‘Bachelor in Paradise’: Catastrophic theater

Bachelor in Paradise
August 9, 2015


[Symptoms: Dry mouth, ambivalence.]

We begin this episode directly on the heels of the first rose ceremony, and with Unemployed very confident in his relationship, such as it can be called one, with Tenley. Tenley, on the other hand, is confident that someone better is coming to Casa de Soltero, and frankly, the odds are certainly  in her favor.

Khlamydia Kardashian, for one, would like that someone better to be Joshua from Lenny Bruce’s tenure, whom I called “Cousin Merl” in homage to a minor Simpsons character, as he was one of two, shall we say, more “rural” contestants from that particular season. It seems that Cousin Merl is the only Bachelorette Reject that she has any interest in, because, seriously, though, have you seen the rest of these bozos?

joshua haircut bachelorette

As so, even though she “can’t be around people 24/7” (ooh, gurl, I feel ya) and she’s ready to pack her bikinis and antibiotics and go, Khlamydia Kardashian promises her sister that she will stick around one more night to see who arrives next.

But not before sobbing about it first, obviously.

emma thompson obviously obvs

The next morning, however, we learn two things about Khlamydia: 1. she’s already in a relationship back in her real life and 2. she does not know what the word “mistress” means. It seems that she is involved with a gentleman who is seeing — but not married to — someone else, and she considers herself to be this gentleman’s “mistress,” a fact she proudly goes around telling to anyone who will sit still long enough to listen. “Uhhh, OK?” Everyone Else says, “remind me again who you are? Someone’s sister?”

Khlamydia then has another sobbing fit about this relationship of hers back at home, leading to the longest nose-blowing sequence I’ve ever been forced to sit through. “[BLOWING NOSE],” read my closed captions. “[BLOWING NOSE] [BLOWING NOSE] [BLOWING NOSE] [BLOWING NOSE] [BLOWING NOSE] [BLOWING NOSE]”

Who needs another drink?

raise your hand mean girls who


So then Cousin Merl arrives, because of course Cousin Merl arrives, we wouldn’t be spending all this time talking about Cousin Merl if he wasn’t going to be next to arrive. Cousin Merl is barely able to say his hellos and read his date card before Khaste Kardashian pounces on him and demands to speak to him alone. There, she explains that her sister has a huge crush on him because, as has been established, the Kardashians are operating on a 9-year-old’s emotional maturity level and she didn’t have time to draft a “DO YOU LIKE MY SISTER, CHECK HERE FOR YES, CHECK HERE FOR NO” note to give him. Cousin Merl is like, “Cool? I guess? But quick question: Who’s your sister again and why is she here?”

When Khaste releases Cousin Merl back into the wild, he makes small talk with Other Widow and Khlamydia about their pre-show blood tests  — BECAUSE ABC WOULD LIKE YOU TO KNOW THEY ARE VERY RESPONSIBLE, Y’ALL — and Khlamydia yell-asks him if he’s into “aggressive girls.”  A+++ flirting! Such good flirting! All of the flirting prizes to her!

Cousin Merl moves on to less self-described aggressive targets, and chats up Tenley, all the while Unemployed is busily telling anyone who will listen that there is no way Tenley would accept Cousin Merl’s date invitation because Couisn Merl is a dumb loser who is dumb and not nearly as cool as Unemployed.

Tenley promptly accepts Cousin Merl’s date invitation.

When they announce this to the rest of the cast, everyone is like:

what a fun sexy time for you

But they don’t mean it. And then a series of catastrophic events unfold, and by “catastrophic,” I mean, “hilarious.” Unemployed tries to act cool about it for about two seconds before sputtering, “really? REALLY?” as he is incapable of understanding just how especially unappealing he is.

As for Khlamydia, she’s like, “WELP, GOOD THING MY THONGS THINGS ARE PACKED,” before stomping upstairs and grabbing her suitcase. Khaste begs her not to leave, although why, I’m not entirely sure. It’s not like Khlamydia was actually adding anything to her sister’s experience aside from a few sneers, bad dating advice and some crying jags. But through her choking sobs, Khaste tries to remind her sister that she’s returning to a failed relationship, and Khlamydia is like, “STILL BETTER THAN THESE YAHOOS. BYEEEEEEEE.” She then drags her suitcase, which is presumably filled entirely with high-waisted denim shorts and diaphragms, across the sand towards her exit while her sister cries and cries and cries. And cries.

