Never mind that the U.S. Deputy Attorney General wanted to wear a wire when talking with the president. We need to know who goes home on The Bachelor tonight. The fate of Bachelor Nation relies on it.
Five ladies were sent packing last week, cutting a swathe through a crowd that seemed even bigger than the one at Beto O’Rourke’s last rally, and leaving the remaining gals as anxious as my dog when he notices the kibble sack approaching the half-full point.
As something called Fansided points out emotionally, Colton is determined to find love, and the associated conjugal relations, already. “It’s refreshing to see him not waste anyone’s time and go about things his own way, at his own pace,” the site insists with apparent sincerity. That’s why he ditched both Demi and Sydney unexpectedly, and not because ABC made the season much shorter this year.
This episode, the seven hangers-on join Colton in his hometown of Denver, where, amid the snow-capped Rockies and wandering moose, he must decide who next gets the shaft. We’ll also meet Colton’s parents, who are the kind of people who name a child “Colton.” Is it a spoiler to reveal that Kirpa does not get a rose, any more than it’s a spoiler to report that Roger Stone will say something else detrimental to his legal case?
After time and temperature from TD Bank, which I consider far more compelling information, the show begins. Offscreen, Chris informs us that Colton will be left wondering whom he can trust. We start with the fuzzy-bearded simp miserably recording his fears and confusion. After the last Rose Ceremony, several women, including his mom, told him not to trust some of the remaining girls, as they may not be there for the right reasons.
They’re now back in the U.S., blissfully unaware that the new AG may well not recuse himself from the Special Counsel’s investigation. Everyone anticipates their own hometown visits, wondering aloud how Colton will fare with their families. He himself seeks consel in the form of having coffee with Ben Higgins, who is looking like an anime version of Jared Kushner. Since he broke up with his own Bachelor choice, looking to Ben for advice on love is like consulting Roseanne about best social media practices.
The girls meet Colton in a field where he’s brought his lovely ol’ black Lab-type doggie. He invites Tayshia on the first one-on-one with him and the dog, who has already been established to have much more personality. Tayshia plans to tell Colton what she thinks about the other girls, because he deserves to know, and likely didn’t take the time to read their bios on ABC’s site.
They stroll the streets of Denver, have ice cream, and for some reason, buy some fish fillets. Maybe the director is saving himself some time shopping after work. Colton does not question Tayshia’s readiness, but he wants to know what she’s seen and heard in the house. He’s such a gossip.
Tayshia reveals her knowledge of some disturbing discussions. Although she doesn’t want to be a tattle-tale, she tattles about Caelynn and Cassie just wanting to be the next Bachelorette. Colton is dismayed. His greatest fear is getting engaged only to find out that his love is a self-absorbed famewhore who wants to star on a reality show—oh, wait.
Tayshia and Colton meet at some unidentified apartment to cook the fish they bought and will doubtless not eat. People are starving in the Appalachians, and these clowns throw perfectly good protein in the garbage. Colton wants to know what Tayshia’s family thinks about all this, especially the ridiculous amount they pay Chris when school teachers have to buy crayons and paper out of their own paychecks. She feels her dad may have some issues with the idea of her dating a guy in front of a camera crew, but just because he’s protective and a sane person. Colton asserts that he needs a father’s blessing to get engaged, especially since his primary focus is on having sex with the man’s daughter.
At the hotel, Caelynn gets the next one-on-one, making the other girls cry. Personally, I’d rather stay at the hotel, watching MeTV and eating limited-edition Oreos.
Tayshia feels her dad will accept this nonsensical, exploitive situation, which pleases Colton. He hands her the rose. After the pain of her divorce, Tayshia claims it feels good to fall in love again, even if it’s with a nimrod who’s impressed that she dons a jersey with his last name on it. At the suite, Tayshia tells Kirpa what she told Colton about Cassie and Caelynn, as well as about Peter Piper and his pickled peppers.
Next Caelynn meets Colton on a snowy mountain top where they would have to adjust the measurements of their ingredients if they wanted to bake a cake. Instead, they’re going snowboarding. Yet Colton is troubled by what Tayshia told him about this seemingly sincere, demure pageant participant. He brings it up over cocoa.
Caelynn shakes her head sadly at the accusation. No, she is 100 percent ready to get married. The hard thing to believe is that it’s to Colton. Now she’s angry at Tayshia for suggesting she’s a phony and a user. She will call that bitch out, she declares, unlike the average seemingly sincere, demure pageant participant.
As they go to the evening date, Caelynn is mournful about her exchange with Colton. She is falling in love with him, and resents Tayshia causing him doubt. He is overwhelmed with all of these emotional distractions, especially if you add in the bombings of Yemen and people unexpectedly getting lower tax refunds.
Caelynn does her best to reassure him. She explains how she becomes “more and more me” with him, as if that were an advantage. In fact, she gurgles, she is falling in love with him. She gets the rose, as he admits he is also falling in love with her. Later, he enthuses that she is here for him, and is ready to walk away engaged as long as the Neil Lane ring is blingy enough. To show her the depth of the producers’ wallets, they go to a private concert by his friend, country singer Brett Young. She’ll probably have an affair with the guy in a few years, and make the cover of People.
