By Matt Mueller Culture Editor Published Nov 14, 2022 at 3:56 PM

Well, there was no way that was going to end well, was there?

I'm talking about Eliza and Rodney, who got thrown out of orbit previously when Rodney just wasn't toxic and possessive enough for her – but I suppose I could also be talking about Logan and ... well, whoever he's dating this hour. Wild how this drowsy one-man red flag regatta has dated approximately the entire cast of "Bachelor in Paradise" this season. Anyways, those two relationships took center stage in the latest episode to exactly no one's thrill or excitement. A competition focused on a bunch of people no one really likes and that leaves everyone just generally annoyed? Can't think of anything else like that in the headlines over the past week ... 

Let's start with Logan and (*checks massive scroll of his failed "Paradise" dates and relationships, past and soon-to-be*) Kate, who's still off on her one-on-one date with Hayden having a terrible time because ... well, you saw Rachel and Gabby's season. But even though Hayden is a human eyeroll – and even though she endured a whole date of him explaining why he's TOTALLY a nice guy as long as your ignore everything he says and does – Kate's not quite ready to toss him aside yet. Say what you will about Hayden (OK: He's casually misogynistic and has the personality of a luxury vinyl floor tile with a crypto account) at least he seems like a functional grown-up. As Kate explains, Hayden has a business and enough cash lying around to drop comical amounts of it on his dog's medical bills while Logan ... has fluffy hair? Still not sure of the appeal – and honestly neither is Kate, deciding between a half-formed boy and a fully-formed bore. 

Kate has such a rough time on her one-on-one date, though, that when she returns to the beach, she gives Logan a chance to fight for her more than he did previously. So, amidst a dramatic rain shower, the two chat it out, with Kate saying she wanted him to be more engaged in their relationship and Logan saying that, while his heart wanted to tell her to stay, his head told him to let her go on the date (that she'd already agreed to, in case we forgot). He ends up proclaiming that he doesn't want her to be with anyone but him – but when he asks her how she feels, Kate responds with radio silence. Hilarious. TRULY A COUPLE THAT'S GOING THE DISTANCE! Eventually she too commits to Logan, and the two make out in the rain to the rest of the cast's applause. What a romantic moment ... if it was anyone other than Logan and Kate. 

Case in point: THE LITERAL NEXT DAY. Indeed, not even two meals later, Kate already regrets locking in on Logan. She's really hung up on how Logan seems so immature and young while Hayden, for all his personality shortcomings, has grown-up provider energy. She's also REALLY hung up on using the phrase "my sister in Christ, I'm 33." Must've been on her quote of the day calendar or something, because EVERYONE on the island gets that line – probably even the unnamed bartenders. With all this talk of money and wanting trips over any emotional connection, you might want to paint Kate as shallow ... but honestly (and hilariously), considering the other guy's Logan, not a single person could hold this indecision against her. 

While Kate tries to find out which way she wants to go at the cocktail party, we have ACTUAL functional relationships to discuss – starting with Aaron and Genevieve, who relax after an oddly tense week with plenty of disagreements. Or not, because Aaron decides to tell Genevieve that when he told her that he was falling in love with her during their most recent tiff, he was actually lying ... ... ... because he had ALREADY fallen in love with her! Please, fellas: STOP. DOING. THIS. The gigantic heart attack you've given your significant other is NOT WORTH IT. Now, in a brief moment of actual peace and happy tranquility, is not the time for verbal juke moves. Weirdly enough, apparently Aaron didn't mean to play with Genevieve that way – which may actually be worse. Their relationship may have improved since last time, but the basic communication skills are clearly still a work in progress.  

Elsewhere, we get our first check-in on the Eliza, Rodney and Justin love triangle – aka one of the more frustrating plotlines this season's delivered. (And Ashley and Jared's midlife crisis still happened this run.) Rodney goes first to win over Eliza's heart, explaining that he'll never let her feel uncared for ever again, followed by Justin attempting to bribe his way into her rose with gummy bears. Advantage: Justin. Food – especially candy – is always a win. And it would appear Eliza agrees because, while Rodney confidently chats with everyone else on the beach about how she's his future wife, Eliza and Justin make out. THE POWER OF HARIBO!

But now back to Kate, who gets some great advice from Shanae: Choose whoever makes her vagina throb. So, at the rose ceremony, after all the locked-in relationships trade roses, Kate's vagina throbs tell her to go with Logan because she actually likes HIM rather than, in Hayden's case, the concept of him. So Hayden's gone – but at least Kate gifted him with some tennis balls for Rambo before he left, basically making this the world's longest and most expensive trip to Dick's Sporting Goods. That's somehow NOT the end of the Kate-Logan drama, though, because instead of the usual purring romanticisms at the rose pedestal, Kate tells Logan, "I need more: Can you give that to me?" NOT QUITE A VOTE OF CONFIDENCE! Then again, if there's somebody who absolutely has not earned one's confidence, it's Logan. 

