Spoilers are ahead. Repeat Bachelor in Paradise appearances are pretty common for the franchise — even after serious relationships may have formed on the show in the past. For example, last season we watched Derek Peth take a chance with Demi Burnett after previously leaving Paradise engaged to Taylor Nolan. The key importance — though we didn't know to appreciate it then — was that Derek got to explore his new relationship without his ex watching from the bar. On Bachelor in Paradise season 7, Joe Amabile — like Derek before him — returned to the beach after his breakup with fellow Paradise star Kendall Long. It was clear that being back was tough for him, and he spent much of the first night brooding on his own. But just as he started to open his mind to the idea of exploring a new connection with Serena Pitt, it was teased in the trailer that Kendall will be descending the sandy beach resort stairs all too soon.
In the latest Bachelor in Paradise promo, Kendall's arrival appears to throw Serena and Joe's relationship into chaos. In one scene, he's can be seen telling Serena that she's the second woman he's ever loved — and in another he's telling Kendall, "It’s not like I'm 100 percent sure that she’s the one." Oof. We also see a scene in which Serena appears to express some dismay at seeing Joe and Kendall talking. In a previous Paradise trailer, Joe can be heard saying, "Kendall's absolutely trying to stop this," seemingly speaking about his growing relationship with Serena. He and Kendall are also both shown asking the other why they came back. Why indeed.
It does seem like the breakup is still a little fresh for both of them. Dating for two years is a big commitment, and ending that relationship only to go back to where you met to date other people? That's beyond complicated, and it sort of seems from the trailer like neither one was really ready to date again in this particular scenario — much less watch each other date other people.
It's not clear when exactly Kendall arrives to the beach, since apparently Joe forges a deep enough connection with Serena to tell her that he loves her. It seems like it would probably be difficult for him to get to that level with Kendall's there, so it stands to reason that she may come much later in the season. Whenever she does arrive, it'll put them both in a tough spot, as well as Serena. Because the format of this show demands that contestants have no warning about who's coming to the beach, this is the kind of terrible twist only the Paradise producers could dream up.
This isn't the show's first "love triangle" and it's also not the only one this season. There seems to be one brewing between Demi, Kenny Braasch, and Mari Pepin that leads to a lot of tears, if the trailer is any indication. But historically, love triangles on this show end well for absolutely no one. Look at Dean Unglert when he started seeing Kristina Schulman only to later become interested in Danielle Lombard back in season 4. All three of them later left brokenhearted and upset — and that was without the added layer of two of them being serious exes. Think back to that awful situation, and imagine it being worse. Feel that sense of impending doom?
All this being said, Bachelor Nation editors are known for spinning drama out of a whole lot of nothing, especially in promos. It's entirely possible that Joe and Kendall have a perfectly normal greeting and then they move on. It's also possible that Serena's soundbites may have just come from her overthinking and worrying while initially seeing them chat. But if Joe's emotions continue to be as raw as they were on night 1, things are about to get really uncomfortable in Paradise. For all of us.