Bachelor In Paradise, Season 2 Episode 3 Recap
We kick off this week with tears. Surprisingly, not from Ashley I, but from the other sister wife, Lauren. In matching white dresses, the girls commiserate on the sand about their dwindling marriage prospects. But this time, it’s Ashley I worked up about her older sister ruining her chances by resisting the show’s bizarre courtship rituals, which I am fairly sure is more or less the plot of The Taming of the Shrew. Unimpressed by the suitors presented to her, Lauren dubs paradise her “personal hell” and crumples to the sand. Ashley I probably cries, too. I don’t know. It’s dark out.
This week is girls’ choice, so some new men will be arriving to the house and two will go home. “I’m excited to have the power now,” says Jade, forgetting that she is totally at the mercy of Dungeon Master Chris Harrison’s whims like the rest of the occupants of paradise. JJ feels secure in his position in the house vis-a-vis Tenley, though even he is unsure exactly why. “Why the hell does she like me?” asks JJ, voice of the audience. “Poor girl.”
“You’d look good in like a little sundress,” says Mikey T to Clare, who literally shrinks away from his touch.
But before you think Mikey T is the most deluded of the residents of paradise, the sister wives reveal that Lauren has been dating a guy back home who has a girlfriend. The house consensus is that Lauren should not be here if she is dating someone else, according to a group of individuals who are dating multiple people. Lauren then cried about revealing her situation and for leaving the man who is, you know, in a relationship with someone else.
“You’re the worst,” says Ashley I, the actual worst.
But before you think Lauren is going to ditch paradise, she says there’s one thing that will keep her here: Joshua from Kaitlyn’s season. That is, until she learns his age, which is 32 and apparently the new 60 on this show.
Regardless, Chris Harrison plays God – his favorite game – and Joshua arrives. Ashley I, hoping Joshua will distract Lauren from her guy at home, takes him aside before he can hand out his date card and asks him to bring her sister on the date.
“I think I did a really good job of selling my sister to Joshua,” says Ashley I, accepting her role as chattel. However, her efforts were successful, and Joshua and Lauren try to get acquainted by discussing the blood test required to get on reality TV, which demonstrates two things to me:
- No one can have a normal conversation on this show.
- There’s definitely an STD test required to get into paradise, but the jury’s still out on an IQ test.
“I haven’t smelled him quite yet, though,” says Lauren to her sister, and I rest my case.
Suddenly, the parrot briefly reappears to taunt me, and Joshua decides to ask Tenley on the date instead. But JJ doesn’t feel threatened, believing that Tenley “will chew Joshua up and spit him out,” while Tenley seems to believe that Joshua may be her only means of escape.
“We are having a night on the town,” Joshua says.
“I love a night on the town,” Tenley replies as if she’s been rescued from JJ’s basement and just saw sunlight for the first time in a decade.
No one takes this news harder than Ashley I, who begins to cry for fear that her sister will leave the show for lack of prospective suitors. Her intuition is correct, and as Lauren packs her bags to depart paradise and return to the arms of somebody else’s boyfriend, Ashley I cries again recalling this betrayal in her interview.
“Go have a good time being a mistress,” Ashley I sobs as her sister struggles to lug her rolling suitcase across the sand.
“I love being a mistress,” Lauren replies, “I actually get to talk to guys.”
This makes Ashley I cry again, straight through our commercial break.
The next man to arrive in paradise is Joe, also from Kaitlyn’s season, who proceeds to pronounce mañana like banana so I guess I like him. This sentiment is not shared by the rest of the house. Though Joe has been hyped as the life of the party, his castmates find that he is dead quiet and complain that he is making everything awkward, because there was nothing previously awkward about being filmed 24/7 while dating a bunch of strangers.
But Joe’s real crime is that he brings up Clare’s past on the previous season in Bachelor in Paradise and calls her return to the show terrible. This sends Clare off to “talk” to a raccoon, which is once again just a conversation with someone on the crew filming this show matched up to footage of a raccoon. “I consider you my friend,” Clare tells the raccoon, which is actually really sad because she’s talking to a producer or a production assistant who is literally paid to coerce this girl into making a fool of herself so they can sync up her tears to a raccoon wandering around the set and convince her to keep doing these chickenshit shows.
But Clare needn’t worry, she has the support of the cast in the house. “Joe is really awkward. This guy can barely piece together a sentence,” says Ashley I, essentially identifying this man as her soulmate, but the two ships pass in the night.
I am inclined to agree with Ashley I’s evaluation of Joe, however, when his first instinct upon getting the date card is just to ask who wants to go horseback riding. This is fine, considering that this show is so contrived and arbitrary anyway, but things get weird when Juelia accepts the date and Joe either makes some joke about retracting the invitation or doesn’t really want to take her.
“So Joe asks Juelia on a date. But, like, does he?” Amateur Philosopher Carly asks.
Meanwhile, Tenley and Joshua go out on their date, where they discuss Joshua’s theater background. In an effort to strike up some commonality, Tenley reveals that she worked at Tokyo Disney, which makes Joshua crack up. Readers, I was sitting on the edge of my seat, gearing up for some sort of ridiculous racist joke. I’ll admit it, I set the bar way too high, because all that comes out of Joshua’s mouth is: “Chinese Disney?” And something inside me finally gives up and dies.
Regardless, Tenley still continues to let Joshua talk to her, and the two marvel at how much larger Joshua’s hands are than her own. (The people on this show are obsessed with hands.) Tenley claims that this makes her feel special, but I am throughly convinced her attraction to Joshua is mostly a survival instinct, an effort to gnaw her way out of the trap that is JJ and crawl away to just about anything else. The hands are just a factor in a greater plan, they keep JJ at bay with one big-palmed swipe while Tenley climbs up into the mountains or escapes by sea.
