I'll be honest; I didn't watch the first ten minutes of this week's Bachelor in Paradise. Thanks to a longer beer brewing process than anticipated, I missed the opening rose ceremony. Luckily, the show was still on in the background so I was able to hear at least some of what was going on. I'll try to recap everything as best I can, but please excuse me if I miss a few minor points.
The show opens mid-rose ceremony with Claire's tearful confession of lovelessness to Chris Harrison, who is still dressed like the son of Colonel Sanders. "I just don't feel love here," she says while the rest of the cast tries to avoid rolling their eyeballs completely out of their skulls. Colonel Harrison tells her to figure it out later, because even he is uninterested in listening to Claire for another minute.
"I'll just wear my formal beach attire..."
Eventually, Claire returns to the ceremony and picks JJ for her rose. I didn't actually watch this part, but I can only assume JJ was as shocked as me to hear his name. Has Claire ever had a conversation with JJ? Mikey T was obviously not getting her rose seeing as his personality is testosterone and Jonathan was out because he's black and this is ABC. That left JJ and Michael. Presumably, Claire thought "If I'm miserable on this show, then everyone watching it should be as well," then picked JJ.
After the Rose ceremony, Claire pulls Chris Harrison aside again and said "You promised me, Chris, that if I came on this show you would walk with me always. Yet, when I look back at where we had our conversation, I see only one set of footprints in the sand. Why have you not been there for me?" Chris Harrison responded, "That's when I carried you."
Again, I wasn't really paying attention.
"I am so fucking sick of carrying these weak ass white women around."
By the time I actually sat down to watch the show, Juelia was talking crazy about what a good husband Joe would make. Joe, on the other hand, is waiting for Samantha to show up so he can finally come out of the closet as a manipulative jackass.
As luck (or good editing) would have it, Samantha is the next person to arrive in Paradise. Before joining everyone else, she tells Chris Harrison that the one person she hopes to meet on the show is Joe. What are the odds? Joe wants to meet Samantha. Samantha wants to meet Joe. You couldn’t have planned this any better if you tried, which both of them obviously did.
Samantha and Joe arrive at a hotel, where they will be modeling for a People Magazine photo shoot on "hot bodies." I have a hard time believing not every photo in People Magazine is at least indirectly about hot bodies, but I suppose it is nice to see them so open about it. Joe's self-described "dad bod" doesn't quite fit the theme of the photo shoot, however the photographer is able to choke back his vomit at the sight of a normal human being and continue his work. As the shoot progresses, Joe and Samantha make out in a shower. No one was able to hold back their vomit at the sight of this.
Back in Paradise, Juelia is finally starting to realize that Joe might not have been 100% honest with her. Keep in mind, she doesn’t fully realize this until she sees Joe and Samantha holding hands while returning from their date. I understand that Juelia isn’t privy to all the interviews and antics that we have seen from Joe, but that is still very late to be making such a realization. Even little kids realize that Santa isn’t real without having to see their fat neighbor getting into the suit.
Sorry to break that to some of you.
Jared (apparently much more sober this week) tells Joe he has a responsibility to talk to Juelia. The ever-eloquent Joe briefly refuses, saying “I don’t wanna,” before relenting and pulling Juelia aside to talk. Juelia tells him that she felt disrespected and used by his actions, to which Joe responds “I just think Juelia should find love on her own.” To be clear, a white southern man just fucked someone over, then told them to get over it and do better on their own, and we’re not talking about slavery. That is impressive.
Meanwhile, Claire is on the other side of Paradise calling home. Of course it’s Claire, so who should pick up the phone but a raccoon? Look, no one is a bigger proponent of raccoon-based humor than myself. They look like adorable little bandits and act like people, there’s no reason not to love them. However, this joke is wearing thin. If Bachelor in Paradise is dead set on raccoons being the height of comedy they should just replace Chris Harrison with a raccoon. At least raccoons are less condescending.
Speaking of Chris Harrison, he is currently waiting on our next contestant to arrive but can’t seem to find her. Turns out, Megan Bell (the contestant in question) had her flight delayed and now cannot find the show. She has taken to wondering around the city, asking strangers if they know Chris Harrison. You’d think she could just ask the cameramen following her, but this is Bachelor in Paradise and intelligence is obviously lacking. Also, a single woman wandering the streets of Mexico sounds like the opening scene of Taken 4.
I have no particular set of skills.
Carly receives the next date card, and will of course be taking Kirk. Before leaving on her date, she and Jade talk about their respective relationships. Jade and Tanner are very happy together. Carly and Kirk are also very happy together. This is less a plot point, and more a reminder that some people are not only more beautiful than you, they're also happier than you as well.
Carly and Kirk’s date was not without conflict, however. Though Kirk enjoys spending time with Carly, he has some apprehensions about how quickly the relationship is moving. He told himself that he would take time to play the field, but instead he has gotten locked into a relationship with Carly. Kirk keeps hinting at his concerns until Carly takes time out of their date to call her brother on his wedding day.
