'Temptation Island' recap: Ashley Howland hooks up with Ben Knobloch and shocks and infuriates Casey Starchak
By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 11/15/2019
Temptation Island featured Ashley Howland hooking up with single Ben Knobloch in bed, which completely shocked and infuriated Casey Starchak when he had to watch the footage back, and David Benavidez forming an emotional connection with single Toneata Morgan during Thursday night's Season 2 broadcast of the USA Network revival.
Temptation Island follows four dating couples at a pivotal time in their relationships in which they must decide whether to stay committed to each other for the rest of their lives or go their separate ways.
The couples -- who were at a crossroads in their relationships -- traveled together to a tropical paradise, where they were given the opportunity to live the "single life" in attempt to determine whether or not being single was exactly what they wanted.
The stakes were high and hearts were on the line, but each exclusive couple seemed pretty confident their bonds would outlast and conquer any temptation. However, everyone was taking a great risk.
Ashley Goldson, a 30-year-old store manager from Boston, MA, and Rick Fleur, a 32-year-old model from Mattapan, MA, had been dating for four years on and off prior to the show.
Ashley H., a 25-year-old dental assistant, and Casey, a 25-year-old in online sales, lived in Deland, FL, and had been dating for a year-and-a-half prior to the show.
Kate Griffith, a 34-year-old sales consultant, and David, a 28-year-old software sales representative, lived in Hoboken, NJ, and had been dating for three years prior to the show.
And Esonica Veira, a 30-year-old former Miss Virgin Islands, and Gavin Rocker, a 26-year-old in private security, lived in Decatur, GA, and had been dating for a little over one year prior to going on the show.
The Temptation Island broadcast began where last week's episode had left off, with Kate having watched David shower naked with a girl and then get into bed with two women to apparently have a threesome.
"My heart is pounding out of my chest. I don't know. Maybe all along, I knew who he was," Kate told Temptation Island host Mark Walberg at the bonfire meeting, as the three other girls surrounded her to comfort her.
"His words mean nothing. Everything he said up until this point means nothing. Our entire relationship has meant nothing. I mean, doesn't he understand that I'm going to see that?! He just threw away our entire relationship."
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Kate later told the cameras, "There's nothing David could do to redeem himself at this point. He doesn't deserve any more of my time and energy."
Once the men returned to their villa following their own bonfire meeting, Casey said he didn't not feel like his relationship was on the line and he was hoping Ashley H. was learning more about herself.
And Medinah Ali, a 30-year-old podcaster from Atlanta, GA, was trying to open up Rick more. Medinah asked Rick to talk about what he had watched at the bonfire, but Rick didn't want to revisit what he had witnessed.
Medinah called Rick "a hard person to read" and said he was standoffish, and then Medinah started to cry.
"I feel like this situation is making me really insecure. I don't know. I just really like you," Medinah cried in Rick's arms.
Rick used to shut down in the past when Ashley G. did something to upset him and then he'd step out and cheat. Rick said he regretted how he behaved in the past because he should've just "sucked it up" and talked to his girlfriend to work through their problems.
David was then shown telling Payton Burgess, a 23-year-old bartender from Greenville, SC, he had let himself and Kate down. The pair had kissed in bed, but Payton noted the person she really wanted to kiss was Casey -- and David agreed, admitting he had more interest in other girls.
Meanwhile, Kate vented to Ashley H. and Esonica how she had focused on "we" in her relationship so much and now it was time to focus on herself and grow as an individual.
Ashley H. was also ready to let loose and have some fun because she didn't want someone who was being "f-cking gross" to ruin her time on Temptation Island.
The girls therefore enjoyed an "ABC" party, meaning anything but clothes. Things got wild, but the night came to a crashing holt for Kate at the end of the night.
Kate said the party just "delayed" her emotions, and then she broke down and cried about how David had made her feel "stupid." Dominique Price, a 29-year-old entrepreneur from Marina Del Rey, CA, however, was there to pick up the pieces and hug Kate in her time of need.
Dominique was glad Kate didn't even cry at the bonfire meeting because he insisted she deserved so much more.
As for Esonica, she continued to bond with Kareem Thomas, a 27-year-old financial consultant from Queens, NY. Esonica told him that she thought she could trust Gavin and so she was "disappointed in him, 100 percent." Esonica wasn't sure how to move forward from this.
The party also ended with Ashley H. crying to her pal Deac Conti, a 25-year-old E-commerce entrepreneur from Naples, FL, about how Casey had said he wouldn't even care if she broke up with him.
Casey had told a single that while he loved Ashley H, he missed his single life style of partying and hooking up with random girls a lot. Ashley H. suddenly realized she might've been in love with a man who never really loved her back.
Ashley H. still missed Casey and wished she could hug him and talk to him, but her heart was clearly breaking.
