Bachelor in Paradise Recap: Listen to the Haters

Bachelor in Paradise

Episode Nine
Season 3 Episode 9
Editor’s Rating *****
Lauren Himle, Brett Melnick. Photo: Rick Rowell/ABC

I’m back, my adoring fans! (What would be a good name for people in the Ali Barthwell fandom? Ali-Cats? Vote in the comments, please.) I hope everyone had fun with Kathryn yesterday, but Mama is back! And wow, everything really went to hell while I was gone. This is like when you put out a bowl of Halloween candy on your front porch, then come back to see your Prius was stolen by some little degenerates.

Let’s talk about the incomprehensible disaster: Caila and Jared’s early departure from Paradise. I mean, I get it but I also don’t get it. Caila had a conversation with human-brick-wall Ashley I. at the end of Monday’s episode and it didn’t go swimmingly. Caila is fed up, which is pretty understandable at this point, especially since Jared runs to Ashley every time she’s upset and lets her cry directly into his mouth. Caila thinks it’ll just be too hard to have a relationship while Ashley hides around the corner, twirling the ends of her fake eyelashes like a Rocky and Bullwinkle villain. Jared asks Caila if she wants him to go with her. She basically responds, “IDK my BFF Jill.”

Jared says he needs a little time to think about this and maybe talk to Ashley — and oh! — Caila is getting up to go like right now. She’s actively downloading podcasts on her phone right now. Ashley continues to insist that Caila is the type of girl who thrives on attention and doesn’t see the irony as thick as her foundation. Also, some members of Bachelor Nation have noted that Ashley’s accusations hit on some really unfortunate stereotypes of Asian-Americans and Asians: that they’re devious and can’t be trusted, that they’re emotionless and hard to read, and then there’s the way Ashley makes fun of Caila’s smile, particularly her eyes and nose.

Given all that, along with Ashley’s insistence that she’s just looking out for Jared’s best interests, how she thinks it’s unfair that the guy she likes doesn’t like her back, and “the world needs a Jared,” I think it’s safe to say that Ashley is the female version of a Nice Guy. She makes his rejection about how everyone and everything works against her. She twists it all to fit this idea that nothing ever works out for her. In Ashley’s eyes, the woman Jared does like becomes a horrible monster. She’s a lady fedora.

After Ashley cries at him, Jared decides this ain’t worth it and he chases after Caila’s SUV and hops in with her. He doesn’t have any of his stuff, but it doesn’t matter because he’s got the affection of a girl he met like four days ago.

A storm is brewing as Wells and Jami come back from their date. Ashley stares daggers at them and takes Wells aside in an attempt to lock her teeth into his back to claim him as her prey. She’s trying really hard to not show her irrational side and that’s apparently very attractive to Wells. He has to decide between Jami and Ashley. This will get worse before it gets better.

The next morning, Lauren H. arrives! Izzy smartly recognizes that she’s got real potential to break up a couple: She’s a conventionally pretty white woman with no real discernible personality. She’s the ultimate threat. Brett said she looks scrumptious and I vomited. Also arriving to Paradise is Shushanna, the sexy Russian woman from Ben’s season who only spoke Russian. She’s decided to speak English in Paradise and all the girls call her “Shu,” which is cute. She’s also so incredibly forward and I’m not even mad about it. She has her eyes set on Wells, for some reason. I mean, he’s cute and all, but we don’t need to do all this.

Lauren H. and Shu have a double-date card and they ask Brett and Wells because they want to see the world burn. Three women will be left back at the resort to stare into the distance forlornly. The widow’s walk sure is getting crowded. Izzy, Jami, and Ashley commiserate that guys they’ve known for upwards of one day decided to go out with other women.

The double-date gang go surfing. Lauren H. is excited for the possibility to find love in Mexico … in the final three days. Wells is just trying his hardest not to call Shu “Jami” or “Ashley.” Brett thinks that Lauren H. is pretty and easy to talk to. That’s like the bare minimum for a relationship, but who cares, these two crazy kids make out on the beach. Wells calls Shu a “sexy Bond villain” and he doesn’t know if she’s going to kill him or rip his clothes off, which I personally hated. This show always reveals new and amazing ways men can talk about women that make my skin crawl! They make out on the beach anyway.

Next horrifying disaster: Carly gives Evan a boner that they have to block out with a giant black box. It is the worst thing to ever happen to me.

In another completely unrelated nightmare-scape, Josh and Amanda are lying around while she stares longingly into his eyes and he stares back into hers, trying to think of new ways to control the information she’s receiving. Amanda is still trying to process that her best friends, women she thinks of like sisters, think her new boyfriend is a snake in the grass.

Let’s all just say it: Amanda is acting foolishly. At this point, she’s had way too many people tell her that Josh is a bad dude. She has to stop ignoring that warning. Or rather, she’s got to stop asking Josh to defend himself. He’s a deft deflector and she needs to actually process information rather than ask him, “Someone said you were mean. Do you agree?” When I broke up with my college boyfriend because he cheated on me, my three closest girlfriends all said, “I never knew what you saw in him.” I don’t know what I would have done, but I would have liked to know that information earlier. AMANDA HAS THAT INFORMATION.

And that’s where Bachelor in Paradise is messing up. They keep putting Amanda, a young single mother who admits to falling for the wrong guys, in situations that romanticize an alleged emotional abuser, who is (1) quite older and more experienced than her, and (2) isn’t interested in changing or owning up to his mistakes. Every criticism or concern raised about Josh is apparently the fault of “haters.” In his eyes, it’s simple: “No matter what, people are always going to try to tear you down.” No, Josh, they’re not. No one has this many haters. Whatever, they go on a date and watch some fireworks and fuck this story line.

When the double-date gang comes back, Jami and Ashley go on the offensive to win Wells over by throwing their mouths on his mouth. Shu is planning some sort of sexy espionage. She’s not threatened one bit. I think I love her. I know I’d definitely love her if she were wearing a bejeweled eye-patch.

Oh also, Nick Viall will be the next Bachelor. Thanks for spoiling next week’s finale, ABC!

Bachelor in Paradise Recap: Listen to the Haters