'Bachelor in Paradise' Week 3 recap: How not to be not mad

Warning: This recap of the “2017/08/28” and “2017/08/29” episodes of Bachelor in Paradise contains spoilers.

One of the best moments in life is when the stress of a crush suddenly gives way to the sweet release of finding out they like you back. What a feeling! At that point you each have a new toy, a tiny and shiny new relationship to play with, batteries included! It’s like Christmas morning assuming you observe and/or enjoy Christmas mornings! (I don’t know your family.) But regardless of how excited you are about your new toy, one fact remains: New toys break if you play with them too hard. You should not have taken that expensive robot dog in the bathtub with you, nor thrown that Frisbee near the Magnolia tree. Similarly, when you DO get your crush to like you back, relax a little! Play with it a little each day, not ALL DAY NOW. Unfortunately the residents of Bachelor in Paradise aren’t physically able to do this, so this week’s theme was New Toy Broken. Let’s talk about this week’s episodes!

We began with the gang all waking up for a brand new day of humidity hairdos, hugging around the waist in jacuzzis, passive aggression, and unfocused sexual energy.

The first spicy moment (literally) was when Alexis tied a blindfold onto her platonic rose partner Jack Stone and challenged him to a taste test. This included things like papaya, jalapeno dipped in hot sauce, candy dipped in hot sauce (?), and beach corpses. Though Jack Stone only needed smell the rotting dead crab she attempted to stuff into his mouth, he seemed PLENTY ticked at Alexis for even attempting to do this to him and I had to agree. I generally hate when people place rotten dead things in my mouth, it is a dealbreaker for me.

But because Alexis is still the best, she of course provided another series highlight by recounting the time her newly arrived castmate Christen brought a purse full of scallops into a car on the way to a nightclub, consumed them, and then wiped scallop juice onto Alexis’ shoulder thereby making her smell fishy all night. It was quite a story, and as the episode went on, apparently completely true.

Like, chryons don’t lie, folks. Also later while Christen was gobbling down a shrimp platter, she rested a half-eaten shrimp on Amanda’s shoulder and suddenly Bachelor in Paradise replayed the footage like it was the Zapruder film. ENHANCE:

But Christen’s worst crime occurred right when she arrived, when she was informed by Jasmine that Matt was off-limits, then asked him out anyway. To be fair, Matt himself had grown visibly tired of Jasmine (her physical affection started getting a little intense and maybe overly caffeinated) and openly asked Christen to invite him on her one-on-one. So she did! (And let’s be real: When producers smell a faltering relationship I’m sure they turn to the pool of would-be castmembers at the other resort and are like, “Okay ladies, who here wants to ask out Matt?”)

Anyway, guess who was TOTALLY, not at ALL mad about Christen asking Matt out?

Jasmine was so not mad that she drank twelve more tequila sodas, ranted to everyone about how not mad and how not worried she was, then confronted Christen in her bedroom about having slimy scallop fingers to match her slimy heart. THAT is how not mad Jasmine was!

Not mad. Never mad.

Overall Matt and Christen’s date was sweet and they kissed a little. Then when they returned to the resort, Jasmine put down her not-mad salad fork and literally jumped on him and mouth attacked him. But guess what? He didn’t seem overly turned on by this! Speaking of not being turned on:

I don’t like this. I don’t like this at all. Who gave Wells twelve hundred puppets and who asked Wells to do impressions of his castmates with them and, biggest question of all, who told Wells he was funny? Yes his role as an all-knowing bartender on this season is a straight-up charade and we accepted that, but that doesn’t mean we are amused by his shrill puppetry! Knock it off! (Note: This episode not only did not knock it off, it kept this feature going for the entire duration.) Like, not to make light of things that shouldn’t be made light of, but why didn’t ABC launch a third-party investigation into THIS? Very upset right now.

Then Robby pulled out all the stops in order to woo Amanda: He removed his shirt and then lit up 25 glowsticks (which he’d brought in his carry-on) and then interrupted her game of Scattergories (or whatever) to get a kiss out of her. But it didn’t work! Also later when he asked her to walk on the beach with him, she gave him the cheek AGAIN. Poor Robby. Not even someone with notoriously terrible taste would go for him. What kind of  crazy, mixed-up, Opposite Day universe had he found himself in? That was $12 worth of glowsticks down the pool gutter.

At some point Sarah took Adam aside and was like, “Um, are you picking Raven over me?” and Adam was like “Derrrrrrrrrmaybe” and Sarah just stared into the middle distance, chagrined. Sometimes when you’re confronted with the biggest insult of your life, you just gotta shake your head and smile. Life!

The low-key tragedy of the season continued its normal trajectory, as Dean and Kristina once again engaged in Misery Cuddling. Unlike Jasmine, who overdid it with territorial affection-mongering, Kristina really has been low-key in her relationship with Dean, yet he still regularly implies she’s smothering him, and can’t quite shake the boner that he has for “D-Lo.” This obviously makes Kristina feel terrible! But because love is often a terrible thing, Dean occasionally smiles at Kristina and pays her a basic compliment and she’s fully in love again. Ugh, the agony!

Even Paradise’s most perfect couple had a big ol’ fight this week. In short, Taylor came at Derek with a “this is how you are” insult dressed up in therapy-speak, and he reflexively was like, “f**k you.” Everybody knows he should have dressed up that sentiment in one hundred multisyllabic words and me-statements! Anyway, despite Derek’s immediate regret at that choice of words and his attempt to make things right, Taylor wasn’t having it. She was capital-T TRIGGERED. But don’t worry, he made it up to her shortly before the rose ceremony and things were back on again. To be fair, I really hate when people I like say “f**k you” to me, it is one of my least favorite things in fact. Maybe even worse than stuffing a dead crab in my mouth. So I could see this conflict from both sides to be honest. I would have been madder than Taylor probably.

