By Matt Mueller Culture Editor Published Sep 01, 2021 at 9:31 AM

Last we checked, Aaron and Thomas were fighting (not unusual), a chocolate cake was sacrificed to the fire gods (more unusual) and Tahz was yelling at the ocean for existing (the most unusual). And we still had a rose ceremony to go on Tuesday night, so it's not like things were going to get CALMER. 

Indeed, things did not get more level-headed – but they did get blingier, as Karl and Chasen decided to turn their wooing of Deandra into a war over who could get the tackiest jewelry. Karl started the shopping spree on Monday night by offering Deandra a Pandora charm bracelet, jewelry that says "I didn't try very hard – and also it's 2010," but then Chasen matches and raises that by getting Deandra a necklace. No matter how this ends, Deandra's certainly leaving this beach a winner ... or maybe not, as neither the bracelet nor the necklace look good. (Somewhere Neil Lane's watching this and face-palming.) Plus, she's not impressed by any of the bling and would rather guys try to win her rose with personality and conversation than jewelry off the clearance shelf. WHAT A CONCEPT! Who could've guessed that Karl and 50 percent of the Smoke Bros wouldn't grasp that. 

Things aren't going better elsewhere as Tre comes to the realization that Tahz just isn't his person after all. I don't want to assume, but I'm guessing that breakthrough happened somewhere around the time Tahz was screaming at the ocean for no particular reason. You know what: If you can't handle me at my "howling at the sea for existing, then loudly complaining about poop and pee," Tre, then you don't deserve me at my "stress-eating bolognese." Anyways, Tre not only decides that Tahz isn't for him; he decides this whole show isn't for him, so he packs up and calls it a show. Considering how many people just bail on this show as soon as possible – and how, just yesterday, Grocery Store Joe explained that if he hadn't met Serena, he'd get off this god-forsaken sandtrap – I'm starting to wondering if this is "Paradise" after all. Sure does seem like a lot of crabs ... 

Speaking of people leaving early, Lance Bass, after hosting exactly one date, decides to bail too – and before the rose ceremony, the one time he's ACTUALLY needed to host anything. Way to earn that paycheck, Lance. But before he goes, he has a big surprise: a new arrival – and not just any new arrival, but Becca Kufrin the former Bachelorette! It's a reveal so jaw-dropping that Tahz is like, "Nah, this is annoying, and the kitchen's out of carbonara," and bails. The beach got a lot less entertaining Tuesday night. Now who will yell at the ocean and put it in its place? YOU KILLED JACK DAWSON, YOU BASTARD!

So yeah, Becca's back – and I'm not going to complain about one of the more charismatic stars appearing back on my screen. And if she finds love here, then it was totally worthwhile. But there's something just a bit ... tragic about a former bachelor or bachelorette showing up on "Paradise." You're famous now, Becca; you were the face of an entire season – you don't need to be here anymore! It feels a little like someone ten years out of graduation hanging out at their old college dive again – move on. Or like if Brad Pitt joined Twitter: You're better than this; you don't need this chaos. And if the show couldn't find you love when everything was arranged and lined up just for you, I have a feeling its drunker, messier, crowded, crab-infested cousin isn't going to be more helpful – though maybe they're actually vetting people this time. 

But hey, I'm an idiot on the internet who's out of wine and she's enjoying a beach vacation on ABC's dime, so who am I to judge? Plus, as the first bachelorette on "Paradise," she shows up as basically royalty – and with a rose in hand and a bunch of guys desperate to stay, she's getting treated as such with tons of fawning and flirting. And then there's Karl, who tries to get with Becca with a palm reading. Between this and the Pandora bracelet, my dude is one novelty T-shirt away from fully becoming a sentient mall kiosk. Aaron does slightly better, as the two talk about their age difference and how Aaron's real mature and gets along with everyonHA HA HA oh man, guy's got a great sense of humor. 

With everyone NOW officially here, the rose ceremony starts – though first, we need to get rid of Tahz's rose, so an assistant comes out to take a carnation away while poor desperate and sad Connor gives him a face that says, "I'm going to ukulele murder you, dream killer."

And now we can begin. Natasha gives her rose to Brendan – but BOY does she sound utterly resigned about it. They should be done any day now. Maurissa and Riley, Serena and Joe, and Noah and Abigail lock up their relationships with roses, while Jessenia gives her rose to the alleged former "Bachelorette" contestant named Chris. The two chaotic couples from Monday night make things official as Tammy and Thomas, as well as Demi and Kenny, swap flowers while the newly scorned Mari gives her rose to walking Hollister mannequin James. As for Deandra's rose, when given the decision between a bad bracelet and a worse necklace, she chooses a good man and picks Ivan over Karl and Chasen. One hates to see it. 

That leaves Becca's brand new rose, and she gives it to Aaron – though she might've thought twice about that if she heard his weird confessional speech about how she's like a dolphin(?) and that she looks like a natural in front of the pedestal with a rose, like it's something she's built to do forever. So she's built to be single and stuck on a reality show looking for love amongst Instagram influencers. forever, Aaron? Think about your words, bro. Maybe she should've taken a chance on Connor instead – but alas, he's gone along with Karl, Chasen and the receipts for the bad jewelry that they can now return to Kohl's. 

