I have been writing (often angrily) about The Bachelor, The Bachelorette, and Bachelor in Paradise for a little over two years now and it feels like at least one and a half of those years have been devoted to describing the human waterfall that is Ashley I. Despite everything I've written about her in that time, I've secretly always had a bit of a soft spot for Ashley I's delusional antics. There was something about her complete disregard for reality that made her a wild card and kept the shows interesting. Annoying as she may be, Ashley I has always been a welcome source of chaos. That is, until last night…
Last night's episode of Bachelor in Paradise begins in the still toxic fall out of the Jared/Caila/Ashley I debacle from last week. Ashley I and Caila agree not to speak to each other anymore, in order not to further humiliate Ashley I. This seemingly amicable agreement predictably ends with Ashley I running to Jared in tears, saying that she doesn't actually hate Caila, she just can't stand to see Jared with anyone else. Jared tells Ashley I that she, "Shouldn't feel stupid," which is blatantly wrong. She absolutely should.
To be fair, why else would she have that shirt?
Ashley I mopes around the beach for a time, eventually explaining to the audience that the reason she is acting out is because her dog recently died. "I know all dogs go to heaven," Ashley I says through tears, "Although she is actually in a jar in my house." Setting aside the fact that a dog actually goes to Hell in that movie, I'm actually surprised Ashley I didn't stuff the dog and bring it with her to Paradise. Anything less than that seems too well adjusted for her.
Wells is the next contestant to arrive in Paradise, and brings with him an optimism that has not been felt in several weeks. Ashley I (and frankly every other contestant who was sick of her shit) quickly became obsessed with the idea of her going on a date with Wells. After being told by no less than 13 people, "Ashley I is single," "I think you'd really like Ashley I," and "Listen here, you skinny bastard. You don't know the Hell I have been through over the last week. If Ashley I does not get your date card, I, Jared, will personally see to it that you wake up in a van headed for the nearest Cartel hideout." Wells accepts his role as a sacrificial lamb and asks Ashley I on a date.
Wells and Ashley I spend a majority of their date eating tacos, which is something he seemed more excited about (both literally and euphemistically) than she did. Ashley I laments her inability to flirt with men whose names don't end in "ared," while Wells tries to see how many tacos he can fit in his mouth at one time. Just as the date reaches peak awkward silence, a street dog wanders up to the table and begins begging for food. Both Wells and Ashley I share their tacos with the dog, which was apparently all the foreplay they needed, because they began aggressively making out immediately after the dog left. If Ashley I does find dogs to be an some sort of aphrodisiac, I suddenly don’t want to know how or why her dog died.
Rest in peace, sex toy puppy.
Later that evening, Wells and Ashley I light and release a sky lantern with a wish written on it and watch it float away. It was a romantic moment to be sure, but it would have been a lot more romantic if the lantern hadn't caught fire within seconds and plunged to the ground almost hitting a camera man. The entire situation was a surprisingly apt metaphor for this stupid show.
Back in Paradise, Lace and Grant are continuing their tradition of getting drunk and yelling at each other. The cause (this time) was Lace's drunken flirting with other guys in front of Grant. The two yell at each other about respect, understanding, and how the other is being a real bitch. As Lace storms off, she yells, "Have fun finding love with someone else," which I hope to God was a line fed to her by the producers.
"Have fun with... with your... LINE!"
Once Grant and Lace are each alone, they share a rare moment of vulnerability. Lace begins crying and wondering why she keeps sabotaging her relationships like this. She acknowledges that she has feelings for Grant and that she tries to destroy the relationship rather than risk getting hurt by him. For his part, Grant questions if the relationship is even worth it if he has to constantly put in so much effort so early on. It was surprising and ultimately refreshing to see a new couple talk about their weaknesses so openly.
But then Grant goes and ruins everything by finding Lace and asking her if she only said those things because she "was emotional." Holy shit, Grant. If there's one thing you never say to an angry person, much less your girlfriend, it's a suggestion that they're just being emotional. Given Lace's resting BAC, that's a quick way to get stabbed.
Despite his stupidity, Grant is almost immediately forgiven by Lace. She apologizes for flirting with other guys, while he apologizes for overreacting. Lace then decides to seal their truce with a shot, which basically ensures that this will all happen again in a matter of hours.
A woman who celebrates waking up every morning with a shot.
