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The Bachelor Recap: Red Flags

The Bachelor

Week 7
Season 23 Episode 7
Editor’s Rating *****

The Bachelor

Week 7
Season 23 Episode 7
Editor’s Rating *****
Photo: Josh Vertucci/ABC

As the train whistle blows and the locomotive makes the turn around the snowy Denver mountains, a fastidious detective sits alone in the dining car. A man of this delicacy and refinement finds himself in Denver, Colorado. What brings him here? A murder? A theft? Someone falling through the ceiling of a liquor store and running off with a case of expired Four Loko? No, this crime is the most egregious of them all: not being there for the right reasons. The mere thought of the horrid crime is enough to turn the detective’s stomach. He pushes away the scone on his plate when the man who hired him walks into the dining car.

The fastidious detective’s eyes glint as he stares down his benefactor. He finally has an answer for him. It won’t be the answer he wants but it will be the answer he deserves.

“After looking at all the evidence, conducting interviews, and relying on my superior intuition — “

“OH MAN. I WISH I HAD THAT.”

“As I was saying, my conclusion is that … YOU are the one who isn’t here for the right reasons!”

The train enters a tunnel and is plunged into darkness. When the train reemerges into the light, the detective is gone and Colton is left with another warning.

That’s right, America: I’m saying, OFFICIALLY, that Colton is the one who is fucking this whole thing up. He’s been told by five ladytestants — a full girlband, at this point — that Caelynn and Cassie are. The. Issue. What does he do? Let’s get into it.

Colton starts the episode with another one of those damn Snapchat videos where he complains about how difficult everything is and how his greatest fear is that he’ll propose to someone and they won’t be ready. Man, I wish he were on a television program where everything was designed to help him make that decision. The only way for Colton to deal with this heavy burden is to return to his ancestral homeland.

Colton needs advice. Who could he possibly talk to that’s been in his situation? Maybe someone who successfully turned their time on The Bachelor into a successful marriage? Nope. He talks to Oatmeal. Colton sits down and repeats the phrase he will repeat no less than 37 times in this episode: “If I’m going to walk through a parents’ front doors and get down on a knee, I need answers.” Let’s all just agree to ignore the fact that Colton says “walk through a front door” as if that’s a thing humans say. Oatmeal tells him that he’s maybe going to have difficult conversations with other adults. Colton is terrified.

Colton starts the week off by meeting the women with his dog, Sniper, just in case anyone ever questions his masculinity, and announcing that there will be three dates and there will be roses on every date. The first date of the week goes to Tayshia. He tells all the women to their face that Tayshia is getting the first date and they all bite the insides of their cheeks to keep from openly weeping. Tayshia, Colton, and Sniper head off on a jaunty walk through downtown Denver and wind up at the NOISIEST location for a deep conversation. From the looks of it, they ended up at one of those fancy grocery stores where they have a bar and decided to just get an Aperol Spritz and talk it out.

Colton brings up that he knew Sydney, Demi, and Katie weren’t talking about Tayshia, so he feels safe asking her: What the fuck is going on? Meanwhile, Cassie and Caelynn are being defensive defensively.

Tayshia tells Colton that she doesn’t want to be a tattletale but if she has to, Caelynn and Cassie aren’t ready to be engaged and they’re each more interested in being the next Bachelorette. The fact that Cassie and Caelynn think they could carry the franchise is PREPOSTEROUS. Colton’s reaction is, “Shit. That sucks.” Here’s what happened — here’s all we need to know. Colton didn’t want it to be true since Caelynn and Cassie are clearly two of his favorites.

He takes Tayshia back to an apartment that production is passing off as his own and they cook salmon together. Tayshia literally has to tell him to put more seasoning on the salmon because of course she does. The biggest obstacle in her relationship will be her father, who will be appropriately skeptical. Colton gives her a rose and leads her into a room where “the magic doesn’t happen.” His words, not mine. Tayshia puts on a jersey with his number on it and his name on the back. Colton tries to say, “Maybe she’ll take my name in other ways too.” He really tuckered himself out with the “magic doesn’t happen” line, didn’t he?

The next date card arrives and it’s for Caelynn, because of course it is. Caelynn and Colton meet on top of a mountain to snowboard and interrogate their relationship. After snowboarding with GoPros on their heads for six minutes, Colton brings up his suspicions in the most awkward way possible. Colton is not good at starting a conversation: “You’re a person. I’d like to know when you knew you were a person.”

