For what feels like the fifth week in a row, tonight's episode of Bachelor in Paradise opens with Joe. Fresh off his breakup with Samantha, he has been roped into commiserating with fellow dumpee, Ashley I. She has cornered Joe in hopes that he will share in her emotional devastation. Joe, however, has the personality of a house plant and says, "I'm not a very sensitive guy." No shit, Joe. You're not a very anything guy. All you've done to this point is poorly lie about your short-lived relationship with Samantha. The only things I know about Joe is that he's kind of stupid and likes to call people "bitches." That's not surprising either, as those two things usually go hand in hand.
Joe's lack of sensitivity sends Ashley I into another bout of tears. Whatever emotional capacity Joe is lacking, Ashley I makes up for two fold. Her small victory of "holding it together for an hour," was completely undone when she started crying before the end of the sentence. Presumably, the thought of not crying made her upset. Ashley I has turned into some sort of perpetual crying machine.
Don't you see? Her tears will never stop flowing!
Fresh off his return to Paradise, Mikey receives a date card. He chooses Juelia to accompany him. The new couple travels to Guadalajara for what Juelia assumes is to be a romantic night. While en route to their date, Juelia and Mikey make out a little. That's a pretty big step for someone who shut down Mikey's advances only two weeks ago. Maybe she feels indebted to him for keeping her in Paradise, or perhaps Juelia is afraid Mikey will eat her if she says no. That dude is huge.
Back in Paradise, Joe finally realizes that Samantha went full Lady Macbeth on him and he's not too happy about it. He pulls Samantha aside again, this time threatening to show their text messages and expose her as a master manipulator unless she "gets with" Joe again. For someone who was so upset about being manipulated, Joe had no problem trying to blackmail love out of Samantha. This is the "stop hitting yourself" of manipulation.
On the less rage inducing side of Paradise, Kirk and Carly are going fishing. Carly describes their mutual love of fishing and how it bonded them as a couple early on. For being a passion of hers, Carly seems to know nothing about fishing. Kirk teaches her some of the basics as the two cast their lines into the breakers, where there are never any fish. Look, I’m not saying this date wasn’t the cutest thing I’ve ever seen. I’m just saying these two aren’t the fishing experts they claimed to be.
Kirk and Carly's "fishing expert" son.
Meanwhile in Guadalajara, Juelia is looking forward to a romantic date. Mikey, on the other hand, isn’t quite sure what to expect from the night. “It’s always a cool feeling to not know exactly what is going on,” he says. If Mikey thinks cluelessness is a cool feeling, he must feel cool all the time.
Instead of the romantic date Juelia had hoped for, the two arrive at an area where they will be watching lucha libre wrestling. Mikey absolutely loved the show and Juelia seemed to at least play along. After the show ended the pair even got in the ring and practiced some wrestling moves of their own. It’s no surprise that the contestants enjoyed the date so much since Bachelor in Paradise and professional wrestling are basically the same thing. Both have heels and faces blurring the lines between fantasy and reality while competing for the attention of the audience. No wonder both have been staples of Monday night TV for so long.
"Accept this rose or I'll powerbomb you through a table."
Before they leave the arena, Mikey and Juelia are presented with a fantasy suite card. Keep in mind, they’ve been seeing each other for less than 72 hour at this point, so the fact that a fantasy suite is even being offered to them is pretty uncomfortable. Juelia picks up on the awkwardness and asks Mikey if he would be uncomfortable sharing a room with her. He responds by saying, “No, because I’m a man.” Truer words have never been spoken.
In Paradise, Ashley I is still looking for someone to commiserate with when she spots Jorge the bartender. She says that every day in Paradise is worse than the last, but on the upside she hasn’t cried in almost three hours now. Little victories, Ashley. Little victories.
Joe sees Ashley I alone and asks for her help in winning back Samantha. Since Samantha told Joe she wanted a clean start, Ashley I suggests Joe pretend to meet her for the first time. It’s actually not a bad strategy, but Joe doesn’t seem to fully grasp the concept. “Hi, I’m Joe,” he says, “Would you like a s'more?” While that’s not a bad way to introduce yourself to an actual stranger, to Samantha it probably looked like Joe went temporarily face blind.
Does he really not remember me? I gave him a handjob in the pool last week...
As Samantha awkwardly walks away from Joe, Justin (Kaitlyn’s season) arrives in Paradise. Before he can ask anyone on a date, Joe pulls Justin aside to tell him not to pick Samantha. Being the good friend that he is, Justin immediately asks Samantha out. I’m beginning to think that no one on this show understands the concept of friendship. Every time someone asks for a favor from another person they are stabbed in the back.
The episode ends with Joe silently freaking out that Justin has asked out Samantha. I also silently freak out, but that’s because anytime I see Joe it sends my blood pressure through the roof. He somehow has a way of simultaneously saying nothing and the most infuriating thing imaginable, and it's driving me crazy. The Venn diagram of Joe's screen time and my rising stress level is a circle.