Ahhhh, the complications of paradise. Everything is all fine and dandy in the beginning, when Bachlor in Paradise (Hotel) folks pair up based on mutual feelings of like or, in most cases, convenience. There may be legitimate possibilities with Kirk and Carly, Jade and Tanner, and Ashley S. and Dan (not in the real world but, you know, it’s Mexico, where doctors give you an IV just to make your friend more comfortable).

Heck, there’s even hope for Tenley and whomever she has most recently allowed access to her tonsils. But for everyone else, the arrival of the newbs has screwed things up. Sure, Jonathan, Ashley I. and Mikey had hopes of finding love (in Jonathan’s case, perhaps once again with simultaneous virgin sistercest), but all it takes is one plumber’s wrench thrown into the mix to carve a path of destruction.

Now that Jared has shattered two hearts by asking Clare out on his date, I half expect Ashley I. and Mikey to form their own Bachelorized version of the Suicide Squad. 

She will be known as The Pacifier, capable of drowning her enemies with an unrelenting flow of tears while also knocking out electrical equipment with her supersonic wails. And Mikey — The Meat Sack — will confidently throw himself into any situation with a blatant disregard for his own safety because he misses all the clear signs of avoidance. He then lulls his prey to sleep by expressing the emotional depth of a child before smashing stuff with his steroid-infused super strength.

And no, they’ll cackle, there’s no room for a Love-Man in this supergroup. But JJ, aka The Skid Mark (who I’m still waiting to “look good” in this process, btdubs), is most certainly welcome. But not you, Joe. Even supervillains don’t like you.

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Clare Gets Her Groove Back

While Jared and Clare get ready for their date and the rest of the gang watches two guys once again show a complete lack of understanding in how boogie boards work, Mikey lays on his bed in his underwear and rips a loud fart. And we’re off to a rousing start. 

Mikey has lost his beard, but he’s apparently sticking with the tiny sumo-wrestler pony tail on top of his head. He decides to go the hyperbolic Ashley route in his bitching to the guys about Clare, interpreting her acceptance of Jared’s offer as “not caring whether [he] lives or dies.” He stays classy by bashing Clare’s age, and now he’s got his sights set on any one of the other seven ladies.

As for the date, the happy couple shares a catamaran ride, while Clare coos at Jared’s stunning resemblance to Superman, but frankly, Clark Kent would be a stretch. And as for being such a mature older woman, Clare acts like a giant baby cougar before they go bungee jumping. Thankfully, Jared is there to calm her down with kisses.

Wrapped around him like linen strips on a mummy, she screams like a yelping monkey as they swing back and forth on that stretchy cord. Afterwards, she’s breathless, bosoms heaving as if Jared made her feel good in her special parts, gushing that he deserves a dozen roses after that performance. 

Juelia’s Delusions of Baby Daddy Grandeur 

The single mother with the tragic story of windowdom is smitten with moonshine Joe, who is still holding out hope for Samantha’s arrival. It’s a desire he openly shares with Joshua, Jade and anyone who is willing to listen, and he quickly becomes another target of Mikey’s rage.

Clare returns to the resort and shares her giddiness with the other ladies, in earshot of a despondent Ashley I., who messes up her makeup with more tears. Meanwhile, Tenley is the meat in a Joshua-JJ sandwich, which is ironic since they have the combined personality of dry toast. And then Michael G. arrives.

I had to do some research to remember exactly who this dude is, and he actually finished in fifth place — just missing hometowns — during Desiree’s quest for love on The Bachelorette. His original nickname was “fountain-climbing Michael G.,” after he climbed into the mansion’s fountain to retrieve a coin that wasn’t there. 

His most memorable moment, however, came on possibly the worst and most contentious and uncomfortable two-on-one date in the show’s history, when he outlasted son-exploiting Ben in helping oust that season’s villain. And now, he’s all Tenley all the time. “Her name is Tenley, but to me, she’s Elevenly.” You can’t make this stuff up. 

The J’s Feel the Heat

Welder Josh and his Iowa theater troupe are mincemeat, but Michael is a Notre Dame-educated corporate lawyer who is a legit threat to everyone (so says the Gospel According to JJ). And he comes in like a wrecking ball packing the Miracle Whip, immediately asking Tenley on his one-on-one date and sparking an unholy alliance between JJ and Josh, who wishes nothing less than Montezuma’s Revenge on his new archenemy. 

Mikey invites Juelia for a walk on the beach, where he creepily talks about how everyone has “been experimenting with other people.” She tried things with Jonathan and Joe, and he thinks he’s the better choice for her. She basically laughs at him before walking away, yet he still tries his hardest to kiss-rape her even after she says no.

