities of bitchiness, short-temperedness, and impatience. In reply, she rams her tongue into his mouth. I guess that’s a thank-you.
Next, Jed tickles the ivories with Hannah by his side. She swoons as she watches his fingers move across the keys like they’re walking through the Yellow Pages in search of a place of the nearest Jared’s.
Finally, Luke gets to interrogate Hannah. He asks if she’s ever been cheated on in a relationship. It feels pretty bad, doesn’t it? DOESN’T IT? A vein throbbing in his neck, he explains that Garrett talked about their bare-skin bungee-jumping. It hurt Luke to imagine her skin pressed against another man’s. In fact, he stayed up all night thinking about it with a sock handy.
“It was a slap in the face,” he tells Hannah sternly. But even when she makes that kind of “bone-headed mistake,” he wants her to know he will forgive her. Hannah face grows darker than a Latvian sausage, but she refrains from whacking him in the pusser with a nearby antique vase from the Latgale region.
Ultimately, that night’s rose goes to Tyler, evidently for being a powerhouse kisser. Luke is disappointed that his Footloose-dad-like chastisement of her pressing her dewy flesh against someone else she barely knows wasn’t appealing enough to win her over.
Next day, Hannah strolls the countryside, stroking the cattails and waiting for her date with Peter, who has come to resemble Major Roger Healey. They’re going to have a Latvian-style spa day. They are each greeted with a crown of flowers and leaves before entering this “intimate place to open your heart and be the person you really are,” or in unaccented English, sweaty and naked.
The proprietress of the spa sings the two a tune previously covered by Mississippi John Hurt. They ingest spices, beat each other with dried plants, and relax in a sauna where they must make a wish on a big spoon. I do that whenever I try preparing something from an Ina Garten’s cookbook.
In the inevitable hot tub scene, Peter describes how the guys are all worried about scoring with her. But he’s the one, he assures her. He will give her that fire and be that rock. The paper and scissors don’t even figure in. For her part, Hannah says Peter makes her feel like a woman, particularly one who has read The Kama Sutra.
That night they toast to their ultra-sexy experience at the spa. But Hannah wants to know if there is substance behind that chemistry. She has a spitfire personality, she reveals, and he loves that. He gets his strength from his job as a pilot, which requires him to be responsible for his passengers’ lives every day, and also for getting their luggage to its destination.
Peter explains how his grandma always recommended he let the river flow, allow what comes to come, and to scrub the sink in a circular motion. Hannah is moved by his openness, as well as his grandma’s recommendation of Brillo. She gives him the rose.
Back at the suite, the guys continue to fret until Peter returns with his rose and describes his date. Jed is at loose ends. He grabs a jacket and his guitar, and stands under Hnnah’s window to serenade her with a country tune (© 2018 by Jed Wyatt. All rights reserved). From her balcony, she calls, “Deny thy father and refuse thy name, or if thou wilt not, be but sworn my love, and I’ll no longer be The Bachelorette.” He comes up to her room and sings some more, later to be posted to his YouTube channel. They fall into each other’s arms, murmur sweet nothings, and the curtain falls. The audience runs to get a snack.
Meanwhile, Garrett scolds Luke for complaining to Hannah about the naked bungee-jumping. Luke insists he was doing it to preserve her unsullied reputation as a reality show sell-out. Furthermore, he wasn’t telling her what to do with her body—he was telling her what not to do with it. Garrett’s eyes roll like the olives in a take-out salad on the F train. He refuses Luke’s request to promise not to bring this up to Hannah. “Sweet dreams, Luke,” Garrett utters ominously as he exits.
Then Hannah appears at the guy’s room and invites Luke to talk with her. You can tell she’s upset because she’s wearing an oversized beige sweater and a ponytail. She needs to see if she and Luke are on the same page of a book about a demented, possessive stalker who tries to control your every move. She describes how hurt she was that he suggested that his family would not want her naked bungee-jumping to be included in the wedding announcement.
“You are not my husband, you do not own my body,” she asserts like a low-rent Helen Reddy. Luke tries vainly to mop up the damage by accusing her of misunderstanding what he meant when he said she did bone-headed things. He should never seek a career in crisis communications.
They are at an impasse. Luke pleads that he will do better. Hannah appears unconvinced, but she probably wants to beat this dead horse for a few more episodes.
A sullen Luke returns to the guys. He says he won’t talk about what he just discussed with Hannah. Then he immediately blames Garrett for talking about their mutual nakedness, which forced Luke to become Glenn Close in Fatal Attraction. At least no bunnies were harmed in the making of this show.
Then Chris appears in the room to tell them Hannah is upset, so much so that she’s changed into baggy sweats and removed all her bracelets. So there won’t be a cocktail party tonight. Those without roses will again lose the opportunity to exchange saliva with a girl whose model of car is unknown to them.
They troop off to the Rose Ceremony. A suit of armor seems to glare malevolently as they pass. Its wearer would never take part in this crap, and would have slayed Luke with his trust sabre.
Hannah wears a green strapless dress with a full skirt to announce that she thinks her husband in in this room. Maybe it’s the night janitor. The first rose goes to Jed. He accepted much better than that the other night. The next bloom goes to Mike, then Connor, who had virtually no on-air time this week. Time for the final rose. Will it go to Luke? Of course. Dustin and Dylan provide no drama at all.
Indeed, Luke steps forward when she says his name. Hannah whispers, “There’s goodness inside you, and I see that.” The producers showed her photos of him helping an old lady with her Crossfit. Everyone else is annoyed as hell.
Hannah tells Chris that she’s either falling in love with Luke or going crazy. There’s a third possibility, though. He may have paid off her student loan.