"Bachelor in Paradise" recap: Dean the deceitful
It only took two episodes and four hours, but "Bachelor in Paradise" finally – FINALLY! – moved forward from its off-screen drama (*sticks fingers in ears* la la la, what scenes from Tuesday night's upcoming show?, la la la) and delivered an episode of television that ... well, it was an episode of television! The season's still struggling to maintain enough interest to avoid becoming background noise to an exhilarating round of solitaire, but Monday night at least inched toward interesting – mostly by turning a fan favorite into a villain.
Back on the beach, Kristina and Dean (who I have now dubbed "Krisdeana") are struggling to stay together, thanks to Dean's communication issues. But really, all of the ladies on the show – minus Taylor, who's very much still quite cute with Not John Krasinski – are having problems with the guys, who seem more interested in bro-ing out with the dudes than going out on any dates.
Lucky for them, a new guy's arrived: Adam, who you may remember from Rachel's season as the one with the creepy murder doll (and yes, there is a shot during this episode of the doll laying in bed that wouldn't look out of place in "Annabelle: Creation"). But evil mini-mannequins aside, the girls are excited for a new handsome guy to shake things up – and shake things up he does, because he's got a date card.
Kristina's intrigued by Adam, while Adam's interested in Raven – devastating news for Ben, because Ben literally only talks about Raven and his dog. If you took a shot every time he mentioned one of the two, your vision would be impaired faster than you can say, "I think it's fine to stare at an eclipse."
Anyway, after a needless recap from Wells and Ben's 173rd sad line about Raven and his dog, Adam chooses Raven for his date card – cue sad line No. 174! – where the two head into the city for margaritas and conversation. Most of the date chats, however, are about the other relationships on "Paradise" so far, which doesn't make for particularly chemistry-rich conversation and is also information the viewer already knows. Monday night's episode refuses to say anything once that it can repeat 57 times. And, on cue, Ben would like to let the audience know that he likes Raven and his dog.
Otherwise, the date goes fine – but the true important thing to take from Raven and Adam's date happened before they even left, as Adam got attacked mid-interview by some moth-like flying bug, and the show stopped for a literal minute just to watch him spaz around in fear. The bug provided the best drama this show has seen in three episodes; give the bug a spin-off show, please!
We finally move on to the season's first cocktail party – or, at least, the first one not interrupted by a production shutdown, though nature was certainly eager to try. But while the set tries to survive a tropical storm outside, the guys attempt to survive the first rose ceremony, positioning themselves with the women, seeing as this week they have the power – something the contestants say more often than He-Man.
Vinny is wearing his good luck rose shirt. In related news, there's a guy named Vinny on the show. JACK! STONE! is hitting on Alexis, who milks him of all the compliments he's got because, unlike everyone else on this show, she realizes that this show should be about fun. Adam and Raven dance for a bit and even kiss, while Ben clarifies that he really likes Raven and also his dog.
Robby awkwardly talks to Amanda about his friend who was engaged to her in the past and then even more awkwardly asks for a kiss that's promptly shut down. Iggy attempts a Jewish blessing with Lacey, which works nowhere near as well as Diggy just being Diggy. Alex swings and misses with every woman in the cast, while Krisdeana have an important chat about their relationship – since they couldn't earlier in the day due to reasons of Dean laying unconscious and dead on a beach cushion. But after all of that, we're finally ready to hand out some roses on this ... oh, nope, it's the President giving a speech. We're never having a rose ceremony this season.
Half an hour later, though, it finally happens. Taylor STUNS everyone by giving her rose to Not Jim From "The Office." Jasmine goes to Matt, while Raven goes to Adam. But didn't she hear that Ben likes her?! AND DOGS!? Devastating. Meanwhile, Alexis keeps JACK! STONE! around, probably because she finds the name as amusing as I do. Lacey pairs off with Diggy, while Danielle M. kindly hands a mercy rose to Ben so he can stick around and talk about his dog some more. Krisdeana holds on for at least this ceremony, while Amanda hands her rose to Robby. A bunch of guys whose names I never bothered to learn leave. All is right in the world.
OR IS IT?!
Just as everyone's getting comfortable with the new status quo, Danielle L. (or D. Lo, as everyone insists on calling her) shows up, sending all the fellas into their finest "Wolf of Wall Street" GIF impressions and cartoon "AHOOOOOGA!" sound effects. She also has a date card, and she's interested in Ben and Dean – which is no good for Krisdeana's newly repaired relationship. She chats with them both, asking Ben instantly about his dog (THEY'RE PERFECT FOR EACH OTHER!) but eventually picking Dean for the date offer. And despite Kristina being RIGHT THERE, he quickly says yes. So much for that repaired relationship.
Kristina offers Dean a cold, soulless "have fun," while he heads off with Danielle for their date with an ATV. The two (let's call them Deanielle) have fun jetting around the jungle before they settle for drinks and a toast to "getting super dirty." Everything Danielle says is some kind of double entendre, though the sexiest line of the date comes when Dean says Nick Viall seemed super boring. HOW DID HE KNOW DRAGGING NICK WAS THE WAY TO MY HEART!? The two then all-too=briefly chat about seeing themselves on TV before they begin making out.
Back on the beach, though, that's not the story he tells Kristina. He says there "wasn't really romance involved," and that they shared just a peck during the date. Dean, are you being a lying liar? Has America's favorite boyish bachelor turned into an asshat? That's Alexis' theory – and Alexis is a gift to mankind who makes weird "Freddy Got Fingered" references, gets into fake hot tub fights with Jasmine and calls Nick Viall "the worst Bachelor in history." Her opinion is not to be questioned.
Sadly for Kristina, she's also right about Dean turning into a devil. Immediately after cuddling with Kristina, Dean bounces up to awkwardly summon a half-birthday cake for Danielle L., a move that delights Danielle L. and literally no one else at their s'mores soiree. They, and the audience, can see he's trying to have his half-birthday cake and eat it too, dangling one woman along while trying to get with another. It's POOR FORM, Dean, and we expected better of you.
Kristina understandably heads off to cry, sad that a day that should've been dedicated to getting a relationship back on track turned into the complete opposite, while Alexis and company order pizzas that Danielle L. promptly drops into the sand like A MONSTER. D. Lo is not making friends on this beach.
So, yes, "Bachelor in Paradise" is still an unfocused bore with no momentum. And yes, it still spends most of its two-hour running time (two and a half tonight, #ThanksTrump) each episode saying the same things over and over again. But this was an improvement – there was actual movement in the story and relationships, along with a smattering of spontaneous funny moments that a relaxed show like this should be full of. And most importantly, it featured not one but two Nick Viall insults, so I look forward to a sweep at the Emmys in the category of Best Television Program In History.
Iggy, Alex, Nick and Vinny, who's post-ceremony battle with his seat belt was the most entertaining and relatable moment of the entire season so far. If only there were more seat belts on the beach, I might have remembered he existed.
Last week, Madre Mueller conveniently had dinner plans during "Bachelor in Paradise." Apparently that wasn't enough, though, so this week she FLEW ACROSS AN OCEAN to Europe, where the bad reality TV shows can't find her. As long as this show's on, she may never return.
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