Bachelor in Paradise Season 7, Episode 8 Recap: There’s No Rulebook

Photo: ABC/Craig Sjodin.
Last week’s episode of Bachelor in Paradise left many in Bachelor Nation hoping for the same thing: Brendan and Pieper facing the same fate as Chris and Alana. The show opens with Demi pointing out that Brendan is “way worse” than Chris. As a refresher: Brendan formed a connection with Natasha in order to stick around until Pieper, who he had been seeing in the real world, arrived. When Pieper got there, he immediately turned on Natasha to continue his pre-existing relationship with Pieper. The couple than had various conversations about what a good “opportunity” coming on the show is for gaining social media followers. (The fact that the show broke the fourth wall here caused Pieper and Brendan’s plan to massively backfire to the tune of 100K lost Instagram followers combined.)
So, will Brendan and Pieper get sent home? Will they stand up for themselves? And what’s the deal with all that whipped cream from the preview?

Brendan and Pieper’s Not-So-Fond Farewell

On the night of the rose ceremony, a committee made up of Jessenia, Deandra, Demi, Natasha, Maurissa, Riley, and Joe decide that Brendan and Pieper need to leave. So, they all go confront them. While Pieper and Brendan admit they went to Paradise for each other, Brendan says that they needed some time to focus solely on their relationship, as if that’s an excuse. Natasha points out that not only is that not how the show works, but he was a jerk for stringing her along in the process. Joe says that there’s no “rulebook” for the show, but it’s generally understood that you come there to meet someone, not to hangout with someone you already know. When an upset Brendan says he’s leaving, Maurissa responds, “From Paradise or just this conversation?” Brendan says, “That doesn’t concern you in any way, okay?!”
Brendan and Pieper discuss their options. They also diss their castmates—including Natasha, who Brendan calls “salty"—and Pieper says that she doesn’t need the show because she has a master’s degree in marketing and can figure out how to get followers on her own. (That quote did not age well.) Meanwhile, Joe explains that they can’t actually kick each other off the show because contestants have leave of their own accord. (I would like to petition for Joe to become the BIP host. I trust him to determine whether contestants should stay or go, and this season has proven that perhaps someone needs to have that authority.)
Brendan and Pieper decide to leave. Brendan tells the group, “This environment isn’t where we want to be at this particular moment.” You don’t say. As they drive off, Brendan says he “didn’t intentionally want to mislead anyone," only that he " withheld information.” That is some truly impressive denial as, in this scenario, withholding information was a huge part of how he very intentionally misled someone. 

Tammy’s Birthday Breakup

The pre-rose ceremony cocktail party is so long that it strikes midnight and is Tammy's birthday. But, after a celebratory drink from Wells, she has some business to take care of. She’s been coupled up with Thomas, but he just went on a date with Becca. So, Tammy needs to find out if he is still into her. Really, Thomas should have been the one to initiate the conversation, especially since he reveals that he had a great time with Becca and doesn’t see himself and Tammy going anywhere in the real world — it’s a breakup that Thomas waited for Tammy to prompt. Tammy makes a lot of grand statements about how he’s her “best friend" and she’s willing to fight for him. Thomas seems very much like, Uh, we barely know each other and I wanna be with the Bachelorette. Crying, Tammy says in her confessional, “Last year I got COVID on my birthday and this is ten times worse.”
Photo: ABC/Craig Sjodin.

Who’s Sent Home

When the rose ceremony finally arrives, it feels like it’s been a year. This is only the third rose ceremony of the season because we didn’t get one last week. 
Before the ceremony begins, Wells announces that it’s unfair that one contestant had her chance at love taken away because someone wasn’t honest with her. Of course, he’s referring to Natasha. Wells brings out a special "second chance" rose for her and she starts crying. This show does have its moments, and Bachelor Nation is rooting for Natasha. (Like, seriously rooting. She gained over 350K followers as a result of the Brendan/Pieper mess. Thank you @bachelordata!)
As for the rest of the roses we have eight couples: Riley and Maurissa, Serena and Joe, Ivan and Kendall, Noah and Abigail, Kenny and Mari, James and Tia, Thomas and Becca, and Aaron and Chelsea. Demi, Jessenia, Tammy, and Deandra are sent home.

