In previous years, the phrase “the grass is always greener” has been used on Love Island to warn about the dangers of never settling down and always looking for something better. This year’s batch of male islanders have heard the words, repeated it ad infinitum, but stripped it of any cautionary meaning. Instead, it’s a motivational quote of the “live, laugh, love” sign variety. “The grass is always greener,” they say to each other, “therefore I should drop whoever I’m dating the second I get the slightest interest in another girl. Genius!”
You’d think that we’d be over this post-Casa Amor. But with the initial bed-hopping done, the men of the villa have retreated to their former flames, ludicrously unaware that this wasn’t some great romantic act — and has only wreaked more havoc. At least when we saw this behaviour from agent of chaos and future Edinburgh Comedy Award winner Toby, it was laughably recognisable. No, seriously – every person he confided in about being over his Mary/Abi love triangle and only having eyes for Chloe again laughed in his face. “I’m having deep thoughts here and you guys are laughing,” shouted the man who’s never had a deep thought in his life, as Jake and Tyler cracked up. Oh Toby, never change.
Less expected was Tyler, who seemingly out of nowhere decided to bless Kaz by telling her he still considered her an option! And not just any option, but an option he’s favouring 60 per cent! Unfortunately (but understandably), she clearly still has feelings for him, but made it clear she was not going to sit there while Tyler played her and Clarisse off against each other. “I’m not an option, I’m not a second choice”, she told him, while Clarisse was similarly pissed off after being told Tyler’s door is still “kind of ajar” with Kaz. The two women had a predictably passive aggressive conversation, a look of pity emanating from both parties as they perceived the other to be misreading things with Tyler. You’re not; he’s just saying the same things to you both! There are no winners in this situation!
And then there’s Liam who, of course, has realised that what he had with Millie was the best thing for him all along and that they should be back together. He spent most of the episode trying to flirt with her, sending her cringe photos and notes under her pillow (some would say cute, but my cringe-o-meter is off the scale watching Liam post-Casa Amor). And while she was definitely playing hard to get, Millie has made it clear that she wants him to fight for her. Her taking him back feels inevitable, which almost certainly spells the end of their time on the show. Faye dumps Sam and gets back together with Teddy, the nation erupts in cheers and declares them their future winners. Millie and Liam reconcile? They seem unlikely to survive a public vote. If you ever wanted a sign that this is going to end badly, Millie’s beloved Sagittarius necklace even broke this episode. I’m not sure how, but it certainly feels like it’s Liam’s fault.
While entertaining, Monday’s Love Island exemplified all the ways I’ve found this series frustrating. Like many others, I initially considered it a write-off, as it coasted on a lack of drama and some very boring boys. Things actually got spicy when A) new people were brought in and B) the girls began standing up for themselves. Now they’re moving backwards. Kaz going back to Tyler, Millie returning to Liam: these things both feel sadly inevitable right now. The grass is always greener for these boys, sure, but the girls are willing to take them back because they don’t think they’ll get any better. Even Chloe, whom you’d think would mock the idea of getting back together with Toby, listed all the ways he’d f***ed her over in the past, then concluded that she’d simply have to make sure he learnt his lesson and it didn’t happen again. Yeah, right.