Back at the house, JJ feels cocky about his relationship with Tenley, unaware of her mutiny, and comes up with a bunch of metaphors about Joshua that don’t exactly make sense and makes me believe that JJ thinks Idaho is a third world country. “Joshua doesn’t have game,” JJ says, and I’m basically on his side, since the guy’s other big move besides putting his hand on her hand was to tell Tenley that her hair looked magical when it “fluttered.”
After insisting that he has kissed Tenley several times, JJ continues to try to reassure himself that the date with Joshua will change nothing. “There is a reason why Joshua doesn’t have sex that often. And that’s probably the reason that I’m a little bit more successful on that front,” says JJ, giving himself marginal credit and demonstrating a rare streak of vague modesty.
But more realistic about his odds is Jonathan, who fears that Juelia’s date with Joe might be the thing that sends him home. It’s at this point that I have another two-part realization:
- There are way too many people whose names on this show start with J, and they’re mostly terrible.
- This is going to be another 2 hour episode, because ABC has nothing else to air and the folks at Bachelor in Paradise have given up on editing, apparently.
However, JJ’s place in the house may be more secure than previously thought. Before Tenley can hitch her wagon to Joshua, the guy suggests the cast go on a group date where they all use molly. At this point, the weird moral gavel of The Bachelor comes swinging down and Joshua is a Bad Man. Mikey T takes it upon himself to tell Tenley about this, and she is grateful to learn this information. “I haven’t listened to friends and family about red flags,” she says. (We know. You’re here.)
Later, Juelia and Joe go on a horseback riding date. “I was surprised he asked me out,” says Juelia, overwriting the memory that Joe basically threw the date card up in the air and saw whoever caught it first to make the story more palatable for her daughter at home. After a ride, the two then have a picnic, where they drink their drinks but once again do not eat their food. While House-Joe was awkward, Date-Joe is charming and interested in talking about Juelia’s daughter. “It’s like your heart is living outside your body and running around somewhere else,” Juelia says of being away from her child in what I can genuinely say is a rare moment of poignancy on this show.
The two then go for swim by a waterfall and share a kiss in the water. Between this and Juelia’s speaking about her daughter, I momentarily forget how absolutely awful the show can be.
Tenley, who has clearly never been on a bad first date before, is still crying over being incompatible with Joshua. She confronts him about his recreational drug use, but Joshua insists that he doesn’t party and only tried molly just once. Joshua drops his previously enthusiastic endorsement of molly almost as quickly as NBC dropped Donald Trump.
“I know that JJ is a good man,” says Tenley. So she returns to him.
Also on the chopping block, besides Joshua, is Mikey T. But he’s basically oblivious to this until Dan the Libra tells him that Clare will probably not be giving him a rose.
“She’s obviously been vocal about not being into you,” Dan the Libra says.
“Yeah but has she, though?” Mikey T asks.
Seeing a second opinion, Mikey T asks Tenley, who says Clare might be interested in Jared. She tries to let him down easy by proxy, standing by the ocean and taking in the view. “This is a very romantic moment to spend with someone who gives you butterflies,” says Tenley as they look out over the surf, before giving Mikey T an atta-boy pat on the arm that he’s probably interpreting as a proposal. Then, Ashley I pees on the beach in full view.
But the most mature rejection of the night was on Juelia’s part, when she lets Jonathan know she’s interested in Joe. The two have a mature conversation about it, and again Juelia proves to me that she is so above this show.
However, there’s trouble in paradise. We cut to some footage of Joe talking to a producer. “She’s not very smart, is she?” he says of Juelia. He then reveals that he is in only interested in Juelia for her rose and hopes a girl named Samantha will show up. He also farts loudly, and while disgusting, I realize that audible, unabashed fart is the best way for me to represent this show to you.
Though Joe is absolute scum, the real Jerk Award goes to Mikey T, for his behavior after Jared gets the date card from Professional Shitstarter Chris Harrison and asks Clare on a date. Ironically the house declares our beloved Love Man the new villain, and not Mikey T, who takes Love Man aside to say, “you want to date a girl eight years older than you? That’s your prerogative, bro.” The house descends into bedlam. Kirk jokes that Mikey’s wedding vision board is ruined. Runner-up for the Jerk Award is Ashley I, who declares that Clare’s eggs are “almost dead” when she sees Clare talking to Jared. (By the way, Clare is 34.) Ashley I then cries because that’s how I tell time now.
But Mikey T, Jerk Champion, insists that he has been wronged. He believed that Clare was sending him innuendos, in the same way that he must think “go away” is foreplay. So when the two go off to have a conversation, Mikey T feels that Clare owes him some kind of an apology.
I am beyond pleased to tell you that the woman I called a toddler last week acted like the ultimate grown up in this conversation. “Do you think I’ve not been up front and honest with you?” Adult Clare asks. “Why are you feeling disrespected by me, in what way have I ever disrespected you?” Mikey T admits his faulty logic: he wanted Clare to like him, and she disrespected him by not reciprocating the feelings. Naturally, she shut him down.
Next episode, we’ll see our second rose ceremony and Clare’s date with Jared. Also, Mikey T might go home of his own accord and your faithful recapper (me) might try to bum some wine off that raccoon.
Ashley I Tear Tally: 3 for tonight, 9 total.
Weird Hand-related Compliments That Got Girls Swooning: 3 this season. (Ugh.)