IN THIS episode of Bachelor In Paradise, a nagging question about contestant Brett's relationship status turns into an explosive on-camera confrontation - one that sees him pitted against the show's own production team.
And a nail-biting rose ceremony sees one of the two men stuck in the first love triangle of the season sent packing.
With two more men in Paradise than women, all agree that the last thing this sausage party needs is another dude. So, of course, in struts Sam, he of the questionable follicle situation from Sophie Monk's season of The Bachelorette.
In a solo interview, an unseen producer can be heard voicing the concerns of the nation:
"You've just got a few stray…"
"Hairs?" asks Sam, patting at the matted, haylike strands atop his bonce.
"Yeah… there's a… clump.. there."
Give this guy a raise please, purely for the horror in his tone as he says the word "clump."
Strutting into the resort like a man with much less ridiculous hair, Sam's nonetheless met with a frosty reception.
"No f**kin way. He's not getting a rose from me, I'll tell ya that much," says Tara.
"I don't know if there would be any girls interested in Sam," adds Lisa.
"I just want to brush his hair," confesses Michael.
With a rose ceremony looming, Sam quickly realises that his best chance of staying on the show is to sidle up to fellow newbie Keira.
Unfortunately, his attempts to woo her are scuppered by an affliction all to familiar to those of us who don't fare well in tropical climates: Tit sweat.
Keira says that while Sam's a nice guy, there aren't many sparks between them - and they look like they could be related. "I feel like it's a bit incestral," she explains, very intelligently.
It's time for another woman to enter the resort - and it's Laurina Fleure, whose 'What I've been up to since that time I said dirty street pie on The Bachelor' intro package is a thing of wonder.
"I'm very content with my life right now… I put a lot of effort into setting my days up with intentions and affirmations," she beams smugly.
We see Laurina sitting cross-legged in her bedroom, notepad in hand, as she stares into the middle distance and serenely announces to nobody, "I am love. I am light. I am laughter."
Well, she's right about the last one.
So, her scribbles are pretty deep, guys. Are you even spiritually evolved enough for me to show them to you? Here goes:
Me. I Am Laurina... The Elusive Chanteuse vibes.
Laurina enters the resort holding a date card - and the buzzards immediately circle. She hasn't even ordered her first drink before Blake's cornered her.
"I liked you in Sophie's season," she tells him.
"You didn't think I was a bit of a dick?" he asks.
"No, I liked that. I like…"
Florence and Jake's date comes the day after she slut-shamed him for being one of the Gold Coast's most visited tourist attractions, and there's a bit of tension as they picnic under a waterfall.
"I don't know what to talk about, to be honest," she sighs as they pop the champagne.
Well, when in doubt, just jump in the water and pash on:
When they return from the date, Jake's shocked to find that bestie Davey's upset he made a move on the girl he fancies.
"Did you see our friendship sail away on that waterfall?" Davey asks - the sort of deliciously camp melodrama you'd expect from a Real Housewife rather than a Bachelor Bro.
And while Laurina insists she's incredible picky when it comes to men, she's given her date card to literally the first guy in Paradise who said hello to her.
She and Blake set off to a secluded beach where they rub jungle mud all over each other's bodies.
It's basically an excuse for a big gooey heavy petting session, and it's certainly working for Blake.
What's Brett's deal?
OK, we're only on episode two and there is DRAMA afoot.
The resort is buzzing with talk that Brett has a girlfriend on the outside named Steph - who he seems to think will be entering the show at a later date. As the person who's broken this news to the others, his pal Tara's now copping some of the heat, as some feel she's pressuring her fellow contestants into giving a rose to Brett, who they apparently have no chance at a future with.
The confusion is taking a toll on Tara, who bursts into tears in a to-camera interview.
"Brett and Steph… they're a thing, they're a couple," she says.
"They have told us that they were single, both of them," an unseen crew member says, which rattles her further.
"I would never force anyone to do something they don't want to do… I'm not a bad person. I don't play games, and I don't want it to seem like I do. I feel, like, really bad now."
"I don't even want to be here. Can I go home?" she pleads. "I don't like this! I'm not built for this! I don't want to be here!"
After she's calmed down, she visits with Brett and asks him whether or not he and Steph are an item.
Brett delivers his response to yet another member of the show's production team, who's visible in a wider shot.
"What more do you want from me? I don't need to clarify with anyone," he says testily.
"You kinda DO. Why is Tara telling us that you're in a relationship?" the crew member tells him. Yaas kween, break that reality TV fourth wall!
"In a relationship, seeing someone... it's a fine line," Brett shrugs half-heartedly.
This is obviously a deeply pissweak explanation, and the crew member goes into full school teacher mode.
"What's really important for Paradise, BRETT, is that everyone is not in a relationship. Cos that's against the whole process of what the show is. Are you single? Are you single?"
"I haven't been hooking up with people around Perth, no," says Brett.
"ARE YOU SINGLE? Everyone's been honest, right now you're the only one who's deflecting," says the crew member (who FYI is already bringing more drama than half the cast on this show).
"Tell me now. RIGHT now. Are you in a relationship with Steph?"
"No! I have been seeing Steph for the past year. Is it Facebook official? No," says Brett.
Speaking to camera, Brett reiterates his belief that despite having had a girlfriend for the past year, he is in fact single because Facebook says so.
Tara's pissed: She feels she's been "swindled."
Back at the main group, Nina spills the tea: "[Brett and Steph] told production they'd broken up. They are 150% together. And they never told Tara that they told production they'd broken up. They've thrown her under the bus." EXCELLENT USE OF A REALITY TV CLICHE NINA.
The rose ceremony
In a last ditch effort to save himself at the pre-rose ceremony cocktail party, Davey presents Florence with a sad little posy of flowers that he's been busy handpicking from around the resort.
She looks at the flowers and laughs in his face. BRUTAL.
For the most part, the ceremony goes according to plan, with each girl picking the guy she's gravitated towards: Nina picks Eden, while Leah chooses Mack. Keira goes for "incestral" new buddy Sam. Lisa picks Luke, and after their one muddy date, Laurina picks Blake.
Then Tara chooses Michael, not her old friend Brett!
Brett suddenly realises his one ally on the show has turned on him:
Finally it's Florence's turn - and she picks Jake. Cute little Davey's off the show. Poor thing is heartbroken:
As they leave, Brett expresses his disappointment. "I am sad to be leaving Paradise... it would've been nice to stay until a certain someone from home arrived, and have my own love story, that would've been nice."
Mate, Channel Ten's cash strapped as it is, and you've basically tried to scam a free Fijian holiday out of them for you and your girlfriend. JOG ON.
Bachelor in Paradise returns for episode three after the Easter weekend, 7:30pm next Monday April 2 on Ten. To tide yourself over until then, please join with me in marvelling at Michael Turnbull's extensive collection of comically flimsy singlets.