Fantasy Island Season 2 Episode 7 Review: #Happy

master mentalism tricks

Always know where the exit is. Fantasy Island Season 2 Episode 7 plays on the fallacy that knowing how to get out of a situation means you can.

Isaiah hangs his future on knowing when he’ll die, believing he cannot commit to a life with someone else unless he can promise to spend some length of time with them.

Amber’s defense mechanisms — honed in a chaotic childhood — give her an almost compulsive escape fixation, but in the end, the Island forces her to face what she’s been running from.

Amber and Elena - Fantasy Island Season 2 Episode 7

It’s easy to forget in Fantasy Island’s tropical sunshine and relaxed setting that human nature has a dark and fearful aspect. We all live with insecurities and anxieties.

Not since Fantasy Island Season 1 Episode 1 and that pig-roasting scene has the show really delved into the shadowy side of a guest’s consciousness.

Reflections - Fantasy Island Season 2 Episode 7

As much as Amber presents her family in the best possible light, from the best angle, with the best filter, she does the same for herself IRL by editing her trauma out of her personality.

All the instability and want that filled her world as a child drives her now to pursue the perfect family who behave precisely the way she wanted her family to be when she was growing up.

Look inside yourself, Amber. Like really, really look. At who you are. At what you want. See those answers, they’re going to bring you closer to your family.


She’s so concerned with surface appearance and performative happiness that she doesn’t realize how empty it can feel until her family’s been replaced by automatons of compliance and satisfaction.

Elena: A picture is only the surface.
Amber: I don’t want them to be surface happy. I want them to feel it. On the inside.
Elena: Then why don’t you stop focusing on Dan and Riley and Trevor. And you start focusing on Amber. What makes you happy? And not on the surface. I mean, truly, deeply happy.

I don’t think the coolness and distance she perceives from her husband and kids are imagined, either.

Feeling Alone - Fantasy Island

In packaging herself as the perfect mom and wife, she’s withheld the part of herself that still suffers from her childhood trauma.

She hasn’t healed from or accepted those experiences. Instead, she’s hidden them away, refusing to think about them.

When she comments to Elena that Dan doesn’t really “see” her, it’s because she won’t let him.

Dan senses that his wife is playing a part, and it’s not genuine or authentic. Is it any wonder he retreats into his work?

Dan - Fantasy Island

In Riley and Trevor, we see how intergenerational trauma gets passed on.

Amber’s unresolved issues manifest in expectations for her children.

Knowing that her potential went unnurtured and unrecognized in an environment of neglect and chaos, she is determined that her children’s talents will be supported and shine.

Whether they like it or not.

Riley - Fantasy Island

The result is Riley hates her athleticism, and Trevor wastes his time and energy on escapist device activities.

Just as Amber runs from the horror of her past, her children run from the pressure they sense from their mother.

Elena: Your fantasy wasn’t for your family to be themselves.
Amber: Of course it was.
Elena: It was for them to be happy being the people you want them to be, the people you present them as on social media.

But Amber’s a survivor, and so is her family.

When her wish goes all Monkey’s Paw and traps them through the looking-glass, Amber soldiers through the nightmare to find them, facing the dark side of her consciousness for the first time.

Something in the Dark - Fantasy Island Season 2 Episode 7

Director Eduardo Sanchez taps into that Blair Witch Project energy and builds incredible tension as Amber first realizes her real family is trapped with her bad memories and then takes the leap to rescue them.

Once in the desolate and dangerous realm of memory, she equips herself with all the protective strategies she learned young. Times tables to stay calm. Mark a giant X on the door out.

Elena: A picture is only the surface.
Amber: I don’t want them to be surface happy. I want them to feel it. On the inside.
Elena: Then why don’t you stop focusing on Dan and Riley and Trevor. And you start focusing on Amber. What makes you happy? And not on the surface. I mean, truly, deeply happy.

But when she gets her family to the marked exit, she discovers it’s not the way out.

And the more she bottles her fears up, the wilder the storm gets. It’s when she’s honest with her family that the winds settle.

Caught in the Storm - Fantasy Island Season 2 Episode 7

The key to escape is for Amber to acknowledge that she’s still afraid. All the fears of the unknown from childhood have grown into fear of losing her family now, so she tries to control them by controlling the narrative.

When she expresses this to them, their understanding dispels the fear and returns them to the real world again.

There may be some bridges to mend regarding her bringing them to the Island under false pretenses, but all in all, they look like a genuinely happy family as they depart.

Dan: Out of curiosity, are all the fantasies you do here quite so existentially threatening?
Isaiah: Mine was.

With the dramatic action and intense moodiness of Amber’s plotline, Isaiah’s fantasy of knowing his death date to save potential loved ones the pain of sudden loss seems almost flippant.

Smirky Roarke - Fantasy Island Season 2 Episode 7

And yet, it reveals some interesting things about Helene and her place on the Island.

On Fantasy Island Season 2 Episode 2, when Helene was still figuring out who her father was by stalking the bachelor party members, Elena remarked that she’d never seen one guest follow another into their fantasy before.

Here, we see Helene open Isaiah’s envelope and read its contents before burning it in the fire pit.

I get the urge of curiosity, but this seems like another instance where Helene crosses the boundaries into a profoundly private knowledge.

Peeking In - Fantasy Island Season 2 Episode 2

All this, entwined with Ruby’s tattoo tinglings and Segundo padlocking something angry into a suite, indicates that we are not done with the sinister side of Fantasy Island.

When you watch Fantasy Island online, consider what the Island could manifest that would then require locking up.

Helene: Hey, Dad-vier…
Javier: Noncommittal. That tracks.

Will Helene and Javier have time to firm up their relationship before the next metaphorical storm hits?

Can Ruby’s tattoo help her deal with the tingles? Or is it just a litmus test for the Island’s equanimity?

Hit our comments sections with your theories, and take a look at our exclusive interview with Melinda Clarke, where she discusses Amber, social media, and her personal connection to Fantasy Island!

Diana Keng is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter.

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