It’s time to get stuck into another episode of the Real Hot Messes of Melbourne, where a few old hen’s come back to roost from the previous episode (while the regular hens that populate the show continue to argue.)
So, like some kind of hellish circle of hell we’re back on the balcony where Pettifleur has just refused Gamble’s invitation and Gamble has told her to politely “Get f***ed,” before chucking said invite into the bushes.
Gamble runs inside flustered, while the rest of the Housewives scold Pettifleur for not accepting the invitation as a symbol of goodwill. Pettifleur – channeling Lucille Bluth – won’t hear it, and won’t accept it.
Look, I get it. Pettifleur says a wedding is an intimate event, a huge milestone in a relationship – so why would you want someone there who doesn’t like you? But there’s a tactful way to say ‘Would you like to reconsider?’ rather than passing the invitation back faster than if it was covered in manure.
Jackie and Janet counsel Gamble in the kitchen, who is going off about why Pettifleur would so completely and rudely reject her peace offering. Gina, Chyka and Lydia are still on the balcony – probably wishing it would collapse and they have an excuse to escape the awkwardness – suggesting that Pettifleur doesn’t just want to plaster over the differences between her and Gamble, she wanted the whole History of the World, Part I of why Gamble wanted her to attend.
Pettifleur has donned her fur crop jacket and is ready to leave the Mornington Peninsula, possibly forever, and confronts the girls on the balcony about her actions. It’s pretty obvious that she’s on the wrong side of the argument, but damned if Pettifleur will admit defeat. Last episode we sort of ended with Lydia getting into it with the group after saying that everyone talks behind Pettifleur’s back, and, even with the new arguments started, she hasn’t forgotten that.
Gamble, meanwhile, has broken down in tears. She’s just done with the Pettifleur drama. Janet and Jackie trade palm Gamble off to Gina, to go outside and cross examine why the hell she acts the way she does. Pettifleur then cracks it – she’s reached her limit of people telling her what to do today, and she just throws her hands up while the rest of the Housewives yell at her.
Amazingly, we get an Oprah breakthrough™ when Gamble hears Pettifleur being assassinated by this designer label hit squad. GAMBLE apologises to Pettifleur – yes, that is the correct way around – and hugs her, saying that she’s coming if she likes it or not. They laugh at the fight, because they’re both mentally ill.
Now that we’ve entered the Twilight Zone, Lydia starts crying because she feels like she started the whole thing. UGH. Yes, you probably did Lydia – but stop trying to make this about you.
Anyway, keeping the train wreck moving – Gina and Gamble have a quick scene helping the bride to be try on some lingerie for the wedding night. The weirdest thing is they have a heart to heart about the fallout of Invitation-Throw-Away-Gate while Gamble is wearing a leather, strappy number straight out of Rocky Horror Picture Show. Long story short, she drops $2,000 on underwear. Great.
Out in the country, Janet is prepping for a family dinner with her kids and Brian’s kids – her first in over two years. While they’re having some banter in the kitchen, Janet drops the bombshell that she’s recently been diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder after her son, Jake, was burned in an accident a couple of years ago. Brian jokes around, but deep down he reveals that it’s a relief that she now can start moving forward now that she knows what she’s dealing with – it’s pretty sweet, and, boy, this show sure does want Brian back in Janet’s life.
The kids and step kids all arrive, and Janet reveals her diagnosis to the rest of the family. It’s pretty emotionally heavy, but we’re soon back talking about when and where Brian got happy endings, so that’s wonderful.
Meanwhile, Lydia takes a break from her hectic blogging schedule and inventing double entendres to meet with Gina about her beef with Susie. Lydia feels like Susie has come out of nowhere with a chip on her shoulder, but Gina – who knows Susie quite well – thinks that Susie is still carrying the grudge from the Lydia v Gina battle from Season One.
(Quick recap: Gina famously said she was going to call Lydia the C-word, while miked up off camera. Lydia took that and ran with it for the rest of the first season. The End.)
Lydia thinks that Susie’s comments about her ‘moving through friend circles’ or ‘trading up’ within friendships are a result of jealousy or that somehow, Lydia, Goddess of Sex, Mother of Figaro, did not bestow Susie, Nymph of the Cable Knits, with enough friendship to seal the alliance and prevent her from shit-talking to a million people every week about her ALLEGEDLY shagging Warnie.
Susie has a really quick scene where her two sons create an online dating profile for her discussing the pros and cons of suitors who will potentially become their stepfather. Knock knock? Yes, the therapist will see you in about 10 years; please take a seat.
