Bad news, everyone (but good news for our brain cells): There's only one more episode of "Bachelor in Paradise" left this year. Worse news: The show spent the penultimate episode getting real serious and sad.
This is NOT why I watch this show. I watch this show to witness beautiful wannabe Instagram models and future podcast hosts make hilarious relationship faux pas and make fools of themselves on television, not to emotionally invest myself in relationships that have a shorter life expectancy than Cleveland Browns playoff hopes. HOW DARE YOU MAKE ME CARE!?
And no, I definitely did not cry during JPJ and Tayshia's final segment. It was just dusty in the air, and I'm allergic to pollen and ... DAMMIT, IT WAS JUST SAD, OK! I blame Christian Yelich’s newly powderized knee cap for leaving me in an emotionally tender state.
The end is in the air from the very start of the episode, with all the couples talking about their futures and engagements. Some, like Demi, seem utterly terrified. Others are seriously talking about it, like Hannah and Dylan or Angela and Chase ... wait, Angela and Chase? That's a thing? Huh ... OK then. I give them less than two hours.
Before they inevitably breakup, however, there's a date card ... for Dylan and Hannah. Good, because they clearly have SO much to figure out. And for their date, they head off to ... a children's birthday party? First Monday night's Segway tour and trip to Mexican Applebee's – and now this? Whoever is responsible for booking the dates on this show is SLACKING. I wouldn't want two horned-up random reality stars at my kid's birthday party if I was those parents – and if I was those horned-up reality stars on vacation, I wouldn't want to go to a stranger's kid's birthday party, trying to cook up romance while surrounded by screaming, sugar-rushing children. THERE WASN'T EVEN A BOUNCY CASTLE! Anyways, everyone is uncomfortable – and that's before Dylan massacred the Spanish language, trying to announce that he loves Hannah but instead proclaiming that her name is Hannah. Hey, considering that nobody at this family event knows who you are, not the worst slip-up to properly introduce yourselves.
Meanwhile, back on the beach, Connor has taken the mantle of Sad Bastard of the Beach now that Blake's gone. He's not even upset that Caelynn went off and ditched him so she could sleep in a Chevy Astro and shower in Walgreens. No, his mind is currently stuck on this terrific conversation that he had with Whitney at Chris and Krystal's wedding. Or at least supposedly terrific, as each flashback goes something like this:
Whitney: I live in the Midwest.
Connor: I also live in the Midwest.
Connor: Wow. Cool.
CAN YOU FEEL THE SCINTILLATING CHEMISTRY!? CAN YOUR TV SCREEN HANDLE THE HEAT OF THAT BURNING PASSION!? Anyways, when he's not longingly thinking back to that time Whitney said "Uh huh" to him, Connor's staring at the stairway, hoping to summon Whitney down them. But unfortunately, the magic words are not so magic this time, so he decides he's had enough and calls it a show. BUT WAIT! Mere minutes after he packs up and bails, who arrives on the beach ... but Whitney, excited to see Connor. MY GOD, IT'S LIKE "AN AMERICAN TAIL" BUT WITH BEAUTIFUL PEOPLE! Chris Harrison, you sadistic bastard.
Thankfully, everybody quickly lets Whitney know that she JUST missed Connor, so she sidles back into her Uber and speeds off to the local hotel to catch him before he literally jets off. Aw, it's like an actual romantic comedy; I hope there's traffic and somebody has to sprint through it all in order to make it to the airport on time! Sadly, nobody does that – or even really delivers a classic rom-com speech – but she does catch him at his hotel room and asks him out on a date with her date card, which he obviously accepts. YAY FOR LOVE! "You never know what'll happen in 'Paradise'" Whitney coos, forgetting that none of this technically happened in "Paradise."
Actually back in "Paradise," there's another date card – this time for Clay and Nicole, who spend the date nervously talking about their plans for after the show. Nicole seems very game to move from Miami to Chicago, but first she needs Clay to commit to her and officially drop the L-word on her. But he can't quite get there; he's FALLING in love, but he's not IN love yet. This damn show and its weird obsession with semantics. Love isn't like the Domino's pizza tracker app where it moves from distinct step to distinct step. (If you want to know where I'm at emotionally these days, I'm making analogies using delivery pizza technology, so there's that.) It's fluid and messy, and feelings are complicated and complex. It's bizarre that, after 20 years of dating and love, "The Bachelor" still talks like this. But it must work fine enough because Clay and Nicole stick together by the end of the date, slow dancing while a guitarist awkwardly strums away on a nearby roof. Sure hope there was a ladder somewhere for after he finished.
