Tuesday, July 16, 2019

Winners & Losers

Much like Colton's fence jumping teasers all last season, last night we finally had the big windmill reveal!  As we learned in a preview two weeks ago, Hannah was going to have sex in a windmill on tonight’s episode. In fact, we learned—thanks to Hannah—that Hannah was going to have sex twice in a windmill. And who woulda thunk it was with Pete the Pilot???  

But for everybody outside the windmill, the climax of Monday night’s episode came an hour and a half later, when Hannah finally bid farewell to the dreaded Luke P. After two endless months of Hannah entertaining Luke’s exhausting string of aggressive feuds and possessive demands, she experienced a moment of clarity and realized three guys on the show made her extremely happy—and that a fourth stressed her out at every possible juncture.
Let’s talk Fantasy Suite dates first so I don't get a head of myself.  “It’s been a long time since I’ve been physical at all with a man,” says Hannah. “But Fantasy Suite week is not about sex.” It’s about getting “real, raw” time away from the cameras, she explains.  Sure.  But it’s also about sex.  And Hannah Bannanas is A-OK with that. Her first date is with Peter and the Bachelorette says “if all goes well” the two of them will [breaks into song] “get down pa-ta-bow-oooooh in the Fantasy Suite.”  And what better foreplay than a romantic sailing trip through the crystal-blue waters of the Mediterranean Sea? 

There’s a lot of making out on this date (and a lot of ass grabbing) but Peter’s still a little skittish about telling Hannah that he capital-L Loves her. “Do you know how much I like you?” he murmurs, as they recline on the boat deck. “You have no idea.” That’s right, she doesn’t — because you haven’t told her, dummy! Pilot Pete knows he has to drop the L-bomb at dinner as “terrifying” as it may be. He works his way up to it, telling Hannah that he was thrilled about how well their hometown date went. “I remember leaving that date feeling so good about where we’re at and where we can go,” he says. “I, um…”

“So when we were flying…” Oh, come ON, Peter. She knows you love flying. EVERYONE knows you love flying. Just say “I love you.” You can do it: I. Love. You. It won’t kill you. Yes, we know not all your previous relationships were perfect. Yes, we know that you have never met anyone like Hannah before. Yes, we know you can be your “true self” with her. Just spit it out! Finally, Peter manages to put all of these many thoughts together: “It made me realize how in love with you I am.” Thank you, reality TV Jesus! Now get these randy kids to the Fantasy Suite, stat! Actually, should I say the Fantasy Windmill? 

This windmill is straight out of the old timey Zelda game I played on Nintendo 64.  And it comes equipped with its own supply of condoms which Hannah finds inside a wooden chest.  Yes, this windmill happens to have sleeping accommodations, but it’s not a hotel room. The two spent the night in a room that was barely large enough to fit a single bed. There was nothing else there—just walls, a bed, and a chest with a bunch of items in it.  I expected 50 rupees and a health pack to pop out when they opened the chest; instead it had condoms in it. “That was not me this time!” insists Peter, blushing and trying to block the camera with his hand which is really cute. 

 "Last night was the best night of my life,” says Peter. “We came together, like, so much last night and just bonded.” TMI Pete.  TMI.  It’s a good thing the sex was good, because there really wasn’t anything else to do in that windmill.  When Hannah says she had sex in a windmill, she really means she had sex in a windmill.

Pilot Pete is feeling “mic drop” confident, but Hannah still has three more dudes to test drive. Next we’re off to Elounda, Crete, where Tyler and his tight pants are waiting to greet Hannah with open arms (to be fair, as snug as Tyler’s jeans are, they’re practically baggy compared to his hometown slacks).  Today’s date consists of a couples massage, which quickly turns into a dry-humping session as Tyler slips off his table and starts manhandling Hannah as she lies face-down.
The two massage therapists quickly scurry out of the room, which is good because Hannah and Tyler were about to make their work environment very hostile (and horny). “I’m 1,000 percent sure that physical intimacy with Tyler is not an issue,” Hannah informs us. “I want to be physical with him.” Still, the Bachelorette feels “nervous and scared” that her connection with Tyler is more physical than emotional.

