"Bachelor in Paradise" recap: Dean returns; his mustache does not
It was a night of big returns on the Tuesday edition of "Bachelor in Paradise": the return of Dean, the return of a John Paul Jones I didn't want to superman punch at all times for being a jerk and, most notably, a return to form for the show after a laborious Labor Day episode.
First, however, the show had to deal with Not John Krasinski's departure, which had everyone on the beach wading in pools and looking forlorn. JPJ was floating in the water looking bummed because Gerard Butler gave him a little pep talk about how maybe, JUST MAYBE, he could've handled things slightly differently. Tayshia was off in a different pool harrumphing because now she too was thinking about ditching the show, feeling sad about Derek's reality TV seppuku and wondering if it'd be worth staying on. And Blake was sitting around looking sad because that's just what he does on "Paradise" now that everyone hates him.
Eventually, though, everyone gets tired of pruning in the pool, so after a quick toothpick-ing, JPJ heads off to chat with Tayshia about giving their relationship another go. I'm still not sold on this couple; she seems serious and grounded, while John Paul Jones is ... not and not. But in the end, the two decide to give it another go, and JPJ celebrates by sprinting into the ocean and catching a fish with his bare damn hands like he's a ninja or Tom Hanks in "Castaway." OH JOHN PAUL JONES I MISSED YOU, YOU FLUFFY-HAIRED DOOFUS! "There's something wrong with him, and I kinda like it," Tayshia says. Suuure, she says that now. I give them a month – but at least happy dumb JPJ is back and we won't have to deal with Podcast Truther JPJ anymore.
Elsewhere on the island, the rest of the couples are examining their relationships because we're nearing the end of their free vacations. Katie and Gerard Butler are moving forward together, but nobody cares. It's not good that the most interesting part of their relationship is the guy running Gerard Butler's lower third.
The best thing to come from this season of Paradise is the ever-changing description under Chris Bukowski's name tag. Producers are really just changing it for shit and giggles now #BachelorInParadise pic.twitter.com/skv1qlNzeZ— bachbitch (@bachbitch1) September 4, 2019
Meanwhile, Mike is flopping around on the beach doing failed cartwheels because JPJ'S CRAZY IS CONTAGIOUS. Gibe him two more days of JPJ exposure, and he'll be puking into the ocean because he decided to eat one of those crabs the producers keep cutting to. And speaking of people losing their minds, Clay's losing his because he doesn't want to see Angela going out on dates with other guys. But too bad because YOU SAID THE MAGIC WORDS! In comes Chase from JoJo's season – and he is very into Angela, almost immediately asking here out on his date.
Clay is left distraught, but you know what: Screw Clay. Guy's being a total goober about this whole situation. I get that being in the same place as your ex isn't optimal, but the beach isn't that small. You don't have to pay attention to her every move. Plus, back when he was getting accused by Annaliese of being not ready to move on – which, oh great, now I have to admit that she might've been right; DAMMIT! – he kept saying that they broke up a long while ago, but since she's arrived, he's making it all sound like it's a fresh wound. Move on, my dude – which is Mike's message to Clay too after he takes him aside for a pep talk about how he and Angela need to bury this drama for the sake of everyone's mental health. After all, with JPJ back to being a goofy lunatic, the beach doesn't need anymore crazy.
While all that is going on, Nicole and Tayshia sassily cosplay Angela walking down the aisle at the wedding. SEEMS LIKE A HEALTHY AND HAPPY RELATIONSHIP CLAY AND NICOLE ARE CULTIVATING! And speaking of very normal and good relationship situations, Sad Bastard Blake finally decides to not be a bummer and instead pursue Kristina, who is NOT ABOUT IT. Blake tries to be all flirty and romantic to her, and she responds like she's watching C-SPAN. This is great; this is the relationship these two deserve.
They'll hopefully have time to loosen up at the cocktail party, where Matt Donald tries to give a toast, but unfortunately puberty strikes and it just comes out as squeaks – so much so that even Harrison makes fun of him. And Matt Donald's face screams that he is NOT ABOUT IT. I'm just saying if Harrison wakes up the next morning with a pitchfork shoved in his chest – and also he doesn't wake up because he's dead – I've got a prime suspect.
Or maybe not, because Matt Donald's got other things on his mind, most notably finally – FINALLY – getting the courage to kiss Sydney, who is this close to installing a blinking Las Vegas casino light display above her head that says "I WOULD LIKE TO BE KISSED, PLEASE." It's kind of adorable – and considering I am also a Matt who sweats too much, is utterly petrified at all times of making move on women I'm interested in and is completely incapable of reading obvious dating signals, I feel very represented. FINALLY, A PLACE ON TELEVISION FOR A MEDIOCRE AWKWARD WHITE MAN TO FEEL SEEN! Instead of kissing Sydney, however, he gets a rub-down from JPJ. Not sure how that happened, but boy, your pursuit of a kiss took a turn there, Matt.
