Tonight's episode of The Bachelorette is taking a step back.
We've seen in previews that Hannah loses her cool a little bit in the wake of Luke P.'s general state of being, and it sends her into a panic over whether she should even be doing this, and whether she should keep doing it. In a phone interview, Chris Harrison explained to E! News exactly what we're in for with the next episode and with Hannah's continued frustrations with Luke P., a relationship he describes as "an active volcano."
"Typically, things like that are going to erupt."
Basically, after what happened in Rhode Island when Luke S. tried to get Luke P. to be honest with Hannah about what happened on the rugby field, everyone thought things would get better in Scotland.
"We went to Scotland thinking, OK, we're out of the country and things will rebound, and you know, things take five steps even further back," Harrison says. "And then we end up in Latvia and we have this conversation, which I was hoping was going to kind of reset her and reset the mood and the tone, and it got even darker and it got even more desperate, and to the point where she's not sure if this is gonna work, and then she's not even sure how it ever works."
We will see Chris and Hannah talk things out, and then Harrison and the producers wanted to "reset this" and help Hannah explain where her head was really at, so it was a couple of weeks later, during the hometown dates, when they shot a sit-down we'll also be seeing in the episode.
"It's not as much a clip show as it is a sit down and a tell-all kind of a mid season recap and tell-all with Hannah, a little bit later where she had a little perspective to kind of explain to us, to you, the fans, where she was in all this, and how she got to this point, and how we get out of it and if we can get out of it," Harrison explains. "So it was a little bit different. It was a different kind of thought and a different approach. But we thought it was a good approach for her and the fans to kind of reset where we are in this whole journey."
We're about to see Hannah hit a "real, real low point," and it made Harrison unsure if Hannah would even make it to the end of the show.
"Sitting down with her, leaving Scotland, I felt still OK. I knew things were rough, but she just needed a hug and I felt like she just needed to let out some frustration and needed to be heard, so I had my dad moment, and then heading into Latvia, I felt like, OK, now I need to get into hype man mode," he says. "She just needs someone who's going to pump her up. Let's go, we're in Latvia, it's a new experience, new town, let's find love, rah rah rah. And she bottomed out on me. And so sitting there in Latvia, heading into the discussion that everyone's about to see, I really say it was maybe 50/50 on how this was going to end. If it was going to end well, if it was going to end at all, if she was going to maybe bail on this thing. I really wasn't sure. It was a real, real low point in the show emotionally for her."
This isn't the end of the season, and there are still many scenes yet to come (including "I have had sex and Jesus still loves me, which we discussed with Harrison in depth), so obviously Hannah doesn't quit, but it doesn't sound like things get easier.
"Tumultuous," Harrison said when we asked if he could describe the rest of the season. "It's a tumultuous journey from here on out. It's not the smoothest journey you've ever seen on the show, but I think if you've been watching the show at all, and you see some of these promos and you know Luke P. is still around in this whole mess, that there's now way it was gonna be smooth."
See below for the rest of our conversation!
Were you guys worried about Luke P. dominating the season, especially since he seems to be sticking around?
I do. I mean, I worry in that I knew there would be some Luke P. fatigue, but there was Luke P. fatigue for everybody, for Hannah, for the guys. Maybe even for Luke P. He's tired of himself, I don't know. But yeah, it's exhausting, but that was kind of the point. It is exhausting for Hannah, but she can't quit this guy. She just can't get out of her own way. There was a bond between that she doesn't have with the other guys, and part of it is their religion, part of it is their faith. Part of it is this chemistry, this physical bond they have with each other where she just can't quit this guy, no matter how hard everybody yells and screams and begs her to stop, she just can't.
But I also reminded her that it's OK. I told her everybody is going to be going nuts over this, but coming to your own decision in your own time is all that matters. Whether it's this week, whether it's two weeks from now, whenever it is, as long as you come to the right decision, that's all that matters and you have time. And I think she kind of took that to heart and realized, you know, I'm not on anybody else's schedule. And yeah, on Bachelor Nation's going to be throwing stuff at their TV, but I'm gonna figure this out, and that's where I think you're going to get a little bit more Luke P. than you reckoned on.
Were you worried at this point that she might end up picking him, and that you'd have kind of a controversial couple at the end?
Well, yeah. I mean, I wasn't worried, because if that's who she chooses, then that's who she chooses and I'm totally fine with that. I respect her decision because she's the one going through this, and she's the one who's gonna have to spend the rest of her life with whoever it is, and I think there is a bond between them that, whether people understand it or not, is not for you to question, and it's not for me to question. I just try to understand it and I try to help her see if it's something that can last, something that's real. But who am I or who are any of us to say that it's wrong?
Look, I have kids, so I know the more you tell somebody to run away from them, or if you say, "Luke P. is bad for you," what's she going to do? She's going to run to that person. She's going to defend that person, because you're actually attacking her. And I think the guys need to realize the more they battled against Luke P., the more they made everything about Luke P., the more she's going to defend him because they're questioning her sanity. They're questioning her choices, and that's only going to make someone defensive. I mean it's the oldest trick in the book for a dad. I mean, "Don't date that guy?" What's your daughter going to do? She's going to date that guy.
It seems like Hannah has a lot of other really great guys who have been eclipsed by this one guy. Do you feel like we're going to get to know the other guys a little bit more than we have so far?
Yeah, see one of my worries at this point, and I think you'll see this in the show, just as a fan, is how well do you really know some of these other guys by now? There's a lot of guys you probably still don't really know, and I think that is a real microcosm of what's going in with Hannah, and how much does she really know about some of these other guys, because Luke P. has been such a dominant story and it's been such a dark cloud over the entire thing that, you know, I don't know if we know the other guys as well as we should, and these other relationships aren't as strong as maybe they should be. I don't even know who the real frontrunner is at this point, because we haven't really explored Jed, Garrett, Peter, and Luke and Tyler and some of these other guys as much as we should. We know there's chemistry and there's something there, but I don't know, I feel like she hasn't been able to dive in as much and that is one of the issues we're facing.
And then we have the problem of like, all the other guys can only talk to her about the one guy who's causing problems, which seems like a bigger issue than usual this season.
For sure. I think it's a major point of frustration. I think in Scotland, Peter put it best when he finally spoke up, and he hasn't spoken at all about this thing, you know he's been the guy who's been sitting in the background, but he even said in the middle of the cocktail party in Scotland, like, "Guys, enough, we're ruining this. I can't date this girl like this. This is not productive." So I think there's a lot of frustration, but at the same time, if you really dislike somebody and there's somebody who's really driving you crazy and he's the big elephant in the room, how do you not stare at it?
The Bachelorette airs Mondays at 8 p.m. on ABC.