Temptation Island Season 5 Episode 1 Recap
TEMPTATION ISLAND -- “Same “Island, New Twists” Episode 501 -- Pictured in this screengrab: (l-r) Leonila "Paris" Pedro, Nzubechukwu "Great" Ezihie, Kaitlin Tufts, Hall Toledano, Marisela Figueroa, Christopher Wells, Vanessa Valente, Roberto Maldonado -- (Photo by: USA Network)

Temptation Island Season 5 Premiere, Episode 1 Recap: Will Any Couples Survive?

Temptation Island is back for Season 5, with host Mark Walberg back in the driving seat. He’s welcoming four new couples into an experiment unlike any other. Can they survive being apart and surrounded by eight sexy singles of the opposite sex? Or are they all doomed to fail, and leave the show with somebody else on their arm? The Temptation Island Season 5 premiere was packed full of clues that it’s not all going to be smooth sailing. Here’s our Episode 1 recap. As Mark likes to say: let’s get into it.

Introducing the couples, and the season

Temptation Island Season 5 Episode 1 Recap
TEMPTATION ISLAND — “Same “Island, New Twists” Episode 501 — Pictured in this screengrab: (l-r) Kaitlin Tufts, Hall Toledano — (Photo by: USA Network)

Mark immediately jumps into the chaos that this season of Temptation Island could bring. Season 5 will feature the “temptation light” for the first time. One will be placed in both the men’s villa, and the women’s villa. If any partner gives into temptation, the light will glow, leaving one-half of the couples scrambling for information. He promises “higher stakes, and more temptation than ever before.”

Meeting the four couples poised to take part, it’s clear they all have their problems. Can any couple on the planet say they’re perfect? Probably not, but the majority won’t step in front of a television camera to let the world judge.

Kaitlin Tufts and Hall Toledano have been together for eight years in total, but did take a break after the first three. It was his idea, as he admits he wanted to “date other women.” This takes Kaitlin by surprise; he’s never expressed that this was part of his reasoning for the initial split. “We’re both good at bottling up emotions,” he tells Mark. Oh, and did I mention these two are engaged?

Roberto Mal and Vanessa Valente get a little heated from jump. “Sometimes she views me as a little boy,” he says, while Vanessa admits she is worried about their 10-year age gap. She thinks that a man should have “everything aligned” by the time they are 30, and she’s not sure she sees that in his future. Host Mark poses the question, “Is [Roberto] a work in progress for you to mould, or is he an equal partner in your relationship?” Vanessa didn’t like that one bit, replying with an “Ouch!” Still, she sticks to her guns. “A man should be a provider and protector.”

Next on the hot seat are Christopher Wells and Marisela Figueroa. They tell Mark they haven’t been able to “get along” for the past two months. Christopher says they are both “very controlling,” while she admits to being “a wall” in comparison to his emotions. They still don’t know how to communicate effectively as a couple, and he has hurt her in his past. He describes himself as a “respectable whore” in his 20s. While he doesn’t come right out and say he has cheated on Marisela, the implication is there.

Finally, Paris Pedro and Great Ezihie introduce themselves. Paris feels “disrespected,” and says that Great “talks to me like I’m a little kid.” She reveals that Great has cheated on her on more than one occasion, and this seems to upset Great. He looks as though he doesn’t want to be on the show. Paris, meanwhile, bursts into tears, and says that Great’s cheating has left her feeling “not wanted.”

One last night together

Temptation Island Season 5 Episode 1 Recap
TEMPTATION ISLAND — “Same “Island, New Twists” Episode 501 — Pictured in this screengrab: Leonila “Paris” Pedro — (Photo by: USA Network)

Mark shocks the couples when he tells them they can spend one last night together in the men’s villa. Everybody seems excited, but Vanessa just wants to get inside. It’s been raining, and she wasn’t happy when her demands for an umbrella seemed to fall on deaf ears. Roberto’s left feeling embarrassed by his other half’s behavior, and tells her that “it’s annoying to have your back when I know you’re in the wrong.” Her response? “Go f*ck yourself.” Charming.

Later, they make up, and things get a little heated in the bedroom. “I can foresee spending the rest of our lives together,” Roberto says in confessional. “[But] things do need to change.”

The sexy singles arrive

Temptation Island Season 5 Episode 1 Recap
TEMPTATION ISLAND — “Same “Island, New Twists” Episode 501 — Pictured in this screengrab: (l-r) Christian Tesoriero, Brice Robinson, Michael Zappa, Kristian Barbarich, Sebastian Baraza, Griffin Grady, Julian Bradley, Tahjjic Smith — (Photo by: USA Network)

Eight single men, and eight single women, arrive the next morning for the test of a lifetime. The couples all seem pleased to meet some new faces, but there’s a huge twist when Mark announces they can all spend their first day getting to know one another during “one big party.” They’re not going to be split up into villas just yet, because why let such a potentially dramatic first day get away?

“It’s time to gauge my competition,” Vanessa says, while Paris is feeling “a little insecure.” It doesn’t take long for Vanessa’s behavior to rub some of the single women the wrong way, as she loudly mocks their laughter. Elsewhere, Hall is clearly enjoying himself, and his alcohol. “What in the hell did I get myself into?” he asks, promising “trouble” as he flirts just a few feet away from Kaitlin. Still, he says she “loves getting hit on by guys … hopefully she’ll get over the six packs and come back to her loving man.”

Great and Paris argue a little as the day continues. Neither one like their interactions with the singles in the villa, and they’re not afraid to say it. Marisela doesn’t get much of a chance to chat to any of the singles, as Christopher pulls her away. “No more drinking,” he tells her. As she begins to tell him that her current drink isn’t alcoholic, he shushes her. Yuck.

Christopher’s behavior goes from bad to worse, when he effectively outs Marisela in front of some of the single women – as well as the world. She wants “a girlfriend” to be part of the relationship, and while she shares that information herself, she isn’t happy when talking to production. “Sometimes he just overshares,” she says through tears. “My family doesn’t know … he used my story to communication with other females.”

Temptation Island Season 5 continues Wednesdays at 9/8c on USA, streaming next day on Peacock.