"Bachelor in Paradise" recap: Corinne closes the book on the controversy
You know how this works at this point. First, "Bachelor in Paradise" drags out its alleged sexual misconduct drama for another week. Then the show awkwardly wastes screen time not talking about what it said it would talk about. And finally I lose my mind – probably while screaming some words with the caps lock on. It's all a lot of brutal punishment fun.
But here's something new: I actually didn't hate last night's episode. The actual show brought on two new people that added some different energy and conflict, and even Corinne's much ballyhooed appearance was, for the first time, a conversation worth having – even if the show still can't get out of its own way. And even if it's been about two weeks too late for me to still care.
So as we saw Monday night, Daniel arrives just in time for the cocktail party. He's very Canadian and VERY terrible. He makes weird slightly homophobic and transphobic cracks, says he likes virgins because he doesn't have to worry about STDs and wants somebody "who's not interested in his rose but interested in his d*ck." And he COMPARES HIMSELF TO BEYONCE. Daniel is the devil, and Canada isn't allowed to be smug about anything ever again. He is the worst Canadian import since Labatt Blue – and also he has too many abs. I know that sounds like a petty complaint, but there's, like, five muscles that aren't supposed to be there. It's like he blew up a photo of corn on the cob and stapled it to his stomach.
He's terrible – but he makes for great TV because he's so laughably hate-able.
Lacey, however, is a fan of all of this, I guess. Apparently she joined this show in the hopes of meeting Daniel, so things are all coming up Milhouse for her – until she actually has to talk to the dude, and she realizes that he's awkwardly not into her. Womp womp; Lacey's on the verge of tears again. Must be a day that ends with a Y.
Daniel chats with a few others, with equally unexciting results, before Chris Harrison shows back up to get the night back on track. He talks a lot about how you should expect the unexpected and how tonight is so interesting and unprecedented; meanwhile, Taylor is clearly yawning in the background. It's great.
Daniel ends up giving his rose to Lacey anyways, so Lacey's happy again. JACK! STONE! hands his carnation off to Christen, which sends Jasmine into yet another tizzy – though this time with bonus dramatic lightning. Next up is ... Matt? WHY'D YOU COME BACK; YOU ESCAPED! As it turns out, Matt is still a good guy, realizing that if he left before the rose ceremony, he'd be dooming some women to an early exit as well – one girl in particular. One special girl. The music swells. The camera zooms in. He says Jasmine's name ... and she's not about it. She takes the rose I GUESS. She cannot be pleased. Then Matt escapes again. Smart man.
The rest of the roses go as expected: Derek to Taylor, Robby to Amanda, Diggy to Dominique. Adam ponders his choice for a bit, but then picks Raven over Sarah. Dean takes a year to decide, but lands on Kristina – just in time for Ben Z. to hand his rose to D. Lo anyways. That means it's time for Sarah and ... no ... no, it can't be; IT'S NOT POSSIBLE ... Alexis is gone!?!? Scratch what I said before; this show is a waste and a half.
So the rose ceremony is followed by Kristina challenging Dean to summon a boner in a game of Truth or Dare. SEE WHAT HAPPENS WHEN YOU KICK OFF ALEXIS!? EVERYTHING GOES TO HELL! But seriously, this might be the most uncomfortable minute of my life, watching a guy attempt to sprout wood on national TV. Truly peak television.
The next day is all about exciting arrivals. The first one comes early in the morning, as lucha libre wrestlers scamper all over the campgrounds, scaring everyone awake, sprinting into Daniel's room and handing him a date card. If I was on this show and it was before 10 a.m. when those dudes woke me up, we'd have some dead lucha wrestlers on our hands. But anyways, some terrible conversations and a Canadian bacon joke later, sleazy-ass Daniel decides to take Lacey on his date, which involves wrestling for the locals' entertainment. It's a bad date – they don't even get to interact much, since Daniel's on the mat fighting – but it's amusing I guess.
Meanwhile, Dean finally makes an erection happen, and I try to jump out the window of my apartment to escape the awkwardness.
Luckily, I was stopped by an unexpected savior's arrival: Tickle Monster. He tells Harrison that people seem to like the tickling – or that at least he embraces it and likes it, which NOT UP TO YOU. But still, everybody seems to like him. And, in truly the most stunning and shocking twist in the show's history, Tickle Monster ... is a doctor. AN ACTUAL DOCTOR. You're a doctor – a baby doctor at that – and you lead with the fact that you like tickling people? Jonathan, you are bad at dating.
