overnights

The Bachelor Recap: Jump! That! Fence!

The Bachelor

Week 9
Season 23 Episode 9
Editor’s Rating *****

The Bachelor

Week 9
Season 23 Episode 9
Editor’s Rating *****
Photo: ABC

In a beautiful hotel room in Algarve, Portugal, an ABC executive is about to slip into a bubble bath with a beautiful Portuguese stock broker–slash–helicopter operator when a production assistant rushes into the room.

“He’s gone.”

What do you mean he’s gone?”

“I mean … it happened. He fully snapped. He … he …”

“He jumped a fence, didn’t he? Literally everything about his personality suggests that he is the type of person who would jump a fence in frustration.”

“You mean his complete lack of adult relationship experience?”

“Yes.”

“Are you referring to his unwillingness to listen to other people when they are giving him advice to avoid this exact thing from happening?”

“You know I am.”

“Are you saying that Colton has the emotional intelligence of a teenager and therefore deals with problems by running away into the literal darkness?”

“YOU KNOW I AM. Instead of listing all the reasons we should have seen this coming and why picking a Bachelor born in the early ’90s was a terrible idea, why don’t you get out there into the Portuguese brush and find him.”

The production assistant nods solemnly, puts on a helmet with a flashlight, and heads out into the inky black night. Somewhere, Chris Harrison is lightly jogging in jeans thinking it’s going to help. Let’s get to it.

Oooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooh, buddy. Colton. Colton. Colton. CASSIE. CASSIE. CASSIE. These two blonde Pringles cans deserve each other. Everything else and everyone else in this season is completely irrelevant, having been eclipsed by some relationship drama that would be exhausting if everyone involved was 16. Considering that Cassie’s dad showed up to tell her she was making a mistake, this was basically a relationship of 16-year-olds.

I’ll tell you one thing: Even though Tayshia’s personality could be described as “pained smile while listening to a man talk,” she really comes out of this episode smelling like roses. There’s barely enough there to dive into with her Fantasy Suite date. There’s a little preamble this episode of Colton rushing off to tell Chris that he understands what happens in Fantasy Suites now because he’s a big boy who is going to make love for the first time. That should be our first clue that Colton has no idea what he’s doing in any aspect of his life. He’s a 27-year-old who is not in a committed relationship using the phrase “make love.” He definitely doesn’t know girls have three holes down there.

Tayshia’s date is first and, in a way, last. They start by heading to a helicopter and talking about what Portugal’s chief exports are. This is the stuff that dynamite sexual chemistry is made of. Colton does a lot of talking this episode about how he needs to be in love to lose his virginity and he’s falling in love so this week might be the night he loses his virginity. It’s certainly not going to be on his date with Tayshia, though, because the best words of affection he can manage are, “I appreciate you.” This is Tayshia’s phrase that he’s borrowing, but it’s so strange to tell someone you’re dating that you appreciate them. “I appreciate you” is something you say to a mechanic who replaced your brake pads at a discount, or your Uber drive who goes through the Burger King drive-thru when you’re wasted.

The most interesting thing that happens at dinner is that Tayshia’s titty slips out of her dress. Tayshia also reveals that her husband was the person she lost her virginity to so she understands what it means to wait. Colton does not like this. He can’t keep it off his face when faced with genuine emotional expression that doesn’t come from Cassie. Colton nearly knocks over Tayshia’s chair trying to get her into the Fantasy Suite because he makes sure to tell us that “He’s done everything else.” Just say you eat pussy like an adult. He also says “How hard can it be?” about having sex. In case you forgot he was a straight man.

The next morning, Colton is sitting up in bed, staring into middle distance and still a virgin. Tayshia feels frustrated and is trying to look on the bright side. Sure, they didn’t bang, but they did get to be in private together. Tayshia sits like that picture of Tiffany “New York” Pollard and drinks a cup of tea and waits for her emotional breakdown.

It’s time for Cassie’s Fantasy Suite date. All over America, women watching at home felt a surge of anticipation shiver through their bodies. THERE IS ONLY ONE GOD AND THAT GOD IS THE JUMP. Colton spends the entire day date monologuing to anyone who will listen about how much he loves Cassie, a woman who has shown him no real emotional reassurance. Oh, you’ll get that emotional assurance, Colton and you’ll find it WITH THE FENCE.

