New arrivals were all the talk on the second night of "Bachelor in Paradise": a new lady, Salley ... maybe? ... eventually?, an unaccompanied suitcase, crabs. (No, not THOSE crabs!) All those new residents – and yet we're still waiting for Romeo's brain to arrive on the beach!
Indeed, it was a rough night for his Harvard resume – but let's get into it, starting with ... uh, the start. (Seamless transition, Matt; great work.) Yes, Monday night may have marked episode two, but it was the debut of the season's "Almost Paradise" opening intros – and I must admit, Shanae's clip featuring the infamous villain doing her best impression of the "girl smiling while house burns down" meme is pretty funny. Easily the most amusing thing she's done on purpose on this show.
The rest of the intros are pretty standard and amusing enough – though poor Hunter gets pelted with toilet paper rolls. You know, because she has IBS! Hard to believe the person defined exclusively by having bathroom woes is probably going home this week! Honestly, considering the show's used all Hunter's screentime on literal toilet humor, probably the best outcome for her.
After the intros, we get our first new guest: CRABS! Just ... just everywhere. Truly nothing screams swooning romance like ocean spiders running all over your stuff. Beaches: OVERRATED! Anyways, since the guys have the roses this first week – or "we have the high ground," according to Andrew, making an EXCELLENT "Star Wars" reference – the women are kinda stressing out. Not Genevieve, though! Everything's great between her and Justin! Nothing could bring them down! NOTHING! YOU HEAR THAT, PRODUCERS!?
Indeed, the producers summon Victoria, who everyone now talks about with hushed tones, fear and reverence. For those who forgot who she was (*your author raises his hand*) Victoria was from Peter's season, but got eliminated after she awkwardly was exes with the requisite one-on-one date country musician and then Peter's friend was like, "She's the worst." Since then, she dated former "Bachelor" Chris and achieved the ultimate franchise dream: becoming a significant Instagram influencer. I'm sure something involving Stagecoach Music Festival happened too, because something always happens there. That place is like the unofficial second "Bachelor in Paradise" beach.
Anyways, she shows up complete with a date card, and Genevieve is CONCERNED! In fairness, judging from this episode, Genevieve's constant emotional state seems to be CONCERNED – but at least it's kind of valid right now because, after pulling Logan (LOL) and a few other guys to chat, Victoria lands on Justin for her date, which he accepts. Cue Genevieve dropping tears all over the beach. No wonder there are so many crabs: They feed on human tears. That's just science! (Editor's note: That is not science.) Justin eventually does take Genevieve aside to discuss the date, saying that he would want her to explore all her options as well and that he hopes to come back feeling even stronger about their connection. LOL NICE SELL, BRO. He goes off to ride ATVs and romantically swim around in natural pools with Victoria while Genevieve tries to recruit Andrew to get info for her and has the first of several mental breakdowns this episode.
As for other potential connections, Kira is really into Casey – or at least Casey's nipples. Casey, on the other hand, is less into it. You see, his love language is tacos while Kira's love language is (*CENSORED NSFABC*) so ... not quite the same page. For something more promising, there's Sierra and Nice Dad Michael – aka a "zaddy," which is apparently the new slang for hot dad. Sorry, DILF; you had a good run. Anyways, they're really sweet though, as Michael pontificates about all the life he's lived and Sierra seems really earnestly invested in what he's saying, the two making sure one another are comfortable before kissing. It's really nice – I have no expectations for this to last beyond the beach, but IT'S REALLY NICE!
Less nice: Hailey is sad about Logan because he's spending all of his time with Shanae instead. And to make matters worse, Shanae ends up with a date card and takes Logan away for a night at a Mexican nightclub filled with extras and bad dancing. And I'm sad because we're spending all of this time on someone who – while seemingly a fine human being – I could not care less about on this show. Bailey, I know you were technically from The Unspoken One's season, but also technically we all just found out you exist – and a fourth of an episode is just too much to invest in someone who could also just be a script supervisor pretending to be a cast member.
Enough about Holly, though. Much like Logan, let's turn our attention to Shanae because ... brace yourself for this baffling and frankly concerning sentence ... I'm happy for her? She has a great time on her date with Logan and seems very pleased to have found an actual love story on this show. Sure, it's with Logan, who I trust about as far as I can throw him ... but I also trust her as far as I can throw her. SO WHAT A PERFECT PAIR! The more they focus on each other, the less they focus on ruining everyone else's lives – that they're happy about that arrangement is just a bonus! Anyways, I'm sure this combo of a toxic woman and indecisive man DEFINITELY won't end with someone trying to light the ocean on fire.
