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4. Season 5 (Jesse Palmer)

Was it good for you, rose lovers? After nine weeks of build-up, we finally bore witness to the Fence Jump — and, more importantly, learned why Colton pulled such a crazy ninja move in the first place. So, were you satisfied? Take a moment and gather your thoughts as we recap everything that led up to the Bachelor’s Big Leap of (No) Faith.

The action picks up right where we left it last week, with Colton pulling Chris Harrison aside. As it turns out, all he wants to do is reminisce about the other time he pulled Harrison aside, when he nervously asked the host to explain the birds and the bees.

Ah, good times. There’s really no other point to the chat — Colton just reiterates for the 408th time that he’ll lose his virginity if he’s “in love.” Got it. Harrison, meanwhile, bids our Bachelor farewell with a brilliantly-executed handshake.

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Yes, go forth and fornicate young man!

The “ladies” and Colton hop a plane to Algarve, Portugal, where they each stare pensively into the distance while waxing poetic about gettin’ busy in the Fantasy Suite. (Or, in Bachelor parlance, “exploring” their “feelings” on a “deeper level.”)

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Fantasy Suite date No. 1 goes to Tayshia. Not much of note happens during the daytime portion — they take in the gorgeous views from a helicopter (natch), enjoy a picnic lunch on a cliff overlooking the ocean, and make a bunch of bumbling jokes about Colton’s lack of sexual experience. (“I’m not very flexible — it’s probably because I’m a virgin.” Huh?)

That night, dinner begins as these things usually do: With a discussion about Tayhia’s boobs.

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It seems her double-sided wardrobe tape isn’t doing the job. “Just don’t let me be flashing the whole world, yeah?” she asks Colton with a giggle. On a serious note, Tayshia wants Colton to know that she was a virgin when she married her husband, so she understands “the value in waiting until you feel comfortable.” She also confesses to feeling “ashamed” when her husband cheated on her — but not anymore. “It’s caused me to know my self-worth,” she tells Colton. “I value intimacy a lot.” The Bachelor vows to remain faithful to her — if, you know, he chooses her in the end — and she LOVES it. So where’s that Fantasy Suite card hiding???

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That is some very cute handwriting, Chris Harrison! (JK, of course he didn’t write that.) Of course, Team Bachelor can’t help but troll Colton a few more times before the Fantasy Suite fade-to-black moment. Case in point: They juxtapose the Bachelor saying “as men, we put a lot of pressure on ourselves to perform” with this:

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Damn, indeed!

The next morning, after a cheeky shot of a bumble bee pollinating a flower, we get the lowdown from Tayshia: “We didn’t have, like, the physical intimacy that I wanted, but I got to see him for he truly is — and it just validated my feelings for him,” she says. Though she’s putting on a brave face, it’s clear Tayshia’s a little disappointed — I mean, Colton has said over and over again that he’s only going to lose his virginity to a woman he loves… and indeed, he says he’s only “falling in love” with Tayshia. The Bachelor says he’s still hoping his feelings for Tayshia will develop… but we’re almost an hour into this episode, so my guess is that ain’t gonna happen. (Next: Cassie gets a surprise visitor in Portugal)

Okay Cassie, you’re up! “I want to be in love with Cassie,” says Colton.

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Dude, you may get to die with Cassie instead if you don’t stop smooching while driving! They motor off to the city of Tavira, where they chow down on desserts and sip espresso with their pinkies extended. The rest of the day is spent strolling and smooching, smooching and strolling. “Cassie makes me feel complete,” says Colton. “After today, I just know for sure that I love Cassie, point blank.”

So how does Cassie feel? Still unclear. She’s happy that the day has been “easy” and that there have been “no red flags,” but she still needs more time to figure out whether she wants to be Mrs. Colton Underwood. It doesn’t help matters when the Bachelor tells Cassie that he did not get her father’s blessing to propose. “You didn’t?” she asks, incredulous. “I’m surprised by that. That’s not easy to hear.”

Cassie is definitely thrown by this revelation, and she’s a little annoyed to just be learning about it now. “My family, I care so much about their opinion,” she says. “The fact that they weren’t 100 percent sold on Colton and I together kind of freaks me out. And then it makes me confused if he’s really the right person.” Pay attention, moms, and dads of future Bachelor and Bachelorette participants! You don’t have to give away that blessing so easily! And who knows — withholding it may, in fact, save your child from entering into a ridiculously hasty engagement.

After the day portion of their date, Colton and Cassie return to their respective hotel rooms to prep for part two. But just when you think we’re going to jump right to dinner and the whole “should you choose to forgo your individual rooms” routine, guess who pulls up in a black SUV.

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Awww, yeah — Cassie’s dad Matt has flown over 5,600 miles to talk some sense into his daughter. “Oh, I was just in the neighborhood,” jokes Matt, hugging a shell-shocked Cassie.

The two sit down, and dad explains that he simply couldn’t hand out a blessing to Colton after “a half-hour conversation,” especially because Cassie seemed “conflicted” about her feelings. “So… do you love him?” asks Matt. Her response — a tepid, “I… I think I do” — wouldn’t fool anyone, let alone a father who is very determined to keep his child from making a huge mistake. Matt stares at her in silence for a few seconds before gently drawing her out with a simple question: “Is there a ‘but’…?” Turns out there is! Quite a big ‘but,’ in fact! Cassie admits that she needs more time and that while she likes Colton and doesn’t want to end things with him, she is in no way sure about taking the “huge” step of getting engaged.

