Bachelor in Paradise
Last week, I went off on how subpar the men are this season. These women are sitting on a beach in Mexico, stuck deciding whether to give their roses to someone who goes by Tickle Monster or Blake. Could no one else get time off work? Seriously? I’d take a Josiah or a Kenny. WHERE IS KENNY? My kingdom for a Kenny. But this week, something else has become painfully obvious.
The women also suck. Their main pastime is forcing JACK STONE to make out with them. Oh, but before they make out with him, they all tell him that Christen said he was a bad kisser. And let me just say — this whole scallop thing isn’t as goddamn funny as everyone thinks it is. It’s not a fun nickname when the person you’re referring to doesn’t know they have a cute nickname. If they don’t know, you’re just behaving like eighth graders, giving yourselves cootie shots before you use the same water fountain as the unpopular girl. And it bears repeating, this whole scallop story is not as cute as they all think it is. It’s not even medium funny. Watching Wells tell the story to Christen was a full-body cringe. You can pinpoint the moment when he realizes that it was a bad idea to keep on telling the story. If Raven and Jasmine and everyone else thinks it’s so funny, they should have to tell Christen and quit toasting “to scallops!” They also aren’t making a good case for themselves when NO ONE is trying to get with Ben Z.
Also, I’m going to go out there on a limb and agree with Kristina. Danielle L. was trippin’ when it came to Dean and Kristina was right to be mad at her. Look, look. I’m not saying it’s her fault or she caused anything to happen. But Kristina definitely has a right to be mad at her ass. Danielle L. knew what was going on and she probably knew what Dean was telling Kristina. She saw them go to bed together and wake up together the next morning. If Danielle L. wanted to be on the level with this whole thing, she could have said, “I can see you’ve got something going on with Kristina, don’t come trying to cuddle up on me until you deal with her,” and then stick to it. She doesn’t need to be kissing on Dean until she knew they were exclusive and he had turned down Kristina. It certainly could have forced Dean’s hand one way or another because it becomes very obvious in this episode that as long as he could get away with leading both of them on, he was going to do it. Take away his toys and he’ll stop playing around.
The main drama in this episode is Dean finally finding out that Kristina was watching him and Danielle L. kissing in the pool. How do you know Dean is on some fuckboy shit? His first reaction is to ask Robby, “Why didn’t you take her down to the beach?” Or maybe don’t make out with Danielle L. in public! It’s not Robby’s responsibility to make sure Kristina doesn’t see you making out with someone else. Dean tries to apologize to Kristina by telling her that he’s being honest with his feelings and he’s not trying to blatantly disrespect her. Oh, only subtly disrespect her. Dean is under the impression that if he says, “I’m just being honest,” it frees him from any of the emotional consequences.
Kristina just needs to move on. He’s not going to wake up and realize how amazing you are and want to be with you. You’re in a lawless hedonistic paradise nation-state. If he wanted to be with you, he would.
As if this episode couldn’t get any more emotionally draining, Blake arrives. He looks like a thumb. This dummy looks like a straight-up thumb. Who put him on their “interested in” form because they need to speak up right now. He shows up like a Tinder glitch. You know you didn’t match with him but he’s sending you lots of messages. Then Freddy arrives. Aww, guys, I just want Freddy to be happy. He’s very cute and seems like a normal guy. That’s where the bar is this season. They both have date cards and Blake has trouble finding anyone who will go on a date with him. Freddy immediately asks Dominique out and she says yes. Blake winds up getting a yes out of Christen and boy is he in for a cold afternoon. They go on a boat for a thrill ride and Christen’s contacts fly out of her eyes. Blake ends up sitting on a dock while she tries to put her contacts back in with mascara running down her face. Christen seems to get a bad rap from the women and she certainly doesn’t deserve all the teasing and bullying she gets, but MAN is she a piece of work.
Host Chris comes in and says that there won’t be any more new arrivals and the audience does a collective eye roll like Diggy’s perfect eye roll when Blake came in. The rose ceremony is tonight because the production only booked the resort for a certain number of days and they’ve got to get out of there on time or they don’t get their deposit back. He also gives Robby a date card and he picks Amanda. They go to a little fun fair in town and he says in voice-over that he wants to be a young parent so Amanda’s kids will do. Maybe if they have a child, they’ll name it “Sponsored Post.”
It’s time for the rose ceremony and Ben Z. decides to leave. I am bereft. I am hollow. Why even go on? Couldn’t one of these women could get moist for Ben “Poor Man’s Jacked Jon Hamm” Z? Does the Z stand for “Zaddy?” I guess we’ll never know.
Christen has to decide between JACK STONE, Blake, and Tickle Monster … and she also reveals she thinks mahi mahi is a crustacean. I do not get her. Danielle asks Dean, if Kristina gave him her rose, would he accept it? He says that it’s not fair to jerk either of them around so he’s going all in on Danielle. That’s all he wanted, right? Permission to be with Danielle with Kristina as a safety net and now that he’s pissed Kristina off, why bother with the charade?
Kristina tells him that he’s choosing to go after a girl and not a woman and Kriiiiiiissssssttttttiiiiiiiiinnnnnnnnnnaaaaa, just give it up, girl. You can’t convince him and you don’t know someone like this. Dean can’t manage to sit up straight any time you’ve talked to him about this. He hides behind 13 pillows like he lives in the Big Comfy Couch. You’re better off without him, girlfriend.
Then Kristina tries to sit down with Raven, who attempts to put things in perspective and tells her not to blame Danielle. She shouldn’t blame her, but she can definitely be mad at her. Kristina blows up and tells Raven that she isn’t a real friend because she hasn’t talked to her in days. All of this is exhausting and it’s not even the rose ceremony yet. I’m only a couple years older than everyone involved, but my God, I can’t watch these white children anymore.
Lacey gives her rose to Daniel and I’m happy those two personifications of “white mediocrity” have found each other. Taylor and Derek are still going strong (and according to some reports, engaged? Spoiler alert for their lives, I guess). Amanda gives her rose to Robby and Raven gives hers to Adam. Dominique picks Diggy, then Jasmine picks Tickle Monster in a confusing twist. Christen gives her rose to JACK STONE, putting an end to the world’s most boring love square.
Instead of giving out her rose, Kristina chooses to leave. Good. Go home and go to bed. Dean walks her out and he whispers that he hates himself and that he’s sorry. TOO LITTLE, TOO LATE, DEANIE BABY!
That frees him up to have Danielle’s rose and I just want one “end of The Graduate shot” of the two of them together.
Tomorrow, we have the return of the Twins, another thing that is not that goddamn funny but ABC keeps insisting it is.
Note: This season of Bachelor in Paradise was shut down for “allegations of misconduct” involving Corinne Olympios and DeMario Jackson. After a Warner Bros. investigation found no evidence of misconduct, production resumed. Vulture will continue recapping the season while providing resources for survivors of sexual harassment and assault.
I will be donating a portion of my writing fee to survivors of sexual assault. Join me this week by donating to RAINN. If you or someone you know has been affected by sexual assault or harassment, please call 800.656.HOPE (4673) to be connected with RAINN’s network of service providers.