Welcome back to the beach, betches! We are now a week out from the finale, and morale could not be lower. We’re so far past finding love in a hopeless place, and are instead finding psychosis at the bottom of one of Wells’ margaritas. The look of absolute despondency on these peoples’ faces. I’m telling you, I haven’t seen such a thing since I looked in the mirror at my own face after fighting to the death on Ticketmaster for a chance to listen to Taylor Swift live and in concert—or at least live through two cups held together by a string, depending on Ticketmaster’s benevolence. Haunting, truly.
It’s at this point in the season that the cabin fever—or, perhaps it’s more accurate to say, bungalow fever—fully sets in. I imagine this must be what it was like in the days before humanity discovered fire. Just whacking each other with sticks and arguing about if that feeling is itchy or painful until eventually evolution’s first draft of a bear stumbles upon you arguing and makes a restaurant week out of your remains.
Sadly, there are no prehistoric beasts to put the Paradisers out of their misery (though wouldn’t that be fun if there were?). Keep in mind that by the end of this season, there will have been nine weeks and something like 15 episodes of BiP we will have been forced to watch. That’s more than the amount of episodes in a normal Bachelor/ette season. Quite frankly, I would settle for a prehistoric beast taking me out at this point. A girl can dream…
The contestants have now spent weeks stunting their amygdalae with tequila shots and rudimentary conversation. They’ve forgotten that beyond this beach there is a vibrant world outside, one in which they don’t have to be semi-nude and in a constant state of alcohol poisoning to engage with it. Because of this, they’ve stopped being fun to watch. It’s like when the monkeys refuse to dance at the circus. ABC is at the point where if they want to see the cast do anything other than develop slow-growing carcinoma, they have to literally poke them with sticks. That, or shove an overly-zealous 33-year-old woman who defines herself as “a little spicy and a little saucy” onto their daybed and hope it spurs them into some sort of forward momentum.
That might be why, out of the entire 240 minutes of footage they showed us this week, 60 minutes were spent trying to make the lesser half of Paradise’s Suite Life of Zack & Cody look like a legitimate romantic option (we all know Joey is the one carrying the twin bit on his barely-pubescent shoulders), 30 minutes were spent on Genevieve and Aaron fighting with their last two remaining brain cells, and 60 minutes were spent watching the cast act like Rodney took their only remaining water source with him when he left. If these aren’t cries for help, I don’t know what are!
But what am I saying? You’re going to read all about it. Let’s get into it!
Eliza’s Saga Continues
As I mentioned above, this week’s episodes were trash. Not even the Eliza/Rodney/Justin drama felt compelling. I think it’s because Eliza is the weak link here. All season, I haven’t understood why she’s the Helen of Troy of this beach, bringing the ravages of war and suffering to every man who lays eyes on her. Like, yes, she is beautiful, but I suspect a conch shell has more personality than what’s happening beneath that gorgeous exterior.
The episode opens with Eliza traveling to Justin’s hometown of Baltimore to “get her man back.” Nevermind that “her man” is a stranger she met on a beach 72 hours prior. Paradise should never normalize this behavior. In the real world, if I even so much as followed a guy I just met on Instagram, he would be alerting his entire friend group and Instagram HQ of my “erratic” behavior.
This explains why Justin is so freaked out by her arrival. He wanted her rose, not a relationship.
Justin tells Eliza that he can’t be with her because he wanted her to choose him first. He doesn’t want to be anyone’s second choice. That, and also he was in the middle of a 30-hour Call of Duty marathon with the boys, and he really needs to get back to it. You understand, right Liza?
I guess you should have gone with Rodney!
My Sister In Christ, Is It Too Much To Ask For A Decent Man On This Franchise?
God bless Kate. Her voice makes me want to put my eardrums through a cheese grater, but she is mildly entertaining to watch. At least someone understood the assignment.
Kate is still very unsure of Logan. She’s like “I need a man,” and then proceeds to emasculate the one she’s dating on national television. “Logan is 26 years old,” she says, “[He’s] not established, drives an orange Honda, has a broken phone, he’s a dog walker.” I drive a gray Honda and my iPhone’s speakerphone function hasn’t worked since 2020, so I don’t love her points. What if owning broken things is just your personality, Kate!!
KATE: I’m a wow-er. I want to be wower.
I hate to break it to you, Kate, but in the real world, men with shitty phones are in high demand. Why do you think therapists are always so busy?