Or maybe he isn't because ... he's kind of oddly charming! He's not some typical "Bachelor" muscle bro or transparently self-promoting goof; he's just a nice, lovable weirdo. And he's been tickled by Ellen DeGeneres, so that's worth something. He chooses Christen for his date card, and the two take off for some Carrot Top prop comedy and throwing food at the table. It's bizarre and lame ... and sorta charming. There's something about two misfits bonding and finding their mutual weirdness – at a cute secret restaurant at that! Even Wells busting out his puppet show – complete with an annoying Scallop Fingers joke that I wish we put to sleep – couldn't bring down the date's crackpot cuteness.
I tell you who could ruin the cuteness: JACK! STONE!, who is not happy about this date. So as soon as they come back to the beach, he swindles Christen away from Tickle Monster and makes out with her under a bungalow just a few feet away. It's sad – but at least Tickle Monster calls his new nemesis JACK! MR. STEAL YOUR GIRL! STONE!
See, this episode was fun!
In less fun developments, though, KrisDeana versus Deanielle is still a problem – especially after Ben Z., LIKE AN IDIOT, gave his rose to Danielle and kept her around rather than handing it to the obvious choice, Alexis. So Dean is once again cold toward Kristina while playing in the pool with Danielle. It's a bummer to see Dean, who seemed like such a winner on Rachel's season, turn out to be such a dink. Kristina, bail on this man – and considering she tearfully notes that the orphanage was better than this, I think she will.
But that's for next time because, yes, it's time for yet another Very Special Studio Episode in which we talk with Corinne about the shutdown controversy. Or not. No, of course not. Because why just wrap this up and move on when we can recap the television show we've literally just watched. This show cannot have these uncomfortable conversations about its own controversy without getting in its own way. But you already knew that. We've all already known that. It's been three weeks of knowing that.
So, the "Paradise" post show – basically "The Talking Dead" – talks to Wells about his background with Danielle M. that led to their cute little goodbye smooch, chats with Amanda about her history and emotional U-turn on Robby and gets some answers from Raven about her shutdown threesome with Sarah and Adam. FINALLY! *grabs bucket of popcorn* Oh, they just hung out, Adam gave up his bed for the girls and then Sarah went to cuddle with him, leaving Raven a whole bed to herself. *sadly puts bucket of popcorn down*
Oddly enough, this information is actually kind of interesting; it's just a shame the show's using it as a stalling tactic – and that it wasn't in the actual storytelling on the ACTUAL SHOW, instead awkwardly shoehorned here. Some of this context would've made for better characters and storylines. But whatever. Meanwhile, Harrison tops off every little conversation with dorkily asking, "Was he/she a good kisser?" to a level that I'm worried he'll ask Corinne that too. It'd be as tone-deaf as everything else this season on "Bachelor in Paradise"!
After more stalling in the form of putting Matt and Jasmine on the same stage together – which might have been interesting if I hadn't checked out of Jasmine's annoying behavior and storyline the night before – the show finally brings out Corinne for the final 20 minutes. And I will say, of everything the show's done to address these sexual misconduct allegations, this is I suppose the best conversation to come of it. But Corinne does talk about what happened, admitting that she drank too much and that she was on some mystery medication that reacted poorly with the booze (obviously) and essentially knocked her out. It still wasn't that clarifying or fully honest, but it was at least the closest we've come to someone talking about the actual moment and issue that shut down the show.
That being said, it's still terrible and mangled television. There's still holes upon holes in Corinne's story that the show has no interest in delving into, from the medication to how her tone changed in her statements. It's still a tonal whiplash, going from "we're going to talk about alleged sexual misconduct on our set" to "JASMINE, YOU CRAZY" within the same minute. And, of course, it still spends much of its time indicting the media, the true villain. Great message for today's "FAKE NEWS" era. If I could manage to care, I'd be rather upset, but this conversation – which might've been worth investing in if it happened in the first episode – comes six shows, twelve hours and three Very Special Episodes into this season. I stopped caring about this drama weeks into this dragged out ridiculousness. Even if it was fully honest and open and great, we've been to this well too much – and it's all still a vague question mark.
I've been done with it. And now so is "Bachelor in Paradise." For now. Hopefully. No, probably not. Dammit.
Matt (officially), Sarah and *sheds tear* Alexis. I would watch this "Talking Dead"-style recap show, though, if it was just Alexis providing commentary on every episode.
Madre Mueller declined to watch Tuesday's episode, partly out of wanting to still catch up on sleep from traveling to Europe and partly out of wanting not to lose her mind watching this sleaze. She's seen what's happened to her son.
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