Colton must find The Wife! And that is not to be confused with The Wife, the movie starring Glenn Close (soon-to-be Oscar winner). As he valiantly searches for his one and only, though, he's discovering that "wife material" is actually a tall order. So, incidentally, are the women around him. The rose-colored (heh) glasses have been removed, placed on the ground, and smashed. Yup, this show isn't as fun as advertised! Yes, you'll go to Thailand, Singapore, and Vietnam in less than a month, but you'll also be faced with questions like: What does it mean to be "ready" for marriage? And why is it that after five episodes, the remaining women are mostly blondes?
Two women went home outside of the rose ceremony this week, leaving Colton shaken. His women are leaving him now — last week, Elyse went home, and this week, Sydney leaves too. She complained that Colton was getting distracted by "shiny objects." If that's what he wanted, she pointed out, then he probably didn't want her. She's doing painful but accurate math, here, realizing that Colton's preferences likely lean in the direction of a 22-year-old blonde like Heather, Cassie, Hannah B., or Hannah B.
“You’re making safe choices with the people you are pursuing," she says. Sydney could also be talking to ABC, really — this show could have done with someone not so safe as Colton, but here we are, talking about virginity, first kisses, and more virginity.
Demi also went home mid-episode, but in her case, Colton himself asked her to leave. During an unorthodox rendezvous, she told Colton that she was falling in love, and he simply couldn't match her confident assertion. Remember, Colton is searching for a wife. Demi just wasn't "it" for him.
Separately, perhaps these departures wouldn't have been so devastating. But each one comes with a warning. Demi and Sydney both warn their Bachelor that the girls remaining might not be what he wants.
"There’s certain girls here who seem like a safe choice, but at the end of that it’s not going to be safe," Demi cautions. "And you’re not going to end up happy in the long run."
The Bachelor usually question his decision mid-season, just as the girls in the periphery start to leave the equation. For every season, there are usually only four or five contestants that actually seem like a feasible match for the lead. The first five episodes are silly dilly-dallying while the Bachelor decides who among the wild cards is actually worth his time. Then, in the middle of the season, the women who seemed outside of the Bachelor's range start to drop off, leaving him with the women he's always wanted. But wait — is this really what he wants? Call it a crisis of faith. Or a mid-show crisis. Colton's breakdown is more visible because his contestants are savvier. His season is, after all, the closest we've been to having Gen Z-ers on the show. (The youngest was born in 1996.)
So, things are not peachy in Colton's world right now, even though he spent a third of this episode wrapped in the arms of Hannah G. Hannah G. may be this season's dark horse, a quiet Instagram influencer — the show has called her a "content creator" but, you know, walks like a duck, etc. — with little drama on her plate. She may be the woman at fault right now, though. The other women seem unsure of her. Before Hannah G.'s date, Caelynn tells Cassie that she thinks there's nothing more to Hannah G. than her looks. Then, on their date, Colton asks Hannah G. what "made her the way she is." This is his go-to question this season, and it's starting to sound rote. Her answer: She's very closed-off, mainly because she witnessed the painful divorce of her parents. Despite this revelation, Hannah G. is still a mystery. Could she be the insincere contestant the others warned Colton of?
Possibly. This season has had a lot of accusations of fakery. There was Hannah B. telling Colton that Caelynn was fake. Then, Onyeka claimed that Nicole wasn't real, which spun out into a larger drama. Caelynn worried that Hannah G. was fake. Now, two women — and later a third — claim that there's more fakery to come.
The final warner is Katie, also a dancer, who tells Colton early in the episode that she's worried about her fate on the show.
“I would hate to go home with you thinking that I didn’t try," she tells Colton, weeping. She doesn't want to be "misrepresented," she says. His response is that he knows her intentions, and he knows she's trying. He sends her home anyway, though, keeping recently-been-kissed Heather instead. When she leaves, Katie gives a similar concession speech to that of Sydney and Demi: “There are girls that are here that just aren’t ready," she says calmly.
Colton, you are making the wrong decisions. For the first time, a Bachelor's mid-show crisis seems like a genuine crisis. His contestants are questioning his decisions just as much as he is, and everyone has a point. Colton spent an episode wrapped up in Caelynn-Hannah drama when he could have been romancing Kirpa, the season's quietest internet favourite. He also has reminded us many times over that he's deeply, deeply attracted to both Hannah G. and Cassie. In the context of this season — he's a virgin — this underlining feels a little gross. Congrats, Colt, you've found two women you're willing to bed! Maybe, just maybe, with so much virgin talk going around, the season forgot to focus on other, more important issues?
Important issues like Kirpa! Kirpa had a chin injury last episode, making her the show's greatest enigma. This time around, she gets a one-on-one date, a lovely time diving in the ocean. Colton claims he's always been interested in her, but their chemistry says otherwise. Also, she hasn't been featured until now, suggesting that yes, she was not at the top of Colton's list. (Bad decision!) Her big news is that she was previously engaged to a man who was waiting for marriage. Colton reassures her that he wouldn't do that to her — he's always quick to remind these women that, yes, he'd like to Marvin Gaye and get it on — but he's happy to know more about her past. She gets a rose for her patience, one of the episode's first good decisions.
At the end of the episode, Tayshia stands next to Kirpa, whispering that, at the end of this show, it's just going to be the two of them left. She seems to be implying that herself and Kirpa aren't the fake ones in the bunch — somewhere in the remaining women, there are people not ready for Colton's love. This is meant to be dramatic, but it seems comforting. If this season of The Bachelor fails, at least we'll have Tayshia and Kirpa.
Leonardo DiCaprio's The Departed: Katie, Onyeka, Nicole, Demi, and Sydney