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CONTENT WARNING: This article discusses mental health issues and suicide.

Welcome back to another million-hour episode of Married At First Sight: the show that rubs every part of me the wrong way ideologically and yet still makes my brain pour dopamine into my system like I’m a little rat with my paw on the morphine buzzer! I am the emotionally wrecked singleton dealing with abandonment issues and MAFS is my intimacy-withholding new husband! LET’S GO!!

The episode quickly establishes that everyone’s on absurdly lavish sunny honeymoons and my Tasmanian jealousy is giving me hives. Flinging back the curtains, Coco trumpets, “She’s broite, just loike our future babe.” Iconic stuff. Mashall Mathers IV/Sam looks unimpressed, further cementing his status as a Big Fucken Idiot.

We kick the real action off with Jason and Alana and I’m rooting for them, I really am! Which is appropriate because they have definitely been rooting. It takes Alana about six takes to get it out (“We took it to… One thing led to another… It’s a new level… We had sex!”) but yah, they boned. Is this kind of a new thing on MAFS, the openness about shagging? They brought the pan-Euro sexy sexologist on so maybe they’re just leaning into the whole tawdry carnality thing (or maybe I’m just a prude who’s deleted those memories from last season! A very real possibility!).

A fluffy unicorn sleep mask? You dirty, dirty things

Anyway we love Jason and Alana. They are both hot and have that recent-head-injury look of the profoundly smitten. Sidenote: does Alana really deserve that hyper-shady voiceover diss about “falling back into old habits” re: the immediate shagging?? Cool your judgement jets, voiceover lady!

Meanwhile, in the Featureless White Kitchen of Despair, Melissa and Bryce are attempting to overcome Bryce’s towering insensitivity (“She’s not ugly!”) and subsequent foundationless pouting (“I don’t think I did anything to deserve [Melissa being upset by my bufoonery]”). The atmosphere is ominous. The combination of mutual distrust, lack of communication and threateningly featureless surroundings makes me think of those nightmarish long-time nuclear waste warning messages.

This place is not a place of honour

They attempt to address things, and it goes poorly immediately, with Melissa saying, quite reasonably, “Can you not see where I’m coming from?”

“No I can, I can,” Bryce lies. Why didn’t you lie last night? Just tell her she’s pretty you burgundy monster! Yes I am taking sides, no I will not be taking questions. Anyway she apologises again, Bryce says “It’s fine” instead of saying “I’M SORRY TOO”, Melissa walks off crying again, I am typing this on my phone because I’ve Frisbeed my laptop out the window.

On the NSW South Coast, Coco and Marshall Mathers IV Sam are feeding red pandas. “They are friendly, but they do have sharp nails,” warns the zookeeper, and Coco waves her acrylics and goes “It’s alright, I’m amongst my people”, and I shouldn’t love it but I do. I love it and her. Sam still doesn’t, because, once again, he is a Big Fucken Idiot.

Coco hates birds so obviously the producers have got them feeding emus as well, which are frankly fucking terrifying even to non-ornithophobes. Sam gets the chance to guide her through the experience which provides a little smidge of trauma bonding and you know what, you gotta take what you can get in the wilderness that is MAFS so good on ‘em. Is that going to last? Ha ha ha you must be new here. They’re back at the hotel and bringing out that cursed Jumanji box of relationship-nuking questions.

“Honeybun, name one quality you admire in me and one quality you don’t,” reads Coco, and if you pause it in the right spot you can see Sam’s soul depart his body (for Hell).

Don’t say tits don’t say tits don’t say tits

He says her one-liners are corny, she says she’s not going to drop them, I am applying for Top Fan in the Team Coco Facebook group. AND THEN:

“How would your ex describe you?” asks Coco, and this guy – this guy!!! – explains that “we didn’t really work out because she didn’t have features that I desire, which is a female with a bit of curve.”

He said tits

Referring to a woman as “a female”, calling your new wife corny, dumping your ex because she doesn’t have enough tit: mates, I do believe that’s a fuckwit bingo! FWINGO!

“Um!” says Coco, and mate, I could not have put it better myself.

