Welcome back to the beach, betches! This week, ABC has decided to give us a brief respite from the grueling BiP schedule by airing only one episode instead of two. Thank you, midterm elections. So, instead of feeling simmering amounts of anxiety watching Genevieve showcase the problem solving skills of a coconut, I can be completely submerged in my anxiety as I await democracy’s downfall and wonder if the guy on this show whose entire personality is bragging about the size of the banana leaf he wears in lieu of a swimsuit (“it’s the only thing that can contain me!!”) will have more bodily autonomy than me.
This week’s episode was less focused on telling a story, and more focused on telling us which couples we are supposed to care about. Theoretically, the end of Paradise is in sight. “Paradise is coming to an end soon,” Brittany even says about a season that, by my count, still has 10 hours of footage left to air. Don’t lie to me, Brittany!!
With proposals only a few episodes away, the contestants are feeling the pressure to pair off into “serious” couples. This is a hard task to do when the only single men on the beach are Hayden, Jacob, and the stars of the next Disney Channel Original Movie about two twins who switch bodies, Justin and Joey.
Enter production, who heard “geometry beach” was trending several weeks ago and would like to re-edit the footage to capitalize on that tired storyline. Who cares about things like “personal boundaries” and “happiness” when they can hogtie Eliza’s soul to a stick and roast it over the flames of America’s sick enjoyment? Two love triangles in particular became production’s focus: the very real one happening between Rodney, Eliza, and Justin, and then the one in which they promised Kate an extra $1k and a Tula brand deal if she just plays along.
Let’s get into it!
The Princess & The Pauper
This week, Kate finds herself in a love triangle between herself, her ego, and her own delusions. Also, she has some dalliances with Hayden and Logan. Imagine you’re a producer and you have to make this love triangle sound enticing. Their names are Kate, Hayden, and Logan. They should be the subjects of the math word problem I couldn’t solve during the SATs, not the star-crossed love affair that defines the ages.
If you’ll recall, last week Kate stepped out on her relationship with Logan by going on a date with Hayden. During the first 15 minutes of tonight’s episode, the two make up in the rain after Kate gets back from her date. “Are you sure about me?”, Logan asks. “I’m sure!”, Kate responds—but not before making sure the production team has successfully corralled every human on that beach within viewing distance of her answer.
Now Kate’s feeling unsure about Logan and their seven-year age difference. As she says: “My sister in Christ, he can’t even afford a trainer at Equinox!” In this economy? Who can??
Kate says there are things she doesn’t like about Logan, like the fact that she’s 33 and he’s 26, or that his idea of checking his credit score involves whispering the last four digits of his social three times in front of a mirror, and if the score doesn’t immediately appear in his reflection, then everything must be fine. And there are things Kate does like about Hayden, like that he spent more money on Rambo’s medical care than Elon Musk spent buying Twitter.
The catch is, of course, that she hates Hayden with every fiber of her being. Ah, yes. The riddle all Miami club girls spend their lives trying to solve: is the top-shelf bottle service worth co-signing the dregs of humanity? To that I say, is it just liquor, or would they be open to ordering some Veuve for the table?
KATE: Call me old-fashioned, but I just want that provider energy.
Well, if you go with Hayden, he will certainly be providing you with something. My guess is a long lecture about the power of Bitcoin.
Kate makes a big show of being absolutely tortured over her decision (my sister in Christ, how can ABC ask her to choose like this??). I think she forgets that the men she’s torn between are two of evolution’s greatest mistakes.
But in the end, it’s Logan to whom Kate begrudgingly gives her rose. “You’re gonna need to step it up for me,” she threatens, as Logan tries to hide both his fear and burgeoning chubby. Later, Logan whispers anxiously to the cameras that he doesn’t like how Kate treats him. Is that really fair to say, though, Logan? I think you like how she treats certain parts of you, don’t you?
Good luck, Kate! I hope you can find happiness with this man and his Planet Fitness membership.
A Moment Of Silence For Rodney
The second love triangle to decimate the beach comes in the form of Justin, Eliza, and Rodney. Ever since split week, when Rodney broke things off with Lace, things have been going well for him and Eliza. But then last week, production allowed Justin to return to Paradise. Outwardly, production tells us that they made this decision because they think Justin deserves a second chance. Justin, apparently, was always interested in Eliza and was hoping she would make it to Paradise before he was eliminated.
