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Welcome back to another filler episode before the dinner party, MAFS monsters! Although are we even going to have a dinner party, now that everyone’s been sent off to Year 9 camp? I suppose we’ll find out in due time – meanwhile, let’s check in with all our favourite emotionally stunted drama queen dumb-dumb babies.

Liam and Georgia are starting the day by collecting eggs from a palatial chicken coop that has set my poultry-loving heart a-flutter.

bagurk, Bryce is a cunt

Both of them accurately point out that the whole “relaxing getaway” thing was a big fucken lie – after the blowup last ep, it’s drama central. Remember? When Bryce was a monumental fuckwad again?

“Bryce the tornado came through, guns blazing. He goes Bec, and he just rubbed everyone up the wrong way,” says Liam.

“Last night was just the same old high school drama again,” agrees Georgia. I’m so glad mum and dad are here to provide commentary so I don’t have to.

Belinda and Patrick come down to join them in a brekky bitch-sesh. Liam reckons Bryce needs to apologise and own his shit, but, in the man’s own words: “Pff. That ain’t going to happen.”

one big bitchy Brady Bunch

Over in the guest house of self-righteous isolation, Bryce and Melissa are waking up to another day of deeply toxic relationship dynamics amid some criminally bad decor.

simply do not

Bryce is all like, I’m not going to avoid anyone! I don’t regret anything I’ve said! How many times must I scream this into the void: YOU SHOULD.

Meanwhile, Bec and Jake are starting the day with a very trend-du-jour ritual: gratitude lists!

there goes our deposit

Bec is grateful that she’s not taking any shit from Bryce. Jake is grateful that he stood up to Bryce last night at dinner. I’m starting to question my understanding of the word “grateful” but okay??? I myself am grateful for any opportunity to look at Jake’s impeccable face so I’m not going to question this too much.

that’s the stuff

Alana and Jason had a massive blow-up last night about Jason’s blind worship of Bryce, and Alana’s up and pissed off. Good on her! Jason’s doing a bad job of acting like he doesn’t care. He reckons his trust in Alana is forever broken and they just can’t come back from that argument.

should have smashed that vibrator when I had the chance

Because she’s contractually trapped in the mansion that taste forgot, Alana hasn’t completely done a runner – she’s just moved in with Booka, the other long-suffering single gal at the couple’s retreat. Poor Alana. I feel like she’s the only person in this whole experiment who’s actually wholeheartedly emotionally committed, and she’s suffering for it. It’s not her fault she fell in love with a lizard who has a rocking rig but a tiny stupid lizard brain!

my vibrator would never do this to me

This whole thing is really making Booka see her tiff with Brett in a new light. Maybe things aren’t so bad between them?

Brett, for his part, still wants to try to work things out. He’s musing moustachily on his single bed about how they have “magic” between them sometimes, and they need to start things from the start. Once again, bud, we’ve all heard the diss track! Shit’s not gonna work out!!

am I pensive or is PornHub down again

Whatever. They both put on their stupidest hats and catch up on an ugly settee to try to find some common ground. The common ground, they decide, is feeding the ducks. I actually can’t think of a better neutral activity to do with someone you don’t really want to spend time with so good job everyone.

especially you

They agree to try to move forward and look to the future. “Who knows where it’ll go?” says Brett’s flannel hat. (We all know where it will go.)

It’s a beautiful day in Hell, so everyone’s outdoors doing activities. Belinda, Patrick and Brett are at the giant chess set, absolutely torpedoing my dreams of Bel and Pat getting all hot and nerdy over the noble game because Pat has absolutely no fucken idea what he’s doing. He calls the chess pieces “prawns”. Even I know that’s not right!

the Queen’s Gambit this ain’t

Everyone’s having fun, that is, except our resident reptile Jason, who’s come over all Jane Austen and won’t get out of bed.

my nerves, Mr Bennett!!

Bryce and Melissa hassle him out of bed, into his favourite leaf hat, and off towards the tennis court. Bryce reckons Jason’s his best mate in the experiment, which tells us a lot about the qualities the guy looks for in close friends (small, scaly, easily bribable with crickets).

Back at the pool, Bec is confidently explaining that she is definitely Jake’s type. She ticks all his boxes! Be quiet, Bec, I’m busy trying to catch a glimpse of the producers in your mirrored glasses.

in vain, as we all know vampires don’t have reflections

It’s really just an opportunity for Georgia and Bec to engage in some lightly sapphic flirtation and tell each other how much they enjoy hanging out together as a foursome. Bec is telling the camera something about how she’s conflicted about Jake’s reaction to Bryce last night but I’m completely distracted by this gorgeous floating apparition wearing Georgia’s pink sparkly sunnies.

hello, new phone background

That vision is telling Liam that no, he and Bec haven’t gone all the way yet. He doesn’t want to shag someone who doesn’t seem completely into him. I know the bar for heterosexual men is low but this guy is clearing it like a sparkly sunnies-wearing gazelle. I hope everyone is taking copious notes!!!

