'Temptation Island' recap: Kate acts on feelings for Dominique, Casey plans proposal for Ashley H., and Esonica kisses Kareem
By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 12/06/2019
Temptation Island featured Casey Starchak picking out an engagement ring for Ashley Howland, Kate Griffith finally acting on her feelings for Dominique Price, and Esonica Veira making out with Kareem Thomas during Thursday night's Season 2 penultimate 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, a 34-year-old sales consultant, and David Benavidez, a 28-year-old software sales representative, lived in Hoboken, NJ, and had been dating for three years prior to the show.
And Esonica, 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 with Gavin upset over the footage he had just watched at the bonfire meeting. Gavin thought Esonica was forming an "emotional connection" and was "really liking" Kareem.
"I'm struggling because I feel like as I was realizing that I loved her, she was realizing that she doesn't want to be with me," Gavin said in a confessional.
Gavin said Esonica's behavior had gotten progressively worse, and the single women at the guys' villa tried to support him.
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Mia Metcalf was frustrated because Gavin had just told her on a date he wanted to explore their connection and relationship but now he was making it clear he wanted to leave the island with his girlfriend.
Meanwhile, Esonica opened up to Ashley G. about "a little secret." Esonica shared how Kareem had fallen asleep in her bed.
"I did something I shouldn't say," Esonica said.
Esonica told the cameras she didn't regret anything that happened with Kareem because she had "picked a pretty good person" to have "that first-time experience with."
But she was still wavering over the fact the man was not Gavin and she missed him and was trying to make the best out of the situation.
Temptation Island host Mark L. Walberg then met with the ladies in committed relationships to inform them they'd be going on overnight dates with the men of their choosing. The men who didn't get selected would be forced to leave the island.
And finally, Rick decided he'd like to take Medinah Ali out to explore their friendship and connection.
Medinah didn't want a friendship overnight date with Rick, and she told the cameras she was "upset about it." However, she chose to still go.
The men's choices ousted Mia as well as Colleen Powers, who said she had "a great time" on Temptation Island.
Casey planned to use his date with Rachel to benefit his own relationship with Ashley H.
Medinah looked forward to showing Rick a calmer side of herself, and the pair took off in a small, private plane together to Oahu, Honolulu.
Medinah and Rick enjoyed cocktails and great views, and they were totally open with each other about how Medinah had been "friend-zoned."
Rachel tried to prepare Casey to face Ashley H. again on their date over a little champagne and time in the hot tub.
Casey wondered why it took him the experience on Temptation Island to realize he wanted to be with Ashley H. forever, but he figured he just hadn't been "in tune" with himself and his real wants and needs.
Casey said he wanted to propose to Ashley H. at the end of the process and be with her forever. He seemed 100% sure his future was with Ashley H.
But Ashley H. was growing closer to, if not in love with, Ben. The couple hiked to a romantic waterfall, and Ben said his bond with her "felt real." Ben admitted he was falling in love with Ashley H. and there was nowhere else he'd rather be.
Ashley H. told Ben that everything about him fit perfectly with herself, and she never anticipated this would happen on Temptation.
"I know you have a lot going on, but I think you know what you want," Ben told Ashley H.
"I know," Ashley replied.
The couple then kissed and got touchy-feely underneath the waterfall. Ben made Ashley H.'s heart race, and she said it just "felt right" to kiss and touch Ben. Ashley H. called their time together "a fairy tale."
As Gavin and Payton were having fun on a boat, drinking and watching dolphins play, Gavin shared that he was nervous about seeing Esonica again in fear she had moved on.
"Esonica, you need to hold onto this man because he's a true treasure. If not, I might have to steal him myself," Payton told the cameras.
Meanwhile, Kareem and Esonica were feeling good energy and vibes on their date. Esonica said she felt butterflies on her final date and believed she had met him for a purpose. Esonica just needed to feel confident in "what exactly that purpose [was]."
Kareem had practiced patience with Esonica the whole journey and just hoped she'd come to the conclusion Gavin was not the man for her.
Kate was also having a great time with Dominique at their private pool. Kate asked Dominique to reveal his expectations, and he said he just wanted to cuddle and look at Kate nonstop, which made her giggle and blush.
Dominique thought Kate was amazing and called her "the most beautiful girl on the island."
Kate suggested she wanted Dominique to surprise her in the bedroom.
During Toneata's final date with David, she gushed about how she "really, really liked" him, but she wasn't in love yet. Toneata acknowledged it takes time to fall in love.
David told Toneata that she had swept him off his feet and thought they were a good-looking "couple." David admitted he was nervous about the bonfire and talking to Kate, but he was prepared to be honest and transparent.
"I've never met somebody that's on your same, like, level," David told his love interest.
Toneata was worried about David seeing Kate again because she could tell he really loved Kate, but she felt this was the start of something really beautiful and she could envision spending the rest of her life with him.
Meanwhile, Ashley G. played golf with Jose. Although she confessed she really sucked at the sport, she had fun. Ashley G. felt "emotionally out the door" in her relationship with Rick, but she contemplated whether she would feel differently once they're reunited and come face-to-face again.
Ashley G. didn't know if Rick would be willing to forgive her for what he had seen her do with Kalaan "KB" Brown.
