We’re moving toward the inevitable end, but not as fast as the House Judiciary Committee is. After four hometown visits as indistinguishable from each otheras Skittles flavors, Colton will travel to the Algarve region of Portugal without the remotest idea of whom to choose among Cassie, Hannah G., and Tayshia, or for that matter, where the Algarve region of Portugal is. Just spin a dreidel, Colton. If the fourth side comes up, go home and try eharmony.com.
More importantly, tonight is the Night of the Fabled Fence Leap, the multiple previews of which are like all those signs along the east coast that herald your arrival at the South of the Border tourist attraction. This will likely be an even bigger letdown, if only because there are no tacos.
Last week ended with the cliffhanger—maybe more of an embankmenthanger—of Colton scurrying off to consult with Chris Harrison after the Rose Ceremony, when he sent Caelynn home. It was also the week that the President took Kim Jong Un at his word, and for something more egregious than denying he finished the last Fudge Stripe cookies, although that would also be impossible to believe.
They should have a shrink, or at least an LCSW, on set, since Chris doesn’t have much of a record for resolving emotional crises. He couldn’t even reassure the homeowners on Designer’s Challenge. ABC also reports that there will be a “first” tonight, “but maybe not the kind we expected.” About the only thing we don’t expect is substantive conversation, and I will lay money on that not happening.
Let’s roll! Be careful out there, Bachelor Nation. In LA, Colton talks with Chris. He’s thinking about how big this week is, while the women are thinking of how big he’ll be this week. Colton thinks you shouldn’t anticipate too much, but he does hope to wake up with the woman he’ll share the rest of his life with, and without too serious a hangover. As expected, Chris has no insight to offer that can’t be found in a fortune cookie.
Now they’re off to Portugal. Colton has only ever been to Europe via a Dan Brown novel, so this is exciting for him. The women are all aflutter over the virginity thing, which they grow ever closer to conquering like the Mongols did Hungary in 1241. There must be Facebook pages for that kind of thing.
Hannah G. reminds us that she received the First Impression Rose, which she feels eanrs her an advantage. She’s forgotten that Gwyneth Paltrow got Brad Pitt’s First Impression Rose.
Tayshia meets up with Colton first, giving him the ol’ leap-up-and-wrap-his-waist-with-your-legs move that’s become so prevalent I expect to Kamala Harris to greet the debate moderators that way. They’re heading to a place that’s known to be magical, Colton tells her as he leads her to a helicopter. They’re going to rescue Schwarzenegger off the side of a skyscraper? No, they fly over the lush Portuguese landscape, discussing the country’s principle exports, as most young lovers do.
Next, over wine on a windy mountaintop, they review how well the hometown visit to Tayshia’s family went. They express their pleasure with having experienced new things together, like bungee-jumping, skydiving, and making out in front of a TV audience. Tayshia enthuses that they are taking their relationship to the next level, which may next rise to the height of a Portuguese hotel mattress.
That night, Tayshia looks forward to going to the Fantasy Suite and guiding Colton through the daunting process of boffing his first woman who isn’t printed in a magazine spread at the time. To help him along, she has worn a dress cut so low that her cleavage spills from the neckline like the filling in a banh mi.
Tayshia discusses the importance of truth in a relationship, which she values even more since her husband cheated on her. Colton is blown away by the person she is after all she’s been through, including auditioning for this show. He promises he will always be truthful with her if they end up together at the end of the season. Thanks, pal. He gives her the suite key, though. She can start him off by having him remove the double-sided tape from her bosom.
In the suite, Colton struggles to open a champagne bottle as his voice-over muses that losing his virginity will likely be a piece of cake. Then the cork explodes unexpectedly, overwhelming both him and the FCC’s inbox. Oh, The Bachelor, you’re the best.
Next morning, the couple greets each other in bed, dressed in nearly as much clothing as I wear to shovel snow. He liked “spending time with you,” while she “enjoyed our conversation.” So did they do it, and these are really lame metaphors? Tayshia admits Colton remains chaste. At least they had time to talk privately about the native wildflowers of Portugal.
He remarks that he restrained himself because there are two other women to consider before he sharpens his pencil for the first time. While he is falling in love with Tayshia, he’s still got a few credits to finish until he can graduate. He also knows you can’t force feelings, so he will continue to follow his gut, ideally enhanced with a good probiotic.
Now he will spend the day with Cassie. They head off in a convertible as he expresses hope that by tonight they’ll be in love, like dogs learning to shake paw. That only took my brother’s Lab about 15 minutes.
Cassie giggles perpetually in between make-out sessions amid attractive city locales like rustic street markets and simple, old-world architecture. Colton says he wants to explore more things together with Cassie. Maybe the tourist board that arranged their trip can also steer him toward her G-spot.
