America. My dear sweet readers. You darling people who click on this recap to have a little chuckle or giggle at your desk while you sip your morning Maple Bacon Latte. I have something I must share …
I WON A FREAKIN’ EMMY ON SUNDAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! HAHAHHAHHAHAHAHA FIREWORK FIREWORK AIR HORN NOISE AIR HORN NOISE HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA
OH OH WHAT A DAY LOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOL
There is a very fancy gold lady holding an atom currently sitting on the coffee table in the other room of this hotel suite, and EVERY room service server has been very curious about what it is. My brothers have taken it on their work Zooms to show it off. My power is unlimited. My reign is just beginning. I have never looked hotter — on the red carpet or in the days that followed. Conan O’Brien got my mom a drink. EVERYTHING IS HAPPENING OVER HERE AND IT’S ALL HAPPENING TO ME. HAHHAHAHAHA!
YOU FOOLS! YOU SHOULD HAVE NEVER LET ME BECOME THIS POWERFUL!!!!!
So, let’s talk about Bachelor in Paradise or whatever. This week was a primer on how Love Languages work and how we’ve entirely demonized vulnerability and boundaries as a society. And THAT’S the kind of analysis you get from an EMMY-WINNING WRITER HAHAHAHAHAHA
Does anyone else feel like we’re not going to get a proposal this season? Or if we do, it’ll be like, “Oh, okay. Sure.” Let’s get to it.
We start the episode in the continued emotional torment of Kendall as she watches Joe express his growing love for a 23-year-old. There have been entire seasons of Sex and the City and other shows in the same “Single Gal, Looking for Love” genre dedicated to watching your older boyfriend fall in love with a younger woman, and somehow you’re forced to run into them at “magazine parties.” Which is a thing that exists only in television shows about New York as far as I’m concerned.
Kendall. This was a bad idea. This was a bad idea for you. I’m still a little unclear if she genuinely thought she was going to get back together with Joe, but it does seem clear that she convinced herself that if the distance between them was eliminated, even for a couple of weeks in the summer, they could ascend to a higher emotional plane together. Whether or not there was a Boom Boom Room on that plane of existence is still up for debate.
Something that doesn’t really get discussed when it comes to these Bachelor Nation relationships is for a lot of these people, the relationships formed on these shows are their first significant relationships. They have nothing else to compare it to, and their instincts don’t know how to respond to hanging out with a hot guy on a beach in Mexico. These relationships get forged in the faux-romantic crucible of Paradise, and love is supposed to conquer all! And love means never having to say you’re sorry! And you complete me! When sometimes, a relationship just doesn’t work because the guy lives off a different train line, and I’m not about to use my transfers all willy-nilly like that just for some dick. Lemme find a man off the Red Line because that runs all night, too.
So you end up with people in their 20s and 30s thinking that if they can’t make a Bachelor in Paradise relationship work, what else is out there for them? If they couldn’t find love in Paradise, where will they find love? And Kendall and Joe seem to have a lot of love for each other and a lot of respect for each other as partners and as people … but Joe moved on and is ready to have the process work for him again, and Kendall wants the process to deliver her Joe or, at least, something like Joe. Kendall goes to talk to Joe, and they hug it out, and Kendall says he’s still her best friend. Do they go shopping for candles together and then watch four hours of Real Housewives? Because … what does that MEAN, Kendall?
Joe says he’s here for Kendall but just like hugs her with one arm, y’know? And with that, Kendall leaves, and Joe is cemented as the main character of Paradise. He’s the one with the most emotional arcs that just keep happening. He lies down with Serena and reassures her that they’re still falling in love with each other.
Uhh … and now Ivan doesn’t have a rose because apparently, he was into Kendall?!?? I also keep forgetting that Tatty Daddy Blake is a person, but he was also invested in this saga because he likes Tia.
It’s the next morning in Paradise, and it should be only smooth sailing from here on out. There are solid couples, and people can sense that the end of Paradise is here. Something is happening with the atmospheric pressure. Can’t you feel it too?
Lil Jon gathers the Paradise Gang to tell them that he loves the drama and will bring in two men. That’s all you got? That’s all you got for the last few episodes of Paradise? Bring in everyone’s mom for a relationship tribunal. Bring back that date where everyone has to take care of a random baby. Give them their phones and let them check out their partners’ DMs. Send 30 aspiring country singers and Peloton instructors to the beach and let them rip these relationships apart with their bare abs. If the best you got at this point in the game is Ed, let’s just pack it in now.
Demar and Ed arrive on the beach and immediately regret running on sand because it’s a lot farther than it looks. Demar and Ed take a few ladies aside, and the men have to remain on a daybed and watch as their women are gently seduced away. Riley deeply hates watching Maurissa talk to Demar, and Aaron calls Ed’s legs two Christmas hams even though Demar ends up taking Chelsea on the date. Ed asks Natasha, and she’s ready for some SOMETHING on this beach.
The group date is a painting class where the women paint topless paintings of the men and then paint on the men’s abs. We get almost no footage of Demar and Chelsea, but Natasha and Ed are vibing, and they make out. YES! YES! I am here for the brilliant and beautiful Natasha having a charming lunk of a man sweep her off her feet in the final days of Paradise. Every woman deserves a krunk.
