It was kind of a slow night in Paradise, rose lovers, so let’s just take a moment to admire Chris Harrison’s golf swing.
I mean, of course it’s good — while everyone else is off crying about their “relationships,” Harrison spends hours a day on the course practicing. Anyhow, let’s recap.
Nicole and Clay and Angela: “Nothing can ruin what we have,” gushes Nicole about Clay. Oh gurl, now look and see what you did.
“This is gonna get real awkward,” announces Haley helpfully. True! Nicole starts giving Clay a pep talk like he’s a boxer about to go 12 rounds with the world champion. “Just be strong, just be confident,” she tells him. “Get your head in the game. You’re stronger, she’s weak. Literally, she’s like one pound. She has no body mass.” Internally, though, Nicole is bummed that Clay seems so upset by Angela’s arrival. “He clearly is disturbed and shooken up,” she reports.
Nicole decides the best way to mark her territory is to pee (verbally) on her rival. “I am boyfriend and girlfriend with Clay,” she informs Angela. “He is my man.” Angela assures Nicole that she doesn’t want anything to do with Clay. “I’m not a drama person,” she says. You might say that Angela’s mere presence in Paradise disproves that statement, but let’s not quibble. She asks Mike out on the date.
Tayshia, meanwhile, is also annoyed at how upset Clay seems to be by Angela’s presence. “At the wedding, he could not introduce Nicole as his girlfriend,” she says. “And that is not a good sign… I don’t think Clay is available.” Tayshia is definitely onto something because when she asks Clay point-blank if he’s “ready” to have another relationship, his hesitant “yeah” does not inspire much confidence.
I’m not going to give Mike and Angela their own relationship section, because it’s pretty clear Angela is only in Paradise to make her ex jealous. She keeps saying things like “If he can be here why can’t I be here?” which is essentially the “I know you are, but what am I?” of relationship rationalizations. She is also extremely pissed when Mike tells her this: “Clay told me that [the breakup] was easier for him because he never said, ‘I love you.'”
Producers are so uninterested in the date they make Mike and Angela sit in a rowboat… in a pool. “We’re going to be going in a lot of circles,” says Mike wryly.
Derek and Tayshia and John Paul Jones and Haley: “I definitely have a big fat crush on John Paul Jones,” says Haley. “I know my family would love him.” Unfortunately for the twin, JPJ still has his heart set on getting Tayshia back. Not that he’s told Haley anything of the sort. After all, JPJ is too busy trash-talking Derek… still. “He’s a fraternity brother who is in this to take advantage of women. That is a fact,” JPJ says. “I don’t have, like, a lot of, like, claims to substantiate that point, but listen, I know the frauds when I see them!”
So does Derek, to be honest. As he’s talking to Haley about his earlier fight with John Paul Jones, Derek casually mentions that JPJ is “like, super into Tayshia.” This is news to Haley (who got JPJ’s rose last week), and she is not happy about it. “I’m hurt, I’m pissed off, I’m frustrated, I’m annoyed, and I just want answers,” she says. “I’m not a back-up plan. I’m not plan B, bitch!” Damn right, girl.
When Haley confronts JPJ, he immediately apologizes for not filling her in sooner but says he can’t do anything about his “intuitive sense” of loyalty to his first Paradise crush, Tayshia. That’s all fine and good, says Haley, but “it would have just been nice to hear it from you.”
“What’s wrong with me?” says Haley. “Why doesn’t anybody ever want to date me?” Awww, don’t cry, Other Twin. Your man is out there somewhere… probably off camera, living a normal life. You’ll find him.
Of course, when JPJ learns that it was Derek who told Haley about his feelings for Tayshia, he immediately starts rage-spiraling about his rival. “If I see somebody that I care about being manipulated, I’m going to step in and do something,” he fumes. But Haley is not here for his complaints about Derek’s alleged dishonesty, especially since he was less-than-open with her about his feelings for Tayshia. “All I’m saying is I never wanted to be a back-up plan,” she says. “It’s not fair to me, because I could have asked somebody else [on the date].” Though JPJ apologizes again, he then gets rude and condescending, telling Haley she’s a “big girl” and saying she shouldn’t “put this on me now.” Dude, where else should it go?
