And so, as this long, static journey moves towards its ending, could it perhaps be the sight of the fifty grand cash prize raising its regal head above the gathering horizon like the flame on the lamp of liberty, that is behind the sudden emergence of love, absolutely everywhere?
Josh loves Kaz. Kaz loves Josh but is too afraid to tell him.
Wes and Megan, both of whom, at some point in the last few never-ending weeks, have had sex in the same bed but with other people, are suddenly deeply in love and cannot wait for their “life outside.” For “life outside” read hyper-extended nationwide PA tour, posing for awkward selfies with sh*tfaced weekend millionaire recruitment consultants burning their overdrafts on bottle service in provincial outposts of Tiger Tiger. And if you can’t wait for that then you can’t wait for anything.
Jack and Dani are in love. Dani’s even going to move in with Jack, where having avoided the temptation to have sex with him in front of the night vision cameras for eight impossibly gruelling weeks, will instead do the deed in front of the poster of her own dad on Jack’s bedroom wall.
Paul doesn’t appear to love Laura and Laura doesn’t love Paul, but she is compensating via a deep and enthralling passion with the sound of her own voice moaning.
Alexandra and Alex have sadly now slipped the surly bonds of their own captivating love triangle, in which Alexandra tried to love Alex and Alex loved a car. Whether the car loved Alex back was never made clear, but on the most recent occasion he tried to get his hands on an object of extreme beauty but without any cognitive function, that being “what is Brexit” Hayley, the object in question physically winced so he has made progress.
Now we move into Love Island’s pantomime phase, where the islanders court not each other but the general public, with all the determined energy of a bird of paradise sullied by human detritus, building its shiny love nest from discarded crisp packets.
“When I come in here, I never thought I’d meet someone like you,” said Dani to Jack, up in their hot air balloon, as the sun rose over the Mallorcan hills. Jack, a spiritual Essex boy who just happens to be from Kent, and with veneered teeth as pristine as an undiscovered Antarctic ice shelf, could not be more from Love Island central casting if he tried, and thus this marked an unlikely moment for Dani to make the unlikely confession that she has never in fact seen the show before.
And just as the sun rose on Dani and Jack, it was fitting in its way that it should set on Paul and Laura, who, with the evening spread out against the sky, did their best to grind through the gears of their entirely confected affection but getting stuck while barely into second, via Laura’s accidental frantic monologue about how Paul, a man who has managed to make kissing Britney Spears boring, absolutely definitely isn’t boring.
Arguably the Alex/Alexandra storyline should have ended under the afternoon sun, on their car crash date that took place inside an actual car, a narrative construction for which Love Island producers must be immediately and fulsomely credited for having come up with this unsettlingly tableau more Chekhovian than anything Chekhov himself ever managed.
As Alexandra leaned lovingly over, wondering out loud about how things would be on the outside “when our lives merge,” there appeared a brief flash in Alex’s eyes, the moment at which he worked out he didn’t actually have to answer the question, he could just take the easy option, jam his foot down and sail them both off the approaching cliff and into the blessed release of violent watery death.
But perhaps it was even more fitting that the disaster would wait until dark. Frankly, Alex should have smelt the inevitable long, long weeks ago. He should have known long before even downloading the Love Island 2018 application form how it would all end. Which is to say it would always end with him being called pathetic by an enraged makeup artist, his blushes only spared by eight accumulated weeks under the Mallorcan sun that have rendered the very act of blushing far beyond him.
Oh, Alex, as we turn to Yeats in this difficult times, how many of us have loved your moments of glad grace?
Have loved your lapdancing, with love false or true? But one woman loved the awkward soul in you, and loved the sorrows of your crimson face.
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