Michael and Tenley share a romantic dinner at a table located in the middle of a pool, so they appear to walk on water to get there. He compliments her beauty and positive energy, calling her his Plan A without a Plan B, and it’s the kind of genuine flattery she needs fresh off her breakup. She rewards him with sloppy thirds before dancing the night away to a full Mariachi band.

Do You Like Your Eggs Scrambled of Fertilized?

Clare, who knows what she wants and what she came for, is going full-court press on Jared, thanking him for rocking her world. He remains incredibly aloof, pointing out that she’s pretty … and eight years older than him. He’s looking for a spark and butterflies, and unlike Mikey, she immediately picks up on the fact that they have no future. 

Meanwhile, Mikey’s Tour of Desperation (admission is free! All it costs is your pride) remains focused on Juelia ahead of the rose ceremony, even though she has literally promised her rose to an unresponsive Joe. Jonathan grabs her first to see if she’s 100% sold on her decision, telling her that Joe isn’t there for her. Mikey backs up that message, creating doubt in her mind even though she recognizes both guys are on the chopping block.

Juelia confronts Joe, who claims he was just giving her space before making out with her specifically to get the rose and flat-out lying to her about his intentions. So she decides to take a leap of faith.

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Unleash the Fury

Joe is not happy that two other dudes tried to thwart his evil plan, and here’s how he sums up his hurt feelings. Eh hem. 

“I’m pissed,” he says. “Jonathan, I would break his [expletive] jaw and beat the [expletive] pulp out of his [expletive] brain, I swear to god. I won’t stop until his brains are coming out of his ears. I swear to you. I’m that [expletive] mad … Mikey T., if we were in Kentucky, I got a pair of brass knuckles. I put my brass knuckles on my right hand, I’d walk up to Mikey T. and just knock him out.”

I bet Samantha can’t wait for a shot at this [expletive] guy. 

Mikey attempts to talk to Joe because his intuition apparently works just fine with men and he can sense the tension. He calls him out for politicking for Juelia’s rose, saying that if Joe can guarantee his intentions, they’ll be cool. Joe says all the magical man-up words about talking to him first instead of running off to tattle, and they decide to let bygones be bygones and bury the hatchet because it is what it is. 

“I just made him my bitch,” he says. “He looked like a total idiot. Go take a protein shake, you [double expletive]. #JoeMadeHimHisBitch. I’m going to do the same thing to Jonathan too.”

He confronts Jonathan for throwing him under the bus, and Jonathan caves, admitting he did things in a messed-up way and genuinely apologizing. Joe even convinces Jonathan to own up to his shame in front of Juelia, and then he comforts a tearful Jonathan! I have to admit, #JoeMadeHimHisBitch, indeed.

See what you missed out on, Kaitlyn?

A Lecture from Professor Clare

There are 10 guys in paradise but only seven girls, which means three are saying adios to Mexico. Tenley is torn between Michael’s determination, JJ’s comfort and Josh’s chemistry, and she’s trying to think outside the love square. 

Jared crawls back to Ashley I., professing his desire to get to know her better in order to secure his own safety. He even seals the deal with his tongue, once again putting her on Cloud Stupid Nine.

Just before the rose ceremony, Clare, who feels like she has no one, tearfully lectures the rest of the group about being there for love while not everyone else is. And in a move that Jade calls the strangest thing she’s ever seen, Clare demands to know why none of her friends have asked what makes her happy.

Jade takes offense, asking where such talk is coming from; she and several others are, in fact, there for love. The witty response? “If the shoe fits, wear it.” 

Who Stays and Who Goes?

The easy ones are out of the way first. Carly picks Kirk, Ashley S. chooses Dan, and Jade goes with Tanner. Of her triumvirate, Tenley gives the rose to Joshua. Then Clare stalks off because she “needs a minute,” and everyone else is like, “Yup, she wants some attention,” while Ashley I. revels in the breakdown.

“I just don’t feel right being here,” Clare whimpers, before the dreaded “To Be Continued…” flashes across the screen. C’mon, either stay or go, but at least get us through a rose ceremony! 

We’ll figure it all out next time, when Samantha arrives and apparently jumps right into Joe’s loving arms. They make out and do couple-y things in the pool, and yet he can’t figure out why everyone seems to think he played Juelia for her rose. 

The end credits clip is just another reminder of the lack of chemistry between Jared and Clare, as she forces him to pick food out of her teeth with a toothpick. Now that’s sexy. 

You can watch Bachelor in Paradise every Sunday and Monday at 8pm on ABC. 

(Image courtesy of ABC)

Bill King

Contributing Writer, BuddyTV

Emmy-winning news producer & former BuddyTV blogger. Lover of Philly sports, Ned, Zoe, Liam and Delaine…not in that order