Photo: ITV 2
This recap does not cover Episode 22 — Unseen Bits.
Hello, again, Islanders!
How is everybody feeling? Personally, I feel invigorated. After a slow week, things finally picked up in the Villa’s second week. By week three, everybody’s head is scrambled, which is what we come to this god-forsaken island to see. We said goodbye to three islanders (one of whom I will truly miss) and welcomed three newbies. Couples were broken up, friendships were threatened, new loves blossomed, and betrayal hung in the air like a cloud of cheap body spray.
Most of the “drama, drama, drama” was about or started by Ekin-Su because this woman is carrying this season on her back. There is a sort of manic insecurity to Ekin — a bit reminiscent of Faye from season seven — that endears her to me and makes her a real handful to everybody else. I believe Ekin when she says she’s trying to find real love because she immediately attaches herself to whoever is showing her attention at the moment. She’s not a faithless, lying coquette; she’s more like a single lost magnet looking for a match.
I’m going to start with the Davide stuff because I would like to talk about this as little as possible. After Ekin-Su is called out for sneaking about with Jay and attempting to lie about it, Davide puts on a genuinely upsetting, toxic masculinity temper tantrum. He storms around the Villa, slamming things and stomping his feet. He screams at Ekin-Su to her face and he screams at her from across the yard. “Liar!” he snarls. “Fake person!” Ekin then accuses him of “showing off” for the boys and says, “I hurt your ego; you never gave a shit about me.” I mean … is she wrong? Anyhoo.
Most of the boys seem to think that Davide’s shitfit is justified. Paige says, “No man talks to a woman like that.” Ikenna says, “It was a bit theatrical.” What it was is scary and ugly and completely unnecessary. I don’t care how you feel about Ekin or what she did, but shouting in a romantic partner’s face and banging on doors is aggressive, childish, and often signals a threat. Okay, we are officially done talking about Davide for now.
This week we got some real couple shakeups, and not all of them were even producer-manufactured by introducing new Islanders! Many were manufactured by Jay.
Here is why Jay is the actual devil. At least in this Villa, Jay treats relationships as exercises in emotional manipulation. We all know guys like this in the real world. He’s the kind of guy who calls himself an “expert in reading body language” and thinks it’s flirtatious to attempt to read your mind when your mind is screaming, “please get me the fuck away from this man before he turns me into a skin suit,” and he’s like, “I can tell I’m making you nervous,” like it’s sexy. Jay thinks he’s the smartest guy in the room, but he’s more like a malevolent, gender-swapped Emma Woodhouse.
In the short amount of time that Jay and Ekin-Su are still a thing, Jay first pushes Dami to pursue Indiyah because he can sense the attraction between them. I will give this one to Jay because Dami and Indiyah are legitimately the cutest.
Next, Jay, being the master of human behavior and social interactions, tells Ekin-Su that Paige and Amber don’t like her. Why? Why on Earth would you say this to someone? Especially someone you know to be insecure and that you are ostensibly trying to date? Jay explains to the boys that he did it because he wants to be with someone who is liked and respected by her friends, and he is trying to help her. Come on now. No. That’s not helpful, that’s just mean. Ekin-Su immediately confronts Amber with this, who tries to gently explain that she likes Ekin-Su, but since she’s asking, she has been bothered by some of Ekin’s behavior. This all just sucks. Nobody’s going to win here. Amber has a right to bring up issues with her friend, especially if her friend asks her about them. But then again, Ekin has just been told nobody likes her and is definitely not in a position to hear something potentially hurtful right now.
Ugh, I’m moving on to things that make me happy: Dami and Indiyah. Dami still has qualms about hurting Amber, even though it’s clear their relationship isn’t progressing the way he’d want it to. Meanwhile, Indiyah, who has been struggling to extract anything from Ikenna beyond the word “Interesting,” has finally given up a romantic relationship with him. They break up amicably, leaving Ikenna looking surprisingly bummed.
Over the next few days, Dami begins very quietly and slowly to pursue Indiyah. He describes his chats with her as, “Fireworks going off, it was weird!” Indiyah says they have “flanter,” which means “flirtatious banter.” Dami is obviously extremely into Indiyah, but, as he tells Andrew, he isn’t sure of the most respectful way to navigate this regarding Amber. Luckily for him, I’ve got a text!
The Islanders are gathered around the firepit for a dumping by public opinion. They do one of these every season, where the public votes for their favorite Islanders, and the three boys and three girls with the fewest votes are at risk of being dumped. Usually, production makes the remaining Islanders themselves vote on which boy and which girl to dump — a special kind of cruel psychological game we’ve come to expect from this show. This time, the final dumping is left to the public themselves. The lowest votes are for Ikenna and Amber, who are hereby dumped from the Island. Well, ain’t that convenient.
I am sad to lose Amber and a bit indifferent about Ikenna, which seems to be how Dami and Indiyah also feel. Indiyah is crying after losing her best friend in the Villa. Dami tells Andrew, his personal therapist, that he feels like losing Amber happened too quickly, and he feels guilty. Ah, such is life in the Love Island Villa. Be grateful, dude. You got off so easy.
Moving on. We have to talk about our new additions. First up: Danica, a dancer who enters the Villa determined to start drama, which she kind of fails to do. “I’m an Aries, so I’m quite fiery,” Danica tells the girls. “You all seem like lovely girls, but I don’t know you.” Approaching the dudes, “Heyyyy, boys, Danica here!”
