Although I’ve only been recapping things here at The Tailgate Society for a couple of short weeks, Monday night marked the end of this summer’s version of Bachelor in Paradise. What does that mean, exactly? What is at stake for this summer’s star-crossed lovers? Can love truly develop and thrive in just a few short weeks of filming at a private resort in Puerto Vallarta? Or is it all just one big flaming bag of poo, ready to be extinguished by Chris Harrison at summer’s end? Let’s sort through the wreckage, shall we?
As you know, the Paradise participants have been trying to find love all summer. The finale is when the rubber meets the road. Each person has to decide on one of three possible endings for their fairytale:
1) They can leave paradise alone, effectively breaking it off with whatever blossoming relationships they may have.
2) They can leave paradise as a couple, walking out (to steal a phrase from Mr. Jack Stone) “hand-in-hand.” I guess that this choice, which is almost always the least popular on the show, essentially renders the couple boyfriend-girlfriend.
3) The couple can have a date and then have sex in the Fantasy Suite. Yes, this is a real choice.
To simplify things for those non-Bachelor fans out there, these finale-night choices are the show’s version of F, Marry, Kill. Obviously, this makes for great TV.
At the beginning of Monday’s finale, the couples are still in paradise with choices to be made. First up is our Canadian wolf, Daniel. He and Lacey are together, although it seems likely that he just wants to have sex with her and not date her. She is very much into him, so they agree to go the Fantasy Suite-route. In other words, SEX. We’ll check back in with these guys later.
Jack Stone needs to tell Christen how he feels. Which is pretty much in love. Sadly, Christen looks blindsided by this news. How ever could have poor Jack seen this coming? It’s not like she made out with everyone on the Island and took more dates than everyone else (Except that she did). Jack Stone seems to have overlooked this, for when he tells her that he wants to leave “hand-in-hand” (and he tells her this at least 5 times), Christen says that she sees them more as “acquaintances.” Ouch, Jack. Misread that one, buddy.
That means that Jack has to leave by himself, holding something besides Christen’s hand. Christen, meanwhile, gets a few minutes of screen time post-Jack, as she wanders off into the ocean, furthering the scallop jokes that have become non-stop over the past few weeks. In the process, she gets absolutely destroyed by a wave in an awesome scene.
Then, Jasmine and Tickle Monster amicably agree to part ways to the surprise of no one. This one didn’t exactly have “relationship” written all over it, but they seemed to have fun with one another.
Now, we’re getting to the good stuff: Dipshit Dean and Danielle. Dean, in a total swerve, freaking dumps Danielle after just last week dumping Kristina to be with Danielle. Danielle is not happy, especially when Dean notifies her that he still “loves” Kristina. This is, to put it mildly, unexpected. I’ll have more thoughts on this later. Wait for it.
In another hilarious encounter, Diggy dumps Dominique. Dominique is taken aback, but Diggy’s heart is elsewhere. Specifically, with Jaimi, last week’s arrival. Or at least that’s what he thinks. When Diggy goes to inform Jaimi that he’s dumped Dominique and that he wants to leave paradise with her as a couple, she shits all over that and dumps Diggy. This was simply fantastic. The Bachelor in Paradise finale truly is a great couple of hours of television because everything gets resolved in bang-bang fashion. One couple decides their fate, then the next, and so on and so on. It’s clean, efficient trash.
Not to be outdone, Amanda suffers through a few minutes of Robby’s bullshit romance and then kicks him to the curb. She says that she just can’t see this working out in the real world. When he appears stunned, she says, “Do you really see that?” And it isn’t the words here, but it’s her tone. Like, “you pathetic asshole” type of stuff. It’s beautiful.
That leaves Raven/Adam and Taylor/Derek. Taylor and Derek can’t wait to get it on, so they’re definitely going the Fantasy Suite route, but Raven isn’t quite sure what she wants to do with Adam. We’ll get there in a few minutes, though.
