By Matt Mueller Culture Editor Published Aug 31, 2021 at 8:46 AM

The drama on the "Bachelor in Paradise" beach has finally gone too far. A guy deciding not to wear any clothes for an episode? Fine. Chewing on tongue and tripe before heading to the designated sex den? Fair enough. Actively trying to destroy Grocery Store Joe and Ivan's hearts? They know what they signed up for. But letting an innocent chocolate cake get caught in the chaotic crossfire and end up scorched whole on a bonfire? HOW ... DARE ... YOU! Have you no decency? (Because they certainly have no dessert now.) 

Monday's new episode begins with some new arrivals: Chasen and ... Chris? Allegedly from Claire's season? You could rewatch Clare's season like the Zapruder film, and I don't think you'd see Chris once. I think this guy won a high-stakes card game against a producer or something like that, and now the show's gotta pretend like he's been here before. No matter the case, he's apparently super bros with Chasen – who you may remember from Tayshia's season as the guy addicted to calling the Bachelorette a "smoke show." And that addiction has only gotten worse, judging by their dialogue. If you took a drink every time one of them said the word "smoke," you'd have enough wine running through your veins to qualify as an extra-large human-shaped Bota Box by the first commercial break. 

The two "smoke bros" arrive on the beach with cards for a double date, and while it's obvious from their bromance that these two should just take each other on their date, Chasen ends up falling for Deandra, Chris hurts Ivan's heart by selecting Jessenia and I actively suffocate myself with a Snuggie because the two buddies can't stop saying the phrase "boo'd up." I do not like them – and neither does Ivan, who's nervous about losing Jessenia to Complete Rando Chris. He goes to Noah to get some relief and ask him if he thinks Jessenia and Complete Rando Chris will work out, and Noah is like, "Yeah, they could totally end up falling in love; he's very smooth." NOT THE REASSURANCE HE WAS LOOKING FOR, NOAH!

Indeed, on the double date, things are getting heated with the smoke bros as the four meet up with an intimacy guru for some hot and bothered exercises on a giant bed – starting with the guys breathing all over their dates' bodies. Boy, I really hope they knocked back some breath mints before this. After blowing over each other's bodies, the foursome moves on to demonstrating the poses of the kama sutra, which gets Jessenia and Deandra all steamed up – the former, especially, who was missing a physical spark with Ivan but is finding it now with Complete Rando Chris. Man, poor Ivan; when the producers want you gone, they REALLY pull out all the stops. 

They're far from the only relationship on the rocks on Monday night. Last we checked, Maurissa and Connor were on the outs due to reasons of human god man Riley dropping by the beach and taking Maurissa on a date so sexy that even a plate full of pig face couldn't turn them off. They ended the night with a ride in the sheets, so Connor clearly has to step up his game. So he busts out ... a very unfortunate romper-thing. One side's orange-and-white stripes while the other's some tan paisley pattern, but it all looks like your grandmother's couch. He looks like Two-Face as dressed by a Goodwill furniture department. Everyone on the beach tells him that he looks fire, but the only thing fire about that outfit is that it should end up in one. These people are not your friends, Connor, and they are clearly not to be trusted. 

Anyways, now that he's dressed to depress, Connor and Maurissa talk about her date, and the body language is ... not great. The verbal language isn't much better as Maurissa tells Connor that she and Riley got back at a normal hour from their date and that they really just talked the whole night. Yeah, sure – maybe in Morse code, via humps. Connor eventually hears the truth from Tahz and goes off to be sad with a guitar by a bonfire, becoming a cautionary tale for the rest of the guys on the beach – particularly Ivan who also ends the night gloomy as Jessenia breaks the news to him that she found the spark with Complete Rando Chris that she couldn't find with him.

You know what'll make everything better, though, guys? Chocolate cake!

It's not all tragedy and hopefully eating away one's feelings, though, as Grocery Store Joe gets a date card and takes Serena, who I feel like has gotten half the one-on-one dates so far this season. This one takes them to a Lucha Libre ring where the two have a nice open conversation talking about past relationships – Serena talking about her ex, Joe explaining why he and Kendall (who DEFINITELY won't show up any point this season, NO SIR) broke up – before suiting up as wrestlers and having a little match and a makeout session. Sure, Joe hates the Lucha outfit, but he can't be mad about how things are going with him and Serena right now. ENJOY IT WHILE IT LASTS, JOE; THE PRODUCERS ARE PLOTTING YOUR DEMISE AS WE SPEAK!

As for everyone else, though, things quickly turn into a clown car fire – especially for Mari and Kenny. She doesn't feel like she's exactly on the same page with Kenny on their relationship; she wants to be open to dates with other people while he's locked in on a future with her. SEE WHAT HAPPENS WHEN YOU START WEARING CLOTHES, KENNY!