Danica declares, “I am going to step on toes.” True to her word, at the recoupling, she chooses … Luca. Danica, didn’t you know you were supposed to pick Davide? Luca sits beside his new partner, crosses his arms, and mutters angrily while Danica tries not to look as awkward as she definitely feels. Gemma picks Davide just because, and Remi is dumped from the Island. After the firepit, Luca immediately shuts Danica down and tells her there’s no way he’s sleeping in the same bed. So, at least he’s loyal. Good for you, Luca.
Our Islanders are now getting busy adjusting to their new realities.
Danica and Davide: She’s giving it the old college try and likes that he’s “tanned.”
Ekin-Su and Jay: Ekin is laying it on thick and tells the girls she feels like she might be falling in love. Jay asks Gemma who else in the Villa might be open, and she suggests maybe Paige.
Dami and Indiyah: Indiyah says she “feels like such a simp.” Dami says, “I just feel like she’s just so cute. I feel like I want to protect her and stuff.”
Jacques and Paige: They get the hideaway. You know what happens in there, right?
Luca and Gemma: Gemma tells Luca, “There’s no stoppin’ us.” Luca tells Gemma, “elephant juice,” because it looks like you’re saying, “I love you.”
Tasha and Andrew: They’re fine … for now!
Enter Antigoni. She’s Greek with amazing hair and begins immediately dispensing pitch-perfect relationship advice left and right. Antigoni gets to pick three boys for a three-way date and chooses Davide, Jay, and Dami. My favorite part of this date is that while each boy takes turns picnicking one-on-one with the new girl, the other two boys watch quietly at a tiny table from like ten feet away.
Back at the Villa, Ekin-Su is going through each of the other Islanders one by one for advice on how to handle this travesty. Everyone tells her to relax, which of course she doesn’t. I can’t help sensing this barely concealed disdain for her from the other Islanders. She’s like that needy coworker constantly planning happy hours no one wants to attend and then oversharing about her personal life in the break room.
Time to introduce our final new Islander of the recap, the vertical-headed and blond-haired Charlie, who arrives just in time for Jay to get back on his bullshit. He’s 28, which means Ekin-Su is already all a-tingle.
Now that Jay has made himself comfortable here in the Villa and done the necessary recon, he sits Ekin-Su down for a mature, one-on-one chat. Jay feels that because things moved so fast with Ekin, he hasn’t had a chance to “get to know” Paige. Essentially what he tells her boils down to, I’m going to try it with Paige and if she shuts me down, then it’s all you, baby! This is so weird. Bring back secrets. Bring back sneakiness.
Ekin’s first reaction to this revelation is surprisingly calm, which I’m going to chock up to shock because as soon as it sets in, she loses it. As Jay is cheerfully relating the results of his conversation to Jacques while informing him of his intention to try stealing his girl, Ekin reappears. She tells Jay he’s “the biggest mug in here” and that he deserves “an Oscar.” The substance of what she’s saying is actually totally accurate. Jay only picked Ekin-Su because she was the safest choice at the time. Plus, despite Jay telling Paige that she was the first girl to catch his eye (curiously the same thing he told both Ekin-Su and Tasha), it seems pretty obvious that Jay is going for Paige because Gemma told him she’d be the most open to chatting.
Meanwhile, Paige is extremely uncomfortable with this because she’s been very content with Jacques. She’s especially put off by Jacques’ reaction because Jacques seems to have told Jay she’s all his for the taking. What Jacques was trying to say was, you’re free to talk to Jay if you want, but I trust that you’ll stick with me in the end — as Antigoni explains. (This girl! I love her!) But Paige is still distressed! She breaks down into tears and is eventually comforted by Jacques, who assures her, “You know I’m only in here for you.” Eh, fine, he might be growing on me a little bit. Jay, please leave this precious angel alone.
Don’t worry, everyone, we’re almost at the end. Charlie chooses Ekin-Su and Tasha for his hot tub dates and tells the boys only that both dates went well. Ekin-Su is already all-in. Tasha, being Tasha, says that maybe she’d be interested in going on another date with him, even though she is pretty happy with Andrew. This is kind of Tasha’s whole thing, though. She flirted with the idea of Jacques at first but decided to stick with Andrew. Then she flirted with the idea of Jay but again decided to stick with Andrew. Of course she’s now toying with the idea of Charlie, even if she’s still happier with Andrew.
The boys, notably Luca, Jacques, and Dami, feel that Tasha is stringing their bro along, and they have had it up to here with her antics.
At last! A recoupling. And nobody is getting dumped. Luca picks Gemma and tells her, “elephant juice.” Dami picks Indiyah, which makes everyone thrilled. Jay picks Paige because he’s the worst. Charlie picks Ekin-Su because he has a sense of self-preservation, and Tasha looks relieved. Andrew picks Tasha, of course. Davide picks Antigoni, despite having wrestled Danica’s tongue with his just yesterday. Leaving Jacques to pick Danica, which he does with a very nice speech.
We leave with Jacques and Paige gazing at each other from their separate beds by the light of the night vision camera, holding hands across the nightstand.
• “I felt like Danica was very into Davide. So I wanted to give her a geeft” — Davide on kissing Danica.
• What in the Jimmy Neutron is going on with Charlie’s hair?
• Ughhhhggghhh, the spit-swapping challenge. I was told we were done with these?!
• Ekin-Su reveals that her mother is a relationship coach by trade. I will be struggling with this information for a while.
• Luca needs to learn to mind his business, I swear to God.
• Ekin tells Charlie that she could probably get Davide back if she tried, and, to be honest, I’m not positive she’s wrong.
• Gemma and Luca
• Dami and Indiyah
• Jay and Paige
• Charlie and Ekin-Su
• Andrew and Tasha
• Davide and Antigoni
• Jacques and Danica
Last Week’s Dumpings