Hannah’s mission at dinner is to determine whether Tyler can truly be her “forever” person. And when they sit down, she gets right to the point. “There is a concern for me about our physical relationship,” she tells him. “It is a huge part of our relationship… But, like, it has to be more.” To that end, continues Hannah, “I don’t want to go into the Fantasy Suite and have sex because I don’t feel like that’s what our relationship needs.” Bless his heart, Tyler tries his very hardest not to look as disappointed as he is by this news.

“I just want to be with you,” he says. “You have to love and respect and honor each other’s boundaries, you know? I would never press you or pressure you at all.” Congrats, Tyler — everything you just said is perfect! And it’s clear you actually mean it! As for his declaration of love? It’s a little choppy — “I can stand here today, like, and tell you, like, I do love you, like” — but we’ll allow it.
Hannah, too, is pleased with everything Tyler’s had to say. “I think he handled what I said really well tonight,” she reports. “It didn’t faze him… I feel really good about going into a Fantasy Suite with him and just being respected.”  A man who respects Hannah’s ability to decide what she does and does not want to do in the Fantasy Suite — imagine that!
After a night of celebrating each other’s boundaries, Hannah and Tyler emerge from the Fantasy Yacht with coffee and smiles. “I had a really great night with Tyler,” says Hannah. “We would make out and he would stop and just hold me… He was the most respectful man that’s ever been with me. Ever.”

Honestly, I’m not sure Hannah needed to do this. It’s odd to me that she felt their relationship wasn’t strong in a nonphysical way, because Tyler also seems to be connecting with her as a person. Maybe that’s just Tyler’s nature—he seems genuinely kind and caring in all regards. But Tyler takes it in stride. He lets her know he trusts her judgment on all such matters—a stark contrast to Luke and Jed, who can’t stop questioning her judgment. And the next morning, Hannah breaks down in tears, claiming that Tyler is “the most respectful man she’s ever been with.” (They seemed like “holy crap this guy is amazing” tears, not “I’m so bummed I gotta break up with this guy” tears to me.)
At this point, Hannah has to pick Tyler. I’m not sure the viewing public will forgive her for having the chance to have sex with Tyler and passing it up so she could develop their relationship further, only to decide she wasn’t interested in developing their relationship further. Honestly, I’m not sure Hannah could forgive herself, considering the way she (and the rest of the viewing public) talks about him. Maybe she should’ve done it with Tyler, because now I think she has to pick him to avoid spending the rest of her life regretting that missed sexual opportunity. 

Wow, it’s gonna be hard to follow that, Jed. Especially when you’re already so salty about Luke getting a rose last week. “It was just hurtful to stand there next to Luke,” he says. “But I don’t want to let someone else affect our relationship.”  Can we just take a minute to remind everyone how much I dislike Big Head Jed?

The date Hannah has planned involves crashing a random Greek family’s gathering. There’s traditional Greek dancing, delicious-looking food, and something called “life water,” which the patriarch of the family calls “typical Greek Viagra.” When the woman across the table tries to make polite small talk about whether she and Jed might marry, Hannah gives a little too much information. “I’m not ready to make a decision just yet,” she says. “This week is really important to me — I get more time with the four men that I’m dating.” 

