Jared graduates and Wells carpe diems
DEAD BACHELORS SOCIETY
“Your Instagram account is phenomenal.” – Wells
“Yours is great because it has a lot of dogs in it.” – Ashley
If this is how millennial flirting works now I’m going to go walk into the ocean. Pasty normal person Wells has arrived and everyone is thrilled at the possibility this might bring Ashley out of her Jared funk. They throw him like a hunk of pasty, normal beef to Ashley so that she can devour him. You can feel their entire collective will egging on to complete this human sacrifice and appease the gods.
This leads to maybe the most inspirational moment of the entire franchise. Everyone is lounging around the pool when Wells arrives to hesitantly ask Ashley out on a date. Everyone slowly stands up on their desk to solemnly say, “O Captain. My Captain.” Then they all give a cheering ovation while Daniel flaps in the water like a drowning pterodactyl and a mortified Ashley waves them to shut up. Everyone’s thrilled, and the evil Headmaster Nolan huffs away in disgust.
It’s legitimately heartwarming, but if I’m Wells I might find all of this concerning. While Caila and Jared do a merry jig, Wells and Ashley go out on a date to eat some tacos.
“This is the perfect date for Ashley and I to go on because we have lots to … taco ’bout.”
– Wells, clearly just giving up on life
In a bold move, Wells explains he doesn’t want to be there just to make Ashley jealous because he thinks he’s in a bad high school movie. (He’s not far off.) Ashley quickly reassures him and then leans forward to bat her eyelashes hard enough to blow him away. In an accurate move, Ashley explains she doesn’t know how to flirt in a talking head. She asks this radio DJ what his favorite rock band is. His: the Talking Heads. Hers: Hanson.
I don’t say this often, but I agree with Ash.
Wells leans in for the kiss, trying to reverse his Bachelorette curse with JoJo. He explains you shouldn’t go onto dating shows playing hard to get, which isn’t good, because that’s my entire strategy, if you consider sobbing into a bowl of Cherry Garcia while Vanessa Carlton’s “A Thousand Miles” loops in the background is playing hard to get, which I do.
Then they light a fire lantern and send it floating up into the sky with a wish. If the lantern doesn’t spontaneously combust, your wish comes true. They happily walk away and Ashley says, “Like yeah awesome, maybe that wish’ll come true.” In what should be an Emmy-winning display, the Bach editors intercut her hopeful confessional with the lantern bursting into flames and raining fire down on people’s heads like Mir.
Grant and Lace are experiencing their own drama, because Lace does try to make him jealous by openly flirting with Carl. This results in a fight. “This is so dramatic,” Lace slurs angrily when Grant tells her he loves her, and the parallels to my life continues. He apologizes for overreacting and tells the audience that “If I have to put in a little bit more work than she does right now, I’m okay with that because I feel like she’s worth it.” AAAWWWWWWWWW.
THE BOOM BOOM ROOM
Amanda tells Jen and Nick to go up and use the main bedroom. Jen subtly says, “Well I’m gonna go get ready for bed.” In a fit of smoothness, Nick says, “What does that entail?” Of course this leads to Josh’s insane refusal that they be allowed to use the bedroom. He’s planning to be with Amanda, who is already asleep in her own bed. Josh finds out that she went to bed without him, wakes up the young mom, passive aggressively argues with her, and then slaps her on the ass like a coach and says, “Good talk.”
“There’s not enough boom boom rooms,” Jen sighs.
The producers cut to a shot Josh sleeping and an erotic pizza dream sequence as he continues to moan and smack his lips more times than the Joker.
I did just write that sentence, and I did just slam a drink.
THE PENIS MAN
“I just didn’t expect this. ‘SPECIALLY WITH HIM! Like this is ridiculous. This is a ridiculous thing to be happening. How did I fall in love with a penis man?” [guffaw] “I like it. It’s so weird.”
– Carly on Evan
As I said last week, there’s hope for us all.
GUYS WITH LAMPS
Now that he’s no longer King Kong and the Pope all rolled into one, Daniel needs a rose. He woos Haley with giant platter of fried food calls himself a “bad boy.” What kind of weird food fetish does this guy have??
