A DEPRESSING date on a boat has led to Married At First Sight's hated groom Dean being held captive by his wife Tracey and throttled for his betrayals.
Cornered and with nowhere to run, Dean's blindsided by the confrontation on Tuesday night when a bitter Tracey returns to the main deck of the boat after changing into an embarrassing white smock he gifted her.
Dean thought the crisp linen ensemble would make up for his sins. Nice try. That would only work with me and some North Sydney mums. We're getting to the pointy end of the competition, which means we're repeating a lot of old conversations, replaying archived footage from earlier in the series and going on a number of Red Balloon experience dates.
In these final days, big decisions loom. Ashley lays in bed exhausted after a restless night. The big questions have been whirling inside her head: Is Troy the one? Can she get through one day without screwing her face up at everything he says? Should she have rinsed her spray tan off after four hours as suggested instead of falling asleep with it on while watching Netflix?
Across the hall, Dean and Tracey are slumped on the couch watching the DVD recording of their wedding day. Tracey looks at her husband with affection as the moment they first laid eyes on each other plays in the background. She wonders if, maybe, she has finally found happiness. And then she hears Dean's wedding vows coming out of the television speaker.
"I vow to be a loyal and respectful husband. And to stand up for you and what is right," the groom on the screen says.
In an instant, Tracey is shot back to earth. She looks at the man whose lap she's resting in - the man whose hair she's fingering. And something is not right.
"He's been lying to me from the beginning," she whispers to herself.
Tracey doesn't know what emotion she's feeling: Anger, hurt, bitterness, frustration, sadness. Maybe all of those things. Unable to speak, she simply looks down and licks her lips again.
At a retirement village across town, Mel and John have a mature-age lunch and then drive around in a rental car where Mel just points at things and yells, "That's gorgeous!".
Meanwhile, Tracey's went from blime-fibe-eb to blime-folb-eb.
Dean and Tracey's final date is taking place on a boat and it's horrible from the beginning. It doesn't matter what reality show it is, whenever a boat date takes place it's always on a dreary and overcast day. Clouds hover and the still water mirrors back the grey sadness.
In an attempt to make up for the tumultuous two months of their relationship, Dean gifts Tracey some kind of weird linen smock.
"I love it," she lies.
Dean makes his wife march below deck and change into her smock. As she wraps her body in the piece of white fabric, the doubts grow inside her head.
"I want so badly to believe him ... [But] Trust and betrayal are niggling in the back of my mind. These are massive concerns."
With just days left until the final vow renewal ceremony, there's only one thing for Tracey to do. She reappears on the deck and stands in front of her husband in the crappy new outfit.
She walks toward him and he backs away until his body presses into the railing on the port side. After weeks of bottling her troubles, she confronts Dean in a final showdown.
Like us, Dean's sick of hearing about the Davina thing and rolls his eyes in frustration. He thought he'd buried this. But it's come back.
"I didn't really cheat with Davina ... nothing actually happened," he says, holding back his anger.
Tracey can't believe he's still not owning up to the affair.
Dean pleads and says he has already proven he's sorry. He says he's falling in love with her. But for Tracey, it's not enough.
"I just wanted some grand gesture of commitment from you!" she sobs, making it clear a white linen smock was not the grand gesture required.
"I need the reassurance. I want you to step up and reassure me that I'm not an idiot ... that you're not gonna backtrack on me and wanna sleep with [other] girls again!"
In an attempt to prove to Tracey how committed he is, Dean vows to lock her in a house with a million kids and promises to show up occasionally.
"I'm looking for a partner to have kids with. I want my wife to be there for our kids and taking care of our kids," he begins. "I'll be there as well. But my wife would definitely be very responsible for raising the children. And I think that's the right way for it to be done."
His requirements for a wife are astonishingly old-fashioned.
I'm so blime-fibe-eb I topple over the starboard side of the boat and swim to shore.
On a deserted beach a few coves over, something weird is happening with Ashley and Troy. Their date starts out normally with Ashley being embarrassed and repulsed by both the sight and physical proximity of her husband. At one point, his touch even elicits a shriek followed by a "Don't!".
But as they lay on an oversized beach towel and watch the sun set, something changes. Troy drops to one knee, pulls out a piece of scrap paper and starts saying a bunch of words that vaguely rhyme. Apparently it's a poem. Whatever it is, I'm certain Ashley will be cringing any moment. She may even dry-heave.
Instead, she shocks us.
"I love it! That was adorable!" she gushes. Troy lays his body down over Ashley's and she doesn't try escape. He kisses her lips and licks her neck and she doesn't scream. She wants more.
Clearly, something has happened to Ashley. Some kind of street substance or mind-control technique probably.
I awake from my slumber in a nearby bush and run down to the water's edge to warn her. But it's too late. We've lost her.
For more observations on linen smocks and falling asleep with your spray tan on, follow me on Twitter: @hellojamesweir | firstname.lastname@example.org
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