Fuck everything. Fuck this show. Fuck ABC. Fuck Chris Harrison. Fuck everyone involved in this show. Stop making me feel these feelings. You’re all terrible.
Especially you, Chris Harrison. Fuck you.
The penultimate episode of Bachelor in Paradise begins with Ashley I leading Jared to the fantasy suite. She wants Jared to take her virginity as a means of solidifying their relationship. Keep in mind that up to this point their “relationship” has consisted almost entirely of Ashley I fawning over Jared while he slowly backs away from her. The only thing remaining to solidify is their break up. Even Ashley I seems to realize this as an inevitability. “Jared is my dream guy,” she says, because even in her dreams, people are annoyed by her.
In keeping with tonight’s theme of “everyone and everything is terrible all of the time,” Mikey takes this opportunity to break up with Juelia. As he explains it, Juelia is a wonderful person, he just doesn’t feel a romantic connection with her. Mikey probably hasn’t felt a romantic love for anything besides Creatine, so this really should not have been a surprise. Juelia, however, is devastated and decides to leave the show.
While Juelia is leaving, Jaclyn is continuing her search for someone to take on a date. She eventually decides to ask Justin out, saying “I heard he just got off a crappy date which would be a great fit for me.” So her ideal date is a depressed man with no other prospects? I know Jaclyn is supposed to be a badass chick (you can tell because of the AC/DC rip off music that plays whenever she’s on screen) but that is pretty pathetic.
Jaclyn is as badass as modern day AC/DC...
Justin agrees to the date, however he changes his tune when Cassandra (Juan Pablo’s season) arrives in Paradise. Unaware that he has been asked out by Jaclyn, Cassandra asks out Justin as well. Instead of recreating every 90’s sitcom and attempting to go on two dates in the same day, Justin decides to cancel his date with Jaclyn. Justin doesn’t give Jaclyn an explanation for canceling the date, but I’m sure if prompted he would have said “Because Cassandra doesn’t look like she’ll stab me in a dark alley.”
Jaclyn is upset that Justin defied her will, saying “I never thought the keys to success here would be: A, have a kid. B, talk to fruits and vegetables. C, talk to animals and raccoons. D, be a complete psychopath.” Jaclyn, if you didn’t think those were immediate ways to succeed on this show, then you’ve never watched Bachelor in Paradise. If anything, those are the only ways to succeed on this show.
Or E: Be inordinately pretty.
Jaclyn goes on to say she wishes that Justin had been more honest with her and not “such a pussy.” Let me be honest then, Jaclyn. Justin isn’t a pussy, you’re just a dick.
Seeing that Jaclyn was out of prospects, Nick asked her if he could have her date card. Keep in mind that while he and Jaclyn were on Bachelor Pad, Nick eliminated her from competition and stabbed her best friend in the back to win $250,000. That is obviously a shitty thing to do, so Jaclyn decides to get her revenge. She makes Nick roll around in the sand in order to earn the date card.
The guy stole a quarter million dollars from your best friend, and you get revenge by getting sand on him? That’s not revenge. That’s barely an inconvenience. I really hope Jaclyn got her money’s worth, because that is one expensive sandy buttcrack.
She could have at least punched him in the face. That's what I would have done.
Justin and Cassandra’s date was one of the few bright spots of the episode. The two single parents went horseback riding on the beach and shared stories of their children. At one point, Justin described Cassandra as, “like a girl on a romance novel.” Why was that his first point of reference? Judging from Justin’s hair, I wouldn’t be surprised if he was a big Danielle Steele fan. Maybe those are the only books he’s read.
Back in Paradise, Ashley I and Jared have returned from their overnight date. Ashley I is excited about their time together, but Jared has the same look of shock and horror as someone who just walked in on their roommate masturbating. He privately admits to the other guys that he did not take Ashley I’s virginity, and now has to go break up with her. This feels like the fourth time Jared has broken up with Ashley I. Or maybe it’s only the first? I can’t tell anymore. Time is a flat circle. Everything we’ve ever done or will do, we’re gonna do over and over and over again.