The next day, Ashley G. asked Chris Grant, a 32-year-old special education teacher from Bronx, NY, out on a date, and Ashley H. asked Ben, a 25-year-old site supervisor from Phoenix, AZ, out.
Ben advised Ashley H. not to forget why she came to Temptation Island, but at the same time, be happy and enjoy living in the moment. With that being said, Ashley H. realized she needed to focus on herself -- rather than just her relationship -- and embrace the whole experience.
Ben predicted Ashley H.'s potential romance with Deac was going to end, and he had hope he'd be the man to win her heart.
Meanwhile, Gavin asked Mia Metcalf, a 26-year-old model and retail manager from West Allis, WI, out on a second date. Gavin said he really enjoyed spending time with Mia, who appreciated his sarcasm and wit. Gavin admitted Esonica was more sensitive and so it was fun to be himself.
Payton was "really f-cking nervous" Casey was going to ask Rachel Hamel, a 25-year-old swimwear designer from New York, NY, out on a date, and that's exactly what came to fruition.
Casey loved how Rachel put "zero pressure" on him, and so he asked her out. When Payton saw the pair talking, she ran off and cried in a bedroom.
"The connection I thought I had is just not there. Ashley, I feel sorry for you, and I hope and pray you have met someone who has exceeded your expectations, who is there to connect with you and bond with you when you need somebody. Because I'm telling you right now: Casey ain't it," Payton told the cameras.
A piece of Esonica's date with Kareem was then shown, and Esonica complained about how Gavin held her hand. Not only did Esonica like holding hands with Kareem, but she finally let the man hug her and kiss her cheek. Kareem was glad their relationship was moving in a more romantic direction.
"Obviously we have a connection. It's not all 'friend,'" Kareem told Esonica on their date.
"Yeah, okay. We know it may be, like, obviously you're a little bit more of a friend. That's why I keep taking in [details]," Esonica told him, before confessing to the cameras she felt a butterfly "flutter" in the pit of her stomach when spending time with Kareem.
As Esonica was letting her walls down, Gavin and Mia went tubing. Gavin felt a mixture of excitement and terror during the date, but Mia just laughed at him and thought his fears were funny.
Mia, however, promised she wasn't going to "deduct" any of Gavin's "swag points." Gavin noted that everyday with Mia got better, and he was prepared to continue pursuing her.
David was then shown taking Toneata, a 23-year-old model and entrepreneur from Los Angeles, CA, out to lunch. He called her "the most beautiful" girl in the villa -- not only because of her face but because of her "incredible body."
David and Toneata both agreed they were very attracted to each other, and then Toneata asked David if he'd be willing to move out to California for her if things got serious between them.
"If it feels right, then I would do it. Of course. You never know!" David replied.
While David seemed to be falling for Toneata, Dominique told Kate that he was ready to get married and become a father. Dominique was excited about starting a family, and Kate enjoyed having a deep conversation with a man, which was something she had been lacking in her relationship with David.
Ashley G. also had a great time with Chris. She called him "hilarious" as well as "sweet, funny and extremely smart."
Ashley G. gushed about how Chris gave great advice, and he told her that Temptation Island seemed to be her "out" from her relationship with Rick because she had jumped on the first opportunity to move on from him.
Ashley wanted the house, the kids and the car, but she wasn't sure she'd obtain that life staying with Rick.
Medinah and Rick were then shown enjoying some ice cream together by the ocean, and Medinah felt like she was already his girlfriend. Medinah asked Rick if he missed Ashley G., and he said "of course," but Rick also acknowledged, "I don't see myself leaving with her," because of everything she had done on the island.
Rick told Medinah that once he returned to Boston, MA, he wouldn't want their romance to stop. He therefore told Medinah she could visit him in Boston and he'd be willing to travel to Atlanta to spend time with her as well.
Meanwhile, Ashley H. and Ben flew kites together, and Casey and Rachel went fishing.
Casey felt "very, very confident" in his relationship with Ashley H., and so he told the cameras there was "no jealousy" on his end. But Ashley H. felt "played" and was done crying over Casey.
Ben told Ashley H. that Casey may not have come onto the show for the right reasons, and his words helped her a lot. Ashley H. felt a stronger connection and attraction to Ben than ever, and she said in a confessional, "I could really see myself with Ben."
When their date was coming to an end, Ben gave Ashley H. a very passionate kiss that turned into a little makeout session. It was the first time Ashley H. had kissed or done anything physical with a man on the island.
That night, David sat down with Samantha Hoffman, a 29-year-old flight attendant from Tampa, FL -- who was one of the women in his threesome -- to inform her that he just wanted to focus on his connection with Toneata.
Samantha wasn't happy, but she got over it quickly because she said she was looking for a man and not "a scared little boy."
And Ashley H.'s mind was "blown" over her kiss with Ben. She gushed to Kate about how no man had ever kissed her like that in her entire life. Ashley H. felt like she was doing something bad, but at the same time, she noted things felt so right.
