With all due respect to The Sopranos, The Wire, Twin Peaks, Buffy, Seinfeld, et al – Nine weren't lying. If this episode doesn't sweep the Logies, I'm bum-rushing the podium.
Six weeks after Monday's final vows and three months after they first entered the experiment, the 22 contestants reunite – and wow, have things changed.
We open with a shot of ol' goofball Troy in bed. Nuzzling at his chest hair and calling him a 'fuzzy bunny' is Justin’s ex-wife Carly. The two have been dating for two weeks, Troy tells us – and the banging is sensational, he implies.
'The relationship with Carly is completely different to Ashley – there's effectively like a nonstop outpouring of affection,' he says, complimenting Carly's 'talented tongue', the 'great condition' of her mouth, and her 'rhythm'.
Before you can yell 'Aaaargh [fingers in ears] stop!', we're catapulted to the dinner party. Alicia's gone goth, Telv's all dad bod, Ryan's got that jilted ex, fresh-out-the-salon look, and Sean's wearing a gold blazer with white pants. I don't know where we are, but I like it.
'Sean looks like a gold bar, looks like he just mined himself,' says Ryan, practicing for his upcoming RSL stand-up debut no doubt.
The room is buzzing. 'It's kind of like going to a high school reunion,' says expert John Aiken, obviously home-schooled.
Ash is bummed she hasn't heard from Troy since their mutual dumping. Charlene is excited to learn Tracey dumped Dean ('Congratulations!' she toasts). Sean greets the room casually, before walking over to Tracey and planting three tongue kisses down her throat.
'Whoa! Whoa!' scream John and Nasser.
'I’m happy to say I found love,' says Sean. Before you ask, yes Dean's onboard. He praises Tracey for being open and honest about the whole thing. Sean, that ball of toxic neuroses with the Ellen DeGeneres hair, is miffed that Dean's taking it so well.
Davina, who's strolled in hoping 'shit hits the fan', can't contain her delight. 'I’m so confused by old saint Tracey,' she tells the cameras. 'It's funny when the first person to be pointing fingers at you is also the first person to be swapping partners left, right and centre.'
Ever the troublemaker, she's also cottoned onto Troy and Carly's missing presence. Her mouth gapes at the realisation. 'Shut up, it's not gonna happen!' Ash laughs. When Troy and Carly walk in arm-in-arm, Ash can only mutter a horrified 'f---ing bullshit.'
'Do I hug them? I don’t wanna hug them...' she says, before greeting Troy with brutal sarcasm. 'I haven't heard from you, I wonder why! That part where you said 'I love you', then hooked up with another girl? I feel like the idiot in the room.'
And so the night's landmines are set. Ash is struggling with the Troy and Carly bombshell. Sean, Dean and Tracey are working through theirs. Amid all that insanity is freelance Iago, Davina, shitstirring sweet nothings in everyone's ear.
Let's cut to Sean, shall we? Ahead of dinner, he takes a seat by Dean, who gives his blessing, says he didn't appreciate Tracey before, how he's made a good friend, how he's changed. Sean blows a fuse.
'You didn’t,' he twitches. 'You’re always full of shit.' The mood change comes out of nowhere. He implies Dean's been 'harassing' Tracey via text since he got dumped.
Dean's so confused. 'She said please stop harassing me? I'd love to see that message. You're tripping, bro,' he tells Sean, before walking away from the heated exchange.
'Walking away, like a f---ing girl,' Sean taunts him. For viewers, it's a headspin. The only thing certain: Tracey has incredibly horrible taste in men.
At the dinner table, the camera sets us at an Ash-eye-view of Troy and Carly's cutesy banter. It’s Logie-winning work from the producers. We can feel Ash's rage washing over us. 'I can hear that dickhead laugh so loud from the other end of the table,' she says.
Davina, upset she's not the centre of attention, makes a beeline towards Ash. 'Does that make you jealous?' she asks, nodding towards Troy and Carly. It's like winding up a maniacal doll.
When Carly comes over to explain her side to Ash, Ash unleashes: 'Oh, you seem real upset on his lap, making out with your tongue down his throat!'
Davina tries to offer some advice to Carly, who's rushed off in tears back to Troy's lap. She ends up bragging instead: 'I was the first one to do this out of all of you arseholes!' she tells them. 'I set the trend!'
Her part done, she sets her sights on Dean. Of course, they have history.
'You were the best out of a bad bunch for me,' she lays into Dean, about their aborted cheating scandal. 'It's like when you’re on a deserted island with no food or fresh water, you start to look at dirt and wanna eat it.'
Dean, who cops the analogy silently, tells Davina he has one thing for her: 'I’m f---ing sorry,' he says. 'It wasn't cool, I take full responsibility.' They shake on it, an unlikely friendship forged.
Friendship: it makes Davina feel icky. Her next grenade lands on Tracey, who's been listening in on all this. She calls Davina over for a private chat, to hold Davina 'accountable' for like the 15th time.
'I want you to know one of the main reasons Dean and I didn't work is because of what you did,' Tracey tells Davina.
'What did I do?' Davina replies. She has the comedy chops of prime-Steve Martin.
'Are you the type of woman that's happy to steal another woman's man?' Tracey continues.
'What, I thought your boyfriend was hot and he didn't wanna be with you,' Davina offers. 'I don't know you, I don't care... You have a new boyfriend and you're still talking about Dean. You sound crazy.'
Round of applause, silver Logie right there. The convo reminds Davina she has another situation she's still not in on: the Dean, Sean, Tracey triangle. 'That whole dynamic is so bizarre... I kinda wanna be a part of it,' she tells the cameras.
She urges Dean to talk to Tracey about Sean's 'inappropriate texts' claim; she tells Sean to watch the chemistry between Dean and Tracey as they giggle like old lovers over the drama. It's masterful work. It forces Sean and Dean to have a sit-down to get to the bottom of the whole texting thing.
'Where does that come from? You're so off the mark...” Dean asks Sean, after Tracey confirmed to him that she had no problem with his texts.
'Look mate, just don't lie anymore,' Sean replies, psychopath vibes shooting like a chimney. 'You’re taking the piss. Why the f--- were you sending her messages? Tell me the f---ing truth!'
Dean turns psychiatrist to the 'little fella'. 'Wow, I'm very concerned about you... Is everything alright, Sean? I think you’ve got some serious problems you need to work on.'
'You’re a f---ing wanker!' screams Sean, storming off. Sure, a 10-second fade to black was strong, but a blonde dude losing his shit over texts is easily the best way to end a show.
It all sets off another 'explosive twist' where 'the truth' is set to be revealed, the show's announcer says, at Wednesday night's grand finale.