The Bachelor star Colton Underwood has been living his own form of A Christmas Carol hell for weeks now. Only instead of being visited by ghosts trying to show the Bachelor the error of his own ways, Colton has been bombarded by women alerting him to their fellow contestant's more suspicious behavior. The two biggest warnings from everyone from puckish near-villain Demi Burnett to low-key front frontrunner Tayshia Adams has been that Cassie Randolph and Caelynn Miller-Keyes — two of Colton’s favorites — are either “not here for the right reasons” or simply might not be prepared to get engaged to be married at the end of season 23.
Well, Monday night’s hometown dates episode, “Week 8,” revealed that Cassie definitely falls into the latter of those two much-rumored two categories. It’s a fact that has been hiding in plain sight throughout The Bachelor for weeks — and may only get more intense as The Bachelor 2019’s imminent fence jump looms ahead.
Cassie’s hometown meet and greet takes the fourth slot of the integral episode, which is traditionally saved for the most difficult date of the traditional installment. This seems appropriate, as the Randolphs are the most skeptical of all the families Colton must visit. Yes, a lot of that comes from their patriarch — “He seemed like, you know, a guy, ” Matt Randolph says in a confessional after meeting Colton — but it’s Cassie who comes off as the most unsure about the Bachelor. When her sister Michelle Randolph (now-girlfriend of Bella Thorne ex Gregg Sulkin) asks Cassie if she could see herself accepting a proposal from Colton come the finale, she balks, saying, “I’m still not completely there, but, I wouldn’t put myself through this if I did not see, like, it potentially there.”
That apprehensive response is perfectly in line with what Cassie told Colton earlier in the day, when he asked how she felt about him. “Like, I know how I feel. But, I want to, like, be sure,” Cassie explained. “Like, that’s why you meeting my family is really, really important to me.”
Yet, all of this uncertainty is a far cry from what Cassie told Colton in last week’s episode. Much of that episode was dedicated to Colton confronting Cassie about the possibility she may not be ready for an engagement come the finale, as many fellow contestants had suggested. As Colton has said many times, that conclusion is his greatest fear. “Like, I’m so shocked at any of those things any of those girls would say,” Cassie said. “I don’t want you to believe that … Like, there’s no truth to it.” During an ensuing argument with Kirpa Sudick, who was sent home in favor of Cassie in a pseudo two-on-one dinner, Cassie called the accusations of her not being ready, “so not true,” “so dumb,” and “so false.”
However, in “Week 8,” Cassie confirms she isn’t ready to say “I love you” to Colton, a man she has been dating for about six weeks (a timeline laid out by hometown parents including Matt Randolph) and shared a single one-on-one date with. “Maybe I am falling in love with him,” she tells sister Michelle at a point when every other contest has confirmed they’re somewhere between “falling” and solidly “in love” with Colton. “But, I, like, haven’t said it yet because it’s something that I feel like if I say, it means I’m committing to a proposal.” As Colton has said multiple times, that is precisely what he is looking for. Apparently, that is exactly what Casie fears.
Michelle only fans the flames of Cassie’s very understandable doubts, reminding her sister that “there are hundreds of other guys out there, too” so if Colton isn’t “100% the one,” she shouldn’t feel pressured to rush into a lifelong commitment. It’s the most hesitant piece of advice of Bachelor hometown dates this year, even after a long line of unimpressed fathers popped up on screen. This conversation may explain why, when Cassie’s dad asks if she will be accepting a proposal at the end of the season, she says there’s “potential” for one. Cassie and Michelle's chat is also likely the reason the former still doesn’t tell Colton she loves him at the end of her hometown date. Remember, for her, those three little worlds are the same as confirming she will accept a proposal if Colton chooses her.
So, Cassie closes her hometown date by saying, “I’m really excited to see, like, where everything can go. I don’t want it to be over.” Immediately, Colton’s confessional voiceover bleeds into the scene, as he adds, “I wanted her to say, ‘I’m falling in love with you,’ so bad.”
Although Cassie does get the final rose of “Week 8” — eliminating Caelynn in the process — the end-of-episode trailer teases chaos ahead for the California student and Colton. The preview confirms the Bachelor’s infamous fence jump will go down in next week’s episode, which centers around the fantasy suites. After that footage appears in the teaser, we hear someone who sounds a lot like Cassie say in voiceover, “I hate that I thought this would work,” and then see a sobbing Cassie in what appears to be an elimination limo. Fans are left wondering if Colton will send home an unsure Cassie and if that final blow to his Bachelor perception is what causes his fence jump.
Usually, it would be smart to avoid trusting reality TV trailer editing at all costs. But, after Cassie's very dubious outlook during hometowns, it's possible producers has been dropping breadcrumbs about her inevitably explosive outcome with Colton. That’s why, as heartbreak seems to loom over The Bachelor future, everyone should just keep Caelynn Miller-Keyes’ dad’s advice in mind: “You could just be friends!”