Scientist, philosopher and addiction expert Dr Gabor Mate once said, about parenting, that in the real world there is no nature vs nurture argument, only an infinitely complex and moment-by-moment interaction between genetic and environmental effects. That’s science-speak for, ”it’s complicated”.
As the clock struck nine, or whatever time it is our Islanders get up, the usual morning chorus of Chloe and Toby’s frantic rutting was drowned out by the scream of tiny mechanical children swaddled in bundles in the room next door. That’s right, the baby challenge is back – a challenge that has in past seasons seen plastic infants hurled across the villa, or grown men openly weep, such is the strength of their broodiness. It is here we see our couples in a new light, a plethora of gender roles laid out for them to choose from, like a tantalising deck of tarot cards if the tarot cards determined the lifespan of a battery-powered newborn.
Immediately it was clear that Faye is not the mothering kind, choosing instead to ignore the baby entirely, or scream into its face about how much it’s ruining her life. That her fake child had only existed for a matter of hours was beside the point. Catapulting herself into the filmographic archive of “bad mums on screen”, Twitter users commented (alas, this joke is not mine, but it is too accurate not to include) that Faye’s version of parenting was a realistic depiction of a mother from a Jacqueline Wilson novel made flesh. I half expected the plastic bébé to scream “BOG OFF”, its first words a by-product of abandonment and inherited rage. This could have been Tracey Beaker’s origin story, if you will.
Meanwhile, Teddy was making the first compelling case I’ve seen for Fathers for Justice, embracing his newfound parenthood and quickly accepting his fate as a single father. There are few things that could make Teddy sexier at this point than him tenderly swaddling a toy-child and making sure to support its head as he gives it a fake bottle feed. Because yes, the heroes of this episode were the boys, now honorary dads and therefore much, much hotter. From Liam making out with Millie in front of his artificial son, through to Tyler joyfully playing with his immaculately conceived bundle of joy, our hunks adapted tremendously to the rapid shift from Lad to Dad.
Of course, the producers decided to dispel this female-gaze dad fantasy out of what I can only imagine to be a hatred for its general audience. Inviting the boys on a trip away from the kids, the next 5 minutes of TV was the purest iteration of distilled misogyny I have ever seen. Ripped away from their children, the boys played the worst game of golf ever seen by man, each swing of the golf club an insult to women, nature and God. We don’t watch Love Island for GOLF. If we wanted that, we would go to a retirement community.
With Mary and Aaron crowned best parents, it was time for the serious business of booting someone out, Faye’s outburst last night pulling Feddy closer to the brink of elimination than ever before. Yet our doomed couple seem destined to live another day as we said goodbye to Aaron and Mary, a couple so attractive I wanted them to stay together purely for aesthetic reasons alone.
As is the case with Love Island, its sneak peek saw Saint Liberty snot sobbing into the arms of her fellow babes as she suggested that she and Jake just aren’t meant to be. Could this be the end of Jiberty, or merely a culmination of the seed of doubt planted just days before? Whatever happens, if Liberty cries, I cry, so will be watching tomorrow with a pack of Kleenex on the go.
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