I don’t know about you, but I am thankful for Temptation Island! It’s the gift that keeps on giving. There were two surprises for me this episode. First, when Casey Starchak went next level narcissist and spilled his sociopathic scheme to win back Ashley Howland. David Benavidez officially has some competition now about who is the most vile guy on the show. The second surprise was when Esonica Veira hopped into bed with Kareem Thomas! This crushed my hope for her and Gavin Rocker reuniting at the end.
But let’s get back to Casey. He was in shock after watching Ashley H.’s video message. Ashley had thanked him for bringing her here, told him all her insecurities are gone, and she didn’t regret making out with Ben Knobloch. The one tear Casey managed to squeeze out wasn’t from losing Ashley, but from Ashley dumping him before he could dump her.
Casey whined to Rick Fleur, Gavin, and David that he and Ashley’s roles are now reversed. She doesn’t need him anymore, and now he’s a mess without her. David vomited more BS about how he let Kate Griffith down by disrespecting their relationship. Rick told the group he hoped the girls realized there is more to the story than what they saw in a thirty-second clip.
All the girls, except for Ashley Goldson, didn’t seem convinced there was more to the story. Kate said David’s message was empty and full of fluff. She added he didn’t apologize for anything just in case she didn’t see footage of him cheating on her. Esonica noted that Gavin had matured, but is it to her level of maturity?
Ashley H. is over Casey’s crap. His proposal to her over the iPad rang hollow after he previously said he wouldn’t care if she dumped him because he would just go back to hooking up with random girls. But there was one ray of hope in the group. Ashley G. realized how much she missed Rick, and seemed like she wanted to try to make it work with him.
Meanwhile, Casey decided to continue his petulant behavior by insulting all the girls in the house. He got overdramatic when he told Payton Burgess, Medinah Ali, Rachel Hamel, and Colleen Powers that every day in the house is a nightmare for him. When Payton and Medinah called him out, he claimed he meant it was because his girlfriend wasn’t there. But in his confessional, he said he would “throw up” from hooking up with any of the girls and that they “disgust” him. Ashley H. rejecting him really bruised his ego!
Someone who was not acting like a douche to the ladies was Gavin. He sat with Mia Metcalf and reflected that Esonica’s complaints were nothing new. Mia asked if he’s taken the time to think about why Esonica feels the way she does. Gavin said he did and that he needs to change some of his behaviors, like toning down the sarcasm and being more sensitive towards her. He hoped she would forgive him for some of his questionable behaviors, such as sticking half of Payton’s foot in his mouth.
For their dates, the guys hung out with the girls in their backyard and played games. Did production run out of money or something? At this point in the show, there aren’t any surprises regarding anyone’s choices. Casey decided to pick Rachel because he knows that Payton would eat him alive. Then, it was Gavin and Mia, Rick and Medinah, and David and Toneata Morgan.
Toneata can’t understand why David hasn’t kissed her yet. He said it’s because once he does, that means his relationship with Kate is over. Hold up, you mean it wasn’t over when he had a threesome?! This guy is DELUSIONAL. Well, that story David spun was all for naught because ten minutes later he decided to put the final nail in the coffin and locked lips with Toneata.
During Rick’s date with Medinah, he asked her if she recognized he was trying to be more open with her. He added that he felt she wasn’t appreciating his efforts. Medinah apologized to him for causing stress because she didn’t mean to do that. Honestly, I couldn’t tell if she was being sincere, or was just telling him what he wanted to hear.
The girls’ dates were a little more adventurous in that everyone was partying on a boat. And just like the guys, the date choices were not surprising. It was the old standbys of Ashley H. and Ben, Kate and Dominique Price, and Esonica and Kareem. Ashley G. picked Jose Rodriguez.
Kate decided she wanted to make sure there was more than just a physical attraction with Dominique before she took their relationship out of the friend zone. Which is a good idea, because it did not end well for Ashley G. and KB Brown when they rushed into it. Esonica told Kareem she’s still not sure if she is going to stay with Gavin. Kareem wanted to know what was going to happen between her and him. He is one patient man.
The other patient man in the house, Ben, told Ashley H. he hoped she would consider him as one of her options when all this is said and done. Ashley asked Ben what he wanted from her, and he admitted he wanted to be with her. And just like in a romantic comedy, the sun set and fireworks went off as they kissed. Aww.
Back at the house, Dominique left Kate a love note and flower petals on her bed. Ashley H. commented that everyone in the house can see how much Dominique loves her by the way he looked at her. I think Ashley is projecting Ben’s behavior onto Dominique, but he does obviously really like Kate. Still, Kate still can’t seem to shake her trust issues and open up to him.
Esonica decided to take it up a notch with Kareem, and had him spend the night with her in bed. Foreshadowing! She joked that she needed a massage, but nothing ended up happening. Kareem mentioned that she was trying to make him fall in love with her. Whatever it is, she definitely has him under her spell.
That night at the guys’ villa, they have a toga party. As everyone drinks shots and shakes their booties, Casey sat pouting in the corner. I honestly don’t know who he is trying to get sympathy from that this point.
