I’ve got to say — the Real Housewives of Melbourne might spend a lot of time whining about Gina, but still, compared to their American counterparts, they spend a lot less time gossiping, and a lot more time doing seriously classy shit. Like in the opening scene of this week’s episode, wherein Chyka and Janet enlist some personal shoppers to pick out a slew of $2,000-dollar dresses for them to try on. They talk a little bit about Gina’s surprise arrival at Chyka’s party, but mostly they’re just sipping champagne, trying on clothes, and doing this in the mirror:
Easily the greatest thing to happen in this episode? Me learning there’s an Australian version of Millionaire Matchmaker Patti Stanger. Her name is Trudi Gilbert, and she meets up with newly-single Gina, who’s looking for a new BF. Trudi is noticeably kinder than Patti — so kind, in fact, that she plays it totally cool when Gina requests her date not have “saliva problems,” or “thumbs sticking out.” Uh, what? Anyway, Trudi says she already has the perfect guy in mind.
Things get preeeetty weird over at Lydia’s house, where we’re introduced to Johanna, Lydia’s “hired help” (her words, not ours). Apparently, Lydia spotted Johanna on the street, kind of maybe fell in love with her, and invited her to come work for her. Now Johanna gets to do lots of fun activities, like show Lydia how to chop carrots, organize Lydia’s shoes and handbags, and clean up after Lydia’s dog when it pees. “Joanna is more than a housekeeper,” Lydia says, extremely creepily. “She’s my very beautiful friend. She’s my house friend.”
Chyka visits with Jackie and Ben, who are growing increasingly (and rightfully) stressed about the fact that they’ve planned a launch party for their beverage line, despite not actually having a product yet. Today, they’ll be seeing the drinks’ packaging for the first time. Everyone gets goosebumps when they see the labels, and Jackie explains it means “the angels are all around.” Too bad the angels aren’t doing anything in the way of actually manufacturing a finished product.
For the zillionth time, Chyka thinks she can make all the women get along with Gina again if she invites them all to do some random activity together. This time, it’s a ~private shopping experience~ at West Elm. Don’t get me wrong — I love Chyka. But this plan is delusional. It’s painfully awkward from the start.
Things only get worse once the ladies get to West Elm. There, Gina pulls everyone except Andrea aside to invite them to a cancer charity event at her house. Immediately after, Lydia pulls Andrea aside and tells her Gina isn’t inviting her. At this point, Andrea is totally #overit when it comes to Gina. Finally, in a move that definitely wasn’t staged in any way at all, Andrea pulls everyone except Gina aside and invites them to a day of pampering — all within Gina’s eyeshot.
Jackie and Janet visit Ben at his studio, because apparently he’s actually a real musician? Also, why is Ben such a big character on this show? He’s creepy and weird, and also engages in a lot of uncomfortable cultural appropriation. Anyway, after making an obnoxious amount of noise in the studio, the women leave the room to take a phone call. It’s Gina, calling to invite Jackie to her charity event. Jackie accepts. After hanging up, Jackie tells Janet that she’s “frustro” with Gina — that’s Australian for “frustrated,” and it’s our new fave phrase — but she’s going to go to the event anyway.
Okay, time for the event you’ve been waiting for all season: THE DOG PARTY, also known as Chyka’s zillion-and-first attempt to make everyone get along with each other, also known as A LITERAL PARTY FOR DOGS. FEATURING FANCY DOG FOOD AND DOG COSTUMES. I learned a lot of great facts in this scene, namely that Lydia’s dog doesn’t like the ground because it’s used to sitting on couches, chairs, and beds, Janet’s dog only eats organic food, and also that Janet is Amy Poehler in Mean Girls.
Anyway, we know everyone’s ganging up on Gina, but can we take a moment to sympathize with this poor animal?
Jackie and Ben continue planning the launch party for their nonexistent product. Now, they’re checking out a venue. After awkwardly having to admit to the restaurant’s owner that they’re still in the “concept phase,” the couple argues about the future of the alcohol line. What if they fail, Ben asks? Jackie, meanwhile, is NOT happy with the negative energy Ben is putting out into the universe.
It’s time for Gina’s date! His name is Daryl, and um, he’s actually really adorable?! Gina seems to be enjoying herself, and informs Daryl he’s passed her saliva and thumb tests. It’s a super weird thing to say, but at least he has a good attitude about it, I guess.
After the date, Gina says she’ll definitely see Daryl again, if not in a romantic way, then in a friendship way, which is really lame and disappointing and I really thought she and Daryl were going to make beautiful, glittery, stiletto-wearing babies, and now I’m sad.
You know what would be fun right now? Another fancy gathering where everyone talks about how much they hate Gina. Thankfully, the women — sans Gina — gather at the launch party for some Melbourne carnival thing, and Lydia starts spreading gossip. Apparently, Gina recently called Lydia to tell her that Janet had called Lydia brainless. Is Gina trying to sow dissent amongst her enemies? Anyway, Lydia pulls Janet aside and tells her the “brainless” comment upset her; she points out that she can’t possibly be brainless, because she’s able to fly a jet to an island and buy cheese. Janet apologizes, and says she made the comment before she really knew Lydia.
But wait — now Janet’s turning the tables and throwing Gina under the bus. She swears to Andrea and Lydia on her children’s lives — yep, that’s an actual thing she says — that Gina called them c***s. I bet Janet’s children are honored to be included in the show in this way.
After the party, Janet and Gina meet up for drinks. Janet, who’s been friends with Gina for 20 years, is trying to “save” Gina by begging her to apologize to the rest of the girls. Gina doesn’t give a single hoot, and says she isn’t going to say she’s sorry. “Then why are you hanging out with the group at all?” Janet demands. Um, this is just a guess, but it probably has something to do with the contracts you all signed to appear on this show.
Let’s take a moment to appreciate yet another of Janet’s unbeatable facial expressions:
Anyway, realizing that she isn’t going to change Gina’s attitude, Janet gets up and leaves. “You better hope that Chyka remains Switzerland,” she says, “because otherwise you might be spending a lot of time at home.” SNAP.