We're back in Mexico! Well, we're back watching people in Mexico from Middle Tennessee. Your regular recapper Nancy Floyd was in Mexico, which is why I'm here to tell you about last night's episode of Bachelor in Paradise. As a colleague of mine said, with yesterday being a holiday and throwing us out of our normal routine, it was tough to be in the right headspace for Paradise. But, with the help of a Bud Light Wild Berry Seltzer, I managed.
Last week's Tuesday night episode ended with Kendall shocking everyone, and particularly her ex-fiance Grocery Store Joe, by showing up on the beach. And that's where the first episode of this week begins, with Kendall looking down at Joe who is lounging on a day bed with Serena and saying, "Hey butthead." This is a show about adults and I am an adult who watches it.
Joe and Kendall head off to talk and at the same time we hear discussion among the other people on the beach. There is much attention given to the fact that Joe and Kendall first met and fell in love in Paradise, with the implication being that these magic sands will bring them together again. Joe asks Kendall if she is OK and Kendall says she's OK right before she begins to cry.
"So, you're not OK," Joe says. Perceptive.
Kendall says it's been hard not to have Joe in her life, and Joe says it was hard for him when he showed up at Paradise, because he was still struggling with their breakup and, after all, this is where they fell in love! Cut to Serena who is fretting about Kendall's presence and emphasizing that this is the place where Joe and Kendall fell in love. Am I crazy? This beach looks nice, folks, but come on. The reason Serena should be concerned isn't because of the location; it's because Joe and Kendall were engaged and living together and only broke up because they couldn't agree on where to live which is a stupid reason they'll probably get over now because they are back in this incredible place where first fell in lo... oh no.
After his talk with Kendall, Joe comes back to Serena to debrief. She tells him that she doesn't want to watch as he rekindles his relationship with Kendall. Joe does a kind of Joe shrug thing, but guys, I think he's going to rekindle his relationship with Kendall.
We go next to Noah and Abigail, the boring-but-stable couple who were briefly a source of drama when they wondered if being boring-but-stable meant they weren't really in love. They're over all that now, though, so we don't have to stick with them for long.
I'll tell you who isn't boring — 40-year-old Kenny. This guy is now engaged in some sort of something with three women and, while it's definitely about to cause him a lot of headaches, he hasn't really come off looking that bad. The producers helpfully replay footage of Mari telling Kenny that they should be free to explore other things, which clarifies how strange it is that Mari was surprised by Kenny exploring other things, among them: the Boom-Boom Room with Demi and a game of naked volleyball with Tia.
When Tia and Kenny return from their date, Mari intercepts him right away. Sitting with Kenny, Mari explains that she regrets backing off of their relationship. She really likes him and hates seeing him exploring other relationships! Cut to Demi, who is explaining to everyone who will listen how much she hates all this drama. (I become the straight-faced emoji.)
Joe notes that Kenny is now in a love triangle. He is wrong. Kenny is now in a love square.
Demi's come-apart continues apace as she and Kenny talk. He tells her about naked volleyball with Tia and says it was "weird." Viewers, you'll remember that he did not seem to think it was anything short of a blast when it was happening. Demi is just shocked that Kenny can have fun with anyone but her. She leans over and whispers an invitation to him to go back to the Boom-Boom Room. He says he just wants to go to sleep. Yikes.
"It’s getting overwhelming to try to kind of deal with everything," Kenny says. "I got Demi possibly gonna cut my throat and wear my head as a mask."
This is the second episode in a row in which someone has invoked the very real possibility of Demi committing an act of horrific violence.
Jessenia does a little breakdown of all the couples, analyzing their relationships, and I have to say whenever they have someone do this I feel bad for them. If you're the one describing all the action for us at home, you're not getting any.
Now to the real drama of the night. Brendan and Natasha are sitting together talking about their relationship. Mostly, Brendan is talking about how, honestly, he's just a better guy than all the other ones on the beach. There's so many guys who are just stringing girls along, keeping them on the hook so they're safe but keeping their options open for other girls who might show up. Brendan just couldn't do that, he says. He's just not a manipulative person, ya know?
We-he-he-hell, pal, let's see about that. Pieper is walking down the steps with a date card. It turns out that Brendan and Pieper met shortly before Paradise and were hanging out. Brendan has told Natasha and others that it was just casual, nothing serious. But we know that the only reason the producers are showing him saying that is because it will prove to be bullshit.
Pieper asks Brendan to go on the date with her and he says yes much faster than I agreed to fill in as the recapper for this show. Cut to Natasha who is feeling some kind of way about all of this.
It is raining on the beach and as they sit around the bar, a couple people make subtle references to this ominous timing of the storm. Jessenia jumps in to punch us in the face with it: "The irony of the weather matching the drama right now." Thank you, Jessenia. I see it too, now.
On their date, Brendan and Pieper sit down for a dinner we'll never see them eat and they start talking. Brendan says "obviously I’m very, very happy to see you." Oh, are you, BRENDAN? Pieper says she's not here to be part of the drama and, boy, am I relieved to hear that. At first, though, it seems like the drama is going to be between these two. When he tells Pieper how he described their situation to the rest of the people on the beach, she becomes upset and confused. She says it seems like he downplayed what they had and that she wouldn't have flown her ass to Paradise if she wasn't sure they had a real thing going. Well, her ass is here now.
But it's OK. If it seems like Brendan downplayed the seriousness of his relationship with Pieper in order to pacify Natasha and the others, it's because that's exactly what he did. Once she understands this, Pieper is happy again.
The next morning, Brendan and Pieper are planted on a daybed and it is dawning on everyone else that something is afoot. Noah says he feels bad for Natasha because she’s put "all her eggs in Brendan’s basket" and, while I also feel bad for Natasha, that is just a collection of words that I’m uncomfortable with.
Natasha shows up, gets a drink and grabs Pieper for a chat. Pieper tells her she’s heard Brendan’s side of things but would love to hear Natasha’s side. That's convenient, Pieper, because you're about to. Natasha shares what’s happened from her perspective and starts asking Pieper questions. Natasha starts fact-checking Brendan’s shit and it’s not looking good for Brendan. He said he met Pieper a month ago, but it was actually two months. He said they'd only hung out a couple of times, but it was more like 10. Pieper tells Natasha that it's not like they planned this all out, but Natasha says it sure looks that way and it sure looks that way to me too.
Next, Natasha confronts Brendan who looks more like a weasel every time they show him. He's like, "I told you this and that" but when Natasha is like "but you didn't say that" he is like, yeah, I didn't say that. In a particularly scummy way, he implies that Natasha didn't really have any other prospects on the beach anyway so he wasn't keeping her from any other opportunities.
There is much discussion about how Brendan and Pieper are probably just doing this to be on TV and increase their social media clout (which is why all of these people are doing this). Natasha says that, if they already know they want to pursue a relationship, Brendan and Pieper should just leave and be together outside of Paradise. Lots of other people agree with her, claiming that's what they'd do, but they are stupid. The thing about pursuing a relationship outside of Paradise is you don't get to be at a beach resort in Mexico.
That's where I want to be! Alas, I am not. But Nancy isn't there either, anymore. So she will return to recapping duties tomorrow.