Also, Janet goes on a date. She is really putting Brian in the freezer here. Sorry, producers! BriNet isn’t happening today!
To close out the episode, over at Balloons, Etc Melbourne (AKA Chyka’s House), the Queen of Malvern and it’s surrounds, Chyka Keebaugh HRH is throwing a bridal shower/luncheon for Gamble – and requested everyone wear their wedding dress.
Now, a few of these ladies have options – having chucked a few spouses into the bin along the way. But we all get back-stories with some fantastic ‘Before They Were Housewives’ pics. Chyka’s wedding was apparently featured in Vogue and the Herald Sun back in the day, Pettifleur still fits into hers and Susie, sort of the Muriel of this group, probably was wearing her wedding dress anyway. Janet just dresses in a white dress, because she either binned or made a quilt out of her wedding dresses – while Jackie makes pains to point out that Henry Roth, of the Project Runway Australia Roth’s, gave her a dress straight off the runway. Lydia makes an equally big stink about her last wedding dress being a hand-embroidered, crafted by mice Dolce Gabbana dress.
Gamble arrives, still not in her actual wedding dress, because Alin/Alan is still bullshitting around with sewing pearls on it or some shit.
Anyway, there’s some banter about Brian – Jesus, just put him in the opening credits and make him a housewife – and they get onto why they got married. Lydia wanted to just lock Andrew down before she attended her son’s wedding, because she didn’t like that it said Lydia Schiavello + Boyfriend. Rich people problems, I suppose.
Gamble, however, has a much more sentimental reason: that she wants to formalize the relationship she has with Rick’s son, Luke – especially now that his birth mother has passed away. She gets quite emotional reminiscing on the fact that she didn’t have her own children, which would be a touching note to close the scene on – but of course we have to let the other children play, so everyone gets to share a story about how protective they are of their children. Oy.
Lydia goes off about how Andrew’s children are like her own, Susie says her last husband got into a quad bike accident with her younger son and found it difficult to move on from that, and then for some weird reason, Pettifleur decides her emotional sharing moment will be the fact that her father never gave her away in either of her two marriages.
Jackie – our Greek chorus, the audience’s stand-in on the show – muses that it is strange to make the jump from ‘Hey, my son was nearly killed in an accident’ to ‘I have unresolved daddy issues.’
Then, Susie and Lydia head inside to discuss the beef that’s been stewing between them for months according to Lydia and years according to Susie.
Susie jumps straight into it and confronts Lydia about the rumours that she allegedly spread about her being a wild, loose, party girl after her first divorce. Lydia flat out denies it and then questions why Susie is holding a grudge from way back right up until there’s a reality show focusing on her and her friendships. It is quite the noodle scratcher.
They then get onto the subject of Lydia jumping in and out of friendships, with Susie saying she hasn’t been there for her, and Lydia saying that ‘Sorry, I probably didn’t have time for you, I didn’t even know who you were, really.’
Susie is either deluded as to how tight she actually was with Lydia over the years they’ve known each other, or Lydia just has sooooo many friends that she can’t possssibly keep track of them all.
Then Lydia decides to correct Susie about the whole Gina/Lydia saga that happened when these Housewives were just a pile of wigs and statement necklaces writhing primordial sludge. Lydia says that Gina is so good to her, and that everything’s fine – but Susie, who speaks to Gina outside of the show apparently, knows that the Haus of Liano has not yet mended the alliance with the Kingdom of Schiavello.
Either way, both of them are pretty pissed off by this point and neither is willing to admit to any wrongdoing or misspeaking and move on. Both of them agree to just ‘draw a line in the sand’, but you can tell that there is just a seething undercurrent of hostility now that everything has been brought out in the open.
Immediately after the conversation, Lydia decides to pull Gamble to the side to bitch about her confrontation with Susie – while Pettifleur has a whinge to Chyka about the loss of Lydia’s friendship.
As usual, Jackie – our safe port on a stormy sea – keeps it real asking why a 50-something woman who’s all about strength and ‘switching the bitch’ can’t just grow a pair and talk to Lydia.
As the party ends, Pettifleur insists that Lydia must meet with her and Lydia is all like ‘Sure, I miss you and the accompanying camera time.’ So we’ve probably got that to look forward to. Wow.
And that’s the end. Next week, these witches ride their broomsticks up to Byron Bay and we cycle through flash cuts of everything going wrong with Gamble’s wedding! What fun! Join us then for more Real Hotplates of Melbourne!
Lives in Brisbane, works in marketing, watcher of TV shows where women yell at each other at cocktail parties.