‘Bachelor in Paradise’: What the fuck just happened?

Bachelor in Paradise
September 9, 2019

Story time: For the past four months I have had three episodes of Bachelor in Paradise haunting my DVR, consuming some 7 hours of prime TV space. For various reasons, I had become hopelessly behind on my recaps, and suddenly the fall TV season was beginning, Bachelor in Paradise had already ended and it just seemed stupid to continue recapping a series that was so far in the past (2 weeks). Instead, I decided, I would return to Bachelor in Paradise and finish recapping the season before The Bachelor returned because that, somehow, made more sense. I don’t know, TV blogger logic.

So here we are, a few days away from the premiere of season 24 of The Bachelor and I have some 7 hours of Bachelor in Paradise to get through. “I CAN DO THIS!” I optimistically thought, “I CAN BREEZE THROUGH THIS IN A WEEKEND AND GET IT DONE!” And so, I recapped the previous episode and believing that I only had two more episodes to do, was feeling very smug.

Imagine my surprise when I began the second to last episode and everyone on the show was talking about how Character A and Character B decided to just up and leave the show in the dead of night, a dramatic development that they appeared to have ZERO footage of despite these two characters being pretty huge on the show. Then the show quickly moved on to Character C’s issues with intimacy without a SINGLE WORD about Kewpie Doll and Miss North Carolina who 1. were nowhere to be found and 2. much less even mentioned even though the previous episode ended on a huge cliffhanger in which he asked her to leave the show with him.

Friends, it took me 10 minutes of show to come to the realization that I was missing an entire episode. This was horrifying for two reasons: 1. It added two more goddamned hours of this infernal show to my recapping project and 2. IT TOOK ME 10 MINUTES TO REALIZE I HAD MISSED AN ENTIRE EPISODE. I am not sure whom that speaks more poorly of, me or the show. A question for the ages.

But additionally, the episode — the entire season, in fact — is nowhere to be found for free. It’s not On Demand, it’s not on ABC.com, it’s nowhere. And that, dear reader, is how I found myself PAYING THREE DOLLARS FOR AN EPISODE OF BACHELOR IN PARADISE.

There are moments in everyone’s life when we are forced to stop and really consider all of our choices and how we arrived where we are, and this, for me, was one of them.


Relationship #1: Kewpie Doll and Miss North Carolina.

As noted, in the previous episode, Kewpie Doll made his triumphant and clean-shaven return to Paradise to declare he’d been a fool to leave Miss North Carolina and would she please leave this Mexican resort with free margaritas to go live with him in his van?

Miss North Carolina is SO CONFLICTED: on the one hand, she could choose the safe path and stay in Mexico with Vocal Fry and all the enchilada platters she can eat; on the other hand, she could leave with the guy who dumped her on her birthday and go live in his van which DEFINITELY smells like socks and Cheetos. WHAT TO DO?

umm undecided yikes i don't know

Because this decision appears to only take about three minutes, we have to flesh out the drama with everyone else in Paradise offering their opinions on what, exactly, Miss North Carolina should do. I do not care about any of them.

Miss North Carolina asks to speak to Vocal Fry who is like, “Wait, you’re actually considering leaving with this asshole? HOW IS THIS HAPPENING?”

Meanwhile, Olya Povlatsky has decided that despite an entire season of putting Russian curses on her, she is feeling suddenly very protective of Miss North Carolina and she confronts Kewpie, telling him that he’s selfish and unfair and SHE WILL CUT HIM IF HE HURTS MISS NORTH CAROLINA.

Then Miss North Carolina returns to Kewpie Doll and tells him that she’ll fly back to San Diego with him if he will drive her back to Los Angeles in his van and then they start making out while the Greek Chorus sitting across from them expresses their horror.

Vocal Fry:

are you fucking kidding me ramona rhony

Nope, she’s not fucking kidding him, and she and Kewpie Doll drive off to the Puerto Vallarta airport while Vocal Fry wonders what the fuck just happened.

Adios, Miss North Carolina and Kewpie Doll! I actually am happy for you two dummies, and hope that you can carve out some time during your travels around the world together for Kewpie to get some much neeeded therapy to work out his abandonment issues!

Relationship #2: V-Card and Smug Chris

So these two apparently have reached a bump in the road because Smug Chris isn’t as expressive with his affection as V-Card would like him to be. Basically, the producers are trying to manufacture some drama here because these two are so goddamn boring.

To that end, they give them a date card, the two of them go to a restaurant, she confronts him about not being clear with his feelings, he claims he doesn’t just throw “I love you” around all willy-nilly but that he “wants to feel that” for her, which he quickly amends to he’s “starting to feel that” for her, which she accepts as evidence for “how strongly he feels” about her.

Oh, baby girl, no. Hot tip from a woman who has been married for 20+ years: someone saying they “want” to be in love with you IS NOT THE SAME THING AS BEING IN LOVE WITH YOU. RUN AWAY.

And then they dance around in the street with some actors who are pretending to be a wedding party, the end.


Vocal Fry cries about being dumped by Miss North Carolina. “SHE DIDN’T EVEN SAY SHE WAS SORRY.”

Sucks to be you, dude.

