Love Island fans, we’ve arrived – the first BIG DRAMA episode of season eight, and it’s been worth the wait. So much happens in one night: someone gets branded a “mug”! There’s a surprise kiss! Tears! A sarcastic hand clap! In short, it’s what reality TV dreams are made of, and I’m not ready for us to wake up.
The action starts when Jay pulls Ekin-Su for a chat. It’s one that’s been a little while coming – for at least a day, Jay’s been telling everyone who’ll listen that he’s interested in getting to know Paige. Everyone, that is, except Paige and Ekin-Su. Still, Turkish soap actor Ekin-Su has readied herself for a talk of some sort with her partner. He’d been acting strangely towards her all day, and she assumes it has something to do with new girl Antigoni. But, she soon finds out the true cause of his sudden distance.
“Because I moved so fast with you, maybe I didn’t get the chance to explore things with Paige,” Jay tells her. To his delight, Ekin-Su encourages him to go ahead and get to know the Welsh paramedic. She seems completely fine with the situation! (Spoiler: she is not fine.) So happy is Jay with Ekin-Su’s blessing, he wastes no time in spreading the news to Dami and Indiyah. He tells them it “couldn’t have gone better”, and if there’s any way to know that things would soon go south, it’s that.
Jay continues his villa tour of “getting to know Paige” by next going to speak to… Jacques. Since Jacques is partnered up with Paige and spent the previous night with her in the Hideaway, Jay thinks it’s the right thing to do. Bro code, and all. In another stroke of luck for Jay, Jacques says he’s also OK with him pursuing Paige, and even seals it with the ever-encouraging endorsement: “Crack on.” Is it just me, or might it be a good idea to involve Paige in all this talk at some point? Funnily enough, some women enjoy having a say in their romantic endeavours...
The game of Telephone: The Crack On With Paige Edition continues, and Jacques tells Paige of Jay’s vague plans – ones that he has absolutely no problem with, he adds. Paige’s face falls, and he asks her what’s wrong. “Nothing, I’m fine,” she replies. (Spoiler: she is not fine.)
And now, we get to the night’s major showdown. Ekin-Su’s had a think, and actually, she’s not too pleased with Jay handing in notice on their partnership. “First of all, I take everything back that I’ve said,” she declares in one of the best line-deliveries of the show so far. She then calls Jay out on the kind, reassuring things he’d said to her, one of them being that he’d leave the villa if she’d been eliminated after the last public vote. Jay tries to defend himself by saying that the more he’s been around her, the more he’s realised that their personalities don’t match, but Ekin’s having none of it.
“Mug!” she shouts, with the suggestion that he should write the word on his forehead. When she brings their argument to a wider audience, the boys are less than sympathetic, with Jacques telling her that Jay’s moved on after realising she’s a “f**king headache”.
The big fight is the main event of this evening, but a moment also worthy of note is Davide surprising Danica, and all of us at home, by kissing her for the first time. It comes after minutes of non-stop flattery towards Davide, and just when it seems as if Danica’s going too far… in comes a big smooch. “She’s completely into Davide and I wanted to give her a gift,” a smug Davide tells the cameras. Merry Christmas Danica, I guess.
Next, Paige is in tears and admits that she was hurt by Jacques seemingly having no qualms with her having prospective chats with another man. She wants him to fight for her! But upon seeing her upset, Jacques comforts her and tells her he’s got her back. “Who woulda known I’d care about her crying?” he ponders later. Imagine that.
Finally, it’s time for bed, and while there are no more stolen kisses between Ekin-Su and Jay, night vision cameras capture some bumpy activity in Andrew and Tasha’s bed. “Do you like it like that?” Andrew asks. Thankfully, the cameras cut before we ever hear Tasha’s answer.
The next morning, Ekin-Su’s unapologetic, but she and Jay talk it out and settle their beef. FINALLY, Jay speaks to Paige, and though she’s not particularly interested in entertaining anyone but Jacques, she gives it a go.
New boy Charlie chooses Ekin-Su and Tasha to go on a hot tub date – and there’s some definite chemistry with Tasha. Luca predicts that Charlie could turn Tasha’s head… and judging by her feedback after the date, he could be on to something. “There’s just something about Charlie,” Tasha gushes. Oh, Andrew, perhaps she didn’t “like it” that much after all.