The Bachelor Season 23 Finale Part 1 Recap and Live Blog

This is the next-to-final episode, then it’s After The Final Rose, and we’re done with Season 23. So there is a god, but unfortunately, there’s also a Tucker Carlson.

Tonight, we’ll find out what’s behind Door #1. I bet it’s Li Yang, since so far Colton is the only person not seen pictured with her. As viewers who were not hallucinating at the end of  the show will recall, we last saw Colton jumping the fence, then quickly pursued by the crew, Chris, and some nocturnal woodland creatures. Previews indicate that some other things happened, and then he ends up knocking on a mysterious white door in the morning. This was all after Tayshia had a chaste, but allegedly satisfying, Fantasy Suite experience with our still-undefiled hero, while Hannah got nothing but a veggie omelette from the crafts services table.

Chris Harrison told some show with no desire to inform people of actual news that he almost called the police when Colton disappeared into the Portuguese night. Instead, their star turned up after someone spotted his picture on the back of a milk carton. Chris also claimed that “What unfolds is unbelievably raw, emotional,” but then he says that every time he goes to the DMV.

Meanwhile, Reality Steve reports that Colton went to see Cassie back in the US, and asked if they could date, which apparently she was okay with. What an anti-climax, especially if he continues to wait until marriage to have sex. No Neil Lane ring, either. He’s the one who really loses out when there’s no proposal to provide a bauble for.

This was the “most desperate and shocking ending of The Bachelor ever,” Chris proclaims at the opening. That’s what they said about the Hindenburg disaster. We’re back in the live studio with a bunch of over-enthused audience members. I understand they pay as much as $50 cash for that stint, but you have to provide your own transportation.

First we review all the making out amid expressions of vacant, groundless feelings, as well as Colton agonizing and the girls fighting among themselves. It could be any season, except for the part where a person of color makes it to the final three.

Everyone cheers at the footage of Colton jumping the fence, like it’s an Olympic event for virgin athletes. Now we’ll find out what happened afterwards. In the darkness, the crew chases around calling his name with the camera swinging wildly like it’s The Blair Witch Project. This business continues for several minutes before they collect some minivans and the camera view is now through the windshield. They discuss the situation like cops searching for a murderer who breached the walls of the state pen.

Finally they spot the surly ex-football player, who took the time to grab a fashionable scarf in his grief, stalking down a street. It’s just a coincidence that a camera guy is walking backwards in front of him. Chris catches up and says it’s okay if he’s done. The producer signed off on that storyline last week.

Tears flow down Colton’s virginal cheeks as they talk about losing Cassie. He feels rejected, abandoned, and unloved, the picture of a broken man in the grip of sorrow. Chris looks like he resents having to turn off TMC to come out in the cold and chase down this clown. Back in the studio, he wonders aloud if Colton still has his virginity.

Next day, Chris goes to see Colton in his suite. The smarmy host claims he’s never seen anything like last night, at least not since the Woodstock documentary. Colton explains how hard it was to hear Cassie was so torn, and that he’s beyond distraught that she would leave. It was worse than with Becca last season.

“But that’s not to take away from the other relationships,” Chris rushes to point out. He has a show to shoot here. No, but Colton loves Cassie enough to risk everything. He knows what he needs to do. Now we come to that white door he knocks on, which turns out to be Tayshia’s room. She comes outside with him in her shorty robe. Colton starts to blubber. Tayshia was concerned enough about this scene to do her eyebrows perfectly.

“You’re incredible,” Colton tells her, adding that he owes her the honesty they’ve shared on this scripted show. His heart is with somebody else, and he feels his penis should join it. Overcome, Tayshia doesn’t want to do this in front of the cameras, so they go back inside.We hear him crying as she soothes him and cries herself. No cameras, but the sound guy is all set up in there.

They part tearfully, embracing as the camera pokes its lens into the door crack like my dog’s snout when I’m in the bathroom. Now he’s got to do this sloppy scene over again with Hannah? After Colton leaves, Tayshia grabs her bags and gets into the limo. I guess that thigh-high hem is her fully dressed for her day. She should meet somebody else real soon.

Chris pronounces it one of the saddest break-ups we’ve seen since Rick and Ilsa at the Casablanca airport. Colton and Tayshia will always have the Algarve, Portugal’s southernmost region known for its beautiful beaches, golf resorts, and coast lined with villas, hotels, and restaurants.

Tayshia is now in the studio to pour salt into her own wounds. She was surprised at Colton’s admission about his feelings for Cassie, and was not ready to end her journey right then. She wanted to shop a little first.

Chris reminds her that her marriage failed, too, so wow, what a bummer to have her romantic life devastated again. How did it feel to have the man she loved tell her he wanted someone else? Chris knows just what dials to turn to make the stove explode. Now he’ll twist the knife by bringing out Colton.

Tayshia says it’s good to see him. “I’m good. How ya doing?” he says sensitively. She wants to know, after all their amazing moments together jumping off high places, what was missing from their relationship. His answer is like a Rod McKuen poem read by Knucklehead Smith. But at last, they reach closure. She can move on to hope someone in the cast of The Good Doctor likes one of her tweets.

