Hannah Godwin got the short Bachelor stick. While Bachelor lead Colton Underwood offered reluctant frontrunner Cassie Randolph the world — and Tayshia Adams at least went on her overnight fantasy suites date — Hannah was left to while away in some Portuguese hotel as her reality TV boyfriend sorted through his life. Colton jumped a fence and repeatedly attempted to wriggle out of his Bachelor title, all as wide-eyed, hopeful Hannah was none the wiser.
Memes about her obliviousness easily became the topic du jour in Bachelor Twitter circles during last week’s “Week 9” and Monday night’s “Season Finale, Part 1.” Hannah doesn’t even show up in that latest episode until the halfway mark. Between this late-breaking appearance and Hannah’s complete “Week 9” absence after the cold open, it took The Bachelor two full hours to even show viewers the Alabama local’s experience in season 23’s tear-drenched fantasy suites-catastrophic finale mash-up.
That’s why Hannah’s live show, present-day confrontation with Colton over his most egregious Bachelor admission is “Part 1’s” top cathartic moment.
Last week, we noted the truly stunning nature of Colton’s honest pleas for Cassie Randolph’s returned affection. Traditionally, it’s inappropriate for a Bachelor or Bachelorette to say “I love you,” before the finale. Not only may it hurt the contestant — what if the lead gets their hopes up, only to choose someone else, as Ben Higgins once did? — it's rude to the other individuals you’re still dating. How can you be wasting their time and emotional energy when you love someone else?
Well, Colton blew past a single Ben Higgins-style, heat-of-the-moment “I love you.” The former football player spends “Week 9” telling Cassie he loves her at least four times (one of those instances was an emphatic “I fucking love you”). He even reveals he wants to choose the 23-year-old speech pathology student at the end of all this Bachelor madness. It was difficult to imagine Tayshia or Hannah G. watching Colton’s many pledges of love. But, it was not a completely gutting visual under these circumstances. Then Colton announces, “It’s not easy … going on other dates with other women when all I do is think about you.”
That is just plain rude. Because the key words here are “dates” and “women,” which both suggest Colton had drifted to fantasies of Cassie multiple times during his one-on-one time with other contestants. If Colton had said going on his prior solitary fantasy suite date was difficult because hometowns solidified his feels for Cassie, that would be livable. One painful, Cassie-haunted date is not a treat to hear about, but understandable. Feelings happen. However, Colton’s “dates” comment puts countless relationships in question, including the one he had with Hannah.
With the season finale sit-down, Hannah is able to push back against the hurtful and unnecessary seeds of self-doubt the Bachelor planted in her mind with his Cassie revelation. “I’d be lying if I said it didn’t feel like a slap in the face seeing you tell Cassie that you thought about her while you were with other people. That sucked,” Hannah tells a hedgehog-haired Colton during the live show. Although Colton was talkative during most of his time with Hannah — at one point he spoke for over a minute straight — he was strangely aloof during this portion of the conversation. His sole natural response to Hannah’s emotional confession is, “Yeah.”
When Chris pushes Colton to say more than a one-syllable world, he confirms he really did mean what he said. He did think about Cassie during dates with other women. “That’s something I felt,” he says next to a clearly overwhelmed Hannah. “That’s when I knew I was all in. I was 100% hers and I couldn’t do anything about it.”
All Hannah can do in this moment is promise she’s “happy” for Colton. At least earlier in the episode the 23-year-old was able to drop hard truths, telling the Bachelor, “What Cassie did to you, was exactly what you did to me.” Hannah has a point. Colton was so taken aback by Cassie’s “Week 9” rejection because he clearly saw a future with her. Hence, the many earnest “I love yous.” He believed Cassie felt the same way, because she suggested she did. Then she broke up with him. That is exactly what Colton, who spent season 23 equating Hannah with “feeling like home,” did to the “content creator.”
At least Hannah had enough dignity not to jump a fence over it.