It’s a pistol-packing night on The Bachelorette, with even more surprises than on Jeffrey Epstein’s private plane manifest. Even better, SCOTUS refuses to hear any arguments against Hannah’s final decision.
Tonight, Hannah visits the last four guys’ families, including Luke’s in Gainesville, GA; Tyler’s in Jupiter, FL; Jed’s in Knoxville, TN; and Peter’s in some California town; who cares as long as they don’t drop their consonants. Word on the street is that her meeting with Luke’s kinfolk is striking, as for the first time in the franchise’s history, the entire Parker family, including a great-uncle, several step-cousins and a gerbil, show outward disgust at the whole farce. I recall Andi’s dad in Season 10 had a low tolerance for the show’s premise, but this time, it’ll be expressed by people who sound like Billy Carter.
We can presume this conflict means Luke does not get invited to Greece for a night at the Fantasy Suite. This seems best, as he wants a chaste, God-fearing wife, not a gal who’s shtupped more people than in any season of Californication.
Pre-caps show an angst-ridden Hannah not prepared to jettison anyone at the Rose Ceremony, but for now, she is pleased to be meeting all the families and maybe see some naked baby pictures. First, she goes off with Peter. Hannah thinks he’s so sweet. She sees him as the type of guy her Barbie dolls would have ravished when she was 9. Personally, I relied on GI Joe for the job.
Peter takes Hannah on a flight in a tiny plane, which is not a promising metaphor. I just hope PlaneCam doesn’t obstruct his view. They swoop over the California landscape as Hannah whoops and hollers like she’s at a barn dance. Peter is so sure about Hannah being the one. Borrowing from Wordsworth, he enthuses to her dimpled visage, “I’m falling, like, crazy, for you.” We’ll soon learn if his family concurs.
Peter’s parents look like they were at Woodstock, and even still have their hand-knit ponchos. They greet Hannah enthusiastically, along with his little brother Jack. Hannah eagerly describes Peter’s process of opening up to her, which is probably the type of thing people who read Dr. Wayne Dyer appreciate hearing about. Over Cuban food, they recite a German prayer and say a toast with French wine. Peter tears up as he recalls his late grandparents, who were probably Asian.
Jack asks Hannah whether she and Peter have said “I love you” to each other. She admits they haven’t, but “are on track to get there,” similar to your box of Triscuits moving down the conveyor belt at the supermarket checkout. Meanwhile, Peter tells his mom that there’s so much passion with him and Hannah, but while he’s in love with her, he hasn’t told her so. The dithering is worse than Maddie and David on Moonlighting, plus these are less well-written characters.
“I want the world for you,” Mom proclaims to Peter. Too bad Hannah is more like a small rural municipality lacking reliable public transportation.
Peter and Dad confab next. The exact same conversation ensues, including the popular topics of whether Hannah is in love with Peter, and what about those other three guys she’s seeing. To be fair, there’s not much else to talk about, other than who you think will be the next Bachelor and where Chris Harrison buys his ties. Eventually, Dad bursts out crying, probably recalling how Joni Mitchell sang about being in love in ’69.
Later, Peter declares the depth of his feelings to Hannah, but doesn’t utter the words “I love you.” He’s still afraid to open up and be vulnerable, much like many of the Democratic presidential candidates. Hannah will ditch him anyway, since she doesn’t want to sing that German blessing every night before dinner.
Next, Hannah meets Tyler near a lighthouse. They’re taking a boat ride around Jupiter. First they slather each other up with sunblock, an occasion for which both waxed their bodies from stem to stern. After a brief tour of local sites—overlooking the legendary Burt Reynolds Dinner Theatre—they jump into the water to make out. The producers just love those underwater shots of people’s derrieres. Tyler points out the house his family lost during the recession, a scene reminiscent of Dickens: “It was the best of times, it was the worse of times, it makes great backstory, it makes Bachelor Nation tweet. . . .”
Tyler tells Hannah that his dad has been ill with an unnamed condition. He hopes others were caring for the man while he was reluctantly pulled away to appear in a mindless reality show on the other side of the country. Hannah is moved by Tyler’s concern, but not so much that she isn’t up to dancing in her bikini for the next scene.
They then head to his family’s home. Hannah is wearing white jeans that fit tighter than frost clinging to a glacier. An emotional Tyler hugs his dad so closely that subtitles are necessary to understand their conversation. Then they all sit together as Tyler describes meeting Hannah. Dad feels their love is real, so we know he hasn’t seen all the footage. Tyler informs him that he wants Dad to see his wife and kids before he kicks the bucket.
Hannah talks with the brothers. “Could you see Tyler being engaged?” she queries. Implicit in the question is that it would be without the condition of an unplanned pregnancy. She’s delighted when they assure her Tyler is someone she could lean on in a crisis, such as a return of her cystic acne or the need for a restraining order against Luke.
Meanwhile, Tyler’s mom learns that he doesn’t reveal his emotions easily. This seems to be an epidemic issue in our country, rivaling childhood obesity, opioid addiction, and overexposure to crappy reality shows.
Dad tells Hannah that she would have all the family’s love and support were she to get engaged to his son. Either of them, in fact. Tyler tells her he’s falling in love with her, and is ready to move forward with their relationship. If only he could express his passion in a voice more animated than Robert Stack recounting an unsolved mystery.
