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MAFS NZ episode 12 recap: vow renewals and a pairing that no one saw coming

There are a few surprises in this one!

Tonight's episode looks to be a banger with vow renewals followed by a reunion dinner.
The narrator informs us that there are three days left of the experiment before the couples decide whether they will stay together or go their separate ways.
We begin with Sam and Tayler who are meant to be heading out on their final date together but Sam has sat Tayler down on the couch in their apartment to deliver a bomb shell. He doesn't feel they should continue through to the vowel renewal ceremony. He wants to end their relationship now.
Tayler looks gutted but acknowledges they have drifted apart.
"I don't want to force anything. I don't think he does either. We made a really united decision and it took a lot of weight off both of our shoulders. He's a real awesome guy."
There is an emotional hug and Sam walks out the door. Goddamit. We had hoped they would work.
To Julia and Dave now, who are both emotionally drained. Julia has organised their final commitment date and they'll be going to see a clairvoyant. Dave is at the point where he's prepared to do anything that might help Julia decide whether she wants to be intimate with him, so he's all for it. They rock up to a caravan parked in the front yard of a suburban Auckland house and in they go, where they're welcomed by a white-haired woman.
She starts the session with a prayer, asking for the guidance of friends and loved ones in spirit and of angels and workers of light to connect and protect so that Julia and Dave receive what they need.
As she's 'tuning in' to the couple she observes that they both feel very connected but don't know how to go forward.
"I don't know how to say this," she says. We all lean forward so we catch every word.
"It seems as though the relationship is lacking… consummation."
"Yep 100 per cent," Julia agrees a little too wholeheartedly.
They both begin pouring out their hearts - is this a clairvoyant or a counselling session? but we digress.
My gut says no, Julia implores. My masculinity is in question, Dave appeals. He's also very metrosexual, Julia explains. Are you done? Dave spits back.
"Sounds like you're at an impasse," the clairvoyant declares, showing great spiritual insight.
She 'tunes in' again and now says she can see they feel trapped. Where did they find this woman?
To Dave she says "I see you doing something quite out of the character in the future, something liberating."
Then she goes into this kind of trance and Dave and Julia watch in desperation. She sways a bit, then her hands go over her eyes. Se looks to be in pain then she suddenly snaps open her eyes.
"It feels like you need a little more time, is that something you can do?" she asks brightly.
Was that it?
To Dan and Yuki now who are in their apartment packing to go to their separate home towns. They'll be spending two days apart and you can see they're reluctant to part. Yuki tells Dan she'll miss him. This couple is still just so damn adorable!
Back in their respective homes both look lost without the other. Yuki rereads all the cards Dan has given her and sits all forlorn on the couch and talks to her dog. Dan invites his friends over to ask what he should do about the fact they live in different cities but they don't seem to have any answers.
Monique and Fraser are packing too but with their hug goodbye there is a little cloud of doubt hanging over them. They're both self-confessed over-thinkers and you can see there will be a lot of over-thinking done in the next two days.
Back home Fraser reveals that he's been hurt before and he just can't function and doesn't want to go through that again.
At Julia and Dave's apartment the goodbye hug is emotional. They can't let go. These two are so complicated.
Back home in Christchurch Julia asks her Mum for advice and is told "it will grow" but Julia still seems to be going round in circles.
And now it's time for the moment we've all been waiting for - the vow renewal ceremonies. Who will stay together and who will go their separate ways?
The couples seem to be returning to the venues where they got hitched which is a nice idea.
Yuki and Dan are up first and their faces light up when they see one another again. It's no surprise when they both say they want to stay together. Yuki is beautifully uncomplicated when she tells Dan that for her it was love at first sight. She hadn't expected to be matched with someone as fabulous as Dan and she is grateful to have him in her life. She promises to love and trust him even more as each day passes.
Dan tells Yuki he'd hoped to find his best friend and partner in crime on Married At First Sight, and he has. There is a but - and our spines tighten - they live in different cities. But Yuki's positivity and commitment gives him hope and at the end of the day he can't deny that every time he sees her he just has to smile. "You're amazing," he tells her.
Our hearts are filled with happiness. We've got a happily ever after - and a new Angel and Brett.
Next up is Monique and Fraser and we're really not sure how this is going to go because as Monique walks towards the black square that the camera crew have left out for her to stand on so they can get all the right camera angles she is telling us in her voice-over that while she was in Christchurch without Fraser she felt herself again - happy and carefree.
But she had talked earlier about how she wasn't sure if it was Fraser or the experiment that was making her a bundle of nerves and she is a logical kind of girl so we're not giving up hope.
Enter Fraser who takes an age to walk across the grounds to his designated black square. He fills the long, awkward silence by wolf whistling at his wife.
Finally at his designated black square, Monique kicks things off by saying that nothing could have prepared her for the journey they've been on but she's glad it was with Fraser. She lists the fun facts she has learnt about him and they are lovely:
"You choose to be happy; you don't take yourself too seriously. You love to learn, you are caring and kind and you often put others before yourself. You're sometimes funny, you're honest with people and you try not to judge. You're hopeful and patient and know what you want in life and you've got my back no matter how sassy and indecisive I am. You've inadvertently taught me how to be kinder, less judgmental and more tolerable of terrible jokes."
"We can't deny that we've had moments where we've questioned whether it was going to work," she continues. And she's still unsure whether they will ever have feelings for one another. But she wants to continue their relationship in the real world.
"If you're game then I'm game to see what happens next."
Fraser begins by thanking Monique for "making it this far with me". Monique has surpassed both his expectations and his hopes, he says, but going forward he can see there is great potential of him being hurt. They also both know the spark is not there.
