It’s time for the dates! Gavin asked a reluctant Medinah to join him for the day, and she looks about as thrilled as I felt when I recently got my flu shot. (To my knowledge, she did not turn to Gavin and breathlessly ask him if this would hurt the way I asked the nice lady at CVS.) The excursion is paragliding! Dave is certain he hears a popping sound as he ascends that surely indicates his imminent demise. Down below, Rick explains to his date for the day that he’s not into how hard Medinah has been “claiming” him. He’s there to explore his options and to be made a fool of on television by the woman who alleges to love him! And speaking of that woman, she and her friends are on a boating date. Esonica chose Kareem for a second date and she’s enjoying spending time with a man who freely compliments her, but she’s also wise enough to understand that nobody is showing a full hand right now and it’s very possible Kareem is just playing a skilled game. As for Ashley G., she’s spending the afternoon with KB, who has deigned to descend momentarily from his throne after crowning himself KING OF TOXICITY OF ALL OF MANKIND. Since he’s decided he’s in command of everything and everyone, he feels just fine telling Ashley that she should play the field a little bit. I mean, it’s not like Ashley would ever be attracted to anyone more than she is to KB! See, when you reign over an imaginary kingdom, you have zero qualms about telling a crushed woman that you have no intention at this point in fighting for her affections. Ashley listens as KB spouts out how very casually he feels about her and everything on her face – including her fake lashes – droop in disappointment.
Ashley H. is hanging with Ben for the day and she just giggles and shakes her head when Ben tells her that Deac may be growing a little jealous. That’s crazy talk, Ashley announces. The two men who spend hours each day gazing at her ass are simply her new best friends! Why would Deac be jealous? This reaction is good news for Ben, that other BFF, because by shrugging Deac off as someone she’s patently uninterested in, Ben can now maybe make his move on someone he certainly does not only have platonic feelings for, despite Ashley’s willful blindness about it all.
Also: Rachel, Casey’s date for the day, admits that he’s not her usual type since she’s usually into men who resemble vampires.
Also: Whomever has “Vampire Fetish” on their Temptation Island Bingo card just f*cking scored.
Back at the guys’ villa, Payton decides to fully confront Casey for choosing to ask out Rachel instead of her – and in front of her, no less! After all, has she not already built an unbreakable bond with a man who has a full-fledged girlfriend?! It’s Payton’s mission has decided to make it her mission to teach Casey that women experience emotions and heartbreak and him being this much of an assh*le is probably why he is experiencing pain in his actual relationship, which incidentally is probably the very relationship he actively begins craving after a woman he’s not committed to reams him out on a lawn chair for not respecting her enough.
Over at the girls’ house, Ashley G. is burrowed under blankets in her bedroom. KB, taking Other Ashley’s suggestion, goes to find her and when Ashley insists she’s tired, KB sweetly responds that she’s not tired; she’s just being a brat. I know…my insides feel all gushy from his sweet words, too. What’s that now? You say Ashley is not actually tired? You say she went to hide just so KB would come looking for her because she has no clear idea how to be in an adult relationship and thinks love is about obsession and control? You say she finally smiles when KB allows her to touch his d*ck? Color me f*cking shocked by all of it.
Also: Ashley and KB totally deserve each other. May they live long, may they prosper, and may they volunteer for the next biosphere project so our already tarnished civilization is not doomed by their very presence.
While Ashley caresses KB’s penis so maybe he’ll like her again, her boyfriend puts sheets on a bed with Medinah and admits he could have had a better time on his date had he taken her. That’s enough for Medinah! She leans down and kisses the guy until he pushes her away. When the kissing doesn’t work, Medinah straddles Rick as he sits in a chair until he again pushes her away – but with far more reluctance this time because this time there’s friction.
The next morning at the girls’ villa, Ashley G. asks KB about his feelings about the two of them being off the island together and the guy is quick to put the kibosh on any kind of “forever” talk. The man who so adorably announced that he’s the Captain now has decided to jump ship. He and Ashley should just be friends, he says, which means there’s no chance she’s not heading upstairs right now to go hide beneath some bedding while praying repeatedly that KB burrows beneath those sheets to locate her because that will show her he really cares and then she can touch his d*ck some more.
Also: My Official Favorite Male Tempter is a man whose name I don’t know because there was no chyron below his face in the screener I was sent, but he’s the guy who told Ashley G. – who continues to stare at KB exactly the way he wants her to – to move on and test drive these men like cars. This guy is wise and he’s awesome and one day soon I’ll learn what his name is. Until then, I’m just gonna call him The Number One Guy and KB can suck it.
While the men work out at their house and Casey complains about Payton’s obsessiveness, Casey’s girlfriend sits outside her own villa and flirts with Deac – you know, her best friend in the house, the man who maybe wears a nameplate around his neck (?), the guy who wants to go for it but has enough restraint and respect to hold back because this girl has a boyfriend. But restraint is boring, so the guys are throwing a blackout party for their own Temptresses! Good thing Payton is so desperate for any sort of attention that she’s willing to get her toes sucked by Gavin in a crowded hot tub. That’ll probably make for a lovely snippet of footage to be shown to Esonica at a Bonfire, right? Meanwhile, Rick full on kisses Medinah, and I worry for the safety of humanity in general when Ashley sees this footage after she herself has been rejected. She strikes me as the kind of girl who will never be happy for you unless she is f*cking thrilled for herself first. As all that goes down, Samantha accompanies Dave to his room. “It’s okay. We’re just friends,” she trills drunkenly, and like a very good friend, she takes off her top and then the two shower together before Payton comes to join them for a very romantic threesome we view via a night vision filter that somehow makes viewers of this show feel like stalkers.
And now I sit here wondering what I should do first: should I swallow some bleach so I have a shot in hell of scrubbing this desperate final scene from my mind or should I instead use my time to pray that Kate, a woman who has done nothing except love her piece of sh*t boyfriend, temporarily loses her sight so at least one of her senses can be spared?
Nell Kalter teaches Film and Media at a school in New York. She is the author of the books THAT YEAR and STUDENT, both available on amazon.com in paperback and for your Kindle. Also be sure to check out her website at nellkalter.com. Her twitter is @nell_kalter.