Tayshia and JPJ didn't get a date card, but that didn't stop them from throwing their own date Monday night at makeshift prom – and it didn't stop them Tuesday either, as Tayshia decides that she must draw JPJ. A fair reaction. So she sends him off to get speedo-ed up – he lands on a denim speedo, aka the world's shortest jean shorts – and together they do their best impression of the "Titanic" sketching scene, minus a gigantic blue diamond. And minus Billy Zane, who was surely available. The resulting art is ... not good, but I was also expecting Tayshia to draw just a stick figure with a big toothpaste swirl of hair, so also not bad either! Meanwhile, Gerard Butler and Katie are on the rocks, talking to each other coldly and acting distant toward one another. MORE LIKE "RELATIONSHIP HAS FALLEN," EH, GERARD!?
He doesn't have much time to fix things, either, as Harrison ditches the cocktail party that evening and heads straight to the rose ceremony. But the story there isn't who gets a rose; it's who turns one down. Indeed, poor sweet Nick Viall Jr. – who was on the beach this whole time, allegedly – goes up there and offers his rose to Bri ... who proceeds to swat that thing away. Harrison offers Baby Nick Viall's rose to the rest of the women ... and they all do the same thing. AWW, POOR GUY! Makes me feel bad that I don't remember your actual name or existence whatsoever. But hey, he takes not only getting turned down by one woman but then an entire room of women pretty well, so good for him. Things will get better, Nick Viall II. They literally cannot get worse.
Bri ends up accepting a rose instead from Matt Donald. (HOW DARE YOU DO SYDNEY LIKE THAT?! YOU ARE A STAIN ON THE GOOD NAME OF MATTHEW!) As for the rest of the roses, they all go as expected: Dylan to Hannah, JPJ to Tayshia, Chase to Angela – which is still a thing I guess – Clay to Nicole, Demi to Kristian and Chris to Katie, leaving Haley, Sydney and Revian to all pack up and head home. A bonus congratulations to Revian on her 14 seconds of screen time this season.
Everyone's celebration about roses, however, is short-lived, as the next day Harrison drops the least surprising surprise on the castmates: That was the season's final rose ceremony. It's fantasy suite time – so those couples that aren't fully committed to one another should get ready to head out. It's SERIOUS CONVERSATION TIME. Well, almost; first we need to have Bri full-on dump Matt Donald, telling him straight to his face that he made a mistake giving his rose to her the night before instead of Sydney. So they're gone. SEE WHAT YOU DID, MATT DONALD!? Sydney waited 15 years for you to finally figure out that you should kiss her – all for you to do her nasty. NOW KARMA COMES FOR YOU! I have stripped you of your Matt name privileges. You are now a Trent.
As for the rest, Dylan and Hannah are locked in and set for fantasy suite week. My bet is that they are the one engagement at the end of this season. Nicole and Clay stick together too for the finale – though they've got WAY too many red flags for them to wind up engaged. At best, they'll decide to just keep dating after this, then slowly fall apart in the real world. Demi and Kristian stay for fantasy suite week too, as Demi confirms to Kristian that she's all in and that she'll continue doing her best to feel comfortable coming out in a relationship.
Gerard Butler and Katie for some reason are still there too by the end – even though their final conversation sounds a lot like a breakup. He seems like he's checking out of it, and Katie even starts crying and saying, "I don't want this." Well, I didn't want your boring and generally uninteresting relationship to get more screen time SO I GUESS NONE OF US GOT WHAT WE WANTED! But then the two pull out of the relationship tailspin and decide to give things a shot at the fantasy suite. Sure, why not snag one more night of ABC-paid vacation. I am one hyperbazillion percent confident these two are doomed.
So that just leaves John Paul Jones and Tayshia, who surely will stick together considering all they've been through. The romance. The Shakespeare. The weird JPJ is a podcast truther stuff. Surely these two will stick it out for the final week. Right? RIGHT?! OOOOH NOOOOO! Indeed, JPJ tells Tayshia that he's in love with her ... and Tayshia says that she's not there yet – not that she won't ever be, but she's not there now. But that's enough to break JPJ's heart, sending him sadly walking down the beach and sadly loading himself into the goodbye SUV. How could you Tayshia?! He threw you a prom! WITH PUNCH! I was ill-prepared to cry during an episode of "Bachelor in Paradise" ... but when they cut to the montage of all their happy and romantic times together (the wedding fight between JPJ and Not John Krasinski surprisingly didn't make the cut), to quote the fourth most popular folk-comedy duo from New Zealand, it was raining on my face. Or at least gently misting.
Again, don’t judge me: Christian Yelich's exploded knee cap injury really put me in a vulnerable place Tuesday night.
So that leaves four couples headed into the final episode next week Tuesday. But who cares about that when JORDAN IS BACK FOR THE CAST TELLS ALL SPECIAL! The odds of there being a piñata at the ready are as high as the odds of Gerard Butler and Katie breaking up – but not quite as high as the odds of me denying ever getting moderately misty-eyed watching "Bachelor in Paradise."
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.