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When we last left off on "Temptation Island," Ashley Rodriguez watched perhaps the most painful bonfire clip of Season 4 so far: her boyfriend, Lacelles Lagares, telling single Trace Winningham he was in love with her. So, how did Ashley react in Episode 7?
Ashley is clearly stunned by what she saw Lascelles say. She laughs nervously and admits she's confused why he would do this. Then, she tries to blame herself for it (Ashley! No!), musing, "He must've seen something in my clip that made him act that way because that's seven years ..."
Luckily, host Mark L. Walberg doesn't stand for that and won't allow her to excuse Lascelles, reminding her it isn't her fault and her emotions are valid.
We then take a look at the men's bonfire, with Edgar De Santiago proclaiming he's ready to learn how Gillian Lieberman is going to hurt him this time. What he sees is Gillian making out with Tommy. "I'm relieved they weren't having sex," he says, which shows his bar for Gillian is on the absolute ground.
Hania Stocker watches Ash Lamiroult tell Taylor they think he's patient and sweet, and wouldn't want to be on the island without him. Hania admits they didn't make rules, but he is shaken Ash has made such a connection.
Lascelles, unaware he has just emotionally destroyed Ashley, watches Ashley dance on Blake and tell him she wants to be with someone who shows her more emotions. Lacelles' response? "I can't even say I'm upset ... I wish I could." Eek.
Luke has had a pretty easy go of it at bonfires, as Iris is the only one of the four not forming a close connection with someone on the island. That changes this time, as he sees Iris' pure joy over meeting Deac Conti. Luke tries to be cool about it, but admits she is a major fan of Deac on social media and he can see how Deac could be a threat to their relationship.
When they arrive back at the villa, Hania says it was an all right time because he didn't have to "watch another sex tape." Edgar tells Marissa he's letting go of Gillian for good, while Luke fixates on Deac's presence. Samantha, who obviously has history with Deac, admits in her confessional Deac will cause a major headache for Luke.
Lascelles, meanwhile, seems to finally be feeling some guilt for not thinking of Ashley. It does not stop him from telling Trace he loves her again.
At the men's villa the following night, a party has become a series of lap dances with the men all inexplicably in speedos. Lascelles gives Trace one, Karyna performs for Hania, and Edgar and Marissa both give each other a lap dance to the applause of everyone else. The lap dance must've been quite the aphrodisiac, as Edgar and Marissa finally go to bed together and, uh, consummate the relationship.
At the women's villa, Deac does his best to make a move on Iris — "Her boyfriend splits bills at fast food restaurants. What the f*** is that?" he muses at one point — but the couple who ends up having the steamiest moment is Gillian and Tommy. Literally. They head off to take a shower together.
The next morning, everyone gets to hear the messages their partner chose to leave for them. Gillian sends a message to Edgar telling him she loves him and will always support him. Edgar is dismissive, saying he doesn't believe her. In his message to Gillian, he coldly tells her he doesn't have a lot to say and hopes she finds what she's looking for.
Ashley attempts to stand up for herself to Lascelles, saying she sees the light and deserves to be appreciated and respected, which clearly leaves Lascelles conflicted. It's like he's finally realized if he picks Trace, he and Ashley are done. In his message to her, he simply tells her he loves her and they need to have a conversation about where they stand.
Iris actually has the clearest and most upfront message for her partner. She says she's been focusing on learning to love herself, but she doesn't want to let him off the hook: "I want to see more accountability on your end for breaking my trust ... My feelings are valid ... The last time I caught you was a few months ago." Go Iris!
Luke concedes she's right and that he never wants to betray her trust again. In his own message to her, he admits he wasn't the best partner and tells her he's excited about the progress he's made. Is it enough for her?
Still, the couple who has the worst time with the messages is hands down Hania and Ash. Hania makes a speech about no longer living in fear and knowing what he wants, declaring he loves Ash. Ash is incredibly displeased by what she calls "a monologue," lamenting Hania always has to make a dramatic speech. She's over it!
And as for Hania, he doesn't get a monologue from Ash. Instead, he gets no message at all ... which really says everything, right?
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