Eventually, though, after the entire cast gives him a pep talk – and after Sydney says, for the 78th time, that KISSING IS A THING THAT I WOULD LIKE AND ENJOY – Matt Donald finally works up the courage to kiss her. And ... I think the show orgasmed? "Bachelor in Paradise" explodes into a montage of horses being birthed and fireworks booming and applauding soccer hooligans and flowers blooming and horses running wild and rockets blasting off into space.
You gonna need a cigarette after this, "Bachelor in Paradise"? If Matt Donald ever has sex on this show, it may spontaneously combust.
The drama isn't done at the cocktail party, as Clay decides to finally clear the air with Angela, saying that he doesn't love that she decided to go on the show knowing he was here. The convo detours into their actual relationship and what went wrong there – and boy, does it sound like it went wrong, as Clay harangues Angela about not being ambitious enough while Angela is, like, "Sorry I didn't want to work out for hours upon hours a day." Nicole is off elsewhere worried they're rekindling their relationship and GIRL, YOU'VE GOT NOTHING TO WORRY ABOUT; IT'S GOING BAD. It sounds like this is the conversation Angela and Clay needed – not because they're happier at the end and better understand things, but because they clearly seem to realize that they do not work together as a couple. So they agree to move on and go their separate ways, because Angela is not a drama person. (Which sure, Lady Who Joined Show Knowing Her Ex Was On It. Definitely.)
Elsewhere, in less productive conversation news, Blake tries talking more to Kristina, and honestly he'd be better off flirting with a brick wall. She's less put off by Blake and more just baffled – and it's hilarious. GIVE ME AN ENTIRE EPISODE OF BLAKE TRYING TO BE SMOOTH AND KRISTINA NOT GIVING A SINGLE FART, ABC.
But before we get that, it's time for a rose ceremony. The obvious ones – Hannah and Dylan, Gerard Butler and Katie, Connor and Caelynn, Tayshia and JPJ, Nicole and Clay – go exactly the way you expect. Kristian gives her rose – and this may shock you – to Demi. Having these two on the beach has been a real dramatic black hole. Angela hands her rose off to Chase, so I guess their date went well enough. Sydney goes to Matt Donald, who of course goes for the hug instead of the kiss. And Haley gives her rose to Baby Nick Viall because ... sure, why not. Which leaves Kristina to pick between Blake and Mike. Do you pick the guy who slept with you at a music festival, after sleeping with a handful of other people, and then got weird and rude about it on national television? Or do you pick a saint whose greatest flaw is being bad at cartwheels?
So yeah, of course she goes with Blake. Oh well, Mike gets to go home and get fitted for his "The Bachelor" suit. Seriously, ABC; don't mess this up. AMERICA IS COUNTING ON YOU.
As for Blake and Kristina, he says that he's filled with passion and emotion for Kristina – which I would definitely believe more if he didn't sound like he was recently hit with a horse tranquilizer while watching hour seven of The Weather Channel. I've heard people talk about socks with more passion and emotion. But still, he says confidently to Kristina that he's not going to go on a date with another girl – even if a new one were to arrive.
OH, AND WHAT TIMING, WE JUST HAPPEN TO HAVE A NEW LADY HERE TO TEST THAT! Welcome Bri, the questionably Australian contestant from Colton's season who, of course, wants to talk to Blake about her date card. And amazingly, Blake manages to keep his douchebag levels in check and declines the date – although not before Kristina has a full-systems breakdown, crying and storming away assuming the worst. SEEMS LIKE A STURDY FOUNDATION OF TRUST YOU'VE BUILT HERE! Anyways, so Bri's date ends up being her and ... Matt Donald? Who bails on Sydney almost immediately? YOU DOG! And now he's kissing Bri on their first date without needing an instructional video on how to kiss, a signed permission slip from the entire cast and crew of the show and four months of smooch training?! IS SWEET, INNOCENT MATT DONALD ACTUALLY ... LIES!?
Somehow that's not the biggest drama of the day as – during a literal villain montage – Dirty Dean dresses up, shaves off his porno plumber stache and strolls right back onto the "Bachelor in Paradise" beach in the hopes of winning back Caelynn. AND JUST WHEN SHE SAID SHE WAS FORGETTING ABOUT DEAN! DAMN YOU, HARRISON! Somehow she has the self-control to not smash a margarita glass over his head after he broke up with her right after a rose ceremony ON HER BIRTHDAY. Instead, she allows him to admit that he kept her at arm's length because he's got commitment issues, but now he doesn't want to run away anymore. In fact, he wants her to leave "Paradise" to be with him for real. Meanwhile, Connor is off watching this from a distance going, "Duuude ... whoa ... craaaaazy," over and over again.
So Caelynn's options are Sentient Vocal Fry or an untrustworthy man who lives in a van, showers in Walgreen's and also broke up with you on your birthday. Honestly, given those options, I'd pick a long walk into the ocean. Somehow I think she'll choose otherwise when we return on Monday.
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