This recap does not cover Episode 54 — Unseen Bits.
Okay, so first off, I know the winner has already been announced in the U.K., and I’m trying my best to avoid spoilers. I just want to enjoy this journey with all of you, watching our connection grow stronger and stronger every day. Still, this is about the time when a bit of Villa fatigue starts to set in. We’ve been with these singles every day all summer, and at a certain point, my patience for certain Islanders’ certain antics reaches its end.
So picking up right where we left off, in the middle of Mad Movies, Luca is hitting the roof over absolutely nothing. It should be no surprise that he is way more pissed at the video of Tasha kissing Billy than Andrew is, but when it’s Andrew’s video playing, Luca chortles. He guffaws. He heckles, “Tasha who!” and “That’s my boy!” There are no clips of Luca making out or flirting with a Casa girl, but there is a supercut of him pushing the other lads to indulge in their worst behavior and talking shit about their girls. (“Luca,” says Paige, who looks a bit shocked.)
And then there’s a clip titled “Good Bill Hunting.” This is just Billy flirting with Gemma, which Luca thinks makes her look bad. “Mate, when I tell you I’m fuckin’ fumin’,” he says to no one in particular. “I can’t be with someone like that.” At the other table, Gemma’s like, did I miss something? As much as I hate to believe any of my Islanders are “playing a game” on this literal game show, there’s a strong part of me that hopes Gemma is just riding this relationship out to see if she can pull out a win.
Adam, not helping, says Billy wouldn’t even try flirting with Gem if he didn’t think he could get anywhere, which Luca obviously eats up. Two problems with this. One: Has it not occurred to anyone that Billy was flirting with Gem just to get this reaction from Luca? For a laugh? Two: This is manipulative, psycho logic. If Billy is flirting with Gemma and gets “confused,” then that’s a Billy problem, not a Gemma problem. What’s she supposed to do, Luca? Sit at home in sweatpants and never talk to another man again? It takes a day and a half for Luca to calm down, and he changes the reason why he’s upset throughout that time. First, he claims to be upset that Gemma entertained Billy’s flirting. Then he’s not upset about the flirting, he’s just upset that he’s been made to look like he was so wrong when he was actually right all along. “You are chatting out of your ass,” says Gemma, who, like me, is out of patience with this. He eventually mumbles an apology and is forgiven, I guess.
Luca doesn’t really trust or respect women in general, so if Gemma isn’t giving him any reason to be jealous, he’ll get jealous on behalf of his bros. And Dami, who says things like “I’m just a guy, man,” and “women are just confusing, you know,” is just as bad. I’m just a culture writer, not a psychologist, so I couldn’t tell you why these two decide to double down on bullying Tasha this week, but double down they do.
During suck-and-blow — the game made famous by the movie Clueless — the Islanders are given cards with dares like “rub the feet of the Islander who’s been walked over the most” and “give a piggyback to the Islander riding their partner’s coattails.” Three guesses who they pick. Tasha tells the beach hut cam, “I’m getting bored of these opinions.” Same. Tasha tells Andrew she’s confused because she thought Luca and Dami were some of her best friends in the Villa, which, you can’t have really thought that?
The next day the Islanders have to play Snog, Marry, Pie, which is Fuck, Marry, Kill but with real snogs and pies. Tasha pies Luca because “apparently you aren’t a true friend.” Dami pies Tasha because “You usually get away with a lot of stuff.” Luca pies Tasha because “I could give you a list as long as Adam, but we’ll let it go for today. It is just a game.” You guys, at a certain point, it’s no longer just a game. This isn’t banter; this is, Paige agrees, “quite personal.” Andrew, who’s been quietly raging at Dami and Luca for this for days, has had it. Apparently, it takes Tasha pointing it out for Luca to realize that constantly undermining their relationship and insinuating that Andrew is being used also impacts Andrew.
I’d been waiting for Andrew to stick up for Tasha, and I guess he eventually does. After the pies, Luca finally comes over to apologize and Andrew doesn’t even look at him. Andrew only asks Tasha if she’s okay to talk to Luca. Solid boyfriend behavior. (I award you one kudo.) So, Dami and Luca apologize individually to Andrew and Tasha, and everyone makes up. I’m assuming they apologize partly because they have a few more weeks of living together, and it will be awkward otherwise.
It was a big week for quote-unquote “banter” and line-crossing in the Villa, actually. Did Dami take things too far with Summer in Casa? Or when he screamed at her across the yard that she was “fake”? Or when he then open-mouth kissed her during Snog, Marry, Kill? Ultimately, after some performative pie-ing and dithering and “I’ll deal with you later,” Indiyah decides no. With regards to the Summer situation, she says, “It takes two to tango,” and “Things are only as deep as you make them.” I guess these are true statements. It is “just a game,” after all.
You know who has actual banter? Davide and Ekin-Su. Snog, Marry, Pie is basically their whole relationship, Ekin observes. Davide playfully tells her, “I wish I could marry you and pie you at the same time.” Ekin’s trying to goad him into saying “I love you” in Italian. Even when they argue, it’s playful. That is banter.
