SPOILER ALERT! This post includes details from Thursday’s episode Bachelor in Paradise.
It goes down to the duct Bachelor in Paradise.
With just a few weeks left, the beach is practically divided between permanent couples and lost souls. One of these lost souls is Olivia, whose man has already been stolen twice. The most recent culprit was Kat, who caught John Henry’s attention after Tanner broke up with her.
However, last week ended on a positive note for Olivia after Michael Barbour appeared in Paradise. This week’s episode begins with the answer we’ve all been waiting for. Michael actually asks Olivia to join him on the date. And it looks like everyone is happy for her, including Kat. At this point he deserves it!
As enthusiastic as Olivia is about going on this date, you’d think she’d remember his name! In a pre-date confessional, she asks producers to remind her, after she spends several minutes repeating over and over, that he seems perfect for her and she’s willing to tell him her ring size. Hmm. It seems that Olivia’s misfortunes in Paradise have caused her to become a little braver.
But when they go on a date, things really go well. They join a drum circle on the beach and, after a few dances, take the time to get to know each other better. Michael says he doesn’t want his late arrival to be a disadvantage, and Olivia says she’s trying to stay alert even though she’s been burned several times in Paradise. The two bond quite quickly and things might just be looking up for Olivia.
On the beach, John Henry tells Kat about his last conversation with Olivia. He feels good about where they left things and is now fully committed to Kat. In a somewhat surprising turn of events, Kat admits that she hasn’t had the best experience in Paradise thus far and has hurt people’s feelings along the way. Now she wants to focus on John Henry, who she feels brings out the best in her. Good for her!
The next day, many couples hug each other, but Rachel is still not sure where she stands with Tanner. He gave her a rose, but she isn’t sure if it was more of a friendship rose, similar to the one Brayden gave Olivia’s rose to keep her with him for another chance at love. Tanner, however, was a little flirtatious, which unnerved her. Before he can get further into this spiral, two new men make their way to the beach.
There’s Taylor, who went home on the first night of the charity season. Then there’s Jordan, who had her first one-on-one date with Rachel during Gabby’s combined season, but was sent home without a rose. Only one of these men will receive a date card, but that has yet to be decided. For now, Jordan wants to talk to Rachel. This ruins Tanner’s day because even though he hasn’t exactly told Rachel, he actually wants something more with her.
Not surprisingly (because it makes TV better), Jordan gets asked out on a date. He invites Rachel on a redemption date and the two go for a walk on the beach to join a tantric yoga session. It’s a little awkward at first, but they quickly become comfortable with each other. Soon they are kissing in the middle of a yoga session. They end their date with a glass of champagne on the beach, and Jordan says he can’t wait to explore new things with Rachel and see if they can get a second chance at love.
Meanwhile, Tanner literally attacks the bar with Wells. He’s quite angry that Rachel is gone. As soon as they return, Rachel pulls him aside. She says the date was good, but she’s not sure what she wants to do. Tanner thinks Rachel is on guard and thinks too much. They don’t get very far in this conversation and they both leave feeling confused.
Rachel confides in Tyler and Wells, who tell her that she needs to be clear about what she wants and then just be honest about it with both men. She could also let go a little. She admits that she was a little too cautious, so she turns to Tanner and asks for another conversation. She tells him that she is confused since he gave her the rose because she doesn’t understand his intentions. He explains that it wasn’t a friendship rose and he really wants to explore the bond between them. He gives a long (and quite romantic) monologue about his obsession with finding love, and Rachel is sold. Looks like they’re going to give this relationship a chance!
Long story short, Aaron surprises Eliza with a moment to herself. He tells her that he wants to commit to her and asks her to be his girlfriend. She happily agrees. They are now the second super solid relationship in Paradise, along with Kylee and Aven.
As if the beach needed more drama, Wells once again presents the truth box. There are two cards referring to the joke about Peter shaving his legs. Another note says that John Henry and Kat are going to cover the distance. The last one that really shocks is that Tyler just doesn’t like Mercedes and everyone can see it.
