Before we get into the official Bachelorette Hannah Episode 1 Recap, can we all just take a moment to appreciate an opening episode that was only two hours long? Thank goodness! Remember last season? Three excruciatingly painful hours. So thanks to ABC and the editors/producers who realized what a mistake that was. Thank you. Let’s never speak of it again. Instead, it’s on to Season 15 with Hot Mess Alabama Hannah!
We start with “the thing.” It’s going to be the singular, running theme for Hannah throughout the season. Blindsided Becca, Virgin Colton, and now Hannah Under Pressure. Hannah discusses how she has put pressure on herself to be perfect throughout her entire life. She has to fight a constant fear of not being good enough, or even enough. Don’t worry – if you missed the first five minutes it will be repeated, ad nauseum, throughout every episode.
We get obligatory, previously shot, hometown footage of Hannah in Tuscaloosa: sitting by the water, visiting the Alabama campus, and wandering into a hardware store (as one does). Then we see Hannah in California: running and frolicking on the beach (as Californians do).
Jumping to the day of the first cocktail party, Demi and Katie show up to help Hannah get ready for the evening. Or to drink champagne and grab a few more of their fifteen minutes.
Then we get into standard format, starting with very short introductions to just a few of the men that Hannah will meet tonight.
Tyler C., a general contractor from Jupiter, Florida, was almost a dancer. During his montage he dances through a framed building, attempting to emulate Kevin Bacon a la Footloose. I don’t doubt Tyler’s general dance skills, but I’m thinking he could have spent more time rehearsing this particular number.
Peter, a pilot from Westlake Village, hopes that Hannah is as spontaneous as he is and would be excited to hop on a plane and fly somewhere for a meal at the drop of a hat. If she ends up with him that sort of lifestyle would be the closest thing to the dates she’ll be going on during the show.
Mike Johnson, an Air Force veteran and now portfolio manager in Dallas, says he hasn’t had much time to date and sweetly gushes about the first woman he fell in love with: his great-grandmother. And she’s fantastic! She just hopes the Bachelorette is happy before reminding Mike to listen to the Bachelorette.
Joe is the Box King of Chicago. He’s got a lot of enthusiasm, about his boxes and everything else he talks about… while holding his chin forward and up. It’s not a look-down-the-nose type of thing, or offensive, just a thing.
Matt Donald is from Los Gatos, California and listed as being in medical sales. But his montage is set on a farm, which isn’t explained. He mentions growing up in a deaf household as we see clips of him interacting with his parents and brother, all of whom are deaf. There is another woman in those clips, but she isn’t mentioned. Sister? Sister-in-law? AP accidentally caught on camera? We’ll never know.
Connor J., of Newport, California is a district manager in car sales. He mentions his diverse background of a blond Iowa dad (who we don’t see) and Hong Kong mom and grandmother (who we do see).
Luke P. of Gainesville (Georgia, not Florida) thinks he’s attractive, knows girls find him attractive and has taken advantage of that. Not starting out well. But, wait! He found that those sort of interactions left him empty, then God spoke to him in the shower, so now he has reformed and is working to be the man he should be. I have a lot of thoughts on all of these things, but let’s see how these first few episodes play out to see what we still need to discuss.
Back in “real time”, Hannah is getting read for night one at Westlake Village Inn, while the guys start drinking in the limos.
Chris Harrison greets Hannah in front of the mansion for the standard pre-arrivals pep talk. He asks if she has a type, which I find interesting. I mean, shouldn’t they ask her something like that before they start choosing guys for her? Luckily Hannah tells him that although Southern men are comfortable to her she doesn’t really have a certain type.
Nervous, her mic picks up her quietly telling herself “It’s okay, it’s okay” as the first limo arrives.
Garrett, a golf pro from Birmingham wants to be her hole in one. Mike (see above) focuses on the 5 Cs: character, charm, charisma, consistency and compassion, but then gushes “you’re very, very pretty, you’re super pretty.” Jed, a singer/songwriter from Nashville (yawn), tells Hannah she’s gleaming and he can’t wait to get to know her heart. Tyler C. says her smile was worth every mile he traveled from Florida. Dylan, tech entrepreneur from San Diego, tells Hannah how glad he is that she’s the Bachelorette because she’s so authentic.
Connor S. jumps the fence for her. Devin jokes about being a virgin (he’s not, it isn’t funny, but Hannah thinks he’s cute and has “energy”). John Paul Jones says his name three times and heads inside, Brian is so nervous that all he can do is throw his head back and laugh – which is pretty much exactly what Hannah did when nerves got the best of her on the one-on-one with Colton last season. Scott is so nervous he can barely stammer out his sentences but Matteo is at least able to tell Hannah she took his breath away.
Daron is followed by Tyler G. who has been dreaming about Hannah. Thomas says meeting Hannah tonight tops any of his experiences traveling around the world for the last five years.
Matthew is followed by a fork lift. A large box is placed on the ground. Surprise! Out pops Joe, the Box King, to tell Hannah she checks all his boxes. Joey quietly approaches with a baby carrier – but it’s not a baby, it’s bubbly! Connor J. introduces himself in French (I approve). Ryan comes in on roller skates yelling Roll Tide, Hunter asks for a hand tying the knot (his necktie) and Grant has a mouthful of sausage while he talks and is carrying a bottle of mustard.
Jonathan gets down on one knee to propose Hannah take a pizza his heart and Kevin “fumbles” his introduction by dropping about a dozen footballs. Luke P. gets out of the limo via the sunroof… and pauses to crouch on top while growling. Luke S. tells Hannah she has a calming presence. Dustin is followed by Cam who, having received a rose at the previous season’s After The Final Rose show, thinks it’s a good idea to rap again (it isn’t, but Hannah seems to like it).