After a bunch of cast members trade injury stories – fun fact: Sierra is missing her WHOLE FRIGGIN' PINKY! – we return to Genevieve having a bad one. But hey, she mutters, at least Salley isn't here. GIRL, DID YOU LEARN NOTHING!? YOU SPEAK THAT EVIL INTO THE WORLD, THE PRODUCERS WILL HEAR IT! And indeed, Genevieve and company just happen to come upon a big suitcase with Salley's name plastered all over it. So they all do the responsible thing: OPEN UP ANOTHER PERSON'S PROPERTY AND RUMMAGE AROUND IN IT LIKE HOOLIGANS! You think you can just trample all over another person's things like this?! Who do you think you are: crabs!?
Worse yet, while digging around Salley's possessions, they stumble upon her vibrator, which Kira then steals away to use. Girl, you are working WAY too hard for screen time. This does not seem sanitary – or, uh, legal because does theft not exist on "Bachelor in Paradise"? SURE SEEMS LIKE THEFT!
So yeah, I have a lot of questions, but the most important one is: Where's Salley? Actually, the most important question is WHO THE HELL IS SALLEY!? Other than somebody who is going to have a lot of questions about the state of her luggage. (Though, important to note: "her" "luggage." Anyone who doesn't think this bag is a plant probably also thinks the couples on this show form lasting marital bonds.)
To answer the second question first: Salley was the woman at the very start of The Unspoken One's season who dodged the world's largest bullet and bailed before the show even began – probably because she met The Unspoken One. You might've thought she would return at some point that season, but that would assume somebody at "Bachelor" HQ cares about well-crafted storytelling. Anyways, after all of that, Salley apparently connected with Justin at Stagecoach (THERE IT IS!), so Genevieve is panicking even more than usual. AND NOW SHE'S HERE!
Or ... not because, as Wells explains via a "hilarious" reenactment approximately as long as "The Irishman," Salley was engaged but then she wasn't and then she was going to go to "Paradise" but then she flaked out and then she visited an ex with a producer locked in the car truck and then she was coming to "Paradise" and then she flaked again. And also I think Wells cosplayed as Guy Fieri at one point? It's all VERY confusing and not particularly funny – especially because the punchline is "She's actually not here ... but she might be at some point." It's such a egregiously pointless time-suck that it somehow makes the Hailey/Bailey/Holly stuff before seem like time well spent.
And to make matters worse, we had all this time to waste with a person I don't know and a person who isn't even here ... BUT APPARENTLY NO TIME TO SPEND WITH AN ADORABLE PUPPY THAT WANDERED ONTO THE BEACH!? Unforgivable ...
Anyways, Salley or no Salley, Genevieve is still having a bad time – especially because Justin comes back from the date wanting to talk about exploring his options with both her and Victoria. Cue more crying – but this time it's ESPECIALLY sad because it's on Genevieve's birthday, and according to Genevieve, she always ends up crying on her birthday. Jesus, that's the saddest thing I've ever heard on this show – yes, even more than Johnny's beach rap from last week.
So while Genevieve cries and Salley's suitcase sits all over the beach looking ominous like it's the monolith from "2001: A Space Odyssey," Romeo decides he wants to RUIN HIS LIFE. After committing last week to Jill, this week he decides that, actually, nah – so under the guise of getting drinks for him and Jill, he sneaks off to talk to Brittany and ask if she wants to explore a relationship. And Brittany looks like she's doing her best impression of me watching the Salley reenactment: utterly unimpressed, mixed with wide-eyed amazement at the terrible decision unfolding before her eyes. She says that she respects Jill too much to screw her over like this, then dodges a kiss from Romeo like she's goddamn Neo in "The Matrix." I had no idea who Brittany was before this moment – but now she's maybe the MVP of the season? I wish her nothing but the best.
And as for people I wish nothing but the worst: Romeo, who's very much behaving like a guy who assumes having the name "Romeo" grants him a free pass for lacking any suaveness, common decency or functioning brain cells. After his Brittany gambit blows up in his face, he trundles into the ocean to look all sad and cry some crocodile tears in front of Jill, who believes exactly none of it. After his performance falls flat, he tries apologizing to Jill for "not being communicative" (aka "sucking as a partner") and saying that he didn't choose to hurt her. Ah yes, we all remember when that crab put a gun to Romeo's head and forced him to hit on Brittany. As you might expect, none of that plays with Jill, who is hardcore DONE with Romeo. A round of applause for Jill.
You know who else is done with Romeo? EVERY OTHER HUMAN ON THE BEACH! (And probably even the crabs too.) After self-immolating his relationship with Jill and striking out with Brittany, Romeo moves on to ... anyone in his eyeline. Unfortunately for him, though, everyone in his eyeline finds him incredibly annoying – even Kira, who may be ridiculously horny but not horny enough to give his irritating butt another chance. Wherefore art thou Romeo? Probably on a flight back home – an impressive feat since he's got a rose to give away this week.
Will someone take it sincerely? Will they take it just to stick around another week? Or will it get tossed away like Salley's vibrator once she finds out what happened to it while she was gone? TO TUESDAY NIGHT!
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.