Bachelor in Paradise
Haven’t we been through enough? Just as a people? We’ve suffered through so much. Through the emotional turmoil of that skyscraper raccoon. Through whatever the hell Meghan Markle’s dad was doing. Through Cardi B running up on Nicki Minaj. The unrelenting hell that is being alive in 2018. Can’t Bachelor in Paradise give us one goddamn thing?! We’re innocent. What have we done to deserve this? Just one acceptable couple heading into the finale? I take back everything I ever said about Evan’s weird courtship. My kingdom for a Lacey and Danielle. Because THIS? THIS? These three weirdo couples is the best we can do. That’s sad. That’s a goddamn tragedy. But what are we gonna do? We’re going to suffer through it because we’ve come this far. We must see this through. Let’s get into it.
It’s morning in Paradise because time has lost all meaning and the only comfort is the slow, unyielding approach of death. The finish line is just around the corner. It’s the morning after something and everyone is settling into their relationships. There are only a few unattached contestants but the pressure to stick around one more week seems to be gone. Everyone is at relative peace with their fate. A date card shows up and it’s for American Jordan: It’s time to get camera-ready. Oh, for fuck’s sake. We’re gonna have to see this Orlando Zoolander flop around.
Jenna and Jordan head off to their date and they’re greeted by a photographer who might be a Jeremy Piven character from 2005. They’re going to be shooting their engagement photos because the Bachelor cinematic universe loves nothing more than discovering the exact emotional torture that can break someone down. After a few generic shots, the photographer sends them up into a hotel room to put on their real outfits. Jenna is confronted with a wedding dress and she promptly has a meltdown. First of all, who goes to their wedding photos in a fucking wedding dress.
But most of all, watching Jenna in this episode, I realized she’s a person who behaves as if someone has told her over and over that her feelings are a liability and a bother. When she has a feeling, it becomes the biggest heartbreak in the world for her and she’s terrified that her feeling is something she won’t be able to handle and worst of all, it’s going to be something other people around her can’t handle. Oh, dear sweet baby girl. You’re being asked to wear a wedding dress in the ocean with someone who is basically a stranger. Any and all feelings are expected and accepted.
I think I’m rooting for Jordan and Jenna. Help …
Once they come back from their engagement shoot date, there’s a new arrival! OH SHIT IT’S ROBBY. Who wants him here? We’re not doing failed athletes anymore. We’re only interested in ex-social-media participants. GET HIM OUT OF HERE. Jordan is immediately on edge. There’s another Hair out there. Robby has a date card and approximately zero options. Robby takes the girls aside and they’re all committed to their Paradise beaus. Most of them aren’t willing to go out with Robby because he’s a cheater and 65 percent plastic. There is one woman who is completely unable to read social cues who is willing to entertain hanging out with Robby. Shushanna! What better way to rebound from setting a photo of someone on fire than going on a date with someone with flammable hair! I mean … who gives a shit right? They go on the most boring date of all time where Robby says that he had a little stint with Amanda and they both realized their relationship wouldn’t work. UH. OKAY DUDE. He’s looking for a fresh start and Shu is just gullible enough to give it to him. She believes him. For literally no reason. He’s just a white man with an expensive haircut but give him the benefit of the doubt, I guess!
Everyone is just enjoying their night in coupled-up bliss when Joe and Kendall are joking around and Joe mentions that he might be willing to propose to her. She keeps telling him that he’s not serious. Joe knows that they have something special and maybe he’s not going to propose at the end of Paradise but that’s something he sees in their future. Kendall keeps insisting that they avoid serious conversations and Joe says no, you do that. Remember that.
Kendall heads to bed in a stupor. Joe can sense somewhere deep down in his soul that something is wrong. Joe is right.
It’s time for the rose ceremony. Olivia is the only one with an open rose so it’s up to Diggy and John to win her over. I gotta ask something — is John more charming … in person? Because Diggy. Diggy sets up a trumpet player to serenade them with the same song they danced to on their date while John has set up a sunflower patch because they always turn to the sun and Olivia is his brightest moment this year. Listen, he’s a programmer, not a poet.
Olivia takes Shu aside to tell her that Robby is a human garbage can. He’s a cheater. Do not date him. Shu asks if Robby is a cheater and Robby says no, so we’re good here?
Joe finally sits down with Kendall and I’ll say it — Joe comes off pretty mature and with it for someone whose only discernible personality trait before this moment was “is near fruit.” Kendall says that they only decided to become exclusive because that’s what they were supposed to do. Hold the fuck on, Kendall. That’s not exactly what happened. Okay, I completely empty the contents of the part of my brain labelled “Bachelor in Paradise” after every episode but Kendall was telling Joe about her feelings and kissing him just as often as he was. Kendall says that Joe never expressed how he was feeling for her. BULLSHIT. Then she switches her story that there’s a lot they haven’t talked about. WHICH IS IT KENDALL.
I AM DEFENDING GROCERY STORE JOE RIGHT NOW. DO WE REALIZE HOW FAR WE HAVE FALLEN? Kendall finally says that “we had to [be exclusive]” and Joe says “stop saying we.” This is all Kendall and Joe stands up for himself and says he’s going to leave. Basically Joe had his own feelings and desires and she freaked out. Kendall knows she’s going to have regrets. I look forward to their inevitable engagement on the reunion show.
At the rose ceremony, the roses all are given to the expected partners. Olivia gives her rose to John. I’m seeing it less each week.
The next morning, Chris Harrison comes in and says it’s the last day in Paradise. Everyone must decide if they’re going to head into the fantasy suites. The more casual couples decide to leave. Olivia and John decide to leave … together? Holding hands? And the rest of the serious couples have to decide what they’re going to do.
Annaliese smiles until tears run down her face as she tries to hide her complete, unhinged excitement at being one day closer to being engaged to someone who may not be technically awake. Jenna and Jordan are headed to the fantasy suite and so are Krystal and Chris.
It’s time for Kevin and Astrid to decide if they’re headed for the fantasy suite. Yes, finally, the one couple we all can believe in — NOooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo. You guys, Kevin was just not ready to be here and seeing his ex-girlfriend get engaged to the guy she maybe cheated on him with probably didn’t help. Kevin seems like a sweet guy who is so in touch with his emotions and their validity that he can be paralyzed by them. He doesn’t seem to be able to take a risk so he breaks up with Astrid. Out of nowhere after confessing his love and devotion. But he’s only 80 percent in. Astrid decides to get up and leave because she can’t process what’s happening and she’s seething. Kevin screams out “DON’T LEAVE ME HERE.” Oh no, buddy. I love you but you lost all right to shout that across the beach into the sunset. I look forward to their inevitable engagement at the reunion.
The final three couples: Annaliese & Kamil, Chris & Krystal, and Jenna & Jordan are heading into the fantasy suites. Everyone has said I love you and everyone has a big plate of Polish sausage. See you for the finale and reunion tomorrow!