By Matt Mueller Culture Editor Published Oct 05, 2022 at 5:56 PM

It only took three episodes and six wine-chugging hours, but we FINALLY got around to a rose ceremony on this season of "Bachelor in Paradise" – and now the games are truly beginning.

We've got desperate collard green bikinis. We've got roses taken in delicious spite. We've got cakes sweating in fear that they'll end up thrown in a campfire. We've got people applying a self-boot to themselves and ejecting themselves from the show. And we've even got Shanae and Genevieve reliving all of our worst nightmares and heading back out on a date together, which is sure to end with cruelty, violence and ... a pleasant friendship? Well, that can't be right. And is that suitcase wearing a swimsuit?! HAVE I ALREADY DRANK MYSELF INTO INSANITY THIS SEASON!?

No, it's somehow all true – including Salley's sunbathing suitcase, now featured in the intros until the actual Salley makes her much-anticipated arrival. I'll be fair: A suitcase in a bikini is pretty funny – not funny enough to make last episode's "Ten Commandments"-length reenactment worthwhile, but pretty funny. 

Anyways, we're at the cocktail party where Financial Advisor Fabio aka Jacob is in the driver's seat since just about all the other guys are either already paired up ... or Romeo. Bailey Holly Hailey(?), Lace and Kira each take their turn trying to earn Jacob's rose, with Kira concerned that the other two aren't actually serious about a connection with Jacob. She is, though – and she's going to prove it by surprising him with a tribute to his opening night outfit, wearing a bikini made exclusively of a trio of collard greens and floss. Because nothing shows real commitment more than wearing leftovers from the crisper drawer. I'd say she might be doomed – but she's up against a mystery human and somebody who spent most of the first night tucked into bed sooooo I'M TELLING YOU THERE'S A CHANCE!

While we're on the topic of doomed things, though: Justin and Genevieve! Indeed, with Victoria's arrival, the honeymoon period for their connection has died a painful death – and now Victoria's taking Justin aside at the rose ceremony to chat on what appears to be the world's hardest couch cushion. (Victoria dives into it, and she's greeted like a brick wall.)

The other folks on the beach try to convince Genevieve to chat with others and find herself a Plan B – but she's still laser-focused on Justin, albeit not HAPPY about it. After his convo with Victoria, he bounces over to Genevieve with some birthday cake and bubbly – but things quickly devolve into an argument over how hard they're both having it and how she desperately wants validation and confident action from him. Justin basically responds with, "Is cake not something?" I am concerned for these two – and even more so, I am concerned for this cake. The only thing with a worse life expectancy on this beach than cake is a stable relationship. Anyways, if these two are struggling this much right now, I think they should just call it a day now. 

Apparently Victoria doesn't like what she sees either and decides that it's too much drama for her, so she moves onto locked in Johnny's rose ... which is crummy news for Hunter. Huh, who would've guessed Johnny would turn out to kind of be a f*ckboi? And that Hunter would struggle on this show, considering her only screen time has been dedicated to toilet troubles? (*the human race raises its hands*) 

After all of that, we finally arrive at our first rose ceremony, with Andrew and Teddi, Brandon and Serene, Nice Dad Michael and Sierra, and Shanae and Logan all confirming their established couple status. For the night's first surprise, Chris gives his rose to Romeo debacle MVP Brittany. I guess they've been a thing this whole time? Who knew! Also, Financial Advisor Fabio gives his carnation to ... Lace, who he describes as "as stunning as you are iconic." Sorry, but that is the loosest use of the word "iconic" I've ever seen. If you're a "Bachelor" alum who walks into "Bachelor in Paradise" to the sound of crickets and confusion, you cannot be described as iconic. WORDS HAVE MEANING, DAMMIT! Elsewhere, Justin gives his rose to Genevieve, delaying the inevitable for at least another week, while Victoria stays thanks to Johnny. 

So that brings us to everyone's least favorite Montague, who despite (*gestures at the past four hours of programming*) decides to try giving his rose to Jill after all. After listening to Romeo's apology, she accepts ... though honestly I figure his whole soliloquy just sounded like, "If you take this rose, you get to stay on free vacation with hot single dudes longer," to Jill's ears, so OF COURSE she accepted it. I assume she will not share another sentence with this man. And with that, the SUVs of Doom come for Hunter, Kira and ... I want to say Mason? Oh, it's Hailey? Sure, whatever you say. 

The next day, everyone's relaxing after the first culling – even Justin and Genevieve, who parse things out one more time and vow better communication between the two. And with that, Genevieve's confident "that situation won't happen again." GIRL, DID YOU LEARN NOTHING FROM LAST WEEK!? And indeed, as if on cue, here comes trouble – and make it double because it's the Brah Bros James and Aaron bringing their combined 27 abs down to the beach. It's funny how Aaron's whole shtick for several seasons was self-appointed cop of the show, seemingly always finding his way into getting grumbly about something, and now he's pivoted into pure chill vibes. James has been a positive influence on him; guy must be like human serotonin. 

Anyways, the Brah Bros bound down to the beach with not just a date card but a DOUBLE date card. To find out who they're taking, Aaron chats individually with Genevieve while James flirts it up with Shanae and OOOOOOOHHHHH NOOOOOOOOOO! For those who forgot – and I certainly made a point of drinking enough wine until I forgot – Genevieve was the feistiest of Shanae's rivals, eventually ending her Shanae-nigans during a two-on-one date with The Unspoken One in which Shanae attempted to say Genevieve was actually an actress. Then, in case that wasn't enough, during the Women Tell All, she accused Genevieve of immediately hopping off the show into another guy's bed. (Not that that should matter, since she was dumped and single anyways but BESIDES THE POINT!) The Another Guy in that poor attempt at gossip? AARON, OF COURSE! And now the show is putting this unholy trinity on a double date? KILL ME WITH ACID FIRE, THIS IS GONNA GO SO BAD! I love how Aaron's like, "I'd hate if there was drama; anyways, LET'S CAUSE THE ULTIMATE DRAMA!"