It is very sad.



Cousin Merl and Tenley go out on their date which involves going into town for some tacos, talking about their theater/dance experience (she was a Disney princess in Anaheim and Tokyo, and has the horror stories to prove it/he took some theater tech classes in college — so much in common!), and shiftlessly “dancing” in una discoteca. ¡Que divertido!

Meanwhile, back at the house, Unemployed explains to anyone and everyone that even though she agreed to go on a date with him, and even though she seemed genuinely into him, and even though he, unlike Unemployed himself, isn’t actually considered a Bachelor pariah, Cousin Merl has NO CHANCE with Tenley, and when she returns, Unemployed is going to take Tenley on her real one-on-one date, if you know what he means, and what he means is a date with his pants.

And true to his word, when Cousin Merl and Tenley return, Unemployed announces that her night is “just starting.” Tenley sighs heavily. But she allows Unemployed to lead her away to shove his rum-soaked tongue down her throat for a minute, before she sends him off to his bunk bed alone for a good snore. At this point, Cousin Merl swoops back in, and leads Tenley to a bedroom where the real business happen. I think we’d all rather not know the specifics.

Also happening while Tenley and Cousin Merl were in town having scintillating conversation about Disney Princess etiquette and Cousin Merl’s giant bear paws, Joe, or “Cleetus the Slack Jawed Yokel” as I affectionately called him during Lenny Bruce’s season on account of being a slack jawed yokel, arrives to everyone’s delight. However, the delight lasts approximately a hot second before everyone comes to the realization that Cleetus is shudderingly, painfully boring. And when he’s not boring, he’s insulting the other contestants, namely Niña de Papa for being a previously rejected Reject. A triple reject if you will.

This sends Niña de Papa into another raccoon-molesting tailspin, and she leaves the group to go wail about being insulted at a producer wine-swilling masked minibear. And while this is obviously cute/funny/self-aware Bachelor humor or whatever, let’s be clear on a couple of things: 1. The entire reason they invited Niña de Papa back for this season is because they spent hours training that raccoon to hold that bottle and por Dios, they were not going to waste them and 2. Raccoon, honey, next season, invest in box wine. You get so much more self-medicating bang for your buck, trust.

raccoon bachelor in paradise wine

While Niña de Papa seeks comfort from her only real friend, Cleetus mumbles that his date card says something about horses and “man-an-a” and Other Widow is all, “ME, TAKE ME.” Cleetus asks her if she wants to go horseback riding —  which isn’t the same thing as asking her out on a date — and everyone is left deeply confused. Did he ask her out? Or was he just curious if she liked horses? But to simplify things, they all agree to agree that it’s a date because who else is he going to ask, the drunk raccoon? (MAYBE.)


[Symptoms: Headache; Sense of dread.]

The next morning, Other Widow gets all weepy in a conversation with Cousin Max about … something? Her kid? How her daughter is her “priority” despite the fact that this is the second time in a year she has abandoned her daughter for potentially months at a time to be on a glorified hook-up show? How the dumb headbands that she insists on wearing are cutting off the circulation to the few brain cells she has left? I don’t know. Something.

Other Widow and Cleetus go on their date which, indeed, does involve the pair of them riding horses which works in Cleetus’ favor since he doesn’t have to do much in the way of conversation while they’re loping along. Eventually, they reach a waterfall where they have a picnic and Cleetus asks her about her child, and she informs him her daughter’s name is “Ireland.” To his credit, Cleetus doesn’t reply, “Oh, Ireland? That’s where I was humiliated in front of millions of viewers when Lenny Bruce dumped me and I acted like a complete ass! What a terrible name!” but instead pretends to like both it and Other Widow. The two tehn make out under the waterfall because the camera men did not lug all their gear down a horse path dodging piles of horse poop to just get footage of a picnic, dammit.

Back at Casa de Soltero, while hanging out at the pool, Cousin Merl is all, “THIS ONE TIME, AT BAND CAMP, I DRANK A COCONUT THAT HAD MOLLY IN IT,” and everyone is like,

bitch wait what

But bless his big dumb heart, he misunderstands their awkward silence with being impressed, I guess, because he then proceeds to be all, “AND THEN THIS ONE TIME, AT BAND CAMP, IN LAS VEGAS, AT A BACHELOR PARTY, I LOST A BUNCH OF MONEY AND I ALSO DID MOLLY.” And everyone is like,

whaaaaaaa snlm

Family First and Dansome decide that to protect her, they need to tell Tenley that her new boyfriend once went to a bachelor party in Las Vegas. They then mansplain to her that Cousin Merl’s “lifestyle” might be incompatible with hers. She is SHOCKED! and HORRIFIED! and SHOCKED! and she cries and cries because she just can’t imagine being with someone has experimented with a club drug once or twice.