Even though Diggy had quite clearly chosen to not take things further with Lacey, she took him aside before the rose ceremony and told him off GOOD. Yes he had opted to go on two one-on-one dates in one day, and yes Lacey had given him a salvation rose the week before, but he was no longer interested and Lacey kind of made a fool of herself by demanding an apology for it. Diggy kinda-sorta apologized but mostly in a “please get away from me now” tone. I think we’ve all been on both sides of this conversation before.

In better news, guess who finally got to kiss his crush on the mouth! Yep, Robby finally got a sweet lip fiesta from Amanda, who apparently found herself worn down by all Robby’s sweet gestures, and probably also strong beverages. Happy for ’em!

Photo: ABC

In OTHER delightful news, Chris Harrison brought out a late addition to the rose ceremony: Canadian Daniel! This was fortuitous for the ladies in that Matt had just flown the coop — he’d grown upset that Jasmine and Christen were so upset at the love triangle he’d built, so he decided to quit the show just before the rose ceremony, thereby f**king both of them over simultaneously! Total hero move. So then Daniel arrived and immediately determined that all of the unpaired ladies were “the scraps.” Lacey was so desperate for his rose that she barely flinched when he kept telling her to her face that she was leftover beach trash after low tide. Oh, Daniel. Even though he doesn’t seem like a malicious person he’s low-key the meanest person on the show? It doesn’t matter though. He looks like he was cut from marble by a slightly drunk sculptor.

Oh but then Matt reappeared and attempted to pull a hero move by giving his rose away to Jasmine, who he claimed deserved it. But rather than be won over by his valiant gesture, Jasmine hilariously took it and rolled her eyes and looked as non-thrilled as humanly possible. And she was RIGHT to react that way. He was a flip-floppy jerk to her and did not deserve a last-minute reputation boost. Get out of here, penguin jerk.

The next morning, everyone attempted to sleep in but were awakened by a team of lucha libre wrestlers who had arrived to shout at everybody in bed and also give Daniel a date card!

It also led to one of the better black box moments in Bachelor history. In an earlier (and admirably racy) scene, Dean attempted to get a boner-on-command for Kristina while they lounged in the day bed and then FAILED, so at least this follow-up moment provided a poignant happy ending for them both. Proud of you guys.

I’m not suuuper happy with how random some of these castmembers have been, so color me slightly unenthused by the arrival of the dude who tickled Rachel a couple times. First of all, tickling is the worst, and people who do it to strangers should be in jail. Secondly, who was this guy again? I’ve already forgotten. Who can possibly care, when Daniel is out gallivanting in a Mexican wrestling costume!

Yep, his one-on-one was with Lacey, the picked-over dregs he’d given his rose to. The date involved a surprisingly not-sexual wrestling match with professional lucha libres!

I very much related to this boy in the audience.

Christen and the Tickler also had a great time on their one-on-one. To be fair, they both seemed to have compatible senses of humor, so who knows? Maybe they’re the Carly and Evan of this season? Rooting for them I guess.

And then, as if by clockwork, Dean made out with D-Lo in the swimming pool. You know, fine, Dean is here to play the game and find love, and sometimes you have to assess your options mouth-first. But Kristina’s pain is almost too much to bear, and if there was ever any hope of Dean becoming the next Bachelor, it’s been completely destroyed by his behavior here. Talk about the opposite trajectory of Nick Viall, who went from loathed to loved during his Bachelor in Paradise experience! Anyway, good luck with your decision-making, Dean.

We then shifted to the “I wish we still had an after show” portion of Night 2, in which Chris Harrison half-heartedly questioned a few castmembers about the drama they’d gotten themselves into. But really it was all prelude to the long-anticipated interview with Corinne.

Corinne’s interview managed to shed a lot more light on what happened while still allowing ABC and Chris Harrison to keep things vague, and place blame on the media. Essentially she confirmed that she’d been blackout drunk for most of her (only) day of filming, and added that she’d just begun a medication that should not have been mixed with alcohol. Fortunately that was as close as she came to admitting doing anything wrong, as what has always been the case was that a woman was impaired and neither her bosses, friends, nor even in-the-moment lover noticed. Which in my opinion would be a nightmare. Though everyone involved seems to have decried that the media and the court of public opinion assumed an out-and-out rape occurred, the point has always been that Corinne was not in safe hands. Only one person actually stepped forward and expressed concern about her safety, and right now the Bachelor franchise is pretending that person doesn’t exist. So until we hear from the actual producer who caused the shutdown, this show is lying to us by omission. In attempting to frame what occurred as an on-camera dramatic turn rather than the behind-the-scenes, legal, and ethical issue it is, it’s pulling the blindfold over our eyes and stuffing a dead crab into our mouths. Just my opinion, guys!

That being said, these were some fun and engaging episodes of television! It’s not Bachelor in Paradise without disturbingly true and real heartache, so we got a lot of that in the various faltering romances. And now that Corinne has finally had her say, let’s hope we can put our increasingly strong compartmentalization skills to use and just enjoy the rest of the season without IRL drama tainting anymore of this. You know? This toy might be scuffed, but at least it’s not completely broken.

Bachelor in Paradise airs Mondays and Tuesdays at 8 p.m. on ABC.

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