Daniel brings Izzy a lamp. “I figure Izzy’s into guys who like lamps.” I somehow can’t fault him for his logic…
Brett responds to this foray with, “Well can I ask one question? How many watts is it?” When Daniel answers with nine, he says, “Mine was 60.” Then he takes a power sip of his drink. It’s killer timing. It’s the lone bright spot for Brett amidst all the semi-vaguely creepy things he says and does. He promptly uses Izzy as a pawn in his kissing games.
The rose ceremony goes down, and despite being the rose-bestowers, the twins tearfully leave like they’re going off to war, which means the other three men all have to go. And so endeth the magical era of Daniel Maguire, who provided more amazing quotes and weirdness than I thought humanly possible. Some other people go as well. Ryan? Carl? Rarl? Whatever. But before they go, the twins decide now is good timing to drop the bomb on Amanda that Josh might not be that great a guy.
This of course leads to a massive blow-up between Josh and Nick. Apparently, nobody has ever questioned anyone’s intentions in the history of the Bachelor franchise. Unused to this difficult concept, Josh is displeased. This is what we call understatement.
The next day, Jamie of Ben’s season arrives to find no one but Wells. The place is sad and eerie, like a house just after a party, when there’s nothing left but the lingering stench of tequila and urine and the absence of EDM is a deafening silence while you toss bottles into a garbage bag start burning all the pillows and couch cushions.
I started writing that as a metaphor until I realized it wasn’t one.
Jamie asks Wells out and they go off, leading to Ashley’s eventual breakdown and staredown of Caila. “There’s so much baggage involved, and it’s walking around with red lipstick,” says Caila just before deciding to leave at the end of Episode 8.
We pick back up in Episode 9 with Jared obviously upset by Caila’s decision to leave. For some reason he thinks it’s a good idea to talk to Ashley even as Caila is walking off. He shouts, “It’s not about you! IT’S ABOUT ME!” Somebody had to say it. Actually, Jared had to say it.
Clearly, Jared has seen too many rom coms because he chases after Caila and jumps into the van with her even though he definitely has no luggage. This is one of the rare times Caila is actually excited about Jared. If you don’t remember, Caila likes meeting men in rom commy ways. I suspect she might be living in a magical fairy tale in her head. As they ride off into the distance, “The Sound of Silence” begins to play.
Wells and Jamie return, but Ashley is surprisingly composed. She decides to pretend to be level-headed, asking why she would want to deviate from what was working with Wells. It’s a good idea, and I recommend it.
Except the producers decide to double down. They send in Shushanna, the Russian mathematician who goes straight for Wells like a Soviet heat-seeker. He’s gone from the sickly faux-firefighter to the most desired man in ‘Paradise.’ “If you had told me going into this,” he muses, “two hot girls are going to be all over you, I would’ve been like YES, AWESOME. And now that it’s happened, I don’t want to do this anymore. I’m scared.” After sawing out a brief sonatina on my tiny violin, I decide that Wells is in way over his head. He knows he’s about to become an episode of Three’s Company. They go on a double date with Lauren and Brett who uncreepily says, “She looks scrumptious. I just want to eat her up.”
While they’re out surfing, Nick tries to prepare his friend Ashley for a possible letdown with Wells.
“Have you uh put thought into not getting a rose this week?” he asks.
“Maybeee do that.”
If this was a table reading, Nick just killed the line. He then explains that there are three women, comparing the situation to a coin flip, thereby proving that Nick has never seen a coin before.
“She’s like this sexy Bond villain that you’re not sure if she’s going to cast some spell on you or murder you or rip your clothes off. And you’re kind of hoping for like all three of those to happen at the same time.”
Wells succeeds in perfectly articulating men’s general psychosexual desire/confusions about women in the most accurate way possible, demonstrating exactly why divorce rates are exactly where they are.
The episode ends with a silly button of Brett smashing Daniel’s lamp, which is a successful metaphor for how I feel about spending my life watching this show.
Next week: thoughts on Nick as the Bachelor and the finale!