Caelynn’s reaction to Colton saying Tayshia said Caelynn was interested in being the Bachelorette is, “Who? Me?” Her other reaction is to string together, “I wouldn’t put myself through hell if I was just here for a boyfriend,” and “Tayshia pulled a lie out of her ass and I’m going to fuck that bitch up.” I’m starting to see what Hannah B. was talking about. I don’t know the proper way to react to being talked about like this, but, “She’s an insecure 28-year-old. Fuck her. I better get a fucking rose because I will call that stupid bitch out” isn’t the right way. Caelynn doesn’t believe in tearing women down, unless they’re fucking bitches.

In the evening portion of their date, Colton is completely bamboozled by Caelynn, who repeats that this is all lie, she’s so scared a future she had started to imagine is about to be stripped away, and she wants to end up with Colton to make all the tears worth it. Anything about having feelings for Colton as a person or the strength of their relationship? Nope, it’s all just vaguely about winning. She somehow convinces him that she has real feelings for him. I’ve seen better acting in my level-D improv class. Colton now knows that she’s ready to be engaged and he’s falling in love with her. Caelynn gets a rose.

The next date card arrives and it’s for Hannah B. All the other women make an effort to moderate their reactions but Hannah B. shouts, “THANK THE FREAKING LORD.” But before Hannah B.’s date, Caelynn decides to confront Tayshia for being such a lying, nasty bitch. Caelynn tries to say that their friendship is now ruined. What … friendship? You just said to Cassie that Tayshia doesn’t know you and you’re not in the same friend group. Which is it, Caelynn? Tayshia basically says Colton asked for her opinion and she gave it.

Hannah B. heads off on her date and she’s meeting Colton’s parents! Why? Did Colton need to go home to his family to figure some shit out and he just brought Hannah with him? Colton’s dad keeps telling him that he has an amazing gut and he’s got to trust his gut. I swear to God, I have never thought this much about someone’s gut in my entire life, not even my own. The whole thing about your instincts is that you don’t have to think about them and no one has to tell you to listen to them. All of this just leads me to believe that Colton is a habitual bad-decision-maker and everyone in his family knows it, but no one warns Hannah B., who is busy trying to show Colton’s mom all of her teeth. The head-flick she gives when his mom asks if she’s in love with him is too much.

Colton takes her to the evening portion of their date in an airplane hangar. He says he’s looking for someone who is ready for marriage and is open and honest about their feelings for him. So. Colton sends her home. WHAT DOES THIS MAN WANT? He’s lost all sense of direction and is openly contradicting himself. This isn’t interesting in a, “Ooh, he’s so complex” kind of way, but frustrating, because why should any of us want to root for him at this point? Why are we giving him this kind of power if we know he’s going to do this with it? I’m not saying I was rooting for Hannah B., but at least she was attempting to give him what he wanted.

But the real issue is that Hannah B. doesn’t make his wee-wee dance. Colton is really having fun just making out and playing house, and the thought of having to sustain an adult relationship terrified him so much he had to send Hannah home. Hannah tells him to listen to “people” and be smart. That’s SIX, Colton. You’re one more cryptic warning away from creating your own S Club 7.

Also, Hannah? Dating is so much more than a means to marriage. There’s an app out there where men will give you an allowance. You’re single and in your early 20s. Live. Live for all of us.

Hannah G., Kirpa, Cassie, and Heather head out for the group date. It ends up being a two-on-one within a matter of minutes. Heather self-eliminates and Hannah G. gets a rose. Who cares? Both of these women are such non-entities, it’s almost as if both of those events didn’t even happen. The real “drama” is between Kirpa and Cassie.

Kirpa basically says they all saw red flags. It all came down to the moment after the last rose ceremony when Colton rejoined the group and only Cassie and Caelynn freaked out. Cassie launches into an incomprehensible defense of herself and says that the girls are just making it up. But why tho? There’s no motive other than that you did that shit. Cassie also says she really wants Colton to believe her. I bet she does. Colton thinks he’s trusting his gut but I think he’s trusting something a little lower.

Cassie confronts Kirpa about what she said and honestly, it’s some white-girl nonsense we’ve seen a hundred times. Kirpa says that she’s not the one who brought it up to him in the first place. That was Katie, and why would Katie lie? Katie is getting the edit of the year as a paragon of integrity. Cassie’s big rebuttal is that Kirpa is desperate. You’re all on The Bachelor. You’re all desperate.

The real gag of the season is when they all head to the evening portion of the date and there’s a shadowy figure approaching the train station where they’re having their dinner. Caelynn walks into the room like she fucking owns the place and heads straight to Colton. ABC decides not to give us the footage of this completely ridiculous scenario. A rose-holder gets to show up at a group date and just plead their best blonde friend’s case and we don’t get to see a moment of it? Whatever Caelynn said works, because Colton comes right out and gives Cassie the group date rose.

All this collusion and no fence-jump. J’accuse, Bachelor. J’accuse.

The Bachelor Recap: Red Flags