They go on a classic “walk around the city and stumble upon some random dancing old people” date. Colton cannot keep his hands off Cassie, and when they’re in a souvenir shop, she jokes that a beach cover-up would be too sheer and he says, “I WOULD BE FINE WITH THAT. THANK YOU VERY MUCH.” She also says there are no red flags with Colton. Ma’am.

Colton and Cassie sit down to talk about their hometown date, and Colton says it was a huge success and he can’t see any problems down the line and her family was amazing. Viewers, this is what the Greeks call “dramatic irony.” Cassie just begins making a series of confused and scared faces. Mainly, she can’t fucking believe that her dad didn’t give Colton his permission and that Colton is seeing it as a net positive. She asks Colton how he feels about not getting permission and he says it’s not going to stop him from pursuing Cassie. So it raises the question, if her dad not giving you permission doesn’t mean you’ll stop pursuing Cassie, WHY EVEN ASK AT ALL? Colton says Cassie was disappointed but he hopes they can move past that for a great night together. Because nothing is better foreplay for an extremely religious Christian woman than her father’s disapproval.

Meanwhile, ABC has dispatched a black van to pick up some precious cargo and it’s Cassie’s Dad! I don’t’ remember his name but he definitely looks like his name is “Pastor Dan.” This is the third heat this Fantasy Suite date needed: someone’s dad! He heads up to Cassie’s hotel room to talk some damn sense into her because someone needs to tell these children that they’ve got to get their lives together. Cassie’s Dad says that if he could see that Cassie was totally sold on this four-week relationship, he would have given his blessing. He also says that there shouldn’t be any hesitation in her mind when it comes to Colton, because his religious ass in the ’80s fell in true love with her mom and never had any doubts. Listen, if you’re a woman dating in the late 2010s and you’ve never broken up with your boyfriend in your mind at least once just to see how it would feel, you’re not doing it right.

Cassie realizes what she has to do: dump Colton while wearing an amazing silver dress that shows off her collarbones in a sexy but not desperate way.

It’s time for this breakup. I feel like there have been more ladytestant-driven breakups than rose ceremonies this season. Colton is bad at this. The women are abandoning him. Did anyone else feel their insides shimmer when Colton put on that burgundy scarf and white shirt? That’s the outfit he jumps the fence in. After a cute little toast where they’re both very giggly and smiley, it’s time for this breakup.

I’m gonna be that petty bitch: All I could think during this was “Cassie is a bad actress.” Or at the very least, she hasn’t thought about what she’s going to say or how she’s going to say it. She tells Colton that her dad said she had to come home because she loves Colton but she doesn’t love love Colton. Cassie can kiss her stint as the Bachelorette good-bye. Colton starts shaking and shivering to a degree that I was worried. His mic kept picking up his shirt fabric rubbing together and it was alarming. This is … very bad. Cassie’s argument is that she doesn’t think she can get to where Colton’s feelings are, so she has to eliminate herself.

Colton tells her he loves her, he’s going to pick her in the end, and she doesn’t have to get engaged if she doesn’t want to. The show is broken. There is no more Bachelor. Just call this the season finale because whatever bullshit they’re going to make us sit through tonight, next Monday, AND next Tuesday will be about four hours of actual footage stretched between three nights.

You can clearly tell that the second Cassie actually starts having this conversation with Colton, she realizes it’s a bad idea, but changing her mind would look worse on camera, so she has to go through with it. They hold each other for a total of 17 minutes and Cassie stares out into the distance. Girl, you know you fucked up.

Colton walks her out and she says, “Are you mad at me?” Dang, she’s twenty and three years old. Colton tells her he’s never going to stop fighting for her, and she gets into a black van and drives away. Colton goes back inside, says, “Fuck all of this. I’m done. I’m done with this,” and charges back out into that inky Portugal night. He’s shoving the cameras and knocking things over. He takes off his mic and someone says to get Chris Harrison. The fuck is Chris Harrison going to do?

He can’t do anything when Colton is able to jump an eight-foot fence with ZERO problems. CROSSFIT, BITCH. Chris Harrison just says, “He just jumped the fucking fence. Is there a button that opens the gate?” It takes the crew a long time to figure out how to open the gate and by that time, Colton is gone. He’s just fucking gone.

TO BE CONTINUED …

The Bachelor Recap: Jump! That! Fence!