Everyone, say aloha to Mexico, because we’re back in paradise, where Sam and Joe have somehow surpassed Ashley I. to become the least appealing people on this show. Also, men suck, and Juelia and Ashley S. have found real friendship. Need I say more?
Okay fine, I will. We pick up with Juelia attempting to warn Sam about Joe, the guy who will tell you that he feels “so much feelings for you” before changing his mind. (And if he really does say that, every woman should walk away now.)
But when Samantha wants to bring Joe into the conversation—and traumatize Juelia further?!—it’s evident that Sam is not on #TeamHoesOverJoes. In fact, Sam doesn’t have time for drama, so she’d rather just enjoy her stay on cloud nine and end this conversation so that she can go sit on Joe’s lap.
As Clare puts it, “With friends like that, you don’t need enemies.” I think that’s the first time I’ve quoted someone on this show in a positive way. Well played, Clare. You should talk to humans/cameras (as opposed to raccoons) more often.
Elsewhere, Jared and Tanner can’t believe that Joe has gone from being the “fun saint” on their season to being public enemy number one. (Fun saint, though? Who chose those descriptors? Tony?) According to Tanner, he’s seen a screengrab of a message from Sam telling Joe to do whatever it takes to stick around paradise. As that Mary-Kate and Ashley movie taught us: It takes two.
But when Tanner and Jared try to talk to Joe, Sam all but shoves them out of the room. Thinking the cameras are gone, she tells Joe that she just gave an interview in which she said that she and Joe didn’t talk before the show and that it was purely social media and a few text messages. “There was no plotting with Joe,” she says in her interview, just as she plots with Joe behind a bunk bed.
But all her scheming comes crumbling down when she forgets classic rule number one of plotting: Always close the door. Sucks to suck, Sam. (Someone should probably also tell her that just because you’re in a pool doesn’t mean the cameras have stopped rolling. Please someone tell her.)
The next day, Ashley S. is still heartbroken over Dan just as Amber—another arrival from Chris’ season—shows up looking for Dan (and hopefully a bra).
Amber’s arrival is met with ridiculous excitement from Ashley S., who thinks Amber literally looks like a baby doll and is literally somebody who is the most pure-hearted person. So when Amber asks Dan on a date, Ashley S. has to face the fact the the girl that literally makes her smile is now making her cry.
“Literally” count: 3.
Thankfully, Dan is a little classier than some other people—cough, Joe, cough—and takes Amber aside and explains his situation with Ashley S. He then takes Ashley aside and listens to her yell at him for not talking to her all day—what time is it though? Like 11 a.m.?—before she decides she’s done with him. The verdict? He’s going on a date with Amber and Ashley S. is left to be everybody’s “fourth wheel.” Fourth?
And in yet another demonstration of why Ashley I. is awful with men, she physically runs away from Jared after telling him how hot he is. Has anyone informed her that this isn’t fourth grade?
NEXT: JJ vs. Joe
On their date, JJ and Megan are enjoying some time on the sea, and if things go well, “he may be motorboating me,” Megan says. Well, you’re not on a motorboat, Megan, and also, that’s way too much information, but you know what? It’s better than whatever happened with Joe and Sam last night, so I’ll take it.
The best part of this entire interaction is JJ trying to explain away the horrified look on his face when Megan woke him up. He just didn’t recognize her! The lighting was so weird! It had absolutely nothing to do with the fact that waking up to Megan’s wide blue eyes is probably the second most horrifying thing about paradise (behind waking up to Ashley S.’s wide blue eyes).
Jumping into the ocean, Megan declares that “This is the quickest I’ve ever been wet on a first date,” which is the first and last time that will be said by anyone on a date with JJ.
Speaking of JJ, he realizes that he and Megan are “different intellectually.” Read: “She’s not smart enough for me, but have you seen her boobs?” (Suddenly, his friendship with Clint makes sense.)
Back on dry land, Dan gets dressed up for his date with Amber, and Ashley S. brings our literally count up to 5. Not only did Dan literally come across as a great guy, but right now, she’s literally feeling the kind of pain you experience when someone dies … which someone did, and it was the semi-normal Ashley S. we’d seen so far this season.
Now, onion girl is back, and she’s got a friend in Juelia, headband girl? I need a better nickname.
With that in mind, Ashley S. is literally—that one’s all me—thrown to the birds to hang out in her natural habitat. And when she’s had enough of that, she finds a friend in a nearby crab, because crabs can smile too. Also, they can apparently work for the FBI.
On their date, Amber and Dan are enjoying a walk down the street when the crowd around them starts chanting for a kiss. They oblige, and just as they do, the producers set off yet another fireworks show. You gotta love how subtle the cues are on this show.
Over dinner, Amber reveals that she came to Mexico for Dan. Yes, her timing is crazy. And no, she’s no longer thinking about Ashley S. as soon as she starts making out with Dan at the dinner table, and then up against a wall, and then in the street, and then farther down the street. Yeah, I’d say Dan’s “concerted effort not to make out tonight” was an epic fail.
However, Joe—the king of epic fails—is not to be topped. After Tanner catches JJ up on Joe’s lies, JJ decides to talk to the “vill of the vills.” (When will it end?!)
Sitting down, JJ asks Joe about his relationship with Sam before the show, but Joe is as over this conversation as the rest of us are the word “vill.” According to Joe, this conversation is like a dead body they keep digging back up and re-burying. Sure, it’s a bit of a complicated metaphor, but it slowly gets the point across. (Maybe next time go with the “beating a dead horse” classic?)
Basically, JJ doesn’t like that Joe lied, and Joe doesn’t like that JJ is all up in his business. But of course things can’t stop there, because as JJ puts it, Joe is a circular reference, and it’s either time to put a straight edge on that circular reference or solve that circular reference by taking out what the circularity is. Who’s dumb now, Joe?!
By the time JJ brings out his death stare—surely from his hockey days and/or the Black Friday sale at J.Crew—Joe walks away from the conversation. Just as JJ decides he’s ready to make Joe look like the hillbilly he is, he yells for Joe to “get the f— up here you little piece of s—.” And fade to black.
But what will happen next? Will Joe pull out his left nut and sumo-wrestle JJ to the ground? Will JJ get another tattoo?! Only time will tell, and until then, I’m literally going to try and eliminate the word “literally” from my vocabulary.