Did we get an emotionally satisfying and optimistic ending? Dr Jodes recaps the season finale of Bachelor in Paradise.
The end! The end! We have made it to the end! This is our last visit to Nightmare Man Island and we never have to go back!
…until next year, anyway. Dare we dream that they cast some men who are not full-blown Nightmares™in Season Three?
Brief recap of where we are as we round the corner into the finale: it’s only couples left now. Zoe and Mack left; American man Alex and Caroline left; so we’re down to just four: Florence and Davey, Tenille and Nathan, Australian lady Alex and Bill, and Alisha and Jules.
There’s nothing in here that could even vaguely be construed as romance, in case you were wondering. Getting to the end of this season feels like that last couple of kilometres of a hike, where you’re trudging up some mountain and it’s raining and everything is muddy and even though you’re not religious you’re praying to any deity who will listen to you to just make it stop.
Also, we left things on a cliffhanger. Jules has previously suggested to Alisha that they leave under an ‘umbrella of ambiguity’, but she’s not keen on that idea.
‘If you can’t give me something better than that, I’m leaving right now,’ she tells him flatly.
‘You deserve someone who can be committed to you 100%,’ Jules says. ‘I can’t give you that.’
‘I’m not asking for 100%,’ she says. ‘I’m not asking for the world. I just want for this to have meant something to you. You say you can’t emotionally pursue me, but you’ve been physically pursuing me constantly, so: can you really sit there and say we’re just friends?’
‘Of course it means something,’ he says. ‘But…um…I just wanted to, um, enjoy you, and set the hard emotions side. I was just trying to be friendly. I was just trying to be nice.’
Fuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuck this, and fuck you, Jules. Honestly, Alisha, you dodged a bullet.
Oh, and then he has the audacity to turn around and say, ‘I have no idea what just happened’, and starts chasing after her. ‘Sorry, I didn’t understand the question,’ he says to her.
EVEN THOUGH SHE TOLD YOU VERY CLEARLY LIKE EIGHT THOUSAND TIMES
USE YOUR FUCKING EARS
‘Are you happy to see me again outside Paradise?’ he asks her.
‘No!’ she snaps. ‘I’m electing not to emotionally pursue you, Jules.’
Alisha, you QUEEN.
So, with this breakup, we’re down to three couples. Am I invested in any of them? Absolutely fucking not. But I committed to this recap, so I have to see this through.
Florence and Davey: When we saw these two last, it looked like they were all loved-up and headed to the not-a-fantasy-suite, but apparently that’s not how it went. Davey tooled around doing some nonsense, so Florence left.
‘What do you actually want?’ Florence says. ‘Because I don’t want this bullshit, that’s for sure.’
‘Are you actually into me?’
‘Yes!’ Davey protests (so I guess he’s got one up on Jules there).
‘DAVEY WHAT DO YOU WANT?!’
FFS. These dudes are seriously out here being all ‘oh no, I’m being asked to say a full sentence about my emotions! What an imposition! I don’t know how to do this!’ when they’re all grown-ass men. It is the worst kind of ridiculous.
Bill and Alex: Lounging around in bathrobes, Bill and Alex seem pretty into each other and happy with how their night went…although, knowing Bill, he probably ran out in the middle of the night to check whether there were any attractive women in the dog park.
They get to their commitment ceremony without incident. ‘Alex, I’m so glad I got to meet you,’ Bill recites, like a robot. ‘I — uh — um –’
THESE MEN CAN’T EVEN UTTER FULL SENTENCES WHEN THEY’RE LITERALLY BEING FED TO THEM.
Though maybe I’m not giving Bill enough credit. Maybe his eyes are flickering to every corner of the horizon and he’s stumbling over his words because a swarm of poisonous bees is about to explode out of his mouth and he’d rather that Alex wasn’t in the sting zone.
Anyway, he eventually manages to spit the phrase ‘I love you’ out, and Alex is all happy, and she gives him a much more natural speech and tells him that she loves him too, and then she pulls a commitment ring APPARENTLY FROM BETWEEN HER LEGS and puts it on his finger and they kiss a bunch.
It’s nice that the women are giving commitment rings this season. Even if they’re not technically giving them to other people, but to human-shaped swarms of wasps.
Nathan and Tenille: ‘I came here for a bit of fun,’ Nathan tells us.
‘I think I’ve found someone I could call the one,’ Tenille enthuses to the camera.
…I don’t have a good feeling about this long-term, you guys.
That said, their commitment ceremony proceeds without any incident. Nathan gives Tenille a commitment ring, and makes quite a nice speech (at least, one that doesn’t seem as aggressively and unnaturally recited as Bill’s). Tenille accepts, makes a speech of her own, and gives him a commitment ring.
The best thing about this whole scene is Nathan’s rose-pink blazer, which I’m fairly sure he stole from Osher’s closet.
…also it made it very clear that while Alex gave Bill a commitment ring, he didn’t give her one.
And then back to Florence and Davey: The previous commitment ceremonies have gone about as well as could be expected, given the circumstances.
‘When I look into the future, I see marriage and children,’ Florence says to the camera. ‘But do I see Davey? I’m not sure.’
