Fantasy Island: Season 2/ Episode 1 “Tara and Jessica’s High School Reunion; Cat Lady” (Premiere) – Recap/ Review (with Spoilers)

After being delayed nearly a year, “Fantasy Island” returns with new guests, a new relationship and someone experiencing a fresh breakup.


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Elena welcoming guests to fantasy island

After being delayed nearly a year, “Fantasy Island” returns with new guests, a new relationship and someone experiencing a fresh breakup.

Aired (FOX) January 2, 2023
Episode Title Tara and Jessica’s High School Reunion; Cat Lady
Director(s) Adam Kane
Writer(s) Adria Lang
Noted Characters
Andi Nevinson Jasika Nicole
Tara Bendetti Rachael Harris
Jessica Warren Cheryl Hines
Baron Bobo Von Bigglesworth III Zack Pearlman
Harrison Unknown
Ashton Sandford Matthew Pohlkamp

Recap

This content contains pertinent spoilers. Also, images and text in this post may contain affiliate links which, if a purchase is made from those sites, we may earn money or products from the company.

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The Cat Lady – Ruby, Andi, Baron, Harrison, Elena

Andi Nevinson (Jasika Nicole) happy with her special boy
“Andi Nevinson (Jasika Nicole),” Fantasy Island, “Tara and Jessica’s High School Reunion; Cat Lady,” directed by Adam Kane, 2022, (FOX)

Two sets of guests arrive at “Fantasy Island,” and of the two, Andi, is a bit easier to handle. All she wishes is to know her cat, Baron, loves her. So, Elena and the island decide to make Baron human, and Baron delivers some harsh truths to his owner. Mainly that her life seems sad and boring. This is quite insulting to Andi, but she can’t help but admit he is right when Ruby checks on her.

Andi wants unconditional love, and where else would she get that but from a pet? Men have been a disappointment, but Ruby points out a man named Harrison, who Andi takes to. She even makes him a priority over Baron, which he is a bit hurt by at first, but then he adjusts and seems okay with. And with them reconciling and him revealing he does love her, the fantasy ends.

Andi and Harrison dancing together
“Andi and Harrison,” Fantasy Island, “Tara and Jessica’s High School Reunion; Cat Lady,” directed by Adam Kane, 2022, (FOX)

No clue, though, if Harrison can or will leave the island with Andi.

The High School Reunion – Elena, Tara, Jessica, Ashton

Jessica and Tara have been friends since freshman years of high school, and even now own an organization business together. But, with their 30th high school reunion coming, they hope to rewrite the narrative. Not in terms of redoing prom and high school, but instead changing the perception of them.

So, being as the island and Elena are able to manipulate, or tap into, history and other timelines, Tara and Jessica are shown a near-perfect world. One in which Tara is an accomplished author and business person, and Jessica is with her high school crush, Ashton. This dream world, which includes Tara having a son, seems too good to be true, but Elena makes it clear this could be real. The problem is Tara and Jessica, thinking they were protecting each other, actually stifled one another.

Jessica isn’t as ambitious as Tara, and Tara dissuaded Ashton from asking Jessica out. That is two examples of how they hold one another back, but there is likely more. And with both coming to realize that, in time, they amicably break up so that they can live the lives they deserve. While still honoring the friendship which carried them for three decades.

Love & Friend Energy – Gina, Ruby, Javier, Elena, Segundo

With Elena and Javier coming out as a couple, Andi finding love, and Jessica as well, Ruby is just swept away by other people’s relationships and doesn’t recognize her own isn’t as it should be. Mind you, Gina isn’t upset with Ruby, hates her, or anything like that. More so, while there is love energy all around, for Gina, she sees friend energy with Ruby. So, she downgrades their relationship to a simple friendship.

But, while Ruby might be feeling the blues, Elena is enjoying herself. The sex is good, Javier learns to salsa thanks to Segundo, and she lets herself be free and dances with Javier publicly and kiss him too.

