Christen finds herself in a "love square," while the Dean-Kristina-D.Lo situation finally comes to a head
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What better way to celebrate Labor Day than by laboring through yet another dramatic, heartless episode of this season of Bachelor in Paradise?

When last we met our beautiful vacationers, Kristina was crying to Robby while, seemingly feet away, Dean canoodled with D. Lo in the pool. Oh — and he’d slept with Kristina that morning. So this week starts out with the guys breaking the news to Dean that Kristina saw everything. “You guys were there?” he asks Robby. “Why didn’t you take her down to the beach?” Right, because it’s everyone’s job to protect you from discomfort. To his credit, Dean clearly feels horrible, but I had to laugh out loud when he said, “I’m doing whatever my brain is telling me to do in the moment!” Dean, that’s not your brain talking.

So he decides to go apologize to Kristina, bounding over to her cabana like a puppy (which is a total 180-degree change from how he’s been acting in all other conversations with her lately: sulky, avoiding eye contact, terse). He apologizes for not knowing she was there, but she has to explain to him that that wasn’t the problem: It’s that he keeps asking her to “be patient” with him while he explores D. Lo, and that’s just not fair. “I don’t understand how I can have the most amazing girl in front of me and I’m flirting with another girl in the pool,” he says. Um, yeah, thanks for summing up what’s become the plot of this entire season. Kristina says that maybe Dean wants D. Lo because she’s bubbly and uncomplicated and won’t challenge him like Kristina will. Dean agrees, but changes nothing. As usual!

The girls still have the control for this week, meaning the new arrivals will be…more dudes! Great. First up? Blake. You might remember him from Rachel’s season for only talking about/fighting with Whaboom guy. Yes, both of them were insufferable. You can tell how well liked Blake was in the house by the way the other guys greet him when he comes down the steps: quick hellos followed by cringing glances or eye rolls at the camera. Not a popular dude.

Raven advises Blake not to talk about Whaboom as he tries to pick a date. Obviously he has a tough time with that. Jasmine politely talks to him, D. Lo flat out says, “I’d probably say no” when he tests the waters about a date, and Kristina declines because she has some stuff to figure out back at the resort.

Time for the second surprise of the evening: Fred is here! You might remember Fred for being an early favorite on Rachel’s season, even though she could never quite get past the fact that she was his camp counselor 20 years before. His entrance is the exact opposite of Blake’s: The girls seem to agree “Fred is beautiful,” “Fred is smokin’ hot.

Turns out Blake and Fred’s date cards are a pair: It’s a double date. Fred goes straight to Dominique, who accepts, while Blake struggles and struggles, finally asking Christen. He tries to make up for the fact that Christen was his third (?) ask by saying that their conversation was the only one he had that “didn’t feel like pulling teeth” and that she seems “awake.” Wow, I truly hate Blake.

Their date is perfect for adrenaline junkies and a nightmare for anyone else: First, they go on a speedboat that does crazy spins and turns (barf!), then they zip-line, then they do that thing where one person sits on a giant inflated pillow-shaped thing and someone else jumps on it so the first person goes flying. Dominique is loving it, and Christen’s having a less than ideal time, feeling seasick and dealing with a finicky contact lens. I think I’m becoming a Christen apologist here, but messed up contacts are no joke and can seriously ruin your day. Plus she had to be with Blake! Nightmare.

Back at the resort, Jack Stone is having the opposite of a nightmare. Apparently Christen mentioned that Jack was a bad kisser, so the ladies of Paradise decided to put his lips (and tongue) to the test. Jasmine, Raven, and D. Lo all get some quality time with him, and all come back with the same report: He’s a great kisser. Glad that’s settled!

Chris Harrison pops in with a surprise announcement: The rose ceremony will be tonight, not tomorrow, and there will be a date card for an existing couple. Robby gets it (WHY?!), obviously takes Amanda, and they go to a local carnival. Robby praises himself for taking things slow with Amanda, but also wants to “move forward with her as fast as possible.” He even wants to be “young parents” together. I hate everything about this.

That night at the cocktail party, Ben Z. sends himself home to his dog because there’s no one left he’s interested in. Everyone pretty much agrees that was the right thing to do.