At the ceremony, Davey asks Florence to speak first, and she agrees. ‘I regretted dumping you on last season, and I was pretty sad when I got to Paradise this year and I found out you were gone, so when you came back, I was stoked,’ she says. ‘I wanted a chance to explore what we could have together. But you’ve been a bit of a shit while we’ve been here, Davey, and I don’t think I’d be living my best life with you.’
‘That’s all right,’ he says. ‘I’m not going to block you on Instagram like last time.’
Apparently this is the measure of a gracious and dignified breakup now. Good to know.
Flo leaves, Davey cries, I don’t care.
Actually, incorrect. I do care, because I’m excited that Florence might now have time to do what I want for her: a TV show where she and Vanessa Sunshine drive around being rude to all the fuckboys they meet along the way.
So: we started this episode with four couples, and ended with two. This should be the end, right?
Wrong. This year, Paradise has decided to borrow from the American format and do an aftershow tell-all. Mostly, I think this is a good idea, but the part of me that is an ancient granny who regularly falls asleep at 9:30 hates it. You mean you’ve not only bumped the start-time back to 8:40 but now you’re making me sit through more than an hour more than normal? HOW DARE YOU.
Ahem. This is the tea that got spilled:
- Conga line Brittney is still single, and still a queen
- Vanessa Sunshine is still single, and still a queen
- Brooke is ‘disgustingly in love’ with a very handsome man, and is still a queen
- Connor ghosted Shannon
Men that actually apologise to some extent for being nightmares
Men that pointedly don’t apologise to any extent for being nightmares
Nathan, Tenille, Ivan, and that whole mess
- Rachael, Brooke, and Zoe all agree that Nathan was there for the wrong reasons (money and Instagram followers, not love)
- Nathan responds by slut-shaming Rachael
- NATHAN GOT READ FOR ABSOLUTE FILTH BY RACHAEL AND ZOE
- Nathan and Tenille are broken up — quelle surprise
- Tenille starts crying, because she saw the red flags and she basically knew he was going to dump her when they got back to Australia but she went through with the commitment ceremony anyway
- Nathan tries to say some bullshit about how things were so different in Paradise, so Osher DRAGS HIM and reminds him that Paradise is a real place and Tenille is a real person with real emotions
- Ivan says he would have given Tenille the world, so sweet prince Osher makes him watch back a montage of what a horrific monster he was
- Osher asks Ivan whether he knows his behaviour was unacceptable, and Ivan says he does, and that he hopes it can be a lesson for other men
- Tenille says that Ivan really cares about her, unlike Nathan, but that she can’t condone the way he behaved
Alisha and Jules and that whole mess
- Alisha says that while she wishes she could have cut Jules off cold turkey, they talk all the time, they’ve seen each other, and she hasn’t let go
- She declares that tonight is the night for closure: that’s it hard to let go, but she’s going to do it, for her own wellbeing
- Alisha proceeds to drag Jules to hell and back for his ‘small manipulation[s]’ and for using her as a crutch and a comfort
- Jules says he didn’t want to ghost her, and he wanted her to ‘keep in touch’ (and she’s like, ‘yeah, you sure did, ahem, keep in touch, hey’)
- Alisha tells Jules she was in love with him; he says he didn’t know; she says ‘really?’
- She then declares that she’s caught in a cycle and she’s going to change it, and that Jules is going to be in her life as a ‘fun girlfriend’ only.
Alex and Bill the human-shaped swarm of poisonous bees
- Bill doesn’t even turn up, which should say something about how this relationship turned out
- They bring a cardboard cutout of Bill out to sit next to Alex, so at least they have a sense of humour?
- According to Alex, they had a good three weeks, then Bill told her he didn’t love her
- Alex has decided to be single for the next little while
- Bill is apparently still an enormous fucking nightmare, which surprises exactly no one.
Florence and Davey and whatever that whole thing is
- Florence is still livid about Bill trying to gaslight her (as well she should be)
- She says that breaking up with Davey was like breaking her own heart, but she had to do it
- She also heard that Davey was seeing someone before he came to Paradise
- Davey says ‘OMG THERE WERE SO MANY EMOTIONS I WAS SO CONFUUUUUUUSED’
- …then he points out the woman he was dating in the studio audience? and refers to her as his future and the mother of his children?
- And still somehow expects to come out of this the good guy?
- Also it sounds like he did not keep that promise not to block Flo on Instagram.
The only thing Osher can do is laugh, and be like, ‘fine, no one found love, but I guess a bunch of you found closure’, and then he makes Brittney lead a conga line out of there.
And that, finally — FINALLY – is the end. We have escaped, and all of the women of Paradise have escaped the nightmare that would be a relationship with one of this season’s nightmare men.
If you’ve enjoyed me screaming about how Bill is a human-shaped swarm of poisonous bees and other such things, remember that I also write books! You can find my Valentine trilogy wherever books are sold, and you can always check in on me at my website: jodimcalister.com.au
Until next time: STAY OUT OF THE DOG PARK.
The show airs on Channel 10 on Wednesdays and Thursdays at 7.30pm. You can catch up on previous episodes via TenPlay.