On Episode 5 we saw an ostracized Luke crumble.
For the past four weeks, it's been so easy to dislike Luke P.
He weaponized his connection with Hannah to manipulate her, lied to her and his fellow contestants, and became violent. What others may see as an outright psychopath may be a man in a stressful circumstance, unable to put his hyper-masculinity aside to forge a meaningful connection with Hannah and the other men.
While others may throw the term "psychopath" around like it's nothing, Luke's actions thus far are still concerning. Revisiting the term, a psychopath is "a person with a psychopathic personality, which manifests as amoral and antisocial behavior, lack of ability to love or establish meaningful personal relationships, extreme egocentricity, failure to learn from experience, etc."
Combined with his inflated ego, Luke's behavior is definitely off-putting. His failure to make a meaningful connection with Hannah beyond their instant connection is difficult to redeem. Luke P. has constantly destabilized dates and caused drama wherever he's gone, unable to learn from experience. Throughout the most recent episode, it's apparent Luke was trying to connect with the men—but to no avail. He'd fall back on his antisocial tendencies in pursuit of the task at hand: winning the girl.
We know Hannah likes physical competition among the men. This week's group date involved Scotland's Highland Games; it was notably the most fun group date. She could not ignore the fact that Luke P. wasn't there, which contributed to the ease of the day. When Luke was finally chosen for a one-on-one date, he announced the date would finally help him know if he wanted to continue his relationship with Hannah. For the second time, Luke used the negative state of his relationship with Hannah as an opportunity to clarify what he wants, after declaring his undeniable love early on in the show. His refusal to be held accountable for his actions while threatening their relationship is a noticeable defense mechanism. When in front of Hannah for their one-on-one date, Luke shed his ultra-manly persona to appease her, pretending to be vulnerable by telling her what she'd want to hear instead of opening up to her about his emotional state.
During their confrontation, Luke put on a robotic facade which she then called out. She questioned why all the men dislike him so much. He did not fold, responding that in any other situation people "love me." Hannah did not take kindly to the reply, urging him to see how boastful he can seem and how that may turn people away. After all, she is a social woman who wants people to be drawn to her partner. Perhaps she was trying too hard to get him to open up about how difficult the situation with the men has been. All he could divulge was that it's been "hard," and he gave examples of how the men have wronged him. To Hannah, there was no emotion behind anything he said. She was so concerned that she begged producers to give her an out, to persuade her to send him home— also to no avail.
A person like Luke P. drives ratings, but the producers know when their lead has a genuine connection with a contestant. Seeing Hannah handling her frustration in real time instead of in a confessional was a necessary scene to convince her to figure out the relationship on her own. Unfortunately, Luke's prior actions were concerning enough for the producers to intervene, meanwhile, their date went in circles with no resolution. Hannah so badly wanted to send Luke P. home as easily as she had the other men who disrespected her, but she couldn't let him go just yet. It's confusing, considering what Luke P. did to Hannah. In a toxic, emotionally abusive relationship, the victim tends to feel like they're crazy or helpless. Hannah utilized their instant connection as a reason to keep him around, as a "what if" based on the past; but Luke gaslit the other men and then Hannah by coming up with scenarios that were outright lies, which led Hannah to question her judgment. Whenever he felt emotionally insecure or wanted to prove his dominance, he'd try to take up her time and hinder her ability to forge other connections. Instead of attempting to get to the root cause of Luke's behavior, Hannah approached him with too much sympathy when it came to his situation with the other men: Remember, he's been the one causing her distress to the point where she is mentally incapable of pursuing other relationships.
However, some contestants stepped up to reassure Hannah they were truly there for her. Others took up the role of protecting Hannah from Luke and attacking him for being a "pathological liar" and "psychopath." Luke P. could be a psychopath, but he also could be a victim of circumstance. Evidently, Luke wants to find love. Unfortunately, The Bachelorette is not a healthy environment for him. His arrogance and antisocial characteristics have ostracized him (rightfully so), which might've worsened the loneliness he's experienced. By isolating himself in a single-minded pursuit to win Hannah's heart, he's put her in the unfortunate and unhealthy position to rectify the relationship, even though he's been manipulating her from the start. Although Hannah did not give Luke P. a rose at the end of their one-on-one, it's obvious he'll be sticking around at least a little longer. The trying situation will test her ability to see past the bullshit and truly be an empowered woman who breaks from a draining, potentially toxic relationship. Hopefully, all will lead to a happy ending for them both, independently.
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