“I want her to look at me like I’m sexy,” he tells the camera. “I want her to want me. I want her to rip my clothes off.” Jake! Buddy! I’m right here!!!

We pan back to the tennis court and are treated to the voiceover lady at her absolute shadiest: “Melissa and Bryce are spending the day with their only friends,” she intones, “Kerry and Johnny.” Fucken get ’em, voiceover lady! “And Jason,” she adds.

Liss, Bryce, Johnny and Kerry are playing doubles while the lizard yawns courtside. Johnny and Kerry reckon they really like Bryce and Melissa. My opinion of them plummets.

Bryce decides that the thing to get Jason out of his little funk is a bit of product placement. He flings open the fridge at the secluded guesthouse and draws on his years of broadcaster training to deliver the line, “We’ve got a bunch of YouFoodz meals in here,” with all the conviction of Alana praising Jason’s spaghetti bolognese.

can’t wait to tuck into some “Ewe Feuds”

Bryce dumps some handfuls of rice on a plate and declares that his main goal is to convince Jason to stay. Good to see that his priorities are in order! Who cares if his henchlizard is happy, as long as he’s here for Bryce to boss around.

Fortunately Youth Pastor Johnny takes over and reminds Jason that he actually likes Alana. Remember the red lingerie? How could he FORGET. Will it be enough for him to forgive her for breaking his trust, though? From the bottom of my heart, I say: who cares.

Meanwhile Booka and Brett are being mates again and playing one of those esoteric white people lawn games.

that’s Numberwang!

Booka admits to the camera that she’s missed him, but won’t be telling him that any time soon.

Jesus Christ, how are we only 25 minutes into this ep?! I’m all outta vodka Red Bull already and exactly fuck all has happened (yeah I’m theming my drinks to the average emotional age level of the contestants this week, what of it).

Johnny and Kerry are really leaning into their Mediterraneanness and chucking a pizza party to try to smooth everything over with the rest of the group. Best of luck, you gentle dough-loving hotties.

I said MOLTO!!! BENE!!!!!

The theatre kid and his sexy mouse sidekick might be stoked on the idea, but everyone else is frantically bracing for yet another showdown. Fortunately the producers have provided the key ingredient for any smooth-running MAFS party: a fucking truckload of piss. Is it in the contestants’ contracts to always have a drink in hand?

and an ugly shirt on standby

Johnny and Kerry try to set the tone with a cute little speech about everyone being nice to each other, but we all know that’s not going to happen. Bec and Jake are blanking Bryce and Melissa, and Jason and Alana are studiously avoiding each other. Bryce is trying to give the lizard a pep talk, and Melissa is doing something weird with Alana and being all like, Oh are you okay? I hope you’re not splitting up for good?

I’m sorry who the fuck are you?

Oi Liss, aren’t you the one always going on about people minding their own business and staying out of each other’s relationships? Whatever, it works. Alana gets all teary again. Leave that sweet teacher alone!

Jason feels like shit seeing his nice wife cry, and because everyone else is still a fourteen-year-old at heart, they all egg him on to go see if she’s alright. They have a boring conversation about things being “emotional” and “intense” that quickly devolves into miscommunication. This couple’s love language is sex, not words! Just shag about it, you dummies!

They can’t, and things remain unresolved. They’re going to “take some time”. Ah jeez, I think our favourite root rats might be donezo, mates!

It wouldn’t be a MAFS party without Bryce being a stinky little turd, and yep, here he comes to tell the camera that “the food’s good, the beer’s cold, but the banter’s a bit boring. I’ve been to better pizza parties.” This fucking ingrate!!! The only two people in the experiment who admit to liking you just threw a party SOLELY to try to smooth over YOUR social malfunction and you’re WHINING about the BANTER–

GIF missing - animated GIF on GIFER

Okay I paused it and screamed into the freezer for a bit and I feel slightly better. Let’s move on.

Bryce is acting up in front of everyone now. He’s just looking around and announcing, “This is boring.” I hate him I hate him I hate him.

“Bryce is just really rude,” says Patrick to the camera

“And he hasn’t even apologised for what happened last night,” adds Belinda. Who’s going to do something about that? Omg it’s Belinda! Yes girl! The sea witch cometh!

