Oh, for Christ's sake. Are they screwing with us? Have the Bachelor overlords finally dropped the charade that Bachelor in Paradise is for aspiring Instagram celebrities to find love, and merely exists so we can watch a bunch of white people cry over some nonsense? I feel like this is a trick and I do not like these riddles and games, ABC. So what epic holleration and hateration in this dancery do we have to sit through tonight? Ah yes, the return of Ashley I., a woman who sets a limit of how many times she's going to cry in a 15-day period. Goody.
Ashley I. lets us know that she's not only still completely obsessed with Jared, but it's because they've had a bizarre on-again, off-again relationship in which two full-grown adults got to second base. Ashley is hypothetically prepared for Jared to be with another girl. It's an intellectual and philosophical reality she's prepared for. Someone told Ashley I. about the multiverse and she was like, "Oh, that's like how Jared could be interested in someone else. I get it." Then she wrote her own speculative Bachelor in Paradise fiction. She walks down to the paradise poolside and announces to Jared, "Don't kill me!" This is how all great romances begin.
After Jared gives a couple Jim Halpert takes to the camera, Ashley I. takes him aside to figure out what exactly is going on between them because Ashley I. definitely sees a spark in his eye. That spark is sheer terror. Jared tells her that he's really interested in Caila. Ashley I. turns into a pillar of salt and blows away into the ocean. She decides the best course of action is to talk to Caila, and she's going to be completely reasonable and accept whatever Caila says at face value. Apparently, Caila told Ashley I. she wasn't interested in Jared and wasn't going to do paradise, and then immediately bought a ticket to Mexico and hid Jared in a nest in her hair. Caila says that she didn't mean to hurt Ashley I. when she did a thing that people who don't watch Bachelor in Paradise and don't speak English know would hurt her. I'm not buying it Caila, but that's okay. I'm here for people doing shady-ass shit to get that D, even if it belongs to Jared.
I will pay someone $20,000 to explain to me the appeal of Jared. I just don't get it. Every moment that goes by, he seems to be shallower and not that smart. So someone, please explain it.
Ashley I. doesn't need to call Caila "a backstabbing whore of a friend." That's just out of line. She still has this date card to contend with and the other ladytestants suggest taking Daniel out because he's young, dumb, and full of … bon mots. She goes out to dinner with Daniel, who goes on and on about how he's willing to deflower her with his Canadian bacon if she wants it. I don't know if any of you have had a guy talk about how he wants to take your virginity, but it's awful. It's quite possibly the worst way a man can express his interest in a woman. What's even weirder and grosser is the people dressed in (probably not authentic) Aztec ceremonial dress who storm the restaurant to tell Ashley I. that they're here to "sacrifice a virgin" in English. Someone needs to get fired. I don't care which head has to roll, but I bet it belongs to some white producer who says things like, "You can't own a culture."
The next day in paradise, Ashley I. is lying in her bed, full-on weeping. I'm talking Dothraki-widow-at-her-khal's-funeral weeping. Caila sits nearby, feeling sorry while tiny birds braid her hair. Wait, how did Ashley I. get back to the resort? Anyway, it's time for another ladytestant to arrive in Paradise and — OH SHIT, it's Jen … wait … who? Apparently she was on Ben's season and she's super-pretty. Every guy can sense her pheromones and wants to make her theirs. After sitting down with a couple of the guys, Jen settles on this season's runner-up sad-sack, Nick, to be her date. They go on a yacht and say what they like about each other even though they just met 20 minutes ago.
While on the beach, Nick and Jen start to make out in the sand and surf, but find themselves under siege by a swarm of crabs. They fight off the hordes of crabs and find solace in each other's arms as they look upon the death and destruction they've wrought. (Their date was really boring. That's all I got.)
Evan continues to be the goddamn worst and a medic in a white coat tells him that he's got to go to the hospital to check on his "ankles." He asks Carly to ride in the ambulance with him and she agrees for reasons I cannot fathom. Somehow, his ankle malady means he has to have his blood drawn and there's way too much blood on his arm for just a simple blood draw. At the hospital, Carly and Evan finally bond. It only took faking several illnesses and putting himself in a position to be pitied to spark the rebirth of their relationship.
Carly, you're looking way too desperate and thirsty. You're cute. You're bright. You deserve better than reluctantly falling in love at a Mexican urgent-care center. That tingly feeling you're feeling? That's not love. That's staph. Is Evan worth it?
No. No, he's not.
It's time for the rose ceremony and Host Chris announces that they're going to have a little cocktail party. Sarah assesses the potential damage: she could go home, along with Ashley I. and the Twins. But if that happens, who will get wasted and eat bananas in public? Who will weep uncontrollably at the drop of a hat?
Jared is nervous that Caila will hold back because she doesn't want to make Ashley I. feel uncomfortable, despite doing the exact things that would make Ashley I. uncomfortable. Jared sits Ashley I. down and tries to talk some sense into an unreasonable object. He reminds her that she could be dating other guys and she knows that but whyyyyy won't you just be with me.
Has someone introduced Evan and Ashley? I feel like their mutual confusion about what love is and what the word "deserve" means would really bring them close together.
The best part of this segment of the Ashley I. saga is Nick telling her, "Nooo … nooo … that's not love," and when she whines, "You can't tell me that!" Nick just goes, "Yeah. I can. It's not."
Listen to your elders, Ashley I.