Right. Before we get into things (OMG so many things), I know that these recaps have been longer than War and Peace (funnier and with more swearing though), but there’s a crapload of material to deal with.
However, in the interests of giving everyone their lives back, I’ll do my best to keep the wordage down. That said, I can’t be responsible for the mental, and I won’t compromise my writerly integrity by leaving gaping holes in an important story. Because I’m a professional*. *not actually a professional
It’s also important that I point out OMG JACKIE RETWEETED MY LAST POST! We are now besties, obvs.
Let’s get started. It’s AFL Grand Final day and Chyka is casting her eye over the chicken sarnies being prepared by her peeps in their fancy schmancy marquee called The September Club. Marquees at the footy is a level of glam we don’t often ever see here in Brisbane. The fanciest thing at Suncorp Stadium are the merch tents in front of the statues of the King* and Alfie Langer. *Wally Lewis – and shame on you for needing to check.
Pettifleur is arriving in a fully appropriate outfit involving a fucktonne of sequins. Janet is obviously rooting *heh* for Hawthorn, because no-one would ever choose to wear mustard and brown. Both of Gamble’s hair colours have been straightened for the occasion. Related: her hair is Hawthorn coloured. Which is a shame, because it turns out she’s a Swans supporter. She explains that this gives her a colour palette of red and white to work with. Such a relief, and not shallow at all.
Lydia has arrived in some snazzy sunnies that she picked up at the Duty Free on the way home from Italy. Probably. She’s dressed down, because, you know, FOOTBALL, in jeans and a crisp white shirt. And 8-inch red heels, because a girl’s gotta have standards.
She’s on the blower to Jackie, because the AFL Grand Final is the perfect time to ask about what the fuck went down at Chyka’s dinner when Jackie asked Gamble what she was laughing at (when Lydia was talking about the baby boy she lost). Dunno why Jacks isn’t at the footy – I can totally see her belting out Up There Cazaly. Anyhoo, Lydia is NAHT happy with Gamble, and is going to get to the bottom of her insulting behaviour at dinner. Which is excellent, because I’m bored with Janet-V-Gamble so I’m definitely up for a bit of Lydia-V-Gamble action.
They’re enjoying a sparkly beverage and Lydia is inexplicably having water. Gamble asks her if she’s pregnant, which Lydia shuts down by saying “No, are you?”. High five Lydia. Then Gamble, for reasons known only to her, reminds Lydia that her Barbie name is S&M Barbie. Lydia treats this with the disdain it deserves – wait – I don’t like how Gamble makes me stick up for Lydia. What weird fucking sorcery is that?
Then Janet chimes in to say that Chyka’s new Barbie name is “Slither Barbie” because of how she slithered out of the whole stripper rumour thing. Dear Janet, I am now yawning for Australia. Love Nic.
Gamble steers the convo back to her, and is whipping herself into a frenzy of excitement over their upcoming trip to Sydney. Fair dinkum, the way she’s banging on, you’d think she was taking them to Zanzibar. Does she think none of them have ever been to Sydney? Shut up Gamble.
Lydia can’t go to Sydney because she’s been there a hundred times because she’s moving back into “our renovated home”. Seriously, why can’t she just say “we’re moving back into our house now that the fucking renos are finished” like a normal person?
Chyka can’t go to Sydney because she’s been there a hundred times because they’ve got that big job in Qatar. Seems Chyka is now going to Qatar as well as Bruce, which means Bruce will have his work cut out for him, dealing with that almost-royal wedding AND styling Chyka is appropriate middle eastern fashions.
Pettifleur asks Gamble about “this gallery you worked at” – which is the Billich Gallery in Sydney. Gamble “works on commission” for Charles Billich (whose art is weird and makes my head hurt). Also, I once read in Who Magazine (#research) that he has an open marriage. Eww. Pettifleur obviously calls bullshit on Gamble’s “job” at the Gallery which gives Gamble the almighty shits, so she decides to give P a taste of her own medicine. I have to say that when Gamble says “So Pettifleur, how’s the property developing going? Do you do that, or does your husband”, it was kind of fantastic.
