TEMPTATION ISLAND -- "Reunion -- Pictured: (l-r) David Benavidez, Kate Griffith, Mark L. Walberg -- (Photo by: Richie Knapp/USA Network)

Temptation Island Season 2 Episode Recap: Final Bonfire Part 2; The Reunion


As they say, all good things must come to an end. This season of Temptation Island was an incredible thrill ride from start to finish. Maybe not for the couples on the show perhaps, but as a viewer it did not disappoint. Did anyone correctly predict what the outcome for each couple would be? I know I didn’t! 

One outcome during bonfire that should come to no surprise was Kate Griffith kicking David Benavidez to the curb. In fact, she didn’t just kick him to the curb, she went full Mortal Kombat and finished him with a flawless victory fatality when she told him not to tell all of America he whored himself out. Good luck cleaning that hot mess up, Toneata Morgan, you’re going to need it. 

David refused to listen to Kate however, and admitted he slept with Toneata. He told her he realized he wanted a relationship with someone who doesn’t question him, and trusts him no matter what. Spoken like a true narcissist. Kate pushed back that she should have trusted her gut instinct that he was untrustworthy from the beginning. 

Mark L. Walberg figured now was a time as good as any, and asked Kate who she wanted to leave the island with. She made the right choice in my eyes, and said she was leaving the island alone. She added that the next person who gets her will be really lucky. 

Before Kate left, she gave David a hug goodbye. And for the first time, David cried real tears, as evidence of the snot he shot out of his nose and down her back. Toneata arrived and was completely oblivious to the fact that David was upset. And now David will get what he wanted, someone who doesn’t question him at all because she’s not even paying attention. 

Temptation Island Season 2 Episode Recap: Final Bonfire Part 2; The Reunion


Gavin Rocker and Esonica Veira got to go next. Gavin looked on hopefully as Esonica approached him. But when Esonica wouldn’t even look at him, you could tell that Gavin knew it was over.

Gavin told Esonica he was sorry for not being more supportive. He added that he didn’t regret coming to the island because he’s grown as a person. Esonica said she’s not perfect, but was hurt that he couldn’t love her flaws and all. She felt that he didn’t see who she really was. 

Esonica then asked Gavin how he felt watching someone show interest in her. Gavin said it made him want to try harder, but he didn’t appreciate that she broke their rules of having someone else in her room. If only he knew what happened during the overnight date! And that will remain a secret for Gavin until he watches the show because Esonica didn’t fess up.

Gavin didn’t give up however, and told Esonica he wanted to leave the island with her. But Esonica had other plans, and decided to leave the island with someone who sees her. I was waiting for Gavin to fight for her like he said he would, but he accepted it with an attitude of que sera sera. Then Kareem Thomas swooped in for Esonica. As they walked off, Kareem assured Mark she was in good hands. 

The way this season started, I thought for sure Rick Fleur and Ashley Goldson would be the couple to go last at bonfire. But that honor was bestowed to Ashley Howland and Casey Starchak. Casey told Mark he was only prepared for one outcome, being engaged. Sigh. 

Temptation Island Season 2 Episode Recap: Final Bonfire Part 2; The Reunion


Ashley gave Casey an awkward hug when she saw him, and that should have been the cue Casey needed to switch to his plan B sales pitch. But that didn’t happen. After Ashley told him she’s more confident than ever and grown into someone he doesn’t know, Casey moved forward with plan A.

Casey apologized for not listening to her and giving her trust issues. And then in came the pitch! He said he knows she didn’t have any regrets, but he did. If he could do it all over, he wouldn’t had brought her to the island. Then he got on one knee and asked her to be his “baby baby” until they are jokey old drunks in rocking chairs. 

Mark noticed Ashley was uncomfortable, and asked that Casey let Ashley talk. Ashley then pulled a page from Kate’s book and let Casey have it. She told him he broke his promise that he loved her when he said if she broke up with him he would be fine. He went to interrupt, and Ashley snapped at him to let her talk. 

Ashley told him she’s found someone who listens to her and isn’t selfish like he is. Casey pushed back and said she didn’t see the footage of him crying in his room alone while the rest of the group partied. But it was too little too late. Ashley stated she couldn’t accept his proposal and was going to leave with someone else.

