I always find myself conflicted about the last episode of Paradise. First, it feels like the end of summer which is a feeling made worse by the fact that the show already starts late in the summer, i.e. it signals the sad fact that summer can’t last forever. Second, as much as I love Paradise, it is a LOT. Two nights – four hours – per week is a LOT, especially when summertime, summertime, sum-sum, summertime isn’t supposed to be so demanding.
But the biggest conflict is this. I come to Paradise for the mischief, the madness, the mayhem. I come for complete, utter and total ridiculiciousness. And at the end? IT TAKES ITSELF SO SERIOUSLY!!!!
This three-hour Finale had a LOT even for a show that has a LOT in its season Finale. The best way I can manage is to break it down into five acts.
Act I The Couples (or not)
[cue Love Is All Around The Troggs]
Katie and Grown Ass Chris; The Impossibly Cute Hannah G. and Dylan; and My Queen Forever Demi and Kristian are all good.
[cue Breaking Up Is Hard to Do Neil Sedaka] Nicole and Clay are not good because Clay has issues. Not commitment issues. He’s got pre-commitment issues. He’s got I’m-not-sure-I’m-in-an-actual-relationship-with-a-woman-who-is-in-a-relationship-with-me issues. By the way, I recall seeing Nicole at the Tell All but didn’t see Clay. Did I miss him or was he a no-show?
Act II Paradisers Tell All
YASSSSSSSS! THIS IS WHAT I CAME FOR!!!!
Derek and JPJ sort-of go at each other but seemed to half-squashed their beef. Jordan and Christian still have beef. Jordan makes a great point about how all the pre-Paradise meet-ups and hook-ups and DM-sliding and concert festivals had many Bachelor alums coming to Paradise with agendas. Every time Jordan speaks I feel I need more Jordan in my life. Dean and Caelynn are still a thing – until the former beauty queen decides she wants a guy who will let her take showers and wear make-up. Connor and Whitney are still a thing. This is good because if he had ended up as the next Bachelor, we would not have understood a single word he was saying without My Forever Queen Demi translating.
But the real drama in Act II and really for the final episode was with Blake-Kristina-Caelynn love triangle. I’m going to resist the temptation to spend a lot of time breaking this down. Ex-Bachelorette Sharleen Joynt does an excellent – and by excellent, I mean very logical and objective, which is why I like it – breakdown of her views on this whole sordid affair. I commend it. That said, my brief opinion is:
- He made a mess out of his friendship/relationship with Kristina – for which she is very forgiving in spite of her acknowledgement that he made a real mess out of it.
- There was PLENTY of blame on both sides of his part of the triangle with Caelynn. Again, I refer you to Sharleen’s blog post. She’s written all the words I’m not inclined to write. It’s also a women’s perspective which I think is important.
- Blake is clueless. Period.
Act III See??? This S**t Works!! (says Chris Harrison smugly without ever saying so)
[cue Forever My Love The Association]
We get Paradise married couples! Jade/Tanner; Carly/Evan; Krystal/Goose – who Chris Harrison actually forgot were married! Geez, he officiated the wedding for crying out loud.
We get babies! Jade delivers a baby in the closet! Carly is pregnant! Crystal and Goose are “in the process”. Does this mean they still get Fantasy Suite cards from Chris Harrison?
And Tayshia goes running back to JPJ! I don’t get this relationship but she says that he “checks all her boxes” so I suppose I should be happy for her that she has “immature raving lunatic” as a requirement for a life partner.
ACT IV The Couples (or not)
[cue Is Your Love Strong Enough Bryan Ferry] The Impossibly Cute Hannah G. and Dylan are still OK. But I wonder. Maybe I’m biased (maybe?) but I’m not convinced this has a happy ending. She’s moving “closer” to him rather than moving in. She’s Instagram famous and is the hot girl in the country music videos. I’m not cheering for nor forecasting Dylan’s demise. I just still have long-term doubts of their staying power.
[cue The Star of the Story Heatwave] My Queen Forever Demi and Kristian are still good. Engaged good. They have a great story.
[cue My Girl Britney Spears Toxic] OK, so we have to talk Katie and Chris, What a hot buttered, dysfunctional mess. Katie decides to do couples therapy on national TV with Chris Harrison as “therapist”? Seriously? She needs counseling from a real counselor as to what is compelling her to stick with what is clearly a hopeless engagement. SHE’S NOT EVEN WEARING HER RING!!!!!!
Chris clearly needs therapy, too. I believe he actually loves Katie. But it seems he is incapable of making anybody feel loved regardless of whatever issues someone like Katie may have. This simply was not fun to watch. And then the off-stage argument they had after their on-the-couch session with not-really-a-counselor Chris only validated that these two are not only toxic for each other, they will individually be toxic to future partners, too. I hated watching this whole thing.
[duh, cue Take Me to the Pilot Elton John]
So Peter is the new Bachelor.
- Peter: “I’ll be dating 30 women. I haven’t done that before.”
- Blake: “Hold my beer.”
No real surprise here – Peter was the internet betting favorite. Mike seems to have this thing going on with Demi Lovato which I am so here for and that takes ABC off the hook from deciding whether or not to make him the first black Bachelor. Tyler seems to have this thing going on with Gigi Hadid. Derek is a nice guy with a good backstory related to My Forever Queen Demi but probably not the best candidate to carry a whole season (although we thought the same thing about Hannah B.). Be prepared for Take Me to the Pilot and other flying-related references for his entire season.
That’s a wrap, boys and girls. Cognitive dissonance over its last episodes aside, I love this show. See you next summer.
 Although with 50-something 90+ degree days in the DC area this year, maybe the end of summer is a good thing. Except I like hot. I should live in Tucson.
 A fabulous reference (you’re welcome) to an impossibly cute yet stupid, i.e. like Bachelor in Paradise, 1958 song by The Jamies.
 Yes, she’s been promoted to “Forever” status.
 From Juan Pablo’s season and one of my all-time Bachelor faves during and after the show.