By Matt Mueller Culture Editor Published Sep 22, 2021 at 9:06 AM

Tuesday night's "Bachelor in Paradise" had all the makings of a memorable episode. Lil Jon was there, still casually hosting the show and making "OOOKAAY" references. People spent way too much time eating naked tacos. A tropical storm dropped by, forcing a full-beach evacuation. Why, that last point alone would seem to have the makings of (everybody say it together) the most dramatic episode ever!

So why was I so friggin' bored? 

Unfortunately, while there was plenty of material to work with, all the drama on Tuesday night turned out to be either a false start or a fizzled-out fuse, resulting in an episode that was only slightly more compelling than Brendan's lame attempt at an Instagram apology (or non-apology) and significantly less compelling than this video of Brendan and Dr. Joe doing some strange fish dance. A lot.  

Our first drama dud came between Grocery Store Joe and Kendall, which the show desperately wanted to turn into a love triangle with Serena but turns out everybody involved is too reasonable and good of a person for that. Kendall's having a bad time watching Joe and Serena be in love while she pretends to have interest in Ivan, so she goes to have one final chat with Joe in the hopes that he'll fall back in love. The convo escalates with her asking Joe why he came out to the beach in the first place, almost certainly hoping that the answer would be "I hoped you would be here." Instead, Joe says that it's because he knew it was over between them, and he thought she felt the same. CUE SAD TRUMPET SOUNDS. But it's in general a good, honest and real conversation that ends with Kendall calling it a day on the show – because, as it turns out, watching your ex fall in love with a new significant on the beach is a bad time. "FORGETTING SARAH MARSHALL" LIED!

Meanwhile, Ivan is sad because everytime he falls in love, it falls apart. But here comes Lil Jon down the beach, bringing tidings of new people. Unfortunately, it ends up being the opposite of helpful for Ivan: four sentient pecs named Demar and Ed, jiggling down the beach. Maurissa's into it, though, because Demar was who she was excited to meet at the very start of the show. COULD RILEY AND HER BE ON THE ROCKoh, nevermind, he takes Chelsea on his date instead, while Ed takes Natasha. Welp, bad news for the producers – but good news for all of us who like love.

But wait! Maurissa's now realizing that she wants more from Riley – words as well as actions. You two ate cow tongue together and licked whipped cream off each other's nasty beach-infested toes – THOSE ACTIONS SPEAK LOUDER THAN WORDS! But still, Maurissa wants him to open up more emotionally and not just work out all sexy in slippers on the beach. COULD THIS BE THE END OF oh, never mind; that's exactly what he does, having an open and emotional conversation about his parents' rocky relationship and how he's more similar to his father than he could've expected, crying in the process. He may be built like a big sturdy tree trunk, but tonight he's a big sturdy tree trunk of emotions. Maurissa is happy – and so am I because I'm rooting for these two. YOU BEST NOT BREAK EACH OTHER'S HEARTS, DAMMIT! YOU LICKED CRAB TOES FOR THIS!

Elsewhere, Natasha and Ed and Demar and Chelsea are off painting each other on their date – both on regular canvas and on the sexiest canvas of all: MAN. (This will be a reoccuring theme tonight.) In the process, Ed comes to the realization that Natasha painting on his body reminds him of getting his face painted as a kid. Hold on a second: PAINTING ON A BODY IS SIMILAR TO PAINTING ON A FACE!? Damn, Ed, you really cracked my brain wide open on that one. This is what happens when you let your pecs do the thinking for you. Natasha doesn't seem to mind though; at least he's almost certain to not be plotting anything nefarious UNLIKE SOME BRENDANS WE KNOW.

Speaking of Brendan, his bro Dr. Joe is off on the beach doing his best Connor impression, plinking awaya at a ukulele in his lonesome – even complete with an emo swoop hairdo for maximum sad boy points. This is the risk of doing fish dances with Brendan. 

In less sad parts of the beach, Noah and Abigail are doing well together, but they'd love a date card to really lock things in. So the producers say, "TOO BAD," and give Kenny yet another date this season, taking Mari on a date to eat tacos off one another's naked bodies. (And also a poor chef is stuck there having to watch and make tortillas; I hope she was paid time and a half for this.)

