PREVIOUSLY ON MASTERCHEF AUSTRALIA: Loki won immunity and that’s all we’re going to mention about it because we absolutely need to talk about last night’s episode and there is NO TIME TO WASTE.
AND NOW, LAST NIGHT.
Oh god oh god oh god oh god oh god.
So… ok. Let’s just… right. Calm down. Keep it together.
Last night’s episode, a team challenge taking over brunch service at Kitty Burns and Frankie Says on the banks of the Yarra, will go down in MasterChef Australia history as one of the all-time most memorable episodes.
Not because of beautiful Aldo running his Red Team like a well-oiled, magnificent machine of pure joy and love; he did that, absolutely, and it was wonderful.
Not because Blue Team tried to get too fancy with an array of cold soups, failing to realise that 95% of brunch crowds are nursing hangovers and thus require thick sauces and spicy eggs and anything that’ll aid the process of shitting out whatever hell they drank the night before.
No, this episode goes down in history as the one where tiny, wee Brendan Pang manages to slice a gash in his hand the size of the Marianas Trench.
Teasers for the episode hinted that a nasty fate would befall the poor lad at some point in the episode, but what was not expected was how goddamned excruciating that would make everything in the episode leading up to it.
They showed multiple – MULTIPLE – close-up shots of Brendan wielding a knife like a medieval flail.
That. For 10 straight minutes. Just Brendan being perilously near sharp things.
How the christ was he gonna carve his own limb up? Slipping while filleting a fish? Running it through a mandoline? Mangling it in the teeth of a Thermomix?
Hell no. None of those. Of course not any of those.
No, instead, Brendan’s awful fate occurs OFF-FUCKING-SCREEN, tripping up the stairs from a storage room they’d stuck a GoPro in.
That’s it. That’s how it went down. And that’s how they aired it.
He’s in the room, then he’s not, then suddenly his hand has been butterflied.
Aldo, the sweet angel, leaps to Brendan’s side while the nurse eagerly attends the accident.
The poor bloke is, obviously, shattered. After being taken back upstairs for treatment, the hosts and contestants periodically check in as the enormity of the injury sets in.
George, for example, demands to see the wound with his own eyes. He reacts accordingly.
Ahh yep. Mhmm. It’s fine.
Old mate there exhibiting the kind of stomach-heaving reaction he hasn’t made since someone last asked him to pay penalty rates.
He gets hauled off to hospital, because you can’t just put a blue rubber glove on and get back to work when an olive oil bottle has filleted your limb, leading to sweet, lovely Nigella Lawson to display an act of profound Britishism.
Penicillin and medical care be damned, a cup of tea and a good lie down ought to fix it. Stiff upper lid, lad. Cheerio.
And that’s it. That’s all they show. They give an update on him at the end of the episode, but nothing else.
Look, here’s the whole sequence from start to finish.
???? Uh oh, will @brendan_pang's injury put his place in the competition in jeopardy? ????
— #MasterChefAU (@masterchefau) May 23, 2018
That’s all well and good and fine and interesting enough as is, but not once – not once – does the show do the right and just thing and SHOW THE WOUND. JUST PUT IT ON SCREEN. YOU TEASE IT ALL EPISODE AND YOU DON’T EVEN SHOW A HINT OF THE BLOOD. I KNOW IT’S GROSS, JUST PUT IT ON THE AIR.
SHOW ME THE WOUND, COWARDS.
I DEMAND THE WOUND.
I AM FILTHY FOR THE WOUND.
I cannot possibly, CANNOT POSSIBLY, be the only one clamouring to see how badly he managed to flay himself, right?
Am I the only one who wants to see the wound?! ???? come on! #MasterChefAU
— Lisa Anderson (@lisj92) May 23, 2018
Storytelling 101: show, don't tell. I don't care if it might make me feel sick, I need to see how badly Brendan cut his hand. #MasterChefAU
— Trent (@trentslatts) May 23, 2018
So while the prevailing hoots of “it’s just a scratch” rang out around social media, a photo of his glorious, fucked up hand surfaced this morning.
Do not say we didn’t warn you, because it’s a doozy.
Ready? Brace yourselves.
Here we go.
Yep, that’s a cut alright.
It took 13 stitches to close the gash in old mate’s hand, so the story goes. Luckily, it was a flesh wound and managed to avoid all major tendons and the like, so the recovery should be fairly straightforward.
How that impacts his future in the competition obviously remains to be seen, but he’s got until Sunday night’s episode to sort something out, given that Aldo’s incredible management hauled Red Team to a win which lets Brendan dodge the elimination bullet.
There are no words to describe how upset I am right now. I’m here because I love food and being in the kitchen makes me happy. I really hope I’ll be okay next time I’m in the #MasterChefAU kitchen ???? @aldoortadocooks you are an amazing human being! Go Red Team! ❤️ pic.twitter.com/wwK2bUX0EL
— Brendan Pang (@brendan_pang) May 23, 2018
Christ alive though, what a bloody ride.
NEXT TIME: Nothing in the ball park of anything that interesting happens. The season has peaked, folks. If they want to top that, someone’s gonna have to lose a leg.