But to her credit, she talks to Cousin Merl about it before jumping to any firm conclusions, and he’s like, “Wait, are we talking about the time I did molly? At a bachelor party? In Las Vegas? Because it’s not like I was shooting heroin up between my toes or something.” And Tenley seems to be satisfied with this answer because ohmygod, guys, he was just trying to impress you with all the cool drugs he hasn’t done, he’s not a crackhead. And I say this as someone who has never done any illegal drugs in her life. But for reals:

calm down beyonce

But Dansome isn’t done dropping the truth bombs. After Glitter Girl and Khaste inform him that they think Family First is in danger of going home on account of the fact that Niña de Papa is totally not into him (a fact that she has been nothing but clear about), Dansome takes Family First on a walk on the beach and uses as many monosyllabic words as he can to explain that Niña doesn’t like him that way. “NIÑA GIVE ME ROSE,” Family First grunts at Dansome, and Dansome is like, “No, that’s not going to happen, she does not like you.” But Family First is like, “NIÑA LIKE ME.” And Dansome is all, “No, but she doesn’t.” Just then, Tenley and Niña happen to walk by, so Family First takes Tenley aside, and is all, “NIÑA LIKE ME?” and Tenley is like, “Nope, she’s into Cousin Max.” “SO THERE CHANCE,” Family First nods.

Then Khaste Kardashian pees in the surf while everyone watches because this show is classy like that.

That evening, Other Widow and Jonathan chat about their “relationship” and how there isn’t one, especially now that she’s into Cleetus.

Meanwhile, Cleetus drunkly slurs at a producer that 1. he’s just trying to get Other Widow’s rose so he can hang around long enough for someone named “Samantha” from Farmer Teeth’s season to arrive (Samantha?) 2. that Other Widow is dumb and 3. ~FART~.

Such a catch! What a delight!

And then everyone sits around the bonfire together and waits for the next date card. It is addressed to Cousin Max, and without skipping a beat, he asks Niña in front of everyone. And then a series of catastrophic events unfold, and by “catastrophic,” I mean, “hilarious.” Khaste — WHO PUT ON HER NUDE LIPSTICK FOR HIM AND EVERYTHING, YOU GUYS — explodes in another cloud of tears and self-loathing and mascara.

As for Family First, he stomps off in a fury. Cousin Max tries to smooth things over with Family First who, being ever the gentleman, says, “IF YOU WANT DATE OLD WOMAN ME NO CARE.” Family First then explains in an interview, and this is verbatim: “Cousin Max got a date card and he glanced over to Niña de Papa, Niña de Papa takes her [BLEEP] out and says yes before he even finishes his sentence.”

You guys: what did he say that needed to be bleeped? I know ALL the bad words, and for the life of me, I can not figure out what he POSSIBLY could have said there that would make sense. IT’S A MYSTERY.

Anyway, Cousin Max and Family First wander over to the beach to talk more privately, and Family First is all, “ME ANGRY. ME SO ANGRY. ME CRUSH.” But somehow he manages to contain all that testosterone swirling around in his empty ape skull, and not hit Cousin Max. Instead, he focuses his anger at Niña de Papa for not being forthcoming enough with him regarding her feelings or lack thereof for him. Even though she had been. As had every single other person in the house. But as that Kirk person explains, Family First is just so into Niña de Papa that he can’t let it go before hilariously adding that Family First’s “wedding vision board is just ruined.” Alright, Kirk. I see you.

Niña de Papa tries to talk to Family First about it and he’s like, “NO TALK.” She won’t let it go though, and she points out that she was honest with him, and is here to explore relationships. “GO EXPLORE,” Family First grunts. “ME ANGRY.” So Niña stomps off and sobs to her inedbriated raccoon friend Other Widow, who worries that Niña might just go home. She is not going home.

Meanwhile, Khaste is still crying because of course she is.

Bachelor in Paradise airs Sundays and Mondays at 7 p.m. on ABC. Saints and tequila preserve me.

This post originally appeared on the Hearst site Chron.com.

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