This is what Bachelor in Paradise is turning me into.
Jared breaks up with Ashley I for a final time before choosing to leave Paradise. After he leaves, Ashley I says, “I didn’t think I was going to cry anymore.” I don’t believe her for a second. Either her life’s happiness was based entirely on Jared, or she has the memory of a goldfish. Given the vacant stares, I’ll go with the latter.
Nick and Sam’s date was next. The two ate dinner prepared by a celebrity chef whose name was clearly not recognizable enough for me to write down. Their meals were delicious, however, and the two must have had a good time at dinner because they shared their first kiss. I say “must have” because their conversation (if it can be called that) was unlistenable. I won’t even pretend to give a shit about them. Let’s move on.
Finally, the cast arrives for the final cocktail party of the season, when Chris Harrison arrives to tell them that the party has been cancelled. Instead, they will proceed directly to the rose ceremony. After his announcement, Chris Harrison climbs back into his coffin where he will rest before feeding on local villagers and livestock.
"Here are a list of my demands. Fulfill them or I will force everyone to wear this heinous shirt."
Ashley I finally decides to leave before the rose ceremony. She tells everyone that without Jared to force her feelings upon, she can’t see a reason to stay on the show. While riding off in the car, Ashley I calls her sister to tell her of the news. “Were you in love with him?” Lauren asks. “No, but close enough,” responds Ashley I. In Ashley I’s mind, stalking is equivalent to love. That shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone reading this, but it merits recognition.
The rose ceremony begins with the usual couples. Carly and Kirk, Jade and Tanner, and Tenley and Josh all pair up. Samantha and Nick, and Cassandra and Justin also form new couples as well. Next is Dan, who gives a small speech about not finding anyone in Paradise, before leaving. That leaves us with Mikey who, as Carly aptly points out, is about to do something stupid.
Mikey has made no connections in Paradise with anyone besides Juelia, whom he just dumped. Instead of also leaving, Mikey tries to give his rose to Mackenzie, a person he has never spoken to before. My best guess is that Mikey is really into single moms, and he thought Mackenzie would be interested in a meat sack stepfather for her child. It turns out that she isn’t, because Mackenzie would literally rather leave Paradise that accept Mikey’s rose, which she does. Dejected, Mikey follows suit and leaves as well.
After the rose ceremony, only five couples remain. Carly sings an impromptu song about roses while Kirk panic drinks next to her. Kirk had been having second thoughts about their relationship, and this was surely the icing on the cake.
"Save me, alcohol."
The next morning, Kirk finally realizes that he has to break up with Carly. He describes their relationship as, “Laying next to someone but still feeling alone.” That’s right, this isn’t going to be your run of the mill breakup. This is some heavy, adult feelings shit.
Kirk pulls Carly aside to talk, and it is immediately obvious what he is there to say. Carly panics and tries to leave several times before saying, “I wanna throw up.” Kirk responds hilariously by saying, “Please don’t throw up.” Just to be clear, Carly wasn’t going to throw up as a defense mechanism or out of anger. She’s not the Dilophosaurus from Jurassic Park.
"Please don't throw up."
Carly eventually does run away from Kirk and immediately begins to pack her things. He tries to chase after her and explain his feelings, but Carly is too upset to listen to him. “I want nothing to do with you ever again,” she yells, before hugging Jade goodbye and leaving. Kirk then packs his bags and leaves as well. Both cry in their separate cars as the episode ends.
I know this show is fake and an obviously heightened version of reality, but the Carly/Kirk breakup was absolutely gut wrenching to watch. Every now and then, Bachelor in Paradise actually finds a shockingly real storyline, and when they do it catches me completely off guard. Between the booze-fueled confessionals and forced relationships, there are occasionally moments of true vulnerability, which come across as even more surprising than the intentionally ridiculous ones. Carly’s heartbreak was one of those vulnerable moments that cut through the show’s facade, devastating me.
I guess there’s nothing left to do but wipe away the tears and watch the finale.