Still, it wasn’t as fantastic as Lydia going all Sicilian on Gamble’s arse for her smirking during her story (at Chyka’s dinner) about the loss of her baby. Gamble reckons she was laughing at the Silver Fox’s because of a look he was giving, which I think we all agree is a bullshit excuse. I’m already enjoying Lydia-V-Gamble way more than Janet-V-Gamble.
Janet and Pettifleur peel off to discuss how to manage the Gamble sitch while they’re all in Sydney. Janet doesn’t want Gamble skewering her over the “rumours” again, potentially ruining their Sydney love-in. Pettifleur, like THE REST OF THE FREE WESTERN WORLD is bored shitless by the whole thing, and declares that she will put a lid on it. Janet meanwhile is cracking herself up over the Barbie name she’s come up with for Gamble – Mashugana Barbie, which apparently is Yiddish for crazy. Pot, meet Kettle.
The next day (I’m guessing, I really have NFI) we’re in Croatia-by-the-Sea (Mt Eliza) as Gamble packs for Sydney. The Silver Fox looking on, bemused (which I suspect is his default position re Gamble). Gamble asks the Silver Fox how blokes would handle the Gamble-V-Janet brouhaha (there’s a word that isn’t used nearly enough) and the SF tells her that it’d be over in minutes because blokes just don’t hold grudges. I believe this to be true. Generally they’d just say “mate, you’re a fuckwit” to which the fuckwit would reply “you can get fucked and buy me a beer”. So much more efficient.
Ooh I love when we go to Chyka’s house. So pretty. I need to get my spies friends in Melbourne to track down her address for drive-by research purposes.
Jackie is visiting to workshop Gamble’s hen’s night, which will obviously be a totes klarssy event. Jackie keeps referring to it as a part-tay, which is annoying, but because she’s my best friend I’ll allow it.
Chyka tells Jacks that Gamble doesn’t want strippers because she doesn’t want it to be tacky. Jackie looks at her like she’s mental and says “tacky? Having strippers isn’t tacky.” Are there posh strippers in Melbourne as well as marquees at the footy? Sah fancy.
Wait! I’d forgotten about the Gamble/stripper rumours! Awkward. No wonder she doesn’t want strippers. But Chyka tells us that *if* they were to go down the stripper route (sorry – that sounds a bit wrong) they would want to make sure it didn’t focus on Gamble, but more on fun and frivolity around the room. WHAT THE FUCK DOES THAT EVEN MEAN?
Then Jackie points out that instead of shaking his “ding dong” (Croatian for penis), he can shake his butt, which is more klarssy. So that’s settled.
Should the par-tay be night or day? Jackie points out that since they’re not 90 (apart from Janet, obvs) it needs to be at night. Chyka is all for a bit of karaoke (bless), but you just KNOW Jackie is aiming for something funkier, and less tragic. Then, in a revelation that I did not see coming, we find out that at Chyka’s hen’s night, she was auctioned off by a table of sheep auctioneers sitting nearby, and finished up in her bra and underoos. Who’d have thought it? I’ll bet they were matching Simone Perele though.
Ohai Sydney! You’re looking gorgeous as ever. The ladeez are staying at the Sheraton on the Park, which surprises me – I was expecting that they’d stay somewhere on the Harbour. Probably Gamble left it too late and had to go with what she could get on Wotif. Rookie error.
The ladies all meet in Gamble’s room for a sparkly beverage before hitting the Gallery. Ooh – they’re all in gold. That some poor planning right there. It’s like they walked down the gold trim aisle at Spotlight and bought up every reel of scratchy gold ric-rac. Gamble’s dress is working VERY HARD, so she’s sensibly taking along a spare frock in case it splits. Given she’s wearing no undies, that’s practically a community service.
In advance of their visit to the Billich Gallery, Pettifleur has apparently been spending a lot of time on Wikipedia, because she’s all over Charles Billich’s work. Gina asks her if she’s been Googling him – seems reasonable – but P is insulted at the idea that she might resort to Google. Like EVERY HUMAN IN THE WORLD WOULD. I dunno where she did her research then, because I just can’t see her sitting down with the B Volume of the World Book Encyclopedia.
