‘Bachelor in Paradise’: Welcome to Messydise

Bachelor in Paradise
September 6, 2021

Last we left the lunkheads of Paradise, Taxiderpy had just made her triumphant and completely predictable return with the intention of disrupting any romantic progress Grocery Joe might have made by this point. Everyone is SHOOK! to see her, despite this return being the one absolute guarantee we had this season.

Taxiderpy asks to speak to Grocery Joe “Butthead” alone, and he agrees, while Queen’s Gambit sits by and watches, nauseated, and everyone else — particularly Red Flag — pretend to be concerned about Queen’s Gambit but are really reveling in the drama of it all.

Alone, Taxiderpy asks how Grocery Joe is doing and he insists he’s OK. He admits that when he first arrived, it was rough, as it brought back a lot of memories of his time there with her, but that he ultimately chose to stick it out. Taxiderpy notes that she’s glad he did because there’s a conversation they’ve been needing to have for a while now.

Taxiderpy goes on to say that their breakup has been really difficult for her, in particular because they didn’t break up in anger or because they didn’t love each other, but instead because of logistics. Taxiderpy laments that there was a lot left unsaid and unresolved, but Grocery Joe is like, “Wait, let’s not rewrite this: we fought like normal people fight, and it wasn’t a sudden decision. You’re leaving a lot of the middle part out — the part where I asked you to move to Chicago and you refused.”

Taxiderpy is like, “Well, I knew I didn’t want to live in Chicago, and I didn’t want to move for a man.” Grocery Joe points out that she didn’t even try, so they’ll never know what could have been. Taxiderpy huffs that she doesn’t want to “get sucked into logistics,” and it’s clear that this is and always has been the dead end for their relationship. It was a dealbreaker in the beginning, so I’m not sure what she thought would be accomplished by coming back? That in the interim of their break up that he would have seen the error of his ways and that he, a family guy with deep roots in Chicago and no ambitions to be an actor/model/Instagram influencer, would agree to leave it all behind to move to California to be with her?

Grocery Joe laments that it’s obvious that Taxiderpy is still in love with him, but he’s pretty sure he no longer loves her, and he’s not willing to throw away what he’s building with Queen’s Gambit to try to rebuild something with Taxiderpy.

As for Taxiderpy, suddenly her story has changed from, “I came here to get Grocery Joe back,” to “I came to Paradise to find love and I needed to officially get closure with Grocery Joe before I could do that.”

His conversation (and relationship) with Taxiderpy over, Grocery Joe then takes Queen’s Gambit aside and explains that while Taxiderpy came here to try to get back together with him, it eventually landed on them agreeing to be friends so that she can date in Paradise. But he knows there will be more conversations he has to have with Taxiderpy and that things might be confusing. Grocery Joe adds that this is going to be weird and that if it’s too weird for her, he totally understands, and he doesn’t want to ruin her chances in Paradise to be with someone else. But, he adds, Queen’s Gambit is his priority here, and he wants to keep building on what they have …

Queen’s Gambit is like, “so, you’re saying you’re not sure if you’re over your ex? who is here? and who still wants to be with you? COOL.” Grocery Joe again insists that he’s over Taxiderpy, and Queen’s Gambit, unconvinced, makes him promise that he be 100% honest with her and that if he does start having feelings for Taxiderpy again, he tell her instead of allowing her to stumble upon them together. He promises to do so, but it’s cold comfort to poor Queen’s Gambit who has never watched this show before and had no idea this was always going to happen.

Elsewhere, Porn Stache decides to give it another shot with Little Miss Nice, and the two have a very boring conversation about being terrible communicators before kissing and making up. It is barely worth mentioning.

Over in the ridiculously improbable love square that Old Naked Grandpa has found himself in when he returns from his date with Sooey, Jr., Pageant Reina is lying in wait for him. She takes him aside and tells him that she regrets suggesting that she be able to go on dates with other people. It took her seeing him with other people to realize how much she cares about him, and how she took for granted what they had together. She wants to get back together with him but isn’t sure where he is, after having gone on dates and SPENT THE NIGHT WITH other people.

~Girl, you’ve only known this man for like 10 days, and he’s already slept with someone else. You can do better. I will have the Miss Therese’s Home for Credulous Idiots shuttle bus waiting for you at the airport. You’ll be joining Come Hither.~

Old Naked Guy is like, “Well, this is an unexpected 180. Let’s talk about this tomorrow, because I’m going to have to deal with Red Flag tonight, and that’s going to be exactly not fun at all.”

