The Bachelor in Paradise lady doth protest like, a lot. The show really, really wants us to think that it can foster true romance. Like, look! Two babies! Two couples! The reality is that the two couples trotted out over this episode — Jade and Tanner; Carly and Evan — are the exception, not the rule, and the current Paradise residents are starting to realize it. Like man leaving the cave, the contestants are all slowly realizing that they can just, erm, leave. You can go! There are no locks on this beach, only the delusional idea that you can find love on the beach.
This terror sends Eric home, the first sign that Paradise has stakes. Eric's reason for leaving: He fucked around and lost the one person who might have made Paradise worthwhile. He says that when Angela left, he lost half of himself. And now, he's too emotionally drained for Paradise. Really, a lot of these kids are emotionally drained. The whole of Paradise is drained, so much so that the needling going on between Shushanna, Kamil, Annalise, and Jordan feels like the futile squeezing of one very, very parched lemon. Nevertheless, the show decides to waste our time on it, dallying in a dangerous space where women are called "cray cray" and "witch."
The good news is, Paradise might just provide some genuine Bachelor couples. Kendall and Joe are happily exploring the possibility of babies. Chris and Krystal are laughing at crabs and raccoons. Kevin and Astrid are discussing dressing recipes — they also have a 12 month plan, which involves Astrid moving to Toronto. Jenna and Jordan think that babies would be cool, but Jordan hates the name "Tucker." Things are mostly good! Would that it could stay that way.
The main drama of this episode exists in Eric's departure, which is sad only because it's what each member of Paradise will face eventually. Simply put, he didn't find love. So he went home. Soon enough, that will happen to the rest of them. Schadenfreude only tastes good until misfortune approaches.
The latter drama involves Russian witchery on behalf of the show as it tries desperately to make this all seem important. Yes, the witch claims are pointed at Shushanna, a Russian mathematician who is very, shall we say, goal-oriented. But the real magic is the show convincing us that any of this matters. The reality is that Kamil, the man being fought over, is little more than a handsome-ish anchor to Paradise. Annaliese is clinging to him as a semblance of Paradise success. Shushanna is clinging to him as someone who maybe, maybe won't ostracize her. (Call me crazy, but is there some xenophobia in this very white cast?)
To cap it off, Diggy Moreland arrives, a welcome breath of fresh air in yellow slacks. Alas, he's way too late, so much so that Astrid has to rouse the Paradise participants from their slumber (everyone is napping this episode) to greet him. Diggy, you're just the right amount, but you're way too late.
In the interest of loving the successful couples, we'll start with Kendall and Joe.
Kendall & Joe
As part of their Paradise torture, Kendall and Joe are selected by the two successful couples (Carly and Evan and Jade and Tanner) to watch over their children for the day. They are mostly okay with babies, as okay with one can be with an unfamiliar baby. This is mainly an exercise in forcing Kendall and Joe to consider the possibility of a family. All Kendall needs to do is hold a baby, and Joe decides that he's invested in this option. Blammo! His animalistic need for survival has been activated, and this couple might withstand the test of time.
Jenna & Jordan
Jordan wants to "puts the launch button" on the relationship, which means that he'd like to confess his love. Does he see an engagement at the end of this? Yes, he does. Jordan also wants a mini-me, which means he wants a boy. (There's some interesting gender politics in his insistence that this baby will be a boy.) Carly rightfully points out that, well, the couple would need a mini Jenna as well.
But Jenna and Jordan disagree on names. Jordan thinks Tucker is a nerdy name.
"Tucker's the kind of name that has a man bun," he spits.
Kamil & Annaliese
Kamil, honorable man, has decided to carry on the grand tradition of gaslighting in Paradise. He's into Annaliese, but he's not looking to couple up with her. Meanwhile, Annaliese is convinced that they have the makings of a relationship, and that she would have been the ideal pick for the nannying date.
Of course, this all explodes in their faces when Shushanna inserts herself into the relationship...
Shushanna & Kamil
Kamil, for his part, did make it clear in this episode that he is not in any way interested in Shushanna. But she rightfully points out that Carly and Evan originally didn't like each other. Things can change for them! If only she stays by his side.
This doesn't go as planned. Kamil tells Annaliese that he thinks Shushanna is using "Russian witchery" to get him to fall in love with her. Thus commences Bachelor in Paradise's great big embarrassing "Russian witch hunt." No one is being hunted. No one is a witch. Shushanna burns one single photo in a fire — something she was likely asked to do — and that's all it takes to suggest that Shushanna has magical powers. This show really has no memory of how society as a whole views the Salem witch trials? Really? Really?
"Call me a bitch but don't call me a witch!" Shushanna wails, weeping in front of the camera.
Shushanna & Jordan
Shushanna, wrapped up in Kamil, can't fully submit to a relationship with Jordan, who, may I remind us all, only arrived in Paradise yesterday. Jordan attempts to take her on a date, and she politely declines. Later, though, Shushanna pulls Jordan into her orbit, suggesting that she might actually be interested in Jordan. He, however, isn't interested. Too little, too late, Shu.
John & Olivia
Has John finally settled on a woman, now that there are virtually no more available women in Paradise? Maybe. He likes Olivia, but he also liked six other women. Olivia, more importantly, likes him, but she did come into Paradise with Diggy in mind.
Diggy & Olivia
Upon arriving in Paradise, Diggy asks Olivia on a date. (Well, he briefly dwells with Shushanna.) He and Olivia go on a brief but successful date in which he admits that no one calls him Kenneth. His name is Diggy because we was a well-dressed 2nd grader, and that's that.
Chris & Krystal
The rose that Chris gave Krystal this week, it was different. This means that they are deeply, deeply in love. They go on a date, a "night to remember" themed ordeal that involves a lot of laughing, a few admissions of love, and one Bachelor-style concert. What a cruel trap, to send Krystal and Chris on a date only to force them to listen to mournful country rock — alone.
Kevin & Astrid
Still in love, and still actively discussing potential future salad dressings. Did you know Kevin makes his own?
The Couples Ranking
5. Kendall & Joe: These kids like each other. That's pretty much it.
4. Krystal & Chris: Alright, fine. They love each other.
3. Olivia & Diggy: Mainly pulling here for Diggy, the last bastion of enjoyable Bachelor Twitter.
2. Jenna & Jordan: I want a man bun Tucker baby from this couple.
1. Kevin & Astrid: Salad! Dresssing!