Fantasy Island Season 2 Episode 13 Review: MJ Akuda & The 1st, 2nd, and 3rd Wives Club

at .

The magic is turned up to eleven on Fantasy Island Season 2 Episode 13, with Elena bringing in Ruby's daughter to combat Isla's mermaid-siren song and a trio of guests wielding a spellbound poppet.

We've never seen Isla frightened before, but MJ's presence on the Island puts her fins in a twist as she senses Ruby's enthrallment may not hold up against a mother's love.

Meanwhile, the trio of Gavin Beck's wives, past and present, prove formidable in their vengeance.

Jenna, Brooklyn, & Sue - Fantasy Island

Classic mythology and literature are rife with trios of powerful female figures.

Greek mythology has the Fates, Furies, and Graces. Hinduism, the Tridevi. Shakespeare's Macbeth, the Witches. 

Defending Himself - Fantasy Island Season 2 Episode 13

Gavin Beck didn't have a chance.

Granted, the Beck Wives come at their collective fantasy with some wrongheadedness.

Sue: Our fantasy is to get revenge on our husband.
Jenna: We want him to feel as awful as he made us feel.
Brooklyn: We want him to hurt.
Elena: You should know that revenge fantasies don’t always end well.
Jenna: Mm, we’ll take our chances.

Sue carries decades of damage and betrayal as the first Mrs. Beck. Her injury is not only her own but on behalf of her children. Also, if you want to get meta about it, she hurts on behalf of her younger self.

Sue: Gavin and I met when we were twenty. He was so damn handsome.
Brooklyn: Still is.
Sue: You have to understand. When Gavin looks at you, he makes you feel like you’re his whole world. I didn’t even know who I was yet, so I just became ‘Gavin’s Wife.’

While Jenna feels more vindictive, her anger is just as authentic. Like all predators, Gavin excels at identifying where his victims find their strength and value and eroding it so they depend on him for their confidence and self-worth. With Jenna, it was her intelligence. He made her feel like a fool, and that's a killing blow to someone like her.

Unlike Sue, I knew exactly who I was. And Gavin played me like a fiddle. He made me feel like I was the smartest person in the room. He said my ambition was an aphrodisiac.


Brooklyn clearly drew strength from her relationship with her father. That Gavin was able to sever that bond must've been a real feather in his cap.

Seated - Fantasy Island Season 2 Episode 13

While the poppet shenanigans are intensely entertaining -- knowing the scumbag Gavin is (played with unapologetic bombasity by the evergreen Jason Priestley) -- there's a mental rabbit hole to dive down if we were to imagine what other strategy they could've taken with the poppet.

After "marrying" the poppet to Gavin, there are a plethora of potential experiences they could visit upon him using the spells in the poppet manual. It is a "sympathetic" figure, after all.

Sue: We asked to make him hurt, but that’s not really what we want.
Elena: What do you want? Really.
Jenna: I want to make him hurt.
Sue: I want to be free of him. I am tired of Gavin Beck defining me.
Jenna: He’s never going to understand. He’s defective.
Elena: On this island, people’s capabilities often evolve. I believe we can channel yours tears to a more productive end.

Of course, they must see themselves clearly before they can mete out proper justice on Gavin. The Island's logic is just twisted enough that everyone learns to see the world and themselves differently before they can leave. Whether they like it or not.

The wives are initially so intent on vengeance that they cannot see a way to healing.

Gavin: It feels like there’s acid in my chest. I can’t breathe. The pain.
Brooklyn: This is what it’s like, Gavin. This is what it’s like to love you.

Once they realize they crave freedom from Gavin and his toxicity, it's an act of letting go. Seemingly simple but incredibly difficult when one has internalized pain for so long.

Hand Stuck Where? - Fantasy Island Season 2 Episode 13

Let's take a moment to revel in badass disciplinarian Elena Roake if you please.

When Brooklyn crosses the line with the poppet and nearly drowns Gavin, Elena's host abilities kick in, and she arrives with the splendor of an avenging angel.

I can't imagine anyone but Roselyn Sanchez delivering that entrance, wordlessly rivaling Galadriel's "beautiful but terrible as the dawn" LotR scene, conveying both her displeasure and disappointment in her guests.

Gavin: I just know that I don’t ever want to make anyone else feel the way that I made Sue, Jenna, and Brooklyn feel.
Elena: Well, if you ever want to come back to the Island for a refresher, just let me know.
Gavin: That sounds so generous, but it feels like a threat.

But her punishment is tempered with understanding, a unique Island host quality that supersedes basic human empathy in my estimation. Her real ire is reserved for Gavin.

You know, Dr. Beck, I try very hard not to be judgemental, but people like you who cause others pain with zero consideration, who manipulate and lie to those they say they love… you make it very difficult.


Mind you, one can't help but hear some of her anger toward Isla in her admonishment of Gavin's selfish and hurtful behavior.

A Cold Shower - Fantasy Island Season 2 Episode 13

Odds are the Throne of Tears doesn't work so well for mermaids.

But thankfully, Elena's intuition is also superpowered.

Javier said, ‘Love is its own kind of magic.’ I guess he was right.

Stepping into a role like MJ that carries all the emotional and narrative pressure of saving a core character cannot be easy. Gabrielle Byndloss manages it with authenticity and impressive nuance.

