Another Monday, another day in Paradise! But the show is certainly not living up to its title at the beginning of the hour. We pick up where last week’s cliffhanger left off: Jordan interrupting Nicole and Christian’s conversation and trying to steal the piñata — ostensibly, he’s sticking up for his friend Clay. But we know Jordan, and there’s nothing Jordan loves more than drama, so I’m not buying any idea of kindness. He wanted to start something, he didn’t like Christian because of a previous Men Tell All conflict between them, as another contestant notes, and this was an easy way to do that.
The fight quickly turns physical as Jordan pitches Christian out of the cabana. Staff and producers pull them apart, but Christian sprints back toward him the first chance he gets. Jordan seems gleeful. Nicole keeps repeating that she never wanted anyone to get hurt, as Tayshia and Onyeka comfort her. The other contestants look on, confused, trying to put the scene together and wondering if filming will continue, or if they’ll even have a rose ceremony. Blake says he’s pissed that Jordan and Christian might ruin Paradise for everyone. My first thought? Blake’s probably relieved that someone else can get the blame for ruining Paradise.
After a brief “investigation”… or something… Christian and Jordan are both sent home, and the cocktail party and rose ceremony will continue on. It’s a relief for everyone. Honestly though, I couldn’t stand Christian, but wasn’t this entirely Jordan’s fault?
Nicole and Clay cuddle up (now that all of her other suitors are gone). Her “Queen of Paradise” act is getting on my nerves — she thanks Clay for sticking around “after I went on all those crazy dates for days on end and left you here waiting.” We get it, Nicole. Three people liked you. But two of them were psychopaths, so are we really bragging about this still? She tells him that during the fight she wished he was there, but she’s also glad he wasn’t there, because he wasn’t involved. “I wanted to give everyone a fair shot,” she says, “but deep down, I knew it was you.” I don’t believe her, but whatever. Hope they stay happy!
Elsewhere, people are scrambling to chat before the rose ceremony. Onyeka and Cam have a weird conversation where he tells her Mike said she wasn’t his type, but he thinks she should talk to him anyway. He says if she finds someone she likes, she should feel free to give them her rose instead.
Mostly, everyone’s still discussing the Blake-Hannah G.-Dylan love triangle, and how they’re all sick of it. JOIN THE CLUB, PEOPLE! Talking to Mike, Hannah tells him it’s such a short time to be making a decision that could “literally affect the rest of my life,” which I guess explains why she’s so back-and-forth, but still. She probably knows in her gut who she wants to pick (Blake?) but feels guilty about not picking the popular choice (Dylan).
Both guys pull her aside during the night. Dylan gives her a picnic with gummy worms, and the conversation is scintillating. (Dylan: “It’s a picnic, because you said you like picnics.” Hannah: “That’s exactly what I said!”) He reminds her that he’s been 100 percent steady, he’s only here for her, and that he’ll keep waiting while she figures it out. On one hand, it’s sweet that he thinks she’s the most beautiful girl he’s ever seen and has no interest in anyone else. On the other hand, when someone is so available and so open, I can see why Hannah might find that less exciting than being “chosen” by someone (Blake) who clearly had his pick of women.
Blake “gets” a mariachi band to perform for Hannah, and they dance. (I forgot he was kind of a good dancer — or at least a fun one — on Becca’s season!) But instead of making his speech about why Hannah should choose him, he just says, “I want to remind you why you have a crush on me.” Dylan looks on, fuming, as they dance and kiss. People tell him to look away, but he says he can’t. Dude, you’re bringing a lot of this misery on yourself.
Finally, it’s time for the rose ceremony. But just before it starts, Onyeka sends herself home with a tearful speech about how she came in with high hopes but didn’t find anyone. Sorry, Onyeka. That’s why you don’t waste precious minutes of your life talking to CAM!
Most of the ceremony is predictable, now that so many couples have been established. It’s kind of comforting! Demi gives her rose to Derek, Katie gives her to Chris, Nicole gives hers to Clay, Caelynn to Dean, and Tayshia to JPJ with a sweet little speech. (Are Tayshia and JPJ going to end up being my favorite couple of the season? Please, please, Paradise Gods, don’t let anything happen to them!)
Then it’s time for Hannah, who gives her rose to… Dylan! Finally, Blake is going home and all this drama will end! But wait. Of course it can’t be over that quickly: That wasn’t the last rose. There’s still Kristina, and she gives hers to… Blake. Are. You. Kidding?! Is she clinging onto some hope with him? Is this just a friendship rose? She tells him she knows he’s a good person and that he deserves another chance to find love. But then in an interview, the truth comes out: “Sure, I want Blake to stick around and find love,” she says. But if he sticks around, he’ll have to watch Hannah and Dylan together. “In a way, he’s choosing to stay in his personal hell,” she says with a smirk. “Sure, it’s kind of mean, but it’s Blake we’re talking about. The temptation is too good.” WOW. In no way has Blake been innocent in all this, but I do feel a little sad thinking about him watching this back. Is he going to show up next year with a moustache and a truck for a house like Dean?
