Tonight’s episode of The Bachelorette had all the hallmarks of a classic Men Tell All special—drama, awkward audience members, bloopers—but there was something new for the franchise too: frank conversations about toxic masculinity and misogyny, in which the men are the ones who hold each other accountable. It was…a thrill to watch, honestly. So let’s get right to it. Spoilers ahead.
The episode starts with Chris Harrison warning us that this isn’t, like, a regular Men Tell All special. It’s a cool Men Tell All special. But all jokes aside: Rather than jump straight into the usual format, the episode picks up where it left off last week—with the last rose ceremony before the finale. Hannah must choose between Peter, Tyler, and Jed. This is apparently a hard decision for her, even though I sure don’t understand how she’s made it this long pretending like Tyler isn’t the best and only option.
The audience literally screams when he comes onto the screen. Then again, there’s also some cheering for Jed—someone even Chris Harrison has called a “buyer beware” situation—so maybe the Men Tell All audience isn’t the best judge of character?
Before she gives out the roses, Hannah takes some time to reflect on the past week. Turns out, she’s not missing Luke at all. In fact, “I’m so glad Luke is finally gone, and I never have to see him again.” Cut to: Luke in a van on his way to the rose ceremony. He’s coming back to fight for Hannah, and he’s even brought a ring with him. It’s honestly so dark and horrifying that it could be an outtake from Midsommar. Are we sure this is taking place in Greece and not Sweden?
When he arrives, Hannah greets him with, “Why are you here?” He asks if they can talk, and she just says “no.” They go back and forth for a bit—Luke begging to get some alone time, Hannah telling him to leave—before she finally says, “I’m about to go psycho so please leave.”
Luke replies that he’s not leaving until he gets closure. “Yeah, you will leave,” Hannah says, “because I’ve already sent you home. This is not how this works.” She calls him narcissistic, and still he stays. Annoyed, Hannah picks up the podium with the roses on it and tries to move on with the ceremony. And still, Luke does not go. The men circle around him and puff out their chests and demand that he leave. (I do not condone fighting, but I won’t lie: My lizard brain found this very attractive.)
Luke seems to have internalized the idea that true love NEVER gives up EVER without understanding that the other person in the relationship has agency too—and if they want you to GTFO, you need to GTFO. Case in point: When Luke tells Hannah he knows that the way she’s behaving today isn’t “her character.” Tyler, always perfect, quips, “Why are you telling her who she is, bro?”
In an attempt to finally get rid of Luke, Hannah tells the other guys what had happened the night of their fantasy suite date. Tyler shakes his head and calls Luke a joke in response. According to Luke he was “100%” misunderstood. He never, ever condemned or judged her even though I 100% remember him condemning and judging her.
Chris eventually jumps in and asks Hannah what she wants to do. “I don’t want him to be here,” she replies. Luke is all, “Look me in the eyes and say that.” So Hannah does. With that, he finally leaves.
Once he’s gone, Chris pulls Hannah aside to gossip about the fact that Luke brought a ring with him. Meanwhile, the other dudes sigh in relief that the “Luke show” has ended.
We don’t find out who gets the roses, though—that comes next week. Instead, we go back to the studio for the rest of the Men Tell All special. Luke is invited out on stage first, to a smattering of applause. I could get into the specifics of every insane thing he says, but really it’s more of the same: His words were misconstrued, Hannah wasn’t giving him an opportunity to speak, blah blah blah.
“I don’t get to see anything that happens with Hannah on the other dates,” he says at one point. “I don’t get to see her straddle or mount or swap saliva with other guys. That’s not easy, and I wouldn’t want someone that I’m literally getting fitted for a suit to propose in and I’m finding out that the night before my one-on-one time with her she’s having sex. And that’s not something I want in a future wife.”
Every time Chris asks a question, Luke takes an excruciating amount of time to answer. But the dead air doesn’t make his responses any better—he still keeps spouting the same bullshit. Luke is willing to admit he was arrogant…but not much else. “If I could go back, I wouldn’t change a thing,” he says. (Until exactly one commercial break later, when he walks that back: “Obviously, if I could go back I would change a lot.”)