Meanwhile, the couples back on the beach are freaking out about the idea of “having a conversation about feelings” with the person they’ve been fucking for the last nine days straight. Maurissa wants to tell Riley how she’s feeling, but Riley uses his actions to express his feelings but not his words. And really, “acts of service” or “quality time” are perfectly valid love languages, but they’re not very helpful on a reality show. Everything eventually comes down to “words of affirmation” on these shows. Maurissa doesn’t want to “ruin their fun” by telling him she loves him.
FUCK. I HATE THIS FOR EVERYONE. Telling someone you’re falling in love with them and want to be with him is THE MOST FUN. It’s the best part!!! If the person you’re dating doesn’t want to share that with you, you didn’t ruin it by bringing it up. THEY ruined it. Please, someone, heal our society.
Kenny and Mari get a date card. Mari feels like she is falling in love and could definitely get engaged to Kenny. Man, to be a man over 35 on this beach.
They go on a truly gross date. Like, I love tacos. Tacos are one of the world’s greatest treasures. Where there are tacos, there is God’s light — but drizzling SOUR CREAM on the hairy legs of your boyfriend and LICKING IT OFF. We have strayed too far from God’s light. That’s fucking wild. Just eating a small pile of carnitas off your girlfriend’s titty? A crime. A violation. Slurping a chunk of avocado off your boyfriend’s abs? That sounds like something Newsmax would label as “The only acceptable sex act in the leftist future.” But all the sour cream snacking has brought Kenny and Mari together, and they express they’re falling in love with each other and could see themselves getting engaged at the end of this. I guess because once you eat a hand-pressed corn tortilla off your lover’s pubis, it’s all or nothing.
Maurissa finally sits down with Riley and asks him how he would have felt if Demar asked her on the date (and she came to the beach for Demar) because she wants to know that he’s choosing her intentionally. Riley says he probably wouldn’t have said anything about it, and Maurissa says that’s not good! Riley finally opens up, and the camera stays trained on his face with an extreme close-up as single tears drip down his face. It’s … a lot. Riley talks about how his father wasn’t prepared or didn’t know how to be an attentive father and husband, and it cost him his relationship with his children and his wife. Riley also talks about how difficult it is for him to maintain a relationship with his mother (seemingly because of the environment in the household) and how he’s only mended his relationship with his mother in the last ten years. Riley has been afraid of what kind of father and husband he would be because he didn’t have a good role model, and he’s spent a lot of time working on himself to be present and communicate in his relationships. He says, “I’m gonna do it because I have to … and I want to.”
The way the camera is just stuck on Riley’s face makes it feel like it’s just outside the room he and Maurissa are in. When she gets closer and nuzzles in his neck, it makes it feel like someone is spying on them. It’s clear both of them desperately want to have this moment but don’t know exactly how to navigate this conversation, but their commitment to each other and themselves lets them do it. This is beautiful but tough to watch and dances right on the edge of the kind of trauma the Bachelor Cinematic Universe likes to pull out of its Black contestants and leads.
Everyone else is preparing for the reality of another Rose Ceremony when two men in black T-shirts appear. Everyone says in unison, “This is not good.” There is a tropical storm approaching Paradise. No one should be alarmed, but they do have an hour to get the fuck out of there. Don’t panic. Don’t worry. But dear God, we have to go!!!! Climate change has reached Paradise.
After some undisclosed period of time and a stay at a hotel, we’re back and ready for a daytime cocktail party and Rose Ceremony. Lil Jon’s time with us has come to an end, and we’re ready for the drama!
First up, Tia and Tatty Daddy Blake. He has a face that’s so infinitely generic. My legal department is telling me that he is “attractive,” but if I close my eyes while looking at him, I completely forget what he looks like or anything about him. Tia is VERY attracted to him, and her vagina keeps dancing. Do we think her personifying her vagina makes it feel like Tia isn’t the one that’s horny, and it gives her a little distance from her sexual feelings? “I’m not horny … my vagina is!” She takes him aside and tells him that he should have done something for her or at least came to talk to her before she could find him. Yes! He should do that! She has the rose! James painted her a little stoplight and the rest of the men are slacking!! Blake says all he wants with her is a conversation. Sir, that is VERY easy to achieve on a show where there’s nothing to do but talk to each other. Tia reminds him that she has to pick between him and someone else, and James makes an effort. Blake is a fuck boy who wanted to rely on one make out to secure his rose. You have to make out like three times.
Next up is Ivan; he’s getting stressed because he doesn’t know where his rose is coming from, and there’s not much time left. He tells some of the guys he’s not interested in stealing someone’s rose … then takes Chelsea aside to make out with her. Aaron can sense when he’s being wronged, and he’s ready to launch into another string of curse-laden, misogynistic attacks. This time he’s calling Ivan a little snaky bitch boy. Aaron also says that Ivan is built like a chopstick, and he can snap him in half. Aaron is a lot of talk, and I would genuinely like to see him try and fight. Ivan is quiet, and it’s the quiet ones you have to worry about. Aaron gets in Ivan’s face, and Ivan refuses to flinch.
To be continued …
Oh God, it looks like Riley gets involved. He’s a lawyer from New York; he’s basically Daredevil.
See you next week for a THREE HOUR EXTRAVAGANZA!!