‘This is the end, my only friend, the end,’ sang Jim Morrison. And just like that awful melancholy song, all the children are insane in the Real Housewives of Melbourne season finale.
Of course, the reunion is still to come – where the Housewives will rehash in real-time their issues, while Alex Perry mugs for the camera – but as far as ‘regular’ episodes go, we’ve finished another season.
And what a way to go out. Typically, every Housewives season ends with a party featuring all the ladies – and the arena is set. Grudges are either resolved or brought to a head, before a freeze frame and a ‘Revenge of the Nerds’ style teaser for what a particular Housewife did after the cameras went down.
But before we get to that, we have to tie up all the loose ends that the ladies all have.
Last week, Pettifleur ran out of the room crying after Lydia blasted her for questioning the friendship between them. So that means, Pettifleur is scrambling to find other friends to latch on to.
Charity starts at home, so she’s decided to give it another go with her erstwhile sister and my personal spirit animal, Gillian.
Pettifleur, for once, has a conversation grounded in logic and rational thought when she outlines that when Gillian called her ‘up [herself]’ the last time the spoke, it hurt her feelings – because she really can only communicate through talking about brands and clothes because she’s surrounded by boys all day (her sons and partner) who could care less; while Gillian has daughters who she can share the more feminine side of her life with.
Look, it’s a stretch of the imagination, sure. But I honestly think that Pettifleur isn’t really that deep of a person, and we don’t have years to unpick that psyche – so let’s just take her at face value.
Nonetheless, Pettifleur apologises if it upsets Gillian when she comes off as self-absorbed and my jaw hits the floor. Pettifleur apologizing without being prompted? Surely not. Gillian accepts and also apologizes for calling her up herself. Pettifleur says that it was a wake-up call for her own sister to say it once, rather than the Housewives saying it a million times; so she’ll try and be better at empathizing with other people, especially Gillian.
Hooray for breakthroughs!
Anyway, it’s time for a birthday over at Lydia’s house – because her mother’s 69th birthday has rolled around, and she’s set up her house to have an al fresco lunch with all of Lina’s friends and some Housewives who are obligated to be there.
Speaking of, Gamble, Pettifleur and Gina all roll up, and Pettifleur is pretty gun-shy. Well, who could blame her? The last time she saw Lydia, Pettifleur was told to ‘f**k off’ and that she was a ‘f**king idiot.’
The elephant in the room is Lydia’s big drama with Chyka, but the smaller, more insistent elephant is her treatment of Pettifleur. Never mind that Lydia spells Pettifleur’s name wrong on her place card; but she just seems very dismissive of her and she doesn’t want to deal with or take any responsibility for hurting Pettifleur’s feelings.
Regarding Chyka, Lydia is all about heaping shit onto Jackie. Lydia admits that, yes, of course she hears rumours all the time – but Jackie has upset Chyka by telling her that Lydia is gossiping.
Gina puts it best when she says that Lydia’s not trying to hurt anyone intentionally, but by giving authority to a rumour (i.e. spreading it) through her position as, for all intents and purposes, someone’s friend, she’s absolutely hurting people. She tells Lydia to stop playing the victim, own up to her part in spreading gossip and ‘f**king deal with it.’
Hey, remember Susie? She’s decided to finally show up for work, and she’s going to use her fringe benefits to get a psychic reading from Jackie.
Jackie feels like Susie has angels who want to give her a message, so they sit down and have a other worldly coffee klatch. Susie’s grandmother comes through to give her advice about her love life, while her grandfather just stops by to say that you can smoke in heaven.
Susie is overwhelmed by the messages that Jackie conveys, and look out Jewish men of America, she’s on the prowl for husband number three!
Gina, meanwhile, is preparing to attend the launch of her new bottle of stink. The editors get some more quality footage of Josh being the world’s worst assistant, and I have to say, I’ll miss him when this is all over. Television will have a little less manic, deer in the headlights energy when the credits roll tonight.