Gamble briefs the ladies on who will be joining them, including her sister (the gloriously name Tempest) – who is about to have some work done on her dial. Janet approves (loudly) of Tempest’s plan to have some fat taken from under her chin, and her jowls hoiked up. Gina chimes in with “mine are reconstructed”, like that’s news. Bless.
Gina notices that Janet and Gamble appear to be getting on, but she wonders if Janet is just wearing her poker face. Then, in the best line of the episode, she says “I don’t know if that’s a cosmetic procedure that’s caused that or whether it’s a natural talent”. *standing ovation*
Gamble has another friend, Lisa, going out with them tonight. Lisa didn’t get the memo about dressing in gold, so has arrived as a goth. Gamble manages to get into the limo without splitting her frock – thank the good Lord – and they’re off to the Gallery.
Gamble squeals A LOT as they walk in, and Charles Billich, who has accidentally dressed as Dame Edna Everage – welcomes the ladies.
The Billich Gallery is a freakshow. Aside from the fact Dame Edna is wearing Prada ladies’ sunnies (which I owned in 2012) at 9pm, there’s a woman carrying a morbidly obese cat. (Files under “sentences I never thought I’d write”.)
Gamble explains that Charles’ artwork is figurative (derr) and that if you work for Charles, you end up modelling for Charles. I think we can all see where this is leading. As we gaze upon a nakey Gamble I’m eternally grateful that Billich’s paintings are figurative.
In the 2nd best line of the night, Janet asks Gamble “Is that before you had your breasts reduced?” #burn
Gina mingles with some non-Housewife types, including a “Lawyer & Socialite” (probs what it says on her LinkedIn profile). Her relief at being amongst her people leaps from the screen. Janet bails up “Businesswoman & Socialite” Marilyn Koch (not Kochie’s wife. I know this BECAUSE I GOOGLED HER PETTIFLEUR). Janet explains that she’s happily single but that she hooks up with a 35yo every few weeks. She describes this as “party time” and now I feel a bit nauseous.
Next up it’s Charlie Brown. The designer, not Snoopy’s owner. I used to be a big fan of Charlie Brown’s until I wore one of her frocks to a ball and THREE other people were wearing the same frock. Related: is anyone in the market for a satin aubergine ballgown?
Pettifleur challenges Charlie Brown to a fashion-off – or rather a Sydney-V-Melbourne fashion-off. Christ on a cracker she’s a moron. Lisa the Goth butts in – and I don’t catch what she’s on about, because I don’t really care – but P almost self-combusts with crankiness about Lisa being a buttinsky.
Next up Gamble introduces the pack to her sister Tempest – the one who’s about to have the work done on her dial. Janet obviously thinks that Tempest is one of her own kind (or soon will be) but that dream is shattered when Tempest goes fully ape shit on Janet’s arse for being mean to Gamble about rumours/strippers/hookers/blah blah blah. It’s ace viewing.
Janet is over being accused of making up these rumours, so she takes her bat and ball and her scratchy gold frock and storms out.
Pettifleur sticks up for Janet, telling Tempest that Gamble had asked Janet about the stripper/hooker/sex party rumours. Sorry – I’ll give you a moment to re-read that sentence, because it’s very freaking confusing.
It transpires that Gamble had been a wee bit loose with the truth when she told Tempest about it, because she’d made it sound like Janet had actually made these claims about Gamble, rather than just reporting rumours.
Tempest feels like she needs to apologise for her rant, but Gamble takes ownership of the sitch and goes after Janet.
Gina emerges from the toot to see “a gold dress with a tattoo and a head bobbling” running down the street. Hilarious. Gina is ON FIRE tonight! Gamble catches up with Janet in front of the Observer pub and tries to convince her to come back to the gallery. Janet wants to get as far away as possible, and the guys having a beer out the front can’t believe their luck that they get to witness an actual Housewives bitch-fight. I’m a bit jealous tbh.