“There shouldn’t be any hesitation in your mind when you meet somebody that you want to spend the rest of your life with,” says Matt. “It’s not [a decision] you make if you’re unsure.” Cassie knows this – and she wants what her parents have. “You always say, ‘I never doubted it with mom,’” Cassie sighs tearfully. “I’m like, I don’t think I’ll ever feel that way.” Sure you will, honey — but like dad says, you can’t force it. “If you’re having that hesitation,” Matt continues, “then you just need to be honest with yourself and with him.” Cassie knows this too. “It just sucks!” she wails.

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Having done what he came to do, Matt says goodbye to his daughter and leaves her alone with a stomach ache of dread. “Tonight could be one of the hardest nights of my life,” says Cassie. “I have to send myself home tonight.”

Cut to poor Colton, who’s going on and on about how excited he is for the overnight date. “Even though today’s date didn’t end the best way,” says the Bachelor, “I’m not worried about it. Cass is the one.”

Oh man, I can’t watch! Oh, wait — it’s my job to watch. Dammit. (Next: Colton FINALLY hops the fence)

After letting Colton make a toast — or should I say “a cheers”? — to “exploring our relationship,” Cassie launches right into the Tough Talk. “My dad actually, um, showed up at my hotel room earlier,” she says quietly, her head in her hands. “He talked to me about, like, how I was feeling and, like, how big this whole thing is.” Cassie goes on to tell the Bachelor that her parents never had any doubts about their love, and she… well, she doesn’t want to lead him on, essentially. “Today was perfect,” she says. “And I love you so much… but I’m not, like, in love.”

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Ooof — that’s gotta hurt. Poor Colton! Cassie tells him she is planning to leave. “I don’t know if I can get there with you,” she says. “I hate that I don’t know.” Indeed, Cassie’s so confused about what she does or doesn’t know that she has to walk away for a minute to compose her thoughts. “Now I’m second guessing it,” she whispers desperately to a producer. “I didn’t know it was going to be this hard.”

Colton pulls Cassie aside and wraps his arms around her. “I’m telling you, I’m okay with being patient,” he says, which in Bachelor-ese translates to “we don’t have to do the whole Proposal Platform thing at the end if you’re not ready.” But Cassie isn’t reassured. “I don’t know that I’m ever gonna get there,” she says. “I don’t.”

I’m sure that’s hard for Colton to hear, but at this point, Cassie has made it pretty clear that she doesn’t reciprocate his feelings — talking it out even further probably isn’t going to change her mind. Still, he’s determined to try. “I’m not asking you to make a decision tonight,” he says. “I want to be with you… It’s not easy going on dates with other women when all I do is think about you.” The Bachelor tries to convince Cassie that it’s “okay” not to know how she feels, but… well, I think she does know, deep down. She knows it’s never going to happen with him, but it’s simply too hard for her to say it out loud. So, she continues to hesitate.

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Seeing an opening, Colton breaks out the big guns: “I’m sitting here telling you that I’m in love with you.” The Bachelor urges her to forget the TV show timeline. “I want it to be you at the end of this,” he says. “Even without an engagement.” At the same time, Colton knows that this could be another relationship where he loves someone more than they love him back. “I want a future with you,” he says, his voice breaking. “I want to be with you.”

Ugh, Cassie — just rip the Band-Aid off already. The poor man is shaking so much we can hear his microphone trembling against the fabric of his shirt! Tell him that it’s not about time, it’s not about space. It’s about a simple, sad reality.

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“I feel like staying here is making the wrong decision for me,” Cassie says. Though he’s devastated, Colton is still — always — a gentleman, and he walks Cassie to the Escape SUV. “I want you to be with someone who’s, like, insanely in love with you,” Cassie says as they hug by the car. Then, after exchanging “I love yous” – though each has a very different meaning — Colton and Cassie say goodbye.

I’ve said it before, and I will say it again now: Poor Colton! No matter how you feel about him as Bachelor, it’s really hard to watch a fellow human being get punched in the emotional solar plexus repeatedly. After Cassie drives off, the Bachelor shuts himself in his hotel room and cries behind the closed door.

Then, the meltdown begins. “I’m done with this,” whispers Colton, before storming down the stairs and forearm-punching a camera as he passes by. Seizing upon this very meta moment, Team Bachelor then pipes in the sound from the producers as they frantically confer via walkie-talkie: “He’s taking off the mic!” “Somebody get Chris!” Instantly, the host appears, calling out the Bachelor’s name as he follows him into the darkness .And then…

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“He just jumped the f—ing fence!” marvels the host. Soon he and several producers are wandering down the darkened road calling Colton’s name – to no avail. “Holy f—,” says Chris. “He is gone.”

Run Colton, run! Run and don’t ever… look… back! (Though maybe send Hannah G. and Tayshia a breakup text — it’s the right thing to do.)

Oh, but we know the Bachelor does come back, rose lovers, because tomorrow night, we’ll see Colton and his… interesting new hair on The Women Tell All.

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So, I guess we’ll have to wait until next week — another two-episode extravaganza! — to find out what happened and where Colton ending up running to. (Do they have 31 Flavors in Portugal? Because if anything calls for a double scoop of Peanut Butter ‘n’ Chocolate, it’s getting blindsided by your truelove on national TV.)

In the meantime, I’ll see you back here tomorrow as we recap the Women Tell All. Spoiler alert: There will be yelling!

The Bachelor: The Women Tell all airs Tuesday, March 5 at 8 p.m. on ABC.

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