‘Bachelor in Paradise’ recap: Lots of pants are on fire
You know an episode of Bachelor is Paradise is going to be epic when Jorge the Bartender lands a spot in the cast roll call video and Our Host Chris Harrison reminds the audience during the opening that Joe is “paying the price for being a BLEEP.” (It’s like duck, but with different vowels.)
I settled in, fully aware that this show is careening off its rails and I have a front-row seat. This should be gooooooood.
Jade offers a quick review, giving the audience the 4-1-1 on why Joe is such a chach. She spills out the FACTS as she calls them, using words like “disrespected” and “disregarded” and “needs to be disinfected.” She assures us that when Sammy hears about how Joe treated Juelia, she will drop him like a 32-year-old cougar.
Joe walks around the beach, furious that Whatshername is going to ruin EVERYTHING he has with the girl of his dreams. And Juelia (a.ka. Whatshername) is lightly sobbing in Samantha’s arms because she wants to protect her friend from Joe’s jack waggonry.
Jade escorts the ladies from their huddled position in a hallway to a more convenient location where the cameras can capture facial expressions and eye rolls with ease. She asks Jorge to whip up a few tequila sunrises because it’s five o’clock somewhere. She facilitates the counseling session, urging Juelia to give explicit details on her 27-hour journey where she found love with Joe.
Juelia takes a big breath and a sip of her island-themed drink. She begins her story with a simple statement: We had a connection, so I gave him my rose. It was literally 10-seconds long. Then Samantha cuts her off. She thinks Joe needs to be there so they can all talk together in the same room. Juelia and Jade are stunned.
- Thisis the She-Man Chach Haters Club. No boys allowed.
- There have already been two sit down meetings with Joe and he was a tool in both.
- Aren’t you supposed to be Juelia’s friend? Do you not want to hear her side of the story?
- Stop playing with your extensions
Sam tells the camera that Juelia is being silly and she’s soooooo over the drama. She tells the girls that she is on cloud nine and would rather ride that emotional wave verses giving Juelia the benefit of the doubt. Sam promises Whatshername that she is good, everything is fine and nothing will be weird. Juelia gives her a look that says, “This is the definition of weird” before Samantha bounces off to report to Joe.
Meanwhile, Jade and Juelia report to the Blond Ambition what just went down. Clare exclaims that Joe is indeed the king of d-bags, but we can’t forget that what Samantha did was ten thousand times worse.
Spoken like a wise cougar who has been around the Serengeti once or twice.
Samantha and Joe head down to the boys’ room. She sits on his lap and tells him that Juelia droned on and on about how he supposedly told Juelia that he was there for her. Samantha even slipped in the fact that Joe told Juelia that he watched her season and was very impressed. Sam pauses to give Joe an opportunity to defend himself. He never admits or denies that THAT IS EXACTLY WHAT HE SAID ON THE BEACH THE DAY OF THEIR DATE. Instead he points out that he is there for Samantha—no one else. She smiles and they make out.
Cut to Tanner telling the camera that he knows for a fact that Joe and Samantha were more than talking before the show. He saw a text message screen cap (why erase the evidence but keep the screen cap?) from Sam telling Joe to “do whatever it takes to stay in Paradise until I get there.” Tanner covers his own butt by admitting that he thought about intervening. With that said, he bought the fact that Joe was into Juelia. Why wouldn’t he be? She’s the nicest, sweetest person on the planet.
Tanner and Jared take it upon themselves (read: the encouragement of the producers) to once again attempt a bro talk with Joe. They find him in the boys’ room with Sam. They have one goal: to convince him to admit to everyone that he had an agenda with Samantha.
Jared: I asked you if you talked to Samantha beforehand and you said no. To my face.
Joe: No. No. You didn’t ask that. You asked if I had met her. We never met.
Jared: No I didn’t.
Joe: Yes. Yes you did.
Jared is frustrated. Tanner is carrying his stick, in case he needs to stir the pot some more. Joe is shouting, “WHAT DOES IT MATTER?” and Samantha is shoving Jared, Tanner and the camera out the door while hissing, “Let me talk to him.” The camera man, of course, stays in the room. She drops a sultry, “I’m changing my clothes,” which other than “I’m about to take a dump” is the only way these guys will ever leave a room on command.
Clearly Samantha learned nothing from hiding in the shadows and behind the scenes on The Farmer’s season. She shoves the camera guy out, but does not shut the door completely. FAIR GAME LADY!
The camera cuts to a Blair Witch Project film style that is in black and white. It was very avant-garde for Bachelor in Paradise, so you know something juicy is about to happen. We see Samantha, sipping her rum-infused drink, stroking her hair with a huge smile. A producer off-camera asks, “So what’s the deal? Set the record straight once and for all. Did you know Joe before Paradise?”
Samantha gives a rehearsed canned answer about how they had never talked. She had no idea he was interested in her. The most they had ever done was a few exchanges on social media. She would never, ever plot to find love before arriving in Paradise. She doesn’t do stuff like that. Especially on a reality TV show.
Whoopsie. Unfortunately for Samantha, at that exact moment, she is telling Joe about said interview. Amateurs. Did they not get their story straight before arriving in Paradise? Or did Joe accidentally delete that text too? Sam instructs him to stick with a script of, “I’m glad it worked out that Samantha was here.” The last thing he should do is act all defensive—which he is doing.
Suddenly, Samantha leans down to peek through the set of bunk beds. She spies the camera filming through the crack in the door. Joe begins to moan about people needing to mind their own business. From my many years of charades, I can report that Samantha used the internationally sign for “film” and a finger to the lips which is universal for “shut up moron.”