Naturally, the nice Greek lady has another question . . . "So how are you going to decide?"  Of course, Jed is sitting right there. So yeah, Hannah — how are you going to decide? The Bachelorette mumbles something about falling in love in “different ways” and says she needs “clarity” before making her final pick. Rather than just stewing in silence, Jed pipes up to say how hard it is to watch Hannah fall in love with other people. The Greek lady nods politely, no doubt wishing she could just enjoy her spanakopita and salad in peace.
This whole exchange rankles Jed so much he asks Hannah to step away from the party so they can talk in private.  Though he probably wants to scream “WHY THE F— IS LUKE STILL HERE?” Jed manages to keep it together. “I just don’t fully understand how you can be as amazing as you are and even consider someone like him,” he says.
“Like, how honest do you want me to be?” Hannah asks. “At the beginning, I had a really strong connection with him that I really couldn’t describe,” she says. “I met his family, I do think he’s here for me. And there is a connection, but I’m still trying to figure it out.” All she really has to go on, adds Hannah, is “a feeling.” Jed is clearly not satisfied with this answer, but he lets the matter drop… until dinner, at least.
In fact, that night it’s the Bachelorette who brings Luke up first. “I actually do appreciate the conversation that you pulled me aside for,” she says. “I know how you feel about me, and I see it as coming from a good place.”  With that said, Hannah is hoping that the “talking about Luke” portion of the date will be over. “We good?” she asks Jed with a smile.
Nope. Jed has one last thing he’d like to get off his chest — and it’s a doozy. “It kind of says a lot about your decisions when you can look at me and tell me you’re falling in love with me, and then also keep around somebody who’s been toxic to this process for you and everyone else,” says Jed. “It makes me feel worried that you have a hard time letting go of things that aren’t good for you in your life.”  Oh snap!!! 
Can we just all take a moment to appreciate the irony of this situation? Jed, who allegedly left a serious girlfriend back home when he went on The Bachelorette to promote his music career, is now saying he’s worried about Hannah’s judgment.

Of course, the whole conversation makes Hannah feel awful. “Thanks, man,” she says with a wry laugh. “I don’t want you to go any further. I think I’m good now.” But there is anger behind her laughter, too. Why can’t Jed just trust her to make her own decisions? Who is he to tell her which guys are and aren’t acceptable final-four options? “I’m really frustrated,” she says. “That makes me mad.” With that, she gets up from the table, leaving the poor camera operator to chase her through the tavern. Of course, Jed follows her, too.
“Arrrgh! I do not want to do this anymore,” fumes Hannah, turning her back to Jed. He refuses to give her some space though and instead asks for a hug. Because when a woman walks away from you and turns her back to you, it means “please get in my personal space,” right ladies??  Once they’re back at the table, the Bachelorette makes this reasonable request: “I just want somebody at the end of the day that can trust decisions I’m making.” Sensing he’s pushed Hannah enough for one night, Jed backtracks, saying he trusts her decisions and knows she’ll make the right decision for her.
“My soul’s invested in this,” Hannah says, right before Jed shuts the door to the Fantasy Suite (which is definitely a house vs. a suite) and announces, “Comin’ to mama!” And that's when I threw up in my mouth a little. 
The morning-after sequence is shot in extreme closeup, and Jed and Hannah cuddle and smooch in their luxurious hotel bed. “I’m more sure than I’ve ever been about you,” drawls Jed. “I’m more sure about you, Mr. Jed Wyatt,” replies Hannah, as the camera appears to hover inches from their heads.
“We didn’t sleep a wink,” Jed informs us. “It felt like a dream.”  Ew.  I just had a whole body dry heave. 

On to the main event! 

I think we can all agree that the daytime portion of Hannah's date with Luke does not matter. Suffice it to say that Hannah and Luke take a helicopter to the island of Santorini; they both talk a lot about their “connection;” the scenery is incredible. Hannah, for one, is ready to get down (pa-ta-bow-ooooh!) with Luke, who she says is the best kisser of the bunch. “I don’t know what his church is teaching him, but that boy can kiss!”
Once the sun sets, though, it doesn’t take long for things to go south. Luke launches into a speech about the importance of marriage and what a big commitment it is and what he wants for himself and his future wife (“I want it the way I want it,” he says).  At no point does this ass hat ask Hannah what she wants out of a relationship.  In a man.  In a marriage.  In the future.  It's all about what Luke and what Luke wants.   Luke praises Hannah for being a “spiritual leader” in her household and how he’s “so ready” to “make history” in his family.  What the heck does that mean exactly??  “I want to make sure that from now on, things are known how they’re supposed to be.”  Hannah, too, seems a little confused by Luke’s vaguely grandiose ideas.