MJ: So you’re saying my mom didn’t die. She’s alive and well and twenty-five years old and she lives on this island, but she doesn’t remember me or my brothers or my dad. Oh, and after fifty years of marriage, she is now in love with a woman.
Segundo: Who is also a mermaid.
Javier: It’s a lot. We know.

The choice to have her walk away from the table rather than flip out on these seemingly insane strangers speaks to the quality of woman her mother raised.

Don't I Know You? - Fantasy Island Season 2 Episode 13

And each time she searches Ruby's face for recognition or any sign of recalled memories, it intensifies her commitment to bringing her mother back.

The moment on the pier is steeped in layers of meaning. The danger of the ocean, the story of Darren nearly drowning, MJ's speech to her mother (in absentia and yet not), there isn't a frivolous word in the entire exchange.

MJ: My mom loved the ocean.
Ruby: Enough to dive in and live there forever? Happens to be what I’m sitting here trying to figure out. Which probably sounds strange.
MJ: I’ve heard stranger things recently. And no, my mom knew how dangerous the ocean could be.

I confess I ugly-cried when MJ's "Mama!" scream pulls Ruby out of Isla's spell. I suspect mothers everywhere will identify with the jolt of hearing their child cry out for them.

The parallel between MJ's story of Ruby pulling Darren from the water and MJ saving Ruby from Isla's grasp is potent. Mother rescuing child turned into child rescuing mother.

Until recently, I thought I had friends on Fantasy Island. But I don’t. I have family. Family are the people who fight for you even when you make mistakes, who remind you of who you are when you forget, who save you when you need saving. Or even better, give you what you need to save yourself.


The fascinating thing is that I believe Isla when she says she loves Ruby and that Ruby would've been happy with her.

Awkward Silence - Fantasy Island Season 2 Episode 13

I think for a creature like Isla, happiness is hedonistic. It's a pleasure and frolic and novelty.

There is no depth or richness to their happiness. The same may hold true with their idea of love.

Isla: I do love you.
Ruby: You don’t even know me. Mel. My children. My family and friends. They are who I am. And you erased them.
Isla: You would’ve been happy with us. With me.
Ruby: Not real happiness.
Isla: If you change your mind, all you have to do is think of me.
Ruby: I won’t.

I feel like Isla won't be so easy to shake. When Ruby says, "I won't," I interpret it to mean she won't change her mind. It'll be impossible not to think of Isla occasionally.

Also, Isla has unfinished business with Elena.

Isla: You’re playing dirty.
Elena: I’m not playing. This is Ruby’s life.
Isla: I will get what I want.
Elena: If you do, I will never forgive myself.

While we're still waiting on a Season 3 announcement, there are many plot threads we can speculate on for the future.

Friends, Again? - Fantasy Island Season 2 Episode 12

There's the mysterious Suite 12, seen last on Fantasy Island Season 2 Episode 7, rattling on its locks.

There's the spirit of Elena's malevolent cousin, Fernando, which hangs as a reminder and burden of guilt on Elena.

Of course, there are happier things to look forward to as well.

MJ told me what you said about love being its own kind of magic. Very wise. So stop being dumb. Even when you get to do it twice, life is too short to waste time.


As far as finales go, seeing Elena and Javier reunite was a satisfying cherry on top, even if the happily-ever-after vibe makes my Spidey-Senses tingle.

A Happy Couple - Fantasy Island Season 2 Episode 13

Helena and "Dad"-vier never fail to delight as they learn from each other and grow in that trust.

I'd also hope for more scenes with Segundo and some insights into his true nature.

Gavin: Double whiskey, neat. Actually, make it a triple. One for each wife.
Segundo: Sounds like there is a story there, hm?
Gavin: Two former. One current. But I think they’re all here, messing with my mind.
Segundo: I find a heartfelt apology is always a good place to start.
Gavin: Apologize? No. I’m going to mess with them right back.
Segundo: Sometimes, things are bad. And sometimes, things are worse. Better to stick with bad.
Gavin: [laughs] Thanks, old man, but I got this.

As you watch Fantasy Island online, what do you hope to see when we next visit?

Who are your wishlist guest stars? What do you think Suite 12 holds? What can the Island do for YOU?

Drop your bon voyage wishes into the comments below, and we'll see you all at the dock next season!

MJ Akuda & The 1st, 2nd, and 3rd Wives Club Review

Editor Rating: 5.0 / 5.0
  • 5.0 / 5.0
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
User Rating:

Rating: 4.8 / 5.0 (17 Votes)

Diana Keng is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. She is a lifelong fan of smart sci-fi and fantasy media, an upstanding citizen of the United Federation of Planets, and a supporter of AFC Richmond 'til she dies. Her guilty pleasures include female-led procedurals, old-school sitcoms, and Bluey. She teaches, knits, and dreams big. Follow her on Twitter.

Show Comments
Tags: ,

Fantasy Island Season 2 Episode 13 Quotes

Sue: Gavin and I met when we were twenty. He was so damn handsome.
Brooklyn: Still is.
Sue: You have to understand. When Gavin looks at you, he makes you feel like you’re his whole world. I didn’t even know who I was yet, so I just became ‘Gavin’s Wife.’

[in Spanish] Island of rebirth, Guide me to give light to all those who seek it.