As the night wears on, other contestants begin preparing for bed. Exhausted by Josh’s incessant groaning and pizza guzzling, Amanda decides to go to bed alone and offers Nick and Jen her private room. As the two begin heading to Amanda’s room, Josh interrupts them to say that they cannot sleep there because it is his and Amanda’s room. Nick, Jen, a producer, and several contestants all point out that Amanda offered them the room and is sleeping already, but Josh will hear none of it. He wakes up a sleeping Amanda to ask, “Hey, are you sleeping?” as if the answer wasn’t obvious. When a groggy Amanda replies that yes she was sleeping, Josh asks her two more times just to be sure. Josh then storms off, incensed that Amanda would ever go to sleep without his prior knowledge and approval.
Josh’s anger would carry over into the rose ceremony the next night, as well. Once the cocktail party began, he pulled Amanda aside to let her know that he wasn’t mad she went to bed without him. He then makes several uncomfortable jokes about the incident and strongly insinuates that she really shouldn’t do that again before telling Amanda that he is falling in love with her. Apparently saying two shitty things followed by one nice thing is acceptable behavior, because Amanda says that she is also falling in love.
The rest of the cocktail party was relatively normal. Daniel tried to win roses from several women through a series of poorly thought out stunts, including giving them jewelry made from garbage and lamps, which was almost painful to watch. The twins tried to get dirt on Josh in order to convince Amanda to dump him, in a segment that quickly became a rehashing of every Josh-related complaint from this season. Grant and Lace even got in on the action, chugging drinks and un-ironically wondering what it was that caused them to constantly get into fights.
Also, Carly wore this "Lace tube top shorts and sleeves" number.
During the rose ceremony the “usual couples” all paired off. Instead of listing off each pair, I’ll just jump to the end and say that Daniel, Carl, and Ryan were left when the twins turn came to hand out roses.
Rather than hand out roses, Emily and Haley declare that since they have not yet found love in Paradise they will be going home and taking their roses with them. This comes as a shock to the three remaining men who will all now be sent home. It was a little surprising that the twins didn’t hand out roses and then leave Paradise, instead of sending all three guys home unnecessarily. That’s like going to a restaurant and knocking other people’s plates onto the floor because you’re not hungry.
Before the twins leave, however, they make a point of pulling Amanda aside to once again tell her that they are worried about Josh. Amanda (for some reason) is shocked by this and goes off by herself to think. Or at least she tries to go off by herself before Josh comes bounding in to ask what’s wrong. Amanda repeatedly tells him she wants to be alone all while Josh keeps following her and asking, “What’s up?” with the same intonation of a bored toddler.
"I smile and pretend to know things. That's what I do."
Reluctantly, Amanda finally tells Josh what the twins said. He takes a deep breath and calmly says, “Well they’re entitled to their opinion, but I hope it doesn’t change your opinion of me. I care deeply for you and don’t want to see you hurt by this situation. If you’d like we can all sit down together and discuss whatever problems they have with me…”
Just kidding. Josh just fucking screams at everyone.
When I say he screams at everyone, I mean he screams at everyone. Josh literally calls everyone down to the beach where he is and berates them for trying to tear him and Amanda apart. He then screams at Nick specifically for just being Nick. In fact, Josh screams for so long that he never noticed Amanda leave in tears, clearly upset by his meltdown. So much for defending her honor.
Probably his eventual mugshot.
Once Josh finishes yelling at everyone, he packs his bags and prepares to leave Paradise. On his way out he finds Amanda and lets her know of his incredibly immature decision. Amanda is still somewhat in shock from the previous events of the night and doesn’t seem to fully register what he is saying. Eventually, she composes herself enough to say that even though the twins are her best friends, and multiple people have expressed concern for her well being, and Josh completely lost his mind tonight, she “won’t question him anymore.” With that, Josh agrees to stay for Amanda’s sake. Also, I have to actively try to keep from walking in front of a train because no benevolent God would ever let this happen.
The next morning arrives along with Jami, a new entrant into Paradise. She wanders around the beach for a few moments before running into Wells, the only cast member who is actually awake before noon. The two talk for a few moments before Jami asks him on a date, in part because they have a lot in common, but also because he was literally her only option. Wells agrees, with full understanding that this will likely send Ashley I into a psychotic rage.
"In my defense, it's going to be a lot of fun to watch.
Several hours later, Ashley I awakes and the news about Wells’ date is broken to her. She initially pretends to be ok, saying, “That’s fine,” and claiming that nothing bad could possibly happen. However, with Wells gone, Ashley I quickly returns to her obsession with destroying Jared and Caila’s relationship.
Ashley I tells Caila that she is no longer ok with seeing her around Jared and that she doesn’t believe Caila is actually interested in him. In the midst of being berated by Ashley I for the umpteenth time, Caila finally decides she has had enough and will leave Paradise. As Caila approaches Jared to say her goodbyes, the screen fades to black.
To be continued,