'The Bachelor' Recap: The Fence, It Hath Been Jumped

We are officially PFJ: Post Fence Jump.

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Colton's just a boy... standing in front of a girl... asking him to love her. Well, that was a rollercoaster. Which rollercoaster, do you ask? The Millennium Force at Cedar Point in Sandusky, Ohio, a rollercoaster that made a kid in my eighth grade class puke churros. While it didn't keep me from loving churros, it did make me very uncomfortable to witness. And so much of tonight's episode was uncomfortable for me to witness.

Before I get into the entire Cassie debacle, I do want to touch on Tayshia's date for a bit, because honestly, Fantasy Suites, or as I like to call them, Fanty Sweetz, are the best week of this entire franchise. It's literally the week where you get to guess whether or not people are banging. As a naturally curious person, I can only hope that these people get the chance to sexually express themselves in the Fanty Sweet as much as possible before they get tied down into a contractually-obligated engagement.

But this season's Fanty Sweetz are different, because of the messy events of the evening. It's only worth noting because I'm fairly certain this is the last bit of virgin-related content I feel we'll get this season, other than that very rude girl asking Colton about his virginity on tomorrow night's Women Tell All. But man, is it just me, or does it seem like Colton's the one to bring up his virginity way more often than anyone else? I mean, we're all kind of Fanty Sweet virgins, Colton. You're not special here, mister. Anyway, we've learned more about Tayshia than any other girl this season but it won't matter, but I do appreciate learning that she waited until she was married to have sex, and so she's a little more patient with Colton.

Tayshia, I'm so rooting for you, girl. Especially in that moment with her boob nearly falling out and her putting all of her hopes, prayers, and blessings into her boob tape. Unfortunately, Tayshia is not the holder of Colton's v-card, and their morning-after is Awkward City.

But they're just setting the groundwork for Awkward City to become Awkwardville with Colton and Cassie's date. The editors lay it on thick with Colton, interlacing all of their activities in Portugal (making out! Dancing with old people!) with Colton's talking heads about being in love with Cassie, about knowing he loves Cassie, it's Cassie at the end.

To take a few words from Miss Kennedy Davenport, f*** Tayshia and Hannah G's drag, right? I couldn't help but feel bad for them this entire time.

What sets the whole thing off course initially is Colton revealing to Cassie (who looked so much like the animated Lizzie McGuire in this episode, I couldn't unsee it) that Cassie's father had declined to give Colton his blessing to ask Cassie to marry him. Cassie's entire world comes crashing down, and the rest of the episode she stumbles and fails to ever properly articulate any feeling, positive or negative. We, the audience, may not know a ton about Cassie, but we know she doesn't know things, that's for sure.

Colton tells her it doesn't matter what her dad thinks, he's still going to be into her but she's gone. Like, Cassington, it's fine not to be ready to get married. Cassie herself said last week she wasn't sure if she was ready to be married, but she's "confused" that her dad wouldn't give Colton his blessing? That's a good dad being a good dad, Cassie.

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I'm sure Colton didn't expect to get cock-blocked by Mr. Randolph in Portugal, but that's in essence what happened. Cassie's dad came to visit her and talk to her about Colton, and honestly, I think Cassie is using her dad as an excuse to get out of getting engaged at the end of this.

Don't get me wrong—parental approval (or the approval of anyone you have a trusting relationship with) of your significant other is a good thing to want, and them not liking that person can be a China-sized red flag. But also, this show takes place in a vacuum, and Cassie's dad is applying real-life logic to a not-real scenario. Most parents would likely be like "uh, no, you can't marry my kid after 10 hours together," but also, don't sign up for the show if you're not prepared for what comes at the end, I guess. The worst, and most telling part, is when Mr. Randolph asks Cassie if she's in love with Colton, and she says, "I think I do," *long pause* "Yeah."

I don't know who out there needs it, but never put everything into someone who needs to pause before saying "I love you." Cassie came across like a child asking for permission to get a Slurpee. And also, I'm not saying Daddy Randolph (Randaddy?) is right here either—some doubts at the beginning of a relationship are good, and holding out for a relationship that's perfect and you have no doubts about is unrealistic, quite frankly.

But what followed that was the most painful hour of my life. People on social media were comparing this to Becca and Arie from last year, but honestly, it rang more of the Desiree and Brooks breakup, where one half is begging the other to say, rather than begging them to leave, like Becca and Arie. Cassie shows up in a Brillo pad of a dress and can barely express herself and the reason she's leaving to Colton. I've seen root canals that were faster and less painful. She tells him, "I love you, but I'm not in love," and that she can't get there with him, and she's... well, she's trying to cry and making all the voices you do when you cry but not a single tear is to be found. She continues to say "I don't know," and suddenly gets up and walks away.

She wants to be in love with him, but she can't. And Colton is bringing out the big guns. Pro tip: Do not do what Colton does here, anyone. Do not beg for someone who doesn't want to be with you. You deserve more, and you're worth more. Even Colton, who y'all know is not my fave, deserves someone who wants him too.

Colton tells her he's okay with being patient, that he doesn't like going on dates with other women because he's thinking about her. If their relationship isn't ready for an engagement, it's not ready. He's literally saying everything she wants to hear and anything that could work to help her change her mind. He tells her he loves her, and gets crickets in return.

Honestly, I couldn't stop thinking of this exchange from The Office the entire time.

Erin: I still like you, but you were gone a really long time. And, you didn't really email me all that much. You retweeted me, a lot to be fair. But I don't love you.
Andy: OK, I get it. You're unhappy. I've been gone a long time and we lost a little bit of juju. But, you and me, we have a future. There is a lot of love here.
Erin: I just said there isn't love.
Andy: On your side. But there's tons on my side. It's gushing. We're just out of sync right now. But that's just timing, it's timing. I mean, my parents lasted 38, 40 years. They were never happy at the same time.
Erin: I guess.
Andy: I mean, what do we have left? 35, maybe 40 years? If we're lucky. I mean, I have spent a lot of time in the sun.
Erin: You got really sunburned.
Andy: I'm gonna be a prune in like, 3 years.
Erin: Ugh.
Andy: I know you may not be feeling love for me right now but, if you fake it, I won't be able to tell the difference. So, I'll feel good. And then, eventually, maybe, you'll actually start to love me again.

Cassie keeps telling him what she wants—him to find someone who's crazy about him, and for them to get engaged and have lots of sex and babies. But just not with her. And Colton keeps telling her what he wants—all of that, but with her. But it's not going to happen. There's something missing. I hate to say it, but I identify so hard with Colton at this moment, being blindsided and not expecting anything. But Cassie can't give him that commitment, and it's probably the most realistic response. But of course, this all leads up to what we knew was coming.

Colton goes into his room, locks the door. We hear him say he's done, he's done with this. He leaves, puts on his coat, glares at the camera and pushes it out of his face. Keys jingle. Something (Colton's mic) drops to the ground. The cameras continue to follow him, while the producers call for Chris Harrison, who is (seemingly) just waiting around the corner for something to happen, like always.

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And then Colton hoists his entire body over the fence. And Chris Harrison is just standing there, and the look on his face says it all: Colton. Did. THAT.

To Be Continued.

On an unrelated note: This is my final recap of The Bachelor for Marie Claire this season. It's been so great unpacking all of the Bachelor weirdness with you all, and I hope you enjoyed my insights!


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