Bachelor In Paradise
America, this is a level of pure double-dealing, roguery, and downright villainy ne’er witnessed on this television program. Sure, we’ve seen scammers setting up a rendezvous in Paradise by hoodwinking a couple of marks into giving them a rose before they arrive, but I don’t think some of these aspiring Revolve spokesmodels were even born when a non–Grocery Store Joe got a rose from a kindly widow to stay on the beach long enough to meet the girl he’d already been dating. But what is so nefarious, so fiendish, and so downright detestable is how poorly they planned this flimflam.
Men over 30, let this be a lesson to you: Don’t let your grift rest on the shoulders of a 23-year-old woman.
If she’s not regularly using an eye cream, she cannot be trusted with the schematics. If a “classic movie” to her is Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates, she cannot drive the getaway car. There’s a reason that none of the women in Ocean’s 8 were under 30.
Because this obvious and incredibly stupid heel turn from Brendan and Pieper, two people who were pretty beloved by the fandom, is a HUGE miscalculation, and they’re discussing it all ON-CAMERA. OH MY GOD. WE CAN HEAR YOU! THERE ARE MICROPHONES IN THE NECKLACES, YOU COLOSSAL BONEHEADS!!! And for what? For actually what? Some TV time?!?!?! Some followers?!?!?! A feature in Us Weekly?!?!?!?!?!!! Do y’all think you’re getting that now? You unbelievable turkeys.
And this nonsense completely blows everyone else’s drama out of the water. Kendall and Joe? Girl, get your closure over text, and Joe ain’t buying it either. Demi, Mari, Tia, and Kenny? Ladies, his only occupation is “boy-band manager.” Literally everyone involved can do better.
Let’s get to it.
We have to deal with Kendall’s arrival before we get to the Brendan and Pieper of it all. Kendall, you seem very sweet, and apparently we have some friends of friends of friends in common, but I need you to get it all the way together. Neither of you is fine seeing the other, and if you want to get some closure, just send him a very long Facebook message with way too many ellipses like the rest of us. Kendall is framing this as they didn’t break up because they fell out of love with each other, but because of logistics, which apparently isn’t a good enough reason. I’ve broken up with guys because they lived off a different train line than me and I didn’t want to go downtown to transfer. Kendall also says that she and Joe never really did the post-breakup post-mortem, and she wants to have that. Joe says, “That’s not true, Ellen. You were invited.” Joe basically says he asked Kendall to come to Chicago to try out what their life would be like, and she refused because her family and her life are in L.A. I hate to sound biased, but as someone who lives in Chicago, it’s better than L.A. DON’T @ ME. Joe says they did talk after their breakup and they did fight after their breakup (oh, girl, what are you fighting about after the breakup?), and Kendall says, “We didn’t really fight.”
My guess would be Kendall has some very romantic version of what a relationship and breakup should look like that ends with both parties being able to say they lived, they loved, they learned, and they moved on. That sounds great, but sometimes it just doesn’t happen. Apparently, she also didn’t want to move somewhere “for a man,” and Joe says, “I’m more than just a man!” Kendall says again, “I don’t want to get sucked into logistics.” Umm … okay. That seems to be the only thing to discuss. Also, do you want to get back together? No? Umm …. okay. Kendall is going to hang around, and Joe goes to tell Serena what’s going on.
Joe is mature, handles it well, and lays it out for her: My ex is going to be here; she says she doesn’t want to get back together, but we’re going to keep talking; and, most importantly, you’re my first priority. Serena is a little shaken up, but hearing Joe is still into her reassures her a little bit, although everyone involved could use a drink. ENOUGH OF THAT. PEOPLE BEHAVING MATURELY? NO THANK YOU. POINT ME IN THE DIRECTION OF THE MESS.
Ugh, fine, one more instance of people being mature and talking through their issues: Noah and Abigail. The two of them sit down and admit they’re not very good at communicating. Imagine a world where everyone you dated just recognized they were bad at communicating and vowed to work on it. Noah says that Abigail is going to get his rose, and someone has to be having a good time on this beach.
Meanwhile, Kenny is coming back from his date with Tia, and they seemed to have a medium amount of fun. Mari is literally lurking in the shadows to steal Kenny away to talk to him. Mari explains that she still really likes him, and she needed to see him go on a date with someone else to know that she didn’t want that to happen. Again, we’ve all been there. She walked on the grass on the other side and realized that it wasn’t actually greener but only looked that way from where she was standing. Wow, that saying really does capture a lot. Kenny feels like she’s flip-flopping on him, and now he has all these other bitches to think about! Kenny will take the day tomorrow to talk to all the women who are enamored with him for some reason and see where it goes.
Demi takes all of this as a personal slight against her, and the fact that Mari had a change of heart is an ATTACK. She says Mari is mean, entitled, and a brat. She sits Kenny down to ask how his date was and, more importantly, to list the girls that are prettier than Demi. Demi is slowly collapsing under the weight of having to handle any of her own emotions or the concept of future rejection. So Demi uses the only spell in her spellbook: “Summon Boom Boom Room.” Kenny says he wants to go to sleep, and Demi feels incredibly stupid and hasn’t quite learned the lesson that when you use sex to catch a man, you can’t use sex to keep a man. He’s already seen whatever you’ve got, and you need to heighten. If she’s only willing to use sex as a relationship-building tool, maybe suggest a threesome? It’s undoubtedly a heighten.
