Bachelor in Paradise Season-Finale Recap: Hand in Hand

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Photo: Paul Hebert/ABC
Bachelor in Paradise

Bachelor in Paradise

Episode 9 Season 4 Episode 9
Editor's Rating 3 stars

Well, there’s that.

All right, all right. I’ll say something about this finale. Here’s something: For a season that managed to stretch out a day of filming over three episodes, why did they smash the finale and the reunion into one episode? I wonder where the decision to have people go home randomly and without ceremony in the afternoon came from? They couldn’t even manage another rose ceremony? It was like host Chris lost a page from the itinerary and skipped a day. A show built on strange ritualistic displays of romance could have figured out a way to get these couples from the daybed to the fantasy suite with some flair. Apparently not.

The episode opens with host Chris telling the denizens of Paradise that they’ve got to ask themselves if this relationship can survive outside of Paradise; if not, there’s the door. A sudden shift to focusing on “love” and “romance” feels a little cheap coming from a show that gave Wells like 30 different puppets and made Christen’s title “Scallop Fingers.” If you choose to stay in Paradise, there’s a romantic date (read: a few crudites in a hotel room) and a fantasy suite. Let’s check in with all the couples left, shall we?

Daniel takes Lacey aside and asks her if she’s ready for the Fourth of July in his pants. Is Daniel real? Is he a real human? He seems incapable of real human interaction. He also seems like someone told him he was funny once in a sarcastic way, but he couldn’t tell it was sarcasm and has been moving through the world thinking he’s a very funny man. AND LACEY THINKS HE’S FUNNY, TOO. You could use Bachelor in Paradise as evidence for how humor is socialized in men and women.

Obvi, Derek and Taylor are going on the date. C’mon now.

Up next is JACK STONE and Christen. He’s saying he wants nothing more than to have a bunch of kids and a wife. He’s ready for Christen to be his wife and she might be the one. He’s kissed Christen about two-and-a-half times, and she’s spent most of her time in Paradise dating other guys and telling everyone he’s a bad kisser. He asks her to leave Paradise hand in hand. Wait … what? Why would your attractive “Stay with me” option ever be “Let’s leave this beautiful, all-expenses-paid Mexican resort?” Christen’s response is, “WE ARE ACQUAINTANCES,” and I’m not mad at her. JACK STONE silently gets up and walks to a waiting SUV. There have been a lot of jokes about him being a serial killer, but this is a pretty good clip for the episode of Snapped based on his life. Christen sheds all her human clothing and walks into the sea. There’s one moment where if you look really closely, you can see her get absolutely wrecked by a wave. Everyone makes “Scallop going back into the sea” jokes.

Adam and Raven are going to the fantasy suite, but Raven is concerned because she’s been to a fantasy suite before and it hasn’t worked out. They gotta have a little romantic turmoil.

Dean takes Danielle aside and uuuuuuugggggggghhhhhhh, he is back on his bullshit. Remember when I said Kristina leaving would ruin it for them? Dean woke up and realized that he loves Kristina and he owes it to Kristina to walk away from Danielle so Dean and Kristina can work on their relationship. Dude, what relationship? She gave you the chance and you picked someone else.

The way Dean talks about Kristina reminds me of something I read about how men approach relationships. A relationship counselor asked a man what he got out of his relationship with a girlfriend who had broken up with him. He could list tons of things: She was kind to him; she took care of him; she cooked; she cleaned; she listened to him; she had sex with him. The counselor asked him what his girlfriend got out of their relationship. His answer?

“I don’t know.”

Dean likes Kristina because of how she makes him feel and all the attention she gives him. So why reciprocate? Why would her decision to leave and cut herself off from his bullshit matter? Why give her any of the things she’d been looking for and only realize it after she’d left?

I don’t know.