Kevin, Cam, and Wills go home. Can’t say I’m sad to see Cam (or Kevin) go, but I’m always sad when Wills leaves. I just feel like he never tries! He stays in the background being sweet and quiet, then pursues one person half-heartedly and ends up getting rejected. You’re worth more than this, my sweet prince!
The next morning, all the couples are snuggled up, and Blake is alone, staring sadly into a camera with a book next to him. (So they’re not allowed to read in the Bachelor Mansion, but they’re allowed to read in Paradise? Interesting.) Demi says that “The Ghost of Blake is wandering the beach” and compares him to… something… that won’t be flushed down the toilet.
It’s the perfect time for a new arrival. Enter Caitlin from Colton’s season (I vaguely remember her as the one who told him she didn’t have any big personal tragedy to tell him?). She talks to a bunch of the guys, who all tell her, more or less, that they’re taken. She picks Blake for the date, who, no joke, she apparently met at Stagecoach. Blake will either never go to Stagecoach again after this, or he’ll go every year until he’s 90 and then die there.
The date is a tantra yoga class, and Caitlin and Blake are both game to try the poses, but Blake still seems a little bit mopey. He ends up explaining the whole saga to Caitlin (to his credit, I guess), and she takes it well, telling him that everyone makes mistakes and that he’s allowed to have these experiences. In an interview, Blake says he’s ready to forgive himself and start enjoying himself. “I’ve been having hard conversations and apologizing,” he says, “but at the same time, I didn’t kill anybody, or cheat, or any of that.” He’s not wrong, but… I’m so tired.
Back at the resort, Dylan gets an evening date card, and he and Hannah go to a dinner where they have to walk across a shallow pool of water. Blake tells Chris that Dylan seems insecure and a little clingy. Again, he’s not wrong! Dylan says this has been the hardest few weeks of his life, even though he started an app and I’m pretty sure his dad died. Hannah apologizes for making the past couple weeks so hard, but thanks him for sticking around. He says, “I love…” and I screamed “NO, DYLAN!” at the TV. But then he finishes his sentence: “… doing things for you.” Phew. He talks about his parents’ relationship and how strong his mom was when his dad was diagnosed with cancer, and then says he’s starting to fall in love with Hannah. Still too fast, Dylan, but at least you didn’t drop the full L. Hannah says, “I’m all in for you,” which seems like a fair response given how far ahead Dylan’s feelings for her have been this whole time. She’s got a lot of catch-up to play.
The next day, we get a brief peek into Chris and Katie’s relationship (they like each other), and then a bigger one into JPJ and Tayshia’s. Tayshia tells JPJ he goes missing during the day, and he explains that he can’t pass up an opportunity to nap. He’s incredible. Then, he gets a little more serious and tells her his family had expected him to marry his serious girlfriend right after college. He wasn’t ready to settle down then, but he is now. On Colton’s season, Tayshia shared that she’d gotten married young, too — sounds like they might have had similar experiences, even though JPJ didn’t actually end up getting engaged or walking down the aisle. They have another giggly conversation, peppered with kisses, about his naps and her day in the pool. They’re so giddy together! It’s so fun (and so rare?) to see a drama-free relationship on this show. In an interview, JPJ says he’s starting to fall in love with Tayshia. “If Tayshia were my wife, I’d be the happiest man in the world,” he says. “Tayshia Paul Jones.” I can’t help it: I cracked up.
Things aren’t quite as easy with Demi and Derek, even though everyone else thinks their relationship is flawless from the outside. Demi is still having feelings for Christian, the girl she was dating in L.A., and she can’t tell if she’d be having the same feelings about Derek if she were here with Christian instead. “It’s easy for people who are exploring options here because all of their options are here,” she says. “But one of my options isn’t here.”
There’s only one person who can help Demi talk through this. Hannah Brown’s coming to town! People are confused and excited (“That’s Hannah! That’s Hannah!” Mike says), but her intentions become clear when she asks to talk to Demi right away. Demi explains that Derek was amazing when she told him about her feelings for Christian, but that she still feels very conflicted because she likes them both so much. For the second time, she cries when talking about how accepting her parents were when she told them about her feelings. (For the second time, this made me tear up, too.) Hannah says she’s proud of her, and Demi decides to tell Derek that her feelings for Christian are more serious than she initially let on (or realized).
Demi sits him down and explains that she has so many feelings for both of them. Derek is “amazing,” and she’s really feeling torn. Derek takes it as well as can be expected — honestly, probably better than can be expected. He says it’s hard to hear that she’s been thinking about someone else, but that it’s OK to not know how she feels. “I don’t know if ‘fight’ for you is the right word,” he says, “but I’m not giving up.”
They end the conversation with a kiss, but it still, understandably, feels unresolved. At the end of the episode, Demi asks to talk to Chris Harrison… but we’ll have to wait until tomorrow to see what they discuss.
Bachelor in Paradise airs Mondays and Tuesdays at 8/7c on ABC. It’s available to stream on Hulu.