I hope you all saw my amazing quotes in a REAL BACHELOR IN PARADISE AD that has been all over social media and presumably on TV, because I continue to endorse the sentiments “YESSSSSSS” and “YESSSSSSSSSS” and “PLEASE INJECT THIS RIGHT INTO MY EYEBALLS.” Because ever since this pandemic has begun, I’ve been deprived of one of my life forces, one of my humors: HOT GOSS. The four humors that must remain in balance in my body are luxury, snacks, yellow bile, and HOT GOSS. And Bachelor in Paradise is a 17th-century doctor applying a poultice of herbs to revitalize my HOT GOSS humor.
The thing that makes for the best possible hot goss situations is the fact that dating is broken and everyone is so profoundly bad at this now. I can remember a time before this one, when a 26-year-old tried to steal your boyfriend with a chocolate cake and a piñata full of condoms, you’d discuss the situation like adults, instead of throwing a cake into a fire when the 26-year-old can’t even see you. If you decide to knuck because you are buck, make sure everyone, and I mean everyone, is watching. In any other moment of my life or even almost any other television program, I’d be demanding emotional accountability! I’d be demanding better decision-making! I’d be demanding literally one person talk to another person! But I’m suffering from lassitude and feeling melancholic. Balance me. Show me the men in their 30s and 40s making out with literal 23-year-olds. Give me the HOT GOSS. Let’s get to it.
It’s the morning after Riley and Maurissa’s date and no one has seen them, and Connor will not figure out what happened until much later in the episode. Good thing this dear sweet man is teaching math and not biology, because if you have any working knowledge of human anatomy, you can figure out why Riley and Maurissa didn’t reappear last night. I’m also LOVING that the first boom-boom room overnight was this early. That is the absolute correct move. It’s the only room with air-conditioning and we all saw Riley’s abs. When the opportunity presents itself, you gotta grab it.
The chaos of the week starts early with the arrival of two new dudes, one whose name and deal we all kinda remember and one that literally no one has heard of. Unless you can give me a fun intro package for them and they have a distinct personality beyond “friends with the other one,” no night-one rejects in Paradise. We’re welcoming Chasen and … I wanna say … Dorcus? to Paradise. They give each other a little kiss on the forehead and walk in with a double-date card. Upon seeing two moderately tall dudes, Mari decides that she wants to go on some dates but she also wants to stay with Kenny. In a week where the women have the roses, Mari is absolutely in her rights to do this. She just needed to talk to Kenny before Chris and Chasen arrived and also find a better way to put it than, “We’re not on the same page and I would like us to remain on two different pages and I’d also like the opportunity to get on the same page if no one else cute shows up.” The word all these people are looking for is “casually dating” or “nonexclusive dating” and it’s totally a thing, I promise.
Chris sets his sights on Jessenia, who’s the only woman he considered pursuing in Paradise, and apparently Jessenia’s list of people she wanted to meet was “Chris and, if available, Ivan.” Ivan is convinced that Jessenia wouldn’t go on a date because their bond is so strong, but he’s not going to talk to her about it or anything like that. Most of the men this season (and in the world, really) are convinced that giving a woman their rose will secure them a rose the following week and they have to put in little to no effort to maintain that relationship, and in fact, some of them threaten to only deepen the relationship after they receive a rose.
In the end, Chris asks Jessenia and Chasen asks Deandra to go on the date with them. Oh fuck, is that some Pure Moods Vol. 1–esque flute? We gotta talk about the Bachelor Cinematic Universe’s reliance on faux ethnic-spiritual but also sexy dates. These motherfuckers love a guru. A guru that doesn’t even get a chyron or an introduction. Just a random lady playing the flute on a bed asking two sets of strangers to straddle each other and blow on each other’s necks. In the Bachelor universe, any spiritual tradition, real or imagined, that isn’t Precious Moments Figurines Christianity is kinda weird and kinda funny. And for real, if you want these flexible, skinny dummies to pick each other up and arrange themselves into erotic poses, you don’t have to create a binder at the resort’s FedEx Kinkos business center and hire a woman with boob-length braids to act as if the Kama Sutra is a Mexican tradition (honestly, WHAT?). Just ask.
Back at the daybeds of emotional turmoil, Ivan and Karl are on their own journeys into the caverns of mopey-ness. Noah doesn’t help matters at all when he tells Ivan, “Oh, yeah, I can see Jessenia hitting it off with Chris,” but he also says it’s because Jessenia is so easy to get along with, so she’d probably hit it off. Uh … that’s not how that works. She’d hit it off with anyone because she’s so fucking hot and every person these people have ever met is also incredibly hot. Jessenia is very interested in kissing Chris and she felt multiple moments during the intimacy session where she wanted to kiss him but thankfully, they manage to re-create the spark and make out. Jessenia says that Ivan checks all the boxes, but Chris gives her the spark. Ah yes, the Aiden-Big Paradox.
