Bachelor in Paradise, Season 2 Episode 5 Recap
We left off last week’s Bachelor in Paradise on a cliffhanger: Clare had just run off into the jungle in a fit of tears, frustrated by her lack of prospects on the show. “I don’t see love here for me,” Clare tells Chris Harrison when he catches up to her. “And this is the third time.”
Although Chris Harrison the Ruthless shows a rare glimmer of compassion for Clare, the rest of the cast is not as merciful. Tanner decides that Clare’s foray into the woods was selfish, which shows me that Warden Chris Harrison has successfully turned his prisoners against each other and cemented his position as the benevolent provider of food they do not eat. As if on schedule, Ashley I chimes in with: “I guess she’s 34 years old and wants to find love. She probably feels pathetic.” Readers, the only consolation I have to offer for Ashley I’s obsession with Clare’s age is that this girl is so coddled that I can predict without a doubt that one day she, too, will turn 34.
But Chris Harrison persuades Clare to return to the rose ceremony, where she gives her rose to JJ.
“That was intense for everyone except me,” says Ashley I, the girl who once found talking about chicken nuggets with an adult man who likes to pretend he’s a superhero to be a harrowing experience.
The rose ceremony ends with Jonathan, Mikey T, and Michael going home after Juelia chooses Joe. Juelia insists that these men lied about Joe, and that he truly is there for her, and Joe backs up this sentiment before actually — I dick you not — crossing his fingers, Like what you did in first grade when you lied to somebody about being out of chewing gum. He did that. He was incapable of telling a lie without physically crossing his fingers because the people on this show are actually really convincing cartoon characters.
As is custom on Bachelor in Paradise, Champion Shitstarter Chris Harrison brings in the one person that would bring the present situation to a head: Samantha. And the drama is even worse than we imagined, as Juelia says that Samantha was the closest person to her in the house when the two were on Chris Soules’s season of The Bachelor together. This is a sentiment that will probably change, as Samantha wastes no time in asking Joe on a date with her and Joe agrees without even blinking his dead eyes.
Although Juelia cries because Samantha is the “perfect specimen,” some of the men in the house have less objectifying concerns about the new coupling. Namely, the speed with which Joe and Samantha became attached. Although Joe tells Jared that the two had not spoken before, Tanner tells the producers in an interview that he is lying and that Samantha had been in contact with Joe, who I’m now just going to call Judge Doom aka Baron Von Rotten aka the human masquerading as a toon.
It turns out that Baron Von Rotten and Samantha will be doing a poolside photoshoot with People magazine. The director informs the contentious coupling that the theme of the shoot will be “celebrating hot bodies” because no magazine has ever done that before ever, so leave it to Bachelor in Paradise to really break ground here. But there’s trouble in paradise, as the show then proceeds to shame Joe for his “dad bod,” which is a term I still do not understand because Channing Tatum is a dad.
Although Joe is embarrassed about his “dad bad,” he is grossly unashamed of popping a boner during the photoshoot. “Kissing Samantha is an out of body experience,” says Joe, probably because his body is so numb from the sudden mass exodus of blood from both his brain and his extremities.
Back at the house, Juelia is in tears over Joe having suddenly run off with Samantha. As if summoned, the two return, Samantha holding of bouquet of flowers. When asked about his date, Joe is outspoken and smitten in a way that I have to admit is kind of endearing. Joe likes Samantha the way Pitbull likes the word “Dale”: compulsively, inexplicably, excessively, in total absence of any reason or moderation. It is almost touching to see someone so foul become so absolutely enamored.
But Jared insists Joe needs to talk to Juelia about what he has done. “This isn’t church camp,” Joe retorts, and that’s that.
Meanwhile, Clare makes a phone call home and they literally sync up animal noises to the call so it sounds like she’s on the phone with a raccoon. Every so often, they cut to some raccoon on a beach chair that they’ve given a phone to play with. But the most unrealistic thing about this conversation is the fact that Clare talks about eating food, which I have seen literally no one on this show do.
At the other end of the house, Jade and Carly talk about their relationships with Tanner and Kirk, which are going so swimmingly that they make bad television and we’ve seen close to none of them. “I’m proud of myself,” Carly says of Kirk. “His abs have abs.”
“Are you super horny for him?” Jade asks, just the subtlest.
It is then that Carly gets herself a date card and takes Kirk because, yes, she is horny as all balls. But Kirk expresses that he might not be ready to sleep with Carly, a sentiment that he might catch some heat for, which is stupid.
While Carly and Kirk get ready for their date, Ashley S asks Jorge the Bartender what he thinks of Dan the Libra. Jorge the Bartender is the guy who is stuck in paradise keeping everybody drunk, and he has a surprising amount of investment in the cast. I realize that Jorge and I have a lot in common in this way, and that we probably have the most complicated cases of Bachelor in Paradise-related Stockholm Syndrome out there.
After her conversation with Jorge the Bartender, Ashley S decides marriage is already on the table with Dan. But Dan tells Jade that Ashley S was too emotional the other night, which he found to be taxing.
We suddenly cut to Chris Harrison staring at some steps, asking “where is she?” This is the part of Bachelor in Paradise where Puppet Master Chris Harrison likes to pretend that there are certain aspects of this show are out of his control and not that this thing is his beloved helicopter-parented baby whose every detail he has been meticulously manipulating on and off camera.
