Carly and Evan's wedding is followed by the cast's return to Mexico

By Samantha Highfill
August 15, 2017 at 10:55 PM EDT
Paul Hebert/ABC
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Listen guys, I know it’s been a full 22 hours since we last left paradise, so let me welcome you all back…with a wedding. That’s right. Before Chris Harrison can lead a sex ed class, he has to officiate Carly and Evan’s wedding (which was filmed a week before production started back).

And although this show clearly feels the need to recap Evan and Carly’s entire love story, I think it can be summed up in one GIF:

And now they’re getting married! Talk about an epic love story. Oh wait, just kidding! STILL not time for the wedding. First, ABC wants to air a montage they put together of some of the show’s weddings, titled, “See! This show works!” Unfortunately, it’s not nearly as interesting (or long) as a montage of all the show’s breakups would’ve been.

Okay, NOW it’s time for the wedding. And is there really a topless woman singing, or is ABC messing with us?

With Chris Harrison officiating, the ceremony begins, and Evan starts crying when HE walks down the aisle, so you can only imagine the horror when it’s Carly’s turn. I’ll say this much: Harrison has to yell to be heard over Evan, who refuses to stop complimenting his bride. That’s nice and all, dude, but shut up. Also, you’re a little too surprised that she looks this good.

And this brings us to the best part of Bachelor Nation weddings: the self-written vows, in which Evan tells Carly that their love is like the ocean — “deep, wild, untamed,” and with “so much to explore.” He then tells her, “I promise to never stop exploring you.” Look, I know some of you might be fans of more traditional vows, but if we’re being honest, there’s not enough talk about sex in your average vow…said NO ONE EVER. There’s a reason your wedding is in front of your family and your wedding night is not.

As for Carly, she promises to learn CPR so the next time Evan fakes his death, she can break his ribs. (She then suggests he fake his death the next time they fight, so this girl really has a game plan.) She then calls him her lobster and nothing else matters.

And that was Carly and Evan’s perfect day. I hope you all enjoyed it more than Nick and Vanessa, who looked about as happy as Carly’s father did when he heard Evan’s vows.

Okay, NOW it’s time to get back to paradise, and with the cameras rolling, Harrison welcomes back the cast — everyone but Corinne and DeMario. Leading class, he explains to them that Warner Bros. hired an outside firm to look into what happened and that no misconduct was found. Do they trust that conclusion? Yes.

Great. So far, they’re acing this test.

Harrison and the cast then take the next five minutes to talk about how much they love the producers and how they aren’t at all manipulated by anyone. (Take that, UnREAL!) And then there’s Taylor, who’d just like everyone to know that she’s sober. (Which means: All of those arguments about emotional intelligence? Yeah, she was SOBER. Also, she really doesn’t know how to pronounce entrepreneur.)

Various people express empathy for DeMario and the way he was portrayed in the media, and they all agree that if the audience had seen the entire day, they’d have a different opinion. Then, Harrison decides to kick this after-school special up a notch by asking the group if they believe race played a part in this. They all agree that it did, and Raven would like everyone to know that nobody did anything wrong. (Next: The consent issue)

Harrison asks what they all thought of Corinne referring to herself as the “victim” in her statement, but they all feel it was obvious that statement was written by her lawyer. Also, Alexis would like to chime in on the matter of slut-shaming…but only if she can find the words she’s looking for. (She can’t. They were “double standard.”)

Raven then steps up and admits that she was sexually assaulted in a past relationship and hopes that this experience doesn’t deter actual victims from coming forward. And that brings us to the topic of consent.

“How do you know when someone has given consent?” Harrison asks a group full of adults as he sits on what appears to be an end table. Taylor, ever the eager student — I can just picture her in high school now — explains the importance of verbal consent versus nonverbal cues, and Ben Z. would like you all to know that consent needs to be given throughout an act. Harrison then asks the contestants to keep consent in mind, you know, just as a general rule in life. It’s good advice, but let’s just hope it’s not advice anyone here actually needed to hear.

Chris then goes around the group and makes everyone verbally affirm that they want the show to continue and that they didn’t just fly out to Mexico to brush up on the definition of consent. Once everyone says yes, Harrison once again calls on the power vested in him, but this time, he’s not marrying anyone; he’s reopening paradise (which is arguably more romantic).

The men and women immediately break off to see how everyone’s feeling, but all you really need to know is that Amanda’s over Alex, Raven still prefers Ben to Robby, and Kristina and Dean spent 10 days together back in Kentucky. Also, Derek and Taylor are a “real thing” now.

Heading into the fourth quarter of game one, Alex can’t seem to understand that Amanda’s not interested, even after Danielle tells him he’s coming on too strong and Raven straight-up advises him to move on. He still doesn’t get it when he asks to talk to Amanda and she slams her face into a pillow. (Her face! She almost willingly messed up her best asset because you annoy her so much!)

And yet, somehow, the thing that gets through to Alex is Amanda telling him not to overthink anything.

Elsewhere, Lacey is feeling defeated. Following her grandfather’s death, she’s back in paradise, but things with Iggy are in her past. She thinks he’s more interested in bromance than romance, so she has her fingers crossed she gets a date card. But she doesn’t. Instead, Derek and Taylor go on a date to talk about how neither one of them believes in true love, and Taylor gives this excellent advice: You shouldn’t look for someone to be your perfect puzzle piece; you should “be your own full puzzle and then have another puzzle next to your puzzle that really complements the colors of your puzzle.” Quick! Someone put that on a T-shirt.

By the end of the night, Taylor’s full puzzle and Derek’s full puzzle are trying to find out whether they complement each other by sharing a bed.

As for Dean and Kristina, their love story has already ended. Dean, no longer feeling good about “anything,” decides to end things, leaving Kristina to cry to Wells while Nick watches. Then there’s Jasmine, who also ends the night in tears when Matt decides he wants to sleep more than he wants to go on an adventure with her. Aren’t you all glad you came back to paradise?!

So far, I think it’s safe to say we’ve yet to find the next Carly and Evan. Then again, will we ever find another Carly and Evan?

If you all need me before next week, I’ll be pre-ordering Chris Harrison’s inevitable book offering painfully obvious life advice to grown adults.

Chris Harrison goes international with a cast of former bachelors and bachelorettes looking for love… and a chance to extend their reality fame.
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