According to JPJ, all blame for everything lies with Derek. All Derek wants, though, is to have a civil discussion and work out their disagreement like two grown-ass men, so he pulls JPJ aside for a semi-private chat on the beach. It starts off bad, and then just gets worse from there. JPJ accuses Derek of saying something like “Maybe I should just get engaged to Tayshia,” and then insists that Tayshia has already decided that Derek isn’t the right guy for her. (Huh?) Derek, in turn, accuses JPJ of “fabricating” salacious stories about him, and so on. It gets loud, fast.
“I hate this!” wails Tayshia. “I’m done, and I’m over it.”
The next day, JPJ pulls Tayshia aside for a chat. He wants to apologize for his latest blow-up with Derek and to let her know that he still really, really likes her. Tayshia is still pretty annoyed at both JPJ and Derek for fighting like children, but when JPJ breaks down in tears, she softens toward him a bit. Jesus God, will someone get JPJ a Kleenex so he doesn’t have to blow his nose in the sand? I’m legitimately gagging.
Later that afternoon, Tayshia — who says she’s still “torn” about what to do with the JPJ/Derek situation — asks Derek to chat with her on the beach. Has she made her choice? Looks like it.
“I don’t think it’s anything that you could have done differently or better,” she says. “Maybe it’s just not the right timing. I don’t know.” Poor Derek just can’t catch a break. “I get that a lot,” he says. “‘You’re a great guy, but…'” With no one left on the beach that he’s even remotely interested in, Derek decides it’s time to get the hell outta Dodge.
“I always thought I would have found somebody by now,” says Derek sadly. “What I worry about now, as time moves on, is that I’m never gonna find that person.” We’ve all felt that way, pal, but you’re gonna be real popular back home. I promise.
Sydney and (Old) Matt Donald, and Luke and Kristina: You remember Matt, don’t you, rose lovers? He came into Hannah’s season on a tractor… and went home the first night. And you remember Luke, don’t you, rose lovers? He’s the one Luke P. body-slammed during Hannah’s season. He’s also known as “the poor man’s Nick Viall.”
Anyhoo, Matt and Luke arrive back-to-back with half a date card each. Turns out the next outing will be a double date because that’s a super-fun thing to do with strangers. Though all the single “ladies” (and Tayshia) think Matt is hot, he zeroes in on Sydney. Luke picks Kristina, and she’s just happy to get off the beach.
After a round of spicy margaritas, the couples split up for some alone time. Kristina tells Luke he’s “nicer” and “cuter” than his lookalike, Nick Viall, but she also talks so much about Blake that Luke thinks she’s not actually over him. Sydney and Matt have a flirtier conversation, but Matt is a little too hung up on what his mom will think to make a move on Sydney.
Dylan and Hannah: Happy birthday, Dylan! Producers got you some time with Hannah in the “boom-boom room”!
No, no, no — you guys are supposed to do it inside the bedroom. Shoo, you horny kids.
SPOTLIGHT ON: BUKOWSKI’S CHYRON
After updating Bukowski’s chyron to read “Bachelor Series Regular,” this week producers trolled him even harder with “Bachelor Nation Elder.” This is a running joke I can get behind.
3 MOST GIF-ABLE MOMENTS
1) & 2) Demi listening to Haley drag JPJ
The twin calls JPJ out for leading her on — “Had you hit it off so well [with Tayshia], why would you say yes to my date?” — and Demi LOVES it.
“I’m just enjoying listening to Haley give him a taste of his own medicine,” says Demi, “because he needs it.”
Honorary mention: Kristian’s side-eye.
3) Blake’s face when Haley asks, “Why do men think they can manipulate women for fun?”
Oh, Blake knows the answer — but he’s sure as hell not going to give it up on camera.
Labor Day is behind us, rose lovers! Fall is just about here, which means Paradise is nearing the end. Before you go, some questions: Did Tayshia make the right choice? Is Angela in Paradise for the Right Reasons™? And why did producers put a black bar over JPJ’s vomit but not his snot? Post your thoughts below!
Bachelor in Paradise airs Mondays and Tuesdays at 8 p.m. on ABC