A REASONABLE MAN (BACHELOR IN PARADISE RECAP)
Whoever said Bachelor in Paradise is the real life equivalent of Tinder was sooooooooo freaking right. How many contestants this season have had a good thing going and then as soon as some fresh cankle-ridden dude (or dudette) walks down the stairs they’re suddenly available? It’s crazy, and this week we get to see that thought process happen in real time.
First, there’s a coed game of football to relieve the boredom of talking about feelings 24/7. Wait, that makes so much sense – this is why the contestants are always repeating themselves to each other and to the producers in interviews! It’s literally a WHOLE DAY of rehashing the same emotional issues over and over again! Okay I will definitely give these people more credit.
Except Jordan. Jordan is slowly devolving. He’s stalking around Benoit, who doesn’t like having Jordan’s stick in his wheel. The saddest part about this is that sweet Grocery Store Joe thinks that he and Jordan are in the same boat. NO, JOE. JORDAN IS NOT LIKE YOU. I mean, Jordan might be there for “the right reasons”, but it’s hard to tell because he’s going around saying “I am not a toss up!” and getting jealous about a Frisbee game.
Meanwhile, we watch Krystal receive a compliment for the eleventh time this season. How can I fault a person who, like me, figured out that 60% of a conversation can be just laughing at what a guy says? Those little “hmm” giggles that she does are a useful social tool, I’m jussayin. The problem is that the frequency of her “hmm”s (and their irritatingness) indicates that it’s more like 90% of the conversation. Talk more, receive compliments less.
All these guys are running their mouths about only having one engagement in their lives and did the producers only cast Catholics without telling us? Chris is being super cocky, so you know something is about to happen and that something is a Connor.
Connor is a composite of lovely features that result in a very uncomfortable uncanny valley. Is it because his skin is shiny? Is it his weird smile? Is it the middle school level of acting when he reveals his abs?
He walks down and Astrid and Angela perform the bit in the middle of Beyoncé’s seminal hit “Get Me Bodied” (the bit where it’s the intro to “Rich Man’s Frug”) when everyone’s going “Who is it?” “Who is it?”
Krystal likes it. Jenna tries to get her to stop grinning and she can’t. Krystal admits to Connor that she wanted to meet him before Paradise even started, and he says the same thing. She gives him some major mixed messages while Chris is pishing his pants in the corner. THEN she tells Connor that she’s quite smitten with Chris, so Connor should really talk to the other ladies.
Jenna wants a memory foam pillow of Connor’s body and I ... actually that’s not a bad marketing ploy. They do that for porn stars, right?
Now this is a point where all of the contestants are kind of rallying around Chris and it makes me rethink my strong stance on him. If Joe, Eric and these other vanilla people think it’s worth their time to gas him up and make him feel good about himself, maybe he’s not terrible? He seems really reasonable when Krystal comes over to recount her conversation with Connor. I mean, until he refers to her as a “rare breed” and then I threw up a little in my mouth.
BUT WAIT, there’s more! Connor comes back to Krystal and asks her out despite her mixed messages! Giiiiiiiiiirl, you may think it gets easier to say no each time a guy asks you out but it does NOT. It gets harder. And Krystal really wants to go out with Connor. Krystal says yes.
Krystal’s idea of a date outfit is not having enough cleavage for a wedgie box but just barely covering her areola. Krystal’s idea of a date outfit is the Justice League Amazons’ silhouettes. Krystal’s idea of a date outfit is a Katy Perry song – Daisy Dukes, bikinis on top. She and Connor get covered in bamboo and spiritualized in Spanish and then they make out in the water.
You know who surprises EVEN HIMSELF by being there for “the right reasons”? Chris. While Krystal is gone he decides that if she doesn’t want to be with him anymore, there’s no point to him staying in Paradise. He asks Krystal reasonable questions and responds in a reasonable manner. I mean, he acts like he’s sacrificing himself to the fickle whims of a goddess, but nonetheless I commend thee, Chris.
Jenna and Jordan sit down and every time they have a conversation Jenna ages ten years. She jokes that he scares her, but it’s true. She mocks him because to actually argue with him would be to engage his wrath. Jordan does sound good, though – talking about how he’s scared he’ll never meet someone like her, or feel the way he does. That’s good shit.
So Jenna decides she’ll stick with Jordan – I think? Jordan’s pretty sure that’s what she said, but did she actually say that? She sits down with Benoit and even though she’s closed down the kissing factory he goes back in and she doesn’t hate it. (Side point, I’m on the fence about taking unspoken cues for kissing. I have friends who are super into it, demand it even, but watching something that isn’t blatant consensual kissing is uncomfortable.) Jordan watches from afar and then pulls Benoit aside to spill hot air about words and actions not matching and this would all have been a lot more entertaining if JENNA HADN’T PICKED JORDAN.