Janet and Jackie catch up to chat about Jackie maybe, possibly having a baby soon as well as an upcoming group dinner at Waterfront. Jackie is getting angrier and angrier with Lydia’s continued denial, and Janet’s right there with her.
Back to the launch of Gina by Chemist Warehouse, and Gamble, Susie and Pettifleur have all turned up to Chadstone Shopping Centre for the gig. There’s a bit of banter and Pettifleur admits that she’s having fun with Gamble. Gamble agrees, and says that although they fight – it’s fun to fight with each other. They’re psychopaths, but it allows Pettifleur to apologise for the ‘black widow’ comment waaaaay back from the start of the season. It’s a goddamn miracle! Pettifleur’s on the apology tour, but wants Lydia to be a better friend.
Speaking of, Lydia shows up and makes some snarky asides about Pettifleur – and I start to get drowsy because it’s like, who cares? It’s fairly obvious at this point that Lydia doesn’t care about Pettifleur, but both of them keep insisting that they can work it out.
Thank god, the lady of the hour arrives in a cloud of Gina by Gina Liano and begins the Rainbow Tour of thanks to the entire nation of Argentina for their support during these troubled times of fragrance launches. There’s some brief repartee about Pettifleur ‘sucking off Smurfs’ (she’s wearing blue lipstick), and blah blah blah.
Now we get to the good bit. Chyka and Lydia are getting ready to have a sit down, their first since it all blew up in Dubai.
Chyka chats with her daughter Chessie that she doesn’t want a huge, dramatic confrontation, she just wants Lydia to cop to it and stop doing it in the future.
Lydia, meanwhile, is still on the ‘Jackie Started It’ campaign of 2016 and tells her mother – who supposedly has a friendship with Chyka independent of her daughter – that Jackie has stirred the pot to drive a wedge between Chyka and the Schiavellos.
As Chyka and Lydia drive to their sit-down, we drop in on Pettifleur, who is still trying to reattach the umbilical cord to her son, Nathan. The relationship is getting better, wonderful, great; get back to the action, damn you!
Chyka and Lydia finally sit down, and after the phony air kisses hello, they get stuck into why Chyka was so angry at their dinner in Dubai. Chyka tells Lydia that she reached her breaking point after hearing that Lydia gossips so much about the other Housewives.
Lydia, predictably, dodges it and says that everyone tells her stuff, it’s not her job to discern the facts from the rumours, and she just passes it on, sight unseen to anyone with the gift of hearing who happens to be walking by. The deflection then begins, by trying to pin Chyka’s anger on Jackie and her portrayal of Lydia as the big, bad wolf.
Chyka says no, you moron, it’s because of what you say with your dumb mouth. Okay, she doesn’t actually say this – she just gets tired and worn down by Lydia’s absolute refusal to admit wrongdoing. Chyka just brings it to a conclusion, saying that she’ll move forward if Lydia will, and it’s a load of bullshit. Lydia once again dodges a bullet and lives to gossip another day.
As night falls, the other ladies all arrive at Waterfront and wait for Chyka and Lydia to turn up. Gamble offers the suggestion that maybe they’ve both killed each other – the ladies laugh, with a hint of nerves, because who knows what these women are capable of.
Lydia is under the false pretense that because she’s made amends with Chyka, everything’s great and the other women will just fall into line and have a kumbaya moment with her.
Jackie immediately launches in. She wants to know if she’s been talked about when Lydia and Chyka met, she’d rather confront the issue head on. Lydia doesn’t back down and says that Jackie’s a trouble maker, and that she’s lying when she talks about rumours being spread.
Something in Jackie’s brain snaps, and she is on the war path now. She lays it all out on the table about what Lydia has said. Let’s break it down:
· Of Gina, her partner supposedly cracked on to Lydia;
· Pettifleur’s partner is, apparently, a ‘f**kin’ weirdo’;
· Gamble’s rumoured to be a sex addict;
· Janet maybe had affairs while married to a rich husband (was it Brian? Who knows?)