Enter: Ency and Lyndsey, who are ready to find a man even if that man is literally the last one on earth. Lyndsey wants to ask Logan on the date. Unlike Kate, she has lots of nice things to say about him. For example: “He’s so tall,” and “He’s really, really tall.” As I said, Kate, a hot commodity.
Despite what I write in every single one of these recaps, Logan is actually capable of some critical thinking. He senses that something is amiss with Kate. When I write that, I don’t mean that Logan has any real understanding of Kate’s complicated feelings. I mean that he has working eyes and ears and after weeks of passive aggressive comments is starting to think that maybe, possibly, she’s not happy with their relationship. It’s like when my dog farts in her sleep so bad that it wakes her up. She can smell that something is off, but she can’t tell that she was the actual source of it.
LOGAN: It feels like you look down on me
I want to watch the reunion, if only to get Logan’s reaction after watching weeks of Kate trolling him in the confessionals. Kate’s like, “Name a moment where I was critical of him?”, and she does realize this is a show with cameras, yes? I don’t think there’s a moment of their relationship where she hasn’t been critical of him. I thought that was kind of their kink.
Things escalate when Gabby and Rachel crash the beach. I simply love that they brought these two here to give relationship advice. What insight could they possibly provide? Making bad decisions? The tequila is taking care of that, ladies! I mean, it is pretty wild to watch them both flash around their engagement rings when, at that exact moment, Tino is already ignoring Rachel’s calls, and Erich is releasing statements about doing blackface. But sure, gals, do tell us the secret to a happy relationship.
It’s obvious that the entire purpose of Gabby and Rachel’s presence is to set fire to whatever self-respect Logan had left. They tell Kate he can’t be trusted. “I don’t respect him and I don’t trust him,” Rachel cautions. “He has a bit of an ego in his mind that he is the ultimate,” Gabby piles on.
You guys, the man is not a master manipulator. From the sounds of it, he can’t even manipulate Verizon into giving him a phone upgrade. Meanwhile, Kate has him performing tricks like he’s a foxhound terrier who’s about to win Best in Show. Please stop worrying about this guy.
LOGAN “WORKING ON HIS RELATIONSHIP” FOR KATE:
Production Gives The Hostages Something To Live For
We’re at that point in the season when the allure of a free Mexican vacation is fading faster than Michael’s farmer’s tan. This entire week has been bleak in terms of content. The producers must sense that the cast is one sunny, idyllic day away from going full Victorian bride and drowning themselves in the ocean, because they finally decide to give the hostages something to live for again.
Production plans a Sadie Hawkins, ’90s-themed dance. Sadie Hawkins, because when has this franchise ever asked the men to work for anything, and a ’90s theme because they wanted to humiliate the twins, whom I suspect were born sometime in the new millennium. It’s times like these that I miss Jill. She would have broken my mind by showing up in some sort of Lisa Frank cosplay.
MICHAEL: In the ’90s we parted our hair down the middle because the bigger the fluff, the bigger the stuff.
HOW IS THIS MAN THE HOTTEST COMMODITY ON THE BEACH?
You know who’s not having a good time? Jessenia. Ever since Andrew ditched her for a date with Ency (the tiniest of plot points on Monday night’s episode), she’s been ready to set fire to his happiness.
Jessenia has clearly made the decision to leave Paradise, but wants to get closure from Andrew first. Andrew thinks there’s nothing to close, because he never really had feelings for her to begin with. Jessenia, however, has been choosing him week after week in rose ceremonies because she thought a spark was there. I think Andrew has been phoning it in ever since Teddi left, and really needed to vocalize how meh he was feeling about Jessenia weeks ago. Jessenia would like for him to admit that, while also ruining his fun.
I’ll spare you the excruciating details, but essentially Andrew does admit to never fully getting over Teddi, and leaves Paradise mid-dance. The two moments that stick out to me from this fight are Jessenia hollowly whispering “I’m tired,” as she stares dead-eyed into the abyss of that limo, and Ency fully losing her damn mind.
Picture this: Andrew, who has now wrestled free from ABC’s mind control, and is backing slowly into an awaiting getaway car, as Ency deteriorates into a pile of body glitter and hair ties. I’m not kidding, y’all. She was all but on her hands and knees! The way she was repeating “please” over and over again… the last time I prayed that hard was when I got stuck trying on a jumpsuit and was forced to either live forever in a TJ Maxx dressing room or debase myself by asking the 16-year-old retail associate if she could cut me out of it. Save the prayers for a real emergency, Ency.
And that’s all she wrote! Until next week!
Images: ABC/Craig Sjodin; Giphy (5)