Last episode left off with Tenley, one of the dried up husks of eclipsing femininity this show bothers to call an “older woman.” Tenley made out with douche rag JJ immediately before the Rose Ceremony in order to secure his rose and another couple of weeks in the game. When this episode starts, Old Lady Tenley is triumphant. She earned that damn rose. She had to become a living Horcrux to do it-with an act so horrific it literally tore off a piece of her soul and attached her, like a parasite, to a weak and unimpressive host body-but she made it.
Crazy Ashley I.’s sister, Lauren, is safe too, but unimpressed with the available guys. The men are understandably insulted and the women don’t like to be reminded of their own compromises by a girl cast to play “the whore.” Luckily for them, she reveals that she is the mistress to an attached man back home. Technically, Dan says it’s only “mistress” if he’s married, otherwise it’s just ‘secret extra girlfriend.” In any case, now they can all judge her again. The only thing that could keep Lauren from leaving is if Joshua, the dim-witted welder, comes on the show. Enter Joshua the Dim-witted Welder. Crazy Ashley I. takes Josh aside to offer him a deal on her sister.
Then Lauren meets him and in two seconds tells Josh she prefers not to be tested for STDs and does he like aggressive girls? He passes her up and offers himself to Old Lady Tenley as alternate Horcrux Host.
Before we go any further, we need to make some sense of the sloppily established recurring theme. Some of these people, ABC insists, are actually the embodied spirits of fictional Disney cartoons! Crazy Ashley I. has dibs on Jasmine. She refers to Clare’s “woodland creatures” in the next episode, so that makes her Sleeping Beauty or Snow White. You know, one of the older princesses. Joshua is the blacksmith character that JJ declares has never ever in the history of Disney ever gotten the girl.
That’s all I know for sure right now. Mikey may be something from Cars. With Joshua the Blacksmith Pirate pursuing Tenley The Rapidly Deteriorating Voldemort Horcrux, everything gets tense. JJ starts to get nervous. Jasmine yells cruel things to her pet tiger, Lauren, who goes home to the devil she knows. Tanner coaxes Tenley into rubbing her date with Joshua in JJ’s face. Close your eyes for a second- is Joshua voiced by Seth Rogan? Subconsciously, JJ knows his days are numbered and he starts using all his jokes at once. If we’re losing this villain, who will replace him? Drum roll….
Kentucky Joe joins the show! At first he’s the Belle of the Ball, preceded by his reputation as hilarious and southern. As everyone gets to know him, they are extremely disappointed. He is just southern. Carly finds him humorless, and Clare runs off when he sneers that she’s too old for this show. She cries to a raccoon. Again, that could be Princess Aurora or Snow White. Dan delivers *kiss of death* he never felt a connection with Joe. Even Crazy Ashley I. thinks he can barely piece together a sentence, which is really saying something. Then he confusingly asks Juelia on a date and then maybe takes it back?? Huh? Okay, Kentucky Joe is a jackass, but I can say from experience that this CAN TOTALLY HAPPEN. Turnabout, freshman year, I asked Sean something.or other to the Turnabout Dance. I think he says, maybe. I repeat, maybe? He hears, maybe. See???
Tenley and Josh go on their date and compare resumes and headshots. When they get back, JJ claims his turf. He tries to grab Old Lady Tenley back from Josh for a real one-on-one date. Presumably one that involves sex. She giggles, trying to stall for time. JJ eventually begs her to just say yes in front of his friends, which she does. They kiss and he goes to bed ‘excited’ while she goes back out to fool around with Joshua. Careful what you wish for, Tenley! Tonight, on a very special episode of Bachelor In Paradise, Josh is a drug addict!!! Josh is looking to score some Molly. Went to High School with a girl named Molly. Molly wanna doodle all day. Mikey and Dan break it to Old Lady Tenley that her new host body might be on a downward spiral, and she bursts into tears. She has exactly one working egg left for every month of filming and that is it, people. She cannot waste any more time locating a host. Fortunately, it turns out Josh is just a small town Idaho guy who likes The Hangover and went to Vegas once. Don’t worry, Tenley, these are the kinds of people who live forever.
The real villain, Joe, takes vulnerable single mom Juelia on a date and she is flattered to find out that he researched her. He already likes her and her kid. He is always kind of off, true, but he is probably just nervous. I’ve heard of this guy before.
He locks down Juelia’s rose in one date and Jonathan starts to pack his bags. Then we see sneaky footage of Evil Kentucky Joe talking trash about Juelia and farting. WRONG REASONS.
We take a “mind break” from this brewing drama and the JJ-Tenley-Josh triangle to establish the tension a Clare-Jared pairing could cause. Mikey is only just now realizing that Clare isn’t his girlfriend. Crazy Ashley I. isn’t having fun at this boy-girl party anymore either, and wants her mom to come pick her up. Mikey wants to leave! Clare wants to leave! Ashley I. wants to leave! But not really. Everyone will do pretty much anything to stay.
Clare and Jared go bungee jumping. Clare thinks she’s on a date. Jared thinks he’s there as her nurse. When they reconvene later that night, Jared tells Clare she’s amazing. And old. Mostly just old. He refills her pill organizer one last time and they go their separate ways. Back at the beach there’s a new schlub named Michael, here exclusively for she-who-cannot-be-named (Tenley). Mikey finally gets that Clare doesn’t like him and makes a play for Juelia. She offers him Backup Guy status by flirtatiously complimenting his eyes, but when he tries to kiss her she laughs in his face.
Before the Rose Ceremony, Juelia commits her vote to Evil Kentucky Joe in front of Chris Harrison, the other suitors, and God. Jonathan and Mikey, both desperate for a rose, take her aside to warn her away from Joe. She tells Evil Joe, and he is genuinely scary. He wants to bash their brains in. This is what Joe’s Netflix queue looks like:
- American History X
- Fight Club
- Taxi Driver
- Burning Yule Log
- Apocalypse Now
Evil Kentucky Joe crushes Mikey and Jonathan, sees them driven before him, and listens to the lamentations of their woman. He makes them both apologize to Juelia while he plans further ways to humiliate them.
In keeping with the theme of desperation, Jared takes Crazy Ashley I. aside to say that he in no way commits himself past this Rose Ceremony, but can he be her boyfriend for the next few hours? He assures her he can pay, and they make out. Then Clare realizes she dumped Mikey before she knew she had a secure lock on Jared. She panics and decides to go on a tirade about the integrity of the show, a criticism Host Chris Harrison quickly shuts down.