COLTON’S GONNA JUMP THE FENCE! After being teased with this footage literally all season, ABC is finally going to show our hearty Bachelor getting so fed up with the whole shebang that he goes rogue! OMG!!!! How exciting is that??
There’s actually a lot to look forward to in tonight’s episode – it’s time for Fantasy Suites! And did you know Colton’s a virgin? And fantasy suites are about...not...being a virgin? Well, if you didn’t know, don’t worry because this episode won’t let you forget for a second.
Some real cinéma vérité s**t | Screencap © ABC
Last week ended with Colton sending Caelynn home and immediately walking out of the building. Turns out that the resolution to this was just...Colton having a smile-filled Man Chat with Chris Harrison? Colton rejoins the women who are all waiting eagerly for him and giggling about Fantasy Suites to inform the group that they’re all off to Algarve, Portugal. Everyone looks a little confused, but Colton explains, “I’ve never been to Europe!” Maybe I’m jaded, but the enthusiasm would feel a bit more authentic if they hadn’t just done a Beaches of Southern Asia swing literally three weeks earlier.
We go into three montages of all the women reflecting on their respective Journeys(™). While the voice-overs talk about finding a true partner and a meaningful relationship, the video is just footage of each of these women passionately making out with Colton. Colton says he’s willing to lose his virginity if he falls in love, and this might just be the week he falls in love. It’s clear that even more than in previous seasons, there’s only one thing we’re focusing on this week, and it *might* just be sex.
We start the first date off with Tayshia. Colton shows up wearing a ridiculous looking black scarf and Tayshia rolls in wearing the Fashion Jacket. Even as they get into a helicopter and deliver some lines written by the Portugal tourism board, she won’t put her arms in her sleeves. The helicopter drops them off on a island where they proceed to picnic overlooking the water. Did Colton and Tayshia talk about anything except sex during their afternoon? Maybe, but the producers don’t show us any of it.
As they walk into dinner, Tayshia says that she’s sure Colton is very nervous about tonight but she’s supportive and only wants to be intimate with someone she loves, like Colton. Colton meanwhile shows up in a different, yet equally terrible, scarf from earlier. Tayshia clearly wants to have a serious conversation, but starts giggling and, in the process, she and Colton start having a conversation about whether the fashion tape on her low-cut jumpsuit is actually staying put (Colton’s verdict? It’s definitely not!). The conversation moves to Tayshia revealing that she actually saved herself for her first marriage, only to have him cheat on her. She says how embarrassed it made her feel and how important intimacy and trust have become for her as a result.
Colton, definitely not staring at Tayshia’s chest | Screencap © ABC
They go to the Fantasy Suite, where we see a highly subtle shot of Colton opening a champagne bottle and it exploding violently, freaking out both him and Tayshia. Really casual metaphor, gang. In the morning, Colton and Tayshia wake up next to each other in bed, both wearing all white. She says it was “interesting”, and while they “didn’t have the physical intimacy [Tayshia] really wanted,” the night was good anyway. She’s trying so hard, but it’s pretty clear she’s a bit let down. Tayshia reiterates that she loves him and she enjoyed spending the time with him last night, but I can’t help but wonder if she’s struggling with this moment. Also, “interesting” is never the word that you want anyone to say about your, uh, intimate performance.
Well, then. | Screencap © ABC
Colton admits that he’s falling in love with Tayshia, but he’s not in love yet and wasn’t ready to take the next step with her. It’s an interesting set up for the next two dates – will he lose his virginity to one of the other two women because he’s fully in love? Or “in love,” if you’re a true cynic like me?
Onwards to date #2, this one with Cassie who is wearing the oddest combination of layers I’ve ever seen, especially as she and Colton drive off in a convertible to their date. Colton says he really wants to be in love with Cassie, and is hoping that by the end of the night, they’ll be in love. By the middle of the date, Colton’s telling the camera that he knows, “point blank,” that he’s in love with Cassie and that he wants his wife to be someone who he “can’t keep his hands off of” and “someone he can explore things with.”