“I know that people don’t want to bring up drama but I think it needs to be addressed,” she tells the group. “I think the energy has been a bit awkward -“

“Why’s it awkward?” barks Bryce. I dunno mate, maybe because you’ve been openly yawning at this nice little soiree your European friends have put on for you?

je suis Alana

Everyone looks around at each other with the hollow eyes of World War I soldiers being marched back into the trenches. There’s a long pause, and then Patrick tries to explain patiently that after such a big blowup, there’s always going to be tension. Thank you Pat. Are you available at all to head up the empathy training for certain key governmental figures?

That’s not quite good enough for Liam, who’s clearly already several Mountain Goats deep. He wants an apology from Bryce. That’s why there’s tension. “Simple as that,” he says, while Belinda nods and Bryce looks like a slapped arse, as usual.

the state of it, honestly

Bryce tries to say that he couldn’t apologise because he and Melissa are staying in the Museum of Kitsch over there, but Liam won’t have that either.

“Everyone said at breakfast that you should apologise to everyone,” says Liam.

“Oh thanks for the invite to breakfast,” says Bryce, ever the deflector. Has he been reading the narcissist’s handbook again? “What am I apologising for?” he demands.

“Last night was fucked, mate,” says Liam while everyone nods vigorously. “Jake said sorry. If you don’t feel like you have to say sorry, then that’s on you.”

and your shirt fucking sucks by the way

Bryce gets up dramatically, because he is a drama queen. “Alright,” he says. “I apologise to the group… for someone playing mind games with my wife.” Put a fucking bullet in me. This man. “Is that what you want to hear?” he says, arms outstretched like the messiah he so clearly thinks he is.

Everyone’s like, No, dude. It’s not what we want to hear.

my last three brain cells hanging on for dear life

Melissa’s already up and leaving. Brett’s like, “Just say sorry, bro! Just say I got aggressive last night and I’m sorry!”

“You know what mate,” says Jake. “We have all given up on trying to get through to you.”

Bryce comes up to him with his hand extended and says, “I’ll crown you the king of the experiment,” to which Jake says the very thing that the rest of Australia has been longing to say to Bryce: “No, get the fuck away from me.”

THEN Bryce goes over to Bec and says, “And you’re the queen,” and PULLS HER TOWARDS HIM TO KISS HER CHEEK.

you dare approach the royal cheek!!!!

I feel like every woman watching has just had a visceral response. No wonder they didn’t put that bit in any of the previews – that’s fucking PTSD-flashback fuel, that is.

“Yuck,” says Bec. “That’s disgusting.”

Patrick is fuming. “How dare you do that, mate?” he says, demonstrating once and for all that “mate” is a four-letter word.

“Hey, I apologised,” says Bryce. “I wanted to give her a kiss to say sorry.”

What absolute horseshit. Everyone’s yelling at him, especially Georgia. Bec is crying. Even the crew look taken aback and you know they’ve seen some hectic shit.

I didn’t think anything could top the drama on The Wiggles set but yikes

Because Bryce is really trying to secure his position as most hated man on the continent, he yells some shit about Bec’s tears being as fake as her Instagram followers, and stalks off to have his own little sook in the arms of his Number One Enabler, Melissa.

this is what it sounds like when bricks cry

Bec calls him a Dementor. “He has to go. And if he doesn’t, I’ll pack his bags for him,” she says. I would pay money to see the ice queen evict that motherfucker. Please, MAFS. Please give me this one crumb of joy?

Back in the guesthouse that taste forgot, Bryce is still trying to push the “it’s all Bec’s fault” narrative. He’s just sick and tired of seeing Melissa’s feelings get hurt! Ah yes, because that’s really what was going on just now.

Liss is trying to figure out what exactly was going through Bryce’s head when he made that “apology”. He admits he was being a smartarse. Obviously he doesn’t think he actually has anything to apologise for.

I just want to take a moment to say that I honestly feel like I’ve been hit by a truck here. Like most women, I can think of half a dozen incidents just like this one from my own experiences – incidents of conflict in which some flog’s deep-seated insecurity has manifested as a sexually-charged attempt at physical domination. It usually looks exactly like what Bryce did to Bec: not a fist raised in violence, but a clear demonstration of force and a total disregard for consent. It’s disgusting and it makes you feel powerless and it is the sole domain of feeble toxic masculinity. I hate that Bryce’s behaviour towards Bec has made me unexpectedly revisit the casual trauma inflicted on me as a young person. Jesus fucking Christ.

Aaaaaaaaanyway. It’s the morning after and everyone is also still reeling from last night’s pizza-themed shitshow. Patrick accurately points out that it’s a damn shame for Johnny and Kerry, who really tried to bring everyone together only for Bryce to shit all over it. Maybe this will disabuse them of the idea that Bryce is actually a good bloke?

too busy staring adoringly at each other tbh

Meanwhile Jason is starting to question his loyalty to Bryce, finally. Bryce’s behaviour has really thrown Jason’s argument with Alana into a new light, because uh, yeah, he shouldn’t just be blindly supporting that turd!