In what seemed like out of nowhere, Gavin told Mia that he thought about having a relationship with her. He and Mia just seemed like friends to me. I’m guessing this new turn of events came from Esonica’s video message where she told him she’s not sure he is the one. Gavin’s afraid to be alone if she leaves him. Sigh. Two steps forward, two steps back.
Apparently, there was one more nail David had to hit to end his relationship with Kate. As he and Toneata walked back to his bedroom, Rick joked that “David got a new roommate.” And once again, David cheated on Kate. The sad part is that Toneata actually thinks they have something real. It’s all an illusion girl, snap out of it!
The next morning, Colleen and Rachel sat dumbfounded as Casey discussed his strategy to win back Ashley H. He asked how pathetic he should act, and then decided he should propose to her. He mentioned he used to be in sales and would use a sales pitch on her. And even if she said no, he muttered she still had to spend time with him to move her stuff out, so he could change her mind. Colleen astutely said that Casey has some major issues and Ashley should be worried.
And now we are at the last bonfire before the couples reunite. The girls get to go first. Esonica gets shown footage of Gavin telling Mia he might want a relationship with her. She didn’t like it, but said that there’s not much she can do. Mark L. Walberg told her it could mean Gavin found someone else, or someone who let him know how much he loved her.
Ashley H. watched as Casey told the girls he was going to do a sales pitch to win her back. Ashley had the perfect reaction by rolling her eyes. She said he was trying to manipulate her into going home with him, and she was no longer connected to him. Even Mark agreed that Casey had a strategy to win her back and it wasn’t romantic.
Poor Kate. I feel like she’s been tortured all season, and it kept going tonight. She got shown footage of David and Toneata talking about their feelings for one another, and then hooking up in the bedroom. Kate said that David came here to prove he’s faithful and has done the opposite. Mark reinforced that she needed to go after what she wants. I really hope that Kate stays strong when she sees David and doesn’t beg him to take her back.
Ashley G. is worried since she is going last. But there is no cheating in this clip! She gets shown footage of Rick telling Medinah he was trying to be more open because of her, and she needed to appreciate that. But then in another clip, Rick said he’s not letting Medinah get too close because that’s for his girlfriend. Ashley was confused by the mixed messages, but Mark cleared the air for her. Old Rick would have let Medinah in, new Rick is setting boundaries.
At the guys’ bonfire, Rick is surprised he is going first. Things might not be so bad after all! And he’s proven right. In his clip, Ashley G. told Jose that she only wanted to be friends with him. Rick is shocked, there’s no KB! He wondered if Ashley’s behavior in the beginning was because of what he did in the past. Ding, ding, ding! We have a winner, folks.
David went next and watched as Ashley H. told Kate how much Dominique loved her. David didn’t know how to read Kate and thought she was confused about her feelings. Because of David’s nonchalant attitude, Mark wondered if David ever cared about her. David got defensive and said he’s still learning how to express his emotions. Hard to do when you are a sociopath!
Mark then called David out on his crap. He told him he says one thing and then does the exact opposite. Thank you, Mark! David tried to defend himself but fell flat. Mark said he needed to get his sh*t together and figure out what he wanted. If he does want Toneata and he doesn’t act on it, he is going to lose her.
Gavin got shown footage of Esonica and Kareem in the bedroom, and Kareem saying that she wasn’t trying to make him fall in love with her. Gavin said seeing another guy in her bedroom was what he feared most, and he wondered if he lost her for good. Mark reminded him that it’s not over till it’s over. And don’t worry, maybe Casey has a sales pitch you can use to win her back!
But, first, Casey had a sales pitch to practice on Mark. He told him he knows that Ashley is what he wants, and that he loves her more than he loves himself. Mark fell for it, and Casey took a mental note to use it on Ashley. Then he watched a clip of Ashley telling Ben she told Casey she didn’t regret anything. And there was a long make out scene to add salt to the wound.
Casey made his fake cry face and turned beet red. Mark said there’s still a chance for them… or there’s a chance it’s too late. Mark then told the group that if they show up at the final bonfire the way they were when this started, they wouldn’t have a chance. Casey actually asked Mark for tips on how they can prove they’ve changed. I thought he was a super sales genius? Mark said it’s not about what they say, but about listening. Casey has no chance.
Usually, the episode is over, but they kept it going! At the girls’ villa, Esonica told Kareem that normally she was bothered by what she saw with Gavin, but now she could care less. Kareem’s eyes lit up like a Christmas tree. So, you’re saying there’s a chance! And then Esonica broke her own rule and hopped into bed with him, and things got hot and heavy. Esonica laughed that rules were made to be broken. Well, she’s definitely about to break Gavin’s heart.
TELL US – DO YOU THINK GAVIN WILL FORGIVE ESONICA? DO YOU THINK CASEY CAN WIN ASHLEY H. BACK WITH ONE OF HIS SALES PITCHES? WILL KATE WANT TO TAKE DAVID BACK?
[Photo Credit: Mario Perez/USA Network]