The weirdest take on banter is easily from Billy, a true chaotic evil. After watching Luca lose his mind over mild flirting, Billy chooses Gemma for the snog in both Suck-and-Blow and Snog, Marry, Kill challenges. He fully ignores Danica. For the lolz. “I’m not a dick, but I’ve come across like a dick,” Billy wines. “You are a little bit, though,” says Deji.
Speaking of Billy and his dick, it’s time to talk about Danica. I’ve thought of basically nothing else since she mentioned last week that her six-year relationship started when she was 14 and ended about five minutes ago. Of course, she has no idea how to flirt, date, or read a man’s signals! She’s been with the same guy since puberty. (I’m choosing to assume her then-boyfriend was at least age-appropriate.) But this week, Danica has become one of my very favorite Islanders. As the drama between the couples starts to wind down, Danica shows real personal growth. She has finally, finally, started to recognize when she’s not been treated right. And more importantly, she knows now that she deserves better. Billy has ignored her during the challenges, not made any real effort to get to know her, and, most egregiously, fooled around with her in bed and told all the boys about it without clearing it with her first.
Danica tells the beach hut that Billy should stay the fuck away from her, but she has not yet told Billy. So Ekin-Su, who really should consider a career in reality television production, urges Danica to tell Billy off a full 24 hours later. “Let’s all cheers to strong, independent women who don’t take shit,” she says. And Danica is off!
She tells Billy, who is still grinning, by the way, that there are some things she’d like to get off her chest. She calls him out for the sexual debrief, which was out of order, and — DO NOT TELL HER TO CHILL. The rest of the convo goes something like this:
Danica: “Your behavior has been really fucking disgusting. It makes you look like a pig.”
Billy: “Stop swearing, or I won’t talk to you!”
Danica: “Why do I have to stop swearing? You’re not my mum, you’re not my dad, you’re not my boyfriend.”
Gemma, whispering from two feet away: “There’s no way out. She’s got him by the balls. There’s no way out.”
Danica: “Anyone would be lucky to have me. I am worth more than that.”
Boom, bitch. I’m so proud of my baby girl.
Anyway, the Islanders have been sent to the “Vibe Club,” a nearby Love Island set with a DJ named Joel Corry, who looks like Elon Musk that shrunk in the dryer. Once again, I have never heard of this musical guest, but I am a fan of slo-mo body roll montages, so carry on. The Islanders should know by now that it is a trap any time the producers send them someplace to have fun. As dusk settles on the “Vibe Club,” Laura Whitmore and her disco sleeves enter. The party is officially over.
She commands the Islanders to line up by the pool because the public have been voting! I feel like I can already physically sense Tasha tense up. But luckily for her, the public’s bottom two girls are Summer and Danica. Bottom two boys? Billy and Dami. Somehow Deji has survived a public dumping despite getting a total of 30 seconds of screen time. Impressive.
Anyway, the Islanders have to vote on who to save. They choose Dami and Danica. Obviously. Back at the Villa, removing their makeup, Ekin-Su says thoughtfully, “Summer is gone. Winter’s coming.” She is such a secret nerd, and I’m obsessed.
The next day all of our couples are planning their futures together. Andrew and Tasha talk about getting an apartment together. Davide and Ekin-Su plot out their first trip to Italy. Gemma and Luca discuss lock screen photos. So naturally, it’s the perfect time to introduce four new bombshells. It’s week seven, so it’s definitely not the best time to enter the Love Island Villa as a newbie. It’s a bit like showing up at a party after most people have started leaving and your drunk friend Chris has found the acoustic guitar. But Reece, Jamie, Nathalia, and Lacey are giving it their all.
Reece goes for Ekin-Su and is promptly shut down, which thrills Davide. Nathalia goes for Davide, which somehow leads to a pancake-off between Ekin and Nathalia. I don’t know. Everyone’s tired by now. Lacey, a showgirl who introduces herself by her ability to put her leg behind her head, goes for Deji, and Jamie seems legitimately into Danica.
It’s time for a recoupling! You can probably predict how this goes. Tasha picks Andrew, Indiyah picks Dami, Gemma picks Luca, Paige picks Adam, Lacey picks Deji, Danica picks Josh, Ekin-Su picks Davide, and Nathalia (who is not used to being friend-zoned, she’ll have you know) is stuck with Reece.
Until next time, Islanders.
Other Bits and Observations
• If Dami does not cheat on Indiyah within a week of leaving the Villa, I’ll give him $1,000.
• Ekin-Su is still acting as if 27 is middle-aged.
• Dami gets bent out of shape that Indiyah accidentally calls him Deji twice but come on. They are extremely similar names.
• I am obsessed with Davide straightening Ekin’s hair for her.
• Everyone loves Paige. Literally everyone.
• Danica marries Davide in the game because he is the “least problematic.” Fair!
• Davide says, “I need to get rid of this heavyweight” in the Mad Movies clip, and Ekin thinks he’s calling her fat.
• Tasha and Andrew
• Indiyah and Dami
• Gemma and Luca
• Paige and Adam
• Lacey and Deji
• Danica and Josh
• Ekin-Su and Davide
• Nathalia and Reece
Last Week’s Dumpings