Casey stumbled into Mark’s arms, and cried without any tears. Is that even possible? In the car, Casey told himself he’d get another shot when they got back home. Like a true salesperson, his goal is to always be closing. But Ashley closed her deal with Ben Knobloch instead.

When Ben arrived, Mark joked that this was the only way he would have wanted to be at bonfire. Ben said that he had his eyes on Ashley from the start, and that he’s excited for their future together. As Ashley and Ben drove off, fireworks went off in the sky. 

Temptation Island Season 2 Episode Recap: Final Bonfire Part 2; The Reunion


And speaking of fireworks, it’s reunion time! So, where is everyone now? Well, Kate is having TED talks about embracing your independence, and David and Toneata are auditioning to be SURvers on Vanderpump Rules. Ashley G. and Rick finally got engaged, and Casey teamed up with Gavin to sell his exclusive line of pedicure products. Ben and Ashley H. had their fairytale wedding at Disneyland, and Esonica and Kareem bought their own tropical island to enjoy the rest of their days. 

Just kidding! Basically everything that happened during the bonfires was turned upside down. All the relationships, newfound independence, true love, all went kaput. Turns out, real life can get pretty complicated when you don’t have Mark to navigate you in the right direction.

So, let’s start with Kate and David. A part of me was worried Kate might fold when she saw him at bonfire, and was pleasantly surprised when she did the exact opposite. But now she’s regressed to her old self, and it was heartbreaking to see. They aren’t officially together, but are trying to work on their “relationship.” That consists of them hooking up, and David still being shady.

Samantha Hoffman came forward and said she and David slept together. She wanted to make it clear to Kate that he’s a sociopath whose not to be trusted. But Kate was in too deep to hear it. David denied everything, even when the whole group was yelling at him to tell the truth. 

Temptation Island Season 2 Episode Recap: Final Bonfire Part 2; The Reunion

Toneata then had her turn to set the record straight. She said her relationship with David didn’t work out because they were long distance, and she felt he used for her connections because he wanted to be an actor slash model. Note to David, go to acting school asap because no one besides Kate is believing your performance. 

Dominique Price said he and Kate talked every day after the show ended until she suddenly stopped. He added that if she ends up back with David, he can’t be friends with her because that makes her a liar just like David. Ouch. Kate apologized, and said she valued their friendship. 

David told Mark that he and Kate were going to take it one day at a time. Medinah Ali whispered to Payton Burgess and Samantha that she hoped Kate would leave him, but she probably wouldn’t. I can’t say I disagree.

Esonica and Gavin were next in the hot seat. Gavin was angry that she didn’t fess up to fooling around, and that he had to find out she crossed the line by watching the show. Esonica still wouldn’t confirm anything, and Kareem backed her up that they had only laid in bed together. Riiiight. 

Temptation Island Season 2 Episode Recap: Final Bonfire Part 2; The Reunion


Mark asked what happened between Kareem and Esonica, and Kareem said they were better off as friends because she wanted to figure out things with Gavin. Esonica said she should have left the island alone, but wasn’t strong enough at the time to do it. Ashley G. piped in that Gavin should give Esonica another chance. Gavin wasn’t having it and was firm he couldn’t trust someone who wasn’t being honest with him. 

Esonica then showed the most emotion she had all season when she burst into tears and explained she wasn’t proud of herself, and was upset that Gavin tossed her aside with no forgiveness. Gavin calmly said he understood her feelings, but he’s lost all respect for her. Ice cold! 

Esonica couldn’t take the heat anymore and left the reunion. I think if she came clean, not only would she feel better, but Gavin would probably forgive her. If not, hopefully they can at least be friends again. You can tell they do really care for one another.

Temptation Island Season 2 Episode Recap: Final Bonfire Part 2; The Reunion


Casey pulled the newest Real Housewives move by not showing up to the reunion. Which is too bad because he claimed on social media that he got a bad edit, and this was his chance to share his side of things. Instead, Rachel Hamel served as his representative since they are now besties. 

