There was something sweeping over Paradise. Something deep and primal. Between Jordan’s expressive pleas for love and Kevin talking openly about going to therapy, I can safely say — THIS. IS. MY. KINK. This is what I want to see on television: Men in tank tops talking about their feelings. Men with stubble giving sensual kisses on a beach while discussing their mental health. I think I’m … having fun?!?!?! Have I been duped by Paradise? Am I sympathizing with the toxic forces in my life? It’s not all fun and shirtless guys flopping around with feelings. Have you ever watched a man try to make a moral stand while standing up to his nipples in a pool? You can’t take an ethical and moral stand while bobbing up and down in an infinity pool. Your moral stand can’t also be based on an anti-tattling stance. For every Kevin trying to work through his feelings, there’s a Leo.
God. Damn. Leo.
This motherfucker. UGH. CAN WE NOT? I take back everything I ever said about him during The Bachelorette. I was definitely duped by his hair and his eyebrows. Those eyebrows … No! Stay strong! He’s GARBAGE. He’s not smart enough to trick Kendall into buying his line of bullshit but he thinks he is. That’s the worst type of man: one who thinks he’s smart. There are men who know they’re smart; there are men who are smart. And then there’re men who think they’re smart. They’re the ones you have to look out for. Let’s get into it.
Astrid starts the day by going “Let’s find out whose life is getting ruined today.”
Everyone is waking up in the morning and HOLD ON. Benoit and Jenna’s date was last night in the timeline of the show? It feels like this Jenna and Jordan have been having drama for approximately three years. Without the Colton and Tia will-they-won’t-they, Bachelor in Paradise is going to stretch any little piece of drama for all it’s worth.
Also, every time they showed Tia, that bitch was ASLEEP. She’s been drained of the anxiety surrounding her relationship with Colton and the only thing left to do is nap. She doesn’t have to stay awake and stay vigilant.
Jenna takes each guy aside and when she tells Jordan she has to go talk to Benoit, he assumes that she’s going to tell Benoit that she’s ending it. She never said that, Jordan, and she’s certainly not coming up between very hot makeouts with Benoit to tell him that.
Meanwhile, Chris and Krystal are spooning on an old tire while Chris compliments her butt. Chris is feeling like something can stop their relationsh— Oh no, it’s Connor. Krystal starts doing lip trills to warm up her sexy baby voice. Krystal came to Paradise to meet Connor. Sure, she told Chris earlier that she’s into him and he interpreted that to mean she wouldn’t accept a date with anyone else. That was before she was reminded that Connor existed.
Krystal goes back and forth between accepting the date from Connor but she looks deep into his abs and says yes. WHAT WAS THIS DATE? Krystal and Connor get buried up to their necks and some sort of indigenous religious ceremony is performed over them. Then Connor growls at Krystal and they make out and he carries her into the ocean. I mean my boyfriend and I did the same thing on our second date but … that was a second date. Connor and Krystal return to Paradise smiling and making out. Chris tries to take Krystal aside and Connor follows them. How are you gonna take some other guy’s girl on a date and then try to crash their emotional post-date conversation? That’s a chaotic neutral move.
Jordan decides the best plan of action is to confront Benoit. Someone help me do the math on this. He keeps telling Benoit that the words don’t match the actions. I mean, Benoit’s words are matching his actions.
Before the night ends, Kenny sits down with Anneliese and tells her that he can’t miss his daughter’s dance recital. I’m not crying. Anneliese is crying. The love of her life (that she started dating yesterday) is leaving and she’s BEREFT. But she doesn’t have to wait long because Kunil arrives in Paradise the next morning and Anneliese is finally seeing someone she’s interested in (besides Jordan and Kenny). Anneliese is able to convince herself that whoever she’s looking at is the actual love of her life.
Kunil asks Anneliese on his date and they drive an ATV across a rickety bridge. This bitch had a breakdown due to bumper car–related anxiety, but she can drive the Nomad from Mass Effect: Andromeda across a rope bridge? SURE. She also says that they’re probably the strongest couple in Paradise and it’s been the longest time she’s since felt these giddy feelings for a guy. SURE.
Also, somewhere in there, John tells Jubilee that he’s not feeling her so she leaves. You’re telling me that we lost footage of the purest relationship between two weirdos who are both POC for WHAT? Another confessional of Chris doing an extended goose metaphor.
The next meltdown is Kevin. He tries to tell Astrid that their relationship is going too smoothly, and it would be easier for him to feel comfortable if she had gone out with a few guys before him or since they’ve met. If you think about the fact that his last relationship ended because they met on a dating reality show and she was possibly trying to rekindle something with someone else while they were together, his meltdown makes the tiniest bit more sense. Plus, anyone who finds themselves in a healthy relationship after dealing with bullshit can have a bit of a “when is the other shoe going to drop” meltdown. But that’s Kevin’s issue to sort through. He does admit that he has no one to talk to about it so he tried to talk to Astrid. He’s normally in therapy twice a week but here, there’s only Wells and Yuki. That’s not an emotional support system. Astrid genuinely seems to appreciate him and they walk away feeling better. Damn, who expected emotional growth and honesty on Bachelor in Parad—
AW FUCK. IT’S LEO.
Is there anything else to say about Leo? Kevin slips up and tells Kendall that Leo kissed Chelsea and Kendall is hurt. Kevin thought since Leo was telling everyone about it that Kendall knew. Kendall did not know. She did not.
Kendall lets Leo know that kissing Chelsea isn’t okay when he’s telling Kendall that he’s all-in for her which is totally reasonable and a fair response. Instead of apologizing to Kendall, Leo storms around yelling things like “A KISS IS LIKE A HANDSHAKE IN PARADISE.” First of all, no.
His next plan is to find “the rat.” No one ratted you out, you fucking idiot. Kevin just assumed you were upfront about your bullshit. Leo keeps complaining loudly about a tattletale. If you’re calling other adults “tattletales,” you’re not emotionally prepared to kiss other people. Kevin decides to put an end to Leo’s pouting and just tell him he let it slip. Leo is more upset that he didn’t get to tell Kendall on his terms. Read: never.
That night, Kendall sits down with Leo to talk about his “behavior.” Leo gives the following excuses/explanations:
• You ruined my day. (Emotionally abusive)
• You weren’t divulging your other relationship. (Lie)
• You’re a great actress. (Emotionally abusive)
• I want you to be happy. (Lie)
• I have no idea how you’re still single. (What the fuck even is this one?)
• I care about you. (Lie)
I’m going to show this exchange to my writing students as an example of changing tactics to get what you want. She isn’t guilted by your day being ruined? Tell her you want her to be happy. That doesn’t work? Accuse her of faking your connection. That doesn’t work? Tell her she’s amazing and Arie was an idiot.
After listening to Kendall be on the verge of tears for what I can only assume is hours, Joe steps in. This prompted a 45-minute argument between me and my boyfriend over who would be better in a fight. My boyfriend has his money on South Side Italian Chicago strength.
To be continued …