Tuesday, August 11, 2015

BiP Episode 4: Why Not Us?

Last night’s episode of Bachelor in Paradise opened with Ashley I and Mikey each sulking in their respective beds. For Ashley I, it was exactly what we’ve all grown to expect: tears, snot, self-pity, etc. Mikey, however, seems to have gone completely insane. He named his beard Claire and then shaved it off, in what can only be described as the most misguided revenge possible for her betrayal. Mikey also repeatedly says, “Beard Claire is gone.” It’s good to see that Mikey no longer has to hide behind his “beard,” Claire, and can be honest with the other guys in Paradise about who he is. I should have seen this coming after he spent several minutes in the first episode talking about other guys’ physiques.

 Meanwhile, Jared and Claire (Claired? No, that's terrible) go on their date. They enjoy some leisurely yachting before going ashore and promptly being pushed off a cliff by frustrated locals. More specifically the two go bungee jumping, despite significant protestation from Claire. Jared briefly calms her with a kiss, only for Claire to scream bloody murder once in the air.

There is a lot that could be said about the bungee jumping date, but nothing will ever be more telling or entertaining than the following picture.

How is this even possible?

That is an actual screenshot from last night’s episode, courtesy of the good folks at Reddit.

How did this happen? Why did this happen? Did the show run out of black boxes? Was it bring your child to the editing bay day? Do the producers really use MS Paint to edit this show? I have so many unanswerable questions.

Once back from their date, Claire tells the women all about her date with Jared, including their kiss. This is all much to the chagrin of Ashley I, who listens, crying in the next room. She proceeds to mocks Claire, saying, “She thinks she’s such a princess,” completely forgetting that Ashley I has described herself as a princess on no less than three occasions. That level of hypocrisy would be like Dr. Bill Cosby deriding black people for not being respectable members of society and then being outed as a serial rapist. Inconceivable

How about you pull up your pants?

Ashley I also bemoans her seemingly endless dating troubles when she says, “I’m always competing with other women!” Of course you are, Ashley. You keep going on The Bachelor shows. How is this a surprise to you? Chris Harrison doesn’t show up to set and say, “Why do they keep forcing me to talk to these people?” Chris Harrison shows up to set and acts like a huge creep because that’s his job.

Speaking of Creep Chris Harrison, he had quite an introduction for the newest arrival to Paradise. Michael, a Notre Dame graduate and all around nice guy, was introduced by our host as “the diabetic lawyer.” That is both an insultingly terrible introduction and the worst superhero I can imagine.

"Faster than his own rapidly declining blood sugar!"

Michael specifically came to the island in search of Tenley, who immediately agrees to go on a date with him. Jonathan (Tenley’s original interest) doesn’t want their date to go well and even “wishes diarrhea on Michael.” Wait. Does he mean he wishes that Michael would get diarrhea? Or that he wishes someone would diarrhea on Mi… Never mind. It’s not important.

While Michael and Tenley are leaving for their date, Mikey pulls Juelia aside to talk. Realizing he could soon be leaving paradise, Mikey makes a desperate plea for Juelia to consider giving him a rose. She is having none of it, however, and tries to rejoin the group while Mikey is mid-sentence. In a Doug Flutie-esque Hail Mary attempt, Mikey grabs Juelia by the arm and tries to kiss her. As she pulls away, he says “Oh come on…” trying to goad her into the kiss. Here’s a quick tip for all young men out there; tying to convince a woman to kiss you is the quickest way to ensure that she never actually kisses you. It would have been better to say absolutely nothing at all.

We cut back to Michael and Tenley’s date, where the happy couple is enjoying dinner. Michael tells Tenley that he came here for her, and “there is no Plan B.” That’s awfully forward, but I suppose he could always just wear a condom. At least he could have asked if she was on the pill before… Oh. He meant that plan B. My bad.

To be fair, it's Bachelor in Paradise. They're probably swimming in this stuff

As the couple is finishing dinner, a fifty-person mariachi band surprise serenades them. That’s no exaggeration either. Fifty grown men playing guitars, bass, trumpets, and a harp appear and begin to play. You’d think that so many musicians would be overkill, and you’d be right. Michael and Tenley loved it, but I can’t think of many situations where being suddenly surrounded by fifty grown men isn’t terrifying.

Eventually, they arrive back at paradise just in time to see everything go to shit. Specifically, Jared is now drunkenly confronting Claire about her age. He has known about their eight-year age gap since she first arrived in Paradise, however, the alcohol has fueled Jared into his incredibly stupid outburst. Claire (and presumably everyone watching) is completely taken aback by this. This is in part to do with the shoehorned nature of the show, but also because it leaves Jared with only one available option for a rose. If you’ve been watching the show you know exactly who that is and how I feel about it.