Back at the Gallery, Pettifleur is giving Tempest a dressing down for not checking her facts. Tempest (who I’m kind of loving, despite her ridiculous name) is right over Pettifleur lecturing her, and basically tells her to shut the fuck up. Nice work Tempest.
Meanwhile Gina and Gamble are trying to call Janet to check that she’s ok. It goes to voicemail, and because she’s a doink, Gamble makes a chicken/clucking sound into the phone. You just know Gina wants to punch her in the head.
Back in Melbs, Lydia, Jackie and Chyka are playing croquet. Random. Also I thought Chyka was going to Qatar, and Lydia was all “I’m moving into my renovated home”. Whatevs. There’s some croquet-inappropriate clothing and footwear going on, but it makes a nice change from all the gold.
All three of them are rubbish at croquet, so they move on to a picnic. And by picnic, I mean garden party, because there is an actual table, French café chairs and cut crystal cake plates involved. Not a BBQ chook, bottle of Diet Coke or roll of paper towel in sight.
They’ve heard about what’s gone down in Sydney, and are all “thank fuck we didn’t go”. Over a refreshing iced tea, Lydia mimics Gamble’s weird-arse voice (which is pretty spot-on IMHO). Surprisingly, Jackie – not Chyka – disapproves of this behaviour, but she puts it down to Lydia still having the shits up about the Gamble-giggle at Chyka’s dinner.
But the shits are being shared around, because Lydia is pissed off with Gina for asking her about her *alleged* separation from Andrew. Upon further investigation, it seems that Gina got her intel from her hairdresser. UMM, HAIRDRESSER INTEL IS THE BEST INTEL *waves at Luke my hairdresser*.
Because it’s Melbourne, and the weather doesn’t give a flying fuck about Chyka’s pretty picnic, a massive gust of wind blows the whole thing halfway up the Yarra. Shame, because I wanted to explore the Lydia separation a bit more.
Still, this has all been an unnecessary distraction, so let’s get back to the good stuff in Sydney.
OMG remember how Gamble dressed as a toddler when they played golf about a hundred episodes ago? It’s a big call, but I’m gonna say that Pettifleur has out-ridiculoused her with her outfit for the harbour cruise they’re about to go on. She’s wearing a white mini-dress with a blue trim, because #nautical, espadrille wedges and a captain’s hat worn at a jaunty angle. She looks like Gopher from The Love Boat.
Gopher says – with a straight face – that she planned her outfit on the basis that she didn’t want to look like a comical queen. She wanted it to be “a bit of fun and have lots of sophistication.” Fail to the power of infinity.
I’m a bit disappointed that Gamble isn’t dressed as Julie from the Love Boat. Bit inconsiderate tbh. Gamble is still upset by the Janet drama from the previous night. Janet has decided not to go on the harbour cruise, although Gina reckons that’s probably a good thing, what with Tempest being on board.
As they go under the Harbour Bridge, Krista Billich (Charles’ missus) tells Gina that you have to make a wish as you go under it. My wish is that the ladies did Bridge Climb, because I’d pay actual money to see that.
Gamble’s wish is that Janet was with them. So genuine. It lasts about half a second, because she goes on to say that she’s still pissed off about the rumours blah blah blah, but she doesn’t want to go on about them. I KNOW RIGHT??
Gamble is devo about Janet missing the harbour gloriousness, and even appears to go the blub. Krista Billich (whose face frightens me) offers this pearl of wisdom: “to me, what is a rumour, but a cloud in the sky”. What in the actual fuck does that mean?
Back in Melbs we’re over at Chyka’s place. What happened to Qatar??. Anyway, I really want to study Chyka’s coffee table styling, because she has such a knack for the placement of her coffee table books. My coffee table is currently styled with cruskit crumbs, a couple of Disney Pixar Dominos and a Women’s Weekly.
Where was I? Sorry. It’s family dinner night at Chyka’s place and WHOOAAA! Those white jeans are a bit tight in the groinal area Bruce! *looks away*
Chyka’s son BJ (sorry, but if you’re gonna choose to use your initials, it probs shouldn’t be those ones) is cooking tonight. Apparently he has rugby training 6 nights a week. Geez, you’d want a Wallabies contract all locked in for that kind of commitment. Anyhoo, he’s a bit rubbish in the kitchen and it’s giving Chyka an aneurism.
