I fear Bachelor in Paradise may have reached peak insanity. To be clear, I don't mean the usual "Isn't it weird that all of these people are real humans?" thoughts that I have on a weekly basis. I mean full-fledged, Upside-Down alternate reality insanity. How weird was last night's episode? For a brief moment Evan was a hero. Let that sink in. The sniveling twerp who doesn't seem to understand the concept of "No" and whose ex-wife called him a "deadbeat dad" managed to be a hero for several very confusing minutes. Honestly, I could write five pages on Evan alone, but in the interest of both yours and my own mental health, I'll just stick to Bachelor in Paradise instead.
Evan (GOD DAMNIT HE'S ALREADY BACK) opens the show by interrupting Amanda and Josh's never ending make out session to ask Amanda on a date. Shockingly, Josh doesn't murder Evan on the spot, instead allowing Amanda to go on a mini-date with him. She tells Evan that she initially was interested in him, though it’s too late now. Seeing his chance to reprise his role as a creepy cartoon villain, Evan tells Amanda that he has, "been watching you from afar…" because it's never too early in a relationship to let someone know that you're an oddly formal stalker.
Amanda makes it clear that in no uncertain terms is she interested in dating him and that she will be giving her rose to Josh. Evan takes this rejection in stride saying, "I was expecting a glimmer of hope… and I think I got that." No, Evan. What you got was a woman telling you she's not interested while being too polite to openly say, "fuck off."
High on the idea that he wasn't just rejected, Evan doubles down and decides to interrupt Josh and Amanda again during the Rose Ceremony. He again tells Amanda about Andi Dorfman's tell-all book (which Evan hasn't actually read) in which she called Josh an "emotional abuser." Amanda acts as if this is the first time anyone has ever mentioned that Josh Murray might be an asshole, even though Lace, Nick, and even Josh himself have all brought this up before. Look, Amanda. You can pretend like this is news to you, but at a certain point you either don't give a shit that you're dating an asshole, or you really are too stupid to remember what others said five minutes ago.
At this point I honestly don't know which it is.
Eventually, Josh overhears Lace loudly
talking slurring about everything Evan said. He
grabs Evan for a quick chat though, judging by his body language, it would have
been a brutal murder were it not for the cameras. Josh immediately lays into
him with a barrage of clichés including, "No need to explain myself,"
"You're being disrespectful," and for some reason "Only God
knows the truth" repeated ad nauseam. It may be true that only God knows
the truth, Josh, but seeing as how I don't and you can't seem to give a
straight answer, I'm just going to continue thinking you're a colossal asshole.
In the midst of the word vomit, Evan interrupts to ask why, if what she wrote was false, didn’t Josh sue Andi for libel. Josh looks shocked because he obviously has been lying this entire time and now has to invent yet another lie to cover his tracks. After several seconds of nervous laughter and stammering, Josh says that he doesn’t need to dignify Evan with a response. Everything he says is somehow a veiled admission of guilt and simultaneously completely meaningless.
Josh would then run off to Amanda and tell her that anyone talking shit about him was a coward and that the whole world was against their relationship. Everything Josh said suggested that if Amanda wanted to be in a safe relationship, she simply could not do it without Josh. If that sounds unhealthy, that’s because it is. Making people think you are their only source of comfort in the world is emotionally manipulative and what cult leaders do. Coincidentally, I’d love to hear more from Josh about how he isn’t the emotionally abusive asshole everyone claims.
"Only God and the neighbors who could hear our screaming through the walls knows the truth."
Even if it was only for the five minutes, Evan was a hero. It’s weird to type those words, or even think them without feeling like I’m having a stroke, but it’s true. Evan stood up to a bully, didn’t white knight anyone, and made his own point eloquently. Call me gullible, but for a moment I genuinely thought Evan could turn the corner and be the hero this show so badly needs.
But later at the Rose Ceremony, Evan said, “I’ve taken a self-imposed protector role… Maybe I should just find love instead?” No shit, it’s called Bachelor in Paradise not Single Dads in Paradise. Stop treating these women like they are your daughters in need of protection and start treating them like… you know… women. God, it’s been only two minutes and I already hate Evan again.