This, of course, sends Mercedes into a spiral. When he thinks more deeply about their relationship, he says he thinks they are adrift and haven’t delved deep enough into each other. She wants to give him the benefit of the doubt because last season in Paradise he left in a relationship that fell apart when they returned to real life. Mercedes talks to Tyler and asks if this is why he puts up walls. He says yes, but he tries very hard not to compare. He acts quite nonchalant, which Mercedes doesn’t appreciate.
Now Mercedes is more upset and thinks they are not on the same side. One of her concerns is whether they will be able to survive a long-distance relationship, which Aven says she doesn’t think Tyler would want. We’re moving on from this for now, though we’ll definitely come back to this topic before the rose ceremony.
Aven and Peter get a double date card and ask Kylee and Sam to join them. The two couples go to the day club and Kylee hopes that this will be the moment where Aven steps out of her comfort zone. They play some risky games and Aven tries to be more fun than usual. When meeting one-on-one, both couples seem to be on the same page. Peter asks Sam to act formal and she says yes. Third permanent pair!
In other news, Jess is trying to forget about her hopeless situation with Blake and deepen their bond. They seem to be each other’s selves. That is until Blake’s ex-fiancée, Katie Thurston, heads to the beach.
Remember that Katie got engaged to Blake during her season Studio apartment. They broke up a few months later, and Katie quickly moved on with John Hersey. She dated John for about eight months. As she walks to the beach, she admits that she moved on faster than Blake expected, which hurts him. Apparently they haven’t spoken to each other since their breakup.
Everyone is shocked to see her coming down the stairs, especially Blake and Jess. Katie wants to clear the air, so she pulls Blake aside almost immediately. During the conversation, she brings up the fact that they broke up over the phone, which seems pretty crazy considering they were engaged. In my notes I wrote “WHAT?!” That sums up my thoughts on the matter.
At one point, she sent him six voice notes, which he listened to but never responded to. They don’t reveal what was said, but Blake claims that whatever it was, he was too bitter to respond. She says she understands his feelings and didn’t contact him again because she wanted to respect his peace. She apologizes for the way she handled herself and says that if she could go back, she would do things differently. Blake tells Katie about Jess, saying that he thinks their connection will be easier to navigate, but it isn’t. Both Katie and Blake admit that they have certain feelings, but they can’t quite define what they are or how to deal with them. Katie assures Blake that her feelings for him are real, which really throws Blake into a vicious circle.
When the producer asks Katie if she is still in love with Blake, she avoids the question but begins to cry. This is definitely suspicious.
Meanwhile, Jess feels like nothing is going right for her. Watching Blake talk to his ex-fiancée is disheartening and she begins to wonder if she should end it all and leave Paradise.
Then Katie discovers that she wasn’t actually there until now. Instead, he’s there to host a comedy roast at Paradise. Weird, but also funny. Everyone is very excited to finally let off some steam and deliver some acceptable blows to their enemies on the beach.
Of course, the roast ruffles some feathers. While there are lighthearted jokes, some people actually notice. Many people are harshly critical of Kat, including Tanner, who calls John Henry colorblind because he can’t tell the difference between a “red flag and a homie.” Tanner also jokes that everyone was counting on Gabby in Paradise, but they had to settle for Rachel. When all is said and done, both Kat and Rachel are quite unhappy with the jokes being made at their expense.
The next day is the rose ceremony and the atmosphere has gone quiet. The episode jumps straight to the night when everyone is gathering for a cocktail party. Once again everything fell apart. There are many conversations that need to be had before most women feel comfortable giving a rose.
The episode ends with Blake telling Jess that after meeting Katie, he realized their connection should be deeper than it is. Yes.
The resolution of this issue and who will spend the next week in paradise will have to wait. Another episode Bachelor in Paradise airs November 30 at 9 p.m. ET/PT.