Colton babbles so much about how great Cassie is that it’s clear he’s all in for her. But she hasn’t said she’s falling for him. Maybe she should have gone third in the line-up so he doesn’t have to give Hannah G. the cold shoulder. Cassie does rave about him, and how safe and comfortable he makes her feel, like a St. Bernard with a Thermos of cocoa around its neck. Nevertheless, she wants more time to decide how she feels. It’s possible a Golden Retriever carrying a pillow would suit her better.
They discuss how her hometown meeting went. No one cares, for God’s sake; they’re bombing children in Yemen. Cassie acknowledges that spending forever with someone is a really big commitment, much like leasing a Nissan Rogue. Colton reveals that her dad didn’t give his approval for their engagement. Cassie is deeply distressed by this revelation, but then she feels the same way when the movie theater is out of Twizzlers. Why can’t he just ask her father again when he decides to propose to her? Is there a rider in the contract that prohibits acting like normal people?
Next, we see Cassie’s dad knocking on her door in Portugal. He’s concerned about Colton proposing, and wants to discuss it further with her. They couldn’t Skype about this? Anyway, marriage is a sacred thing to Dad, as well as to many clergy and divorce lawyers. He wants Cassie to be sure about Colton before she agrees to a permanent pairing. “Yeh. I do,” she replies passionately to the question of whether she might be able to love such a witless pot roast of a man.
Basically, Cassie would prefer that before she accepts a ring, she could experience a normal dating period, ideally not captured on video, and her girlfriends review her wedding theme ideas. Dad, who thought a gray t-shirt was appropriate attire for this moment, assures Cassie that she would know if Colon were Mr. Right. To be fair, though, they haven’t spent enough time together for her to know his favorite breakfast cereal. After all, it took me at least three episodes of Starsky and Hutch to fall in love with Paul Michael Glaser.
Night falls on Cassie and Colton. She is resolute about what she has to do, as difficult as it will be for both of them and several people commenting angrily on my tweets. Meanwhile, Colton is very excited, both in his heart and in his pants. She’s the one for him, he asserts confidently. We can hear the fence laughing cruelly from outside.
The pair toast contentedly before Cassie grows somber. Colton tries to explain how Dad’s disapproval is not really a drawback for him. She sighs, looking away from him as she describes Dad’s earlier visit. “Today?” Colton asks. No, Colton, last Arbor Day. Cassie tries to tell him it’s not going anywhere for her. He tries to counter her with babble about not wanting to end things with the person he wants.
Cassie is too unsure, she tells him. Crying commences. Was she planning on leaving tonight, he wants to know. “I don’t know, I don’t know, I hate that I don’t know,” Cassie cries—a lesser-known line from Gone with the Wind—then rushes from the room. She agonizes that she’s second-guessing herself. Her dress is so tight, maybe the blood is cut off from her brain. This is a more tortured decision than that time I couldn’t choose between the fish or the chicken at my cousin’s wedding reception.
As she continues to flail around on the terrace, Colton comes to embrace her. She doesn’t know if she can “get there,” she tells him miserably. I still don’t understand that expression. I can’t get there only when there’s traffic backed up on I-278. Colton doesn’t want to lose her, he murmurs.
He asks her to come back inside and talk, where the lighting crew is already set up. He won’t give up on her, he insists fiercely. This is a less compelling conflict than when Laura was falling in love with Luke on General Hospital. And even that weather machine storyline was more believable.
After a lot more “I don’t knows” versus “I want a future with you,” Colton says the immortal words found on a Sweethearts Tiny Conversation Candy Heart: “I love you.” Not the winning slogan for Cassie’s account. She hugs him tearfully as he vows that he won’t stop fighting for this indecisive simp. Where’s the fence already?
They finally rise and don their coats to leave as tinkly piano music communicates the mood. He tenderly kisses her forehead, telling her he wants the best for her, for example, being the next Bachelorette. She wants the best for him, too, which should be a shave and a community college education at the very least. But she tells him again that she can’t “get there” without the aid of stimulants. He murmurs, “I love you” and walks off as she climbs into the limo.
The camera chases him up the hotel stairs, then stops to gape at the closed door. Moments later, he declares he’s done with this, and charges out of the room. Finally, it’s fence time! As Colton marches toward the unimposing white gate, a voice yells “Somebody get Chris!” He is apparently five feet away, as he appears immediately to shout for their lead cast member. The crew gets the fence open as a dog barks menacingly in the distance. He liked Cassie for the win, too.
Chris and the crew amble out and call into the darkness of a Portugal night, but Colton is nowhere to be seen. Odds are they’ll find him at the nearest bar, getting blitzed while fondling one of Cassie’s bras.
See all you masochists tomorrow night.