When Justin asked Eliza on a date last episode, she didn’t initially want to accept. She wanted Rodney to forbid her from dating anyone else, as if he were the suspiciously young dad in a YA novel who cares a little bit too much about who his little princess dates. Since Rodney is not a cave drawing, he acts maturely and rationally. He insists she go on the date if this is what she needs to do to be sure about him. Naturally, Eliza responds by going on the date to spite him, but then develop real feelings for Justin.
Which brings us to tonight! Eliza is definitely feeling the pressure. Any time either Rodney or Justin breathes in her general direction, she looks like she might be violently ill. I definitely don’t think she’s emotionally mature enough for this decision. She might not be emotionally mature enough for an Ulta credit card.
I will say, Eliza perhaps has more chemistry with Justin, but doesn’t want to dump Rodney. How do you dump the human embodiment of a weighted blanket? It doesn’t help that the rest of the beach cannot stop talking about how great Rodney is. Okay, so why don’t you sleep with him then? Hmm?
It all comes down to the rose ceremony. Eliza is crying so hard her sobs could create entire new fault lines in the earth. She wants to dump the weighted blanket for the human meme, but would like to do it without the rest of the beach getting together and casting a dark curse that damns her future lineage for centuries to come. The stakes are so high.
Rose Ceremony Couples
- Genevieve picks Aaron
- Jessenia picks Andrew
- Victoria picks Johnny
- Brittany picks Tyler
- Danielle picks Michael
- Serene picks Brandon
- Aussie Hottie picks twin 1
- Shanae picks twin 2
- Kate picks Logan (with a lecture)
- Eliza picks Rodney
Rose Ceremony Rejects
The level of joy these people exhibit at Rodney getting to stay another week is wild. They’re acting like Rodney and Eliza just did a blood ritual, binding themselves to each other for all eternity, and not like Eliza was so visibly distraught handing out her rose that she almost passed out in despair. Call me skeptical, but I suspect their relationship has a very real, very imminent expiration date.
Case in point: immediately after giving Rodney a rose, Eliza grabs Justin’s hand and walks him to a secluded corner. She spends more time comforting Justin than she does reuniting with Rodney.
RODNEY: It’s you and me until the end. I can’t wait to make you my wife and introduce you to my mother and we should start looking at apartments after filming and when the time is right adopt a labradoodle and maybe name it Paradise (Parry, for short) and—
Oh, Rodney. Sweetie, no.
Eliza is an absolute mess. While Rodney is writing in his dream journal about their future life together, Eliza looks like she spent the night battling her own personal sleep paralysis demon. Her confessional is giving Kelly Kapoor straight off her juice cleanse.
Tell me this isn’t the same energy!
I meant it when I said Eliza is not emotionally mature enough for this relationship. No tea, no shade to her, but it’s just a thing that is pretty obvious. I think she’s maybe more scared of confronting Rodney than her actual feelings for him (or lack thereof).
Eventually, she does muster up the nerve to have The Talk. She tells him that she made the wrong decision and only picked him because she felt influenced by her peers. Eliza! Don’t tell him that! That’s a thing teens say when they have to explain to their parents why they vomited up a six pack of Bartles & Jaymes Strawberry Daiquiri wine cooler all over their Pottery Barn rug. That’s not a thing you say to soften the blow of dumping the most emotionally intelligent man to ever bless this franchise!!
I don’t necessarily think Eliza did him dirty (the heart wants what it wants and all of that), but I do think Rodney deserved more than Paradise could offer him. I’ve been saying ever since Michelle’s season that he deserved to be the next Bachelor. It’s clear he has leading man energy. If only ABC had a space and platform for women to seriously date only one man? Oh wait. I forgot that ABC only celebrates eligible bachelors if they are mediocre white guys whose personalities are as compelling as rubber cement.
And that’s all she wrote! Next week, we find out if democracy is dead, and also if Eliza can lock things down with the human meme. I’m on the edge of my seat either way. Until then!
Images: ABC/Craig Sjodin; Giphy (3); ABC (1)