Sunrise, sunset, sunrise, sunset
Swiftly flow the days
Women turn overnight to fiancees
Selling out even as we gaze. . . .
Here we are at the close of 23 seasons of The Bachelor. The show has spanned 17 years during which we invented self-driving cars and 3-D printers, celebrated great scientists and artists, and realized that Twitter is probably not worth the time (follow me at @ilyEmbergRosen).
But tonight’s ending is different. Shall we say the most shocking of all seasons? Not only is the star a virgin, instead of the typical sex-obsessed troglodyte without a visible means of income, but the woman he fell in love with dumped him. That leaves two crucial issues to be addressed in the finale, a revolutionary concept for the iconic brand. American Idol should try auditioning only virgins, and then deny the most popular singer the title. Oh, wait, they did that in Clay Aiken’s season.
In other news, no one seems to like the new haircut Colton debuted last night. The difference from his old one was barely discernible to me, but then I didn’t notice when they switched Darrens on Bewitched. Maybe they’ll do a montage about the barber that shows the progression of his and Colton’s relationship.
After this opening, the country will have seen Colton’s fence-jumping moment more often than they’ve seen a presidential press conference in the last six months. Chris wants to know what will happen next, including if Colton will remain a virgin forever. Come on, Chris, this isn’t his only opportunity to get married. He could go on 90-Day Fiance.
So Cassie opens her door to Colton, seemingly unsurprised by his bulk filling the frame like a Botero painting. She agrees to talk with him again, maybe after she loosens her jeans so she can breathe. He tells her how hard it was to watch her walk away the other night. That’s why he sacrificed and gave up everything, “everything” being boffing one of the two other chicks who were also hot for his bod.
Cassie is overcome by his devotion to her, which is similar to the time I gave up Little Debbie Nutty Bars and Devil Cremes when I only had enough money for a box of Swiss Rolls. But she just wants to be sure, and doesn’t want Colton to give up anything if she’s not there yet.
Colton insists relationships are all about compromise and sacrifice. I just wish he would tell us what he’s ceding here, other than his dignity and two hours of our time better devoted to re-reading the classics. Now he wants to do more than just say he loves her—he wants to show her. That’s what Lori Loughlin said to her daughter before she bribed the college coach.
Cassie likes this idea, as pie charts make it easier for her to comprehend complex concepts. Colton will prove his love not by scaling high mountains and swimming deep oceans, but by introducing her to his family, who are inexplicably waiting in Spain to meet her. Chris is impressed at what a huge step it is for Cassie to go to a European resort area for free.
We arrive in Mallorca, where Cassie appears to first shoot a coffee commercial. Colton gathers with his family and announces that he’s no longer a virgin. Everyone grins and pokes each other. Ha ha, he was just kidding! But in all seriousness, this family is weird.
Colton hopes that after meeting his family, Cassie will decide she loves him. Marilyn of The Munsters had the opposite problem. The girl is so anxious beforehand that she’s unable to express her feelings, much like the times when she is calm, angry, joyful or just awake. “This is a heavy thing,” she remarks.
Meanwhile, Colton’s dad says he doesn’t want his son to fall in love with Cassie when she isn’t there yet. We all want our love stories to be like Romeo and Juliet’s, who were both there despite the resistance of their warring families in the Middle Ages.
The family and Cassie greet each other with hugs, then the interrogation begins. Are they dating? Are they a couple? What kind of a living does Colton’s father make, which is what my grandma would want to know? Cassie explains to them that she didn’t know if she could get there. It’s a known fact that Love Story was originally titled There Story. Mom is concerned at this wishy-washy attitude, and furthermore, does not see the draw in Cassie. Mom knows best.
Dad tells Cassie that if she’s sitting there, he knows Colton loves her. He loves her more when she’s sitting there in a bikini. Yet Dad is still concerned. There’s no back-up plan for either of them if this doesn’t work out. The writers are apparently working with a very strict template.
Mom questions Cassie next. “We’re a little bit of on different pages,” Cassie observes with her usual eloquence. I doubt she’s read a book with more pages than Good Night, Moon, but that’s probably a good analogy for the substance of this relationship. Meanwhile, Dad lectures Colton about the importance of Cassie getting there before he puts all his sex eggs in her basket.
Colton is confident after this equivalent to a HOA committee meeting. The minutes indicate the majority of members concur that people who want to marry should love each other. If these two get hitched, their vows will be to “get there, honor, and cherish till death us do part.”