Things To Note

What Could Happen Next

  1. The search for Ruby getting a new beau
  2. Kyla Pratt seems due to show up, based on the preview, and I wonder if she might be related to Ruby

Collected Quote(s)

Instead of pushing each other to be braver, we stuck with what made us feel safe.
— Tara

Look. I get it. You’re new at this, and I was a safe space. But love should be a little scary.
— Gina

Review


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Highlights

Tara and Jessica’s story

Tara Bendetti (Rachael Harris) giving the backstory on why she was nicknamed "Breadsticks"
“Tara Bendetti (Rachael Harris),” Fantasy Island, “Tara and Jessica’s High School Reunion; Cat Lady,” directed by Adam Kane, 2022, (FOX)

Friendships are relationships. They have a certain level of intimacy, trust, money can be involved, and for some, where the line is drawn changes depending on who you are talking to. What we don’t see or hear enough of, however, are friendships ending on amicable terms. The old saying is that people come into your life for reasons, seasons, or a lifetime, and usually if people last a while, you think it is a lifetime. Any flaws or issues are just things you weather as part of the relationship.

But, as Elena pushed, when it came to those two, their dependency caused stagnancy. Yes, Tara and Jessica started a business, but it is clear Tara saw bigger things for herself, and in trying to drag Jessica along, she was slowing herself up. Then with Jessica, she had her garden and a whole other dream which wasn’t high stress. Also, she seemingly wanted marriage and something she couldn’t have since her friendship was all-consuming.

Now, could they have talked it out, made boundaries, and reset expectations? Of course. But sometimes, it is better to end things with a lot of happy memories and move on than do the work when you know you might stretch out the relationship, but the best days might be behind you.

Understanding Andi’s Struggle and The Mutual Dependency Of Pets

Baron Bobo Von Bigglesworth III (Zack Pearlman) noting his love for Andi
“Baron Bobo Von Bigglesworth III (Zack Pearlman),” Fantasy Island, “Tara and Jessica’s High School Reunion; Cat Lady,” directed by Adam Kane, 2022, (FOX)

Dating is hard. The older you get, for some, the smaller the pool is, especially once you are no longer in school, if you want someone without kids, and so on. So, for Andi, it is understandable that she’d rather settle for her cat, who will always be there, won’t have real arguments with her, and appears to love her unconditionally, than deal with a man who comes with all these flaws, potential secrets, and more.

But, as shown through Ruby and Baron, while a pet may love you, part of that love is based on dependency. “Food Lady” is the affectionate term Baron says cats give their female owners and is a term of the highest regard. However, that doesn’t discount that if the food wasn’t given, that love would likely dissipate. So the idea of unconditional love is a bit of a fallacy since, all animals, pets or humans, have conditions. With pets not being able to communicate in a human language, and more willing to be submissive or controlled, you can elude yourself into thinking things are fine, even when they think they aren’t.

Friend vs. Love Energy

Being friends with someone who is of the sex/gender you like, and they like the same thing, can lead to mixed signals – if you’re not careful. Compliments can be taken the wrong way, and chemistry and intimacy can be seen as a sign maybe you should take things further, but as Ruby and Gina show, that isn’t always the case. Sometimes, becoming comfortable isn’t a sign that this person could be the one. It could just mean they are meant to remind you what you really want is like, set precedents for you, or be an outlet.

It’s hard to say what Gina and Ruby were meant to be and what led Gina to think they should downgrade, since it almost seems like they might be writing the character off. But, being that Ruby is a baby gay, if she fell and lasted forever with the first person she dated, that would stifle her journey.

Keeping The Storylines Going

Whether it is Javier and Elena’s relationship, Ruby’s journey of discovering homosexual relationships or continuing to learn what the island is capable of, it’s good to see a show where most of the cast only is around for an episode still building up those part of its core. Never mind, when it comes to the island, continuing to make you wonder what is possible and what are the few, if any, limitations?

Elena welcoming guests to fantasy island
Fantasy Island: Season 2/ Episode 1 “Tara and Jessica’s High School Reunion; Cat Lady” (Premiere) – Recap/ Review (with Spoilers)
Overall
While a year delayed, “Fantasy Island” starts things off strong, leaving you to wonder why they put this off?
Community Rating0 Votes
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Highlights
Keeping The Storylines Going
Friend vs. Love Energy
Understanding Andi’s Struggle and The Mutual Dependency Of Pets
Tara and Jessica’s story
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