Now to deal with Hannah G. She is blithely ignorant of the situation, ready to have her date with Colton tomorrow and spend the night with him. She expects to tell him she loves him. Then there’s that knock on her door, and it’s not the Publishers Clearinghouse people.

Colton comes in and takes off his jacket for the job ahead. “You’ve been my rock through all this,” he begins. More like a subway tile, since they’ve only been together a couple of hours total. He goes on to reveal that, alas, “another relationship” is further along.

Hannah doesn’t seem that bummed, but she does resent this unexpected twist in her plans. “I thought it was going to be you,” he admits, helping Tayshia close the door on this whole idiotic set-up. Hannah can’t believe this is happening. It’s like when Bobby was still alive when Pam woke up, only if he served her with divorce papers when he got out of the shower. Hannah feels used and rejected, when previously she just felt used.

Suddenly, Colton doesn’t know if he’s making the right decision. He is confused and in pain, although that may be because he pulled a hamstring when he jumped the fence. They sit glumly beside each other. Hannah bemoans not being able to tell him she loves him during the penultimate episode in the season, or to have her name recorded on the Wikipedia entry for The Bachelor (US TV Series).

“You don’t deserve to be anybody’s back-up plan,” Colton says, quoting Lord Byron. He rises to don his jacket as Hannah sniffles and wishes him good luck. As he leaves, he mutters, “What am I doing?” The director suggests he lean against a pillar and sob convincingly.

He loves Cassie so much that he decided to break not one, but two other people’s hearts. He’s so romantic, but so tormented. It’s like the time he fumbled the ball because his fingers were greasy from the curly fries, and his team lost the game.

Back in the studio, Hannah is bereft at having watched that smarmy swill play out before her eyes. She was in love with Colton, and allowed herself to be vulnerable, then got blindsided. There were connections and opening up, too. Ever since the First Impression Rose, she thought it was going to be her he got on one knee for. Ladies, always read his texts before drawing any conclusions.

Hannah remains confused because Colton was so broken up when he threw her off the show. She doesn’t understand how he ended up falling in love with Cassie instead. Chris feels bad for her, but still intends to force her to face Colton. I bet this whole storyline arose out of the fact that all the Fantasy Suites were booked for the night after Tayshia’s date.

Chris remarks that Hannah assured everyone that this was her life. It was real for her and her People blog entry. She acknowledges that watching the show at home makes you think everyone is a Fakity McFakeface there for the fame and the money, but no, it’s genuine. The fame and the money are just a nice bonus. However, she is no longer in love with Colton. Love must be a two-way street, she asserts, and preferably with the driver not a virgin.

Hannah fidgets as she tells Colton she loved him, and thought he felt the same, as he promised to be honest with her. Again, Colton babbles about back-up plans not being deserved. She does not feel that is enough. If they’d had more time, she wants to know, would things have been different? Because she would never make him the back-up plan. He’d always be the first item on her grocery list, always at the top of her browser history,  the only cereal bowl she ever wants to eat her Cinnamon Toast Crunch from.

Chris asks if Colton wanted to have the Fantasy Suite night with Hannah, just to see if maybe she’d show him her boobs. But no, by then he wanted to fight for Cassie. Hannah is pissed. He treated her the way Cassie treated him, a common risk of being on The Bachelor. They agree he sucks. Hannah secretly hopes Cassie cheats on him with Nick Viall. He are all Hannah right now.

Immediately after this display of deep heartache and raw emotion, Chris notes that The Bachelor is trending on Twitter and admires Colton’s new haircut, making everyone laugh gaily. The Dating Game was a kinder show, even when that serial killer was one of the bachelors.

Next to sit with Chris are several former bachelors, mostly because they have to fill out the final 20 minutes now that no women are left for Colton to not marry. They discuss how hard being on the show is, with all the free travel, booze, and making out.

And yes, Colton is still a virgin, Chris reminds us. I haven’t been forced to think about a male’s genitals so much since the last bris I attended.

Now for the stunning finale moments. Colton stands on his balcony in a pensive mood. “It’s over,” he observes. But he knew he could only be in love with one person. Now he wants to make things right with Cassie. She’s still in Portugal, packing towels from the hotel, so he doesn’t need to make a long distance call. He wants to fight as hard as he can to make things work with her.

“Love is scary. Love is not simple. Love is messy,” Colton says, either out of newfound wisdom or the desire to write a hit disco song. He rides over to where she’s staying and  knocks on her door, but they already showed her leaving with her suitcases, so there’s either an editing error or he has to do a Ross-at-the-airport scene.

We’ll find out tomorrow night. Chris says it will be truly shocking, like when David Copperfield made the Statue of Liberty disappear. Just as fake, too.

About E.M. Rosenberg 240 Articles
Favorite 40-volume series issued by Time-Life Music: Sounds of the Seventies. Favorite backsplash material: Subway tile. Favorite screen legend I pretend wasn’t gay: Cary Grant. Favorite issue you should not even get me started about: Venal, bloodsucking insurance industry. Favorite character from the comic strip “Nancy”: Sluggo, or maybe Rollo. Favorite Little Debbie snack: Nutty Bars. Favorite Monkee: Mike.