Love Island U.K.
Week 9 of Love Island U.K. is available to stream now in the United Kingdom on ITV2; it will be available in the U.S. on Hulu starting the week of September 6. This recap does not cover Episode 55: “Unseen Bits.”
We have all collectively watched at least 57 hours of Love Island this summer. That’s almost two and a half full days of slow-motion entrances, unknown Hideaway liquids, Champagne toasts, and getting-ready montages. That’s almost the amount of time Hugo spent with any single woman in the villa. After all this, we have four successful couples, not including Toby and his Little Mermaid wig: Faye and Teddy, Kaz and Tyler, Millie and Liam, and Toby and Chloe. And, surprisingly, I actually have faith in most of them to stay together on the outside (sorry, Faye, I think the bed in Devon’s a little small for you, Teddy, and Lady). I must admit, I got a little choked up watching the finale; after 57 hours of watching them fall in love and fall apart, I felt like I was saying good-bye to my island friends. No matter; we’ll all see them on IGTV very soon.
Let’s Get Grafting
It’s time for Toby and Chloe’s final date. As the Goofy Couple™, they get the Goofy Date™: an Alice in Wonderland–themed picnic in the middle of the Majorcan woods, complete with framed photos of them doing unspeakable things in the Hideaway. They once again bring up Chloe’s voice memo (something I’m sure will be played at their wedding) and talk about their growth as a couple. Toby’s never had a relationship, but Chloe says she’s never had a good one, and they excitedly chat about their future on the outside. Needless to say, I absolutely love them and hope they get a trampoline or a small, yappy dog together or something of the like.
After some shenanigans involving yogurt falling on Millie and Kaz yelling at Tyler to put the toilet seat down, it’s time to meet the family, a.k.a. the only time when people over the age of 40 will ever grace this villa. Sadly, everyone has to socially distance, so the islanders and their loved ones are forced to wipe their tears on separate beach chairs. First up is Liam, whose adorable parents show up, and Millie, whose mom and sister take a selfie with the Reardons to announce their arrival. Everyone approves of everyone, except Liam’s father, who tells Liam he shouted at the television during Casa Amor (as he should). Next to walk in is Faye’s best friend and sister alongside Teddy’s brothers. Teddy’s family tries valiantly to pretend they like Faye after watching her scream at their brother for at least four full episodes, while Faye’s sister has the thankless job of reporting that their dad thinks Faye swears too much. After that awkward meetup, Tyler’s parents arrive alongside Kaz’s sister and mom, who I swear looks so young I thought she was another sister. Tyler’s dad, a man I genuinely want to hang out with, somehow causes the most drama of these final two episodes: Speaking to Tyler, he says, “No one that came in Casa had anything on [Kaz].” Personally, I’m extremely excited to see the Clarisse versus Mr. Cruickshank Twitter feud. Finally, both Toby and Chloe’s sister and mom show up, and Toby cries like it’s the end of a Hashtag United game (sorry, had to do it one last time). Jake and Liberty’s parents, sadly, are on the first flight back to Heathrow.
It’s the last day in the villa! The boys make all the girls iced coffees one last time, and a text announces that tonight’s the Love Island 2021 Summer Ball (to which the islanders do a conga line). The producers send in two poor salsa instructors who quarantined for two weeks just to see Faye gallop from side to side; they then split the islanders up by sending the ladies on a spa day and tasking them all with writing “declarations of love” (or in Liam’s case, handwriting practice, as he says he hasn’t held a pen since he was 16).
The girls walk one by one down the stairs in the final slow-motion entrance of the series, and I’m tearing up. Before we move onto the speeches, the boys are contractually obligated to tell the girls how good they look in their pseudo-prom dresses. First up, it’s Liam and Millie. Millie kicks things off by reminding everyone she first went for Liam because he’s six-foot-six, but stayed with him for his Tom Jones renditions. Liam follows up by pointing out every part of Millie’s physique that is “perfect” or “crafted by the heavens.” He wants to bring her home to Wales, so Millie better get that Google Translate app dusted off and ready! They finish up their declarations by staring at each other with such love in their eyes and such blindingly white smiles that I almost have to look away.
Next up is Faye, who does her best Shakespeare impression in a speech that rhymes “cursed” with “worst.” She and Teddy both reflect on her moments of anger; in what seems like his new motto, Teddy says Faye is a “pain in the ass, but [he] wouldn’t change it for the world.” He then says he’s glad he gave her the title of girlfriend. Good for you, Teddy, and maybe one day, Faye can return the favor by giving you the title of “funny.”
Kaz goes next, and she reveals her true identity as a horse girl by using an extended equine metaphor to describe her and Tyler’s relationship: He fell off the saddle after Casa, he earned her trust and got the reins back, and now they’re galloping off into the sunset. Tyler attempts to one-up this by going full Victorian Boy, starting by calling Kaz his “fair lady” and ending by saying he is “yours, Kaz, and will always be yours.” If there’s an open casting call for the next season of Bridgerton, I humbly nominate these two.
Finally, it’s Chloe and Toby’s turn, who, true to form, still devolve into a fit of giggles every time they have to say something serious. Chloe waxes poetic about their first encounter at the Bootylicious Challenge and Toby’s weird sense of humor, but ends it with the fact she’s fallen for him. In his speech, Toby proves he’s reached the final stage of Man Maturation when he asks Chloe to be his (first!) girlfriend. Chloe screeches so loud that Kaz has to remind her to say yes, which she eventually does, and they celebrate by absolutely whipping each other around during the salsa dance to “Despacito.” The whole cast jumps into the pool one last time, and all is well.
In the live portion of the finale, host Laura Whitmore plays highlights reels and interviews the couples like we didn’t all just watch them for 57 hours. I’ll spare you the shenanigans and just tell you the scores: Kaz and Tyler come in fourth, Faye and Teddy third, Chloe and Toby second, making Liam and Millie your Love Island 2021 winners! Because of the power of live television, Laura peer-pressures the two of them into becoming boyfriend and girlfriend before presenting them with two envelopes each: one containing 50,000 pounds, the other containing nothing. This whole Prisoner’s Dilemma exercise is supposed to see whether Liam and Millie are here for love or money, which is ridiculous. Fifty thousand pounds isn’t enough to sway someone — you could get more than that in Instagram deals on your first day out of the villa. This is no Bachelor Pad (the pre-Paradise Bachelor spinoff that featured this exact scenario, except the guy kept the money; the video has essentially been scrubbed from official channels).
In a shock to no one, Millie splits the money with Liam, and they all chant “Millie Moo!” until the sun rises over the villa. And just like that, after 57 hours, it’s time to store the vibrator-shaped chairs and lock the giant, 16-person bedroom until next season. Or at least until the Christmas reunion.
• In this final version of Dead Tings, I’d like to acknowledge everyone and everything that makes these recaps possible. Thank you to:
• Olivia Rodrigo’s SOUR.
• Bolu Babalola, who has the best Love Island takes on all of Twitter.
• Hashtag United F.C. Sorry I dunked on you whenever possible.
• The dedicated users of Dailymotion who upload these episodes when ITV2 craps out on me.
• Kaz and Liberty’s friendship.
• My gurlfriend!
• My editors, Genevieve and Nic, who deal with Love Island’s (and therefore my) insane schedule.
• And last, but certainly not least, all the sexy singles out there. I do it all for you.