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MAFS NZ final episode recap: tempers flare at the reunion party and secrets come out on the couch

One more dose of drama before everyone leaves the experiment.

It’s the final episode of Married At First Sight and this one involves reuniting couples that have gone their separate ways so we know it’s going to be eventful.

We begin where we left off last time – with Julia and Dave arguing at Rydges hotel. It’s the couples’ last supper together and everyone is summoned to the table. Tayler suggests saying grace so the 12 hold hands while Fraser thanks higher powers for bringing them together as unique individuals who all “get on”.

But before he’s even finished Gareth has told Ottie to “shut the f… up” and she’s spitting tacks.

Gareth tries to bait her for a fight but she doesn’t take him on, highlighting what expert Tony describes as “the ridiculousness of what he was trying to do”.

Calming Tayler sits next to Ottie and comes into his own reminding her to not “poke the bear” every time she looks like she’s ready to lose it. She finds this hugely helpful and eventually Gareth gets up and leaves the table.

Next we move on to Julia and Dave who are sitting together at one end of the table, despite their argument earlier in the evening. This conversation starts pleasantly enough with Dave telling Julia he’s actually missed her. But Julia is still angry and starts going on AGAIN about Dave’s (non) renewal vows.

At the other end of the table Wayne is full of alcohol and regret. He asks Ksenia why she didn’t like him and she tells him she didn’t not like him, which seems to only upset him more.

Ksenia taught him patience, he shares, and he has always continued to care for his partners after their relationship has ended and “wondered for the rest of my life how they are” – and now we start to wonder if he’s talking about Ksenia or someone else.

“You gave it the best try you could,”offers Fraser but Ksenia has already left the table and Wayne is now crying. Gareth and Fraser give him a hug then Wayne reveals that he’s always left relationships too quickly. He thinks a relationship he had in Australia was probably ‘the one’ and he just hopes he didn’t get this one wrong too.

All we can do is feel sorry for him as he sums up to camera, “I’m going to get my happy ever after. I’m going to move on and have kids and get married and job’s done.”

Back to Julia and Dave now, who have moved outside to continue their argument. Julia is getting more and more wound up and Dave can’t get a word in but she still tells him it’s not okay for him to be sitting there putting her down and having a go at her independence. Expert Stephanie wonders why Dave’s still banging his head against a brick wall and we’re of a similar mindset.

It comes up again that Dave had wanted to leave the experiment before the vow renewal ceremony and this is a real sticking point for Julia because she doesn’t want people to think she begged him to stay.

But eventually Dave has had enough: “Julia, I think you’re getting upset because you’re not getting your way.”

Julia spits a “f..k you” at him and then the tears start.

The troops rally round. Gareth decamps Ottie and Sam to go to Julia while he sets off to comfort Dave.

But while Dave looks genuinely upset that Julia was reduced to tears, Julia is already embarrassed she ever cried. She’s off for a ciggie.

Fast forward a few hours and it’s the following day now. The troops have gathered for a final session on the couch with the experts and after last night’s dramas we’re betting this is going to be interesting…

We start with Dan and Yuki: “You’ve made it look so easy, something’s got to have gone down,” Steph asks.

But no, the most Yuki can come up with is sometimes Dan forgot to flush the toilet.

You’ve always had that element of positivity, Tony observes, and the loved-up pair agree.

And now the question we’re all dying to know the answer to, Steph announces, have you said ‘I love you’ yet? Actually we thought she was going to ask something else but anyway, the answer is no – but it’s only been five weeks, guys.

Next on the couch is Wayne and Ksenia and when the experts ask them to reflect Ksenia comes up with she’s “made some good friends”.

Steph tries a new tack: where did it go wrong? And this definitely works better.

Ksenia reckons Wayne didn’t put enough effort in and was more interested in drinking beer with Gareth while they were on their honeymoon. But Wayne says he understood Ksenia was sick and not sleeping well so he was giving her space to sleep.

It is a two-way street Ksenia, Stephanie points out, what attempt did you make to get to know Wayne?

Ksenia says Wayne could have joined her for 50 laps in the pool.

Tony points out that Ksenia’s humour, especially around Wayne, often came across as veiled insults – did she think her humour was misunderstood? And Ottie replies yes.

Ksenia admits it’s been hard seeing herself on TV. She had thought that she was prettier.

The experts steer them towards ending things on a nice note, with both wishing the other luck and Ksenia tells Wayne he’s the nicest guy she’s ever met.

So now we’re on to Monique and Fraser and there is a real sadness about where these two have ended up. Fraser has a fitting analogy:

“It’s like baking brownies – all the ingredients are there but when you go to put it in the oven the power is turned off or it sticks to the baking tray.”

Is that how you always felt though?, the experts ask and Fraser admits that at the beginning he was totally into it – in his words “over invested”.

You were quite the eager beaver, Tony suggests, where Monique was slow and steady. But now there has been a shift where Monique is ready to explore but Fraser has disengaged.