Moving on! Ashley S. is still pining over Dan. She’s certain he will come back to her because there is no one else he’s interested in. Way to jinx it Ashley S! Here comes Amber from The Farmer’s season. She claims to be interested in Dan, which is questionable to me since none of us knew who Dan was coming into this show. She glides down the new person stairs in appropriate brightly-colored beachwear and Ashley S. is ecstatic. Amber was on her season and she brought her so much joy! Huzzah!
Amber meets and greets. She has a date card and wonders if she’s supposed to choose her suitor at that moment? Samantha blurts out, “I did! Don’t feel bad!” Amber turns to Dan and invites him out. He takes her aside to explain that he had a thing with Ashley S. but the wind has left the sails. He wants to talk to her before accepting Amber’s invitation.
Ashely turns up the cray dial a touch when Dan lets her know that he will be going on a date with Amber. She says that normally he’s such a man, but in this instance, he’s not being one. He needs to tell her that he is just not that into her. Dan won’t do it because he’s unsure. He doesn’t understand why she won’t sit on the back burner like a normal Bachelor in Paradise contestant so he can go off with this hot chick to see if there’s a stronger connection. Is that so hard to do?
Dan leaves with Amber as Ashley and Juelia watch from the treehouse above. This gives them a birds-eye view with which to mope as all the happy couples frolic below. Ashley is sad that she will never get to share a whole component of a whole relationship (huh?) and that this pain is equal to DEATH! Juelia gives her a comforting hug and offers a distraction:
Jue: At least they’re not making out in the water like Joe and Samantha.
Sure enough, the camera cuts to Joe and Sam crouching together in an abbreviated version of the infamous From Here to Eternity position. Everyone thinks it’s odd. Ashley S. sighs. She knows who her real friends are. They have green feathers and poop in her hand.
It’s time to check in on the other dates. Remember how Megan woke JJ up from a dead sleep and invited him to go jet skiing in the rain? Well that happened. She likes that he makes her laugh. He likes her boobs.
Across town, Dan and Amber wander around cobblestone streets. They climb a ladder and then kiss when a bunch of locals (who have been paid off by the producers) begin chanting “beso, beso, beso.” Then the locals encourage them to kiss again. When their lips meet, fireworks light up the night sky.
Well done ABC Intern. Well done.
Amber tells Dan that he’s hot and that she rewarded him two gold stars when he stepped out of the limo during Des’ season. Dan reminds Amber that he doesn’t want to create tension between her and Ashley S. She is quick to say that they are as cool. Just like Juelia and Samantha. After dinner, they stop in doorways so they can kiss while sultry guitar music with a Latin flair offers a romantic soundtrack for their night.
Back in Paradise, upcoming footage indicates that there might be a fight between JJ and Joe. I’m proud to say that I was whole-heartedly rooting for this to happen and was a bit disappointed when it did not. Tanner and Jared filled JJ in on the Samanthagate situation. JJ wonders why Joe and Sam don’t give up their roses and go down the street to a hotel in Mexico?
Uhm, because that’s not free and I highly doubt you get an on-call Jorge to mix you drinks any time your heart desires.
Joe’s blood boils as the Samantha topic comes up again. JJ presses. Joe admits, for the seventh time, that YES HE DID KNOW SAMANTHA WAS COMING. He provided a list. A LIST of potential hook-ups. Didn’t JJ provide a list? How is this different? He went out with Juelia. Connection. He went out with Samantha. Bigger connection.
Hi Joe? It’s Lincee. Yeah, you’re not getting the point that no one seems to be bold enough to say to your face. Juelia wasted her rose on you when she could have given it to Jonathan or Mikey T. even though you knew Samantha was coming. It has nothing to do with connections. You’ve handled this all wrong.
Jared meekly interjects that Joe told him that he had never talked to Sam beforehand. Joe is irate. This again? The correct semantics is SEE HER. He did not SEE HER before the show. That’s completely different from talking. Everyone who’s ever been shady knows this trick.
A normal person would use context clues and decide at that moment to shut their pie hole. Joe is not one of these people. He’s the villist of the vills.
JJ launches into a wonderful analogy about circular references compared to straight references. It’s something about Joe being caught in a loop and he goes around and around saying the same thing without really acknowledging facts. I was lost, but appreciated the attempt at trying to figure out Joe’s propensity to be such a jack wagon when everyone agrees he was so nice during Kaitlyn’s season.
Joe calls the moment “sad and ridiculous” because Jared did the exact same thing to Clare. Then JJ tells Joe to “shut the F up.”
Jared: What planet am I on? I like JJ better than Joe? It’s strange. Joe went from America’s sweetheart to America’s Most Wanted.”
JJ reminds Joe that he’s a grown man and invites him to walk away since he does not have Joe on a leash.
Slowly everyone begins to stand up and stare at each other in the eyes. Joe begins to sling insults in JJ’s face. He tells him to “go find a job” and that “you can’t go home with me so stop bro-ing out” and “go back where you came from.”
JJ tells the camera that Joe feels immune to confrontation and he wants to amend that. As Joe walks off, JJ begs him to come back so they can settle this once and for all. F-bombs were peppered through the command to make the moment salty and full of grit.
Someone chants, “FIGHT, FIGHT, FIGHT, FIGHT!” That someone is me.
Naturally, ABC chooses to flash the “TO BE CONTINUED” slate before any punches are thrown. We can only hope that in next week’s opening montage, JJ’s fist connects with Joe’s jaw and Jorge is called in to intervene because Our Host Chris Harrison is taking it easy on his private island down the way. I hope Ashley S. gives Jorge her rose.