One of the biggest moments from this season’s Bachelor in Paradise trailer arrived tonight: Mari throwing a birthday cake in a fire. And it’s actually a good metaphor for the episode. We’re at the point in the season where people starting ditching their original partners and the drama starts to kicks off. Mind you, in Paradise time, these people have only known each other for about a week, so words like “partners” and “couples” are used lightly here.
Tonight’s episode features multiple “relationships” imploding in the proverbial birthday cake bonfire due to confusing defining-the-relationship convos, new men arriving, and, in one case, a woman making out with the “mortal enemy” of the guy she had been talking to. It was the kind of episode that makes you surprised to remember this show has produced couples who are still married and have children. Here’s what went down.
The Kenny, Mari, and Demi Love Triangle
Kenny and Mari have been paired up, but because she doesn’t want to have any regrets, she tells Kenny that she wants go on other dates while keeping him as her “focus.” He tells her she "can’t have both” because he isn't going to wait around for her. So, now, they’re both open to seeing other people — at least that is my and Kenny’s understanding of the situation, but we soon find out that Mari doesn’t agree.
After Mari tells Demi about the situation, Demi immediately says in her confessional, “I’m going for your mans. It’s my opportunity!” When Kenny and Demi finally, he tells her “those cheeks have been out all week” to which she responds: I had hoped you noticed. Next thing, they are making out in Mari's line of vision. In her confessional, Mari admits she thought Kenny might do something special to show how much he wanted to be with her. Girl, this was not the way!
Things escalate further when Demi sets up a birthday surprise for Kenny. She brings him a cake and hangs a piñata. (It’s not his birthday, but he turned 40 in quarantine and this is a good excuse for Demi and the producers to make a scene.) When Mari spots Kenny and Demi canoodling again, she takes the cake and throws it in the bonfire.
Mari confronts Demi, telling her she feels betrayed after confiding in her. Demi maintains an “I’m not here to make friends” attitude as Mari storms off and tells her, “Your cake is in the fire, by the way.” If you’re a Real Housewives of New Jersey fan, you’ll agree the line has a distinct “Ya husband’s in the pool” vibe.
Mari finds Kenny to explain the nuance of her earlier statement: she wanted to go on a date with someone if asked, not date other people. She never said she would talk to someone else unless it was on a date via a date card. I mean, how hard is that to understand? (Kenny does not understand.)
Demi and Kenny head to the Boom Boom Room. The next time we see them it’s pre-rose ceremony, and Kenny announces to the group that he is now with Demi. Mari says this is a surprise to her, because she thought they were going to revisit things. Huh? This is a mess, but I am also hoping that a new guy shows up for Mari.
Chris & Chasen’s Double Date
The two new arrivals in this episode are Chasen and Chris, both from Clare/Tayshia’s season. You’ll remember Chasen as the semi-villain who bothered other guys by calling Tayshia a “smokeshow”. You won’t remember Chris, because, as he admits himself, he was barely on the show. They show up with a double date card. Chasen invites Deandra, who had been talking to Karl; Chris asks Jessenia, who seemed to be in one of the more solid pairings with Ivan.
Karl and Ivan are bothered. And because the BIP producers are no dummies, the date is to work with an “intimacy guru." “I’m the kind of person where I’m like, I don’t want to be touched. But, I was really comfortable with Chasen,” Deandra says in voiceover as Chasen blows air all over her body at the guru’s request. Meanwhile, in his own confessional, Ivan says, “I can’t see them doing too much physically” as the pairs literally practice Kamasutra positions while clothed.
When they return from the date, Jessenia sits down with Ivan. She explains that Chris has the “spark” she’s been missing with Ivan, but she isn’t sure if Chris checks the boxes like Ivan does. “So, what’s more important to you, the spark or the boxes?” Ivan says. “I think a spark isn’t something that can be forced,” she responds. Devastating. Ivan goes for a sad walk on the beach.
Karl and Deandra also chat, and Chasen immediately tries to interrupt. Karl gives Deandra a bracelet he brought with him from back home—so, not personal to her at all— and says she’s the reason he wants to stay in Paradise. Chasen keeps trying to butt in. It’s obnoxious. Their beef will continue into the next episode.
Joe & Serena’s Wrestling Date
Joe gets a date card this week and, obviously, invites Serena. Their dinner is set up in the middle of a wrestling ring. They talk about past relationships. Joe shares that he and Kendall—they got together on BIP 5—broke up because she wanted to live in Los Angeles and he wanted to live in Chicago. So, basically, Serena needs to be down with living in Chicago or there’s no point to them dating, but they don’t get too far into that part of the convo.
Soon, and without any explanation, Serena and Joe enter the ring in lucha libre outfits. They start play fighting and making out. Good for them, but I am worried about the logistics.
Tammy, Aaron, & Thomas’ Love Triangle
Tammy and Aaron have been paired up so far, but that changes when suddenly Tammy makes out with Thomas on a daybed in front of Aaron. Lest you forgot, Aaron hates Thomas. Thomas tells Tammy that he’s into her, but that he didn’t make a move because he knew she was talking to Aaron, so she makes the first move on him. As they makeout, he flirtatiously tells her she’s a “villain”. Nope, don’t like that. I also don’t like Tre saying Tammy is “displaying human trash bag behavior.” Stay out of it, man. She can do what she wants. Would I suggest making out with Thomas? No, but there's no need to be that mean. The episode ends with an Aaron and Thomas confrontation cliffhanger.
Maurissa, Riley, & Connor’s Non-Triangle
Man, there were so many dramatic couples this episode. As we know, the last episode ended with Maurissa and Riley in the Boom Boom Room. The next day, Connor tries to ask Maurissa on a “DIY date” because he is still into her. She just keeps saying, “We’ll see.” That's not a good sign. When he asks how the date went with Riley, she says they got back at 2 a.m. and “We just talked all night and yeah.”
Connor misses the true meaning of “and yeah,” because soon Tahzjuan informs him that Maurissa and Riley went to the Boom Boom Room. “This is new information,” a visibly shocked Connor says. His dreams of Maurissa are over. Hey, maybe Mari will give him a rose next episode. We don't get a rose ceremony on this one.
Fashion moment of the night: Connor’s half-striped, half-floral orange and peach matching shorts and shirt set. Everyone talks about how he had to pull out his best look to impress Maurissa after her date with Riley. It didn’t make Maurissa like Riley any less, but damn, did he look thrilled to be wearing it.
Best mid-argument quote: “How could I misunderstand what I’m saying?” Mari says at one point during her conversation with Kenny. His response? “I don’t know. That’s what’s happening right now.”
Most predictable thing ever: Demi’s piñata for Kenny being full of condoms. Of course.