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Bachelor in Paradise, Season 2, Week 3 - Widows and orphans and crazy people

Poor widow/mother Juelia.

Apparently, it's everyone else's responsibility to read the signs for her to make sure her life doesn't take a wrong turn.

She cried more tears this week than Ashley "The Weeping Virgin" I. and that's really saying something.

If it sounds like I'm unbothered by the Joe/Samantha/Juelia debacle, it's because everyone should be.
Samantha arrived this week and immediately asked Joe out on a date to do a photo shoot for People magazine. The quickness of their physical closeness was a dead giveaway that they knew one another previously, and later as Tanner and Jared try to get Joe to fess up about it, we find out just how involved they were before Paradise.

Joe and Sam talked, texted and messaged for a month before they came to Paradise. Tanner even saw a screenshot of a message from Sam telling Joe to do whatever it takes to remain on the show until she arrives. So, needless to say, they really wanted to meet each other on ABC's dime, natch.

The way the girls and guys gang up on Joe for ruthlessly pursuing love seems juvenile and reactionary. JJ threatening to beat him up and Juelia getting angry at Samantha are overreactions considering these people signed up for a game of love roulette. Especially, since several other guys and girls went unpunished for pulling the same tactic. Umm, does anyone remember that in the first week Tenley made out with JJ to get a rose (promised to Jillian) only to jettison him the very next week when something hotter came walking down the stairs? Clare accepted Mikey T.'s rose though she had no intention of starting anything with him. She could have rejected him, waited for Jared who said he would give her a rose, but she didn't. Where are Jillian and Mikey T. now? Exactly.

Joe came to Paradise to find love. He thought that love would be with Samantha. He arrived first.
Now, in Juelia's revisionist history version of things, he asked her out and convinced her he was there specifically for her. The tape shows otherwise. Juelia volunteered as tribute to go on Joe's horseback riding/waterfall date and then clung tightly to the very minimal amount of interest he showed her. Everything that happened after that was crass and calculated on Joe's part, but would it have been better for him to miss his opportunity to meet Samantha when Juelia obviously isn't going to meet her match on TV in the first place? None of the 10-plus guys who came to Paradise expressed a romantic interest in her, not even single dad Jonathan, who felt more of a camaraderie with Juelia than anything.

What should be more upsetting for Juelia is the way the cast baby's her. She's an adult woman with agency. She took a gamble and lost. Those are the breaks. Maybe join or something.

This week's truly heart breaking moment came from the most likable guy of the season, Dan Cox. Suddenly, he woke up one day and realized Ashley S. was crazy-town. Uhhh, really? Just now? After two weeks of canoodling? Well, okay then.

He runs for the hills toward anyone who can have a decent conversation and producers use the break up to bring in Amber from Chris Soules' season of The Bachelor to give him a romantic interest again. Amber seems lovely but it was hard to keep my eyes open as they went through the motions of their first date in Puerto Vallarta. Romantic stroll. Check. Dinner. Check. Kissing. Why not? It was all so very formulaic and boring. Having a first date in the emergency room in Mexico is a way better story for the grandkids.

Kirk and Carly are solid as a rock and doing it. There hasn't been much noise on the Tanner and Jade front. And the ever tenuous relationship between Jared and Ashley I. is always one cast member arrival away from being over. Clare saved JJ after last week's freak out just in time for him to meet ditz-with-a-heart-of-gold-underneath-a-giant-rack Megan, another new arrival this week.

Week two's rose ceremony was at the top of this show and sent home Michael, Jonathan and Mikey T.
We'll probably have one more episode to spend with Ashley S., Clare and Juelia before they are sent packing once more for the obvious personal baggage and personality quirks that made them unsuccessful on The Bachelor. And, really, is that even a surprise?