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‘Bachelor’ finale recap: Did Colton win Cassie back, or get more heartbreak?

America breathed a collective sigh of relief Tuesday night when Cassie Randolph opened the door to her hotel room — and dare we say, the door to her heart (insert eye roll) — to Colton Underwood, and gave our boy a second chance at love.

After a string of extremely tense and tearful “Bachelor” episodes over the past week, we all deserve some happiness. Especially Colton. And in the final part of Tuesday’s Season 23 finale, Colton told Cassie, who broke up with him and broke his heart in Week 9, that he wanted a second chance.

“I’m not asking for marriage at the end of this, I’m asking for a second chance to take it day-by-day and figure it out,” Colton told her. Cassie was her usual befuddled self, repeating “I’m so confused” and “I don’t know what’s going on.”

She told Colton, “Being sure of how I feel is really hard for me.” She also told Colton that she knew Hannah G. and Tayshia were further along in their feelings than she was, and she didn’t want him to give them up for her. She was afraid he would resent her, she said. Colton told her nope, when you love someone, you compromise and you sacrifice.

He told her he gave up a chance with Tayshia and Hannah G. to show her that he loves her. Cassie still wasn’t ready to say she loves Colton back, but she accepted his invitation to go to Spain and meet his family.

“I don’t know what to expect. I’m going to take it one day at a time and figure it out as I go,” she said.

Lots to explain in Spain

In Spain, Colton’s family is expecting to meet the final two women, not just Cassie. After joking with them that he’s no longer a virgin (his brother is disappointed it’s a joke) Colton gave them the 90-second version of the story of how he came to bring Cassie to Spain.

His parents ask if he is in love with her and he says yes. They ask if Cassie is in love with him and he says, “at this point, no.”

Parents are concerned.

Cassie is terrified to meet the fam. She cries with Colton, and tells him she wants to be able to tell them what they want to hear — that she loves Colton.

Colton’s family seems alarmed that Cassie and Colton can’t even answer a question as simple as “are you boyfriend and girlfriend?” They don’t know.

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Cassie Randolph, left, first meeting Colton Underwood in the Season 23 premiere of “The Bachelor.” Rick Rowell ABC

Cassie works to explain her hesitations, and Colton’s mom is not thrilled. Mom immediately asks Colton to talk privately. She’s scared for him, naturally. He tells his mom that he knows Becca broke his heart, but Cassie is different and that he’s different now too. He tells his mom Cassie is the first thing he thinks about in the morning and the last thing he thinks about at night. His mom says she just wants that to be reciprocated. Colton: “Me too.”

Dad is equally concerned, and after a chat, Cassie does little to ease his fears. Then mom chats with Cassie, and same. They aren’t convinced, and neither are we.

Colton assures his dad that he isn’t second-guessing his decision. Colton tells his dad that when Cassie walked away from him, he knew she was the one for him. Dad asks the question I’ve been wanting to ask all along: “Is any part of this wanting what you can’t have?” Colton says no.

Dad tells him he’s concerned for his heart, and dad cries.

Colton says he’d rather risk getting his heart broken than risk losing Cassie.

Overnight Date, Take 2

We’ve definitely broken the “Bachelor” finale format mold tonight, because Cassie and Colton get to go on another overnight date. They start with a picnic at the beach, but have to rapel down a mountain to get to it.

On the date, Cassie opens up more to Colton about a controlling former boyfriend, explaining this is why she is being so careful. Colton tells her he wants her to live her life and have her own friends and own interests, and that he will never try to control her.

Meanwhile, back in the live studio, Chris Harrison is so excited at the prospect of Colton possibly losing his virginity on this date (if you’re just tuning in, Colton, 26 when the show filmed, was a virgin).

The date continues with dinner. Cassie, who is 23, tells Colton she feels more herself and feels more confident with him. Colton tells Cassie he’s grateful for a second chance with her, and he reads her the invitation to the Fantasy Suite. She accepts.

