Tuesday, 9 September 2014

Bachelor in Paradise Season 1 Finale: Commit Now or Get Out

Bachelor in Paradise managed to pull off a dramatic season finale. It was less heavy-handed and a little more light-hearted than the usual Bachelor(ette) seasons. Without further delay, let's bachcap!

In the Real World, No One Dates Anyone They Met at Club Med

What happens on vacation should stay on vacation - except at this bizarro-world resort. The episode opens with Chris Harrison putting the relationships to the "test" by asking whether they can make the transition from paradise to real life. If not, they must pack up and leave paradise immediately. 

"So you're saying that this is a "test" but unlike those communicable disease blood tests we took before the show?"

Everyone looks like they have stomach cramps as they receive this news. They are fearful that Chris will know if they are faking it. Off-camera, there must have been threats. "If you don't end up dating in real life, we'll make you refund us for this lousy vacation." 

"If you try to fool us, we'll bill you for accommodations, your dates, and every single tequila shot."

If You're Looking for AshLee, She's Under the Bus

Michelle decides to ignore her own conflicted relationship and throws AshLee under the bus of love. She cannot tolerate that Graham does not perceive AshLee's faults. Michelle is wrong, Graham was not fooled, he was just too scared to call it off. With Michelle's permission, he's ready to deliver the dumpage. See, he cannot deal with upsetting the women in his life, and now that he knows that Michelle will be upset if he DOESN'T dump AshLee, he can upset AshLee. It's guy logic, don't ask me to explain further. 

The unsuspecting AshLee is devastated but she previously threw Clare under the bus (when she told Zack to dump Clare) so it's BiP karma and no one feels bad for her except maybe that sympathetic raccoon. But the raccoon liked Clare better so he just stands there, arms crossed as she gets into the reject SUV. On his end, Graham expected to feel relief (because he was just waiting to break up with AshLee) but he feels "sad" instead. Hopefully the sadness is somewhat related to the fact that he strung someone along because he was too scared to do the right thing five episodes ago. AshLee then grossly overestimates this show's viewership when she says she's embarrassed to cry in front of 10 million people. This isn't Big Bang Theory, AshLee. No matter, this terrible match is finally over and I feel the relief that Graham does not feel.

As For the Others

Tasos and Christy know they're fooling no one and promptly part ways. Tasos expresses, "I feel this distance, this disconnect between us." He's referring to the distance between complete strangers asked if they now want to get married. Tasos goes back to coordinating weddings and getting set up with bridesmaids. And we all hope that Christy is inspired to date fewer Jesses and more Tasos-types.

Zack is willing to stay on, but Jackie is sick and tired of playing Revolving Boyfriends. Zack goes home and writes a children's book. Seriously, this is his job (click here if you don't believe me). Jackie goes home and spends quality time with her cat who is an island of calm in the turbulent sea of dating.

Sarah and Robert stay together for now. Lacy and Marcus are too intertwined to get off the couch, so they stay too.

You're not sitting close enough

Michelle is very conflicted. Cody is way ahead of her with his relentless feelingsvomit and she is not sure she can "catch up." She calls her young daughter for advice, saying she's not sure what to do about the "cute boy" she met. I'm assuming she means Cody. Her daughter gives the kind of generic, sound advice you give to those friends who are prone to freaking out. Example: "Make sure you have things in common!" Michelle is inspired to stay and give beefy Cody a chance. 

Fantasy Suite Tooth

Chris shows up and the three remaining couples are on the couch (Marcus-Lacy, Robert-Sarah, Cody-Michelle). Our host says that they will all go on Fantasy Suite dates and urges them to have those "real, difficult" conversations that no one really has in real life, because this dose of meta-talk about looooooove and feeeeelings may just kill you. 

Sarah and Robert have their special date in the redundantly named ZenSerenity. Sarah is excited because she watched the Bachelor fantasy suites dates when she was "growing up." That explains it! This show warped her developing brain and made her think that this way of dating is normal. She should sue for damages. 

Lacy and Marcus are so sugary I think I got a cavity just watching. I heard: "you complete me", "I love you!" (from Lacy too this time) and "my heart's all yours!" Basically, things that no one ever says unless they're starring in Jerry Maguire. 

Michelle tells Cody that he won't get lucky (but...)