“It’s frustrating for me, because it’s like, I need a girl with boobs, and it’s like, not everyone has big boobs, do you know what I mean? So it’s very frustrating.” Sam, you have my deepest sympathies. What a conundrum you face. God’s strongest soldier.

“Does the fact that I’ve got a body like a hot dog matter?” inquires Coco, causing Sam to make this face:

 
Shit do hot dogs have tits

Coco very generously says she likes Sam’s honesty, although she doesn’t necessarily like what he’s saying. If she doesn’t boot him off the balcony later in the ep I’m going to call the ombudsman.

Samantha and Cameron are in Casuarina, paddleboarding, and Cameron has already taken the opportunity to channel his inner Anakin Skywalker and say how much he hates sand.

romantic

Samantha is such a sweetie and Cameron is constantly projecting huge punching energy which I respect. They have a nice and boring chat about Samantha’s career path in property development after her divorce, and Cameron has the good sense to vocally admire Samantha’s hard work and discipline, what with the whole running a business and being a single mum thing.

He’s all like, I worked in the moines and I was selfish in the moines and just working in the moines was my loife but then he says she’s got a good head on her shoulders and that’s why they got matched up and after that torturous scene with the human equivalent of a sweaty armpit (Sam) I am finding this whole interaction as refreshing as a liberal spritz of Impulse Spirit. Well done you hardworking normies.

Joanne & James are honeymooning in Shoalhaven on fucken HORSES and honestly signing up for this nightmare “experiment” seems worth it just for the activities. Where’s my horseback ride, Channel 9? I’m a grumpy bitch too, and that appears to be qualification enough for this show! I’m not gonna lie I am absolutely living for Jo’s bad attitude in this bit – the voiceover says she’s “woken up on the wrong side of the bed” and frankly who can’t relate to just being in a bit of a shit for no reason!

“Think you’re better than me, horse girl?”

James is really fulfilling his rich-guy persona by revealing that he’s an avid equestrian, and proves it by telling the world’s worst horse-walks-into-a-bar joke. Then he hassles Jo for being a sourpuss. They’re doing the thing where they both say snippy things to each other while lightly laughing, which is giving me trauma flashbacks to my passive-aggressive WASP family reunions, so please share my relief as James rides off alone and we leave Jo to enjoy her nice hair and foul mood in peace.

Now who’s the princess, Pinkshirt McHorseFlounce?

Something’s happened in the MAFS nuclear exclusion zone because Melissa and Bryce have suddenly gone from crying in the White Room of Sorrow to cuddling in a blanket by a gazebo.

Neutral textiles: the universal love language.

I think Melissa is probably the most interesting person on this show. She’s got layers, she’s slightly unpredictable in a low-key way, she’s got the whiff of the not-quite-from-this-planet about her, I am frankly Here For It.

Anyway, on a different bit of lawn, Melissa’s getting stuck into Bryce, asking him what went wrong with his previous relationships. He says that he always puts work first and his partners “take that the wrong way” (okay…). Then, prompted by some inner voice (an off-camera producer), she asks him if he’d string someone along or cheat on them if he met someone else while he was in a relationship.

“I don’t know if you’re gonna like my answer,” he says, before confessing that he has been “one of those guys” who has cheated. Melissa heaves the world’s deepest sigh and my little heart breaks for her. Once again: who paired the gal with hectic abandonment issues with the bloke who’s got a history of abandoning people???

Hello darkness my old friend

Bryce tries to explain that he hadn’t wanted to tell her “this early on” because he didn’t want her to change her opinion of him, she concedes that the news is “heavy”, and then he tactfully decides to express his indignation at being labelled “a cheater” just because he did it “once” even though there’s “plenty of guys” who do it “all the time”. Oh well in that case!!! No worries!!!!! He reckons he’s “not that type of guy anymore” and Melissa is very magnanimously hate-the-sin-not-the-sinner about it. You can tell she’s not stoked but also they’re married so she’s gonna give him a chance. Don’t fuck it up Bryce!

Would a deep sniff of my armpit help you feel better?

In the Hunter Valley, Bec and Jake are still generating about as much spark as two handfuls of Play-Doh being smacked together, but “expert” John reckons they’re about to realise that they have experiences in common, which we all know is the one and only factor in any successful relationship.