The “she” in question is Megan from Chris’s season, aka the girl who put a helmet on and drunkenly slammed her head against a brick wall. But it’s not brain damage that’s got Megan turned around, it’s that she’s lost her luggage and the crew (you know, besides the one filming her). “I have been wandering around searching for clothes and Chris Harrison,” Megan exclaims, before coming upon a local shopkeeper who sells her a dress and a sombrero. And while the man does not know who Chris Harrison is, he’s able to explain the concept of New Mexico to a baffled Megan.
“Everyone is nice here in Old Mexico,” she says before asking about why “the other one” is New Mexico. She’s shocked to learn that the US “copied” Mexico, so get ready for that outraged Upworthy video (ugh, remember when those were a thing?) courtesy of good ol’ Megan
As Megan wanders through “Old Mexico” in her new dress and sombrero, Carly and Kirk sit down to a candlelit dinner on a couch. We learn that this date is a pretty big deal because today is Carly’s brother’s wedding. Yes, you read that right. Carly missed her brother’s wedding to do this show but girl doesn’t give a hot shit as long as she can shove Kirk down her pants. But Kirk admits that he is uneasy about the speed their relationship is going, especially since he just got out of relationship.
Also juggling his reservations, Dan the Libra sits down with Ashley S to express his concerns. Ashley S counters that she is only here for Dan, so she will leave if he does not want her, and Dan decides that their personalities are simply incompatible. Adjusting her Gandhi glasses, Ashley S replies with a statement that I literally can only describe as total word salad of female empowerment relationship guide phrases from the ’90s. “I don’t need this darkness,” she declares. “I am going to live by the sun and love by the moon. And if you can’t love me at the moon-side, then I don’t know you. Bye, Felicia.”
On their date, Carly decides the best way to get Kirk to sleep with her is to call her brother, because there is no greater aphrodisiac for a man than to speak to someone who shares the same DNA as the object of his desire. Carly insists she is at peace about missing her brother’s wedding because the opportunity was too great, because clearly there was nowhere else she could have met men but on this show. So she calls her brother, and the weird part of all this is that it works. Kirk decides his hesitations about Carly were foolish and the two get a hotel room. To remind you guys: the two most romantic dates on this show have involved an ER visit and a phone call to a girl’s brother on his wedding night.
“It’s like we’re breaking out of prison tonight,” says Carly, but Warden Chris Harrison knows there is no escape.
But before we see our host, the camera cuts to Dan the Libra eating food, I guess because Warden Harrison wants us all to know he’s actually feeding these people before the UN mounts sanctions against him. With our fears assuaged for now, Megan arrives and gives Chris Harrison her “sobrero.”
“I don’t know if I’m pronouncing it right,” Megan says.
“You’re not pronouncing it right,” Chris Harrison replies, accepting the hat from literally one of the most ignorant individuals that has ever been on this show.
This is a human person.
Regardless, Megan is still deemed worthy of reproducing and gets her date card, but then she gets distracted by a crab eating another crab. Somehow both Dan and JJ are very attracted to this woman. Megan feels like she could be with either man, but takes some time to make her decision, not wanting to rush it and waste her time in paradise.
“I know what my worth is and that’s why I’m here,” Megan says and I don’t think she realizes how transparent that statement is. “I’m so excited you’re going with JJ,” says Tenley, free at last.
Ashley S seems relieved that Dan was not picked, saying that she still feels a connection to him.
“My chakras are in a line,” she explains. “Expressive, wisdom, intuitive.” If this girl doesn’t get a self-help book deal out of this show, I will be genuinely shocked.
But Ashley S’s chakras are disturbed by Joe the Cartoon Character and Samantha making out in a hot tub. She feels the two have been acting like they’ve been in a relationship for a year, though I feel the more accurate description is that Bachelor in Paradise is basically summer camp for grown ups and Joe and Samantha are the kids who end up awkwardly making out everywhere in a pile of burgeoning hormones and fervent boob-grabs.
To back me up on this analogy, Joe describes being with Samantha as either “shitting” or “fucking” (they censored him pretty well) as in “you feel so good when you do it, but you know it’s really bad.” This either means this man is willing to admit he takes monster craps on television, or that he has a major internalized shame about sex but either way ew.
When Juelia calls her daughter and feels regret over missing time with her, Dan — a true Libra — decides that he must bring Joe up to penance for his crimes. His partner in justice, Ashley S, asks Joe if Samantha knew about him and Juelia, and he says yes. He also admits that he spoke to Samantha before the show started on text message, phone calls and social media.
Dan forces Joe to sit down with him, as well as Ashley S and Juelia, and tries to badger an apology out of him. Juelia expresses that Joe has essentially ghosted on her, which is a huge feat considering they live in the same house. When she tries to tell Joe that other men told her that he came to the show with the intention of seeing Samantha, Joe refuses to hear it.
“They didn’t say that,” Joe says, in the most audacious act of gaslighting I have ever witnessed.
“If I would’ve played you,” Joe begins in the most convoluted language possible, “I’m sorry that you feel that way.” Realizing Samantha might be told of his scheming, Joe tries to do some damage control. And just in time, Samantha arrives on the scene. As Juelia takes Samantha aside to tell her what’s happened, Joe panics to a producer.
“I don’t want to lose her to some stupid drama with, uh, what’s her name?”
“Juelia?” asks the producer, incredulous, and the episode ends.
Tomorrow, we see JJ and Megan’s date and we find out that Samantha was in on it with Joe the whole time. But what’s even more upsetting to me is that Ashley S goes back to the parrot.
Ashley I Tear Tally: None this episode but this girl has already cried eleven times in four episodes so she’s not exactly gunning for any kind of maturity or growth award here.