How dare literally everyone do this? How dare Chris Harrison! How dare Jorge the bartender! How dare Mikey! How dare Kirk!
How. Dare. Kirk.
But most of all, how dare ABC? How dare ABC make me feel actual real feelings for a bangtestant — no. Not today. Today, they are people. Oh, that feels weird. My heart broke about 800 times for Carly. Every excruciating second focused on her Kewpie-doll face made me feel real feelings. My real human feelings have been MIA since a guy texted me “I’m in an It’s Complicated with someone and I have to see how this goes. Also, I might be moving to New York in three weeks” as a response to me asking him on a date. My feelings are like restaurant chain Red Barn — shut down. But the plight of dear, sweet Carly turned them back on.
The episode begins with Ashley I. using sex as a ploy to get Jared to like her. Listen, let’s be real for a second. The concept of virginity is an outdated one. It’s a holdover from when you promised your comeliest daughter to the son of the man with the strongest army in case the Saxons invaded, and then you delivered whatever daughter wasn’t currently picking wheat in the fields with a bag over her head so by the time they realized which daughter was being offered, you were already riding off with the calvary. For a lot of women, losing your virginity is not that big of a deal. It’s perfectly okay if a woman wants to have sex to “just get it over with” or because sex is fun and she just wants to have it.
Ashley I. is not that woman, and when you aren’t that woman, you probably shouldn’t be having sex on a TV show to make a guy like you. Could everyone who lost their virginity to someone to make them like you … and who is still with that person raise your hand? That’s what I thought. At the beginning of this episode, I was just sitting there going, “Does Jared even like her?”
While Ashley I. and Jared are possibly re-creating Desdemona’s handkerchief (THE STRAWBERRIES ON A WHITE BACKGROUND ARE A METAPHOR FOR THE SHEDDING OF BLOOD DURING A DEFLOWERING. LITERATURE!), the rest of the bangtestants are milling around talking about how in love they are. I sat on my couch muttering, “Famous last words.”
Juelia telling the bartender, “I have this guy I really trust and adore; all is well in paradise.” Famous. Last. Words. Mikey pulls her aside and breaks up with her. BOOM.
Ashley I. saying, “I’m a virgin because I was waiting for the right guy, for true love; Jared may be that guy.” Famous. Last. Words. The next morning, Jared takes her aside and breaks up with her. BOOM.
Carly saying — No! I can’t deal with that yet. It’s too raw.
I have to get to it soon. The biggest and baddest breakup of the season. Maybe we should just do some bullet points so we can get through this episode.
- Jaclyn is still holding onto her date card. She asks Justin and his perfectly round nipples on a date, but he immediately rescinds his Yes when Cassandra shows up.
- Cassandra is the last of the new arrivals and she bonds with Justin because they both have kids. Cassandra says, “I’ve been looking for a guy like Justin forever.” Um … you met him an hour ago.
- Nick decides he is entitled to Jaclyn’s date card to ask out Samantha — wait, WHAT? HER AGAIN? — and because he humiliated Jaclyn’s friend on Bachelor Pad, Jaclyn makes him roll around in the sand. Over everyone involved here.
- Carly says Samantha’s personality is terrible.
- Ashley I. wears a tank top that says “I’M A KIM.” I understand that the KIM is Kim Kardashian but what are the other options? Like if you say “I’M A CARRIE” the other options are MIRANDA, CHARLOTTE, SAMANTHA because they all represent archetypes. What is the opposite of a KIM? A TAYLOR? A LENA? A BEA ARTHUR?
- Nick calls Samantha “a very beautiful thing.” Bachelor in Paradise: Where the men are men and the women are objects!
- Chris Harrison cancels the cocktail party. Who cares, bruh?
Time for the rose ceremony.
Kirk offers his rose to Carly and says, “Every rose up to this point has meant something and we have something good, I so badly want it to be her.” ARGH. ARGH. ARGH.
Tanner gives his rose to Jade. Nick gives his to Samantha. Justin gives a rose to Tenley and Justin gives his to Cassandra. Dan was going to pick Samantha and, despite doing nothing but Nice Guy maneuvers, hasn’t shown any real interest in her. So he eliminates himself and just walks out without saying anything to anyone. Bye, Trent. Then sweet, simple Mikey offers his rose to Mackenzie and she says no because they’ve spent zero time together. Mikey leaves.
We lose a whole group of lady bangtestants. What’s the word for a group of lady bangtestants? A pride? A gaggle? A mimosa? Yes. A mimosa. We lose a whole mimosa of lady bangtestants. I’m going to be honest. There were a couple ladies in there I didn’t even recognize. Bye, Jaclyn. Bye, Mackenzie. Bye … I want to say … Brandy? Bye, Brandy. I hope you find love someday.
The next morning, the remaining couples find out that they’re going to be having a romantic all-day date and spending the night in a fantasy suite. Kirk decides that this is the best moment to “have a discussion” (read: break up) with Carly. I don’t think there is a worse moment than immediately after giving a woman a symbol of your affection and commitment.
Kirk sits down with Carly and tells her that he simply isn’t right there with Carly and her feelings and lets her know that he’s been faking it for about a week now. Carly, rightly, has a huge emotional reaction, doesn’t want to talk to Kirk, and wants to leave.
Kirk? Kirk can’t handle that. He wants to have a “conversation” with Carly and finally remarks how terrible everything went when she refuses to speak to him. I actually really literally did a spit take in my apartment when Kirk said that.
If I could be serious again for a moment — I can? Because I’m writing this and have total control? Great. Breakups suck. They are difficult, painful, awkward, and the goddamn worst. What they are not is a conversation. When someone insists on having a conversation about something they’ve decided about the future of your relationship, they don’t want a conversation. They want to talk at you until you agree that what they’re saying makes sense, that you shouldn’t be so emotional about it, and that they’re not the bad guy. That’s not a conversation. That’s a sales pitch, and the thing that they’re selling is bullshit. People who do this tend to hide behind “But I’m being honest!” As if honesty were a magic wand that renders people’s feelings dormant. Just wave your “honesty” and shout “Vale adfectus!” (Latin for “Good-bye, feelings!”) Kirk is a jerk more concerned with looking like the good guy than respecting what Carly wants or how she feels. How dare you, ABC. How dare you make me feel real feelings and type non-snarky words about your nightmare show. But I’ll be damned if you didn’t edit the hell out of this one. We all thought it was Tanner and Jade breaking up, didn’t we?