That night, Medinah said Ashley G. had "a really great guy" and would be proud of how her boyfriend had conducted himself on the island. But Rick wasn't sure what the future was going to hold.
Rick wondered if Ashley G. was really on the show for him, but he admitted he wasn't over her emotionally as he had previously thought.
Esonica and Kareem were then shown enjoying a romantic picnic on a cliff with beautiful views. Kareem said their connection was "organic and real," and he could only see positive things to come for them.
Kareem told Esonica it was a shock to him Gavin had never complimented her natural beauty because he thought her natural hair and everything was gorgeous.
Esonica felt confused, but she thought Kareem had all the capabilities to eventually break all of her walls down and allow her to be the person she's always wanted to be.
As for Gavin, Payton advised him to tell Esonica exactly how he felt right away upon reuniting -- to be open and vulnerable. Gavin couldn't believe the show had driven them apart, because he had predicted Temptation Island would just bring them closer together.
When the night came to a close, Kareem gave Esonica a sweet kiss and they went to bed together. Esonica never would have guessed in her "wildest dreams" she'd spent a night with anyone other than her boyfriend, but she wanted to be happy in the moment.
"I want to make it [a moment] I will never forget," Esonica shared.
Casey was then shown telling Rachel that he thought once Ashley H. and himself came face to face again, they'd look into each other's eyes and remember the deep love that was there for each other.
Casey planned to remind Ashley H. that he loved her, but he intended to say it in a different, more meaningful way. Casey also wanted to tell Ashley H. that he wanted a future with her because he truly felt that way.
Ashley H. then told Ben at dinner that she really appreciated him being there for her throughout the entire experience. He thought she was a beautiful person, and Ashley H. said it felt so good to hear that.
"I think I'm falling for you," Ben told Ashley H.
"My heart just dropped into my stomach after hearing you say that," Ashley H. replied, before kissing Ben again. "My heart is racing... You scare me."
Meanwhile, Dominique told Kate at dinner that she excited him and made him happy.
Dominique always found himself smiling around Kate, but she was a bit worried what might happen after everything went back to normal and they returned to the real world.
"You don't have to," Dominique said, before kissing Kate's hand.
The couple then kissed for the very first time.
"There's something about someone's kiss that can tell you a lot about them, and it told me a lot about Dom. It's like an undeniable attraction that I can't even ignore if I tried," Kate told the cameras.
With that being said, Kate led Dominique to the bedroom and continued kissing him there.
The next morning, Esonica loved waking up with Kareem, and she felt like they were in their own little world. Kareem said the night was "extremely romantic" and it had brought them a lot closer together.
"We had some time to just really soak in the experience, and then um -- you know, we went to sleep," Kareem told the cameras with a suspicious laugh.
Kate also seemed to be on Cloud 9 waking up next to Dominique. She said they had reached "a new level of intimacy" and she just "let go" and enjoy the moment.
Kate still had to process everything that happened on the island, but she admitted it felt great to be free and do exactly what she wanted to do with Dominique.
"If Dominique is as patient off the island as he is on the island, then maybe there is an opportunity for us to pick up where we left off here," Kate said in a confessional.
Dominique told Kate that he'd be there for her as she attempted to figure everything out.
David also had a great time with Toneata, who asked David in the morning, "So we are officially boyfriend and girlfriend, right?"
"Officially boyfriend and girlfriend," David responded.
Toneata revealed to the cameras she had gotten extremely close and intimate with David the night prior.
"But as you know, a lady never overnights and tells," Toneata told the cameras.
David said he could see himself falling in love with Toneata, and he even considered moving to Los Angeles to be with her. But at the same time, David knew a difficult discussion with Kate was ahead of him.
"I'm trying to understand that if we get to the final bonfire and somehow, someway, we talk things out and we want to be together, right? How could our relationship be better?" David questioned.
"That's the question I'm trying to ask myself, and that's just me being honest."
Afterward, Casey picked out a beautiful engagement ring for Ashley H. in a local jewelry store. Casey felt he was at the top of a roller coaster that was about to drop down.
"My whole body is in shock. We're going ring shopping and I'm going to propose to Ashley," Casey told the cameras.
Casey then opened up to Rachel about how he was feeling in the store.
"It's scary to say these words, but I definitely want to be married at the end of this. This is crazy," Casey explained.
"Proposing is something I want right now. Why wait when we both want it?... She's told me a thousand times that she wants it, and I'm not going to let what's happened here change my mind about how I feel now."
"I hope she says 'yes.' You deserve it," Rachel told him.
Casey hoped to overcome all odds with Ashley H., and he predicted they were going to be together forever.
"She'll remember everything that we had before, and it will be better than ever," Casey insisted in a confessional, adding that he was overwhelmed with joy and hoped Ashley H. would say "yes."
The episode concluded with Ashley H. waking up in bed next to Ben, asking him if they would go on future dates, to which Ben replied, "I would love that."
Ashley H. was on a high "after sleeping with Ben." Ashley H. had no doubt she was going to go home with Casey at the start of the process, and she admitted it was weird to feel something completely different after getting to know Ben.
Ashley H. wondered if she was crazy for having real feelings for a single on the island.
"You need to do what is best for you," Ben told Ashley H. before kissing her.