Meanwhile, Red Flag is, predictably, losing her damn mind, furious that Pageant Reina is interested in Old Naked Guy again, and that her night in the Boom Boom Room with him wasn’t enough to stake her claim. Demi declares that Pageant Reina is “mean, a brat and entitled.”

Old Naked Guy sits Red Flag down and tells her about his naked volleyball date with Sooey, Jr., and he is honest: they had fun, and he intends to talk to her some more tomorrow.

Red Flag is furious.

Old Naked Guy then tells her that Pageant Reina wanted to clear the air with him and that he intends to talk to her, too, tomorrow.

Red Flag is furiouser.

But instead of just walking away from this VERY OLD MAN who is already — and again, SO IMPROBABLY — up to his neck in twenty-somethings, Red Flag plays one last Hail Mary desperation card and invites him to go to the Boom Boom Room again.

“Tonight?!” he asks incredulously, “It’s after 9! I have to go take some Metamucil and go to bed!”

And then there’s Bowtie and his poor sucker, Come Hither. The next morning, Come Hither takes note of all the unattached men still in Paradise who are clearly biding their time, waiting to see who is coming before making any real connections, and wonders if Bowtime is among them. He swears he’s not, that he’s not a manipulative person, and could never pull off such a con.

Come Hither then explains in an interview that she is approaching this with an open heart because being in a relationship is what she came here for.

And, just as was always going to happen, Mrs. James arrives in Paradise.

Mrs. James = Pieper. (ABC/Craig Sjodin)

After saying hello to all of her friends, Mrs. James reads her date card: “Welcome to Paradise: Choose someone you feel a spark with.” And because she has NO CHILL WHATSOEVER, Mrs. James just blurts out, “Bowtie, will you go on this date with me?” There is not even a PRETENSE that she is there for anyone else, not even a polite, “Let me pretend to talk to two or three guys before I blurt out my true intentions,” she just GOES FOR IT.

Every single person in Paradise:

Bowtie takes Come Hither aside and is like, “What a weird coincidence that the woman I was rumored to already have a thing with shows up and asks me out on a date without even interviewing anyone else, right? I guess I should go on this date and explore this connection with a woman I was already dating — wouldn’t want to miss out on an opportunity, you know?”

The face of a woman who is NOT HAVING IT:

Come Hither, having FINALLY figured out that she was bamboozled, is like, “DUDE, WHY DID YOU EVEN COME ON THIS SHOW?”

Bowtie tries to claim that he and Mrs. James have only hung out casually and that he just wants an opportunity to see if he can have deeper conversations with her — like the conversations that he’s had with Come Hither — and see where it goes because this definitely wasn’t a scheme on his and Mrs. James’ part to get on television and rack up more Instagram followers WHY WOULD YOU EVEN THINK THAT?

Bowtie adds that this is “just the name of the game,” and that they’ll have a chance to talk more tomorrow.

Mrs. James and Bowtie then leave for their date, while Come Hither is STILL over here talking about the connection she has with him.



As for their date, Bowtie and Mrs. James have dinner at the resort, where Mrs. James tells him that she was obviously happy to see him there and that she wasn’t sure when she was going to be arriving in Paradise or what she would be walking into, which was stressful.

Bowtie informs her about his relationship  (“relationship”) with Come Hither, and how they’ve had “really good conversations.” He also tells her that her name has been brought up by the other women, and he was confronted about his intentions in Paradise since they figured out that he was already in a relationship with Mrs. James. “The way I handled it,” he goes on to say in the most damning way possible, “was to stay calm, cool, and collected.” He then goes on to explain how he lied to their faces, telling them that he and Mrs. James had only met a few times and that it was nothing serious.

Mrs. James, she also falls for his bullshit, and begins getting pouty that he “downplayed” the relationship that they have, and that maybe she misunderstood where they were as a couple.

Bowtie is like, “Look, I did what I had to do to stick around long enough for you to arrive. I couldn’t have a girlfriend — they would have sent my ass home.” Mrs. James finally catches on and is all “OOOOOHHHHH, WAIT, I GET IT!” Bowtie then urges her to trust him, they have to have each other’s backs. “It’s the only way we’re going to get through this. Like being in the position we want to be in …”

Wait, what? What position?

“And taking advantage of what Paradise will promote …”

And there it is.

Mrs. James laments that his first few weeks were so difficult, but hopes that she can help alleviate some of that now that she’s here. “They can hate us together,” she villains right into the camera.

The next morning, everyone can’t help but notice that Bowtie and Mrs. James are attached at the hip and that there was obviously something going on between them before they arrived at the beach. No one is amused.

