"It's all so natural, in nature." – Lacy
Sorry for always taking so long with these, you guys. In all honesty, I find the show so asinine that I sweep recapping under the rug and procrastinate until I can't anymore. I'd be lying if I said I'm not looking forward for this show to be over.
In better news, I went a bit .gif-happy again this week. :)
Brooks finally comes to town and Sarah is PISSED.
Sarah: "For him to come in now [this late], I'm actually angry."
I understand her completely. If she did in fact have Brooks in mind when coming in, it's almost worse that he shows up in the last week than not at all. The only reason anyone could stick around long enough to meet him is because they've built some sort of a relationship. If you think about it, if the concept really is to find love, they should just have all the men and women show up on the first day and basically have a speed dating event. Ooooh, Bachelor alums, speed-dating? I would SO watch that.
Robert is suddenly possessive and Sarah despondent, and the result is a screencap that looks like it could have been taken from Temptation Island (may that show rest in peace):
Michelle, who I'm still convinced is a professional Paradise pot-stirrer, makes a very strange choice in terms of confidante. Sleaze factor aside, I'm sure Jesse can be a good time, but to seek council over your too-fast-moving relationship? Even Jesse's like, "Uh... Me?"
Jackie appears for her date with Brooks and looks quite cute. We catch a rare glimpse of Robert – who's close friends with jilted Zack – displaying a dry sense of humor in the form of a knife twist:
Brooks and Jackie's dinner-and-foosball date was easily the most entertaining all season. There was a quick banter between these two that editing doesn't usually show (in anyone) and they both came off very likable for it.
Upon their return to the house, there are two money moments. The first is pouty Zack's:
The second is this delicious commentary from Brooks, my favoritest Paradise contestant ever:
Sarah and Robert have a chat about their relationship post-Paradise, and Sarah is just the cutest:
"I've been too scared to ask or bring it up because I've been trying to play it cool."
SO few people would ever admit to something like trying to "play it cool", making her even more likable. She then suggests they could go to Whole Foods, which I get completely. Even the most mundane and potentially nightmarish day-to-day errands (like a grocery run) can be fun with the right person.
Thank God Cody is a self-proclaimed "rookie" at love and relationships, because he is going about it all wrong. He says these two things in the same speech, in this very order, making it clear what he thinks is the foremost requirement for falling in love:
"You are beautiful. I want to be with you."
"I'm very attracted to you. I like everything about you."
Luckily, he's respectful and kind, telling Michelle he'll give her as much space and time as she needs. In my opinion, Cody's a good egg. He's just a good egg who spends too much time in the gym and not enough time developing his relationship skills. Michelle encourages him to continue to be open and honest and they make out around their wine glasses:
Christy is pretty into Jesse and he seems pretty into her. Except Jesse is still in high school and brags to the other guys about getting to second base with girls. Michelle updates Christy on his behavior, resulting in:
I enjoyed the very funny Cody-as-The-Incredible-Hulk segment...
Zack: "Cody lives by a bro code, so if Tasos asks Michelle out, Cody might go off Incredible Hulk style and lose his mind."
Marcus: "Cody is the Incredible Hulk. We probably just don't know it yet."
Graham: "If Tasos asks Michelle out on a date, I'm pretty sure Cody will eat Tasos. Tasos' right leg will be eaten like a chicken bone."
On Tasos and Christy's date, Christy asks Tasos when his last girlfriend was, and I LOVED his response:
"If you qualify her as a girlfriend, that was a few months ago."
I really like the wording of that. The Bachelor/ette really tries to convey the impression that everyone on the show considers the lead their boyfriend/girlfriend when it really isn't the case. During filming there's a lot of, "How does it feel to all be dating the same guy?", while most of us are thinking, incredulously, "Dating? Are we really dating him??"
Zack is the predictable recipient of the next date card – any member of a "love" triangle is – and he of course asks Jackie. A livid AshLee expresses her "ungratitude for that moment" by pouting and accusing a lack of date card with Graham's name on it as being "mean" and "not fair", for him. Oh-kay...
AshLee kisses Michelle's ass all phony-like and Michelle expresses how we're all feeling about AshLee:
Heading into his hotly-anticipated date with Jackie, Zack says he wants to see if they can take that next step, towards a "romantical relationship."
Teasing aside, I like Zack with Jackie. He's actually INTO her and shows a softer side with her we haven't seen from him all season. He looks at her with genuine affection...
... and gives her real compliments beyond "you're beautiful", calling her "a breath of fresh air", "even-keeled, down-to-earth and normal". He later earnestly calls their first kiss a "very special moment". It's just nice to see that side of him after a season of stoic-faced waffling.
At the Rose Ceremony, Jesse regales his peers with an account of his stay in Paradise, about how he's "already won" and wants to stay in hopes of "squeezing every last bit out of Paradise that he can". The others' faces are great, particularly Zack's:
Watching Jesse prey on Christy was painful. He was talking circles around her – something Christy obviously doesn't respond well to – and she lost her courage to say what she had to to shut him down. On top of being manipulative, Jesse's also a coward for leaving early when he knew he wasn't getting a rose. Yes, he's getting a villain edit, but where there's smoke, there's fire.
Honestly, the Jesse departure was so overblown. While I appreciate the girls' MO in ganging up on Jesse to put him in his place "for the women of the world", it was poorly executed. It was pretty much the same words – variations on "it isn't right" – falling over and over again on a set of very deaf ears. All I could think was, "WHO CARES?" and focus on the spider crawling on his jacket:
Think I'm exaggerating? IT LIVES ON HIM:
Brooks goes home which is not surprising but still disappointing. As I mentioned in my Flare recap, Brooks is strikingly witty in person and has a sort of star power to him. He was very different in person than I expected based on Bachelorette. His edit on that show pretty much stripped him of any personality, so it was nice to see the bit we did in this episode.
The girls came back with a vengeance after I had no Rose Ceremony bests last week! I get a lot of requests for more in this section so I'll be thorough. :)
In 4th place is Christy with her easy romper:
It's a fun print and she looks adorable in it. Win.
In 3rd place, Michelle with that legendary For The Love Of Lemons "Antigua" skirt:
The skirt has been sold out for awhile but the equally-striking dress is still available. I am not wild about the earrings but, perhaps surprisingly, LOVE the faux-hawk. I don't know if I could pull it off so I give her props for taking risks, as usual.
Fun fact: This skirt was rocked by my girl Kelly on After The Final Rose.
AshLee wins runner-up:
I wouldn't buy that dress myself but I do like it on her. I love the soft chiffon pleating paired with the leather trim (I always love soft vs. hard) and her accessorizing is also on point. But the real winner is her french-braid-cum-fishtail. I always have hairstyle envy with AshLee.
Best Dressed this week is Sarah!
I am obsessed with her Stone Cold Fox "Holy" off-the-shoulder top. I have to give her props for styling it right. I don't know if I would have known what to do with it but that simple black jersey skirt is perfect. I also love the dark jewel tone with black. Very chic.
LESSONS LEARNED THIS WEEK
1. There is no sunscreen in Paradise.
Until next week, fellow pandas!