Our first Fantasy Suite encounter is Lacey and Daniel. Lacey professes her love for Daniel, and, somewhat surprisingly, he reciprocates these feelings, if not the exact words. It’s weird to actually hear Daniel utter sentences that aren’t sarcastic and off-the-wall, which is why I think he’s kind of full of shit here. That said, he shuts the door on the cameras and they get it on.
Taylor and Derek are next and are at their insufferable worst. Taylor tells Derek that she can’t take their relationship to the next level and tell him that she loves him until he gets it in and she assesses him. Basically, have sex with me and then we’ll talk about where we’re going from here. Alrighty then. They too shut the door and have sex (twice).
That leaves Raven and Adam. Adam is ready to jump into things with Raven (because, duh), but Raven has a hard time being vulnerable so she can’t decide whether to go to the Fantasy Suite or not. And we don’t get to find out because they cut to Chris freaking Harrison in front of a studio audience. Damn cliffhangers.
In the studio, we are treated to some of this season’s cast sitting in chairs like they do on these reunion-type shows.
Because Chris Harrison thinks that anyone cares about this anymore, he brings out Corinne and DeMario. I haven’t talked about these two in my previous recaps because it’s a non-story that got blown out of proportion and I simply don’t find it all that interesting. If you want to, toss their names into your Google machine and you can find out plenty.
Moving on, Chris brings Dean up on stage. He’s asked to explain his actions this season, which is admits were less-than-stellar. When talking about how he still has feelings for Kristina, Danielle butts in with some interesting information: Dean called her like an hour after leaving paradise (you know, like right after he broke up with her because he was in love with another woman), and they began a relationship off the show. Because of course they did. Danielle is pissed, and now Kristina is certainly pissed. And Dean is screwed.
It is at this point that I start to feel bad for Dean. I’ve been hard on him in this space before, but, watching all of this play out, I couldn’t help feeling conflicted about his situation. The same people trashing Dean for dating two women at the same time without truly committing to either one are the same people that watch The Bachelor and Bachelorette. That is exactly what happens on those shows, except on an even bigger scale. I can watch Rachel on The Bachelorette date Peter, Dean, and Bryan and not be upset that she’s doing so. I’m not yelling at her to stop stringing two of these people along. So why, then, am I holding Dean to a different standard on what is basically the same show? Is it because Kristina is so likeable and nice? I think that probably has something to do with it. As you can see, this part of the show caused an existential crisis for me, and I don’t know if I’ll be ok. I’ve got some thinking to do.
In the meantime, we find out that Amanda and Robby did give it a shot after paradise after all. Because Amanda is waaaaay too nice. Of course, Robby couldn’t keep his penis in his skin-tight pants. We know this because someone sent Amanda a picture of Robby macking on some girl at a concert in Colorado. Here is that picture, which Amanda posted to Twitter this morning:
Robby, because he is the ultimate tool bag, denied this happening. He also tried to play their breakup off as him needing more from her. OK, dude. Not doing yourself any favors here. Full Douche-level achieved.
Next, we get some clarity on the Daniel and Lacey situation. As I predicted, Daniel wasn’t entirely on the up and up with Lacey. Chris Harrison plays a clip of Daniel talking to a producer, saying, “I could never change my Facebook status to ‘in a relationship with Lacey.'” In other words, I wanted to have sex with her, but I wanted things to look good for television. Don’t play with the producers, Daniel. They’ll bite you every time.
Adam and Raven are up, and the cliffhanger is over. They both look extraordinarily happy. Like glowing. They’ve been spending the time since the show traveling together. Then, it’s revealed that they haven’t met each others’ families yet. Surprise, surprise, though, because Raven’s family is there. They come out, we see them for maybe 15 seconds and then…commercial. OK, well, let’s assume everything’s cool.
Finally, Taylor and Derek are out. They’re happy too, all smiles and talking about being each other’s equal and complement and yada yada yada. In the end, Derek gets down on one knee and proposes. She says “yes,” and we can all rest easy knowing that this show still works in manufacturing love in a very short period of intense filming and seclusion.
And, with that, I wrap up my coverage of one of the sneaky-best shows on television. I hope you’ve enjoyed reading about this nonsense as much as I’ve enjoyed writing about it.