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Love triangles abound on the beach! On Monday night's episode of Bachelor in Paradise, two exes reconnected, two couples hoped for a positive future ahead, and one man's relationship status was questioned, all of which ET is breaking down in the recap below.
The episode opened with an ex professing her love, but a new romance may threaten her hopes for a rekindled relationship. A single regretted calling it quits too soon, before one couple decided to try things again.
The drama reached its peak with Pieper's arrival, which threw into question how truthful Brendan had been with Natasha amid their courtship.
Keep reading for a full recap of episode six of Bachelor in Paradise.
Joe and Kendall Rehash Their Romance
Picking up right where last week's episode left off, Joe left Serena to go talk to his ex, whom he split from in 2020 after meeting on season 5 of BiP in 2018. Both have long said that the reason for their split was Kendall's desire to stay in California and Joe's desire to move back to his native Chicago.
The pair exchanged compliments, before Kendall said that she's "not great" and admitted that she was "surprised" that Joe seemed to be doing well. Joe confirmed that he was happy, but told Kendall that he hadn't been when he first got to Paradise, as it reminded him of their love story.
"We were really in love and, for me, it hasn’t been easy," Joe said, before Kendall agreed, telling him, "It’s difficult for me to not have you be a part of my life. I do want you in my life. You’re a special part of my life, and want you to be in my life in some capacity. It’s hard to not have that."
"You try to move on, but for some reason it doesn’t feel right, and it’s hard to," Kendall added. "I guess the thing that was difficult for me is the reason why we broke up is not because we didn’t love each other, it was because of logistics."
In a confessional, Kendall expanded on her thoughts, stating, "We still loved each other when we broke up. I feel like this is the last time I can have a conversation with him, and figure out what we’re really meant to be before Joe finds someone else. Because I still love Joe, and I hope he still has love for me."
While Joe admitted in a confessional that being back with Kendall on the beach "brings back a lot of memories," he told his ex that he'd spent Paradise pursuing a relationship with someone else.
For Kendall, though, being apart from Joe simply wasn't an option anymore.
"It’s really difficult for me to go from us being each other’s everything to picturing a future, doing all of this stuff, to, in a really quick period of time, just being done," she said. "... It’d be easy if we had a fight where you were a butthead, and you were mean, or I was mean, but it wasn’t like that, so it’s just difficult."
Joe expressed a similar sentiment, but kept going back to the fact that Kendall hadn't been willing to even give living in Chicago a try.
"You should’ve wanted to at least try Chicago," he said. "Your whole thing was, 'I don’t want to move anywhere for a man.' I should’ve been more than just 'a man' at that point. We could’ve tried it."
While Kendall didn't want to argue about logistics again, she noted that finding "closure" has been an emotional challenge for her.
"I'm not going to lie, I’m still at a point where I don’t know. I like where I’m at with Serena, but it’s still pretty early on," Joe replied. "I don’t know if this is gonna work again. I don’t."
In a confessional, Joe seemed even more unsure about his own feelings.
"I think it’s pretty clear that Kendall still loves me, but I don’t know if I still love Kendall," he said. "… I have something with Serena that I don’t want to just throw away. I don’t. I like where that’s going. This is messy… I don’t know what to do in this situation."
All the while, Serena had been watching Joe and Kendall's conversation and crying over the potential implications it could have on her relationship.
"I don't want this to get in Joe’s head and ruin a good thing we’ve got going. It’s tough. It’s just a lot," she said. "They fell in love here. It was his first serious relationship. This is where it started. This is where they fell in love. That is a powerful thing. That is what’s kind of worrisome."
The "not ideal" situation left Serena feeling "anxious," something that wasn't entirely rectified when she got to have her own conversation with Joe.
"It’s just going to be weird. I don’t know what to tell ya," Joe told her. "… Coming into this experience, I told myself I was over her. Being back here now with her here, I don’t want to mislead you in case I’m not, but I am."
"This is where I’m at -- I don’t know what’s going to happen, it’s going to be weird, but right now you are my main priority," he added. "I really, really like you, and I want to see where it goes."
While Serena said she "kind of" believes that Joe's over Kendall, she asked him to let her know if his feelings changed. After Joe promised to be "100 percent honest," Serena expressed her lingering concerns in a confessional.
"I just feel so vulnerable to getting hurt now," she said. "I don’t see myself walking away. That leaves the ball in his court. That’s really scary."
Mari Confesses Her Feelings for Kenny
As Noah and Abigail decided to give their relationship another go, Tia and Kenny arrived back from their date, and Mari was quick to swoop in to request a chat with the boy band manager.
Mari and Kenny's relationship previously crumbled when she expressed interest in going on other dates, something she now says she did because their "strong" connection "scared" her.
"I don’t want to be without him, and I don’t want to be with anyone else," she said in a confessional. "I’m scared to talk to him, but I need to take action. I know what I want and I need to go after it."
She expressed much the same to Kenny, telling him, "I still, obviously, really like you."
"It’s been a very hard last few days seeing you with other people. I guess the bottom line is, I have feelings for you," she said. "I think I needed to see that and feel what I was feeling to solidify where I was at. I hate everything that happened. I wish it didn’t [happen], because I felt like we were so strong and everything was going so well. I regret that a lot."
While Kenny brought up Mari's apparent "flip flopping," she insisted that things were "a lot clearer" for her at the present moment.
"I felt so strongly that I got scared, because I knew what was there and I liked it. I never felt so strongly for someone so soon," she told him. "Then having the last few days without you, I’ve been missing you this whole time, thinking about you this whole time."
In a confessional, Kenny admitted that he "didn't expect" Mari's admission, which is why he'd been hanging out with Demi and accepted a date from Tia.