Here's another look that doesn't work for Evan.
When it came time to hand out the roses, things went from weird to insane. Lace chose Grant, and Izzy chose Vinny, both of which were expected. Emily gave her rose to Jared, which everyone seemed to think was normal, but caught me well off guard. Amanda picked Josh, because how can she really know that he is emotionally abusive until he abuses her? Sarah picked goofy Daniel over smiley Christian. Carly, in a bit of a difficult situation with no one to give her rose to, chooses Evan, presumably because one of the producers thought it would be funny and paid her $100. Finally, Haley picks Nick because her previous date, Brandon, couldn’t tell the difference between her and her identical sister.
After the Rose Ceremony is complete, Evan delights in his newfound opportunity, saying “I haven’t closed the door on Carly. She may have closed the door on me, but she forgot to lock it.” Can we just arrest Evan now? That is the closest anyone has ever gotten to openly saying, “I’m gonna rape her if I get the chance!” Lock the door, Carly.
The next morning, after the hangovers cleared, Caila arrives as the newest resident of Paradise. She immediately takes a liking to Jared and the two agree to go on a date together. Emily is especially distraught by this news not only because Jared gave her a rose last week, but also because, “Caila has beautiful hair!” Personally I don’t know what she’s talking about. How great could one person’s hair…
HOLY SHIT IT'S AMAZING!
Caila and Jared’s date was nice, if not very short. They rode horses along the beach and reminisced about their pasts on The Bachelor and The Bachelorette. Aside from one very confusing moment wherein Jared tried to ride his horse into the ocean, it was a surprisingly nice date.
Back in Paradise, Lace and Izzy receive the first ever double date card. As the only two in a legitimate (and I use that word very loosely) relationship, they obviously bring their boyfriends, Grant and Vinny. The four go out for a brief dinner before enjoying a night of dancing at the most authentic Mexican bar they can find, Senor Frogs. Sigh. I didn’t expect them to go to an authentic Mexican bar, but Senor Frogs is just insulting. Going to a Senor Frogs in Mexico is like going to a Sbarro in Italy. There’s nothing stopping you from doing it, but you’re definitely a huge asshole if you do.
All four grind and make out during a foam party before rushing the stage so the guys can perform a strip tease for the enjoyment of the ladies and everyone else in the bar. Late into the night, Lace says, “I’m lying on my back in a bar with a dude’s crotch in my face. It’s just like high school.” Suddenly, everything about Lace makes sense to me.
"Oh... That's why Lace is... well, Lace."
Meanwhile, Carly and Sarah are depressed and decide to make a double date night of their own. Armed with an irresponsible amount of booze, they invite the only two single guys they know, Evan and Daniel, to join them for a party. Throughout the night, Evan drinks and not-so-subtly hits on Carly while Daniel cheers him on. Carly calls Evan out at every turn, telling him not to be weird for once in his life. Seeing his options fading before him, Evan tries to kiss Carly as they leave for the night, only to receive an awkward hug and plea of “Please don’t kiss me,” from Carly. I’d cringe, but since I hate Evan I think I’ll cheer instead.
Evan walks dejectedly (and very drunkenly) to his room before passing out on a bed. Because they are legally required to care about the safety of all Paradise’s idiots, a producer checks on Evan and finds him unresponsive. They immediately call for a doctor (and Carly for some reason) to check his vitals. No sooner does the doctor arrive with Carly by her side, than Evan immediately wakes up looking alert, if not slightly confused. He claims that he is fine, but needs someone to stay the night with him. Bullshit, right? I mean who could be so dumb as to fall for the same trick children use when they’re scared of the dark?
Pictured: That dumb.
As it turns out, Carly is that stupid. She climbs into bed with Evan and tells him he is “not allowed to hit on me,” before grabbing his face to make out. If you heard a faint but violent scream somewhere off in the distance, that was me cursing Evan’s happiness.