Ahhh, the elusive fancy grown up dinner party. It’s the staple of every adult, sophisticated friend group (or so I’ve heard) and the next step for our couples, because apparently in order to know if your relationship is working, you need to compare yourself to three other dysfunctional couples.
This week the couples continue to live in some weird, fairy-land reality of a relationship, which is way less fun than it sounds. After the stress of living together for a full week, the couples are getting away for the weekend.
Now, one may wonder how, after 4 episodes ranging over weeks of the couples’ lives, how could one dinner stretch through a whole episode? Honestly, with the amount of drama dished up this episode, I’m impressed they compressed it down to 60 mins. Tonight’s main meal: awkward public fights with strangers. And some spinach ricotta thing.
This episode doesn’t fuck around, letting you know what’s up straight away when Simone makes the offhanded remark to Xavier that “it would be so awkward going into this dinner if your relationship isn’t on track.” Oh Simone, you have NO idea.
The most metaphorical shot in television history takes place as Clare drives past a scenic stop sign reading Honeymoon Lookout. Channel Nine is getting deep.
Jono and Clare are meeting back up for the first time since their split …2 days ago. Acting as though they had been separated for months and no longer have anything in common (apart from both being stupid enough to expect lasting relationships from a television show), the two go about pretending nothing has happened, their signature coping mechanism. Just as it looks like Jono is wondering whether or not it would be easier to just flip Clare over the balcony rather than discuss what happened, he pops the question every girl dreams of hearing: “So where are you at?”
After the two predictably begin fighting again (good job with this match, experts) they decide this is it and split for good and I’m mad that I’m actually kind of sad. I’ll blame it on the fact that I’m not a complete sociopath and have SOME empathy left. These awful people will be alone forever! Although it’s probably for the best if the gene line ends here…
Over at Simone and Xavier’s place, the couples have started arriving, meeting each other, sizing up the love between couples, comparing happiness, all kinds of healthy stuff. As the couples bask in how gosh-darn pleased they all are, Xavier laughs, “we wouldn’t like to be the couple that didn’t work out.” Oh Xavier, don’t you worry.
Christie is already complaining about the distance she has to travel to stay with Mark and keeps passive aggressively bringing it up. It seems like they’ll be that couple but then Jono arrives and it’s suddenly like comparing apples and oranges. If the apples wanted to kill each other.
Jono arrives alone and everyone is immediately like ‘wut’. But, in true Jono fashion, the issue
is completely ignored and he actually manages to make a constant stream of conversation so that nobody has time to ask ‘wtf m8?’ Finally, as the situation starts to become unbearable, Xavier, the hero we never knew we neede, addresses the giant blonde elephant in the room: “So Jono, you rolling solo tonight?”
No sooner is Jono through explaining the break up when Clare arrives and, proving that all relationships are cyclical, Jono mutters another, equally disheartened “ughhhh shit.” Everything ends where it begins.
I would just like to take this moment to tell you all that this show is becoming physically uncomfortable to watch. But, damn it, I’ll press on through even the worst social awkwardness for you!
Although I did legit scream and hide at one point. Too scary.
Clare and Jono have to sit next to each other and Clare awkwardly laughs and then downs another glass of wine, setting the tone for the whole evening. It’s almost cute seeing everyone so in love and sharing that with the table, but the only thing Clare and Jono share is their unending sadness.
Next, Christie takes hold of the official shit stirring spoon and goes for a paddle, asking Clare and Jono about their experience, for “education”. Yea, and I watch this show because I “have to write about it”.
Jono starts calmly enough with the understatement of the year: “we clash a lot.” But then they being having another fight AT the table IN FRONT OF strangers ON national television. I die all over again.
Clare starts referring to Jono as a “ghost husband” because he’s never around, which, incidentally, is my new favourite expression. Luckily, apart from feeling SUPER uncomfortable, the couples seem to actually all feel way better about their relationships because of this. Which is sort of understandable since none of them have Clare/Jono-level shit going on.
“I’m so jealous of you guys right now,” laments Jono as Clare looks like she’s about to fucking blow. Jono tries to reassure himself, saying “I’m only 28 so I know this isn’t my last chance.” And this is where SHIT. HITS. THE. FAN.
Clare loses her mind, storming off to the bathroom, but not before throwing out “see, I’m 32, so I actually care.” Now Simone, who is actually being a really accommodating hostess, has to comfort a complete stranger. As if this episode couldn’t get any more weird. Sealing the bonds of sisterhood with a really fake hug and forced happiness, Clare recovers fairly quickly and returns upstairs while Simone returns to the kitchen to re-evaluate her life.
The rest of the evening is basically just a montage of Clare taking cheap shots at Jono, much to the dismay of all present, including very publicly discussing there sex life (or lack thereof), interjecting with gems
like “it’s very hard to have sex with someone who’s not there.” And when Erin says she was single because “there are a lot of dick heads out there and I feel like I’ve met most of them,” Clare cuts in with “yea, me too.” *stares daggers at Jono*
Basically, this dinner is just fucking awful.
At the end of the evening, Erin calls Clare on some of her bullshit (making me love her even more). “Honestly the way that you talk about your situation and the way Jono talks about your situation are polar opposites,” Erin says. “You use words like, ‘Oh he threw a temper tantrum’. And then you roll your eyes. Honestly, he’s been very, very respectful of you and he’s never said one ill word of you since the second he got here. But you seem to have a lot of negative things to say about him.”
After telling it like it is, Erin is a bit drained: “fuck me that was heavy. I almost shat myself there.” Me too, Erin. Me too.
Next episode: the couples meet the parents