"The Mari situation is different than the other ones, because with her, there is something special," he said. "I’m not going to jump right back into this with Mari. I just can’t do that."
Demi, meanwhile, was fed up with Kenny and his situation with her, Mari and Tia. "I want him and I don’t understand why that’s not enough for him," she said. "It’s pissing me off."
While speaking to Kenny, Demi exclaimed, "This is so f**king much. I can’t f**king stand this. This is not cool. This is not what I do. I don’t like this. I don’t like it at all."
She tried to salvage things by inviting Kenny to the Boom Boom Room again, but Kenny declined and lamented in a confessional that the situation was "getting overwhelming."
Brendan Shows His True Colors
Just as Natasha had started seeing "a real future" with Brendan, Pieper arrived at the beach. Since the beginning of Paradise, rumors had swirled that Brendan and Pieper had developed a romance before the show, though Brendan had assured Natasha that he and Pieper were "casual."
However, when Pieper made her way down to the beach and asked Brendan on a date before speaking to any other men, Natasha started to find the whole thing "fishy."
"I’ve spent time with Pieper already and we have a certain connection. You and I have a certain connection. Exploring both is something I want to do," Brendan told Natasha after accepting Pieper's date. "It’s been super casual [with Pieper], and this is an opportunity for us to have meaningful, deep conversations, kind of like we’ve already had in our short time here."
"This is purely coincidence. If the roles were reversed, I wouldn’t feel particularly great about it, but I’d know you have to do what’s best for yourself," he added. "I would never want to keep you from an opportunity to explore something. I’m not going to keep myself from an opportunity to explore something and see where it goes."
Brendan left for his date then, and Pieper was quick to tell him that she was "hoping to pick up where we left off and keep pushing forward."
Brendan started opening up about all of the drama on the beach then, telling Pieper how he'd previously denied to the group that they were in a relationship before heading to Paradise. That comment left Pieper feeling as if Brendan was "downplaying" their pre-Paradise romance.
"There are certain things that had to be done and certain ways I had to navigate this to bring us to this particular moment," Brendan said. "I can’t have a girlfriend entering this journey… It’s just not a good look. So if I tell everyone, 'Pieper might be coming, so no one talk to me,' I’d just be sitting, tanning, and what would happen is I would go home. And then you’d be here [without me]. So I was navigating this in a way to allow myself to potentially, hopefully, be here while you’re here."
Pieper seemed appeased by Brendan's explanation and even said, "Thanks for playing the game."
"Trust me and trust what we’ve built prior to this. No matter how you feel in certain moments, the optics of it might look weird and awkward… Trust me," he said. "We have to have each other’s back. It has to be you and me first and foremost before anyone else… That’s the only way we’re going to get through this being in the position we want to be in, utilizing this time here and taking advantage of what Paradise would promote together."
Pieper replied, "Everyone can hate us, but they can hate us together," before calling Brendan her "boyfriend" in a confessional.
Following Brendan and Pieper's date, Natasha decided to ask the newest Paradise arrival all of her questions directly. During that talk, Natasha discovered that Brendan and Pieper had different stories about when they met and how much they'd hung out prior to Paradise, and accused them of wanting to be "a TV couple."
Pieper seemed unaffected by Brendan's apparent lies, just as the guy in question revealed his true motives for spending time with Natasha.
"She had zero prospects otherwise. It’s not like I was keeping her from anyone," Brendan told someone off camera of Natasha. "I don’t know if she would have a single, actual, viable prospect otherwise."
Natasha spoke to Brendan next, a conversation during which he appeared to gaslight her the whole time.
"It wasn’t an intimate relationship or a romantic relationship in any way," Brendan told Natasha of their relationship. "… I specifically said to you, 'I don’t have those type of feelings for you on a romantic level, but you’re such an amazing person, I want to give you this rose and give you an opportunity to be here another couple of days and to meet people.'"
When Natasha told Brendan that he never said that, he admitted as much.
"No I didn’t say that, but I said, 'Natasha, I’m giving you this rose because at the very least you deserve to find love and if it’s not with me it can be with someone else,'" he said. "You decided to, in my opinion, have somewhat of selective hearing."
Natasha laughed at that claim and called the situation "f**ked up," before calling him out by telling him, "You're a liar."
All of the drama seemed to be of no bother to Brendan and Pieper, who ended the episode cuddled up on a daybed discussing their growing follower counts and tabloid articles about them.
"The best part is the amount of times your name is going to be brought up before you’re on this show," Brendan said, before Pieper responded, "Thanks for doing all the heavy lifting for me so I could just, like, swoop in here."
Brendan next complained about Natasha, telling Pieper, "I was just getting so annoyed by her. I'm surprised she’s, like, still here, I guess."
While Brendan tried to disable his microphone before making his next statement, it still picked up his comment.
"At this point I incriminated myself enough where it’s like, I’m screwed," Brendan whispered, as both he and Pieper laughed.
'I Want to Go Home'
Tuesday night's episode will be similarly dramatic, as Joe marvels at Brendan and Pieper thinking "they outsmarted everyone," and new guest host Tituss Burgess arrives with four new women in tow.
The new arrivals seem to be a good thing for Aaron as he heads on a date with Chelsea Vaughn, who states that she's "not a person who’s afraid to make a move."
Kenny and Mari likewise get hot and heavy, much to Demi's dismay. "I deserve way better than this," Demi laments.
Meanwhile, Tammy isn't pleased as Thomas accepts a date with Becca, sobbing, "I always lose to girls who look like Becca."
Elsewhere Jessenia accuses someone of lying to her face, while another girl cries, "What did I sign up for? I want to go home."