Onto the big drama of the night, though: Eliza's choice. Everyone on the beach is rooting for Rodney – and indeed, she picks Rodney, sending Justin home for a SECOND time this season along with Alex and Jacob, who seemed like a major presence on this season only to disappear without much of a goodbye at all. Sad to see he and Shanae's shared love of charcoal toothpaste wasn't enough to form a solid relationship foundation. (She, along with Florence, went with the Christian Yelich twins instead.)

So that's the end of that for Eliza and Rodney, yes? They can go back to being in love and not being weirdly frustrating? After all, Rodney's all sighs of relief and hugs while Eliza walked Justin off the show – sure, with a tear but that's just what happens in a tough breakup. Nope, this post-ceremony segment definitely doesn't feel like the part in a horror flick when everyone thinks the villain's vanquished but there's still ten minutes left in the movie – no sirree! SMOOTH SAILING FROM HERE, I PREDICT! WON'T REGRET THOSE WORDS IN ABOUT TWO PARAGRAPHS!

Since those shenanigans are totally in the past, definitely never to be discussed again, we move to the next day where we give out the latest date card to Michael and Danielle ... and Wells? Yes, it's yet another Wells-centric date with the beach's resident bartender leaving his post to serve as annoying tour guide for the couple's pony ride through town. At each stop, he's loudly present to offer them tacos, hats and chocolate-covered bananas like he's a long lost Bluth family member. And in case that wasn't enough, Wells ALSO sits in on their post-tour drinks for a bit, blabbing about his well-documented relationship with "Modern Family" star Sarah Hyland. It's nice and well-intended ... but also, nobody's here for you, Wells. And Michael SUUUURE seems to agree, annoyed that he keeps loudly interjecting on their alone time. 

Thankfully, Wells eventually takes the hint and leaves the two alone to flirt and canoodle – and it's cute, especially when Michael drops a casual line about coming back to this small town again with Danielle. It's a charmingly tossed-off clue that Nice Dad Michael truly sees a future with her – something he's had an issue with due to his ongoing grieving process – and so does Danielle. WE'RE NOT AGAINST IT!

As for things we ARE against, we return to Eliza and Rodney drama. WHO COULD'VE GUESSED THIS WASN'T OVER!?

Indeed, after Brittany and Shanae briefly discuss man smells – sorry, Alex and Logan, you scored very poorly – we check in on the tempestuous twosome, who are in completely different worlds. Rodney's taking a victory lap around the beach, thrilled to move on from their love triangle troubles while Eliza ... is not, sobbing in bed by herself. Eventually, she rouses herself out of bed to talk to Rodney, explaining that she hoped that she felt bad the night before because breakups hurt – but then she woke up the next day still feeling like trash ... and feeling like she made the wrong choice. Yep, when Rodney asks if she feels like she made a mistake, she basically says yes, noting that she picked him more so because she felt implicitly pressured to thanks to how beloved he is on the beach. And here Rodney was thinking the worst was over!

In the end, after a whole week of grumbling and drama and indecision and more drama, the two officially break up. Rodney hugs everyone on the beach goodbye and bails while the cast is just WRECKED. No, really, it is excessive; they're all crying like somebody just died. Y'all, this relationship was all of seven days old – and one of those days Rodney was technically paired up with Lace and three of those days were spent being grumpy at one another. Heaven help this cast if Serene and Brandon ever break up ... 

While Rodney's time on the show is done, we're nowhere near done with Eliza apparently, following her off the beach and all the way to Justin's front door in Baltimore. Yes, for a mostly forgotten person from The Unspoken One's season who showed up midway through this season as more of a plot device than a character and spent most of her screentime annoying viewers with her Kobayashi Maru relationship test, "Bachelor in Paradise" REALLY thinks we're all in on Eliza. Makes sense, though: When you've got a whirlwind romance like her barely-established connection with a guy who burned a lot of goodwill this season on the beach and already got the boot, you GOTTA keep following it! Yeah, it's not great – but hey, props to Eliza for milking a whole extra flight and vacation out of ABC. 

Maybe there's a chance we'd care about these two if their whole drama came together organically. However, considering Justin SHOULDN'T EVEN BE HERE, blowing his chance earlier this season only for the show to break its rules and bring him back anyways, the storyline feels even more orchestrated than most. Oh, Justin really wanted a chance with Eliza? Too bad – should've been better at "Paradise" and stayed on the show long enough to hang out with her. That's what Stagecoach is for now. 

But here we are in: "Bachelor in Baltimore," the spin-off nobody requested. (And STILL no "Bachelor: Young at Heart!") And unfortunately, we'll be done with it all later rather than sooner – because instead of two episodes, we only had Monday night thanks to the election last Tuesday. Fine, I GUESS reporting on the fate of the country is more important than resolving a reality dating show's 17th most interesting subplot. 

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.