Tia & Blake’s Quick, Passionate Date

An unmemorable man named Blake from Clare and Tayshia’s Bachelorette season shows up with a date card and invites Tia. They’re immediately attracted to each other, and she especially likes his tattoos, calling him “Tatty Daddy”. 
On their date, they ride in an ATV, and by the time we join them at their post-adrenaline rush picnic, it feels like a lot of footage was cut. Rather than seeing them get to know each other, we’re already at the part where they’re talking about how they can see themselves continuing to date in the real world. “I feel like people are going to think we’ve known each other for a long time,” Tia says, which, on this season would not be shocking, but I think she means they actually just had a fast attraction. The producers don’t show us that part, though. Instead, we see them makeout in an outdoor shower while Tia says he makes her “vagina dance”.

Dr. Joe & Natasha’s Awkward Date

After getting her “second chance” rose, Natasha is really hoping that someone great shows up on the beach for her to date. And it wasn’t Blake, obviously, so when Dr. Joe (Clare/Tayshia’s Bachelorette) arrives, she’s excited. They hit it off in their first conversation, and he asks her on the date. 
They go out for dinner and giant margaritas, and things go pretty well until it’s revealed that Joe is super close with Brendan. When Joe asks what happened to his friend, she has to explain the whole situation, which stuns Joe. “Brendan? My Brendan?” he asks incredulously. Yes, your Brendan, Joe, and the fact that you’re calling him that isn’t promising. The date ends awkwardly with Joe repeatedly saying that he and Natasha will just have to go with the flow. She knows that it’s all over before it even began. 

Kendall's Potential Last Straw

Grocery Store Joe sets up a makeshift date for Serena with a blanket, rose petals, and lanterns on the beach. After some of their typical banter— I love their banter because it is normal and not Bachelor-y —Serena tells Joe she has a confession. She’s very nervous to admit it, but she’s falling in love. He responds that he is, too. She can’t believe it. 
Meanwhile, Kendall is growing increasingly frustrated watching her ex-fiancé fall in love at the same place they originally fell in love. Frustration is a very reasonable response to this uniquely horrifying situation, but this isn't a shocking outcome. After all, she chose to appear on the same romantic reality TV series as him.
At some point, Kendall formed a connection with Ivan—which we never got to see—and he tries to kiss her while she’s stressed about Joe. She turns him down because she doesn’t feel comfortable right now. It's another understandable response. I would be running off this beach as fast as I could if I were her. Instead, we’re left with a cliffhanger about whether Kendall will head home after having an emotional conversation with Joe. Also in the preview: Everyone evacuates the beach as a tropical storm approaches?! That is not the drama I was expecting. 
Fashion moment of the night: Their date might not have gone well, but Dr. Joe and Natasha’s matching red and white tropical print outfits deserve a mention. Honorable mention goes to Riley’s furry koala slippers that he inexplicably wore while working out in sand.
Worst use of food: Maurissa and Riley’s whipped cream. Maurissa came up with a game in which she and Riley would pull slips of paper from a bowl with the name of a body part written on them and then have to lick whipped cream off of that body part. This includes Maurissa eating whipped cream off of Riley’s toe that’s been walking all over the beach. As Wells puts it, “I know what’s on the beach. It’s sand, mud, and probably, like, dead crab bodies.” Riley and Maurissa don’t care. They’re so turned on that they go straight to the Boom Boom Room during the cocktail party. 
Best blink and you’ll miss it moment: Mari and Kenny heading to the Boom Boom Room, and Mari mentioning that Maurissa’s just been leaving her stuff in there. I mean, she’s in the strongest, most passionate couple on the beach. Better make use of that private room in every way you can.

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