Now it’s Luke’s family’s turn. First the two meet up, during which time Hannah wants to discover why Luke is who he is, and hopefully how to treat the condition. He thinks it’s a good idea for them to attend Sunday school with his friends. Luke hasn’t read many Cosmo articles.
The crowd of adherents to an unnamed denomination seat themselves at long tables. Cradling a Bible in his manly arms, Luke recalls his shameful history as a lush, a s***, and probably a regular consumer of Bloomin’ Onions. With this colorful history, he could be the dead guy they find at the beginning of an episode of Law & Order: SVU.
“I was entangled and caught up in sin,” he tells the group with the vacant stare of a Flannery O’Connor character. Then, while showering, he had an epiphany and found the Lord. I hope he had a robe handy. How does Jed follow that act with just a guitar?
Off they go to meet the fam. There’s Dad, Mom, brother, a SIL, a grandma, a great-grandma, Ellie Mae, and Jethro. The couple gleefully describe all the ugly, heated conflicts that occurred throughout the season. The family seems concerned. The Lord doesn’t like that kind of thing. Someone even asks why Luke is here with Hannah after such a prolonged exercise in bad behavior. Probably the same reason they kept Luke on General Hospital.
Dad believes that Hannah recognizing Luke’s value despite his appalling attitude is a gift from God. I think it’s a revision from the writing staff. Luke’s brother assures Hannah that what she wants from Luke is there, although it will require a lobotomy to attain. Dad also believes Luke has potential to make her happy, and content with birthing lots of babies.
Mom questions Luke’s admitted inability to be himself with Hannah. You do have to wonder why he chose to be Max Cady instead. She insists he must let this woman see his heart and how beautiful it is. He agrees, especially since judging her hasn’t worked out well. He is convinced there must be deeper conversations from now on, touching on the Logical Positivists and what kind of tree you would be.
Later, he sits with Hannah to tell her he is sorry for all the mishigoss he caused. He is certain he can see a future with her, and he loves her. Hannah is pleased, despite this being the 18th time they’ve had this same conversation without him following through. She is falling in love with him, as inexplicable as Ted Cruz having supportive constituents.
Next, a rooster crows in Knoxville. Hannah meets up with Jed and kisses him passionately, conveniently forgetting how giddy she was over Luke. Jed takes her to a recording studio so they can write a song together. Is this a Songland crossover? They take notes about cobblestone streets and things written on the stars and feelings in their hearts. Hannah is captivated, believing she has another Leonard Cohen on her hands. Too bad he has a Rebecca Black in this performance. Jed tells her he loves her, no prevaricating, no fear of being hurt. Apparently, he can also sing openly and vulnerably.
Family meeting time is here. There are a lot of Jed relations. True to the redneck roots this show assigns to all people from the south, they sit down to dine at a picnic table in a yard with overgrown grass and everyone in denim. Jed “makes a cheers” with a Mason jar of what is likely moonshine. Mom recommends sticking to your truth so as to be beneficial to everyone. Even the dog nods at this bit of down-home wisdom.
Jed’s dad is still marveling at all this drivel he’s witnessing. He tells Jed that Hannah looks like a hoot. She probably doesn’t pollute either. Hannah tells Mom how good Jed is for her. But Mom is suspicious of the show’s format, and probably would like to see Chris’s taxes, too. She asks Hannah if she tells all the guys she’s falling in love with them. Good move, Mom. Then she gently reminds the girl that Jed’s music is his life, and he doesn’t make a lot of money at it, especially if he writes more songs like the one the two of them just did. What’s more, Mom is just as doubtful about this whole contrived set-up when she speaks to Jed.
Hannah is concerned that the family doubts Jed’s commitment to her because his music is his true passion. I understand Kitty Carlisle was satisfied with letting Moss Hart place the theater over her, but then again, he was gay.
Hannah must muse about all this as the Rose Ceremony looms. She is distraught that the hometown visits did not give her the clarity she hoped for. She could try the Magic 8 Ball. Chris checks in with her, looking bored at her dilemma. It may be her whole life hanging in the balance, but it’s just another Tuesday for him.
Hannah addresses the four guys before the ceremony. She enjoyed meeting their families and seeing where they came from, although she’s wondering what tragedy in his past influenced Tyler’s choice of a salmon-colored suit tonight. Peter gets the first rose, while Tyler gets the second. It’s only 9:47 so something’s going to happen.
Hannah lifts the last rose, then clutches it helplessly until she finally walks off crying. She trembles in confusion in a dark alcove. I tremble in confusion over whether there’s a sheer panel in her backless dress. How else would the shoulders stay up? Chris comes up and asks rhetorically, “Are you okay?” Maybe it’s just something she ate.
Hannah can’t make a decision. She needs more time to choose a final guy, and fears closing the door on a relationship that may still have potential. She can always cheat with the other guy to be sure. As usual, Chris is no help at all.
Hannah returns to the ceremony room. She tells the men of her need for clarity. Chris brings out another rose with the stuffy aplomb of a waiter refilling a water glass. Everyone gets a rose! One more night to book at the Fantasy Suite in Greece!
Jed is bitter that he couldn’t beat Luke. He should write a song about it. He can call it Jesus, Take the Sex Wheel.