Vilkommen, bienvenue, to the season of Bachelor in Paradise not plagued by scandal! Oh wait.
Season five begins by treading familiar ground: It wants to delve back into Tia Booth and Colton Underwood's very strange relationship. It also wants to open up old wounds, such as Kenny's breakup with Rachel Lindsay (he left to go home to his daughter McKenzie) and Kevin Wendt's breakup with Ashley Iaconetti (Ashley dumped him for Jared Haibon). For Bachelor obsessives, this is too familiar — like a "last week on Homeland" recap that's been stretched over two hours and stuffed with things like crabs climbing out of beach holes. Recapping what is essentially already a recap of Bachelor Nation's latest activity is a journey, folks, but we're in this together. Prepare yourself for crabs, beaches, puka shell necklaces, and grabby florals.
Some of the contestants get intro packages, little video summaries of their pre-BiP lives. See them below summarised as I see fit.
Kendall: Arie broke my heart, but these days I am busy walking on the beach wrapped in a denim jacket. Did I mention I like taxidermy?
Kenny: Rachel Lindsay and I had a terrible breakup. My daughter McKenzie is eleven, and she is really starting to look like an adult! (McKenzie!)
Kevin: Ashley Iaconetti kissed Jared Haibon while we were dating. Therefore, I was cuckholded. Also, I wanted to marry her one day. Krystal is hot.
Krystal: I had an iconic voice on The Bachelor. I got a lot of criticism for that season. Also, I know how to cook and I wear little Betty Boop aprons!
Chris R.: I know I yelled at a lot of things on The Bachelorette, but I'm actually a big goofball. (Sorry, a gooseball.)
David: I love my mum! That's not weird or Oedipal, right?
Jordan: I still wear the gold panties. Have you seen my big brown couch?
Annaliese: I am scared of everything, including sand and big bodies of water. Wait, remind me where Bachelor in Paradise films again?
Bibiana: I have a lot of great bikinis for Paradise. Don't you dare blur my butt, censors! (The show typically "draws" a pair of underwear on women wearing thong bikinis. You have to look closely, though.) She is excited to meet Wills.
Wills: I am not actually as sleepy as I seemed on The Bachelorette! Have you met my tiny puppy?
Tia: The men in Little Rock suck!
Not everyone who arrives this episode gets an intro package. Notably: John, the former Venmo employee who did math on the "Men Tell All," does not. Neither does Eric Bigger, who was the third runner-up on Rachel Lindsay's season of The Bachelorette, or Chelsea, the single mom from Arie's season of The Bachelor. Sorry, two more: Angela, a model from Nick's season, also doesn't get an intro, and neither does Astrid, who is part of Rachel Lindsay's post-Bachelor friend group. What can I say? Life's not fair, especially in Paradise.
The first thirty minutes of the episode are wasted while we await the "hoo-ha's whisper," as Bibi would say. These couples aren't going to spark in the first few minutes of Paradise. There are some interesting conversations: John asks Kendall what her parents think of the show, and Joe and Kendall discuss the merits of seeing dead people. (Like, dead bodies, not Bruce Willis dead people.) Wells Adams briefly confuses everyone by having a name similar to Wills'. When Krystal arrives, the contestants note that her voice is no longer the flirty high-pitched tone she used on The Bachelor.
"God knows what would happen if Krystal and I were into the same guy," Kendall notes, looking nervous. Mark my words: This is foreshadowing. They will date the same man.
Aside from Kendall and Krystal's very minor drama, the bulk of the episode's opening concerns itself with Tia and Colton. Tia and Colton, will they or won't they? When will they possibly go on a date again? Wait, what do you mean they're going to do that this episode? They're going to date in the next hour? Though he doesn't arrive until well over halfway into the episode, Colton does eventually arrive. Jordan compares his entrance to that of Captain America, which is a bold choice.
Regardless, the episode begins with Tia determined to put Colton behind her. By the end of the episode, Tia and Colton have kissed, sort of made up, and recounted their dating history yet again for us. Colton's main issue — brought up on their late-in-the-episode date — is that he fell in love with Becca Kufrin, like it or not, and he has to get over that in order to date Tia again.
"I don't want you to think, though, that it's just going to be so easy," he tells Tia.
It won't — Paradise will make sure of it. Before Tia goes on the date with Colton, she goes on a date with Chris. Chris did some light yelling on Becca's season, but he's otherwise a fine Bachelor in Paradise contender. He should have been a fairly average BiP contestant, but this episode sets him up to be, once more, a pot-stirrer. It doesn't help that he goes by "the goose," and his small group of friends (Nick, Jordan, and Chris) goes by "the goose gang."
First, the goose (urgh) goes on a date with Tia. They eat dinner — Colton and Tia get to go jet-skiing, so "just dinner" is a little rude — and Tia insists that nothing is happening between her and Colton. Chris says that Tia totally isn't his type, but he likes her anyway. (Not a compliment, my friend!) Meanwhile, back at the villa, Wills bets "family heirlooms" on the idea that Chris and Tia won't forge a connection on their date.
They do, though! Which is exactly why, when Colton takes Tia on a date, Chris gets angry. He grows concerned that Colton isn't here for the 'right reasons.' He thinks Colton is toying with her heart. (Who? The guy who asked Aly Raisman out via a viral YouTube video? That guy is in it for the fame? Noooooooo.) In the words of David the chicken: "Colton is about to get attacked by the goose gang."
Concerned for Tia's... well-being, I guess, the goose gang preps for a confrontation. All of it recalls a beachified adaptation of West Side Story. The "goose" gang is determined to take down Colton, who dared take Tia on a date. Bring on the rumble! Toooooniiiiiiight, toooooniiiiiiight.
The episode concludes with Chris making the decision to confront Colton. "Ready for this?" he asks, sounding a bit like Taylor Swift. Taylor Swift's latest confrontation hasn't worked out too well, either, so Chris, you should maybe take note.
The Couples Scoreboard
6. Tia & Colton: Rode on a jet ski. Didn't look very cool doing it.
5. Chelsea & Nick: Nick thinks Chelsea is "fucking cool as shit." He also doesn't know the name of her son. (The son's name is Sammy.)
3. Krystal & Kevin: Kissed on a daybed; talked about fitness. Kevin has "pillow lips," per Krystal.
2. Joe & Kendall: Kissed on a daybed; talked about dead people.
1. Astrid & her guacamole: Greatest love story yet!