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The good news: The gloom of winter is receding and we’re heading into brighter, better days. The bad news? We’re not there quite yet. Still, we have an option to get away from it all: Yes, it’s time to return to "Temptation Island."
Season 4 of "Temptation Island" kicks off its premiere by reminding us what it’s all about: Four couples at a crossroads in their relationship head to Temptation Island (aka a part of Hawaii; tragically, there is no IRL island where hot men and women wait around for you to come date them) where 12 single men and 12 single women are there to, well, tempt them. During the experience the participating couples won’t see their other half the entire time — except during bonfires, when host Mark L. Walberg shows them clips of what their partners are off doing with the sexy singles.
Self-realization and romance is promised, although luckily for the viewers, there are plenty of steamy makeouts, shocking betrayals, and surprising admissions along the way. So, let’s get started!
We first meet with our four couples, who are all toasting champagne and admiring the ocean views together on the boat ride to Temptation Island. The vibe is like the one at a wedding no one believes should happen: Everyone’s pretending to really enjoy themselves but the truth is they’re very freaked out about the situation.
The couples include Ashley Rodriguez and Lascelles Lagares, Iris Jardiel and Luke Weshselberger, Gillian Lieberman and Edgar De Santiago, and Ash Lamiroult and Hania Stocker.
Lascelles, 27, is a personal trainer and recruiter, while Ashley, 26, is a content producer. They live in Queens, New York, and have been together seven years — the issue, they tell us, is that they’re very co-dependent on each other. They want to find out who they are apart from each other. However, they seem deeply in love: Lascelles even tells us he “scored big time” with Ashley.
Luke, 29, and Iris, 26, are both entrepreneurs from Seattle Washington. They’ve been dating four years, but trust issues keep coming up (which makes sense when you realize they met because Luke was dating Iris’ friend). Luke claims he’s intimidated by Iris because she’s “the party queen” and it makes him jealous, so he retaliates by flirting with other women. Understandably, this defense does not make Iris feel any better. She also wants him to show his emotions more. Specifically, she wants him to cry.
Ash, a 28-year-old writer, and Hania, a 30-year-old garden designer, who live in Santa Fe, New Mexico are facing their own set of issues. The pair have been dating a year and a half, but Ash is moving to NYC. Can they make long distance work? Hania suggests they try it — and maybe do it as an open relationship, which Ash is unsure about. “Don’t be too open,” we see Ash warn Hania in a clip of them before they left for the island. Seems like an ominous start.
Our final couple is a pair of college sweethearts: Gillian, 21, and Edgar, 23, originally met at Ball State University and have been dating for four years. But Gillian isn’t sure if she wants to be with the same guy she started dating so young in college, and there are trust issues between them. In a clip we see of them before they leave for the island, Gillian discusses how “single” they should act on the island. “I’m emotionally attached to you, though,” she adds, but the dark look on Edgar’s face during this conversation doesn’t bode well.
Finally, the couples step foot on the island, where they all strike prom poses as they’re greeted by Mark L. Walberg. After the initial greetings, he brings them over to their new homes: two gasp-inducing luxury villas. We’re talking gorgeous mountain and ocean views, massive balconies, open-air living rooms, in-ground pools … We’re officially tempted just by the homes alone.
Mark cautions them that the people who leave happiest are the ones who show the most vulnerability, openness and honesty during this process. And now, it’s time to meet the singles!
The couples are set up in folding chairs outside as each single does their best sexy strut beside the pool before saying their name and delivering a memorable one-liner. (“If you think I’m a big guy, wait until you see my *insert dramatic pause* heart.”)
Sometimes, these one-liners lead to approving hollers from the couples (they’re all rightfully very impressed by one woman who shows off her roller skating skillsl) or jeers (from the men at least). Luke in particular is annoyed by a contestant who “looks like his cousin,” as Lascelles says, and points at Iris. Edgar, meanwhile, is set off by Bronx resident Ray Rock, who riles up the singles like he’s the school DJ with a “Temptation Island, we here, let’s go!” yell.
Of course, the girls show some moments of jealousy too. When single Marissa announces she’s a real estate agent, Gillian chimes in, “Me, too!” Marissa then says she’s used to making offers people can’t refuse, to which Gillian retorts, “What about closing the deal?” Marissa definitely rolls her eyes at that one.
The couples then spend their first night apart, and we see the men take shots together before bed. “Cheers to growth!” they say, as ominous music plays.
The next morning, both the men and the women get to spend time drinking with the couples. They all handle it in different ways — Hania is delighted to flirt, Lascelles is discussing how weird and awkward the situation is, Ash is admiring muscles, Iris is discussing her relationship fears, and Edgar is, well, sweating.
Soon enough the initial day is done, and the couples gather for a final dinner. Mark asks each person what they want out of the experience. When Iris mentions she’s never seen Luke really cry, he says it’s related to family issues — but even just saying the word family chokes him up. Is he really as cold as Iris is claiming?
Dinner is followed by very teary goodbyes from all parties. They all realize the next time they see each other, things could be very, very different. Who’s going home together, who’s going home alone, and who’s going home with someone else entirely?
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