Last episode, we saw the first final bonfire action of the season; Rick and Ashley G smoothed things over and decided to leave the island together, while Kate tore into David for his transgressions. This episode, we see the conclusion of Kate and David’s bonfire before turning to Gavin and Esonica, then Ashley H and Casey.
Everyone has three options: leave together, leave alone, or leave with someone else. But as we learn this episode, it’s not always that simple.
Kate and David, part 2
David’s attempts to level with Kate regarding the true nature and full extent of his Temptation Island experience ends prematurely when Kate cuts him off. “You don’t have to tell all of America that you just whored yourself out,” she says. He proceeds anyway, telling Kate that he owns his mistakes and was even more drawn to Toneata because she didn’t hold his actions against him. “What a girl,” Kate replies, her voice dripping with sarcasm. When David tries to justify his actions, Kate tells him that it’s rich for him to bring up the notion of trust. “I wanted so badly to walk away from this together,” she says. “So badly. And move on with our life. I’m not blaming you, but you made this journey about you, and I made this journey about me. So thank you for showing me who you truly are.”
Kate decides to leave the island alone. David decides to leave with Toneata. Before Kate leaves the bonfire, David holds her back to reassure her that he didn’t foresee the strength of his bond with Toneata. “We got to the point where we went on three dates and he hadn’t kissed her,” he says. “And I can’t tell you how that felt. And after that she moved into my room, and she spent the night 5,6,7,8 nights, whatever it was. Then at the overnight, Toneta and I had sex.” They then hug goodbye. “I’m sorry if I hurt you,” David says.
While Kate calls the final bonfire “liberating,” David stews miserably in his own guilt. He soon cheers up, though, at the sight of Toneata. What’s next for them? Says David: “me aligning all my pieces to move out to LA, and do that sooner rather than later.”
Gavin and Esonica
On his ride down to the final bonfire, Gavin compares the butterflies in his stomach to the ones he used to get before football games: “Except this time, it’s not a game at stake, it’s a person.” Once reunited with Esonica, he apologizes for his shortcomings during their relationship: “not being as sensitive, attentive, supportive, and patient as he should have been.” In response, Esonica tells him how her self-reflection on Temptation Island solidified the feeling that he hadn’t worked hard enough to show his love. “I just feel like you don’t see me,” she says, “and that’s hard for me to accept.” Gavin tells her that he sees her now. She is skeptical, and he insists that the thought of losing her has made him want to try harder.
Gavin shares his decision: to leave with Esonica. “No games,” he says. But Esonica is not on the same page: “think the best decision is to leave with someone new.” Gavin takes this rejection with grace. “I want to see you be happy…, I’m still here for you,” he says. “No matter what happens, there’s no bad blood on my end.” Gavin leaves Temptation Island; minutes later, Kareem walks into the bonfire to be with Esonica. “I’ve learned the possibilities of letting my walls down and really allow myself to feel the potential of love,” Esonica explains. On the car ride back from the bonfire, she places her temple on Kareem’s shoulder and says satisfyingly, “I just went to rest my head here and smell him.”
Casey and Ashley H
Casey and Ashley H reunite and share a tender hug. Ashley speaks first; she explains how her confidence and sense of self-worth have grown during her journey on Temptation Island. “I’m not a scared little girl anymore,” she tells him. “I have grown into somebody that you don’t know… You put our relationship on the line for your own selfishness.”
Casey speaks to Ashley with an urgent intensity that both transfixes her and puts her on edge. He apologizes for deepening her insecurities and not reciprocating her love. Then—“I want you to be my baby-baby,” he tells her as he pulls the engagement ring from his pocket. “I’ve got a really big question for you. I can’t live with myself if I don’t ask.” Ashley shakes her head as he says this, but he proceeds to get down on knee. “I just want us,” he says. “I want to die next to you. I want to be that couple that lives next to your mom and sits on rocking chairs and drinks wine at 3 o’clock in the afternoon.”
Mark cuts Casey off and asks Ashley to respond. She tells him that she stopped loving him in the same way after seeing footage of him saying he’d be fine if they broke up. She rejects his proposal and informs him that she’s going home with somebody else.
After the bonfire, Casey says that from the moment him and Ashley locked eyes at the final bonfire, “I knew she had moved on. And that was the worst, most horrible look I’ve ever seen in my life.” He vows to not give up on her: “I’ll have this [ring] in my back pocket every day until she’s ready.”
“That was so hard,” Ashley says tearfully back at the bonfire. Her tears dry with the arrival of Ben, who she says “lets me speak my word and understands me.” They sit at the bonfire together, beaming. Mark sizes them up and remarks, “This makes me happy.”