Cam walks into the mansion, saying hello and introducing himself like he’s hosting the damn party. Tells everyone he freestyled (which he didn’t, that’s not freestyling) and tells everyone he can do that because it’s just ABC: Always Be Cam. Barf.
Matt Donald rides in on a tractor singing to the tune of Old MacDonald. She needs to marry this guy. Chasen, a pilot, gives Hannah a paper airplane. Peter, also a pilot, gives her his wings. Inside, Chasen and Peter are flustered by not being the only pilot in attendance.
Before heading in for her opening toast, Hannah nervously paces outside and quietly talks through it, working out what she wants to say. She ends up telling her suitors she doesn’t want perfect, she wants real, and that if that’s not what they want then she is not the girl for them. She toasts to an imperfect adventure to find true love then exclaims “nailed it!” which is endearing.
As everyone finishes their sip of champagne Luke P. snags Hannah for some one-on-one time. He announces that, having just become an uncle, he is ready to get married and have children. Although claiming he’s only on the show because his sister-in-law signed him up, he also says that as soon as he saw Hannah on the first episode of Colton’s season, he said “that could be my wife.”
Mike and Hannah chat next. When she says that although she now knows what she deserves in a partner, it is something she struggled with. Mike, possibly hearing great grandma in his head, says “tell me about that, I’m curious.” They agree that it’s important to “love yourself first.”
Connor J. takes Hannah outside for her very first bachelorette party, complete with bachelorette crown. They seem to have a good, silly time. She speaks with Hunter, then Ryan, then sits down with Cam. Cam says he would never kiss someone on a first date but, since this is technically their second date (nope), he asks for a kiss. First kiss goes to Cam.
In case you were worried there wouldn’t be any drama, we suddenly have a shot of Peter saying “if you’re trying to hide something, the truth’s gonna come out.” Such subtle foreshadowing.
Jed follows the long line of Nashville musicians before him by playing the guitar and singing. Despite the predictability of the move, Hannah thought it was sexy and has a “total crush on Jed.”
Outside, a large white van pulls up in front of the mansion. Inside are Demi and Katie, watching live feed of the party and listening on headphones. It turns out someone reached out to Demi on social media to tell her that one of the guys inside has a girlfriend. It is unclear to me why they have to break out the surveillance equipment, and why she couldn’t just tell Hannah when they were together that afternoon, but okay, sure.
Hannah tells Peter that she’s always wanted to learn to fly a plane. When she asks how he got into it, he explains that it’s kinda crazy, because his whole family is in aviation. Actually, that’s not crazy. That’s the most obvious, normal explanation ever.
Scott tells Hannah he’s into interior design – what a coincidence! Hannah’s an interior designer! Scott claims he didn’t know that, but explains that because he’s here to find a life partner, they should design their dream home together. He’s still so nervous that he’s shaking.
In the van outside Demi pegs him as the guy with a girlfriend. Chris Harrison then pulls Hannah outside to get the news from Demi and Katie. Inside, Scott tells the guys how he used his knowledge of Hannah’s interior design interest to win her over.
Hannah, not here for it, walks in and tells Scott “we need to talk” with an authority that makes everyone’s jaws drop.
Hannah confronts Scott by suggesting he’s been so nervous all night because he has a girlfriend. He tries lying (badly) for a while before finally admitting “yes, I was dating someone up until Monday, if you want me to be completely honest…” (pretty sure she’s been clear on that honesty thing, pal). But then tries to imply that he could be just as upset about the fact that she was “just” dating Colton. Taking no shit, Hannah tells him it’s time to go and walks him through the house to the door, even hurrying him when he’s not moving fast enough. I’ve never liked her more.
She tells the remaining suitors about the girlfriend and suggests anyone else who has a girlfriend at home, or isn’t in it for her, go ahead and leave now. She then tells them she needs a second.
All of the men hold back and talk about really needing to give her that time that she asked for. Well, all of the men except Luke P. He’s going to go ahead and go after her to announce that he’s here for her.
Trying to recover the evening, the party resumes. Connor S. says he felt a connection the first time he met her. Hannah’s glad he’s here. They kiss and they’re both excited about it. Back in the group Cam is not winning anyone over.
Hannah gives the First Impression Rose to Luke P., saying that she looks forward to getting to know him better. Luke says he really likes her. Then they kiss. Sort-of. He’s mostly trying to swallow her face. To the camera, Luke announces that he can already see himself falling madly in love with her and spending the rest of his life with her.
Chris Harrison arrives to end the party, with at least Garrett, Jonathan and Kevin not having spoken to Hannah at all since initial introductions in front of the mansion.
Sticking around for one more week (in order of roses received):
Cam (After The Final Rose Rose)
Luke P (First Impression Rose)
Connor S. (they kissed)
Matthew (was there)
Connor J. (speaks French)
Jed (Nashville cliche)
Dustin (nose ring)
Joey (severe hair part)
Devin (bad virgin joke)
Peter (pilot in uniform)
Dylan (was there also)
Matteo (yes, also there)
Jonathan (pizza my heart)
Tyler C. (no Kevin Bacon)
Tyler G. (the other Tyler)
Daron (in attendance)
Luke S. (also in attendance)
Grant (Mr. Mustard)
Kevin (another attendee)
John Paul Jones (John Paul Jones)
At this point during the show I lose my mind because I realize Hannah has not given a rose to Matt Donald, who was clearly the most earnest guy there. At this point during my recap I realize how utterly unmemorable so many of these guys were.
Going home tonight with Slimy Scott are Brian, Chasen, Hunter, Joe, Matt Donald, Ryan and Thomas.
And there you have it – the Bachelorette Hannah Episode 1 Recap! Fill out your Bachelorette Bracket and bring on Episode 2!