What, what, what the Chris-B-Harrison-hell are the unnamed bartenders serving these Bachelor rejects in Sayulita? Some of Joshua’s special coconut water must have filtered into the Keystone Lite keg because everyone in Paradise has gone total nutters. When the people you can relate to the most are the woman who once invited her shared-boyfriend to watch previously filmed naked video footage of her just moments after meeting her dad, a man willingly wearing a sleeveless shirt underneath a vest, and Ashley S., who likely has six parrots on her person at this very moment—then you know there is some tomfoolery at hand. And by tomfoolery, I of course, mean: frightening, violent, possibly sociopathic behavior.
Joe: Meet everyone. Everyone: Meet Joe. You might remember him from Kaitlyn’s season of The Bachelorette as the man who had no problem exposing his left testicle. But tonight he’s exposing something even more frightening: his personality. I have no doubt that there will one day be a Law & Order episode based on his life. Bro went full Kentucky-bourbon-crazy.
Your regular recapper, the ever witty Samantha Highfill had to step out tonight, leaving me here to recount to you how everyone called Clare old for an hour, Clare called everyone heartless liars, and how Joe described murals made of his enemies’ brain matter. Welcome to Paradise, folks! I always look forward to these hour-long Monday episodes—they’re so palatable. Someone usually talks to an animal on the beach, everyone tries out fancy braids at the cocktail party, and half of the episode is spent handing out roses. But not tonight; tonight, there wasn’t even time to get through a whole rose ceremony, so let’s get right down to it:
The episode opens with a hazy filter which can mean one of two things: Either we’re about to get a reenactment of a producer jumping off a balcony and breaking both of his ankles to avoid being caught in coitus (long live season 1) or, as it turns out, we’re just flashing back to last night’s Date Card Bomb. Jared—the handsomest restaurant manager this side of 26—got a date card and asked Clare—oldest woman in human record—to accompany him. This upset Ashley I. and Mikey T. You see, Ashley rarely likes men, but she very much enjoys the shape of Jared’s face (and presumably the variety of directions in which the hairs on those face point), so it’s annoying that he would not be solely into her. And Mikey… well, Mikey feels like Clare was too vague when she directly told him that she’d like to keep all of her options open.
But pouting can’t undo the power of a date card, so on a sailboat Jared and Clare go where she immediately uses her wily cougar ways to get him all wrapped up. And like they’re playing Bachelor bingo, it’s on to the bungee jumping and the speech about “a man who helps you conquer your fears” that is surely documented on a laminated cue card somewhere. Less expected were Clare’s
Microsoft Paint CGI’d purple bikini bottoms (“What the hell?!” –Jillian, somewhere swinging around a kettlebell) and seagull screams.
After a few smooches and probably a busted eardrum for Jared, Clare returns from their date literally breathless to tell the other women about it in the bunks… which just so happen to be upwind of the lounge Ashley I. has chosen for her next waterworks spectacular. As soon as Clare hits, “Like, as much as I could be curled around him, I was,” Ashley goes from casually picking her teeth to weeping. It’s unclear why she doesn’t just move down to
her own personal toilet the beach, but I stopped trying to apply logic to Ashley’s behavior a long time ago.
NEXT: There’s a new diabetic lawyer in town…[pagebreak]
It’s time for some fresh meat, which can only mean: The ever-meaty Michael G. has arrived and he his eye on Tenley, who to him, is an “Eleven-ley.” Even though that’s a joke, Michael G.’s delivery kind of always seems like he’s gotten back from the dentist and can’t move his face. But monotone be damned, JJ is ready to take that big hunk of man’s date card: “Wow, Michael G—he’s a, like, Notre Dame-educated, corporate lawyer.” Alas, M.G. is an educated man on a mission (he’s also 35—thank goodness Lauren is gone, she could have popped an eyelash at the sheer thought of aging past 32); he takes Eleven-ley aside, tells her his intentions, and off they go to date night. Joshua hopes Michael G will have a bout with diarrhea on the date, and if you ever read the Bachelor/Bachelorette cast bios, you know there is no greater first date fear (especially in M.G.’s white pants).
Joshua may be able to cast a rose out of steel, but he cannot create diarrhea from thin air: Michael G. and Tenley have a lovely date of dinner and drinks (it looked like only water for him—surely he is not long for this Paradise world) in the middle of a surface that they walk across water to get to. After the full New Testament treatment, they’re brought back to earth by a 70-piece mariachi band descending on them from the darkness. I give Tenley credit for barely startling and Michael G. his props for going for it on the dance moves in what appeared to be Tommy Bahamas outlet’s finest linen separates.
Back at Paradise headquarters, without the calming presence of Tenley and her perma-smile, everything is getting… awkward. First, Jared and Clare reunite after their date that we’ve been told was so great, but they’re standing five feet apart and Jared is kicking at the sand, barely looking at Clare. He tells her that she’s “an awesome girl,” but she is eight years older than him. Then he quickly decides to add: “I mean… you look great, you look amazing,” at which point I cover my ears and think happy thoughts (“Joe being incapable of using a boogie board, Joe being incapable of using a boogie board, Joe being incapable of…”) until it’s over. Down the beach, Mikey reasonably wants to make a grab for wooing Juelia and her rose, but unreasonably tries to plant one on her after talking to her for five minutes. She gives him the BiP fadeaway and explains that she’s really “trying to focus on Joe right now.” And in that moment, I feel very sad for Juelia.