The cocktail party begins with Juelia being confronted by both Jonathan and Mikey. Juelia is planning to give her rose to Joe, however Jonathan and Mikey have misgivings about his intentions. Jonathan tells her that he doesn’t believe Joe is actually interested in her, but Jonathan is also wearing only a vest with no undershirt so his judgment clearly isn’t the best. Mikey tells Juelia “You have way better options here,” and then points to himself. Does he not remember being rejected mere days ago? Seriously. Does Mikey have some Phineas Gage-style hole in his brain? That’s the only way I can make sense of his stupidity.

I'm going to let you Google "Phineas Gage" to find out why he's missing an eye and holding that iron rod.

Concerned but not swayed, Juelia confronts Joe with her newfound accusations. Joe gives a half-assed excuse about not wanting to “smother” her, which Juelia accepts. Of course, she has not seen Joe calling her stupid and claiming that he only is on the show to meet Samantha from Chris Soules' season. If she had, this entire interaction would have been mercifully shorter.

Incensed by both Jonathan and Mikey, Joe storms off to rant at the producers for his betrayal. “I want to beat him in the head,” Joe says “I won’t stop until blood comes out of his ears.” He also claims “If this were back in Kentucky, I’d get my brass knuckles.” So… yeah. Turns out, Joe is a crazy person.

A true southern sociopath.

Joe continues to wish death upon his betrayers until Mikey comes to confront him. Mikey (correctly) thinks that Joe is politicking for a rose. Joe denies this, however, and Mikey leaves without provoking him any further. Elated by his “victory” over Mikey, Joe declares that he “Made him my bitch. #Joemadehimhisbitch.”  Of course, Joe didn’t make anyone “his bitch,” he just lied about being an asshole. Also, that hashtag is way too long to ever trend. You only have 140 characters, you can’t use 19 of them on the hashtag alone. Maybe instead Joe should have tried #Joesmainbitch or #Joesbitch or maybe #fuckyouJoeyoumisogynisticpieceofshit. Each of those hashtags is under 140 characters and very descriptive.

High off his “win” over Mikey, Joe next confronts Jonathan. He demands an apology to both himself and Juelia for the “lies” Jonathan has spread. Jonathan obliges, and apologizes to Juelia for what he said, all the while with Joe hovering behind him to ensure the apology is done correctly. The apology is (for some reason) very emotional for Jonathan, who retreats to a restroom and breaks down in tears. Joe is right behind him, telling him that because he apologized they can be friends again. “If your son came to you and made it right,” Joe asks, “how would you feel? It’s ok.”

In case anyone was wondering, this is exactly how cult leaders operate. They scream and force followers to make embarrassing public declarations until they reach a breaking point, then reassure them while placing themselves in a father-figure role. Just something to think about.

Joe's last name isn't Hubbard, is it?

While Joe is recreating the life of L. Ron Hubbard, Jared is trying to save himself after losing his chance at a rose with Claire. He finds Ashley I and tells her he “wants to get to know her better,” before kissing her.

I’m not mad Jared. I’m just disappointed.

The cast reconvenes while waiting for the rose ceremony to begin when Claire, in keeping with the theme of the episode, does something incredibly stupid. Out of nowhere, she begins a long monologue about how much more pure and genuine the show was last year, and claiming that she is the only actually one the show to “find love.” Claire vacillates between these two points for several minutes before giving up, either due to a lack of oxygen in her brain or the sudden realization that nothing she said made any sense at all.

"The contestant of the... last year times... had... of... the valuable love"

As the rose ceremony began, Jade took a moment to call out Claire’s speech. She said that not only was Claire’s speech not true, it was offensive to the individuals who actually were looking for love. Claire responded by saying, “If the shoe fits, wear it.” Wait, what? That doesn’t mean anything in the context of Jade’s rebuttal. She might as well have said “A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush,” or “A picture’s worth a thousand words,” or frankly just cut a big juicy fart, because they would all be equally as meaningless as what she actually said.

Eventually, the rose ceremony gets underway. Carly & Kirk, Ashley S & Dan, and Jade & Tanner all predictably pair up. Tenley gives her rose to Joshua, which means JJ and Michael are currently without roses. Claire’s rose is next, but instead of handing it out, Claire becomes overwhelmed with emotion and walks off the set. She is consoled by Chris Harrison (wearing a very odd all khaki suit with khaki shoes ensemble) who tells her to “pull yourself together.” How awesome is that? Even Chris Harrison is annoyed with Claire’s bullshit.

“To be continued”

Seriously, ABC? You’ve already tricked me into watching three hours of Bachelor in Paradise per week and you still can’t get through a rose ceremony? How much of my life must you take before you are satisfied? Will nothing stop your unquenchable lust for ad revenue? What if I offer my first-born son as a sacrifice? I swear he is all yours, ABC. Please, just reign in the every expanding behemoth that is The Bachelor. I can take it no more.

Oh, never mind. Paul Scheer is on After the Final Rose! He’s great, I’ll have to watch this…


Gossip Squirrel

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