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Fantasy Island - Día de los Vivos - Review: A Highlight for Season One

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This was my favorite episode of the season.

It’s Día de los Muertos on Fantasy Island, and, of course, it works a little differently on The Island. The dead return in corporeal form.

Ruby has been the character that represents the audience in that she asks the questions we have about how things work on The Island. Consequently, she’s the character we got to know faster, and is, for me, a favorite character.

Ruby was basically ripped out of her life to spend the rest of her days, possibly an eternity, on The Island, and I’ve liked how the writers have handled her emotional transition to this new life. This episode allowed them to tie up the final thread connecting her to her pre-Island life.

Ruby learns that Mel has died.

Unfortunately, Mel doesn’t know he’s passed. The hidden gem of this is that it likely indicates he passed peacefully.

Instead of gently breaking the news, as Ruby intended, she just blurted it out.

Once he came to grips, they had a really sweet good-bye. Mel gives her permission to move on and even take a chance on love again.

I loved everything about how this chapter of Ruby's life end.

Elena didn’t fare as well in this episode, and I felt for her because of it.

She decided to try to talk to Fernando, the cousin who stepped in when she decided to get married rather than accept her position on The Island.

It wasn’t quite clear whether what happened to him was because he accepted a position intended for Elena, or because he wasn’t well suited to the job.

Elena’s desperation to talk to and try to help Fernando underlined her guilt over whatever happened to him. Either way it was another piece in the puzzle of why Elena has come across as more obligated than graced by her job.

Argh! They wait until the final episode of the season to whet my appetite for more of her story. I want to know more.

Guests:  Jasper Dawson Fantasy:  To get out of Purgatory and go to Heaven.

Jasper spent his life using people and lying to himself to justify his actions. (Or maybe his lies and excuses are just to keep others from being angry?)

The life he lived earned him a trip to Purgatory; stuck in a room with no color. Seems just.

Personally, this was another fantasy I thought shouldn't have been granted. If you live your life as a murderer waiting until you're on your deathbed to beg to be absolved is too little too late. You have to face the consequences of your actions.

That’s how I felt about Jasper; he’d already made his bed he should accept the consequences of his actions.

Then it occurred to me that the only reason Jasper got his fantasy was because his protégé, Ramon needed it. Jasper’s choices derailed Ramon from the path to his dream. This was something only Jasper could fix.

Leslie Jordan is on a very short list of actors whose work I like or hate depending on the part he’s playing.

The scene where he’s on the giant pool thingie was an example of when I do not like his work.

The scene in the gallery was one of those scenes where I felt his skills were well suited.

I liked that Mel was there to “Ruby” Jasper into realizing that he needed to think of Ramon instead of selfishly looking for the angle that would get him out of Purgatory.

Putting together the display of all of Ramon’s work was a really nice way of getting Ramon to listen to Jasper’s pleas for him not to give up his art.

Guests:  Javier Fantasy:  To ask his best friend Dani for forgiveness.

We learned one of the reasons Javier came to The Island; guilt over his best friend’s death.

Typically, characters in this position (carrying guilt and living in a trailer) are hiding from their failures. But Javier still keeps up with her family and was able to fill Dani in on their lives.

It was really nice to see a character in Dani’s position, at peace. I kept expecting her to be harboring some anger that would justify his guilt.

Instead, she was grateful to find out that her children and husband have moved on and are happy.

When she finally gave Javier the opportunity to discuss why he’d brought her to The Island, she let him know that he’d done nothing that required forgiveness or absolution. She even encouraged him to live his life and be happy.

Everyone except Elena got some closure in this episode. We don’t know yet whether she deserved it or not.

Mr. Roarke even dropped by The Island, but missed seeing his great niece face to face. This solution to the fact that Ricardo Montalban is no longer with us made me smile. As did the discussion about Tattoo.

I was really pleased with this finale. It was a really nice way to finish the season. All of the regular characters had good storylines. Elena’s emotional life finally make it to the screen. Ruby and Javier had stories that allowed their characters to move forward.

I’m rooting for a second season. What about you guys? What did you think about the episode?

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