Fraser tells Monique that he couldn’t find a more caring person and that he even grew to like her sense of humour. But it’s the next bit that has eeryone reaching for tissues:

Fraser is moved to tears as he thanks Monique for always showing him respect, and for respecting the fact he could no longer continue with this experiment, even though she would have liked them to.

“The friendship you have is genuine and… touching,” expert Stephanie concludes. “And this is what life’s all about and what love’s all about – whether it’s platonic love or a sexual love it’s actually the essence of human connection at its best.”

We have hope for Monique and Fraser yet – and even more so when Monique says that by tomorrow they might have changed their minds again and decided to make a go of it. We hope so, Monique and Fraser. You really do make the cutest couple.

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And now there’s a complete change of tone because we’re back to drama queen Julia and long-suffering Dave.

Julia starts by apologising to Dave for swearing at him at last night’s dinner but she tells him she only did it because he “pushed her to her limit”, so we’re wondering why she bothered saying sorry really.

Just in case we missed it she reiterates again that she’s given this 100 per cent but when Stephanie asks her in what ways all she can come up with is “I don’t know, we hung out.”

So Stephanie asks Dave what signs he saw that Julia was making an effort and he can’t come up with anything either. He says that Julia spent too much time confiding in others and that often he’d find out how she was feeling through other people telling him.

“Sam has been an amazing friend to Julia and I respect that but I wanted to be that person. I wanted to be in Sam’s role.” And we feel very sad for Dave.

But then it degenerates into an argument because Julia is still not listening and wants to make sure everyone knows that she will not be having sex with anybody she’s not attracted to – and she didn’t beg Dave to stay – did we get that?

Dave says “liar”.

Lord knows where it would have gone next but Stephanie nips it in the bud here and tells everyone to stop.

Take time to let things settle, Tony suggests, as Dave fumes on the couch. When the pair go back to their seats Sam gives Dave a hug and we hear Dave say, “She’s a f…g liar, dude.”

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Ottie and Gareth are up now and again the conversation is kicked off with an apology – this time Gareth to Ottie for telling her to “shut the f..k up”.

Steph observes that it’s a side of Gareth we haven’t seen before but Ottie says it wasn’t a new side to her. “I think you started to show your true colours at my home visit,” she says to Gareth – and the “attitude” only continued.

What she reveals next is what she’s been alluding to with all those comments about Gareth not being the “nice boy he makes out to be”.

It turns out Gareth told Ottie he believed women shouldn’t be in business because they’re too emotional.

He disputes this and says he’d simply asked her if she thought women conducted themselves in business the same way that men do and as Ottie rightly points out, why is that even a question?

Ottie says Gareth’s attitude towards women and towards her and her friends is not cool. She believes what he really wants is a “little wife” who knows her place and says the only reason the pair didn’t argue more during their three weeks together was because she bit her tongue.

As in previous episodes Gareth tells us he is who he is and he’s not going to change for anyone but when Stephanie asks him if he thinks he is this person Ottie is describing he admits he “possibly” comes across as sexist. He can appreciate that when you spend a month with someone they might see parts of you that you don’t see in yourself.

Ottie reckons he just said that for the camera.

Anyway, he gives her a ring set with three diamonds to represent the three weeks they lasted and Ottie thanks him but we doubt they’ll stay in touch.

And now MAFS‘ last couple, Sam and Tayler. They’re happy as clams and say they have been since the day they left the experiment.

Sam, what about the fact you’d thought Tayler was this person that didn’t get off the couch or do his own thing?, Stephanie asks. And Sam reveals that as soon as Tayler went back to work he could see what a hard worker Tayler was.

“I feel like we’ve got two equally committed people in front of us whereas I wouldn’t have said the same two weeks ago,” observes Stephanie.

The couple is asked about their relationship with the rest of the group, and here we know we’re really just talking about Sam and Julia. Sam says he and Julia have an amazing bond but what Stephanie says next we hope helped Dave to feel vindicated:

“In all relationships when you’re having trouble with your partner you need to let that person know first. You need to give that person the opportunity to be your best friend in that situation, or to make repair because it does become really damaging if your first port of call is someone else first.”

Afterwards Sam reveals, “In retrospect I can understand where Dave was coming from as well, where he possibly thought that I took Julia away a little bit from him. I can own that because I never thought of it like that and it just shows that we all have a different way of thinking…”

Finally Tony asks Tayler if he thinks Sam is in this for the right reasons, with his social media following and all, and Tayler answers yes, 100 per cent. “I’m just like ‘what a shit question’.”

“And that’s why that question was posed to Taylor, not anyone else and not the viewers because he’s the one in the process,” Tony explains.

Point made.

Wrapping up, the experts tell everyone to leave with no regrets.

“Life is about learning about our past and making good decisions in the future,” Stephanie encourages.

Now it’s back to everyday life – and for two couples (we’re secretly hoping three), the beginning of the rest of their marriages. Here’s wishing them all the very best.

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