This naked sushi bar – or taco bar, in this case – is some real two-decades-ago stuff; somewhere an old "Sex and the City" episode is asking for Samantha's B-plot back. But they have a good sexy time – and this is the most screentime and use any of the food on this show's ever had, so congrats "Bachelor" catering team! It's such a memorable moment that Mari says she'll never be able to eat tacos without thinking of it ever again – which is meant to be a happy thing, but sounds like a shame because now she's never gonna be able to grab a late-night crunchwrap supreme from Taco Bell without being haunted by Kenny's penis.

They then talk about how they should talk about serious real-world stuff at some point before heading to the sex den to have really intensely taco-scented sex. A positive or negative thing? I'll let you decide. 

In related intimate interactions, Tia and James hang out together for a bit, with James desperate to earn a rose and stay on the beach a litttle longer, but unfortunately Tia's vagina doesn't tingle enough for her. So she's sticking with Blake, who delivers the appropriate amount of vaginal tingling apparently. 

And all of this conversation of vagina tingling and boob tacos upsets Mother Nature so much that she has no choice but to wipe "Bachelor in Paradise" off the face of the earth. That's right: The show summoned God's wrath, and a tropical storm is headed their way. The producers bomb the show and let everyone know that they're right in the path of the storm, making it "no longer safe for any of you to stay," so they have to pack up and bail immediately. Everyone shares final kisses and worries that they'll never see each other again ... because apparently they can't date in the real world?

COULD THIS BE THE END OF "BACHELOR IN PARAoh, they're all back already. Welp – again.

Indeed, despite the seriousness of the storm, it doesn't bring all that much drama and maybe only takes up five minutes of the show, a weird detour but providing nothing particularly interesting besides giving the set a good and probably necessary cleaning. That's not fair: When everyone returns, the cocktail party and rose ceremony are rescheduled ... for the daytime. WHOA, WHAT A TWIST! SHOCKER AFTER SHOCKER THIS EPISODE!

During this STUNNING daytime cocktail party, Tia harrumphs at Blake (remember Blake? No? Me neither) for a lack of initiative, wanting some actions as opposed to just nice words. Aka Tia isn't actually into him, and we're reaching the end of the show anyways, so time to shut it down. So much for Tia's vagina-tingling pointing her in the right direction. THERE'S HOPE FOR YOU YET, BOX-MAN JIM!

Elsewhere, no matter what happened with Demar on their double date – which must not have been much because we didn't see much of them – Aaron's feeling great about his relationship with Chelsea. But here comes Ivan, no longer feeling sad and instead feeling a little sneaky, stealing some time away with Chelsea to flirt. Things don't start off well, with Chelsea calling him "homie" at the beginning and seemingly making sure he knows that they're platonic – but then they get very UN-platonic, eventually making out and walking away holding hands with each other. And here's another unprecedented twist: Aaron is displeased! I KNOW, RIGHT?! AARON: BEING UPSET ABOUT SOMETHING!? Seems out of character.

Aaron goes to have some words with Ivan, and Ivan responds with a truly shocking (but actually, though) response: Nah. What a genius! Aaron's like, "Come down here; we need to talk," and Ivan says, "No, I'm good up here." And this goes back and forth for a bit, with Aaron wanting to confront Ivan, and Ivan saying, "I'd rather not." Who knew that you could just ... decline to be in a fight!? Honestly a wise choice, letting Aaron come off like the combative hot head that he is while you get to look like calm one. 

See, THIS is the good stuff – entertaining silliness. But unfortunately it comes in the last minute of the show, meaning we're going to have to wait and see if Ivan actually enters into this argument with Aaron or if Aaron's gonna be stuck stewing in the corner like the show's chef everytime nobody eats his carefully composed date plates. And speaking of cooking, hopefully next week's episode has something a litttle spicier on the menu after Tuesday's underseasoned drama. (All this taco talk has actually made me quite hungry – so maybe it wasn't a bad episode after all.)

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.