On Monday night, two Jezebel staffers with varying degrees of encyclopedic knowledge about the modern Bachelor universe watched the ninth episode of Colton Underwood’s season of The Bachelor. The wine was poured, and the virgin jokes flowed. This is their story.

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Maria: For the first time since the very beginning of this season (or since Demi departed, who can tell) I’m truly thrilled to discuss last night’s episode of the Bachelor. Allow me to set the scene: Caelynn’s gone, so the top three is comprised of Cassie (my pick to the win since night one), Hannah G., the content creator, and Tayshia, who better be the next Bachelorette, I swear to GOD. The episode begins with Colton offering the flirty hint that they’re going to a place “in Europe” where “the mountains meet the ocean,” which is applicable to most places on the continent but still, I watched with bated breath. Underwood and the ladies head to Algrave, Portugal—once again, sign me up for this shit for the free travel—where Tayshia scores the first date. They seem to have fun; they ride a helicopter and sit on one of the aforementioned mountains and canoodle, but the vibe feels more friendly than romantic.

Eventually they have their one-on-one dinner date, which leads to Tayshia reveal that she waited to lose her virginity to her ex-husband, who cheated on her (girl, your timing?) and eventually the overnight date. After some creative producing/editing, Tayshia admits she didn’t “have the physical intimacy that [she] wanted.” After watching Colton stumble through an interview by wondering “how hard” can sex be and that he’s “been pretty close. I’ve pretty much done... I’m experienced in other ways,” I’d say she dodged a bullet.

Lisa: Absolutely. Although if Tayshia accepts a proposal from Colton before they can bang, she’s a stronger woman than I. After they part ways, Colton spends several minutes saying he is still falling for Tayshia, but isn’t fully in love yet. Babe? You’re proposing next week.

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Colton then goes to meet up with Cassie and wonders if they can be in love by the end of the night. Colton continually talking about falling in love on a tight deadline reminds me of when the titular mermaid in Aquamarine (my favorite movie when I was 12) had three days to find love or her dad was going to make her marry that merman she hated. Is Colton cursed by the king of the sea, too? Why didn’t ABC show any of that?

Colton and Cassie’s date consists almost entirely of make-out scenes—I am still convinced they don’t really speak to each other—until Colton lets it slip that he asked for her dad’s blessing and her dad said no. Cassie proceeds to have a panic attack and second guess the whole thing. If only anyone had warned him that she might not be ready for marriage by the end of this....

Tayshia and a Virgin
Screenshot: The Bachelor/ABC

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Maria: Exactly! If only he listened to Tayshia, or, like, any other great woman he axed too soon.

I do feel for Cassie after Colton dropped that bomb. Why didn’t he tell her as soon as her dad said no, so she could sit down with her father immediately afterward to discuss and potentially change his mind? Colton has repeated that “family is the most important thing” so many times, it would make an excellent drinking game. By not really giving a shit about her father’s opinion, he’s proving himself to be kind of a liar.

I agree with you that Cassie and Colton don’t actually talk to each other, but in their interview voiceover Colton says things like “Cassie makes me complete,” and Cassie says, “There are no red flags,” when what she really means is “There are no red flags, but there will be in about 20 minutes when my dad shows up to my hotel room, in Portugal, from California.” At this point (and in almost every episode prior to this one) it has been completely evident that Colton likes Cassie significantly more than she likes him.

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When Cassie’s dad shows up between the day date and the dinner one, it’s clear that she’s going to pack her bags. I personally hate her father—that line about marriage being the second most important commitment you make, the first is to God was hella uncomfortable and virginal—but if that’s what she needed to realize “Hey, maybe I shouldn’t get engaged to this man I don’t really like,” then good job, dad.

And before we cut to the dinner date, Cassie tells the camera, “I know what I have to do. I have to send myself home tonight.”

It’s all over. Fence time, baby.

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Lisa: I’m not a fan of her dad either, and although we already knew that the Bachelor franchise is a land devoid of morals, I feel really bad for Colton that the producers likely invited her dad out to Portugal to be the nail in the coffin of the only relationship he even wants to be in. It be your own people, man.

Cassie goes to meet with Colton and I immediately start scanning the perimeter for fences. None that match the one from the promo yet, but I can feel it. She tells Colton about her dad showing up and her second thoughts. Colton has a massive breakdown. He tells Cassie that he loves her and implies that finishing the show isn’t worth it if he can’t be with the woman he loves the most at the end. (Big ouch for Tayshia and Hannah G.; I hope he didn’t propose to one of them and they didn’t have to watch this unfold on the couch with Colton last night.) Colton is distraught, and we can hear him furiously shaking because his microphone keeps rubbing against his clothes. Meanwhile, like you pointed out last night, Cassie struggles to squeeze out a single tear.

She decides to send herself home after a long sequence of changing her mind again and again, and Colton loses it. He goes inside, presumably to lace up his shoes to get ready for some fence jumping. A few seconds pass and he’s back, walking into the distance. Chris Harrison starts following him and calling his name. I start foaming at the mouth. He reaches the fence and hops over like it’s nothing. Fucking finally. Chris and the producers try and follow him, but he’s disappeared into the darkness like Agent Cooper in the forest of Twin Peaks.

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Maria: A personal favorite Bachelor rarity of mine is when Chris Harrison gets flustered and starts cursing, which happened last night when producers had to pull him from his room to run after Colton. He screeched, “He just jumped the fucking fence,” before engaging in a light jog to find Underwood, but our protagonist is long gone.

I genuinely have no idea what will happen in next week’s finale, which is pretty exciting. My gut thinks there will be a repeat Arie Luyendyk Jr. moment, where even though Colton has admitted to loving one woman, he’s going to get engaged to another—Hannah G.

I also hope Cassie shows up to the Women Tell All episode Tuesday night—because if she doesn’t... does that mean she will return to the season? Does she win, after all? I’ve got goosebumps, Bach nation!

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Cassie about to break a heart
Screenshot: The Bachelor/ABC