So Jenna has slowly been coming into her own this episode. She’s, like, starting a thing where everyone “oooooooooooh”s when people leave for a date. Jenna is deliciously unsubtle. Jenna’s personality is showing and while I shudder to attribute that to a guy, it really looks like Benoit is responsible for her relaxing enough to do that. And then she throws it away. On Jordan.
ALSO, STOP TRYING TO FOOL US, EDITORS. JENNA’S SWIMSUIT IS FROM YESTERDAY AND EVERYONE KNOWS THIS IS NOT CHRONOLOGICAL STORTYTELLING. YOU ARE NOT CHRISTOPHER NOLAN, EDITORS. THIS IS NOT THE TIME FOR NONLINEAR NARRATIVE.
Jordan is all “I’m a real person” as though there is a point in his life in which this statement does not apply. He shuts Jenna down in conversation, he can’t really handle her mocking him, and says stupid things like “You’re not meant for anybody else” before he remembers to slip back into his fake reasonable act. Because of this half-assed attempt, Jenna breaks it off with Benoit. He lets loose a football in anger.
There’s a lot going on in the background that doesn’t get as much screen time, like who is this Fernando in the kitchen that Chris whines to? Also Kenny decides to leave to attend his daughter’s dance recital, leaving me confused as to why Annaliese can’t just leave and give him a call sometime. She’s acting like she’ll never see him again. She’s acting like he’s dead. Until nervous Kamil arrives and he asks her out and the sun is shining again.
Except for poor, thirsty Chelsea. Come on, Paradise gods, let Chelsea get some.
So we are seven days in, apparently, and Kevin is having doubts. Kevin gets the prize this week for being A Reasonable Man, even though he makes Astrid cry. I mean, it’s not Astrid’s job to push Kevin’s boundaries, which is how this all starts – he wants to feel like he had to fight for her – but it turns out to just be the opening point for what he’s struggling with. After going through the ringer twice on Bachelor shows, he’s seeing the same pattern emerge in his relationship with Astrid and that scares him. A reasonable fear! Kevin usually goes to therapy twice a week to talk about all this. THREE CHEERS FOR KEVIN ADMITTING HE’S IN THERAPY. Side point, Astrid has a cute accent when she’s upset. She reassures him about their relationship – apparently they’re boyfriend and girlfriend already, where did that scene go? – and it’s all very sweet in the end.
You know what isn’t sweet? Venmo John telling Jubilee he just wants to be friends. JUBILEE WENT HOME. IN FLASHBACK. Why doesn’t this franchise understand how awesome Jubilee is??
Now we get into Kevin accidentally shit stirring, when he reveals to Kendall that Leo kissed Chelsea after their date. (Can somebody please verify if what Kendall said to Leo at the beginning of the episode is actually: “Death by tiger is a death I can accept” because for a show that enjoys juxtaposing overblown statements with contrasting actions, the editors do not spend enough time on the crazy shit that comes out of Kendall’s mouth.)
Kendall has been “craving” Leo. She’s really into him and Joe has been giving her that space, refusing to even tell her that he saw Leo kiss Chelsea. So when Kevin tells her about it, she approaches Leo and says his actions are the signs of a cheater. (She has a point, but I’m not 100% on board with that statement.) Leo knows that he is Done. Done Done Done.
Leo goes angry swimming and blabs aggressively about snitches. Kevin, being the Reasonable Person that he is, goes up to Leo and explains he’s the one who accidentally told Kendall about the kiss. This argument is SUCH GOOD TELEVISION. This is what dialogue is made of. It goes in circles because Leo knows he is Done, but he’s gonna go down flailing. First he says that Kevin should have given him a chance to tell Kendall and Kevin says he doesn’t really believe him, which makes Leo says that “kissing is a handshake in Paradise” and that it’s really nobody’s business who he kissed. Kevin doesn’t stand down, though. As he quotes the words of Justin Trudeau: “Canadians, we’re polite, we're reasonable, but we also will not be pushed around.” Meanwhile, poor Chelsea is victim blaming herself.
Now, the first glimpse any of us got of Leo on this season was him yelling “Good luck with Grocery Store Bitch over there” in the promos. Leo didn’t stand a chance in the court of public opinion, but it’s not like he didn’t say that. Before what looks like the rose ceremony, Kendall has another conversation with him and I can’t tell if it’s the way it’s edited but she does NOT understand how dickish he’s being. Leo accuses her of acting like she was into him (she was not) and then goes down a list of dickish comments like “How are you still single. I can’t imagine why Arie didn’t pick you.” Kendall, like, doesn’t get it? But Joe comes over to end the conversation and honestly, he saves us all. Grocery Store Bitch scene, we’ll see you tomorrow night.
Side point: Thank you for the limited amount of Tia and Colton this week. A much-needed break.
Side point: Chris Harrison, if you refer to date cards as “ammo” ONE MORE TIME we’re gonna throw away your cryogenic chamber.
Side point: Whose job is it to determine which ladies need wedgie boxes over their butts? Is that a big person decision or a PA-level decision?