Hulk Got Woman Now

The day after the fantasy suites, Lacy and Marcus are beaming. But the big shocker is that Cody and Michelle are now a bonafide couple. There were some, um, big, surprises in the fantasy suite that Michelle is VERY enthusiastic about. There is much bleeping of her words which are not safe for television and I'm hoping that her daughter is not watching this. Cody said he marked some things off his bucket list and that she "broke the code." Michelle went from ambivalent to adoring. Guess Cody's got some skills.

Cody, stop being so subtle, tell us how you really feel

Dumped for Sleeping in his Jeans

Sarah's looking at the other couples and feeling that her "good night's sleep" doesn't measure up. She's disappointed because instead of late night talking and cuddling, Robert turned off the lights, blew out the candles, and went to sleep early. In his jeans. This is a tough one. Was Robert just taking it slow, or do non-actions speak louder than words? She sends him packing and it's probably the right decision. Although he is nice, she needs someone a little more enthusiastic but less enthusiastic than Cody who looks like blood might squirt out of his biceps. 

In an awkward twist of fate, Sarah and Robert live near each other. They go home and keep running into each other in Whole Foods. When she sees him her brain goes "Jeans-Jeans-Jeans" and she runs to the organic yogurt aisle.

The Elders Gather Round

On this show, if you manage to date someone for at least a year you're qualified to give condescending advice to other people about relationships. Never mind that after 18 seasons of the Bachelor, there are only 2 marriages; one is less than a year old (Sean and Catherine), and the other was between the Bachelor and the runner-up contestant (Jason and Molly). In paradise, these two couples plus engaged Des and Chris are brought back as know-it-alls to give advice to the two new couples. Luckily Brooks is not there because that would have been so weird since Des had him as her first choice on her season.

After a year of marriage, Catherine doesn't seem at all sick of listening to her husband talk
"Is Brooks still here?"

The elders ask probing questions of the new couples, like do they know all the little things about their partners? I'm sorry, but if they haven't had to deal with laundry/dishes/in-laws they know NOTHING about the little things about their partners. Michelle, it matters not if you know your boyfriend likes pizza and cookies because literally everyone likes pizza and cookies. We also find out that Lacy loves Marcus's 1970s chest hair which is great because he loves her 1980s lipstick.

The Finale of Final Roses

There still has to be a final rose ceremony of uselessness. Cody and Michelle exchange roses and Michelle says she's in love. Everyone has whiplash from that turnaround. Cody went from overbearing to adored and plans write a what-to-do-in-the-fantasy-suite guidebook.

Marcus is sweating profusely and asks for alone time with Lacy. So he can show her this:

Marcus proposes and Lacy hears: "bling bling bling!"

The producers had a few of these Neil Lane rings lying around, just in case. Everyone congratulates the happy couple. They do seem sweet together. Lacy softens Marcus's intensity. He's so good looking and they both seem to be nice people. Mazel tov. 

Chris Harrison gets a bonus from ABC for delivering a proposal this fast


Chris the Farmer is the Bachelor in January 2015 - and Cody's his trainer so we expect that Chris will be looking slightly inflated in no time. Cody's moving to Utah to be near Michelle and her daughter. We learn that Graham deleted his Istagram account (implied that this is to prevent AshLee's stalking). Chris and Elise broke up after two weeks and I can't believe it lasted that long. Michelle K. and Ryan Putz (camera man) are as broken up as his legs. Marcus and Lacy, as per ABC, are getting married in the spring, but they gave an interview saying they want a year-long engagement at least (read their People interview here). And Chris Harrison is as happy as the cat who swallowed the canary. He made a love match and he's so darned smug about it.

What we did learn is that it's just as effective to throw a bunch of people together in a low-budget resort as it is to put them through the extravagant hoopla of a Bachelor or Bachelorette season. ABC likes this return on their investment and decides to renew Bachelor in Paradise for a second season. I'm 80-40 on this being a good idea. 

Hope you enjoyed this season of Bachelor in Paradise! If not, go talk to a sympathetic raccoon. Let's end this season with some excellent raccoon dating advice:

Don't date a cheater!

Stay off of televised dating shows!

Remember to do lots and lots of cuddling!

True story, these raccoons are consultants for the next season.

See you in January 2015 as Chris the Farmer looks for an Iowa wife. For the Canadians, see you for Bachelor Canada starting on September 18, 2014! 

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