As Week 1 of Paradise comes to a close, another Bachelorette enters Paradise, a potential new love triangle brews and the bonfire is lit for the very first time. There are eight men and eleven women on the beach this week which means three women are going home at the end of this week's Rose Ceremony.
There is a lot to get into with this week's recap so let's pick up right back where we left off:
The last time we saw Aven was during After the Final Rose on Rachel and Gabby's season. After Rachel's engagement fell apart with Tino, Aven asked Rachel out. But now, it seems their feelings for each other are a thing of the past, and Aven is ready to meet someone new on the beach. Before his toes touch the sand, Jesse gives Aven a date card. Within five minutes of Aven being on the beach, him and Kylee share a *magical moment* according to Kylee. (AKA: They share a brief hello and an awkward side hug while Aven introduces himself to the group.) Underneath this seemingly trivial interaction are several layers of their history together (ie. liking each other's pictures and Aven commenting a fire emoji one of Kylee's photos). Evidently, their history is enough for Aven to ask Kylee out on a date, as the only other person we see Aven pull for a chat before he asks Kylee on the date is Olivia.
Before she heads out on the date with Aven, Kylee pulls Will for a chat. Will and Kylee went on a date together in last week's episode. Kylee tells Will that is it the "biggest green flag" that he is all in on her, but she still feels like she needs to give Aven a try. Will seems to handle Kylee's decision with grace, but by the time she leaves for the date Aaron S. says Will is like a deflated helium balloon and is "Mopey Dick."
Aven and Kylee's date starts off with a bang, or the absence of one to be exact, when Aven struggles to pop the bottle of champagne. As they lay on a blanket on a boat, Kylee tells Aven that she had hoped he was going to be the Bachelor when she applied for the show. They share several kisses, and by the end of their date Kylee is referring to Aven as "my man."
Back on the beach, we now see that Aaron B. and Eliza seem to be hitting it off. The night prior, Aaron B. and Mercedes were talking and even made out. No one on the beach seems to know what changed overnight. Aaron B. decides to be transparent with Eliza and tells her about his kiss with Mercedes. Even though Eliza appreciates his honesty, she is understandably triggered by his confession. Last summer in Paradise, Eliza was caught in a very emotional love triangle between Rodney and Justin, and she has repeatedly said she does not want a similar experience this time in Paradise. However, Eliza and Aaron B. talk it out and it seems as though they will be able to move past this together.
Hannah Brown, another former Bachelorette, makes her way down to the beach. Everyone is shocked to see her, and no one seems to be sure whether or not she is in Paradise to date. Hannah pulls the men in pairs to ask them about their connections. Meanwhile, everyone else is talking about how much of a "queen" Hannah is. (I hope that people talk about me like that in my absence.) Some of the most notable quotes about Hannah were:
-"She is the Taylor Swift of Bachelor Nation."
-"We all have a crush on Hannah."
-"Everyone is star-struck as they should be, Hannah Brown is an icon."
-"Her hair is like.... And it's real, I am sure."
-"It's an honor to give him to you. It's an honor that you think he is great, because I think he is great too. You know what? It's okay, you can have him."
Turns out, Hannah has found her fairytale ending outside of Paradise, and she is just here to "help out." Hannah's definition of helping out is hosting a truth-or-truth bonfire for everyone on the beach later that night.
It is only the second episode of Paradise, but the tea is already being spilled. Hannah shares with the group that her biggest regret from her season of the Bachelorette was not getting to the truth sooner. Now, she wants to make sure that the truth is out in the open as soon as possible for everyone on the beach. It was shocking to see how honest everyone was around the open flame. The biggest revelations from the truth sesh are that Aaron B. is in on Eliza (not Mercedes), multiple women want to kiss Peter (who I honestly forgot about heading into this week), and Kylee said she shared more kisses with Aven on her date than she had with Will. Lastly, Olivia makes it known to the group that she does not like Kylee and would kick her off Paradise if she could. To Hannah's credit, she definitely stirred the teapot and made sure to ask the follow-up questions of "who" and "why" to get to the truth anytime anyone was hesitant to answer.
Kylee and Will talk about how Kylee is feeling after her date with Aven. She acknowledges that her and Will were able to dig deep with one another, and she appreciates how all-in he is with her. However, she says the spark she felt with Aven on her date today was different than what she felt for Will. Meanwhile, Olivia claims she called this break up. She says that Kylee felt like Will was a placeholder and an easy rose and was just waiting for Aven to come down to the beach.
Going into the Rose Ceremony, five women (Cat, Greer, Mercedes, Brooklyn and Olivia) do not have roses secured, and two men (Peter and Will) have their roses up for grabs.
Mercedes tells Will that she has liked him since the first day, and she is attracted to the fact that he is such a nice guy. Will is really touched that Mercedes has feelings for him and starts to cry. (Later in his confessional he practically sobs because he was chosen by someone, and my heart straight up melted.) Will also tells with Mercedes that she shares her name with his grandmother... which I guess means they are destined to be together? They kiss, and it feels like the start of another love connection in Paradise.
Cat, Greer, Olivia and Brooklyn are all having their moment with Peter, but his eyes are on Sam. Remember, Sam is in a relationship with Aaron S. Peter approaches Aaron S. and Sam as they are having a conversation and asks to pull Sam for a chat. As he waits for them to finish talking, Peter stands behind Aaron S. and starts dancing. "Why?" you might ask... I cannot answer that for you. When Sam is finally ready to talk to Peter, Peter tells Sam that he thinks she is beautiful and mature, and he asks whether she thinks Aaron S. is mature enough for her. (Putting pause on this recap to ask whether or not "mature" is the first adjective you want someone who is hitting on you to use to describe you.) Afterward, Aaron S. confronts Peter, upset that Peter told Sam he was immature, and they have a heated discussion about maturity and Sam. The conversation got so heated, Cat asked if there was security around. To be fair to Aaron S., I looked up maturity in the dictionary and did not see "dancing as you wait for someone who is already in a relationship to finish talking to their partner so they will talk to you" in the definition.
As everyone comes together for the first rose ceremony of Paradise season 9, the only rose that is up for grabs is Peter's. Shocking everyone, Peter gives his rose to Olivia, saying that he felt she got the short end of the stick this week and deserves it. Greer, Brooklyn and Cat go home as they did not get roses.
Brayden --- Kat
Blake --- Jess
Aaron B. --- Eliza
Will --- Mercedes
Sean --- Rachel
Aven --- Kylee
Aaron S. --- Sam
Peter --- Olivia
Tyler from Rachel/Gabby's season and Tanner from Charity's season make their way onto the beach, and Sam has a medical emergency. The women will have the power of the roses next week.
"Bachelor in Paradise" airs Thursdays on ABC following "The Golden Bachelor."