TV

MAFS NZ episode 10 recap: jealousy, confusion, sex talk and awkward questions a-plenty

Things are getting seriously juicy.

We’re only at the preview of what’s going to air tonight and already it’s set up to be a doozy of an episode.

Producers have ramped things up a notch by giving the couples probing questions to ask at the dinner party. It’s clear this isn’t going to end well. But we’ll have to wait until later to see the fallout from that.

We start with Wayne and Ksenia, who, following their emergency meeting with the experts in the previous episode, are in crisis talks at a bar down the road from their apartment. It’s clear, from this episode, that the couples aren’t allowed out any further than a two block radius from their apartments.

They’re perched at a bench right under State Highway 1 and Wayne’s got a look on his face like he’d rather hitch a ride in one of the heavy trucks bowling over the overpass than sit there and engage in this conversation with his wife.

“I’ve invested so much in this,” Wayne says, exasperated, “and I don’t know what the result’s going to be.”

Remember, of course, Wayne has put his life and his job on hold to find love.

“I’m going to go before I go on a rant,” he says as he gets up from the table. Kesenia looks bewildered. But then Wayne realises he can’t do dramatic, and comes and sits back down.

“Do you like me or not?” Ksenia presses.

“If I didn’t like you I wouldn’t be here,” Wayne says under the drone of traffic noise. He assures his new wife that he does care about her, but it’s the compatibility issue he struggles with and quite honestly, we can see exactly what he means. It’s neither of their faults, they were just badly matched from the start.

Ksenia’s still confused as to whether Wayne likes her or not.

After last episode’s rocky road to attraction, Julia and Dave are in Julia’s home town of Christchurch.

All hopes of them finding that spark of intimacy go out the window when we see Julia’s bed – which is also her cat’s bed. We get an ultra close-up of the sheepskin at the end the bed just for confirmation. That’s Billy’s domain, “the most talented cat you’ve ever seen.”

Dave’s starting to realise he’s going to come second to Billy.

And then we notice something quite telling. Julia has started calling her husband David, like he’s in trouble or something. She reiterates that the spark isn’t there and our hearts sink for Dave.

He takes the guest room, which Julia rents out on Air BnB, and she treats him just like one of her house guests, telling him the wi-fi password is on the night stand. We’re half expecting her to give him her account details too so he can pay for the room in advance.

She acknowledges that she knows he won’t be happy about sleeping in the spare room, but doesn’t care.

“If I was in love with someone then that would be different, I would happily sleep in the same bed,” she says.

Our hearts break a little for Dave as he flicks through the basket of local guidebooks in his guest room. We hope, at least, he’s getting a continental breakfast in the morning.

Dave acknowledges that they’re getting to the home straight, but that even though things aren’t looking great, he’s going to give it everything he’s got.

“I think now that we’re getting to the other end of it, and we’ve got decisions to make, and we’ve got a lot invested here… you’re probably going to see a last push from me, in terms of the whole intimacy thing, because I think it’s crucial to a relationship.”

Us too, Dave, us too.

Dave keeps checking over his shoulder to make sure the cat isn’t watching him.

Meanwhile, Monique and Fraser are slowly advancing things in the intimacy stakes. Baby steps, of course, but it’s heartwarming to see them walking down the road holding hands.

“I’m like not a massive PDA person,” Monique acknowledges, “but… we’re like trying to migrate out of friendship zone and that’s going pretty good.”

And then she makes a play for wife of the year by going along to a board game cafe with Fraser. Because, as we know, Fraser is a massive board game fan and it’s important to take an interest in your partner’s hobbies. Nice work, Monique. The experts would be proud.

Fraser could have done his part though by letting her win a game or two and not rubbing it in when he took out the title. Just sayin’, Fraser. Happy wife, happy life.

Still, Monique might just well have been taken with her man’s prowess on the game room floor, because she admits she’s “starting to see him as more than a friend.”

“And then he introduced me to Dungeons and Dragons!”

Back to Julia and Dave in Christchurch, where Julia decides to put the final nail in the coffin of their relationship by asking Dave to assemble a flat pack outdoor furniture set.

Rather misguidedly, Julia thinks this will bring out the man in him, but as any woman who has ever watched a grown man try to follow nonsensical instructions knows, this is only going to bring out the child.

Julia seems a little disappointed when Dave isn’t that thrilled about being put to work like that. Or maybe that’s how she’s making him earn his board. Either way, it’s a patently ridiculous scenario.

If we were Dave we’d tell her to shove her flat pack and head straight for the nearest pub, but Dave’s much nicer than that and he gives it a red hot crack.

He drops the F-bomb as he assesses the enormity of the situation and we’re surprised the entire scene isn’t bleeped out because quite honestly, that’s the most complicated looking flat pack we’ve ever seen.

Julia has designed this to be a test for him, but really it turns out to be a test for her as she ‘jokingly’ throws out barbs like “stop whingeing” and calling him a “big baby.”

