Well, everyone, we now know why Dean Unglert pulled Caelynn Miller-Keyes aside after episode 7 of Bachelor in Paradise's rose ceremony, and, surprisingly, it was actually dramatic and not a fake-out. Dean has removed himself from Paradise after, on the previous episode, revealing that he really should not have been in Paradise.
But — surprise again — the preview at the end of this episode, shows him returning.
Let's not get ahead of ourselves, though. Dean sits down with Caelynn and says, "I think that you're an amazing, awesome person, and I didn't expect to like you as much as I do ... I didn't expect to have an actual connection with someone." He adds, "I know that I won't be able to get to where you are by the end of this" and says that their "lifestyles aren't compatible." (If you forgot, Dean is living the nomadic life, travelling around in his van.)
Basically, and as Dean made clear on Monday night, he came to Paradise for fun, not to actually date someone. This is a problem since this is a dating show and most of the contestants, Caelynn included, are there to date. If he'd gone on the show and everyone knew he was just a chill dude who was there to have fun, that'd be one thing; he could have tried to coast through on friendship roses. But, he did form a connection with Caelynn, something he had control over, which he now realizes is a problem.
He tells her she should go on dates with new guys who come to the beach, because one of them could be what she's looking for. "I feel kind of slimy making that decision or presumption for you," Dean says. This sounds like something he should feel slimy about, but it does seem like Caelynn is on a much different page than him, one that's much further into the book. In that sense, I do sort of understand why he wouldn't just stay in Paradise with her and hang out. In her confessional after he leaves, Caelynn says, "I thought he was my forever, but he blindsided me." That does sound pretty serious.
A new day dawns and with it a lot of crying from John Paul Jones. He's devastated that Tayshia Adams is into Derek Peth now. "It's very difficult to see the woman you're in love with open up the door with some other guy," he tells the camera. Well, didn't know he was in love, but okay. Blake Horstmann tries to comfort him, while being clearly uncomfortable about the dude's crying sounding like loud, strained laughter.
In a big switch in tone... a present has arrived! The cast has been given an invitation to Krystal Nielson and Chris Randone's wedding. Yep, whether they know the couple or not, the entire cast is attending this ceremony.
When they arrive, there are so many other Bachelor stars there, too. Tia Booth, Becca Kurfrin, Kendall Long and Grocery Store Joe, Ben Higgins, Ashley Iaconetti and Jared Haibon, Kevin the Canadian firefighter and Astrid Loch. There are also people there who are going to be joining BiP as contestants (Connor Saeli, Chase McNary, Bri Barnes, etc.) because, why not. Anyway, Caelynn needs someone to help get her mind off Dean.
The biggest takeaway from the actual ceremony is that it's abundantly clear why these people agree to televised weddings. Paying for that many flowers would be expensive. Plus, you get a live performance from a rando country singer, one of the Bachelor franchise's favorite things. Congrats to Coach Krystal and Chris a.k.a. Goose, two people who were not particularly well-received during their initial Bachelor/ette appearances, but who found love nonetheless.
Next up, is the cocktail hour and JPJ clearly doesn't care about the old reality TV adage "this is not the time or the place," because after getting more and more riled up about his hatred of Derek, he decided to confront him. According to JPJ, Derek is using his fame to hook up with fans of the show and is using his time in Paradise to get more "gossip" for his podcast. (Neither of those seem that bad...) He's convinced that Derek is also manipulating Tayshia. In actuality, it could be argued that Tayshia was manipulating JPJ in her road to trying to get with Derek.
But this guy doesn't care about letting Tayshia make her own decisions when it comes to the potential next Bachelor, because he's full of rage and is saying "Derek!" a lot. Meanwhile, Derek barely gets a word in, because JPJ just won't stop talking.
Things take a turn when Chris and Krystal announce that they can only allow a few of the Paradise peeps into their reception because of seating. (Possibly also because that was the deal they struck with production so their wedding wouldn't be a total shitshow.) Hannah Godwin, Dylan Barbour, Caelynn, Blake, Mike Johnson, Kristina Schulman, Tayshia, and Clay Harbor score invites. All the people who have not yet been introduced as cast members on Paradise also get to attend, because at this point we're, apparently, supposed to think they are there organically as friends of the bride and groom.
The most notable reception guest is Clay, who was invited because he's friends with the newly married couple and because his ex-girlfriend Angela Amezcua was a bridesmaid and that means drama. They end up having a chat in which she says it doesn't make sense that he went on BiP and also makes it sound like she didn't want to break up in the first place. He explains that he ended things with her, in part, because he was at a rough time in his life career-wise. (Clay was a football player, but had to give it up.)
The other big news from the reception is that Caelynn and Connor kiss. It's like Dean left her a parting gift in the form of a very tall, more-traditional-than-himself man.
Back at the beach, John Paul Jones and Derek get into it again. In response to JPJ saying Derek invited him on his podcast, Derek says, "That was literally me asking you to hang out." Derek doesn't think he did anything wrong, and it sounds like he didn't. JPJ should probably leave Paradise at this point or — and this is a wild idea — talk to Tayshia, because she has autonomy in the situation. JPJ can hate Derek for having a podcast, but he can't hate Derek for having a podcast in defense of Tayshia's honor or whatever the hell it is he thinks he's doing. That's just ridiculous.
Ahem. Moving on, Connor arrives officially, and asks Caelynn on his date. They go paint with their bodies, which is really just them covering each other in slippery paint and making out. Caelynn tells the camera that she and Dean never would have worked out, and, as a bonus, Connor doesn't live in a van. She had these wise revelations while making out with him covered in slippery paint.
The end of the episode is about Clay, Nicole, and Angela. Clay assures Nicole that he's still into her even though he still cares about Angela. And then, of course, Angela shows up, ready to stir up some drama next week.
The promo for next week shows us what else we'll be getting: Clay considering leaving Paradise. Derek and John Paul Jones fighting again. Dean shaving his mustache and returning to say, "I've made a mistake." (Shaving his mustache was a good touch. It shows that he's serious.) We're also going to get a "surprise exit." Is it Dean again?!
Surprise of the Night: John Paul Jones being called just "John" by multiple people. He even introduced himself to Krystal and Chris' family members as "John Jones." This is how you know his time has come to an end.
Best Small Moment of the Night: Angela's extremely sassy bridesmaid walk. As Sydney Lotuaco put it, "You could see by the way she walked down that aisle that she has a vendetta."
Quote of the Night: "I get all the feels. I'm a big corny ass dude" — Mike on being invited to Krystal and Chris' wedding. And just like that, I'm back on the Mike for Bachelor train.