Bachelor in Paradise, Season 2 Episode 7 Recap
We’re past the halfway point of Bachelor in Paradise, and this week everybody’s drunk. Including whoever edited this episode and decided to open it with a weird montage of crabs.
However, I would genuinely take an episode’s worth of crab montages over one more dumb conversation about Joe’s crimes against Juelia. As Juelia laments that Joe’s wronging her will surely guarantee her dismissal from paradise, JJ offers to give her his rose at the rose ceremony that evening — but Juelia refuses it.
Also worried about maybe somehow going home even though tonight is men’s choice is Joe, because he’s totally forgotten how this show works. He’s perhaps more worried about being chased out of paradise by his castmates than through a rose ceremony, but he puts on a brave face for Samantha. “If I have to deal with this every day to be with you, I’ll do it,” he says, which convinces me that Joe is only doing this to get a free vacation to Mexico with his ladyfriend.
“At the end of the day,” he tells a producer, “I’m her guy…wait…yeah, I’m her guy and she’s my girl.”
Just before the rose ceremony, Joe announces that he flirted with Samantha before the show on Instagram and that she was initially scared of him because of course she was, he’s like a sexually aggressive, cornfed, anthropomorphized Bert from Sesame Street.
Some more arguing and back-and-forth about the whole Joe-Juelia-Samantha thing takes place, but honestly I don’t want to keep summarizing the same chickenshit conversation that happens every episode. I’d rather watch two hours of Clare talking to the raccoon or spend the rest of my life being Ashley I’s new caretaker.
While the drama with Joe continues, Ashley I finds herself once again trying to master talking to Jared, the least intimidating man in the house. This is a man who dresses up like a superhero and calls himself Love Man. This is a man who hides in the bushes gossiping and drinking mimosas like my drunk aunt at a family reunion. This is a man whose name Ashley I shouldn’t even know because she’s just calling him “Practice.” But somehow he’s got her interest, and she’s far too shy to ask him to kiss her. So, instead she just kind of sits by him and waits for him to notice.
“There’s something on my leg,” Jared declares. Nope, it’s just Ashley I’s foot. Because she’s got the game of a golden retriever who just kind of puts her paw on your leg when she wants attention. But they kiss anyway so I guess my hot new dating tip for all of you is to start acting like a dog.
The big issue of tonight’s rose ceremony is not only the fact that Juelia may be unfairly sent away from paradise after she was deceived by Joe, but that someone might decide to save her. Amber worries that she will lose her spot if Dan does, while Tenley tries to convince JJ that even though he likes Megan, he should use his rose to keep Juelia around and give her a fair shot with the new group of men coming in after the rose ceremony. But Juelia has her own man in mind, Mikey T. So, she takes Chris Harrison aside to inform that she regrets not picking in the last rose ceremony and that she wishes the two of them could have more time in paradise. And while I feel bad for what happened to Juelia, she really, really doesn’t know how to ask for a favor.
At the beginning of the rose ceremony, things run smoothly: Joshua picks Tenley, Jared picks Ashley I, Kirk picks Carly and Tanner picks Jade. But when it gets to JJ, we hit a snag. He puzzles over his choices and looks meaningfully at the camera. You can tell he really loves having responsibilities and being on television. And having both at the same time must thrill him.
However, in a move that comes so totally out of left field that I realize no producer could have told him to do it, JJ gives his rose to Ashley S.
“That’s the hardest thing I’ve done, I don’t know, maybe forever,” says the man who cheated on his wife and quit his six-figure job while he was raising a baby. And then the soundtrack to Braveheart kicks in and JJ delivers the speech that happens at the climax of every underdog film. Even though they’re down in the last inning, says JJ, probably, he’s got a recent ex that he might still have feelings for and no one deserves love the way Ashley S does and he’s going to lead the Scots to freedom.
But I will say this: JJ saved Ashley S not for love, not for integrity, but for the noblest cause of all: keeping entertainingly unstable people on television. And for that, I thank him.
After JJ has left, Joe picks Samantha. Then, with one last rose to give, Dan asks for a minute to talk to Carly, because I guess he cannot stand to be upstaged by JJ. Expressing that he is concerned that everyone wants to see him give his rose to Juelia, Dan feels torn. But he ultimately picks Amber, so that means Juelia, Clare and Megan are sent home.
Aloha also means goodbye.
But just as Clare is announcing her retirement from the Bachelor franchise and Juelia is getting ready to leave, Mikey T arrives because sometimes Warden Chris Harrison needs to give the prisoners a treat. In this case, a beefcake. So, Juelia and Mikey T return to the house, much to Joe’s dismay.
After the rose ceremony, Tanner gets a date card to take Jade on a date to Tequila, Mexico to go to a tequila distillery. Yes, you read that right. They reserved the tequila date for the two most well-behaved people in the house because this show is no fun.
They leave immediately from the rose ceremony, taking a flight and a drive out to the distillery. And though they left that evening, it’s daytime by the time they reach their destination and they are wearing the same clothes, proving that this is a show where no one eats or sleeps or showers.