"The wedding was today?!"
That’s right. Carly came to Paradise instead of going to her brother’s wedding. Through some linguistic gymnastics, Carly convinces herself that missing her brother’s wedding to be on a reality TV show is ok. “He’d want me to find love,” she says in what I can only assume is a desperate hope and not the actual truth. Carly takes a moment late at night to call her brother and congratulate him. Just so you know, Mexico is about six hours behind Ireland, where the wedding was held. That means not only did Carly miss her brother’s wedding, she called him at 4 am on his wedding night to remind him that she was drunk on a beach in Mexico. Luckily for her brother, he missed what happened next.
Swayed by alcohol and Carly’s late night harassment of her brother, Kirk decides not to fight their relationship any longer. He
jokingly actually suggests
the two get a hotel room for the night so they can fuck. I’m not making that up
either. That’s the actual reason they gave on prime time TV. Since when was
this allowed? Suddenly contestants can just leave Paradise for a night and come
back the next? Don’t get me wrong; I’m all for casual intercourse, but this
seemed to be blatantly against the spirit of the show. Just make them fuck
quietly in their bunk beds, like college freshmen.
More bunk for your junk.
While Carly and Kirk (Cark? Kirkly? Fuck, I used to be so good at this) are getting busy, Ashley S and Dan are pseudo-breaking up. While she is already falling in love with him, Dan has seen some “red flags” and doesn’t want her getting her hopes up. As Dan puts it, “Paradise makes everything more exaggerated,” which helped him notice the warning signs of a failing relationship. Holy shit. Dan just cracked the code of Bachelor in Paradise. Sure, we all know the effect the show has on contestants, but I’ve never heard one actually say it out loud. Dan just became the Neo of Bachelor in Paradise.
Apparently unwilling to unplug from the machine, Ashley S declares that she started feeling love for Dan on her third day in Paradise. She says this as if it was a reason for him to stay with her, and not (in actuality) another reason to break up. The fact that Dan didn’t say, “Yeah, your obsessive clinginess is the problem,” is a testament to his character.
Oh, remember Megan? The late-arrival who was forced to roam the streets of Mexico? She finally showed up at paradise, presenting Chris Harrison with the “Saboro” (her valiant attempt at “sombrero”) from her travels. Megan also yells “Aloha Mexico!” which is barely acceptable if you’re an actual Hawaiian, much less a 24 year old from Nashville.
Megan continues meeting everyone in Paradise, including JJ who makes fun of the fact that he’s unemployed. At first I was surprised to hear this, but now I’m wondering how anyone could possibly keep a job on this show. It amazes me that everyone’s job title doesn’t begin with “former.”
Clearly, Megan is interested in JJ’s unemployed status because she continues her tradition of saying stupid things by asking him out on a date. JJ agrees, but says, “I would have said yes to a trash bag. The fact that it was a beautiful blonde is a plus.” You hear that ladies? JJ is single and will literally fuck anything that moves. Or doesn’t move. Or is filled with garbage. If you don’t care about a person’s standards or sense of self-worth, JJ is the guy for you.
Finally we come back to Joe and Samantha. Their storyline really dominated this episode so I’ll try not to rehash what has already been said. The short version is that Juelia still feels hurt and disrespected by Joe’s actions. Dan, accepting the role of “white knight,” steps in to confront Joe about his actions. He brings Joe to Juelia and Jade to have what feels like a hundredth conversation about their date. As Joe walks up, Dan says “He made his bed, now he has to own up to it.” That’s not how the saying goes, Dan. It’s not trying to convey embarrassment from a lack of bed-making skills. The implication is not that someone would deny making their bed. He’s like the bartender from Boondock Saints.
Joe was furious with Dan for making him talk to Samantha. At one point he said of Dan, “Dude, you’re 32 and on a reality TV show. How sad is that?” Well, “Dude,” it’s just as sad as a 29 year old on a reality TV show, and certainly much less sad than a grown man lying to a widowed single mother. That is just about the saddest thing I’ve ever heard.
The entirety of Joe’s conversation with Juelia was infuriating. Joe would alternate between repeating his same tired excuses and interrupting Juelia mid-sentence. At one point he flat out says that she is lying about Mikey and Jonathan’s concerns, seemingly forgetting that this is all recorded and easily verifiable. Juelia eventually threatens to tell Samantha about her experience and Joe backs down slightly. He admits, “mistakes were made” just as Samantha shows up.
As the show ends, Joe sits in an interview and tries for a final time to make his case. While trying to convince America that he isn’t actually an asshole, Joe forgets Juelia’s name. Maybe that’s Joe’s real problem. Maybe he isn’t actually an asshole. Maybe he’s just incredibly, incredibly stupid.