The Bachelor Season 23, Episode 11 Recap: How to Mend a Broken Heart

Photo: Courtesy of ABC.
We all know what heartbreak is and, most likely, we have all survived through the experience. Point blank: It hurts, it sucks and it feels like it’s never ending. Until, one day, it finally does. But on tonight’s episode of The Bachelor, the hits just kept coming as the hours ticked by. Every time Colton Underwood – and Bachelor Nation – thought the wounds had healed, another punch came straight to the gut. Colton’s tears and pain were constant and all too real.
Last week, he dramatically (and freakin’ finally) hopped over that godforsaken fence. But what awaits on the other side of this horror movie where the virgin actually gets to live? Well, before we can get there, we are treated to a thorough recap reel of our fearless leader’s journey. You know, in case you’ve decided to just tune in during week 10. There’s a quick hello from Chris Harrison, reporting live in L.A. with a studio audience – and now we’re off!
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It’s 11:40 p.m. in the middle of nowhere Portugal and our star is nowhere to be found. Colton used to be a professional athlete and tonight, he proves his speed. Though it seems like he just hopped over the fence moments ago, not a single person on this team of Bachelor producing veterans knows where he is. Chris Harrison asks two strangers randomly parked in a white van if they’ve seen anyone walk by. Nope, they sure have not. Chris threatens to call the police. Meanwhile, there’s literally no night vision lens to help us see what the heck is going on.
“We’ve got a dark figure down the road,” reports a producer. And guess what? It’s Colton! He is strolling down the street. Actually, it’s more of an angry walk. A ferocious pace similar to geriatrics getting their workout in at the local mall. But Colton isn’t hightailing it to the nearest Auntie Anne’s. He’s dramatically ditching the show. It’s over. No more of this nonsense!
“I’m fucking done!” Colton proclaims like a disgruntled toddler. But, ever the patient parent, er, host, Chris Harrison won’t let him throw in the towel — or a tantrum.
He talks Colton and leads him into a van, where he proceeds to shed one single tear — think Lauren Conrad on The Hills minus the mascara. “I’ve been through enough knowing that I’m not enough for a long time,” he admits. “And every reminder of that just makes me stronger, so I’m OK with it.”
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But, truth be told, Colton is most certainly not OK. Chris apologizes for Colton’s pain, but reminds him there are still two women, Tayshia and Hannah G, who are here and want to love him. Right now, however, Colton isn’t having any of it. “I can’t do this,” he says in between sniffles. “I’m done.”
The next morning rolls around, and, wow yes, that dog is still barking! Elsewhere, Chris knocks on Colton’s door for a little check in and refers to his star-turned-friend as brother. Don’t let anyone tell you Chris isn’t hip!
While Chris admits his worry after last night’s wild, unscripted adventure, Colton tries to explain his actions. “I just needed time to be alone and process what’s going on,” he says. “I’ve been through a lot in this last year and every time something good happens for me or to me, it’s always followed by something bad.” This, here, is perhaps an omen: Don’t have sex, Colton. (In the immortal words of Mean Girls’ Coach Carr, “You will get pregnant and die.”)
Despite how devastating his break up with Cassie was, Colton admits he actually say it coming and “that was the peak for me of knowing how much she meant to me.” Dare I say, queue up “Don’t Know What You’ve Got (Till It’s Gone)”?
Yes, he was falling for Tayshia and Hannah but, as Colton so poetically puts it, “I fell in love with Cassie. Cassie shut my heart off.” And by technically being in two other relationships, he failed to give her the confidence and certainty she needed.
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Chris wonders, however, if that’s really what’s holding Cassie back. Or, maybe, he suggests, she’s just not that into him. Now, Colton is offended.
“I think I feel like I have a pretty good gut instinct and I feel like I can read people pretty well and I think she loves me,” asserts Colton. “I think she’s scared to admit that.”
But where does he go from here? He refuses to brush off this startling breakup and move on. No, Colton Underwood is a fighter and he is going to fight for his woman!
But first, he has to end things with Tayshia. He heads to her suite and asks to speak with her outside. She’s happy – and barefoot. What could go wrong?
Funny you should ask: A lot. Before Colton gets to his point, there’s silence and awkward pauses in between. He clearly has not practiced his speech. “I knew that I was falling for you, but in my heart, I know I can’t love two people,” he says. “My heart is with somebody else. I love Cassie.”
If that’s not a dagger to the heart, I don’t know what is. She nods but it’s obvious, like Colton, she is at a loss for words. Finally, she asks if they can talk without all the cameras. They head back into her suite and close the door. But, in a rookie movie, they forget to take off their microphones. Bachelor Nation hears all.
Inside, Colton breaks down and Tayshia tries to calm him down. “Hey,” she says in a soothing tone. “Don’t cry, please.” Through her own tears, she tells him it’s fine. “So, this is it?” she wonders. Unfortunately, so. “You’re amazing,” Tayshia continues. “Thank you for everything. You’re a good guy and that’s what I deserve.”
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With that, Colton leaves and Tayshia comforts herself by saying it’s OK over and over. And you know what? It is OK. As she’s proven throughout this proverbial journey, she can and will get through this.
