For some reason production deemed Michelle K's affair with a crew member any of our business and dedicated the first chunk of this episode to condemning her and Ryan Putz (I'm resisting) for developing likely legitimate, non-television feelings for one another. Or, they found Ryan's panicked hopping off a balcony and breaking his feet hilarious (which – Schadenfreude – it kind of is) and wanted to share it with us.
Either way, the takeaway is that floss is the way to a girl's heart:
After a truly awe-inspiring "Reenactment", we return back to present-day "paradise." The Jaws theme plays as Chris B lumbers down the beach. There are plenty of ITMs dedicated to perpetrating his bad-boy image. My favorite was Graham's, where the ITM becomes a voiceover and we see shots of Chris covertly chatting up the girls in various formations:
Graham: "Chris has a reputation with the ladies."
"Chris has been known to enjoy the company of different ladies..."
"... in different times..."
"... or in the same time."
JAWS BUKOWSKI IS COMING FOR YOU, LADIES.
After Chris chooses Clare to
interrogate pamper, Ben finds the shittiest-looking date card ever:
Seriously, you guys, that date card looks like a prank. I can't tell if it's some ultra-granola hippie brand of recycled paper stationary or if it really is that crappy. It's all flimsy, has footprints on it, and looks like it was stuffed into a used envelope a handler happened to find in her Jansport.
Elise asks Dylan what his sign is. He's a "scorpion". She's a Pisces. See Dylan care:
Watching Dylan tiptoe into and around telling Elise he didn't want to be exclusively attached was positively comical. I know his behavior could be perceived as dick-ish, but I didn't get that at all. They used a voiceover of him saying he feels smothered – which could have been vocalized at any point – right after a soft-focus montage of Elise's perception of their perfect weeklong love. Of course the contrast would make him seem cold, but it's perfectly possible (and I suspect) he's just been aloofly chatting and hooking up with her. Worth noting: if Dylan really just wanted to stay around for the sake of staying around, he wouldn't have broached this non-exclusivity thing with Elise in a week where he knows the girls hold power with the roses.
Elise: I know we have a connection! I know he knows it but he's scared of it. He's like, something's gotta be wrong.
One thing I always liked about Dylan from the Bachelorette and now Bachelor in Paradise is that this man is no actor. Based on their interactions and ITMs and taking those with a grain of salt, I don't think he "played" Elise. I get the impression Elise gets attached quickly and does not read clear signals men give her.
Everyone fawns over how pretty Lacy looks for her date, while Robert looks on dejectedly. Sarah asks her, "What do you think it [the date] is?" Lacy replies, "I'm thinking dinner," to which Sarah replies, "But your last one was dinner." SILLY SARAH. Budget, remember?!
Sarah speculates as to why or how Lacy could have possibly run off with Marcus (I'm assuming 80) within hours of being with Robert (40):
I'm super impressed she was able to say this with such a straight face.
That night, there are drunken shenanigans that truly had me laughing. Elise makes out with Chris in the ocean while the others watch and amusingly debate what "o'clock" the making out is going down at.
Side note: What's with the ocean being the go-to make-out spot? It's not like it's logistically convenient, very romantic, physically sensible, nor private. Me no understand.
Lacy and Marcus go on a date that consists of a whole lot of vocal fry-laden "digging deep":
Elise, distraught over having "cheated" on a completely indifferent Dylan, seeks the council of Michelle, who gives legitimately good advice: "I think you need to give him a run for his money. He told you to go build relationships – go! You never know, like, you could end up really liking Chris."
If only Elise had listened and saved us another 70+ minutes of grief.
That said, I did feel for Elise. I mean, I know her personally and she really is a sweet girl. But she was so earnest and helpless, crying to Michelle, like a 14-year old having drunkenly cheated on a boyfriend who actually cared about her. I'm torn between feeling like she's way too old to be so clueless and finding her naiveté almost sweet. Part hopeless romantic, part delusional, but all harmless. Sigh.
I could analyze Elise vs Dylan but that's honestly a massive waste of time. He's just not that into her and probably never was. I feel like Dylan had one-night-stand remorse in a place where one-night-stands (or one-week-stands) are a reeeeally bad idea.
Elise: "Dylan put me in a position to see, would I have a connection with somebody else?”
AshLee: "But you didn’t think that kissing him [Chris] would hurt his [Dylan’s] feelings?"
Elise: "It was just a bump in the road. Now we know each other definitely cares about each other."
It’s fascinating to watch Elise lie to herself and concoct elaborate scenarios where Dylan is “testing” her. She almost deserves points for creativity.
I find it hilarious that Chris B of all people is critiquing Dylan’s appearance, calling him “Fat Damon”, as if Chris B himself is Channing Tatum or any sort of physical catch to speak of. And seriously?
These date cards are getting ridiculous:
It’s like whichever production assistant with half-legible handwriting happens to be nearby is just assigned with scribbling on whatever ratty paper happens to be lying around. And where’s the hint or clue? They’re not even TRYING anymore!
