My Kitchen Rules Recap:
You know, there’s so much drama going on on MKR that sometimes you can forget it’s a cooking show! Unfortunately, though, they keep reminding you by padding the episode with long boring cooking sequences.
With that in mind, tonight it’s Matt and Luke’s turn to cook, and you know what that means: irritating references to cricket clearly forced out at the urgings of an unimaginative producer. It’s Matt and Luke’s “ultimate instant restaurant”, which is kind of like an instant restaurant, and kind of like an open house, but differs from both of those in the sense that it occurs later, chronologically speaking. The ultimate instant restaurants are important because without them the series might end before Christmas.
Matt and Luke begin by meeting their families and giving them hugs. Reality shows love to show contestants hugging their families. They seem to think that because the people involved enjoy the experience, we’ll necessarily enjoy watching it. Completely untrue: Scott Morrison probably enjoys oral sex, but there’s no need to put it on TV. Not that I’m saying Matt and Luke meeting their families resembles Scott Morrison either giving or receiving oral gratification.
Next they go shopping and purchase some raw octopus, which does more closely resemble Scott Morrison giving or receiving oral gratification, at least in the relevant levels of cold sliminess.
In ultimate instant restaurants, the team has to make two options for each course. This is like…well, not actually “like” a restaurant, which will generally offer you more than two options, but it’s slightly closer than non-ultimate instant restaurants.
Anyway, Matt and Luke are blending stuff and adding bay leaves and preparing dessert, I don’t know, whatever.
The guests arrive in fancy cars from the generous sponsor. It is a rainy day in Newcastle, which foreshadows the stormy happenings ahead on this night of high drama and uninteresting cookery.
Now they’re pouring brown stuff on lettuce or something. It’s not clear. I mean, they’re explaining it, but it’s hard to focus because it’s so incredibly dull.
Never dull is Bianca, who declares, “Every time I come to Newcastle, Mother Nature shits on me!” But it’s only rain, so surely it’s more that she’s pissing on you. If it started hailing she’d be shitting on you. I feel like Bianca’s being a little inaccurate here.
“We’re super proud to have you here in our home town,” Luke tells the guests, which is a bit of a weird thing to say if you ask me. What exactly does he mean, “super proud”? Suspicious.
Around the dinner table everyone is in good spirits, laughing and joking and having a great time. Except for Victor and G, who are sitting broodingly, like men who are thinking less about dinner than about avenging the death of their family at the hands of corrupt cops. Victor in particular is staring into space and pretty obviously fantasising about murder.
“Are you all right?” asks Austin, demonstrating he’s been reading his How To Seem Human handbook. Romel asks Victor if he needs a hug, to which Victor answers “No” with the speed of greased lightning.
The guests suspect that Victor and G are angry that they gave them a lower score than Lyn and Sal in the elimination. They’re definitely right, even though Victor and G actually beat Lyn and Sal so how about counting your blessings guys?
Ruby complains that Victor didn’t accept her congratulations after they won the elimination, and “basically told her to eff off”. Victor denies having done this, but if he did I wouldn’t blame him because hey, it’s Ruby. What he actually did was decline to be hugged by Ruby, which has made him a villain around the table as the guests all exist in a world where people are required to submit to hugs from anyone who wants to hug them at any time.
Victor suggests that the fact people brought up the issue of “strategic scoring” suggests a guilty conscience. Everyone denies this. Victor is ready to draw blood. The idea begins to percolate that Piper has been poisoning Victor’s mind, much as she poisons the people who eat her food.
Sadly, now Pete and Manu arrive and we have to watch Matt and Luke cook. But only after a really annoying “opening the batting” joke.
At the table Andy claims she can smell potatoes: a sure sign that she is having a stroke. Bianca raises her arms and shouts, “POTATOES”: a sure sign that she has been drinking since noon.
In the kitchen Matt and Luke make a mistake and nobody cares. Their two entrees are duck and octopus: nature’s bitterest enemies combined on the one menu. They are terrified their duck and octopus will be chewy, though with octopus the real danger is that it might start trying to climb back up your oesophagus.
Anyway Pete and Manu love the duck and the octopus, who went to sea in a beautiful pea-green boat. Matt and Luke are very happy and Matt makes an unbearable cricket pun about ducks that should result in their entire score being erased.
Matt and Luke move on to cooking main, which is pork and/or lamb. One of these is supposed to be pink, not sure which.
Oh, it was cabbage they were pouring brown stuff over.
Matt and Luke claim that pork and mustard are akin to “Hayden and Langer” and “Marsh and Lillee”, so fuck those guys.
