Spoilers ahead for the March 4 episode of The Bachelor on ABC.
The television event Bachelor fans have been waiting all season for finally happened: Colton jumped the fence. Ever since trailer footage for The Bachelor revealed leading man Colton Underwood inexplicably jumping a fence and running away, fans have wondered what happened, why it happened, and -- in some cases -- if it would ever not be funny to watch. Well, the big fence-jumping episode finally aired, and we know the truth. Cassie broke his heart, and he made a run (and leap) for it.
It really wasn't as funny as it seemed when ABC was advertising it as the must-see TV event of the season. The context of Colton's jump was actually heartbreaking, and even those who haven't liked Colton as The Bachelor's leading man may have felt their heart soften for him at least a little bit. After deciding that Cassie was the woman for him and he was ready to confess that he'd fallen in love with her, he learned that Cassie had doubts about him.
Those doubts were strengthened by a visit from her dad, who notably refused to give Colton his blessing when Colton and Cassie came for a visit in the previous episode. Cassie simply wasn't certain enough about Colton in the remaining timeframe to stay in the game, as she wanted the kind of love that her father found with her mother, and that wasn't what she could be sure of if she'd continued on The Bachelor.
The tears flowed freely on both sides, as Colton tried to talk her into staying and Cassie had second thoughts about leaving. She insisted that she wanted what was best, he told her he wasn't mad, they each confessed their love, kissed one last time, and she was driven off The Bachelor, weeping freely.
So, yeah. Colton didn't just freak out over nothing and decide to jump the fence. He had his heart thoroughly broken, and that was apparently the way he felt he had to deal with it. As somebody who hasn't really liked Colton on any of the shows in the Bachelor franchise, even I felt for the guy when he declared that he was "done with this" and took off.
Chris Harrison called after him, and the production team could be heard trying to figure out what to do. Colton had a head start and made the move we've all known was coming this season. Chris Harrison summed it up best:
He just jumped the fucking fence.
Chris Harrison and Co. couldn't even track down Colton in the dark right away. He disappeared into the night, and the episode ended on a "To Be Continued" teasing a payoff in the episodes to air next week. Answers won't come in the next installment of the Bachelor franchise, though.
The next episode of The Bachelor airs sooner rather than later. The long-awaited fence jumping episode will be followed just one night later with The Bachelor: The Women Tell All on March 5 at 8 p.m. ET on ABC. It's a two-hour event, so count on all kinds of dirt being dished from twenty of the most unforgettable ladies of Colton's season. For some viewing options not featuring Colton Underwood, check out our midseason TV premiere schedule.