My Kitchen Rules Recap: The King Is Dead. Not Literally I Think.

After a bracing Easter break in which we enjoyed pondering the upside of life, it’s back to misery and despair as MKR crashes back onto our screens. The Easter Monday episode is not only the final Instant Restaurant — unless they get desperate for something to make the show watchable and invent a new round yet again — but it’s Josh and Amy’s instant restaurant, meaning we finally get to see the incident that Seven has been advertising since the early Seventies, where Amy runs out and Josh yells “We can make it work babe!” The anticipation is high as we wait to see in exactly what way the show has completely misled us as to the nature of this incident.

We open in Broome, where Josh and Amy collect their luggage and drive out into the middle of nowhere, presumably to fulfil a suicide pact. Oh no, turns out that’s just where you go to shop in Broome.

Pete and Manu peruse Josh and Amy’s menu. Pete says their last instant restaurant was “disappointing”, but the word he’s looking for is “funny”. Manu makes reference to the term “Seafood King” and honestly it’s gotten to the point where it’s just insulting to the viewer to pretend this phrase still has meaning. We know he’s not the seafood king. We know he’s rubbish at cooking seafood. Stop acting like you expect anything different you mendacious French twat.

Back at their house — which seems to be an unusually well-appointed shipping container — Josh and Amy set up their instant restaurant, which is called “Longshore Drift”. This apparently represents “who we are”, according to Amy, although for those purposes surely a better name would be “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf: the Dining Experience”.

Josh is certain that they won’t end up on the bottom of the leaderboard tonight, and we all know that that means, I assume. Especially since he says it in a cutaway that was probably shot at the end of the episode. He says he doesn’t want to “let anyone down”, which is a weird thing to say, since the only way Josh and Amy could possibly let the rest of the teams down is by succeeding.

Josh prepares the marinade for his crabs. The crabs he wants to cook, I mean. Amy tells Josh to use two bottles of white wine. Josh instead uses the entire white wine supply of Broome for the year. Amy tells Josh to leave her some coriander for the other main. Josh instead uses all the coriander. His previously-flagged plan of listening to Amy is going beautifully so far. If he listens to her much more he’ll be having an affair by the time the judges arrive.

The guests wander around Broome until they find Josh and Amy’s place. Court offers the opinion that Josh “isn’t the seafood king”, but she is being very unfair and basing that only on the fact he can’t cook seafood. “He’s the seafood Titanic,” says Duncan, which is confusing and doesn’t really work.

Karen and Ros are very nervous, although probably a lot less nervous than they would be if anyone but Josh and Amy were the last team to cook. The contestants agree that the key to Josh and Amy’s success will be their ability to “work as a team”. They are wrong: the key will be their ability to “make food that is not disgusting”.

Josh and Amy are soaking their chowder, which is an awful way to behave in public. Josh gets busy debearding his mussels — they are utterly depraved. Josh and Amy have a brief argument over his tendency to be an obnoxious prick, but Amy can’t stay mad at him — after all, she is pretty awful too.

Here come Pete and Manu, not even wearing jackets like a couple of filthy hobos. They sit down and Josh announces that he would like a score of 86. We all have dreams. Opening the menu, Karen and Ros are excited by how easy to read it is. Valerie notes that it’s a simple menu, but that simple doesn’t always mean easy. She’s right — sometimes simple means revolting.

There now follows some fairly uninteresting aggression between Josh and Amy about seafood and chowder and potatoes and marital dysfunction. The usual. In the dining room the teams discuss how much Josh and Amy suck and how happy they’ll be when they fail. Court proves that monsters take many forms by warbling semi-coherently about “falling out of the lucky tree”.

“Almost everything’s cooked for the entree,” says Josh, and he’s right but not in the way he thinks. He describes in detail the manner in which he cooks whitebait, and you wouldn’t guess from his manner that he’s a complete idiot with no idea what he’s doing.

Meanwhile in the dining room the guests have a chat about what a gigantic cock Josh is. Different theories are advanced as to why Josh is the way he is. Tully and Duncan agree that Josh is as bad as Hitler. We cut to the kitchen as a reminder that at least Hitler never ruined seafood.