What Dave doesn’t realise is that if they make it out of this experiment, Julia has a whole warehouse full of furniture she wants him to assemble.

“There’s no doubt about it, I think domestically he would be great,” she says. “He’s the type of guy that you ask him to do something and, you know, he would like to do that for you.”

And with that she demonstrates that what she really needs is a maid and a handyman, not a husband. Dave makes the most of the situation though by copping a cheeky feel of her bum.

“I think he’d be more comfortable in the kitchen and doing the vacuuming and I would be banging the nails in… that’s not what I’m looking for,” she says.

Cut to Dave in the kitchen who has curdled the cream. Yeah, scrap that idea Julia. Maybe you should hire a cook instead.

Julia has an inspirational chalkboard message in her kitchen – ‘Feel the fear and do it anyway,’ which is kind of how Dave felt when he opened that flat pack box.

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She brings all of her friends around to meet “the hubby” and they all cheers to that – everyone else with a wine or beer, and Dave with the strongest espresso martini he can find to try and wipe the memories of the flat pack from his consciousness.

He starts to get grilled by the friends on how the honeymoon went, and describes it as “three days of, uh, wedded bliss,” as he gulps back half of his cocktail.

Julia’s friends press her when Dave’s outside and she reiterates again, that she’s “struggling with attraction side of things because he’s so metrosexual.”

“I think he’s manly,” one of her female friends pipes up as we shout in agreement at the TV. And then the same friend gets to the core of the matter.

“I think that’s the hurdle she’s put in place and maybe there’s some other small things as well and that’s what she’s focusing on. Because most of the people here tonight think that he’s really… masculine. ” Spot on, we couldn’t have said it better ourselves.

The conversation gets a bit icky as Julia turns it to sex, and starts talking about ripping band aids off, which makes us think this is some kind of tame Cantabrian form of S & M.

“What I didn’t tell her was there was a whole packet of screws I couldn’t find a place for.”

Things get off to a rocky start with Tayler and Samuel when Tayler wakes up on the wrong side of the couch. He’s like a bear with a sore head after having too many drinks the night before. Honestly, Tayler, everyone knows that you don’t let your partner see you hungover until at least the fourth month.

Sam deals with it well – by baiting him.

Julia and her bestie Sam catch up for a casual stroll on a busy road before tonight’s dinner party and she continues to stick her head in the sand by telling him the home visit “went really well.”

She’s confused, because now she’s saying she saw something in Dave in the home visit that she was attracted to. We can’t keep up.

Sam tells her he feels like he has “a best mate, not a husband,” and he’s wondering now if it’s too late to get that spark.

Dave tries to pin his wife down before the dinner party about what her plans are and she tells him she’s torn because she wants to spend some time with him, but Sam needs her as well.

Predictably, this leads to a fight. Julia feels “blindsided,” but Dave thinks he’s “stating the obvious.”

Julia is “sensing jealousy” and feels like they’ve “taken a big step backwards.” She decides she’s “done filming” and walks off. There are a few choice swearwords thrown in for good measure.

She blasts Dave for saying what he did on camera, which is surprising seeing as they’ve signed up to be filmed for a reality show for the past four weeks.

Dave accuses her of turning into a completely different person after leaving Christchurch, and then walks off himself. They both shut their respective bedroom doors.

Julia’s reaction when Dave grabbed her bum.

Tayler, on the other hand, is also concerned about his bond with Sam and worries that over the last few days they’ve taken “a huge leap back” and that they’re “drifting apart.”

Julia and Dave aren’t done and go back for round two as the cameraman crouches behind the couch. It’s pretty awkward, we’d be taking cover too. But then something happens that we don’t expect. Dave talks her around and makes her see that she’s investing too much time in her relationship with Sam and not enough time in her marriage. And they make up, sealing it with a hug, and it’s the most intimate they’ve been since Dave copped a cheeky feel of her bum.

The dinner party is here and Ksenia and Wayne are the first to arrive. They pull up a seat at the bar and Ksenia busts out the age-old, tried and true pickup line of “have you been here before?”

The experts take their seats and strap in for the ride, too, but we’re disappointed to see that Trisha isn’t there, because with five seasons of MAFS Australia under her belt, she’s way more equipped to navigate the ups and downs of these dinner parties. Perhaps there was no room for her, because the other experts Tony and Stephanie are uncomfortably squeezed into the world’s smallest couch.

Both Dan and Yuki and Sam and Tayler turn up in matching outfits.

Fraser’s sitting there wondering how he can convince Monique to wear a matching waistcoat.

Fraser takes the lead and rounds everyone up to sit down for dinner and we can’t help but be a little disappointed they don’t have a hot French waiter that we can hardly understand like they do in the Australian version.

Tony decides he’s had enough of sitting on the one person couch upstairs with Stephanie and pops down for a surprise visit to the couples. He arrives with a few questions for each couple and Julia looks nervous. He stresses that honesty is the best policy.