Mari chats with Kenny to hopefully straighten things out ... and in the process, does the exact opposite of that. She tries to explain that she doesn't mind what they're up to but would also like to leave the door open to dating other people – aka she wants to be able to hedge her bets. So clearly this isn't a relationship that Mari's IN LOVE with, so Kenny asks if they're now open and going about their own business – to which Mari says no. So that's confusing. Sure seems like Mari wants to be able to pursue other relationships while knowing she's got a safety cushion in Kenny just in case. And that's the vibe Kenny gets too, so he warns her that the grass isn't always greener on the other side, and Mari's suddenly worried she may have messed things up. 

Indeed, Mari made her bed – and now Demi wants to sleep in it with Kenny. The drama queen pounces on the newly open-minded Kenny, coming over to chat with him and OOPS DID MY NIPPLE FALL OUT WHILE LAYING NEXT TO YOU? WHAT A SEXY ACCIDENT; WE SHOULD MAKEOUT. And indeed they do, much to the chagrin of Mari who's suddenly wondering if hedging her bets was the best bet – and wondering if she should've been using the ever-manipulative Demi as a sounding board and confidante now that she's making out with her maybe-boyfriend.

But if you think things are chaotic, YOU DON'T KNOW THE MEANING OF THE WORD! We haven't even "Wicker Man"-ed the chocolate cake yet!

Indeed, the moon rises on the "Bachelor in Paradise" and so does everyone's insanity levels – so much so that Tre admitting that he had sex in a cemetery (you know, those famously sexy locales with all the DEAD BODIES AND MOURNING) barely even registers. In the middle of that weird conversation, Demi drops by with the poor unassuming chocolate cake – allegedly a birthday cake for Kenny, who celebrated his birthday ... at some point this past year, that's for sure. She also treats him to a pinata filled with rubbers, in case Kenny's somehow not picking up what Demi's laying down.

Angry at herself – and more particularly angry at Demi for sliding in on her kinda-maybe-sorta boyfriend – Mari decides to take her rage out on an innocent victim: the chocolate cake. So while her enemies are flirting, she grabs the poor sweet dessert and chucks it into the bonfire as sacrifice. THAT'S NOT HOW BIRTHDAY CANDLES WORK, MARI! Somewhere the chef who spent all day baking that cake is putting in their two weeks notice; first nobody eats their one-on-one date dinners and now they're using their pastries as kindling. Riley has the correct response to this all: tears and sadness. 

In case murdering cakes into ash isn't haywire enough, elsewhere on the beach, Karl tries to convince Deandra not to dump him by using a Pandora bracelet. So yeah, Karl's doomed. And while THAT'S all happening, Tammy decides that she wants to nuke any remaining good vibes on the beach so she heads off to a lounger to passionately makeout with Thomas – right in front of her boyfriend Aaron, who FAMOUSLY just loves Thomas and gets along with him super-well and is never one to find himself in the middle of drama. So that's definitely not going to end well for anyone. And while they're taking up all the attention – and Mari's celebrating spiking a cake into the fire – Demi's already made her counter move: taking Kenny off to the sex den. 

And in case ALL OF THAT wasn't chaotic enough, Tahzjuan is off on her own just ... yelling at the ocean. Like a normal person. And then yelling about how she can't pee and poop before snacking on a big bowl of spaghetti. Actually, I have never felt more seen on this silly show. Someone who can't stop sweating and needs to stress-eat to calm down? I take back any sass from earlier this paragraph: She's the only sane one left on this damn beach. Yell all you want at the ocean, girl; it deserves it! IT KNOWS WHAT IT DID!

So yeah, when guest host Lance Bass walks in to set up the rose ceremony the next day, he comes in looking like that famous GIF of Donald Glover on "Community." 

Kenny's passive aggressively sniping Mari in front of everyone; Mari's aggressively sniping back. Aaron and Thomas are having their 412nd fight on this show while Tammy's watching from a distance with tears in her eyes, asking, "HoW cOuLd ThIs HaVe HaPpEnEd?!" Connor and Ivan are off together playing sad ukulele duets. Natasha and Brendan are trying to convince themselves things are going well while CLEARLY just waiting for an excuse to break up. Kendall's hiding in the trees somewhere waiting to murder Grocery Store Joe's soul. Karl's out here selling Pandora bracelets while Tahzjuan's probably knocking back a bowl of fettucini alfredo somewhere. It's just flames and blood and burnt Duncan Hines everywhere.

Maybe the chocolate cake should be happy it got such a quick and merciful exit.

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.