· Something about Chyka’s family (damn it, Jackie, say it!)
Lastly, Jackie is fuming that Lydia allegedly tried to flirt with International Rock Star Ben Gillies. The ladies are all shocked, and Lydia is backed into a corner. Jackie is in attack mode, and she’s not in the mood for any jokes. When she says that Lydia’s flirted with Gamble and Pettifleur’s (older) partners, Gamble is a bit offended that Jackie called Rick an ‘old man’, but Jackie is not playing when she says that ‘yes, he is.’
Jackie then brings in vestigial Housewife, Susie, who I honestly forgot was at the table – even though she’s sitting next to Lydia.
Jackie says Susie has all the gossip on Lydia from back in the day, but Lydia is quick to shut her down saying that Susie doesn’t know what she’s talking about either. Revisiting the ‘Susie had affairs which led to her first divorce’ conversation from earlier this season, Lydia says that Susie needs to stop talking rubbish – she didn’t even know her first husband!
Susie is aghast – Lydia had courtside seats, what the hell is she talking about? Lydia forgot that she went! Maybe she’s got pre-dementia, she says, which is a huge word for Lydia.
After that brief aside with Susie, Jackie drops the real bomb of the episode.
Just as a hint for you guys, whenever anyone starts the conversation with: ‘let’s talk the real shit,’ maybe don’t mock them and tease them to say something hurtful.
‘Let’s talk about the affairs you’ve had.’
The atmosphere just goes dead. ‘What are you talking about? No affairs,’ Lydia stammers.
The name is never mentioned, but Jackie apparently left Lydia at the Logies with a man and it’s implied that she had a one-night stand.
Everyone is taken aback, and nobody really agrees with the way Jackie brings it up. Chyka and Gina both mention that Jackie’s spreading rumours in a malicious way – exactly what she’s just hammered Lydia for.
Moving on, Jackie addresses Lydia dumping Pettifleur ‘like a sack of s**t.’ Sensing her opportunity to get back at Lydia for all the digs she’s taken, she says she agrees with what some of the women are saying; Lydia does gossip, and spreads hurtful rumours.
Janet and Gina are screaming across the table now, just wanting it to stop. If Lydia would just say ‘yes, I said it, I’m sorry and I won’t do it anymore,’ this could all end – but she won’t and everyone here knows that.
Lydia finally just says an insincere, roundabout ‘sorry’ and concludes ‘but I think I’m an okay person.’
Oh, god. Lydia, feel out the room.
Pettifleur says to her, ‘You suck as a friend!’
‘Go suck on your own f**king…head!’ Lydia replies.
‘She said I had affairs? F**k that,’ Janet says.
‘Get f**ked,’ Lydia dismisses.
‘She doesn’t remember my wedding,’ Susie fumes.
‘That’s how memorable it was,’ Lydia retorts dryly, summing up Susie’s participation on the Real Housewives.
‘Don’t f**kin’ open your mouth to me, ‘cause I’m disgusted by you,’ Jackie points, angrily.
‘Okay! Whatever!’ Gamble shouts, wanting to just have a peaceful meal.
‘Oh my god, this is just a joke,’ Chyka, giggles and muses.
‘We should all be like sisters, and we should all have each other’s backs. But, oh, f**k, who knows? These girls are hard work, aren’t they?’ Gina, accurately, summarises the episode.
‘You know, I reckon we should – none of us, should – talk to each other at all,’ she continues.
‘I think we’re all a bit f**ked up, and I think that everybody’s got something really negative to say about everyone,’
‘Like, everyone go f**k yourselves!’
And that’s it. Another season of the Real Housewives of Melbourne comes to a close. In a fortnight, it’s the 90-minute reunion special, where all the juicy secrets come out, and if you say ‘Manuela Pless-Bennett’ three times, she’ll appear to cackle about being called a c**t. See you then!