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“Temptation Island” fans know the most intriguing part of the show is the bonfire with host Mark L. Walberg. The bonfires, which happen frequently throughout the couples’ time on the island, act as a catch-up with Mark to discuss their emotional progress — and to see a clip of what their partner are doing on the opposite side of the island surrounded by 12 singles. Sometimes, it’s as benign as discussing their relationship issues with someone; other times, it’s as bad as seeing their significant other form a “physical connection” (as they often call kissing, which somehow just sounds way worse?).
We began where we left off, with Edgar De Santiago in tears over a clip of Gillian Lieberman expressing mixed feelings about her promise ring. Edgar discusses how Gillian cheated, and says, “How can you do that and tell me you love me? I don’t believe it!”
This is mildly hypocritical, as we’ve heard Gillian say he only gave her that promise ring because he himself cheated, and he may want to ask himself the same question. Still, they are by far the youngest couple, so we’ll allow it.
It’s Lascelles Lagares' turn at the bonfire, and he sees Ashley Rodriguez telling Mike there is an instant connection between the two of them. “I think I've seen you in my dreams,” he tells her, which is now hilarious knowing their date would later go south because of Mike’s constant corny pick-up lines. Lascelles seems unfazed, saying he sees her making an emotional connection and that’s what they expected to do when they came here.
So far, all the clips have just been women talking, but Hania Stocker, the one with the dreams of an open relationship, is the one who gets to see Ash Lamiroult flirting with Taylor and then kissing him in bed. Hania, who again is the one who was pushing Ash into an open relationship, is pummeled, saying he’s hurt and upset. Apparently, an open relationship only sounded good in his mind, where he was the one making out with others.
“Maybe she’s right about the open relationship,” he slowly admits after Mark points out, “She’s done nothing other than what you said is perfectly OK.”
We then see the women’s bonfires. Gillian in particular is nervous about her clip, but it’s Edgar confiding that he wants Gillian to work on herself and believes she’s dragging him along.
“I do love him,” she starts off, “but it’s not the same since he cheated on me. I go back and forth whether I want a future … I’m so young.” Yes, Gillian! You are 21! If the relationship already has these red flags, if you’re both cheating and mad the other did it, it’s time to break free!
Iris Jardiel has an interesting reaction after seeing Luke Weshselberger have chocolate syrup licked off his body. “I’m surprised,” she says. “I thought it would be a lot worse.”
Why? Well, as Iris puts it, “I’m building strong connections, I’m connecting with George … that hurts a lot more than what I saw.” Ouch!
Ashley watches Lascelles tell Trace, “I learn something more with you. You’re what I need.” Ashley seems a little stunned, questioning how he’s forming this emotional connection with this girl and noting they’ve never had the deep emotionally open connection she wants.
Ash meanwhile has to watch a personal fear of theirs play out: Hania tells the girls, “I’m very out of sight, out of mind,” and flirtatiously pick a girl up and brings her to the shower after a party where the theme seems to be “lick dessert toppings off people.”
“I’m completely unsurprised. I saw Hania being Hania,” Ash says. But it is surprising to then learn that Hania only introduces Ash as a friend to women. What?! The red flags are numerous and they are waving!
“Out of sight, out of mind,” she muses. “It must be so freeing to discard other people like that.”
With the first bonfire done, everyone is now in an emotionally raw place. The men are basically stunned into silence, noting how hard it was to watch the footage of their girlfriends. Hania is particularly shaken, saying he “can’t imagine a world without Ash.”
That’s not the reaction Ash had. Instead, Ash cries to Taylor, saying they are done with Hania.
The following morning, as the girls gather for breakfast, Ashley insists, “I slept well. I wasn’t replaying the clip with Lascelles in my head,” which, uh, seems to suggest that’s exactly what she was doing.
They then prep for their second date selection. Ash asks Tommy, as they worry they’ve been spending too much time with Taylor, which makes Gillian a little jealous! See, Gillian! There are other men than Edgar!
As second date selection is underway, Lascelles seems to be stuck in a bit of a love triangle (or a love square, I suppose, if you count Ashley). Alexa is urging him not to put his eggs all in one basket — aka pick her, not Trace to go on a date – but while Lascelles concedes he has some interest in Alexa, he ultimately asks Trace out again. Maybe not a love triangle, after all.
Luke, who Iris thinks never cries, is getting choked up again talking to Emily about how he has a lot on his plate with starting a business and worrying about family. Apparently, she listens well enough because he throws her off in the middle of it by asking her on a second date.
Before those dates can happen, there’s another party night. The men have a paint party, while the women play flag football.
“We gonna turn up ‘cause they deserve better!” Ray Rock, who only speaks DJ, says, before the party just devolves into everyone dancing, making out, and watching Ashley give Iris a lap dance. At one point, Taylor licks whipped cream off Ash’s body and addresses Hania in his interview, telling him he doesn’t deserve Ash and calling him Mr. Sir, which seems like quite the deferential way to speak to him after you licked his girlfriend’s body.
And when they get into bed together that night, Taylor kicks aside the pillow wall! Bye, Hania!
The dates the next day are action-packed and look like a lot of fun: climbing up waterfalls, racing cars, beautiful cliffside picnics. Everyone seems to be having a good time, while still considering their past relationship.
Luke enjoys the ego boost Emily is giving him, as she agrees with him Iris needs to get over the fact he texted other girls while dating her (I understand her reward is a gorgeous date in Hawaii so I forgive her for describing Iris as “childish” for still being hurt about Luke texting other women only a few months ago.)
Interestingly, Iris has a good time with George, but tells him “it’s not best for me to explore this emotional connection.” She’s always had a boyfriend, she notes, and has never been on her own. She realizes it’s not healthy for her to hop from one relationship to the next. This is a shockingly mature and valid insight! You should know how to be happy on your own, and it’s nice to see Iris declare she wants that.
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