Now back in L.A., she joins Chris Harrison in the hot seat. “It was a surprise,” she recalls. “I wasn’t necessarily ready for my journey to end right then and there.”
When Colton comes out – it’s their first time seeing each other since Portugal – she only has one question for him: What went wrong?
He doesn’t really have answer other than the fact that his heart fell into Cassie’s hands. But Tayshia actually understands. After all, love so rarely makes sense. It just is what it is.
And, like she predicted, everything is indeed OK. “I will not take anything that I’ve learned or we shared for granted,” she tells Colton. “You’ve really made me want to look forward to an exciting relationship because I know that’s in store for me and I cannot wait for that to happen.” Hello, campaign to be the next Bachelorette!
Now, on to the next, and hopefully last, breakup of the night. Really now, how much pain can one Bachelor (and audience) handle?
We find Hannah G. in her hotel suite — to be honest, really thought she had hopped the fence and gone MIA too — writing in her journal about how much she loves Colton. If you look closely, you may just find Mrs. Underwood doodles throughout.
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Hannah tells the camera she’s excited to see Colton, to spend time alone with him in the fantasy suite, to tell him she loves him. “I could see myself spending the rest of my life with him,” she gushes.
Yikes. Someone get this girl a glass of wine ASAP. She’s going to need it. Colton knocks on her door and she’s so giddy that she doesn’t notice the anguish plastered across his cherubic face.
He sits her down on the couch and prepares her for the worst. “You’ve been my rock through all of this,” he starts. “You’ve been somebody who has always picked me up when I needed it and in the hardest times you’ve helped me get through all of that. I realized that I can’t be in love with two people and where my feelings are in another relationship is at a stronger point than where I’m at with you. I realized that I love Cassie.”
Silence.
Hannah, rightfully so, admits she wasn’t expecting this. She doesn’t believe this is happening. In fact, she didn’t even know he already had two other dates! “I’m so angry right now,” she says. “I’m just so embarrassed. I don’t know why I let myself open up.”
She feels led on. Don’t forget: Colton asked her dad for permission to propose. Hearing that gives a false sense of confidence. It was all too good to be true.
Now, Colton is hoping he’s not making the wrong decision. He even admits he thought Hannah would be the one. Ouch. “You don’t deserve to be anybody’s backup plan,” he says. “You don’t deserve to be second.”
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He says goodbye and she wishes him luck. Reader, if you’re keeping count, in the last 24 hours, Colton has been dumped once and has broken two hearts. Outside, he breaks down. It’s too much to handle. It’s too much heartbreak for one person.
A producer walks up to console him. “I’m scared,” he admits. “I don’t know if I’m giving up a for sure thing for something that’s impossible.”
Meanwhile, Hannah packs her suitcase and gets into the waiting van. “I don’t want to talk about anything,” she says. And just like that, she is driven off into the distance.
Cut to L.A. and we have Hannah live in the studio looking just as upset as she did months ago. “It’s not fun watching,” she tells Chris. “I’ve been dreading that moment for months. I think I was so blindsided. To see that his reaction was like that was really hard for me because it showed that this was hard for him too.”
Hannah admits life has been far from rosy since leaving Portugal. Fans have constantly come up to her asking if she’s engaged. And with each ask, her heart breaks a little more. In the end, this isn’t just a TV show. This is her reality.
Colton comes out and she a million questions – and emotions running through her. But mainly, she wants to know why she didn’t get a chance to have a final date with him.
“I think, with you, it was a realization of how much I gave myself to somebody else that I couldn’t continue on knowing I wasn’t going to be all in,” Colton explains to her. “When I was having that conversation with Cassie, I didn’t want to lose her and I knew I didn’t want my life to go on without her in it. So, I couldn’t do that to you to where you were a back-up plan. That sounds bad but you don’t deserve that and you know that you don’t deserve that.”
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And then there are the what ifs swirling through Hannah’s mind: What if her date was first? What if she had more time with him? They are questions Colton understands – he’s asked himself the same things – but when it comes down it, he loves Cassie, and nothing would have changed that.
If nothing else, Hannah has learned an important lesson out of this rather thorny experience. She now understands how strong she is. “I can handle way more than I ever, ever could have imagined I could and handling things by myself has taught me what I deserve and what I want in life,” she reveals. “I want somebody to jump a fence for me.” Preach.
Alas, now we are left with no contestants. Back in Portugal, Colton is single. “It’s over,” he tells the camera. “All of this is over. I mean, I started this with 30 women and now there aren’t any more.”
Cassie, meanwhile, is packing her bags, ready to leave this journey behind for good. “I’m sad to see it over, but I did make the right choice because I can’t be here,” she explains. “Colton wants a wife and a family and to start a life with someone right now. I want him to have that. I don’t want him to base any decisions off me.”
Too late, Cassie, too late. Little does she know he’s not only sent his remaining two contestants home, but he also temporarily quit the show. Every decision he’s made has been fully based off of his love for her!
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And he’s not finished yet. “I don’t know if I'm fighting for something that's not possible,” he says. “But I’m willing to do anything and everything because that's how much I love Cassie.”
Thankfully, his quest doesn’t seem to violate any international laws – yet.
He finds her new hotel room. And knocks.
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