On Monday night, two Jezebel staffers with varying degrees of encyclopedic knowledge about the modern Bachelor universe watched the eighth episode of Colton Underwood’s season of The Bachelor. The wine was poured, and the virgin jokes flowed. This is their story.
Frida: It’s Week 8 of this shit, and we are in hometowns, baby! Before we get into it, I want to start by saying my biggest takeaway from Monday night’s episode is that Colton has no idea what he’s doing or who he’s going to pick. Watching him ask for permission from each woman’s father to marry her (which yielded some incredible reactions) reminded me he has been, and continues to be, a weenie.
Do you agree?
Lisa: I absolutely agree that Colton has no clue what is going on. I’m not entirely convinced that the season finale twist won’t be that he picks Khloe Kardashian instead of the remaining contestants.
The real shining stars of this episode were all the dads. We start out in Caelynn’s hometown of Charlotte, North Carolina, where her stepdad is hesitant to give Colton his blessing. I personally think asking for a father’s permission is outdated, but I appreciate that these dads at least kept it real with some healthy skepticism. Caelynn’s dad eventually gives his to appease her, and she and Colton watch some giant projections of her baby videos on the wall of her house. I kept waiting for her to crawl out of the video like Samara in The Ring, which would have been the only interesting thing to happen on that date.
After that, he goes to visit Hannah G., who makes him sit through an etiquette class, a.k.a. my personal hell. I get nervous going out to eat anywhere fancier than a diner, but Colton seems to do pretty well while balancing books on his head with a “confident gait.” Hannah’s parents are both still hesitant to give Colton their blessing, continuing the parental trend of being the only voices of reason on this damn show.
Frida: The dads really do make this episode, as each of them wrestles with the prospect of their daughter saying yes to this bonehead they’ve only spent a few weeks with and who’s still dating three other women. Colton tries to win them over by being all, “I know how decisive hometowns can be,” alluding the fact that he was on the other side of them on Becca’s season of The Bachelorette, but I think all that did was remind the dads this dude is a professional serial dater. Caelynn’s stepdad kindly suggests that maybe she could just “be friends” with Colton, and in fact, I wonder if he sent her home this week because he’s just hornier for the other three. Caelynn’s segment is so nice and wholesome it borders on boring.
The Hannah G. segment was easily the most troubling to me, because the etiquette teacher deploys this whole metaphor about how Hannah’s parents have been shielding her from pain her whole life with an “umbrella” and now they are looking to Colton to see if he can hold her umbrella. I felt uncomfortable and like you said, I resented that the show (and I guess, these real-life people) frame women as these small, meek creatures who need a big strong man to rescue them.
Lisa: Then Colton goes to see Tayshia, who exacts the most perfect revenge on him for their bungee jumping one-on-one. What did you think of their time?
Frida: I thought Tayshia’s was the most fun. I looooooved the cruel twist of making Colton skydive. Tayshia even blindfolds him as she drives him to the location. This is where Colton starts to regret being a virgin, as he fears he might die jumping out of this airplane. The jumping out of the plane actually felt like a sex metaphor to me, given how freaked out Colton was beforehand and how Tayshia was like, “We got this, we can do anything!” I’m paraphrasing. Colton, meanwhile, looked like he was going to shit his pants.
Tayshia’s dad also kept it real by being like, “I just met you,” when Colton asks him for permission to marry Tayshia, in the event that he finds he WANTS to marry Tayshia! A perfectly reasonable response, and yet, later on, we see Tayshia’s dad give in and be like, “FINE, you crazy kids are so happy.” But you can tell he’s playing along and knows this shit is not going to work out.
Cassie was the last hometown, and she teaches Colton how to surf, another extended sex metaphor as she instructors him to paddle “LONG and DEEP” (emphasis mine). At this point, the other three women have told Colton they are falling in love with him or are fully in love, and Cassie is not sure if she is ready. Again, a perfectly REASONABLE response to considering marriage with a person you’ve only kissed a small handful of times.
Lisa, I know you and I disagreed slightly on the significance of this. What’d you make of her reluctance to say “ILY”?
Lisa: Of course she doesn’t love him, she just wants to be the Bachelorette! Tayshia warned him! She’s 23, calm down. (I can say this at the very wise age of 24.)
Cassie’s dad is the most reluctant to give Colton or his daughter any validation, which makes him the best of all the dads. If Cassie really wants to marry Colton, she doesn’t need her dad’s approval, but again, she doesn’t really want that.
At the rose ceremony, Colton sends Caelynn packing. She has an intense reaction, blaming herself for being “fooled”. I was fully expecting Hannah B. to burst through the doors and for him to send Cassie home in favor of her. I’m still holding onto those clue nuggets from the same midseason preview where we saw the infamous fence jump that never was. Hannah B. is coming back, mark my words. Will Colton head into the fantasy suites with the three remaining women next week? Which one of them gets to officially take his virginity? All three of them looked like they were melting into a puddle just thinking about it, to which I say, please remember what sex with a virgin is actually like. Lower your expectations.
I genuinely don’t know who I think will win at the end, but I guess I am slightly leaning toward Hannah G. What do you think?
Frida: Cassie is 23, but so is Hannah G., and she is ready for this man to carry her umbrella for life!! You may be right about Cassie angling to be the next Bachelorette, although secretly I think Tayshia would make a better pick because she’s not afraid to make her man uncomfortable.
You’ve reminded me at some point we’ll hear a woman describe sex with Colton in some lucid detail. I cannot believe we are doing this to ourselves.
Until next week!