"He's a different type of man," Ashley H. told Kate. "In my heart, I know I deserve better right now. Because honestly, my boyfriend is being a f-cker."
Kate told Ashley H. that Casey had made a mistake in bringing her to Temptation Island because Ben was a real man who knew how to treat a woman. Kate said Ashley H. must have been kissing boys before this show and she was happy for her.
Later on, Rick, Gavin and David were all coupled up, grinding with their partners in the kitchen to music. But Casey did not have a woman in his life at the moment whom he wanted to be with more than Ashley H.
"It makes me feel scared. Ashley is going to see all these guys coupling up and probably start to assume I'm doing the same thing, which I'm not," Casey said in a confessional.
While the drinks were flowing, Medinah said David was trying to make Toneata "wife" while giving Samantha "the side eye." Medinah said watching David play the two women made her think he was definitely playing Kate in his serious relationship.
But David seemed crazy about Toneata, and he was really excited about their connection. David called Toneata "trusting," and he said she was different from Kate because she didn't seem to have any insecurities.
Meanwhile, Kate was lying in a hammock with Chris, but then Dominique interrupted their conversation "like a vulture," according to Chris. When Dominique was standing next to Kate, she started playing with the drawstring in his bathing suit and was joking about touching his "junk."
"Dominique is trying and he's being extremely patient with me. Yeah, I would like to be physical with him and I'm super attracted to him, and my body is saying, 'Let him in.' So each day, I let him in a tiny bit more. But when I say 'tiny,' I mean like [really tiny]," Kate told the cameras.
As the party kept going, Ashley H. and Ben made out in the hot tub right in front of Deac. Ashley H. said his kisses were like fire, given Casey used to give her little pecks goodnight.
Ashley H. and Ben then brought their makeout session to the bedroom, where they snuggled and touched each other in bed. Ben was so excited he was forming a sincere connection with a girl, and then it appeared the couple hooked up.
But the next day, Ashley H. assured the cameras she and Ben did not have sex. Ashley H. and Ben, however, continued to spend time together and kiss, and Ashley H. didn't regret her actions at all.
"Ben made me feel something completely different than I've ever felt -- ever," Ashley H. explained.
Ashley H. was tired of giving a man her whole heart when he didn't reciprocate her strong feelings.
It then became time for the men to go to another bonfire meeting. Rick was worried he was going to see Ashley G. furthering her connection with Kalaan "KB" Brown, a 36-year-old realtor from Long Beach, CA.
Once the bonfire commenced, David explained that he was learning how to feel emotion but express his emotions as well. He told Mark he was interested in pursuing his relationship with Toneata and strengthening their bond.
"Hopefully it works out in the end," David noted.
David then watched Kate flirt with Dominique by pulling on his bathing suit drawstring. David didn't like to see that because he said it was clear Kate was building "a strong emotional connection" with him.
David insisted the mistakes he had made were "emotionless" and just him "being drunk and stupid." But Mark pointed out how David's romance with Toneata was transcending just the physical.
"I can't sit here and say that I'm a saint. I'm having a similar emotional connection to Toneata," David told Mark.
"I'm just realizing that emotions are a bigger part of life than I made them to be before I came here. So, an emotional connection means a lot more to me now because I have one with Toneata."
Gavin then watched Esonica complain about how Gavin felt uncomfortable holding her hand. He also witnessed Esonica saying she felt more for Kareem than just a friendship.
Gavin actually thought the first clip was funny because they had a lot of debates about the proper way to hold hands. Gavin admitted he missed Esonica and it worried him to see Esonica building an emotional connection with this single man.
"I see a lot of consistency there, and I know what consistency can do," Gavin noted.
"And I know what consistency can mean. I feel this entire experience has made me realize that I like having her around more than I thought I did. That's what's been revealed to me."
Rick subsequently viewed a clip of Ashley G. telling KB the process was getting more difficult with each passing day. Rick told Ashley G. there was potential for the two of them, and then Ashley G. replied, "We'll see what happens."
Rick said it was refreshing to see something different. Rick noticed Ashley G. was questioning KB's motives and pulling back a little bit, and it made him feel good to see that he was no longer just "an after thought" in his girlfriend's mind.
Rick admitted that clip was making him rethink some things, and he said "there's a definite possibility" they could reconcile and stay together at the end of the show.
The couple came to Temptation Island for personal growth and hopefully to grow together, and Rick acknowledged Ashley G. might have been in a better place at this point in the process.
But Casey's world came crashing down when he watched Ashley H. make out with Ben and then get into bed with him. Casey watched Ben get ontop of Ashley H. in bed and kiss her, and Casey's face spoke volumes.
Not only did Casey's mouth drop open in complete shock, but he appeared angry, confused, devastated and disgusted all at once. The episode then ended with Casey punching the bench he was sitting on with all his might three time.