Wayne sticks his neck out and goes first. “When you look at me what do you see?”

“I see a nice, kind, caring guy,” Ksenia replies.

And then the sting in the tail. “Do you believe that I’m uneducated?”

Ksenia says no, he went to high school and got his real estate license. She forgets to mention that he’s a helicopter engineer. She remembers when he does some hand actions.

Ksenia’s turn, and she asks Wayne if he finds her difficult to be in a relationship with. “No I don’t,” he says, “because we’re not in a relationship.”

Crickets. The others around the table don’t know where to look. He stresses that they’re just two people trying to get to know each other. The relationship comes after.

Dan and Yuki couldn’t be more different when Yuki asks if he’s prepared to move cities to be with her and Dan says yes, he’s “prepared to do anything for this relationship.”

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Sam asks Tayler if he thinks he’s here for the right reasons and if not, what his concerns are. Tayler says he hopes he’s in it for the right reason, but calls into question Sam’s social media following. Tayler also acknowledges their tiff the other day, saying they’ve “taken a massive step back” but that he’s going to give Sam some time and he hopes it’s “not too little too late.”

Sam admits he hasn’t been easy to be in a relationship with but Tayler’s hesitation to open up has made him doubt where they’re going.

“I’m just waiting for that moment for you to just be yourself and feel comfortable without me possible judging you.”

Have you been judging me?” Tayler fires back.

Sam admits he is.

And then the biggie. Tayley asks Sam if he has feelings for him. Sam’s eyes dart around the room and takes a big gulp of wine as everyone holds their breath.

“I can 100% say I have feelings for you. Day one when I met you at the aisle we won New Zealand over from the start.” Big call, Sam. Is that what your social media following is telling you?

“We haven’t badmouthed each other we haven’t once kind of spoken badly at all about each other and we’ve become really good friends and I’m just hoping we can get beyond that stage of the friendship zone.”

Sam revelling in the fact that New Zealand has fallen in love with him.

Tony questions the statement about winning New Zealand over, wondering why that was the first go-to.

And then the kicker. Sam tells Tayler that he needs more from him. That he hasn’t been the go-getter he was looking for in a husband. “I need you to… show me what else you can give me apart from your good looks.”

Ouch. Tayler has so much to offer, and wanting to change your partner is never going to end well.

Now Dave and Julia, and first up Dave has to ask Julia if she finds him physically attractive. She dodges the question and stumbles over her words and says things like “it’s fine,” and “it’s all good” and even Stephanie had to ask Tony what she meant. Basically, her answer was that looks weren’t important to her and it’s more about personality.

Just when we think things aren’t going that well, Dave asks if she has any feelings outside of friendship for him and she answers “yes, definitely.”

She says after seeing him with her friends it’s changed. She’s so enthusiastic that she even jumps in on her own question to Dave asking if he thinks they’re a good match, talking over him and saying that on paper, they’re great.

But then old wounds are opened. “Why does my friendship with Sam bother you?” she asks. Ottie can’t contain her glee. Dave says it doesn’t bother him, except for the one time they had plans and Sam got in the way of that. Julia apologises again and then Sam interjects. Dave shuts him down, saying this time is for him and Julia and Sam makes the extraordinary claim off camera that if it hadn’t been for him supporting Julia, there wouldn’t even be a relationship with Dave.

Time for Fraser and Monique and we can tell this isn’t going to go well when Fraser sets it up by saying he doesn’t like talking about his feelings in front of other people. But then he blows us away with his first answer.

“Do you think I’m worth having a long distance relationship with?” Monique asks.

“I think you’re possibly one of the most incredible people I’ve ever met,” he responds. Wow, Fraser, if this is you being uncomfortable talking about your feelings in public, we can’t imagine what you’re like in private!

“Sorry Stephanie, all of the budget went on Dave’s espresso martinis and there was no money left for a bigger couch.”

Then we get to the final couple, Gareth and Ottie, and Stephanie is on the edge of her seat.

First question from Gareth. “Do you think our core values line up?” Ottie responds by saying her values are fluid. Eh?

They go back and forth over a few things – kids, whether or not they’re a good match, the usual – and then we get to the final question.

“This is a question I’m not going to ask you,” Ottie says, proving yet again that she’s not understood the rules of signing up for what is effectively a televised dating show.

She looks stony faced and everyone awkwardly claps to signal the end of question time. Gareth asks privately why she didn’t want to ask it and she says it’s something they’ve already talked about and she didn’t want to discuss it in front of the group. Turns out it was a question about Gareth, and she chose not to ask him about it out of respect for him.

We and everyone else are dying to know what the question is. And then it gets infinitely more interesting.

“It’s very hard to tread carefully for someone else’s secrets. The shitty thing about this is that he’s not the nice boy he makes out.”

Wow.

Next time, the commitment ceremony, and it looks like more than one couple is in trouble…

Married At First NZ airs on Sundays at 7pm and continues Mondays and Tuesdays at 7.30pm on THREE.

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