Finally, entree is served. Why did it take so long? Because the world is a cold, cold place. Pete ordered the whitebait. “Simple can be beautiful,” he says, which is a dead giveaway. It sucks. Manu had the seafood chowder. He describes it as a picture of stress. Well actually he describes it as “a picture of strise”. Maybe he meant something else. He tells Josh and Amy that you don’t blitz vegetables in a seafood chowder. So we’ve all learnt something today.

“I’m not shaken at all by Pete and Manu’s comments,” says Josh, who will one day greet Satan himself with the words, “I’m fairly confident I’m going to Heaven when this is all over”.

The guests are agreed that Josh and Amy’s entree is hot garbage — so they do deserve credit for managing to heat it up.

Betty is in tears. “I’m just really sad,” she says. It’s quite distressing until you find out she’s sad for literally the stupidest reason anyone has ever been sad in the history of the world. It turns out she’s sad for the food — it has emotionally devastated her to see produce disrespected. “I love you guys and I wanted you to have the best bloody meal ever!” she wails — is there anything more tragic than seeing people you hardly know eat substandard food in a context in which they were actually hoping that that’s what they’d get? “I can’t even think of a hashtag for this,” Betty sobs, in case we were wondering whether she could get any dumber. Why she has decided to put on this bafflingly idiotic display at this time is anyone’s guess: her strategy is to garner sympathy for David, maybe?

Main is served, and Josh explains that the coriander rice is not coriander rice because he used all the coriander for his crab marinade. It’s a clever tactic: explain how inept you are before they even taste the food.

Not that he had to: upon tasting the main, Pete immediately tells Josh and Amy it sucks — or is “not enjoyable” in his words. But that’s nothing compared to the salvo Manu is about to fire. He begins by telling Josh that there is no need to marinate crab in white wine, as the acidity of the wine ruins the meat — presumably this effect is intensified when you use eight dozen bottles like Josh did.

Now Manu comes in off the long run. He tells Josh he’s going to be as brutally honest about Josh’s repulsive trash food as Josh is about everyone else. He is fuming with Gallic fury. “If you were sitting here tonight, you would TAKE THIS APART!” he rages. He is furious at Josh — nobody makes Betty cry on Manu’s watch. “Life is like a boxing match — you get punched in the head…” I think he’s doing a sort of resilience metaphor, but the impression given is that he’s just fantasising about punching Josh in the head.

Back in the kitchen, Amy isn’t back in the kitchen: she’s run off into the darkness, hoping to be adopted by some family of wild animals. Josh runs after her, calling — yes — “We can make it work, babe!” To the disappointment of all, their marriage is not over, and Seven has yet again lied persistently and shamefully to its audience. Amy returns to the kitchen, as in the absence of any kindly dingo or crocodile packs in the vicinity Josh is her only option.

Suddenly Josh and Amy are all chummy again. This is typical of the couple: they never stick at anything. If they put serious work into their relationship failure, they could make a really great divorce out of it, but there’s no stamina there. Amy’s mood is being improved by large quantities of alcohol.

Anyway, dessert is served, and let’s not dwell too much on what would be tiresome repetition: dessert is crap. Manu says, “it’s not even funny anymore”, which is awesome because it means that up till now, Manu has found Josh and Amy’s failures funny. Betty is distraught, or from another perspective, Betty is a dickhead.

The guests confer to decide their scores. The scores are terrible for obvious reasons. Karen wants to give them credit for not giving up, although it seems like points should be deducted for that very reason: Josh and Amy’s refusal to give up is their worst feature.

The judges give them a total of twelve out of sixty, which is hilarious. The guest teams give them a total of nineteen out of seventy, which is also hilarious. They have a total of 31, and joy may now be unconfined.

“I don’t feel bad at all,” says Josh, who is incapable of feeling bad about anything and is an appalling human being for precisely this reason.

Tune in tomorrow night, when Betty assumes her rightful place as The Worst.

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