Diggy sends home Dominique and tries to keep the relationship going with Jaimi and she’s like, “Nah.” How did we screw up a season of Paradise this bad? Diggy goes home alone. Amanda sits down with Robby and he offers her the final date, and in a rare moment of good judgement, Amanda says she can’t see the relationship working in real life, so they shouldn’t continue together. She slips back into her old patterns when she keeps seeing Robby for a bit after Paradise. She also keeps apologizing to him about her decision.

It’s time for the fantasy suites.

Lacey tells Daniel that she is falling for him, and he tells her that he’s starting to fall for her. You can also tell that Daniel is in no way prepared for human emotion because he’s 32 and asks, “So you mean like change our Facebook statuses? To ‘In a relationship’?” when Lacey talks about a future together. He’d downloaded the “social media” patch when his consciousness was uploaded.

Meanwhile, Taylor does this thing where she explains a simple part of a relationship like it’s something that only applies to her. “We can have more experiences with each other and one of those areas is sex. That means a lot to me.” Yeah, Taylor, it does for everyone. Also, if someone told you they were really excited to “explore the area of sex” with you in a relationship, you’d assume that person was going to skin you, right? She also has a tendency to tell and not show when it comes to how she’s feeling, and again, disguise it as intellectualism. “Derek told me he’s falling in love with me and that makes me excited,” she says in a deadpan.

Raven is still conflicted about whether she’s ready to go to bed with Adam.

It’s time for the reunion! Everyone looks miserable! They rehash some of the less interesting drama (Scallop Fingers was mean) and Dean’s emotional immaturity (he was texting and staying with Kristina and Danielle after the season). They trot out DeMario and Corinne to “clear the air,” and it’s still gross and annoying.

They could just say, “There was no evidence of wrongdoing,” and move on, but continuing to bring it up? Methinks the reality franchise doth protest too much. Corinne seems to be doing much better, and DeMario is DeMario and eager to get some reaction shots during the rest of the reunion.

Also during the reunion, someone messed up and JACK STONE’s occupation or season under his name is listed as “Jack Stone.” JACK STONE from JACK STONE. The show does give us gifts.

Robby and Amanda have broken up because Robby is a piece of shit? He asked Amanda to be his girlfriend, even though that’s not what she said she wanted and they were looking for “different things.” Read: He was caught with another woman. Lacey and Daniel are the next couple to bite the dust. Turns out, he was making it all up for the cameras and told her so. He would go spend time with her in New York and invite Vinny to follow them around. They play a clip of him telling the producers that she likes him more than he likes her, and he didn’t know anyone else could hear. He hadn’t downloaded that patch yet, I guess.

Adam and Raven come out and they’re cuddling. She’s going to meet his parents and they’ve been traveling together. Raven says that everyone deserves an Adam, and he says it’s great to be loved by someone. I’m glad that Adam has finally upgraded himself from a “WHO?” to an “AWW!” Raven surprises him with her family in the audience, and they go to commercial hugging and Adam looking terrified.

Finally, it’s time for Derek and Taylor. They show the footage from the next morning, and Taylor says she managed to take in all of Derek. Bitch, you gotta quit. Derek says he thinks they’re past the honeymoon phase. That’s cute. After Paradise, they spent three weeks together in Seattle and have been trying to spend as much time together as possible.

They talk about their first impressions of each other and they really feel like a couple. Derek delivers a sweet speech that doesn’t start with “You’re beautiful” or “You’re a fun girl,” and all the other cast members seem to realize what’s happening. They all start making faces like they’re witnessing a panda and a golden retriever become friends in real time. Derek gets down on one knee and gives the camera a shot of that Neil Lane box and logo. Taylor says yes! Finally! Some love and romance! They get showered with rose petals.

The show ends with Chris Harrison trying to shout the mandatory messages from ABC over the music and everyone freaking out about the engagement. There is no more perfect image of The Bachelor than Chris Harrison shouting about hurricane relief through rose petals and stupid music.

See you in January for whatshisname’s season.

Bachelor in Paradise Season-Finale Recap: Hand in Hand