*revelatory lizard noises*

He goes to find Alana and apologises for the way he spoke to her. “I lost my cool big time,” he says. “I stuffed up.” Alana apologises for telling the group something that Jason told her in confidence. They agree to move back in together. Finally! The chance to speak each other’s language again!

giv kis

“Let’s get out of the rain and into the bedroom,” he says. “Let’s have SEX!” Ah our, sweet, simple lizard. Why use a double entendre when a single one will do just fine!

Belinda has decided that she should go check in on Melissa, to which I must say THANK GOD. She thinks Liss needs support from the girls, not just Bryce. Liss tries to explain that she’s never felt so protected by someone before, which is a big fucking red flag but okay. Bel’s like, “Yeah, I wish the group could see that…”

if you need help the code word is “pineapple”

Melissa is touched by Belinda’s gesture. It’s nice to be able to talk about her idiot husband to someone!

Bel says, totally unprompted (I see you, Toni), that she’s organising a boys’ night and a girls’ night tonight. Bryce obviously doesn’t like that because he is 100% invested in isolating Melissa and that won’t work if she’s hanging out with other girls, will it! Fortunately he can’t completely control her (yet) and she agrees to go.

The big question is, of course, will either of them actually show up to their respective gossip circles?

subquestion: what is happening on top of Belinda’s head?

Bel decides to go check on Liss. She really wants to get her away from Bryce for a sec. Good instincts, sea witch, but ultimately wasted: Melissa and Bryce are not coming. My heart breaks again.

“Bryce just doesn’t want to get involved in anything else, and is really miserable. I don’t want to leave him,” she says.

“Are you sure you don’t want to come just for a little bit?” says Belinda.

“I’d love to, but I think I need to be here with him.” Ohhhh god. This is a horror show. Someone call the fucking police.

Back at the girls’ pavilion, Bec quite rightly points out that it’s a crock of shit that Liss couldn’t come out because Bryce was “miserable”. Everyone’s bummed as hell. So am I. There aren’t enough white Russians in the world

At least everyone now has an opportunity to dish on Alana and Jason’s revitalised sex life!

wait, you guys have been having sex?

Jake reiterates that he and Bec still haven’t done it, and probably won’t be doing it either unless she takes the lead. An extremely reasonable approach to the ice queen, I reckon, but Johnny seems absolutely baffled. This is the bloke who wouldn’t shut up about his blue balls though, so I’m taking it with a grain of salt. The rest of the boys are also pretty shocked that the two sexiest motherfuckers in the experiment haven’t bumped uglies. Mind your own business, boys!

Bec’s saying similar stuff to the girls – she feels a spark sometimes but it’s not consistent. Of course it’s not! Ice queen! Remember?

Oh no – some demon wearing a producer’s skin has goaded Liam into asking the boys who else they could see themselves getting matched with. Please don’t do this again.

they’re doing it again

Everyone’s got the hots for the Disney mouse! Kerry is at the top of everybody’s list. Johnny is stoked, because he’s a hot smart babe who’s not threatened by anything.

Meanwhile Kerry has finally been beaten into submission by the rest of the girls and revealed that Johnny is all about talking during sex. Yes: he is a SEX NARRATOR. This feels very unfair to air on national TV but it’s also hilarious and adorable and I love it. Continue.

also Cinderella is low-key a massive bitch lol

She’s all like Oh no Johnny’s gonna kill me for saying that, but because Johnny is not Bryce he is charming and good-natured about it. God it’s refreshing. Can I spend an hour with them now please?

Finally we are wrapping this nightmare up. Booka and Brett are cuddled up together in a single bed. She’s glad, actually, that he wrote stay. We shall see. Meanwhile Bec is feeling ambivalent about her attraction to Jake, because she is fucking blind. Whatever, more for me!

Over in the Temple of Tastelessness, Liss and Bryce are playing… Monopoly.

ah yes, that low-stakes game that definitely doesn’t have a history of tearing families apart

They’re convincing themselves that it’s been wonderful just hanging out together. Bryce is still saying “my wife” over and over again like he has a recent frontal lobe injury. I am filled with a bleak and relentless sense of despair. But that, thank god, is the end of the episode! Tomorrow they’re all back in Sydney and slogging through yet another dinner party. Is anyone going to apologise? What dirt does Alana have on Bryce? Whose liver is going to explode first? All that and more next ep – until then, may god have mercy on our souls.