In a funny moment, an excited Colton tells the entire “Bachelor” production crew that he loves them, but they need to get out. They leave. Then Cassie and Colton remember they are still wearing mics (fool him twice, shame on him!) so they ask the crew to “de-mic” them. They do, and the door closes again.

Yay, Colton!

Colton feels ‘like a new man’

Colton now must explain to the cameras what happened the night before. Here we go: He “feels like a new man.” They “had an amazing night.” They “did what was right” for their relationship. They “grew as a couple.” They “had a great night last night.”

Colton is all grins. A producer asks him to elaborate and he says “A gentleman never kisses and tells.” But then tells her to use her imagination.

Colton and Cassie chat over breakfast in bed and I could have really used some subtitles here. I can tell you almost nothing they said.

To the camera he says he can’t wait to wake up next to Cassie over and over again.

Back in the studio, Chris Harrison plans to strap Colton and Cassie to polygraph machines to get the truth about Colton’s virginity.

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Colton Underwood on Season 23 of “The Bachelor.” Rick Rowell ABC

Are Colton and Cassie still together?

Colton and Cassie make their official appearance together and they’re all smiles. Chris asks them where they’re at and they say, “We’re in love” and confirm that they’ve talked about getting engaged (Colton wants to ask her dad for his blessing again).

Colton has moved to Los Angeles to be near Cassie, and they plan to spend the next year traveling and spending time together. Cassie has really come around, saying she loves him more than anything.

Chris asks Colton about his virginity, because of course he does. Colton explains that he’s always been very open about that, but now that there are two people in the relationship, he’s finished talking about it.

Then, in the biggest thrill of the night, Air Supply performs live. That’s right: AIR SUPPLY.

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Chris Harrison and Hannah Brown in “The Bachelor: Women Tell All” on ABC. Eric McCandless ABC

Who is ‘The Bachelorette’?

As the internet has predicted, the new “Bachelorette” will be Hannah Brown, the 2018 Miss Alabama USA. To learn more about Hannah B., as she was known on this season of “The Bachelor,” check out our recaps below (of particular interest are her battles in Weeks 2, 3 and 4 with Caelynn Miller-Keyes of Charlotte, the 2018 Miss North Carolina USA, who bested Hannah B. in the Miss USA pageant.)

In a twist, Chris let Hannah meet her first five bachelors. She was not prepared. And I’m pretty sure she didn’t speak a complete sentence during her 20 minutes on the show. But she is legit excited for this. She even hands out her first rose! (To someone named Cam.)

Previous ‘Bachelor’ coverage

Learn more about this season’s North Carolina contestants Caelynn Miller-Keyes and Nina Bartula.

Our recap of Week 1 of ‘The Bachelor,’ when the women met Colton for the first time.

Our recap of Week 2, when we got the first indications of discord between Miss North Carolina USA and Miss Alabama USA.

Our recap of Week 3, when the battle between Miss North Carolina USA and Miss Alabama USA really caught fire.

Our recap of Week 4, when Caelynn told Colton about the trauma of being raped in college.

Our recap of Week 5, when Colton had it with all the bickering and stormed off the show without a rose ceremony.

Our recap of Week 6, when all three women leaving the show warned Colton that someone left on the show is trouble.

Our recap of Week 7, when Colton was told Caelynn and Cassie weren’t being honest with him, but he picked them anyway.

Our recap of Week 8, when Colton met Caelynn’s family and later sent her home without a rose.

Our recap of Week 9, when Cassie broke Colton’s heart into a million pieces and Colton jumped the fence to escape the show.

Our recap of Week 9’s Women Tell All special, when Caelynn confronted Colton about her heartbreak.

Our recap of the first part of Week 10’s finale, when Colton broke two hearts to pursue Cassie.

And going back to the previous season, here’s all of our coverage of Raleigh’s Jenna Cooper, from “The Bachelor” (Arie Season) and “Bachelor in Paradise.”

Brooke Cain is a North Carolina native who has worked at The News & Observer for more than 20 years. She writes about TV and local media for the Happiness is a Warm TV blog, and answers CuriousNC questions for readers.
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