Diggy, on the other hand, has some work to do to whisk Dominique back away from Handsome Fred. But he does it well: He makes a little question game on cards called “Diggin’ Deep With Diggy” to get to know Dom a bit better. Then she flips the cards back on him (changing the name to “Diggin’ Deep With Dom,” obviously). It’s adorable. (Next: Christen finds out about Scallop Fingers)

Over at the bar, Raven accidentally calls Christen “Scallops,” prompting Wells to tell her Alexis’ whole story. She says they’re rude for not telling her, but Wells tells her to “own it.” Christen is still very confused, but at least she knows about it. And when Blake stupidly brings her scallops to try to convince her to give him her rose, she at least enjoys them. The whole stupid controversy is best summed up by Christen herself: “I took leftovers! Persecute me!”

Then we have a few minutes of Blake, Jonathan, and Jack Stone all stealing Christen (and making out with her) in succession. Jack is the nicest about it, telling her not to feel pressured to give him the rose just because he gave his to her. I LOVE Jack Stone now. Never thought I’d say that!

Finally to the real (and long overdue) drama of the night. Danielle asks Dean flat out if he would accept a rose from Kristina and says that if he did, she’d back off and they wouldn’t have a relationship. Dean says he was avoiding her today, but that was stupid, and she should have been his whole focus. He’s sorry for jerking her around, and he’s going to tell Kristina he wants to pursue something with Danielle.

SIDE NOTE: I love that D. Lo is wearing pants to a cocktail party/rose ceremony and not a flowing maxi dress or romper like everyone else. But I don’t think I love the rhinestone bra/necklace she’s wearing over that top. Okay back to the recap.

Dean goes straight to Kristina to talk. Kristina says she wants him to be happy, and he says what would make him happy is to pursue D. Lo. YES DEAN, WE KNOW. Kristina doesn’t handle it as maturely as she could, but I don’t really blame her. “So you want to pursue not even a woman, a girl, who’s straddling someone in the ocean and made out with Jack Stone today,” she says. Eventually she says she doesn’t want to keep talking, but he needs to know how much what he did hurt her, and that he misled her in his conversations. Dean keeps saying he doesn’t want her to hate him. You don’t get to date two women and walk away unscathed, dude. Just stop making it worse!

Finally, they stop talking and Kristina goes to Raven to debrief. But Raven says she doesn’t think words are going to change the way she’s feeling, and that what Dean did wasn’t fair to her or D. Lo. This sets Kristina off. “Okay, D. Lo f—ed me over, too!” she says. Raven tries to make Kristina see that Dean’s the one she should be really mad at, he’s the one she trusted with her emotions and her body, and that she shouldn’t do the “typical girl” thing and blame the other woman. I completely agree with what Raven says — but I also think that when your friend is hurting, you don’t necessarily need to give them a lesson right that moment. Kristina needed to bitch to someone. And D. Lo did know that Kristina and Dean had a thing when she decided to ask him out anyway.

Then again, this drama was getting old, and it’s frustrating to see your friend make the same mistake over and over when the answer is right in front of her face. They obviously have a huge fight: Raven says Kristina doesn’t want to hear the truth, and Kristina accuses her of not talking to her for days, before saying she’d rather have this conversation sober.

It’s Wells who finally gets through to Kristina when he asks, “Why are you fighting for someone who’s not fighting for you?” AMEN, WELLS.

With that, it’s rose ceremony time:

Lacey gives hers to Daniel; Taylor gives hers to Derek; Amanda gives hers to Robby; Raven gives hers to Adam; Dominique gives hers to Diggy (awww sorry, Fred!); Jasmine gives hers to Jonathan/Tickle (they made out earlier; she said it was “sexy”); Christen gives hers to Jack Stone. Sorry Blake E. — you’re going home.

Then Kristina gets up and makes a speech about how she came to Paradise to find someone she wanted to spend time with, and in her next relationship she wants to be valued and respected and put first. She’s sending herself home — without giving someone a rose. Couldn’t you have just let Fred stay?!! We never get enough Fred!!!! Kristina hugs basically everyone but very blatantly passes over D. Lo. Dean looks at the ground until she’s done and then asks to walk her out. He says, “I hate myself,” and, “I’m sorry.” Kristina says nothing (or they don’t let us hear anything) and gets in the car. Way to make D. Lo feel chosen, Dean!

When Chris Harrison calls D. Lo’s name, Dean whispers to the person next to him, “She’s gonna quit, too.” She doesn’t quit: Dean gets the rose. I wonder if their relationship will stay as strong if there’s not someone else holding them back from being together? We’ll see what else happens with them tomorrow. For now, even though I loved Kristina, I’m glad this exhausting, painful love triangle has finally been put to rest.

Episode Recaps

Bachelor in Paradise

The Bachelor 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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