I truly want to believe that he has a strong emotional bond with Cassie, but the more Colton talks, the more it just feels like a cover for him really, really, really wanting to bang her. Don’t get me wrong, sex and sexual compatibility are incredibly important parts of a long-term relationship, but Colton just feels like he’s using all the previous talk of how there’s so much more to a relationship than sex to hide the fact that he just wants to have sex, specifically with Cassie and as soon as possible, please and thank you.
What on earth is the temperature in Portugal??? | Screencap © ABC
The Fantasy Suite may not be as sure a thing as Colton thinks, though. Over some rooftop wine, Colton reveals to Cassie that he did not get her father’s blessing to propose. Cassie seems really taken aback by this and is having a hard time processing the news. She says she wishes Colton had told her while they were at the house that her father hadn’t said yes. Cassie tells us that it’s very important to her that her father approve of anyone she marries, and since her family wasn’t totally sold on Colton, she’s not sure what that means for the relationship. Colton tries to redeem the date, saying that it’s just her father’s opinion and it’s gonna be ok, but Cassie clearly isn’t having it anymore. I’m actually very much on her side here, believe it or not – family is very important, and if you’re close with your parents, hearing they don’t believe you’ve picked a good partner is a very tough spot to be in.
Things only start looking for worse for Colton, as Cassie’s dad suddenly appears at her hotel room in Portugal. He is Concerned About His Daughter’s Choices and the producers are clearly in the mood to stir things up. Her dad says Colton seems nice, but he struggles to give anyone the go-ahead to marry his daughter after 30 minutes. He asks if Cassie is in love with Colton, and there’s a excessively awkward pause where she says “...I think I do. Yeah.” She explains that she’s not really ready to be married, but she’s not ready for it to be over. Her dad says that if Cassie has any hesitation, she needs to be honest with both herself and Colton, because you should be all in on the person you want to spend forever with. “I just think that if you knew, you would know,” he tells Cassie.
Finally, dinner arrives. Colton is ALL IN, saying Cassie “completes him.” He clarifies that even though he’s upset about not getting her father’s blessing, he still wants to be with Cassie and keep the relationship moving forward. Cassie responds that she wants what her parents have and wouldn’t want to be in a relationship where there were questions. “After today, I’m not, like, ‘in love’, you know what I mean? I don’t know why, after today...I feel like I’m having doubts...,” Cassie tells Colton. She tries to explain how she can’t reach that point in the time she and Colton have left, but can’t really find the words and after a few minutes, says, “I can’t, I’m sorry.” and walks out while Colton sits on the couch.
After a minute, Colton follows her outside and tries to comfort her. He tells her he’s ok with being patient, but all Cassie can say in response is “I don’t know” over and over again. Colton gets her to sit back down on the sofa and tells Cassie it’s fine not to know if she’s ready yet, and Cassie hits back with “Is it OK though?” He’s giving her the hard sell, and it’s almost working.
Colton decides to pull out the big guns and finally says to Cassie, “I want it to be you at the end” even though, as she rightly points out, there’s still two other women there. For those of you who may be new to #BachelorNation, this is A BIG DEAL. It’s incredibly rare for the lead to telegraph the winner like this, and it’s never happened as a last-ditch attempt to KEEP THEM FROM LEAVING. Colton keeps trying, saying he loves her, saying that even if she leaves he’ll keep fighting for her. In the end though, Cassie decides she has to leave and gets in the van.
Colton goes up to his ...treehouse?... and locks himself in his room. He comes back out in a coat and a (third!) scarf, saying, “I’m done with this” and shoving the camera out of his way. Colton rips off his mic pack and we hear someone on a walkie talkie say “Somebody get Chris [Harrison].” And then…
HE HOPS THE FENCE. He actually straight-up did it. And for once on this show, the hype is REAL. It’s pitch black, the setup is clearly in some very rural area, and by the time the crew gets the gate open (which they do like there’s a wild animal waiting to pounce on the other side), it’s too late. Chris Harrison starts jogging (!) down the road calling Colton’s name, but there’s no sign of our intrepid Bachelor.
Where’s Colton? How long does he go AWOL for? What about poor Hannah G and her (assumed) tourism board-sponsored date? Did Cassie’s Dad get to see any of this? SO MANY QUESTIONS remain, and Tuesday’s “Women Tell All” special will almost certainly answer none of them. Hold on to your scarves and roses, #BachelorNation, it’s gonna get unscripted up in here.