Meanwhile in the dining room, the guests are chatting merrily while Victor sits silently fondling his knife. Just standing his knife up, finger on the point of the blade, turning it around and around. The conversation gradually dies down as the rest of the diners come to realise that they are not going to live through the night.
Veronica tries to get Victor’s attention. It doesn’t work. He sees only The Knife.
Ibby makes an explosive statement, accusing Piper of feeding Victor false information about the voting that has caused his black mood. Piper admits to having discussed the scores “in general” with Victor and G, but denies having told him anything specific. Romel believes Piper has been stirring the pot, which to be fair is what she is supposed to do because this is a cooking show.
Josh points out that Victor said earlier he wasn’t upset about anything that happened at the elimination, but that Piper was now saying that she “tried to calm them down” because they were so upset after the cook. “And the truth will set you free!” Josh crows, and Austin giggles like the little bitch he is.
The dark, malevolent nature of Piper and Victor’s unholy coupling is becoming more and more clear. But now it’s back to the kitchen for some closeups of asparagus.
That unpleasantness over, it’s back to the dinner table, where John, a born wet blanket, says, “Come on guys, it’s a cooking competition, let’s get back to the food.” They do get back to the food, and it’s very bland. Not the food: the conversation. Although the food is probably bland too.
While Bianca and Andy describe how they like their meat, Piper and Veronica are whispering. Ruby calls them out for bitching about her, and Piper professes innocence in that inimitable way Piper has of saying things that are obviously untrue. “Don’t mess with two Latinas,” says Andy, imagining that to mean something.
Suddenly, Victor explodes. “So it’s OK for you call her a bitch at the table, but you get offended because I wouldn’t give you a hug?” he fumes at Ruby. “Double standards!” Victor does have a point, at least inasmuch as Jesus Christ, a man doesn’t have to hug you if he doesn’t want to, Ruby. On the other hand, she didn’t actually call Piper a bitch, even though she really is one.
The table is aflame with argument. “Thank you,” Piper says to Victor, making it much harder to sympathise with him. G, who I don’t remember speaking for the whole series, let alone this episode, chimes in to ask Ruby if she’s used to getting what she wants, given how angry she is that Victor wouldn’t hug her. There’s no need to ask this: Ruby has never not gotten what she wanted in her life.
Ruby begins waving her arms around in what may be an impression of Victor, or may be an impression of the octopus they had for entree. It starts to look very likely that someone will vault the table and go for someone’s throat, when Manu steps in to calm things down and remind everyone that he’s there. He advises everyone to take some deep breaths and refocus their energies on more constructive things, like cooking or thinking up some ridiculous stunt to pull on the next episode that they can put in the promos.
Back to the kitchen where Matt and Luke complete their increasingly irrelevant mains.
The mains are pretty good. For what that’s worth. It’s not worth much. Apparently the pork and mustard went together like Mailey and Grimmett. However, Josh holds up bits of lamb to display his disgust and general obnoxiousness. Opinion is divided, which it always is so that’s not much of an observation.
In the kitchen Matt and Luke are finishing off their desserts, I guess. There’s a cake, and a tart, and some ice-cream. Etcetera. It goes on for quite a while. “We’re not gonna leave anything in the tank, if we’re gonna go down we’re gonna go down swinging,” says Matt. These aren’t cricketing metaphors so I imagine he got fined for that.
Opinion is once again divided on the desserts when they arrive. “It looks like something I’d get at my grandma’s house!” Andy scoffs, although you’d think this was a good thing, given that her grandma is Peruvian and Peruvians make the best food and have the best desserts and invented cakes and so forth. Romel finds the ice cream unimpressive, claiming it looks like “cordial” on his plate. The only conclusion one can draw from this is that Romel has never drunk, or seen, cordial. Probably because cordial is for working class people.
Manu and Pete don’t like the desserts much. Manu doesn’t think grape works in a cake. He’s so stuffy. John complains that the cake is a cake, and at this stage of the competition he thought they’d be past cakes. Why do people on this show hate cakes so much?
Bianca loves the tart, as we’d always suspected. Nobody likes the ice cream though, because it’s too watery. Pouring a jug of water into the ice cream maker has backfired.
Scoring time. The teams give their scores, as is the way of things. The judges also give their scores. Matt and Luke get a score of 94, which is OK. Nobody actually cares about the scores, though, because all anyone is thinking about is Victor’s knife and Piper’s pathological lying.
The episode ends with Josh and Austin declaring their intention to destroy their enemies.
Tune in tomorrow when several contestants slip silently into the night.
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