Because Joe is running around telling the cameras, and Jade and Tanner at breakfast, how he just can’t wait for Samantha from Chris’ season to get there. If you watched Chris’ season, you know that we know exactly one thing about Samantha: She is gorgeous. So, clearly Joe is looking for a deep, meaningful connection with his future soulmate, a connection worth working over a nice lady with a daughter. Joe quizzes Jade on what kind of guys Samantha likes and I have never loved Jade more than when she says, “Samantha likes pretty boys… like, model,” and looks Joe up and down. This wonderful Jade moment, however, will soon be topped.
Because it’s time for the pre-Rose-Ceremony cocktail party and everyone has been driven completely bonkers, except Joe, who has been resting in CrazyTown since he arrived in Paradise, just waiting to unleash his full potential. And all it took was hearing that Jonathan and Mikey had both taken Juelia aside to express their concerns that Joe was wooing her for The Wrong Reasons (drink!). When Juelia asked Joe about this, blessed by the Patrick Bateman manipulation gods up above, Joe asked her, “What makes them think that though… they didn’t give you a good explanation?” And when it’s clear that she doesn’t know about Samantha—why didn’t anyone tell her about Samantha?!—he tells her that he hasn’t been avoiding her, he just didn’t want to smother her (presumably while he imagines actually smothering her).
NEXT: Rated “I” for Insane Comments…[pagebreak]
Finally rid of the human rose-suitcase that he considers Juelia, Joe retreats to a couch to talk like an absolute crazy person to an unseen producer. A few choice tidbits:
“Everyone should keep their opinions to themselves… but at the same time, I give zero f–ks right now. I’m just like: Gimme dat rose.”
“Jonathan—I would break his f–king jaw and beat the f–king pulp out of his f–king brain, I swear to god. I won’t stop until his brains are coming out of his ears, I swear to you. I’m that f–king mad.”
“Mikey T—if we were in Kentucky right now, I would get a pair of brass knuckles; I put my brass knuckles on my right hand and walk up to Mikey T and just knock him out.” Mikey T. does approach Joe, not in Kentucky but in Paradise, and Joe explains that he does care about Juelia and has the best intentions for her. Leading to…
“I just made him my bitch. He looked like a total idiot. Go take a protein shake you [bleeping] [bleep]. Hashtag-JoeMadeHimHisBitch. I’m gonna go do the same thing to Jonathan.”
And, as promised, Joe goes to Jonathan, whose brain pulp he has just threatened in great detail, and convinces him that he has betrayed him not only as a man but as a friend by intimating to Juelia that Joe might not be into her. And sweet, sweet Jonathan (okay, I still haven’t forgotten about his creepy sister comments, but you feel for the guy) becomes convinced that he has been corrupted by this game, his morals put asunder by his quest for a rose, and lets Joe march him up to Juelia where he tearfully confesses his lies against the future stepfather of her child.
Oh, y’all, it is madness. Jonathan then goes to weep in the bathroom—I mean, full out sobs—and Joe follows him in there just to drive the metaphorical knife in a little deeper, telling Jonathan that his son would be proud of him for “making it right.” They hug it out and I scour the counter for potential weapons in ill-fated hopes of protecting Jonathan and his completely bare arms.
So, surely things can’t get any crazier, right? We’ll just pass out the roses and move on? Wrong. Clare has been in Paradise for two days and not found love (and probably had quite enough of the “cougar” comments, to be ever-so-slightly fair), and that simply will not do. After Chris Harrison ghosts in to announce to the casually seated group that the Rose Ceremony will commence in a few minutes, Clare decides to just start screaming out into the void. I really wanted to be rooting for Clare here, but she’s kind of been on a tear this season, huh?
After prefacing in her interview that she’s “human and sometimes things get to [her],” apropos of nothing but no one currently having a crush on her, Clare starts telling everyone how she didn’t come there to strategize, and this season is totally different than last season where everyone was actually there to find love. Jade says it’s the strangest showboating display she’s ever seen, and after taking a few moments to collect her thoughts, she responds to Clare at the time where dramatic declarations are not only more acceptable, but welcomed: the Rose Ceremony.
Jade tells Clare that she’s offended by her comments; not only is she there to find love (#janner4eva), but she’s had intimate conversations with almost everyone there where they’ve expressed the same, so she’s not sure where Clare is coming from. It’s very nicely said (if not a little, “How dare you disrespect the vacation house that Chris Harrison built!”). Clare’s response? A sneered, “If the shoe fits.” To sweet little Jade! So Clare has cracked. After the couples all hand over their roses—Carly to Kirk, Ashley S. to Dan, Jade to Tanner—and Tenley throws a curveball named Molly to Joshua—you know it’s a crazy night when that barely even warrants a key-change in the background music—Clare decides that she simply can’t take the pressure of thinking about giving an ABC-sanctioned rose to someone she’s not in love with. She storms off the risers with Chris Harrison following after her. And finally, Ashley I. says something I can relate to: “This is amazing… Clare is losing her mind!”
TO. BE. CONTINUED.
Left hanging in the middle of a Rose Ceremony—stop the madness! What did you think of Clare’s outburst? Are you legitimately scared of Joe (and subsequently nervous for his future target, Samantha)? Please do call out your own most confounding moments in the comments, maybe tweet some kind things to Jonathan, and let’s all cross our fingers that Ashley S. rips Joe a new one next week.