I’d like to start our final Paradise recap with a question: If you forced Chris Harrison to eliminate either “shocking” or “dramatic” from his vocabulary, which would he choose?
Regardless of the answer, it seems we’ve made it through this season’s “shocking” and “dramatic” moments — Ashley I’s tears, Sam’s lies, and Justin’s sweat — to arrive at the end of paradise, where the women are still hung up on what just happened to Carly, and the men are ready to focus on the fantasy suites (if you ever wondered about differences between the sexes).
Let’s take this couple by couple…
Nick and Sam: Did you all know that Nick thinks Sam is so beautiful? Because he really does. Saying “you know” at least five times in a matter of seconds, Nick basically talks his way around asking Sam if she’s here for the right reasons. But why start lying now, right? So Sam says she’s “100 percent” here for the right reasons. Furthermore, she decided a full 24 hours ago that she’s here for Nick.
So the couple heads to the fantasy suite, where Nick is “excited to really dig deep.” Excuse me while I vomit.
Cassandra and Justin: As Cassandra struggles to let her guard down, she tells Justin that she doesn’t think it’s appropriate for the two of them to spend a night in the fantasy suite. Instead, the camera follows her to her lonely hotel room, where we watch as she blows out her bedside candle WHILE THE BEDSIDE LAMP IS STILL ON. Better luck next time, producers.
Tenley and Joshua: Even though Tenley has enjoyed every minute of her time with Josh, she’s starting to think about the reality of being together outside the show, and she’s not sure how she feels. She’s scared, but Josh is positive he wants to give it a shot. Tenley — always a sucker for a confident man with bear hands — decides to give it a chance, and the two head to their fantasy suite.
Tanner and Jade: In the most optimistic of all the fantasy suites, Tanner tells Jade that not only does he like “all the different facets that you are,” but that he loves her, and despite that facets comment, she says it back. She’s always felt misunderstood, but Tanner just gets her. Yeah, they’re cute.
The next day, it’s time for everyone to give out their final rose of paradise, and poor Tenley is still struggling between her feelings for Joshua and her need to be realistic. She really likes him and she didn’t expect to. As she puts it, this decision “sucks balls … really big balls.” Honestly, why was Tenley never Bachelorette? (And can she still be?)
After Harrison reminds everyone that these roses mean you’re committed to a life outside of paradise, including marriage and kids — which is the biggest lie of paradise so far — the couples pair off…
NEXT: First comes love, then comes…
Cassandra and Justin: Although it’s only the beginning of their relationship, Justin is excited to see what comes next, and despite her lack of facial expression, Cassandra says she feels the same! They accept each other’s roses, Cassandra refuses to do anything but peck Justin, and the two walk off into what’s sure to be a life of temporary contentment.
Nick and Samantha: Well, if Samantha doesn’t cause Nick to die from suffocation — because she takes his breath away, get it? — he’d like to continue their (non-existent) journey. According to Sam, Nick has been her prince charming through
the past 24 hours all of this. So yes, she’ll accept the rose. Nick? He still can’t believe how hot she is.
Joshua and Tenley: Josh didn’t expect to find anybody when he came to paradise, but he found Tenley, and he’d love to try to continue their relationship in the real world. But poor Tenley can’t get over the fact that it’s just not realistic.
Joshua restored hope for Tenley to be able to have a great love, but he lives in Idaho, and it’s such a big piece of him. And Tenley? She needs to live somewhere with more than one stoplight where things are always happening. If they tried to make this work, she knows they’d eventually either break up or one of them would move and lose a piece of what makes them who they are.
It’s upsetting but fair, and Joshua wraps Tenley up in his bear arms one last time before they part ways.
Tanner and Jade: Well, paradise did something right, because when Tanner goes to give Jade his final rose, he sets it down and instead pulls out an engagement ring. “What we have is worth so much more than a rose, than a million roses. I love you, Jade. And I want to keep on loving you for the rest of my entire life. Will you make me the happiest man on earth and marry me?”
Of course, she says yes, and to make the day even better, they now get to toast their new engagement with four people they don’t really like! But instead of celebrating with Sam, Tanner picks up his fiance and gets the hell out of dodge.
Finally, these crabs can live in peace again.
With that, I will say my goodbye. Paradise has been, well, a mess, and if I’ve learned anything it’s that I’m never going to Sayulita, Mexico, because DID YOU SEE THAT ONE CRAB ON A ROOF?
I’ll see you all in 2016, when Ben Higgins packs his sweaters and begins his dramatic — or is it shocking? — journey to find love. As Megan would say, aloha, Mexico!