For example, we both eat food. Soulmates!!!

Jake tried to kiss Bec yesterday and she was like “gross, how dare you”, but today she’s apparently put her contact lenses in and recognised that Jake is A HIMBO PAR EXCELLENCE (and also that she might have childhood trauma that’s making it hard for her to open up romantically which, okay, that’s fair). Best way to overcome those barriers? A sexy outdoor bikini-clad bubblebath obviously!

I should write something funny here but I’m rendered speechless by these smokeshows. Kiss!!!

Have I mentioned that they are both extremely good looking? Maybe that’s the shared experience they’re going to bond over: always being the hottest person in the room. Real Gaston areas here in the lawn bath.

Here in town there’s only she / Who’s as beautiful as me

Blah blah, he’s sorry he tried to mack on her in the middle of a deadly boring conversation about trees, he feels rejected, she needs communication, shut up and put your dumb hot faces together, it’s literally the obvious solution to all your problems. MOVING ON.

We’re at the halfway point and Samantha and Cameron (omg… Sam and Cam…) are getting on a boat and drinking champagne out of clutch crystal glasses like they’re in the god damn Great Gatsby.

Was not prepared to have my homewares avarice triggered like this

They’re taking it slow, she’s coming into the experiment with her walls down, he’s feeling himself bringing his walls down too, I am utterly charmed. And then he asks if she wants more kids! You guys!!! This is the sweetest shit ever. The river is stunning, there are strawberries in the champagne, and they finally have an absolute belter of a snog.

PASH PASH PASH PASH

Bless them for looking slightly embarrassed about copping a smooch in front of a massive camera. If this show ruins this couple I will be frankly devastated.

Meanwhile, this season’s ~quirky~ couple Booka and Brett are trading quips over the type of breakfast that’s practically guaranteed to scuttle homeownership plans, but they don’t care, they’re falling in love!


Pictured: a starter home deposit’s worth of avocado toast.

Bec and Jake are bonding over being hardbodies, just as I’ve been telling them to…

Jump! Jump, you sexy fool!

And Alana and Jason are involving hairstyling tools in erotic play.


Is that a Dyson Supersonic V9 or are you just happy to see me

Sam and Cam join the sex-havers club, cheersing their success poolside.

Great work mate, yeah cheers not bad yourself

Sam opens up about her ex – he was controlling, isolating, and cheated on her for five years out of the nine they were together. And she found out by finding a ziploc bag of sim cards? Holy shit!

Cam’s been cheated on too! “It’s never noice,” he says, and I’d say he’s on the money there.

Sam reveals that she’s looking for someone who can integrate into her family life, and Cam’s keen on that, plus he’d be happy to move away from Victoria for love, and this all has to be too good to be true, right? Right??? God I just want them to be happy and I’m very stressed out. Let’s go see what’s happening in the J&J camp post-horse flounce.

That big animal butchery workshop is already paying for itself

Jo’s got over her mood and has made James a meal that is definitely not horsemeat. They both apologise for what they said and do a great job of attempting to see from each other’s perspectives. What’s this? Healthy communication and mutual empathy? On my MAFS? I won’t stand for it.

Meanwhile, on a blanket near a helicopter, Alana and Jason are trying to get to know each other beyond just having god-tier sex, and the bumbling clown music is clearly attempting to indicate that they’ve made a tactical error.

God he’s boring with his clothes on

“Jason’s really good at listening,” says Alana, over a montage of Jason agreeing with everything she says and very obviously replaying scenes from last night on his internal projector. She’s doing her best to initiate a real conversation. His contribution? “Would you call that rolling green?” he muses, while gazing at the rolling green hills. Shut up and strip off, you handsome dummy!

We’re back on the adorable MAFS activities train with Booka and Brett (Ghost-style pottery making? Are you trying to kill me?) and it turns out they’ve already had a shower together, and Brett washed her hair?! Is he Charles Boyle???

#brooklyn nine nine from b99 edits

Booka says something about seeing each other’s bits and I black out for a moment from the sheer romance of it all.

