The world of The Bachelorette has often come prepackaged with a villainous personality each season, and Hannah Brown's biggest antagonist was also one of her longest-lasting potential suitors, Luke Parker. The pair's stunted relationship has been one of the biggest headline grabbers of the season, and the "Men Tell All" reunion special likely delivered all the big moments that fans wanted to see, including Hannah getting honest about her feelings.
The reunion kicked off with the rose ceremony that followed the one-on-one dates, and that's where the by-then-ousted Luke P. made a surprise return with an engagement ring for Hannah. (Made all the more amusing since none of the other men even knew that Luke had already been eliminated.) The whole ordeal, which included Hannah literally moving the rose stand away from where Luke P. was standing, only reignited curiosity about why Hannah kept Luke P. around so long to begin with.
Thankfully, Hannah went into an explanation on that front with Chris Harrison during the "Men Tell All" portion of the episode. In her mind, it mostly came down to the first impression that Luke P. made on her. Here's how she put it:
I think a lot of that came from being really insecure about being the Bachelorette in the first place. I remember when I got the call from you, I was so excited but also I had this doubt of, ‘Oh my gosh, am I going to be able to be this? Are the guys going to be disappointed?’ I didn’t know if I was going to live up to this standard that I thought I had to live up to and the first night there, there is this huge fear of what your intentions are. Are they for fame? Are they for career? Are they for building a platform? Is it for you to just continue to be a personality? That night, [Luke P.] made it clear and made me believe that he was there for me. There was safety in that, and he gave me hope from the beginning, and I held onto it a lot longer than I should have.
I think a lot of people out there in the world can likely find some common ground there. Being put front and center for a primetime reality series is going to leave one feeling pretty impressionable, and sometimes all it takes is a warm smile and some kind words to initially win someone over. Luke P. certainly had his charms in place in those earliest days, so it all makes enough sense.
However, it didn't exactly take long for Luke P. to become the contestant that fans loved to hate, and he wasn't exactly in solo company. Yet, despite there being arguable reasons each week to boot Luke P. to the curb, metaphorically speaking, other contestants were sent home instead.
Because Hannah and Luke P. bonded over their shared faith and feelings about God, among other things, she immediately felt as if he was someone that was truly there for her and no other reasons. Thus, she continued finding ways to mentally justify keeping him there. I mean, the whole point is finding someone to fall in love with, so her defenses were already lowered, and it wasn't until the bitter end that she truly found personality quirks that she couldn't live with.
For all that Hannah Brown inevitably lit into Luke Parker like a July 4 celebration, the Bachelorette star didn't try to distance herself from her previous emotions, and wasn't ashamed to admit that she truly did fall for him. Here's what else she told Chris Harrison during the reunion special:
It was hard for me to understand at times. I will never try to say that the feelings that I had for him weren’t real, because they were.
The one-on-one date that cemented Luke P.'s downfall was going kinda sour from the start, considering his own family (mostly his mother) seemed somewhat dismissive of his relationship and any notions that he and Hannah were destined to be together. Honestly, I'm always shocked whenever contestants' moms don't act like this.
That uncomfortable ordeal was followed by one of the most hectic conversations about sex that has ever happened within the Bachelor Nation franchise. The born-again virgin Luke P. got far too domineering for Hannah's tastes when talking about his expectations for her sex life, saying that he would want to opt out of the competition if he knew she had slept with any of the others. And guess what? She had!
Windmill sex! Windmill sex! Windmill sex!
For what it's worth, Luke Parker did try to defend himself with Chris Harrison on the "Men Tell All" special, though he wasn't exactly helped by the rose ceremony crashing that started the episode. For one, Luke P. claimed he returned because he thought Hannah "was making a mistake," and admitted that he made his own mistake by thinking that Hannah was the "perfect wife for me with all the qualities I want in a future wife." Not the best way to make friends in that room.
Luke P. made a couple of other claims that add some considerable shade to all this. For one, he stated that a producer had egged him on about bringing the ring to the rose ceremony, so that might not have been completely his idea.
But then Luke P. also claimed that Hannah had confirmed with him at some point that she was also going to abstain from having sex in the Fantasy Suites because she was also holding out until marriage. Hannah was not about to let that proclamation go unchecked, however. When she took the stage, here's how she responded to Luke P.:
I am so over being slut-shamed and being felt like that makes me not a woman of faith, because, oh my gosh. I live my life and make mistakes and sin every single day and so do you, and so do you, and so do you. I'm also not going to say that me having sex in a windmill was just the Scarlett Letter on my chest to have. I'm not going to stand here and feel that way and you're not going to make me feel that way.
Hannah Brown went on to say that Luke P. was obsessed with both sex and the Fantasy Suites, and was unable to grasp the fact that contestants used the latter for emotional pleasure just as much as for physical pleasure. And in the end, Hannah felt "threatened" by Luke trying to use her faith against her, despite that being the very thing that connected them in the first place.
Is the Luke P. drama really over now that the reunion special has aired? Hannah straight up stated "The Luke P. show is cancelled. We will not renew the season." So maybe we'll never hear from him again as long as we live.