Bachelor in Paradise brought another Bachelorette to the beach. On Thursday’s episode of the Bachelor Nation spinoff, Blake was surprised to see his ex-fiancée, Katie Thurston, come down the steps, just as his relationship with Jess was starting to feel solid.
Before the ex drama, though, Michael relieved everyone on the beach by asking Olivia out on a date. The date went well, and no one was more happy than Kat, who was reveling in John Henry picking her over Olivia at the rose ceremony.
“It feels good to feel wanted, and it feels good to feel like you’re with a good man,” Kat told the cameras. “John Henry makes me a better person at the end of the day, and I think this is something I could see forever. I could see myself falling very in love with him.”
Elsewhere, Rachel Recchia was busy questioning her relationship with Tanner. Things were made even more confusing with the arrival of Jordan, a guy Rachel sent home after the first one-on-one of her season of The Bachelorette.
“Jordan is someone that I’ve always looked back and been like, ‘What if?'” Rachel confessed. “I never in a million years would’ve thought we’d both be here on the beach. And now I genuinely want to go on a date, like, really want to. Everyone here deserves a second chance. What if we could’ve had one more date? What would’ve happened? I hope this isn’t too late.”
Too late it wasn’t, as Jordan asked Rachel on his date and she accepted, much to Tanner’s dismay. Nevertheless, the duo set off on a tantric yoga date, where they reconnected and kissed.
When they returned to the beach, Rachel pulled Tanner for what he described as a “confusing” conversation where Rachel was unable to make her feelings known.
After getting some advice from bartender Wells Adams, Rachel went back for a conversation redo with Tanner. During that second chat, Rachel told Tanner that she had viewed his rose as a gesture of friendship, not romantic interest, which he was shocked by.
“I’m here for the right reasons and I’m here to leave with somebody and be in a relationship, because I want that so bad. I think about it all day, every day,” Tanner told Rachel. “Even when I’m working, I’m at the gym, I’m like, ‘Ugh, I just want to be with my person, and go to dinner, and travel the world, and do cool s**t, and start businesses, and f**king take over the world, and then go home and watch Netflix.”
“That’s the most attractive thing I’ve heard on this beach,” Rachel answered. “That is amazing. I want to try, if you want to.”
He agreed to give it a go, and they left the conversation on good terms.
After Aaron and Eliza made it official with girlfriend/boyfriend titles, Wells decided to stir the pot by opening up the Paradise Truth Box.
“Tyler, everyone knows you’re not that into Mercedes,” one Truth Box entry read. “You better come clean, because she deserves the truth.”
That worried Mercedes, and her fears weren’t allayed after a conversation with Tyler, when he said of their upcoming long-distance relationship, “If it works, awesome. If it doesn’t, it doesn’t.”
“What the f**k?” Mercedes exclaimed in a confessional. “Try for me! Make me feel wanted! Make me feel seen… This is so upsetting… I want it all, but now I feel like he’s not on the same page as me… Maybe he’s just not my person.”
Things were happier for Aven and Kylee and Peter and Sam, as the foursome headed out on a double date. After an ab-identifying test and a twerking contest, both couples committed to moving forward together for the rest of Paradise. Aven and Kylee took it a step further, as Kylee told the cameras, “I could see us getting engaged.”
Also happy were Jess and Blake, as the former said in a confessional, “He would make an amazing boyfriend, an amazing husband. I’m just happy that I finally found my person.”
That all got thrown for a loop, though, with Katie’s arrival. Katie and Blake got engaged on her season finale of The Bachelorette in 2021, before calling it quits in dramatic fashion later that year.
“I was in love with this girl. I’ve not seen her in two years. It’s just weird seeing her. It’s kind of the worst nightmare,” Blake told the cameras. “… There is not a worse scenario.”
Katie pulled Blake for a chat, their first since they called off their engagement on the phone. During the conversation, Katie revealed that, after their split, she sent Blake voice memos that he didn’t respond to. He admitted that he listened to them, but said he was too “bitter” by how quickly she moved on to respond.
Katie apologized that “things went the way they did,” telling Blake, “If I could go back and redo it all I would. I wanted you to know that what we went through was real to me.” Then, in a confessional, a producer asked Katie if she was still in love with Blake. The question made her cry, as she answered, “Oh, f**k.”
“Katie coming in just adds more confusion to the confusion,” Blake said. “I don’t know about Jess. I don’t know what’s going to happen with Katie coming in.”
Despite the drama with Blake, it turns out that Katie wasn’t on the beach to date, but to host the first-ever Paradise roast. Things got heated quickly as the singles roasted Jess about her age, Tyler about his lack of interest in Mercedes, and Rachel about her inability to find a man. The last one was perhaps the most cutting, as it came from Tanner.
At the cocktail ceremony, Blake said that Katie’s appearance was “closure” for both of them. Though Blake made it seem as if he and Katie weren’t going to rekindle their romance, he noted that her arrival made him look long and hard at his relationship with Jess.
“We’re getting to a point in this journey where we need to start making serious decisions and start to align and right now I feel like we’re not. I’m very confused,” he said. “I spent way less time with Katie, but still understood the love I had for her in that time. I’ve spent so much more time with Jess and I just should’ve felt it by now.”
Blake proceeded to pull Jess for a chat and tell her as much, saying, “I feel like we’ve had a real taste of what love is here and I feel like we’re not getting there at all.”
In a preview for the next episode, Mercedes confronts Tyler about not being honest with her, Rachel walks out of the rose ceremony in tears, Kylee chases after a departing car, and Jess breaks down in sobs.