It’s the next morning in Paradise, and THE ONLY THING THERE IS TO TALK ABOUT IS BRENDAN AND PIEPER. PIEPER ARRIVES AND READS HER DATE CARD, AND SHE ASKS BRENDAN OUT RIGHT AWAY.
They are so bad at this. They are so stupidly bad at this. Pieper. You have to pull the guys aside and be like, “How has Paradise been treating you?” and then ask Brendan on a date. Literally everything is so uncomfortable, and already everyone suspects what’s about to happen. Brendan takes Natasha aside to let her know he’s definitely going on this date. The problem with the rest of the episode is that Brendan only talks in weird Bachelor-language circular platitudes because he’s trying to craft the perfect story so he doesn’t get in trouble. It makes it impossible to understand what the fuck he’s talking about at any moment. But he’s going on the date. Natasha already knows something stinks here.
Becca runs over to take care of Natasha, and Natasha says she tried really hard to be understanding and patient with Brendan, and if he comes back wanting to spend time with Pieper, it’ll all be for nothing. Becca hugs Natasha while she cries, and they’re both glad the other one is there. Can Becca give Natasha a rose?
It’s time for Brendan and Pieper’s evening date, and Pieper starts by talking about how excited she is to see Brendan and how she’s not deft to the murmurs (WHATEVER THE HELL THAT MEANS), and she doesn’t want to be involved in the drama. Brendan tries to use his weird Bachelor platitudes to pretend like they don’t know each other super-well, and Pieper wants to know why he’s downplaying their CLEAR relationship; she’s only here for him. She’ll say it one thousand times in front of all these cameras! Brendan finally tells her that he had to string someone along for him to be here while he waited for Pieper. Pieper says, “Thanks for playing the game.” She also says, “I wish I was pervy to that,” but I think she meant “privy.” Brendan says they have to have each other’s backs and look out for each other, and now they’re here together, and let’s rack up those followers, baby!
The next morning in Paradise, Brendan and Pieper are being affectionate and brushing the hair out of each other’s eyes. Deandra, Maurissa, and Riley act as our very hot Greek chorus to guide us through this morning of drama. Everyone else is just making weird faces to each other because of the undeniable relationship between Brendan and Pieper.
Natasha takes Pieper aside and asks her what the hell is going on. Pieper says that they’ve known each other for two months and have seen each other about ten times. With no hesitation. OH MY GOD. Natasha says, “Okay, well, he said you’ve only known each other for a month and only met twice,” and Pieper says, “Oh yeah, well, sure, twice, but then like eight times after that and right before he came here and all the time.” Natasha asks if they’re just trying to be a TV couple, and Pieper says, “Well, we don’t wanna be, like, vlogging all the time.” I’m sick.
Brendan and Pieper spend the entire morning talking about being featured in Us Weekly or something and how many followers they got out of that post. It’s clear what they’re doing, and I need everyone to gather around and publicly shame them. What makes it EVEN WORSE is Brendan keeps talking about how Natasha had no other prospects like she should be grateful or something?! That side of Brendan’s argument hits me in the absolute wrong way considering Natasha is one of the older women on the beach and, for the moment, the only dark-skinned woman there. Would Brendan be as comfortable saying that about someone else? I don’t know, but the 30-something guy dating the woman in her early 20s talking about how the woman his age doesn’t have any prospects is enough to cement Brendan’s heel turn.
Natasha puts on her lawyer hat on top of the hat she’s already pulling off and sits Brendan aside. There are enough lies. I wish this were FBoy Island so she could send his ass home. She starts by saying that she did a lot of work because she was convinced he just had his guard up and she had to make him comfortable, but really, all that was a lie. Brendan says they never had a romantic relationship or even an intimate relationship. Did they even know each other? Unclear. That’s not for Brendan to say. Brendan also says that he gave Natasha a rose to symbolize his hope for her to meet someone else. Bitch, please. That’s not what a rose means, and if that’s what’s happening, you have to TELL THE OTHER PERSON. Natasha says that Brendan’s strong feelings for Pieper didn’t develop yesterday, and he’s met her more than twice. He also says that Pieper has come to visit him in Boston … but they’re not in a relationship. When Natasha asks him about that, he says, “I’m not sure what the relevance is.” Ladies, if your man is questioning the “relevance” of your questions, he did it. Whatever it is. He did it. That man is GUILTY. Natasha says she would have explored other things, but now she’s caught him in a lie, and she’s upset. Brendan tells her that she didn’t really have any other prospects, and he says he never kept her from exploring anything else. Sir, I transcribe these episodes, and you often said that you’re into her and want to keep exploring your connection. “All that said, the time we spent together, I’ve enjoyed.”
Brendan and Pieper keep talking about how their plan is going perfectly and how they’re going to get so many followers. Joe says if you come here and follow the rules with no expectations, that’s more exciting than a strategy!
At the end of the episode, Brendan weirdly scratches his microphone to say he’s been implicated enough, so he’s already screwed. Does he think he can fool the microphones? Does he think he’s getting away with this?
In the words of Natasha, BULLSHIT.