~ Ohhhhhh my loooove, my daaaarling, I’ve hungered for your bits ~

Back to Jake and Bec, and the hotties are getting hot and heavy… in their feelings. It turns out I may have misjudged Jake’s emotional complexity (shocking, I know!). He reveals that the pressure of playing in the AFL did a number on him and he ended up with such bad depression that he tried to take his own life. That’s why he set up the charity that he runs now. Bec is understandably moved.

*cries in hot person*

She says she’s lost friends and family to suicide, and Jake gets to exercise his professional caring. I guess this is what the experts were talking about when they said these two have got shared experiences. I begrudgingly revise my assessment of this couple from “hot babes” to “hot babes with complex life experiences and genuine emotional connection”.

(It’s honestly a very heartwarming moment and kind of groundbreaking that they’re having these conversations frankly on an enormously popular trash TV show so, in all seriousness, genuine props to them both.)

Back to Sam and Cam, and that cursed box has made its dreaded return.

Nice blossoming romance you got there. Be a shame if someone were to mangle it completely

For fuck’s sake, it’s the “am I your type” question again. Are “types” even a thing anymore? Hasn’t society progressed past the need for “types”?

Oh god he’s talking about being an “active person” and “going to the gym a lot”. Sam’s like, lol I’m never going to go to the gym a lot, and expresses, quite reasonably, that it sucks to hear that you’re not with someone who appreciates you the way you are. Cam insists he’s open-minded, that he can find people attractive who aren’t usually his type, Sam says he clearly didn’t come into this with an open mind because he wanted some sexy hardbody, and I’m starting to hyperventilate because I KNEW they’d do this to me, I KNEW IT.

Then Sam says she’s got an emotional connection with him, Cam says he doesn’t have one with her, Sam is like Ummm why did we sleep together then – are they both dosed up on barbiturates, why are they saying these things?! Why are you ruining this for me!!

Urge to kill rising… rising…

In a to-camera moment, Sam says she’s having a hard time understanding how Cam could just “switch off” emotionally and intellectually and still have sex with her, and honestly I am getting hectic deja vu – how many times have I heard this exact thing from my single friends? What the hell is going on in heterosexual men’s brains? What kind of impoverished dick-driven existence are they trapped in? Open up, fellas! The emotions are fine! You’re killing me here!!

Anyway Sam’s devastated, I’m devastated (I warned myself but did I listen? No). Let’s go look at people do more activities. We’ve got go-carts, we’ve got golf, we’ve got silly little outfits that should piss me off but which I find inexplicably endearing.

“Imagine the ball tried to mansplain something to you and just smack it” yes that is a direct quote, yes I wish I’d made it up as a piss-take, no I do not care for these contestants doing my job for me

Because this show loves nothing more than twisting the knife they’ve driven into my romantic guts, Sam’s summoned Cam to a pub to have a long boring talk about their relationship. They argue about when it’s a good idea to get intimate. Cam defends himself because he was “being honest”, which we all know is a bulletproof defense. He’s all like, I can have intimacy without an emotional connection! And Sam is like, That’s a one night stand! (Is it a one night stand if you’re technically married to the person?)

Sam explains that it feels shit to have someone initiate sex with you, seem super enthusiastic about it, and then turn around the next day and say they feel no emotional connection with you, and Cam is like Aren’t you some super strong businesswoman? It’s your fault too! Which seems… irrelevant.

r u fkn kidding me right now

She drops the D-word: “If either of my two boys ever treated a woman like that I’d be very disappointed,” Cam puts his sunglasses on and says, “I’m over it,” and friends, believe it or not, it’s our second flounce of the episode!

The carpark flounce. A classic.

Poor Sam has a little cry into her lager and I have a little cry into my fourth coffee of the afternoon and start drafting a strongly-worded letter to the producers for upsetting my new best friend.

“When he comes up against something he can’t bite back at, he has a tantrum like a three year old. He’s a weak man,” she says, and at least she’s got the gumption to burn him good to-camera. And that’s it, that’s the end of the episode! I need to go have a lie down while I attempt to manifest a happy ending for Sam and a series of frustrating inconveniences for Cam. See you next ep!

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