Let’s listen in as Luke schools Hannah about morality and marital hygiene. Sex is “incredible” and “beautiful,” but “only when it’s in the guidelines of marriage.” As stated in the book of Hebrews, Luke continues, the marriage bed “should be kept pure.” Even though he and Hannah are not virgins, Luke is “confident” that they’re on the same page about “morals.” Now he just wants verbal confirmation from Hannah that she has not or will not defile her future marriage bed by getting down (pa-ta-bow-oooh!) with Jed, Tyler, or Peter. “I just want to hear it from your mouth,” he says. “I just want to make sure you’re not going to be sexually intimate with the other relationships here.”
Though she says, “Okay,” it’s pretty clear Hannah cannot freaking believe what she is hearing. And Luke, that glorious jackass, just keeps talking to fill the silence. “If you told me you’re having sex, or you had sex with one or more of these guys,” he continues, “I’d be wanting to go home, 100 percent.”
At this point, Hannah would be perfectly justified in throwing a glass of Ouzo in Luke’s face and walking away, but she struggles to keep her cool. “Some of the things you that you said, like, I don’t agree with at all,” she tells him. Then her voice gets stronger. “I’m, like, kinda mad, because the way that you just said that — it’s like, why do you have the right to do that? Because you’re not my husband.”
Now she’s on a roll. Luke tries to cut her off and she just stops him with a firm, “No.”  “I get when you care for somebody that you don’t want to think about somebody being intimate with another person,” she continues, “but guess what? Sex might be a sin out of marriage, pride is a sin too. And I feel like this is a pride thing.”
Preach, Hannah! Preach!  Throw that Bible knowledge right back in his smarmy, cartoon-character-looking face! Luke tries to regain his footing, suddenly agreeing that okay, maybe he didn’t have the right to ask her whether she slept with the other guys. “I just want to know what’s going on,” he says. Unfortunately for him, he also tries to interrupt Hannah again, and the Bachelorette does NOT love it.
“I’m a grown woman and can make my own decisions,” declares Hannah.  I honestly cannot believe what comes out of Luke’s mouth next. It is truly a next-level accomplishment in misogyny and abject cluelessness. He says, and I quote, “I can understand a slip-up. But, like, with all of them? If you were like, ‘You know what? I just want to have sex with everyone and see what it’s like,’ then yeah, I would be like, ‘Okay, I’m gonna talk to you, but I’m outta here.’”
That is like the Ripley’s Believe It or Not of horrifying stupidity. Forget about the fact that this dating franchise has been on for 17 goddamn years — and Luke just described what happens every season during Fantasy Suites on The Bachelor and The Bachelorette. What’s truly appalling about this is Luke’s belief that in 2019, he is entitled to pass judgment on any adult woman — even a religious woman — who chooses to have sex.
“The words that you’re saying are just, like, really not okay,” Hannah informs him. We watch as it slowly dawns on her: Yes, everybody else was telling the truth about Luke. And she is pissed. This is the guy, after all, who sparked a “love at first sight” flutter in her heart when he got out of the limo. This is the guy she defended again and again, despite all the bulls–t. “Honestly, you have already
broken my heart through this, like truly — and I’ve broken my own heart because I’ve allowed everything,” says Hannah. “And to ignore all the red flags for how I feel… to have you say this about me?”

All season long, literally from the first date of the season, Luke repeatedly and incessantly told Hannah that he loved her, he was crazy about her, it was meant to be, he would fight for her through anything, this was destiny, etc. He was like a toy with a pull string that spewed out generic affirmations of love. But when it came down to it, he told Hannah that he would ditch her, no questions asked, if she didn’t follow his predetermined guidelines. Bruh, that ain’t love. And when she called his bluff, he retreated immediately. Soon he was explaining how he would still accept her in spite of everything; soon he was begging her for a chance to talk—while still characterizing her behavior as a mistake.