As for Come Hither, she decides to go to the source and confront Mrs. James about what the actual fuck is going on with Bowtie.

Come Hither asks Mrs. James how long ago she met Bowtie, and Mrs. James is like … “two months ago?” WELL, THAT’S FUNNY, Come Hither notes, BECAUSE HE TOLD ME Y’ALL MET A MONTH AGO.

Come Hither then asks when the last time they saw each other was, and Mrs. James tells her it was right before he left for Paradise. HUH, says Come Hither.

Finally, Come Hither asks how many times did Mrs. James and Bowtie hang out together, and Mrs. James is like, “10?” HOW ABOUT THAT, Come Hither marvels, BECAUSE HE TOLD ME HE ONLY MET YOU TWICE. AND WHAT I’M SAYING IS THAT BOWTIE IS A LYING LIAR WHO LIES.

Still, I expect you to get into the shuttle bus, Come Hither. We still have a lot of deprogramming to do.

Meanwhile, Bowtie is out here justifying his bullshit to someone (they are curiously careful not to show who) that it’s not like Come Hither had any other prospects — if anything, if you really think about it, he did her a favor by stringing her along until Mrs. James could get to Paradise.

Come Hither then confronts Bowtie, and is like, “Listen, I approached this thing with you in good faith that you were really going to try to see where this could go …” and Bowtie is like, “Yeah, there were moments when I definitely thought this could grow into more than just a friendship.” But Come Hither is furious: “Friendship? That’s what you thought this was? BItch, I have a friendship with Bobby Fischer.”

Bowtie argues that what they have is not romantic, and then just straight-up lies, saying that he told her specifically that he did not have those kinds of feelings for her. He continues lying to this woman’s face, claiming that when he gave her his rose he told her it was so that she would have the opportunity to stay in Paradise and find love with someone who was not him.

Come Hither is like, “You didn’t say that though,” and Bowtie IMMEDIATELY admits that he’s just out here lying: “No, I didn’t say that, but that’s what I meant .. and you had selective hearing and you …”

But he’s cut off when Come Hither begins laughing in his face at his blatant and unconvincing bullshit. Come Hither asks if he’s just here for the show and to be a TV couple with Mrs. James — something that she didn’t want to believe about him despite being told by literally every single other person in Paradise that this was exactly what he was planning to do.

Come Hither hands Bowtie another shovel by asking if someone asked him to go on a date right now, would he go, and this dummy, he says no, he wouldn’t, because he wants to “respect the process” and explore his “strong feelings” for Mrs. James.



Come Hither is like, “See, you jackhole, if I knew you had ‘strong feelings’ for someone before you came here, I would not have wasted my time with you.” Come Hither also challenges him on the lie about how many times he’s hung out with Mrs. James, and he’s like, “I don’t recall saying we only hung out twice, but yeah, we’ve hung out in groups together a few times and she’s come to Boston …”

Come Hither calls Bowtie a liar to his face, and in response, he falls back on his position of “nobody was interested in you anyway, and if you think about it, I kept you in Paradise longer than you would have otherwise been here, so really, I did you a solid and you should be thanking me.”

THEN, THEN THIS MAN ACTUALLY HAS THE AUDACITY to tell her that he has enjoyed the time he spent with her.

I am never going to stop laughing, I swear to God.

Come Hither spits back that it’s been “shit” and he has the NERVE! to act hurt. “Oh, it’s been shit, OK.”

In an interview, Come Hither explains the painfully obvious, once again for those of us who didn’t understand it the first 80 times someone on this show has explained it: Bowtie’s plan all along was to try to stay in Paradise, to do whatever it took, long enough for Mrs. James to arrive, “so they could build their relationship here … on ABC.”

While Come Hither explains to anyone who will listen that Bowtie and Mrs. James are just in Paradise for the Instagram clout, these two villains are on a poolside bed, literally, and into their microphones, comparing Instagram follower numbers. They also try to claim that they weren’t boyfriend/girlfriend before coming to Paradise, because you’d be “stupid” to put a label on it before you got here. And then, Bowtie tells Mrs. James that Come Hither was annoying him. Bowtie then laughs that he doesn’t want Mrs. James to get more attention than him (which, what?) and she replies that he doesn’t want to look like “such an asshole.” He takes offense at the idea that he would look like any kind of asshole, before suddenly remembering that OH SHIT, he’s wearing a mic. “At this point, I’ve incriminated myself enough that I’m screwed,” he whispers in the single most self-aware moment of the season.

Bachelor in Paradise airs Mondays and Tuesdays on ABC at 7/8 p.m.


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