Mari pulls Kenny aside and tells him that if any more guys show up, she wants to go on a date, but he shouldn’t take this the wrong way because she doesn’t want him to back off. Just stay totally interested in her and pursue a relationship with her while she goes on dates with other people. She’s convinced she won’t fall for anyone but she still wants to do it. Kenny tells her, “The grass isn’t always greener,” and then goes into extreme detail to explain the meaning of the phrase and Mari says, “You don’t always know, unless you walk on the other side.” Poets. These people are poets.
Mari makes the worst decision she could possibly make and tells Demi that things might be cooling off with Kenny and Demi does what Demi does best: expose her nipple to a man in a casual daytime setting. Kenny is very into this and he bites Demi’s lip in the most unattractive kiss I’ve ever seen in my entire life. The idea that these very hot people have any game is a fiction. They’re just used to being in tiny clothing and telling each other, “I wanna kiss you.” Demi and Kenny smash their black censor boxes against each other and the first rumblings of chaos strike the beach.
Meanwhile, Connor still hasn’t put it together that Maurissa not coming home last night and making out with Riley all day in front of everyone might mean that their relationship has stalled. Connor decides that to step it up, he needs to put on a silky matching set and prance around for everyone but Maurissa. When he finally sits down with her, he tells her he wants to take her on a DIY date, just the two of them, and Maurissa says, “We’ll see how the day goes.” “We’ll see how the day goes”!?!??!? Bitch, there are no plans. No one is taking a snorkeling lesson at four. Connor, it’s over.
I will not even dignify what Natasha is going through with commentary, and I’m very excited to see if Brendan manages to hold onto his pristine reputation if Pieper shows up. (Pieper will definitely show up.)
It’s the next day in Paradise and Joe gets a date card! Still very thrilled to see a 35-year-old man try to figure it out with a 23-year-old who lives in another country. They talk about their relationship histories and Joe says he broke up with Kendall because they couldn’t decide where to live and asks Serena P. where she wants to end up. Dude. She’s 23 and she thought her first boyfriend was the one. You’re asking the wrong questions. They make out while wearing leotards. Serena P.’s rose is secure.
The double-date gang returns and Ivan asks Jessenia how it went and she says that she wants to explore things with Chris some more. She tells Ivan that she has a spark with Chris and that can’t be forced. Dear God. It’s the truth, but it’s a little brutal. Ivan is so hurt he walks away. What is happening on this beach??!?! Karl decides that now is the perfect time to reaffirm his affections for Deandra. Listen, Karl is weird and no one likes him, but he’s literally the only man on the beach with the right idea. He gives Deandra a Miami-themed Pandora bracelet, but Chasen keeps interrupting Karl’s incredibly long speech about this Pandora bracelet: “A palm tree represents where we met and this Magic 8 Ball charm represents how I still have questions about our relationship but I know you can answer them.”
Everyone sits around the bonfire as Riley asks a series of sexual get-to-know-you questions. He’s bringing AN ENERGY and I’m here for it. Kenny had sex on a trampoline.
Then Demi brings down a cake for Kenny. Girl. It is a week where the women have the roses. Do not bring men BAKED GOODS when they should be wooing you. Do not give a man a piñata full of condoms when you are the one in control. Make him set off on a scavenger hunt for female condoms and dental dams to impress you. Demi! The men are not the prize. Do less. Mari decides that her enemy in this moment is Demi, so she picks up the cake and tosses it in the fire while Demi is off making out with Kenny. Mari, I appreciate the enthusiasm, but the execution is way off. Wait for Demi to be watching, then destroy the symbol of her effort to steal Kenny. The gesture has no meaning if they’re literally fucking while you do it. Mari pulls Kenny aside to try to get him to stop making out with Demi and Kenny’s response is, “But I want to and you confused me!!”
Also, Tahzjuan is just screaming into the ocean for some reason. Again, incredibly relatable.
In the moments before the night ends, Tammy and Thomas head to a daybed within Aaron’s sight line and Tammy climbs atop Thomas and makes out with him. If you can count on Tammy to do one thing, it’s to choose violence, bitch. Making out with your boyfriend’s “mortal enemy” while he’s looking directly at you is some Game of Thrones shit and I’m here for it. What I’m not here for is Tre and Aaron immediately calling Tammy “a dog” and saying she’s exhibiting “trash bag behavior.” FUCK. THAT. Has Aaron gone to talk to Tammy all day or done anything to secure his rose before the cocktail party? No! Give your woman a reason to not want to be seduced by a six-foot-six villain. The entitlement! The laziness! The audacity!
It’s time for the cocktail party and there is a metaphorical and literal storm a’brewing. There is no subtext in Paradise. Only text. Abigail and Serena’s roses seem to be the only ones that are secure. The guys walk in and immediately start to disappoint. Kenny announces that he was led to Demi and he’s feeling good pursuing a 26-year-old instead of a 28-year-old. Instead of pulling Tammy aside and making her feel special, Aaron takes Thomas aside to tell him how disrespectful he’s being. Why does everyone keep getting mad at Thomas for literally playing the game?!?! Thomas also points out that Tammy kissed him. Aaron says, “Don’t straddle-makeout and do everything but fuck in front of me, bro!”
AND THUNDER CLAPS IN THE SKY!!!! See you tomorrow!