'Fantasy Island': Is Ruby taking on Tattoo's role? Episode 1 reveals her female love interest
When it comes to 'Fantasy Island', the characters on the show often expect all their wildest dreams to come true. But wants and needs are not the same thing, and the island recognizes that. And, for those who understand this as well, a greater reward lies in store.
Fox's reboot stars Roselyn Sanchez as Elena Roarke, the island stewardess who helps guests understand where their deepest desires stem from and how it affects their mind, body and soul. In the first episode of the series, Elena helps two guests -- Christine Collins and an elderly couple named Ruby and Mel.
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When Ruby and Mel arrive at the island, they explain that they saw an ad about it and were drawn to it. When Elena asks about their desires, Ruby explains that she has a terminal illness. For her, she wants some time to live life, go out dancing and have fun. Elena reminds Ruby that she can't cure her condition, to which Ruby responds that she's not looking for a miracle; she is looking for a fantasy.
Elena is moved by her understanding of her situation and encourages her to visit a beautiful oasis with Mel. As the two go into the water, they realize that their age has been reversed, making them young again. They spend time on the island being young and carefree, seeing that they have their youth back, even though temporarily. Mel reminds Ruby that even though he is happy to be here, he loves her just like she is, young or old.
A young Ruby (played by Kiara Barnes) seems to have found bliss until she goes out running on the beach. Here, she encounters a young woman, and they spend time together. The energy around them is romantic and electric, but Ruby brushes it all aside and returns to Mel. Later, the two attend a party and have a drink that acts as a mild sensory drug.
While Mel indulges in his surroundings, Ruby meets the mystery woman again, and they dance. The woman leads her to a tent, but this time, Ruby does not run away. She shows Ruby a book of symbols and she picks out one. The woman then tattoos the symbol on Ruby's back. Mel walks in on the scene and leaves immediately -- he seems bothered by the whole encounter. In a later conversation, Mel asks Ruby about an old friend she had when they started dating years ago. Ruby mentions that she that her friend grew apart and that she never saw her again. However, Mel interjects and states that he has always known Ruby was in love with that woman.
On the other hand, Elena, too, begins to open up to Ruby and wants to help her. Before Mel and Ruby finally leave, she asks Ruby to stay on the island and help her. She explains that the tattoo on her back symbolises that she has been chosen to stay back on the island. Should she do so, she will remain young and healthy forever.
Ruby is excited until she learns the offer is extended to her alone and not Mel, which means he will have to return to their former lives and grow older while she stays young. Ruby is torn, but Mel tells her she should stay -- even though she picked him over her friend, he believes she finally has a chance to live authentically and love freely. While he cherishes their relationship and is grateful for their years, he now wants her to live and love openly, and be with however she wants to be with.
Ruby's character not only explores her relationship with a woman, but her tattoo reference draws back to the original series itself. Mr Roarke had an assistant named Tattoo, and while Elena doesn't currently have a right-hand man, she offers Ruby a chance to work with her, which is a reference to the character from the original. With Ruby deciding to stay back, Fantasy Island now has its new stewardess and assistant.
Watch new episodes of 'Fantasy Island' on Tuesdays at 9/8c on Fox.