The next day, things are returning to normal. The charred cake has cooled, Aaron's ordering a frankly irresponsible amount of scrambled eggs from the beach chef and Demi's happily flirting with Kenny, not worried at all about their relationship. DAMMIT, DEMI, YOU SHOULD KNOW BETTER THAN TO SAY THAT! YOU'RE NOT NEW HERE! Indeed, as soon as Demi says she's comfortable, the producers summon hell and Tia – last seen in a "will they, won't they" relationship pickle with Colton – down the stairs. Of course, she's interested in Kenny – and Kenny is interested in return, telling Demi that he would like to pursue other relationships if they become available. Somewhere, Mari is cackling from the karma of it all – and for somebody who showed up as the all-knowing pot-stirring veteran of the beach, this is now the second time Demi's ended up on the wrong side of "Paradise" karma. It's a twist so jarring it apparently knocks the vision out of Demi's eyes and she has to wear glasses for much of the rest of the episode. 

So while Tia and Kenny prep for a date – and while Demi plots their double-murder behind giggles –Abigail and Noah have a sad conversation about how their relationship isn't evolving anymore. It's disappointing, since we like them and they seemed cute together ... but also TREMENDOUSLY boring, as the two just lay unmoving on a daybed and talk unemotionally about how they're not sure how to proceed. Not a lot of urgency on display here. Anyways, it ends with Abigail crying and Noah standing on the beach looking sad ... I assume, because I wasn't watching and was looking for a snack in the kitchen instead. 

Elsewhere, Serena and Joe take the massive relationship step of learning each other's last names. Damn, somebody call Neil Lane. Or not, because Serena says that they're in a solid place right now and DAMMIT, SERENA, YOU'VE SUMMONED THE PRODUCERS' EVIL POWERS! Or ... not? Nothing's happening? Huh. My faith is shaken. 

Speaking of unexpected jostling, Tia and Kenny head off for their date on the beach where they meet up with some strangers to play beach volleyball – never mind that neither Tia and Kenny have any interest in playing. TOO BAD! YOU'RE PLAYING VOLLEYBALL! And not only are you playing volleyball, but you're getting a face full of surprise butts and stuff beacuse this is NUDE volleyball. Because nothing says romance like a complete stranger's dangling man business bouncing all over the sand.

After spending a half-hour freaking out about their new naked friends and making them probably feel VERY uncomfortable, Tia and Kenny negotiate how naked they'll each get like it's that contract terms and conditions meeting from the first "50 Shades" movie. Hold on a second: I get why Tia might be squeamish – she's new here, and she talks about reading the Bible just that morning and having a Bible study back home – but Kenny, why are you suddenly acting all prude? YOUR WHOLE THING WAS SHOWING UP BUTT-ASS NAKED ON DAY ONE! Every episode starts with you wagging your little O-Town at the camera! And now you're all pearl-clutchingly looking these people, saying "how uncouth"?! Don't leave these poor folks hanging here! (OK, poor choice of words.)

So after all that hand-wringing, penis-flopping and labia-referencing (didn't have THAT on my "Bachelor" bingo card ...), Tia and Kenny finally get some alone time where Tia undresses Kenny – verbally, this time. She brings up that he's currently with Demi (who may or may not drown them when they return) and claws out of him that they actually already slept with each other. Tia notes that some people might take a relationship and the feelings involved seriously after having sex – and Kenny seems absolutely flabbergasted by this revelation. Hmm, I'm starting to wonder if the girl who has a Bible study back home and the guy who had sex with a completely different person less than 48 hours ago (who was different from the woman he was dating earlier that very day) might not be the most compatable ... 

As for better couples on the beach, let's go to Grocery Store Joe – who is literally taunting the producers at this point. "I think we're the strongest couple out here right now." "I'm in a good spot." "Nothing can get in our way." WHY NOT SAY CANDYMAN FIVE TIMES IN A MIRROR TOO WHILE YOU'RE AT IT!? And indeed, as if on cue, Kendall comes down the stairs – and could not care less about any other person on the beach. Ivan and Brendan stand up to say hi and greet and probably flirt, but she just asks where Joe is and walks right past them. They are dead to her – actually, she's into taxidermy, so if they were dead, she'd probably actually care a little more. 

And speaking of dead things, I have a feeling Grocery Store Joe is gonna wish he was come next episode. Again: When does the "Paradise" part of this show's title kick in for these poor people?

Matt Mueller Culture Editor

As much as it is a gigantic cliché to say that one has always had a passion for film, Matt Mueller has always had a passion for film. Whether it was bringing in the latest movie reviews for his first grade show-and-tell or writing film reviews for the St. Norbert College Times as a high school student, Matt is way too obsessed with movies for his own good.

When he's not writing about the latest blockbuster or talking much too glowingly about "Piranha 3D," Matt can probably be found watching literally any sport (minus cricket) or working at - get this - a local movie theater. Or watching a movie. Yeah, he's probably watching a movie.