Not going to lie, this moment made me sort of love AshLee:
Loyal Sarah reports back to Elise that Dylan asked her on the date and that the card read, “with the woman of your choice”. Leave it to Elise to read into the most half-assed date card in history. As though any date card that doesn’t literally say “with the woman of your choice” on it doesn’t imply that who you’d ask would indeed be the woman of your choice. URGGH.
As Elise contemplates Dylan asking out Sarah, her best friend in the house, for a date she thought she’d be going on, she says the truest, most sensical words she has said and will say all season:
Alas, she continues...
Elise: "I mean, if I would have wanted him to ask anyone in the house, I trust you. So I’m glad he asked you."
Ummm….? Sarah's carefully expressionless face says it all:
"I think, that like, it’s a good thing, like, that he asked you is already, like, that he’s smart and caring. That’s what makes me like him even more. So I feel like even though I hurt him, he’s still thinking about me, too, in this."
Elise just. won’t. shut. up. AshLee is understandably at her wit’s end and finally:
Dylan: "If Sarah is the girl I think she is, then I want a rose from her."
Yes. Unlike Jaws Bukowski, even in an inferior position of not handing out roses, Dylan doesn’t want one just for the sake of staying around. He cares that he’d stay for someone he respects. #TeamDylan
Okay. The Ben thing. How is it that no one addressed how outrageously shady it is that Marcus just “found” Ben’s letter in his backpack? His explanation:
Marcus: "Read this. I found it in Ben’s backpack. I just spilled water on it."
Marquel: "And this fell out?"
Um, WHAT?? This is like the girl who snoops through her boyfriend’s phone and blows up at him for having exchanged flirty texts with another girl. She feels betrayed and like she can’t trust him, but overlooks the glaring fact that she’s betrayed his trust by snooping his phone. Two wrongs.
Of course, I’m not stupid enough to believe that Marcus just happened upon this letter. His having found it is very, VERY likely producer-driven and they obviously knew Marcus, being the goodie two-shoes he is, would pounce on righting this oh-so-horrific wrong.
I actually might half-believe Ben’s story about having met this girl shortly before coming on the show. Regardless, I thought the whole thing was blown way out of proportion and I think Michelle’s over-the-top reaction was a combination of alcohol and possibly something we don't know about. I found her reaction strange while I usually find her cool and normal, so I suspect there's something edited out – perhaps she and Ben had really grown close?
Seriously, though. Right reasons? RIGHT REASONS?? This is a show where people drink and hook up and then switch partners. Some of the people ganging up on him were doing shots moments earlier and licking each other's faces. I have no issue with that, but don't then vilify someone who's been a pretty fun addition to your group. Let's be honest: Half these people already knew each other, and the other half could have easily met each other and likely eventually would have. Anyone in the “Bachelor Family” can reach out to anyone else in one way or another, hence why so many of them end up dating each other.
I get it. It’s a show. It’s entertainment. Obviously they want to get back on television, and unlike in with the Bachelor/ette, there's the perk of getting paid to do it. But right reasons?? Are you kidding me? Get off your high horse, Marcus, you wet blanket.
At the Rose Ceremony, Marquel:
I can’t even talk about Dylan and Elise’s conversation. My brain is melting.
I know I’m going all gif-happy this week but there were just so many priceless moments I had to capture. This one, where Chris Harrison corrals everyone together with a hilarious 'I know exactly how ridiculous this is' grin, might be my favorite.
Just so we have this saved somewhere...
Elise: “I wanna thank Dylan because I as a woman, and every woman here, deserves a hundred percent. One hundred percent. A man that’s gonna fight for her. I know that you know that life brings a lot of things. Life brings ups and downs and I know that myself and every woman here deserve someone that’s gonna be there through thick and thick, through sickness and health, through everything. So, thank you, and Chris, will you accept this rose?”
I love you guys, but I can’t waste another minute of my life. I’m sorry. It’s just too terrible. I’ll let Dylan’s hung head speak for me:
Two weeks in a row! AshLee is proving to be a fashion force:
I love her strapless sweetheart jumpsuit. She looks like a valentine, but a stylish, polished valentine. I also love that AshLee branches out with the hairstyles; she doesn't just do the same hair down/center part over and over. She looks great.
Michelle wins runner-up and might have been in the running for best-dressed if it weren't for that headpiece:
I love her crop tank and those gorgeous, flowy trousers. Her mermaid-y hair is gorgeous. Even her lip color and nail color and that statement turquoise ring are all perfection. I just felt there was a lot going on and the headpiece just took it one step too far. I'd love it with a quieter ensemble, I think. In the words of Coco Chanel: "Once you've dressed, and before you leave the house, look in the mirror and take at least one thing off." That said, the girl takes risks and I love that about her.
LESSONS LEARNED THIS WEEK
1. "I don't see this going anywhere" ≠ A mixed signal
DRINKING GAME WORDS OF THE WEEK
Until next week, fellow pandas!