Back at the house, Samantha says she only wants to hang with Joe, which means she soon won’t. And lo and behold, who arrives but Nick from Bachelorette Season 7 and Bachelor Pad, claiming that he and Samantha have been talking before the show. But Samantha refuses to go on a date with him, which leads a spurned Nick to confide in the King of “You Should Like Me Because I Like You,” Mikey T. But Mikey T shows a rare streak of maturity and tells him to move on if Samantha is not interested and ask Ashley S on the date instead.
When he sees Ashley S and realizes that he’s going to spend an afternoon on a private island with her, Nick seems to forget all about Samantha. “¡Ole!” he declares excitedly, before saying he has no idea what it means. So, yeah, they test these people for STIs before they come, but not for even a remote grasp of the language of the place they’re going to live.
Unfortunately, when the two try to catch their boat to the island, they find that bad weather has meddled in their plans.
“The port is closed,” a man at the docks explains in English.
“Oh, I don’t speak Spanish,” says Ashley S.
“There’s a language barrier here,” agrees Nick, and so I’m proposing we just title this show Chris Harrison’s Dumb White Friends.
Meanwhile, Jade and Tanner have a heart-to-heart about their feelings. “Your goosebumps have goosebumps,” Tanner tells Jade when they get a key to the fantasy suite. Despite their nerves, the two decide to go.
With the budget for this week totally blown on Jade and Tanner’s date, Ashley S and Nick are left to drink tequila on a dock until they’re told they’re going to get a massage. What happens next, when the two are left alone and Ashley S decides to give Nick another rub-down, can only be described as brilliant. I’ve spent a lot of time talking about how stupid it is when the show edits a conversation to make it look like it is taking place between a person and an animal. Now that Clare is gone, I didn’t expect to see another weirdly-edited conversation with an animal, and I especially didn’t expect to like it.
But meet Ashley S’s crow friend.
He’s just this raunchy crow that tells Ashley to enjoy the fruits of paradise (Nick’s you-knows in his teensy tiny briefs) because he wants his friend to have a good time and not hold back. And he’s somehow revived this really tired recurring joke, though I’ve probably just finally lost it from watching so many hours of this show but here, just go watch it.
A few shots of tequila later, Nick admits that he is way too drunk and keeps drinking. Ashley S is also entirely too drunk, and they speak absolute nonsense to each other in a hot tub. You can have your fantasy dates and your helicopter rides and your mountaintop proposals. This is the Bachelor I live for. JJ’s sacrifice was not in vain.
In the fantasy suite, Tanner expresses his worry that he and Jade may not be able to continue their relationship after the show. It’s nothing that either of them would do to each other, he explains, but more that it might be hard to maintain outside of a situation like this, when they are thrust into the real world after the controlled but leisurely environment of paradise. This is one of the most mature observations anybody on this show has ever made about dating on reality television, but of course it’s made by a guy who is so drunk he’s crosseyed.
“I’m falling for you, Jade. I want to call you my girlfriend,” Tanner says, which is a pretty much more mature thing than the usual “I’m falling for you, I want to traumatize my family by introducing them to you” or “I’m falling for you, so let’s go make our New Dad Chris Harrison go buy us a ring.”
But back at the house, Jared doesn’t see his relationship with Ashley I surviving past the end of the week. Proving even more to me that he’s secretly somebody’s drunk, gossipy aunt in Boca Raton, Jared admits to the dudes in the pool that not only is he not really interested in Ashley I, but he’s not over Kaitlyn from his season of The Bachelorette. He decides that it is only fair to tell Ashley I that he isn’t feeling it with her and suddenly the last week’s drought is about to be over. So start buying bottled water and taking long showers again, because Ashely I manages to knock out a good cry both in the moment and in an interview with a producer. Being the well-adjusted adult she is, Ashley I calls Kaitlyn to let her know about this because that will definitely make everything better and less complicated.
Meanwhile, it’s Joe’s birthday. But he’s got something special planned for Samantha instead.”Things are going great, so nothing will get in between us,” says Joe, which means something is about to get in between them.
Cut to Nick walking up the beach.
But it’s not Nick that is Joe and Samantha’s undoing. It’s Joe: the calls are coming from inside the house. As he grows clingier to Samantha, she starts to pull away. Such that when Joe organizes his own birthday party with his own cake, Samantha spurns both his affections and his cake by saying that there is too much drama surrounding their relationship.
“There hasn’t been any drama all day today,” says Joe, which in his defense is a decade in reality tv show years.
But Samantha leaves and a lovelorn Joe doesn’t even eat his own birthday cake. Instead, he starts admitting to housemates all of the things he has been accused of for weeks, but for the purpose of making Samantha look bad. But, oh, how the tables have turned.
Tomorrow, we’ll see Juelia and Mikey T on their date, we’ll meet another new arrival to paradise, and we’ll have to sit through more Joe drama. My only hope is that they do not bring back the raunchy crow and, ultimately, ruin it like they ruin everything else. (I’m watching you, Harrison.)
Ashley I Tear Tally: 2 this episode, 13 total for the season.