The other men make fun of Old Matt Donald for being the boy-man in Big; encourage him to practice kissing on a pineapple with a face. KISS THE PINEAPPLE, OLD MATT DONALD. YOU KNOW YOU WANT TO, OLD MATT DONALD.

And a new person arrives in Paradise: Revian, who I called “普通话演讲者” which translates to “Mandarian Speaker” because that was the only thing we learned about her before she was sent packing by our Virgin Bachelor, Colton.

She invites Vocal Fry on her date because he’s literally the only one available. They ride Segways and watch a clown make balloon animals. It’s the worst date ever.

Relationship #3: Red Flag and Kristian

Apparently, these two have a similar problem as V-Card and Smug Chris, but it’s being expressed … differently. Red Flag is uncomfortable with showing affection, particularly and especially because she’s uncomfortable being out and public with her relationship with Kristian. This is manifesting in Demi being CRAZY JEALOUS that Kristian is “flirty” with other people in Paradise, the women in particular, and by “flirty,” Red Flag means that sometimes Kristian hugs, pats on the shoulder, or occasionally touches the hand of another Paradise prisoner.

It’s bonkers.

Red Flag and Kristian also receive a date card, and they go to some Aztec ceremony where a woman in a huge headdress waves smoke around them while some dude plays a flute. At one point the captioning was [SUSTAINED FLUTE NOTE] which might have been my favorite moment in the entire episode.

After this ritual “cleansing,” the two sit down and Red Flag tells Kristian that she hates seeing her be “touchy” with other women. Kristian is like, “Listen, Crazy, I am just a normal person showing a normal amount of physical affection towards my friends. You need to fucking chill and deal with the fact that you are in a lesbian relationship and people are going to know it BECAUSE WE ARE ON FUCKING TELEVISION, YOU DING DONG.” There’s crying, and then there’s hugging, and nothing is actually resolved because Red Flag is a walking bucket of insecurity.

Relationship #4: Piggyback Ride and John Paul Jones

Apparently, Piggyback didn’t go to her high school prom? Because no one asked her? Which is just a bummer of a story, honestly. John Paul Jones decides to remedy this and invites her to Paradise Prom, and she happily accepts.

This requires John Paul Jones to put on the one blazer that any of these men brought with them, and he returns to the women’s palapa with a corsage that some poor P.A. was forced to find in Puerto Vallarta. He then escorts her down to the farthest beach bed which has been decorated with balloons, a pair of plastic crowns, a bowl of punch and a Polaroid camera that some other poor P.A. had to fly in from Los Angeles, clearly.

They pop some champagne and dance to a solo sax player (weird) and eventually invite the rest of Paradise to join them because a prom is not a solo affair.

john paul jones I'm the king of paradise bachelor.gif

Listen, it’s fun, it’s cute, but let’s stop it with this fiction that it was John Paul Jones’ doing or even his idea. A team of producers made this whole thing happen, full stop.

Relationship #5: Cowboy and Olya Povlatsky

Oy, these two. So Cowboy, realizing that his options were … limited, decided to put all his chips on Olya, with whom he’d had a previous relationship before Paradise. Olya, having seen this movie before, was skeptical but willing to see what would happen next.

Inspired by John Paul Jones’ prom gambit, Cowboy writes up a date card and presents it to Olya: “Olya Povlatsky: I know we can’t go back in time, but we can make up with time together.” OOH! DOES HE HAVE A WHOLE TIME TRAVEL THEME PLANNED? IS THIS GOING TO BE A DOCTOR WHO DATE? WILL THERE BE GRANDFATHER PARADOXES TO SOLVE IN WHICH HE NEVER DUMPS HER FOR THE POTENTIAL OF DATING EMPTY GIFT BOX AND ALL THE OTHER WOMEN WHOSE DM’S HE HAD BEEN SLIPPING INTO?

No. Instead, when she joins him in the treehouse, Olya discovers that he has lit a handful of tea candles and scattered them over the floor.



They sit down but before he can launch into his big speech, Olya is like, “Look. Listen. This is cute and all, but this thing between us? It’s never going to happen. It’s not like you came here for me. You’re settling for me and that’s gross. I’m leaving, goodbye.”

Cowboy wonders what the fuck just happened.

After much groaning and sobbing and looking around in disbelief, Cowboy decides it’s time for him to go home, too, 10 weeks too late.

And so, adios, Olya, you badass Russian witch. And adios, Cowboy. Pro tip: maybe avoid music festivals this year.

But the single most amazing moment in an amazing episode comes during the final credit sequence where through a conversation with Red Flag, we learn that 1. Old Matt Donald SELLS PLACENTAS AND UMBILICAL CORDS and that 2. A WHOLE PLACENTA CAN COST $40 to $45 THOUSAND. And the completely bullshit part about all of this is that because it’s illegal to sell your organs, the whole placenta-based industry is relying on mothers donating their placentas: meaning that someone is making $45 thousand off of these placentas but it ain’t the women who literally created them. I know: stem cells, curing diseases, blah blah blah, but it’s still some straight-up bullshit that we can’t sell an organ that WE AREN’T USING ANYMORE. Guh.

The rejects still in Paradise:

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The rejects who have been further rejected:

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Bachelor in Paradise aired this summer. Why? WHY?

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