Of all the villains and over-the-top characters in Bachelor history, Dave Good, Princess Erica Rose, Trish (Has there ever been a decent woman named Trish? I feel like it’s a rough name), and Juan Pablo himself, did any of you, beloved readers, think that we’d be watching Joe rise to true villain status? JOE? Here we are, beloved readers; we are living in the darkest timeline.
Mikey and Ashley I. start this week licking their wounds because both of their imaginary significant others are going off on a date together today. Mikey’s level of delusion is just adorable. “When she said she wanted to keep things open, I took that to mean that she wanted to take things slow.” Well, sure, anything can mean anything if you take it to mean something that it doesn’t mean. “When my supervisor said I was fired, I took that to mean apricot unicorn Doubletree Hotel.” Could Mikey take home this season’s Oh, Honey trophy?
Instead of sun-poisoning-fueled delusion, Ashley I. is focusing her sadness into her ageist hatred of Clare. Clare is a fucking cougar, according to Ashley I., and all she has is her sex appeal … wait, what part of this is supposed to be an insult?
Clare and Jared head off to their sailboat date, and SURPRISE! It’s a bungee-jump date! Why do white people do these things? This sounds like a terrible idea for a date, but here we are. Clare hasn’t felt the comfort of a man in a long time, and she lets Jared calm her down when she is super-scared, with good reason, to jump off a cliff with a stranger strapped to her. Jared plants one right on her to shut her up and they jump to their demis— er … into the arms of love? The way Clare was shrieking, you’d think she was strapped in at the crotch. Clare is all in on Jared. More on that later.
Now, Joe is putting on a show, acting like he likes Juelia, but unfortunately, that would require his mouth and his brain to get involved, and he just can’t stop himself from talking about Samantha to everyone he’s with. Also, he can’t make himself actually stand near or be physically close to Juelia. Did I say putting on a show? I meant doing actually the exact opposite of putting on a show, and the other bangtestants are starting to notice. More on that later.
Tenley finds herself juggling Joshua, a guy she really likes, and J “I always take bitches on dates to P.F. Chang's” J, a guy she tricked into liking her. If that doesn’t describe everyone’s high-school dating experience, then you haven’t lived. A boat-shoe-wearing wrench is thrown into Tenley’s love triangle with the arrival of Michael, a castoff from Desiree’s season. He came here for one thing: Tenley.
In the words of Patrick Verona from 10 Things I Hate About You: “What is it with this girl? Does she have beer-flavored nipples?”
He says she’s not a Tenley to him, but an Elevenley. He should go home for that right there.
There’s three extra guys now, and you can feel the guys who aren’t paired up starting to freak out even more than last week: Jonathon, Mikey, J “My tattoo means ‘integrity’ in Japanese” J. Michael is a Notre Dame grad and a corporate lawyer; he’s a real threat. Michael arrives with a date card and takes Tenley on a date to a slightly flooded restaurant, and they dance to a mariachi band. So far we haven’t seen any gross cultural appropriation, and the mariachi band has 879 members, so Bachelor in Paradise is supporting the arts.
Clare tells Jared that the date rocked her world and she’s really into him, but she wants to figure out what his intentions are. Jared says, “Well, you’re eight years older than me.” If this were a movie, we would get a rack-focus shot on Clare. You know, one of the ones where it zooms in on their face but the background zooms out? Because the character’s world is falling apart?
Jared doesn’t know what he wants, so he wants to keep exploring. If I could play armchair psychiatrist, and I will because this is my recap, Jared is still getting over Kaitlyn (and it certainly doesn’t help when Ashley I. brings up how well he kissed Kaitlyn), and he is gun-shy and doing that thing where you don’t get too involved with anyone else. Baby is hurting.
At the cocktail party, the Plan To Tell Juelia That Joe Is a Total Jerk (PTTJTJTJ) goes into action. Jonathon takes Juelia aside for Phase 1 and asks if Joe feels the same way about her that he does, and the answer is, “NO, DEAR GOD, NO,” but she says, “Yeah we’re totally in lurve.”
Then Phase 2 is Juelia confronting Joe. Somewhere in the bushes, Jonathon and Mikey are watching eagerly and smirking. Mikey is wearing a Sherlock Holmes hat. Unfortunately, Joe has finally trained his brain to lie, and he says he didn’t touch or hug her after their date because he didn’t want to smother her. And then Joe goes in for the kill and kisses Juelia. He’s willing to do anything to stay. “I give zero fucks. Just gimme that rose.” Yikes.
Mikey confronts Joe, and Jonathon confronts Joe, and Joe somehow makes Jonathon cry. Like, REALLY cry. It’s uncomfortable to watch someone get so manipulated by Joe. Joe has Jonathon apologizing for betraying a friend and questioning his own character. Joe tells Jonathon that his son would be proud of him for apologizing. Oh my God. Joe is an evil mastermind.
It’s time for the Rose Ceremony, and Clare has a series of outbursts because she doesn’t think anyone here is really ready to find love. Jade says that Clare “won’t find love on another Bachelor franchise after this,” which, for this program … is a real dig.
After the usual couples give out their roses, Supreme Goddess Ashley S. & Dan, Tanner & Jade, Carly & Kirk, Tenley chooses … Joshua!
When it’s Clare’s turn to give out her rose, she storms off with Host Chris behind her. All the guys start laughing, “Oooh, someone isn’t getting enough attention!” That ain’t good.
But we’ll find out if any of the male bangtestants want to accept Clare’s rose next week, because we’re hit with a TO BE CONTINUED …