Next Cassie, again wearing a white top and jeans (third time in a row, what’s that about?), meets Colton to spend the day. He lathers on the devotion, which now leans toward sounding desperate and pathetic. He’s Wimpy offering to gladly pay her Tuesday for an “I love you” on Monday. Cassie admits she does love him, but is a few steps behind him in that area. She’s just browsing the clearance shelves in the handbag department, while he’s up in men’s shirts stocking up on designer labels.
Time to rehash Cassie’s old relationships. Colton listens intently as she describes an ex who was controlling. Aha! She’s now afraid she’ll have to change everything about her boring self to satisfy another, possibly more boring person. Colton smiles at this easily resolved dilemma. He insists compromise is crucial to every relationship so he’ll encourage her to have her own hobbies and circle of friends, even choose her own underwear. Cassie is reassured that Colton will only order her around occasionally.
Over dinner that night, Colton reinforces his feelings for this blond airhead. Cassie is pleased, but will only commit to a relationship if it seems like it’s getting there. She’s read the famous sonnet that begins How do I get there? Let me count the ways.
He pulls out the coveted invitation to share a suite and reads it aloud, finishing with “Chris Harrison,” as if the man actually sat down and wrote it with a Bic Pilot G-2 Gel Pen. Cassie agrees to spend the night with Colton. She feels he has acted on his words of love. Let’s see if he can live up to previous performances she’s experienced.
In the room, Colton kicks out the crew and hangs the “do not disturb” sign on the knob, then calls for the crew to remove the mics. “Good luck, guys,” one person says as he leaves the room. This is more disturbing than the episode where the group daters ate insects.
Back in the studio, Chris is sitting with Sydney, Onyeka, Demi, the Goose, Jason, and the now-ubiquitous Ben. A more informed panel never appeared on Meet the Press. They discuss the impending sexual encounter like they’re zoologists observing mating habits in the wild. Meanwhile, Demi could have a career voicing robocalls designed to make people obey out of fear.
Morning dawns on the grounds of the Fantasy Suite, with birds singing and Colton showering. He declares that last night was incredible, he feels like a new man, and they grew as a couple. Furthermore, while what happened was great for their relationship, a gentleman never kisses and tells. He instructs us to use our imaginations. Sorry, Colton. I’m saving that for my novel.
Now we’ll find out who the next Bachelorette is. If it’s Demi, I’ll have to quit blogging the show. My health insurance doesn’t cover post-traumatic stress disorder. But first, we’ll see Cassie and Colton together in public for the first time. Thanks, but we didn’t want to see them together in private.
“We’re in love!” Colton announces, while Cassie giggles repeatedly. Will they get engaged? Not yet. They need more time to talk about getting there. In a video, Cassie reads from her journal. I’d rather watch Colton having sex for the first time. For that matter, I’d rather watch praying mantises having sex.
Chris asks Colton to make a statement. He takes the opportunity yo give Cassie the final rose. They get bribed with a trip to Thailand to induce Colton to admit his virginal status. Alas, he wants to keep it private. So yeah, his pencil got sharpened.
And now a little music from Air Supply, who must be hard up for money. Have Cassie and Colton even heard of them? Those two are probably unfamiliar with the first Bush Administration.
Finally, it’s time to learn who the next Bachelorette is: Hannah B. WHAT? WHY? WHERE AM I? Her family is happy and supportive of this decision. Maybe no one else’s family was. In the footage of her being asked by Chris to take the role, she seems bewildered and incoherent, but then again, those are among the top skills required.
Now they troop out some of the merchandise for her to get a sneak peek. For a former pageant girl, she’s not very self-possessed during this scenario. Luke is a shtarker, bearded fellow who can’t wait to go on this journey with her. Next is the bearded Dustin, who’s carrying two glasses of champagne and makes a toast to a wonderful beginning. Following him is yet another bearded shnook named Cam, who raps some nonsense in a Texan accent. Pass. The first clean-shaven guy is Connor, but he looks 13, so maybe he can’t grow a beard. Beard #4 belongs to another Luke who is wearing a light blue windowpane check suit that automatically disqualifies him among all decent folk.
The preview is not promising, but Hannah wants to give one of them a rose. She’s so awkward and inarticulate that you wonder why they chose her. The rose goes to . . .say something already, Hannah. Finally she chooses Cam, forgets to ask if he will accept the rose, then doesn’t know how to pin it to his lapel. Maybe they have a training course for bachelorettes. It would be like Trump University, only with a less useful curriculum. See you for that nightmare.