When we left off last week, Bachelorette Hannah Brown had to move furniture to show Luke that he was no longer competing for her heart. Now we’re back in Crete, Greece, where host Chris Harrison restores the rose stand to its original and proper position, showing Hannah who’s really in charge: He is. The show is.
Luke is gone, but the pressure of making a decision about whom she will marry remains. At the beginning of Monday night’s episode, the first in a two-part finale, we get a sneak peek of Tuesday’s second part: Hannah is in a van and instructs the driver to stop. She’s in a white, sparkly dress on her way to her final rose ceremony, where she will pick someone who will propose to her. She gets out, takes few steps down the road. And before she stumbles, the viewer entertains a brief fantasy: Perhaps she will pull a Colton Underwood and make a run for it. For a split second, we could imagine a joyous life of obscurity for Hannah, retreating to the hills of Crete, not picking either of these men and staying in Greece.
But that dress and those shoes are not built for running. Her heel appears to break and a producer dressed in black swoops in to catch her, as if to say: You can move the furniture. You can get out of the van for a break, but you can’t escape. The show must go on. You must pick one.
First, she has to let Peter go. Peter, the sweet 27-year-old pilot who describes Hannah as “the most amazing person” he has ever met, has to sit through a rehashing of their relationship on national television.
The windmill keeps score
The windmill has had visitors before. There was the shepherd boy and the young woman from the village, more than 100 years ago. The young lovers just before the war. There had been others since, but it had been too long since it had known true company. Until the day a location scout arrived.
The TV crew came soon thereafter, with the woman — Hannah — and her paramour, Peter. The windmill was to become a “fantasy suite,” and it knew instinctively what that meant. The blades spun through the night.
Everyone departed from the windmill, but absolutely no one left it behind. Not the other paramour — the windmill had heard of Luke’s wicked ways — who shamed the woman for what had happened within its walls. (Twice, she had told him, but the windmill knew better.) Not Peter, who knew the truth — four times, it was later revealed on the show, half a world away, to the quixotic delight of his parents, so proud of their son’s virility. Not Hannah, who would go on to choose another man — but who would always think of those four (four!) times in the windmill. She would always think of the windmill. Even when she was with the other man. The windmill. Its blades spun on.
Falling in lust with Tyler
When Hannah explains why she didn’t go four rounds with Tyler after her time with Peter, she says it was because she worried that she was merely “falling in lust” with him rather than finding herself truly in love. It’s easy to understand why: He looks like the CGI lead character from a forthcoming remake of Disney’s “Hercules.”
When she brings him to meet her parents, though, one begins to suspect that they feel similarly. They stare at him as moonily as he gazes at their daughter, listening to his stories as if to the sweet songs of fairies. “I got kicked out of my English class. I got a D in econ,” he says of his first semester in college. Apparently desperate to keep this ivory tower of a man on campus, his school enrolled him in summer courses that he would be sure to pass.
Still ensorcelled, Hannah’s parents are apparently untroubled by his own suggestion that he is a world-class dumb-dumb.
“I think he has good intentions,” Hannah’s father says of this living statue.
“I love the fact that he makes you happy,” Hannah’s mother tells her daughter. She, too, is all the more joyful for her time in his company.
“It is safe to say Hannah’s family loves Tyler. And everyone else does, too,” Chris says as the segment ends. It is safer still to say that “love” isn’t the best word here, although the better one still starts with an L.
Jed ‘has qualities’
The life of an aspiring Nashville singer-songwriter is never easy, especially when you meet your girlfriend’s parents on national television and they are convinced that you are a failure. Hannah’s parents basically morph into the side-eye emoji as Jed explains that he’s a musician, and Hannah’s dad has some serious questions about how Jed plans to support his daughter if, in fact, he is the winner at the end of this spectacle.
“You are still young, but there has to be a direction,” her dad explains.
“You know, my goal as far as finances and stuff go in the future, I just want to have as many facets of income and backup plans as I can so that not only can I support myself but, you know, a family someday,” Jed explains. “At this point, my most major accomplishment is that I signed a deal with a dog food company. I’ve already written their jingle.”
Hannah’s dad — who was, you’ll recall, untroubled by Tyler’s difficulty with basic economics — is unimpressed with this disclosure and accurately points out that major problems in relationships often stem from financial stressors. (And not to take away from the many Twitter memes poking fun at Jed, but isn’t jingle writing a respectable — if not possibly lucrative — career?)
Meanwhile, Hannah’s mom goes with, “Um, he has qualities.” (And again, not to take away from her parents’ legitimate concerns, but they fell all over Tyler, and he just talked about his dancing!)
Jed is confused about why they seem to dislike him so much, and Hannah isn’t much help. Later, on their romantic boat ride, she has to remove herself from the situation because she’s about to throw up from all the stress and the rocky waters of the Aegean. She seems to be very into Jed, but her family does not feel the same way.
Before the episode ends, Hannah reemerges with Chris to tell viewers that “the past couple of months have been really tough and emotional” and that even she doesn’t know how things will end tomorrow night. Maybe the ending will indeed be the most dramatic in “Bachelorette” history, as Chris has promised. But no matter how anyone tries to move the furniture on this show, the set never really changes. Two beautiful people will get engaged, or at the very least end up together. One of the remaining men will be upset and will appear onstage, looking for answers that won’t be all that satisfying.
And we’ll do it all over again in just a few months.