Payton was also up next to Ashely H., and she explained her reasoning behind sending her the bombshell confessional that she could do better than Casey. She told Ashley that yes, she did want a relationship with Casey at first, but that quickly changed once she found out who he really was. Which prompted her to tell Ashley she deserved better. 

Ashley H. thought Payton meant well, but Ashley G. told her not to be a fool and buy that bull crap. My guess is, the truth is somewhere in between. Mark asked Rachel why she thought Casey wasn’t at the reunion, and she said it was because he was still heartbroken. She also said that Ashley should probably stop calling him so he can move on. 

Temptation Island Season 2 Episode Recap: Final Bonfire Part 2; The Reunion


Ben and Deac Conti then joined the fun. Of course Deac had to throw his comedy in the mix when he said he “got tried like a free sample at Costco.” He’s going to to have an arsenal of dad jokes at the ready once he has kids. Deac admitted Ben was more emotional with Ashley which is why he won out in their love triangle. 

But things did not look good between Ben and Ashley. Their rom com romance ended up turning into the depressing film, The Break-Up, when Ben dumped Ashley two days after they left the island. Ben said it was because she hooked up with Casey, and Ashley interjected they only kissed. Wait, what? If she was so in love with Ben, why was she kissing Casey? He must have practiced his sales pitch for when she came home to move out her things.

Off to the side, Samantha told Medinah that Casey told her they did hook up. I don’t know what happened but it seems like Ashley regressed back to her old self just like Kate. Ashley countered that Ben went off camping with a “bunch of girls.” This whole turn of events was bizarre. Regardless, Ashley said she’s happy to be spending some time alone. That’s probably for the best. 

Temptation Island Season 2 Episode Recap: Final Bonfire Part 2; The Reunion


Rick and Ashley G. were last in the hot seat this time, and Medina and KB Brown were up there right next to them. Drama alert! Ashley admitted she messed up, which is why she didn’t end up getting that engagement ring. I actually thought they might be able to work it out, but Rick ended up working it out with Medinah instead. Plot twist!

But first, they debated Rick’s comment that he wasn’t handcuffing her. Rick reasoned that was the point of being on Temptation Island, and KB never cuffed her, he only slept with her. KB defended Ashley and said she didn’t deserve the social media backlash she got for sleeping with him. Ashley apologized to Rick and said she shouldn’t have moved so fast.

Rick said he wanted them to take their time when they left the island so they could get back to a good place, but that didn’t end up happening. He then called out KB for yelling at Ashley and said he needed to be checked. And everyone knows that KB does not like being told what to do! This time though, KB kept it together and didn’t shout anyone down. 

Temptation Island Season 2 Episode Recap: Final Bonfire Part 2; The Reunion


Mark then asked Medinah to talk about her relationship with Rick. Before she could get a full sentence out, Ashley told her to shut up. Someone is not over Rick yet! Side note, Medinah totally rocked that hot pink eye shadow. Ok, back to the action. 

Rick told Ashley not to disrespect Medinah, and she clapped back she was going to “disrespect it with everyone that tries it today.” This girl is on fire! Rick then went low and told her you wonder why you are by yourself. Medinah did get a word in, and said at first everyone thought Rick was going to be a dirty dog, but he ended up being very respectful which was attractive. 

Mark wondered if there was a possibility for romance between Medinah and Rick. Medinah jumped in with “absolutely!” Rick said he was open to a relationship with her. Medinah reasoned it was good they didn’t leave the island together because there was a lot of pressure on those couples to stay together. Ok, I’m not buying that for a second, she clearly wanted to be with Rick from the get go.

Medinah and Ashley continued to bicker, and the peanut gallery of Dominique and Deac were loving every minute of it. Mark finally shut it down and wished everyone the best. As Ashley stormed off, Rick leaned in and kissed Medinah. All I know is, it’s going to kill Ashley if Rick and Medinah end up engaged.

The reunion then ended with Mark bringing back season one alums “hey girl” Evan Smith and Morgan Lolar, along with cuties Shari Ligons and Javen Butler. Both couples got engaged at the end of their season and are both still together. I’m not sure what the point of bringing them back was, but good for them for making it work. 

And that wraps up season two! How they will be able to top this season next year is beyond me. But I am looking forward to finding out!


[Photo Credit: Mario Perez/USA Network]