Those four head off to ignite the nuclear end of days while Justin sits around back on the beach, feeling disrespected since Genevieve just complained for four hours about him going on a separate date and now she's light-heartedly doing the same. I'd say they should just break up already, but we're all going to die when the Shanaevieve-pocalypse officially goes off so WHAT EVEN MATTERS ANYMORE!?

But then something shocking happens – something even more shocking than the radioactive end of the world caused by rival reality stars. Shanae and Genevieve ... have fun? TOGETHER?! INTERACTING AND EVERYTHING!?!?!?! Indeed, their double date heads off to ... what appears to be the neighboring resort where no one but paid extras and hotel staff are there to cheer them on in chicken fights, drinking games and dance-offs. And while the Brah Bros are busting a move in the pool, Shanae and Genevieve just calmly chat about how much fun they're having like they're just the chummiest of long-time friends. What an absolutely gobsmacking twist. Move aside, Tino: THIS is the most shocking thing to happen in the "Bachelor" franchise in the past several months. 

In significantly less shocking news, Genevieve seems FAR happier with Aaron than she is with Justin, as Aaron gives her confident action as a partner while Justin's been wishy-washy. So let's prepare to call time of death on THAT relationship. Meanwhile, Shanae's word of the day calendar must've picked "effortless" for the day because that's how she constantly describes her date with James – but yay for them, because things seem happy and flirty. And as an added bonus, their joy is Logan's sadness. 

Speaking of the folks back on the beach, Jacob seems to be ruining things with Lace by telling crude jokes and stories about Tijuana strip clubs and such. Hey Logan, maybe there's hope for you there – just remember to get Lace's name right this time! And while we're on the topic of hopeless things, Romeo checks out where things stand with Jill – and as it turns out, things stand underwater with cinder blocks tied to their feet. Yep, their flirtation is fully dead according to Jill – and considering how annoyed everyone else was with Romeo's antics last episode, I think he'll be parting next week to no one's sweet sorrow. 

But enough about departures, it's time for some new arrivals! It's ... Ashley and Jared? Hey, aren't you two already married and done with this show? Some real "30-year-old unemployed alums still dropping by the campus parties" energy coming off here. Apparently they're here to serve as basically therapists to the new contestants, serving as an example that "Bachelor in Paradise" can actually work. And while everyone talks about them in reverent tones like they're a Nicholas Sparks-approved romance for the ages ... wasn't most of their time on "Paradise" a sobby nightmare? I would not consider them an awesome example of a stable relationship ... especially since they're now apparently so bored and tired of life that they've decided to come back to a beach full of drunk melodramatic Instagram singles. 

But actually, besides providing false encouragement about the process – hey, a three percent success rate is better than zero! – Ashley and Jared have dropped by the beach because they need a break from their baby. Yeah, so to escape the messy chaos of their child, they've retreated to ... the even messier, even more chaotic world of "Bachelor in Paradise." Make it make sense – beyond "ABC gave them a free vacation." I hope Logan staring at you, looking WAAAY too eager to be a swinging couple's third, is worth it!

Anyways, as a part of their guidance counseling of the contestants, Ashley and Jared chat with Teddi, who isn't quite sure she's on the same page with Andrew. It's not entirely surprising; while their one-on-one date last week was charmingly awkward, it was also ... just awkward, with Andrew being quite the cornball and Teddi not entirely on the level with it. Also: They ended the date going into that big weird margarita hot tub that DID NOT look hot, so that probably extinguished any sparks going off that night. 

To make matters worse for Andrew, Rodney – aka the apple expert from Michelle's season – strolls onto the beach with a date card as well as an eye for Teddi. That being said, he also takes a "painfully single" Jill aside to flirt for a bit – to which somebody says out loud, in definite ear-shot of Romeo, "Finally, she gets a good man!" That had to be Brandon, right? Brandon would very much do that – and very much be correct.

But the important interaction comes with Teddi, who suddenly finds herself extremely conflicted and confused – especially because she came to "Paradise" exclusively to meet Andrew and hopefully ignite a spark there. But that's clearly flamed out, and with him no longer an option, she's just ... not really interested to be here anymore. So after she breaks up with Andrew – who, in classic Andrew form, takes it like a champ and accepts her rejection kindly and with understanding – she packs up and heads out without telling anyone else on the beach. A producer even tries to stop her and ask if she wants to say bye, but Teddi has no interest in making things more dramatic than they need to be ... which is THE OPPOSITE OF THE PRODUCER'S GOAL.

But seriously: Somewhere, the "Bachelor" producers are just ripping all their hair out this week. They set up Genevieve and Shanae on a revenge double date AND brought a romantic rival down to stir up trouble in a seemingly stable couple AANNDD had a contestant self-eliminate herself ... and yet somehow none of it resulted in any particularly juicy drama. Instead of starting WWIII, Genevieve and Shanae became besties – and try as the show might to make Serene being sad about Teddi's sudden departure A Thing, it didn't do a great job of hiding that Teddi actively AVOIDED creating a scene. 

Yeah, so the producers' calls to finally get Salley on "Paradise" just got A LOT more desperate ... 

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.