Luke has a tendency to paint himself into corners by saying whatever he thought people in the room wanted to hear, often contradicting himself and pissing people off. That's actually being too generous.  The truth is Luke likes to puff his chest out, but the only fight he actually cares about winning is Not Being Wrong. Example: He body slammed Other Luke, only to argue it was justifiable due to the rules of rugby (it wasn’t) and attempt to defuse the situation by promising to put in a good word for Other Luke (he bad-mouthed him instead). Example: He spent the whole run of the show trash-talking other contestants to Hannah, and when called out on it, he argued that he was just responding to Hannah’s specific questions about how things were going. Example: He told Hannah he’d leave her in a heartbeat if she defied the word of the Lord, only to try to prove he wasn’t actually threatening to leave her.  A few weeks ago, Luke’s fellow castmates began to respond to a season’s worth of confrontations by ragging on his height. But of course, one’s worth as a person has nothing to do with their height. Luke got made fun of for being 5-foot-8, but the truth is, he’s so much smaller than that.
Aw HELL no. Hannah goes on to tell Luke that she, in fact, is a “woman of faith,” and his premarital sex deal-breaker is hypocritical and meaningless. “I could have exed you off so many times from being my husband for things that I want out of a relationship,” she says. “There’s so many things that I don’t want out of a husband that you’ve shown.”

Exactly. Let he who is without sin cast the first stone. “You have not shown respect for any of the guys here, and I’m finally seeing that,” Hannah says. “I have prayed so much for clarity, and I feel like I’ve finally gotten clarity on you. And I do not want you to be my husband.”  Did the lyrics and dance moves to N'SYNC's "Bye Bye Bye" go through anyone else's mind at this point?? 
Like the true pyschopath he is, Luke refuses to believe that this is the end for him (we also see a glimpse of this in the previews for the season finale).  Even after Hannah stands up from the table and literally says, “It’s over, come on,” he remains seated and keeps asking for a chance to speak. The dude even has the audacity to claim that Hannah owes it to him to hear him out. “I don’t owe you anything at this point!” she snaps. “Please, get up!”  I was beginning to wonder if the producers were going to call in for some back-up at this point but Hannah had the situation under control. Luke makes one last desperate plea as they stand beside the Reject SUV, insisting that he’s not “judging or condemning” her and that he’s certain they have a future together. So what if Hannah literally just said she doesn’t want him to be her husband? She’s a woman, so she couldn’t possibly know what she really wants! “There’s something in me that is refusing me to get into that vehicle right now,” Luke says. Hannah’s all, Challenge accepted. “I have had sex,” she replies. “And Jesus still loves me.”  Oh, and Hannah gave him the big finger after his offer to “pray over” Hannah.  “I answer to the Lord,” says Hannah. “I don’t answer to Luke.”

In my humble opion, Peter is the undisputed winner of this episode. He’s the second party in the “I fucked in a windmill” quote, which will forever define this season of The Bachelorette. And while most Bachelorette sex is just hinted at, Hannah elaborates at length about the quality, quantity, and passion of her sex with Peter. She compares Peter to Zeus and herself to Aphrodite.  Greek mythology major she is not.  Difficulty with mythology-related analogies aside, the point is clear: This was some Olympian boning. She described it as “loving” and “passionate." 

Peter went on a romantic sailboat ride and spent the night in a windmill—both definitely things that had to be reserved ahead of time. Jed crashed a conveniently timed Greek family celebration and spent the night with Hannah in a deluxe hotel suite—again, they had to make arrangements with whatever family that was, and the hotel suite was probably #sponcon. Luke and Hannah flew via helicopter to the island of Santorini—definitely a planned excursion.  Tyler and Hannah, though? They got a massage together and spent the night on a docked yacht. Of all the dates, theirs was the one that had nothing to do with Greece at any point, and of all the dates, theirs was by far the easiest to coordinate. For the spa date, they just had to, like, call up a hotel spa and see if there were any available appointments. And they didn’t need to find a yacht captain or anything—they just needed a docked boat. It says a lot about the show’s confidence in Tyler’s power to generate thirst that they saddled him with the impromptu date. “Whatever gets his shirt off!” they probably said to themselves—and they were right.

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