"I know this is a big problem for both of us," he continues. "We also have big differences in our approach to life, our approach to relationships, and our past life experiences, if I'm honest with myself and who I am as a person in relationships these are massive red flags for me."
Monique is starting to squirm on her black square and we're feeling a little nervous ourselves.
But then Fraser lets us all off the hook: "Yet I came into this experiment knowing my normal mode of dating hasn't always worked for me in the past. I've done a lot of reflection about why this hasn't been the case and at the heart of it it's been because I've left when the going gets tough. So this time I'm going to do something different. As such I'm going to be taking a leap of faith here and choosing to continue to explore a relationship with you."
Phew.
Now it's time for Julia and Dave and, in all honesty, after this scene we think there'll be a few women out there wanting to track Dave down. Julia, how could you not see the man in him? Anyway, before we get ahead of ourselves...
So, Dave is waiting, Julia arrives a bundle of nerves. She can't stop crying but he has a dignity about him that is making him very sexy right now.
He kicks things off by thanking Julia for being who she is. On their wedding day she had smiled at him and he'd felt a sense of calm and had been excited to start a new chapter with her.
"But it wasn't long before the flame began to flicker and my struggle was how you felt and how I connect with you on another level. I've given 150 per cent to this experiment, worn my heart on my sleeve, compromised, communicated honestly and felt when times got tough you ran and confided in others, leaving me unable to be the man you turn to in hard times...
"All I could do was respect your decision and support what was left. But that day never came as I felt you always had someone else...
"Julia, I stayed in this experiment longer than I wanted to, for you... You begged me to stay and give you time out with family and friends and I feel you didn't use that time to better yourself or our situation.
"I was hoping to find the woman of my dreams and that's not you, Julia. I truly believe she is out there and she will value me and accept me for who I am."
Wow.
Julia looks totally pissed but shakes it off and begins her own spiel. She acknowledges his impressive emotional intelligence, his capacity for empathy at all times and his incredible tolerance. But she says that even though she put 150 per cent in too she's sorry, she can only offer him a lifetime of friendship.
Afterwards she reveals she is shocked and hurt and angry that he said what he said but Dave is hopeful she is mature enough to understand and take it on board.
"The saddest part is we both walk away having not got the person of our dreams, and I wish it was different," he says quietly.
WATCH Dave and Julia's vow ceremony here:
So fast forward a little now and everyone has been summoned back to Auckland for a reunion dinner at Rydges hotel. As we watch each individual get ready we learn that there have been some interesting developments.
Monique and Fraser have stayed in touch but not seen one another and now all Monique wants to do is go a on a date with Fraser. She regrets that she wasn't more chilled out during the experiment.
Ksenia has her regrets too but Wayne has moved on to grow a moustache and develop a bromance with Gareth.
"I think we're going to be mates for the rest of our life," Wayne gushes.
And Gareth affirms: "If I was looking for someone to spend the rest of my life with and hang out with and go on adventures on, oh mate, Wayne ticks all those f...g boxes. He may not be someone I'm going to go home and have sex with but, shit, Wayne ticks all the rest of the boxes."
Julia is still angry at Dave and wants to set the record straight but we think she should just drop it because no one cares and in the meantime there is the best news of all... Sam and Tayler are back together!
Turns out they've talked every day since Sam dumped Tayler back at the apartment, and the best thing they could have done was withdraw from the experiment. Sam says it took all the pressure away and made him realise the small things that had bugged him about Tayler didn't matter in the real world.
This is all revealed after there's a knock at Tayler's hotel room door and Sams walk in. The chemistry between them is undeniable. These boys are smitten and we couldn't be happier for them.
For Yuki and Dan it's a sweet reunion, of course. They have missed one another - so our question is when is one of them moving cities to be with the other? They are nervous about tonight's dinner party and don't want any dramas, but this is Married At First Sight, guys.
At the dinner party Yuki and Dan arrive first and Ottie is not far behind them. "You guys are so sweet, I hate you both," she declares and we all know what she means because no one could really hate those two.
Dave turns up next and he's confident as a single man. Ksenia looks good. Monique and Fraser arrive together and it looks like they're a couple but when they're asked they say they've decided to just be friends.
That's a shame, experts Stephanie and Tony say to each other as they watch the group on monitors. "It just goes to show you can have the best match on paper but there are all all those unknown variables and if it's not there it's not there," says Stephanie.
Gareth and Wayne enter the room holding hands and announce they're getting an apartment together. Ottie looks confused and makes a beeline for the bar to gather herself.
Julia arrives, subdued; her and Dave sit at opposite ends of the room. "Have you got some things you want to get off your chest?" Gareth asks and she affirms yes. Uh oh.
Tayler and Sam arrive last, looking as happy as two clams could be - and what's really surprising is that Julia seemed unaware that they'd got back together. She quickly recovers by calling a group toast to the couple.
As everyone gets into conversations it's not long before Julia starts her onslaught on Dave. She's worried she's going to come out of this looking like the bad guy and she can't believe he said what he said at the vow renewal ceremony.
"It's almost like a parent child dynamic," expert Stephanie observes as she and Tony watch on. "He's like the long suffering calm adult dad that's explained to the teenage daughter why she can't take the car out if she's going to be drinking that night. There's not an adult-to-adult... going on between those two."
Tony agrees as the verbal attack continues.
On Sunday - which will be the last episode - we see how the rest of the conversation plays out, and there are tears, tantrums and bomb shells as each couple gets one last turn to speak their mind on the couch with the experts.
The final episode of Married At First Sight airs on Sunday, at 7pm on Three.