Looks like chicken schnitty for dinner and I’m pleased to see that the crumb of choice in Chyka’s kitchen is the Panko, which is a far superior crumb to the Krummie.
In a move that almost guarantees Chyka’s aneurism will burst, BJ is caught using the Display Teatowel. Is anyone out there surprised that Chyka has decorative/display teatowels? No, I didn’t think so. I’m willing to bet that even Chyka’s crappest teatowels are better than my best ones.
BJ’s dinner is a big success with no salmonella-inducing pink chicken – a cooked-through schnitty is a successful schnitty.
Back in Sydney the ladies are having dinner at Otto. Ooooh, I just realised I’ll need to do a junket research trip to Sydney as well! Hurrah! *adds Otto to itinerary*
So far only Gamble, Gina and Lisa the Goth have turned up for dinner. No-one cares knows if Janet will come and Pettifleur is exhausted from having to keep her head still on the boat so her hat could stay at its jaunty angle.
But here they are! Such troopers. Gamble is so relieved that Janet has turned up that she falls over herself (not literally, unfortunately) to apologise for being such a moll at the Gallery. Just as it looks like they might be reaching some sort of closure *prays to all the deities*, Gina butts in and all hell breaks loose. Janet tells Gina to STFU, Gina tells Janet to stop with the rumours, Janet calls Gina out on her bringing up the Lydia/separation rumour, and Gina is all “Crap, she’s right”. It was an EXHAUSTING exchange.
Things deteriorate even further and it was better than I could ever have dreamed. Gina asked if Janet was looking for a fight, and Janet was all “no, but if you’re not happy you can leave.” To which Gina replied “I’m not doing a big storm off like a skank down the street…” BEST. TV. EVER! I deadset thought Janet’s head would explode.
Pettifleur/Gopher tells Gina to stop defending Gamble, and that if she was a judge she’d be “going for facts”. Gina’s headshake was right up there with Julie Bishop’s eyeroll – and Gopher says “what, do you think I’m stupid?” I dunno what Gina was thinking, but I shouted YES YOU PINHEAD so hard at the screen that I woke up my kids.
Gina says she’s concerned about both Janet and Gamble – wait, now I’ve lost track of what’s going on. Janet is having a go at Gina for spreading the whole flirting-with-the-Silver-Fox rumour, and Gina says she didn’t spread the rumour, she “embellished the story”. I TOTALLY want Gina to be my lawyer if I ever get into trouble.
After the word rumour gets used 73,000 times, the ladies agree that the “rumour” in question never be spoken of again. They do a very dramatic “all hands in the middle” thing and pinkie swear that that’s the end of it. Mmmkay.
In the spirit of moving on, Pettifleur/Gopher asks Gamble where her engagement ring was. Gamble said she didn’t have it yet, and Gopher announces that she’s a diamond expert. Gina and Janet nearly snort wine out their noses. Gina calls her Eddie the Expert which is kind of lame, but totally pisses Gopher off. She threatens to come up with a nickname for Gina because she’s a also a nickname expert. Gina understandably cacks herself.
Gopher is all indignant, so Gina tries to dial things back by saying that she’s been guilty of speaking over Gopher, for which she’s sorry. Gamble says something indecipherable, and Gopher complains that the ladies have loud voices. It is a very odd conversation.
Gina tries to explain to Gopher that she speaks in a way that is VERY FUCKING IRRITATING. Gina did suggest that Gopher’s accent may contributing to her being VERY FUCKING IRRITATING which is very fucking not PC, but accurate.
Gopher is totes indignant about this, pointing out that she’s only ever spoken English and that she was taught by nuns with an English accent. Gina’s response was 18 carat burrrrn “well it didn’t work darling”.
Pettifleur/Gopher does not take this well, and I think it’s safe to say she and Gina won’t be painting each other’s nails any time soon.
Also, if there’s a Reality TV God (and this show is proof that there is), Gopher-V-Gina will replace Janet-V-Gamble. Thank fuck for that.