“He Saw Red and Went Way Too Far:” Sharleen Joynt on Episode 4 of Bachelor in Paradise

Sharleen Joynt—FLARE columnist and former ‘Bachelor’ contestant—shares her insider POV on the fourth episode of ‘Bachelor in Paradise’

Is anyone else having a hard time keeping track of the relationships on this show? I can only imagine what a monster undertaking it is to filter and edit if what we’re shown is the already filtered-and-edited stuff. My recaps for Paradise are typically one big, cathartic vent sesh about one major event or person, but this was the week where I officially began to lose a grip on the ever-changing romantic dynamics. This is what I have, in a nutshell…

Tia, who was enthusiastic about Chris only the night before, suddenly (though rightly) extricates herself from the oft-mentioned “triangle” that is her, Chris and Krystal. But instead of promptly hooking up in true Paradise fashion, Chris opts for tequila over Krystal, leaving her feeling dejected and angry (again, rightly—pretty much anyone who’s upset after any interaction with Chris, Mr. Manipulation, is in the right). Tia then has the epiphany that she wants Colton again (“I’d rather have someone that’s honest about being indecisive than a liar about being decisive,” leaving me depressed that these are the options), never mind that less than 24 hours ago she was gung-ho about someone else. When there’s even the mere possibility that Colton might go on a date and “build a connection” with someone else (my girl Jacqueline!), Tia completely loses it. Colton turns down the date with Jacqueline in the interest of preserving what’s left of Tia’s sanity, a move assumed by all as a grand gesture of romantic (versus platonic) love for Tia. Jacqueline, with easily the best quote of the episode if not the entire season, likens her first step in Paradise to stepping in poo. Colton attempts a heart-to-heart with Tia and is entirely reasonable but doesn’t give her the answers she wants, so when he tries to hug her, she refuses to hug him back. Tia enlists Bibiana (an “outsider” in this scenario) to speak some sense into him; Bibiana tells Colton that “it’s enough” that he and Tia are “connected” and to “not complicate it.” Bibiana’s powers of persuasion are in good form as, that evening, Colton promptly decides he and Tia can be a thing now. Because nothing screams true romance and relationship equality like needing your friend to convince your crush to give things with you a go.

Meanwhile, Jacqueline’s second choice for her date is Kenny, who I guess is more of a hot commodity than we knew? (Bearing in mind the sole requirement for hot commodity status is to be unclaimed.) However, Annaliese—in the day or two since Jenna’s arrival and Jordan’s subsequent loss of interest—has apparently also decided to have designs on Kenny (never mind that, as of now, he only appears to fulfill 50% of her whopping two demands in a partner: that he be kind and that he adore her). Thus, upon Kenny’s return with Jacqueline, Annaliese pulls him aside for a makeout in the exact same salmon shirt he wore on his date (and makeout) with Jacqueline. This love triangle is given an additional angle in the form of Bibiana, who it seems had some sort of chemistry with Kenny brewing, too? (I hate that we weren’t given any earlier hints at this!) Kenny, for his part, is a gentlemanly and sophisticated player, giving each of his three ladies his undivided attention, referencing Edgar Allen Poe, referencing having referenced Edgar Allen Poe on Paradise (yay, 4th wall!), and being very at home with the pre-kiss one-liners (“Let’s open the door;” “Damn girl, you fine. I gotta—” [goes in for the kiss]; “I like fireworks”). At some point throughout all this, Chris, presumably satiated with the bar’s offerings, approaches Krystal, asks her not to worry about the rose, and says—no joke—“You want a drink? I’m gonna get a drink.” He presents her with a “surprise,” which in Paradise is translation for either a daybed a handler has outfitted with candles, or having a producer produce desserts or enormous stuffed animals. Krystal and Chris patch things up and are added to the rock-solid couples list. Obvi.

Unfortunately, I’ve got to mention Jordan here somewhere. Jordan reminds me of my nephew, Sammy. Sammy is generally a very good boy; he has a huge heart and is very sensitive and affectionate. But once in awhile he kicks his sister. A stern talking-to later, he feels genuinely bad, apologizes and sometimes even makes his bed (and his siblings’ beds!) in the morning because he knows Mommy and Daddy appreciate that. He’ll definitely behave badly again (probably the next day), but it’s like he can’t help himself. Obviously, the major difference here is that Sammy is a SIX-YEAR-OLD BOY and Jordan is a 26-year old man. Jordan’s susceptibility to David’s poking reminds me of two young boys, where David, the older brother in this scenario, knows exactly which buttons to push, and Jordan, while objectively knowing better, just CAN’T. HELP. REACTING. This is what really bugged me about last night. Jordan has proven on Paradise that he knows better. Hell, with Chris, he may be younger, but he’s clearly the reasonable, mature, respectful one. He’s a good platonic friend to several of the women. But in behaving so badly last night, no only did he not do himself justice, he played right into David’s trap. I suppose it’s possible David has some sort of interest in Jenna, but it’s unlikely, especially given David and Chelsea appear to have a thing going on? (Where has THAT been?!) It’s obvious David inexplicably still gets his rocks off pushing Jordan’s buttons, and that making moves on Jenna is the most efficient way to do that. Last night’s episode of Jordan completely losing his sanity and telling Chelsea to “shut the fuck up” was likely above and beyond what even David could have even hoped for. That’s not to say I won’t hold Jordan responsible; he isn’t six years old, after all. He saw red and went way, WAY too far. But I do appreciate that he clearly felt bad and sincerely apologized. Maybe he’ll make his bed while he’s at it.

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