Hannah B. gets the next one-on-one. Cassie and Hannah G. are distraught. Since even they can’t tell each other apart, they fear Colton mixed them up, too. At least they can drown their sorrows in free booze.
The next morning, Caelynn warns Cassie of what Tayshia said about her, too. She is then compelled to confront Tayshia, even though she hates that kind of thing. Since she gets bleeped quickly, she seems pretty well-versed in the art. Bickering ensues that achieves nothing except some more ad dollars.
Finally, Colton and Hannah B. drive off for their date. He takes her to meet his family, an event for which she should have dressed less like Elly Mae Clampett. Dad, who resembles Bruce Willis with 50 extra pounds on him, recommends that Colton trust his own gut, which is like asking Bruce Willis to choose a decent script to shoot. Meanwhile, Mom questions Hannah B., whose persistently giddy smile suggests a dependence on amphetamines.
Afterwards, Colton is still not sure what to do. He broods during the ride back. If tonight with Hannah B. does not bring clarity, he will swap her out for Hannah G. or a production assistant.
That night, Hannah B. wears a t00-shiny, pale pink bathrobe-looking dress for their date in a. . .plane hangar? Is that a metaphor for him not being interested in parking his plane in her big, dark emptiness? Colton wants to know how Hannah B. knows she’s ready. She took a Buzzfeed quiz, wherein by choosing fast food entrees, she learned that he’s her perfect match. Unfortunately, he’s more of a Burger King chicken sandwich than an Arby’s Smokehouse Brisket.
Colton gently explains that he’s not “there” yet with Hannah B. He cannot ask her father for his blessing while these doubts remain, and Colton is unable to assess her with more eloquence. She accepts his decision calmly, dimpling up as he insists she will meet Mr. Right on another reality show. He just couldn’t get there, despite her doing everything he asked the women to do on the show, because relationships are like personal trainers and their clients. Hannah B. departs, declaring her desire to be loved fearlessly and while wearing quality textiles.
The remaining four girls are apprehensive about their group date. The math is simple, even for them: Only two are going to get hometown dates. An old-timey trains pulls up to deliver Colton, then they all board to travel through the mountain landscape. The conductor calls out the next three stops: Uncertainty, Heartbreak, Kimmel Spot.
Colton reminds them that love is a two-way street, and you can lose it on a lonely highway. He needs them all to feel confident of where they’re at. Then he walks off with Heather. She feels that it’s not fair to have him meet her family if he’s not ready. Now he’s the one not ready? He agrees he’s not 100 percent there. Would 89 percent be enough? How about with coupons? He walks her out. That was the fastest send-off ever. The others gasp, but that might be due to the cute chipmunk gamboling in the grass.
Cassie wanders off with Colton. He’s most worried about her being “closed off” to getting engaged. Maybe she’d be willing to shack up for a while. He hopes he is wrong, though, blathering about her not being ready. She is shocked that anyone would say such things about her, an obviously ready person. These convos are all about the rhinestone jumpsuits, and never about how Elvis sings.
Kirpa has decided she should report in to Colton about Cassie’s lacking in readiness. She discusses with him how both Cassie and Caelynn are not ready. Colton is incapable of discerning anything about these women on his own, which doesn’t bode well for his choice of birthday gifts.
Together again with the other women, Cassie asks why Kirpa spent her time with Colton complaining about other people’s behavior. She has a point, but nothing else in her favor. The mindless bickering heats up, boring everyone who is not a card-carrying member of Bachelor Nation or Hannah G., who benefits from this confrontation.
A disgruntled Colton is not ready to give out roses right now. They will continue discussing the same empty-headed claptrap this evening so he can gain clarity, or at least make out some more. Tension fills the air as Colton arrives at the evening get-together. He first asks Hannah G. to talk, leaving Kirpa and Cassie to stare silently at each other while a clock ticks menacingly in the background.
Colton comes back after a few giggles are overheard behind closed doors. Perhaps that’s the signal that clarity has been achieved, like white smoke from the Vatican chimney when a pope has been selected. He grabs a rose from the table where Kirpa and Cassie sit dejectedly, and goes back out to Hannah. She returns to Caelynn and Tayshia in triumph. A shame to get all dolled up for five minutes with not even a dinner.
But Caelynn is not satisfied. Passing by the confused group-daters, she goes to find Colton, who has left the other two women alone to stand outside and find clarity by moonlight. Caelynn must tell him “all the facts” before she can continue—but she leaves before we can hear those facts. Then Colton calmly returns and gives the rose to Cassie. What the hell were the “facts” from Caelynn? Is she an android? Is she really named Caroline, but her parents can’t spell? And how did he find clarity without talking with Cassie at all tonight? Did he become 100 percent there on his own, which as a virgin, he’s done many times?
So it’s Caelynn, Tayshia, Cassie, and Hannah G. who bring Colton to meet their families. At least it’s more entertaining than The World’s Best.