It’s all very bad (and annoying that he’s even given a platform for this long), but it gets worse when Luke says he felt like he was on a “rescue mission” for Hannah. At that, Devin comes onto stage unannounced. “My blood has been boiling,” he tells Luke about watching from backstage. “There are men who want a strong, independent woman. And there are men who want a woman they can control. I feel, right now, that you you are the man that wants to control a woman so you can feel better about yourself. I’m sorry but that’s not a man.”
I’ve been watching The Bachelorette for a long time, and I honestly can’t remember seeing a contestant call out another dude so plainly for being misogynistic. It’s incredible—made even more surprising by the fact that Devin wasn’t known for being a particularly outspoken member of the cast this season. “The only person who needed rescuing was Hannah from you,” he says before leaving the stage.
Luke replies, “The last thing that I want and the last thing I’ll ever do is control a woman.” But then immediately says, “Although a man is supposed to lead and guide a woman in a relationship.” Reader, I gasped.
When the rest of the guys—minus Peter, Luke, and Jed—join from backstage, they immediately take Luke to task. Mike says it’s clear Luke has learned nothing and calls him a narcissist and misogynist. “I think your future wife is going to be a prisoner of you if you don’t learn how to change,” he says. Even sweet, doe-eyed Connor tells Luke to fuck off. “You’re a liar, manipulator, controlling, and you honestly are a psychopath.”
Luke claims he was “immature” and “acted out of my own character” and adds, “I hope you guys can support me as I work on these things and forgive me.” The guys don’t bite: TL;DR they won’t accept his apology until they actually see change. “It’s 2019, man, you’ve got to wake up,” Dylan says. “You can’t talk to a woman like that.”
Luke gets the final word (ugh): “I’m sincerely sorry about how it played out, and I hope you guys can forgive me.”
Let’s move on: Chris brings John Paul Jones up on stage, but the appearance is about as unmemorable as his time on The Bachelorette. “I appreciate the good vibes!” he tells his fan(s?), before a random woman wearing a “WWJPJD” T-shirt asks to cut off a piece of his hair. “If she says she wants to wear your skin as a suit, we’re running,” Chris quips. Which, honestly, yeah.
It seems my husband, who rarely tweets, was even motivated by JPJ to take to social media:
Mike is next in the hot seat. He doesn’t say anything too new or revealing, but it’s clear this is mostly just a time to test how he’d be as the next Bachelor. (PLEASE MAKE IT HAPPEN, ABC!)
After that, Hannah joins the men and immediately thanks them for sticking around even when she made decisions (i.e. Luke) they may not have understood. She admits her feelings for Luke were real, but time has given her some perspective. Apparently she was feeling insecure about being the Bachelorette at the beginning, and Luke was the first guy to make her feel like he was really there for her. And so, she held on to that longer than she should have. Chris gives Luke a chance to respond, and he apologizes for making the process “so difficult” before thanking her for teaching him how to open up more. “I appreciate those words…I do hope you [learned from this],” she replies, “but I think that there’s a lot of fruit that needs to be grown from you.”
Hannah didn’t stop there: She says she felt her faith was weaponized against her—and that unfortunately sometimes people who share the same faith as her use the words of the Bible to poke and judge others. “The basis of what I believe is love and loving others and not shaming,” she says, later adding, “I’m so over being slut shamed and being [made to feel like] that makes me not a woman of faith.”
But when Garrett asks if there’s anything they could have done to make her dump Luke sooner, she says she has no regrets. “Unfortunately a lot of women can relate to being in toxic relationships,” she explains. Her hope is that maybe other women in toxic relationships will have seen her go through it with Luke and be able to recognize the signs themselves.
It ends on a positive note: “Bachelor Nation, I’m sorry. I’m sorry for this whole thing with Luke and him just being on our television screens for so long,” Hannah says. “Way longer than really any of us ever desired. It’s my fault. A lot his, but I did it. I was there. I’m sorry. I’m tired of talking about him….The Luke P show is canceled. We will not renew the season. My apologies. and God Bless the United States of America. Roll tide.”
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