My Kitchen Rules Recap: The Scouring of the Shire
Previously on My Kitchen Rules: some cooking happened, but more importantly Sonya and Hadil slagged off Jess and Emma, and it was exciting because it meant that finally…FINALLY…tonight we would see the long-awaited to-the-kerb-kicking that we were promised. Not that there was any mystery attached to it, as the identities of the evictees had already been revealed in the media, but as Aerosmith sang, life’s a journey, not a destination. And as Aerosmith also sang, I woke up when someone slammed the door so hard I fell out of bed, screaming mama’s little baby loves shortnin’ bread. And that sums it all up, really: that’s what tonight was all about.
We begin with Kim and Suong, who are setting up an instant restaurant that they declare will be all about love and friendship and happiness. This is intercut with shots of Sonya and Hadil telling everyone they hate them, so you can see, you know, irony, etc. Very clever, editor. Incredibly clever.
Now unfortunately we have to watch Kim and Suong hugging their families. I mean that’s nice for them, but we did not tune in to see nice people hugging each other. We tuned in to see horrible people get humiliated by an angry Frenchman.
Random shots of Melbourne, Kim and Suong driving in a car, shopping for food, judges look at menu, so on and so forth, who cares, we are not here for this. It would be an insult to even mention the names of the dishes they are cooking, so irrelevant is the food to the raison d’etre of this episode. Although I think for entree they are actually serving raison d’etre, which Manu is looking forward to. At some point Pete warns that they must be careful about jelly, which I guess is good advice.
The instant restaurant is themed around Vietnamese New Year, which is about friends and family coming together, and a day when nobody is allowed to fight or do anything bad, according to Kim and Suong when they are talking to camera after the dinner is over and they have been instructed to be as ironic as possible.
Pete is worried by deep-fried ice cream, but everyone else is worried that we’re already two minutes in and we still haven’t seen Hadil call anyone ugly yet.
They just keep cooking. And they talk about cooking. Why they have kept the cooking footage in the final edit is absolutely beyond me. The kitchen scenes in this episode are like The Cricket Show: an irritating interruption to the show we actually want to watch.
On the way to the house Henry and Anna discuss how their position at number 2 on the leaderboard might be in jeopardy from Kim and Suong, which is a concern that, since the only aim of these “ultimate instant restaurants” is to determine who is last, doesn’t matter in any way to anyone. Meanwhile Jess and Emma talk about how Sonya and Hadil will hopefully let bygones be bygones and have a nice meal with everyone, but again they are saying this in the post-dinner interview so they already know that this is not what happened. I don’t know how stupid the producers think we are, but…
No, sorry. I know exactly how stupid the producers think we are. And let’s be blunt: after all these years we’re still watching, so the producers are absolutely right.
Sonya and Hadil begin the dinner table talk by sweetly congratulating Henry and Anna on their success of the previous night in such a way as to make it clear what they’re actually doing is slagging off Jess and Emma. Hadil says, “The fact they’re sitting here is an insult to everyone who can cook” in a voice that possibly she thinks was quiet enough for Jess and Emma to not hear, but almost definitely she knows wasn’t.
Back in the kitchen, Kim and Suong are doing things nobody is interested in.
Henry and Anna and Alex and Emily try to make light conversation about how great Kim and Suong are. Hadil chimes in to mention how much she admires Kim and Suong because they aren’t Jess and Emma. Hadil is already on a roll, and she continues to expound on how Jess and Emma can’t cook, are a “bunch of clowns”, and in general were put on this earth as a pestilence to test the faith of God’s people in the Lord’s goodness. Sonya chips in with vague comments about “Respect”, along the lines of: Jess and Emma don’t respect the competition and we don’t respect them, probably because they are not as rich as me.
It is just heating up when Kim and Suong cock-block the drama by coming into the dining room and telling everyone what they’re serving. However, one might predict the menu will be a good opportunity for Sonya and Hadil to announce that the menu is a really good one when you compare it to Jess and Emma’s, which was total shit just like their faces.
Kim and Suong declare that they are facing a real challenge tonight, and nobody cares at all.
There is a weird bit of comic relief revolving around Nic’s inability to say the word “Vietnamese”, which should, if the man had any sense of shame, make him reluctant to go around over-enunciating Italian words all the time. Also, Anna says she didn’t know there was such a thing as mustard leaves, but she says it sadly with a face of pure misery, because she’s saying it after the horrible events of the night have fractured her gentle soul.
Jess says she’s not sure what betel leaf is, and Sonya says, “You don’t know anything about anything” in a voice quiet enough so that only Hadil and everyone else in the suburb can hear. Hadil shows off her knowledge by claiming that she cooks betel leaf all the time and she has had tonight’s entree before although she doesn’t know what it’s called or what it is or whether she’s had it, but Sonya assures her that she has so she must have.
Suong is going to cook the beef over charcoal but who gives a shit.
Sonya and Hadil agree that the beef smells amazing, because it’s being cooked by “serious cooks, who belong in the competition”. It’s hard to know what they mean by this, as they are being very subtle.
Kim and Suong are in a good headspace, which is nice for them.
Jess is talking about how difficult the ultimate instant restaurant round is, and Sonya and Hadil are giggling to each other as they describe Jess and Emma as stupid, full of shit and “disgusting clowns”. As they continue to hurl insults, apparently in the bizarre belief that the rest of the guests around the table can’t hear them, Jess reaches boiling point, because she’s one of those fragile snowflakes who gets upset over a little thing like sharing a meal with two women who spend the entire evening personally abusing her. “I can’t handle this,” she says, and gets up to leave the table.
Sonya and Hadil react to this with all the class we’ve come to expect from them. Hadil tells her “you can’t handle it, big girl” and calls her
“blowfish” again, while Sonya drags her for wearing cubic zirconia, in a reminder that although Hadil takes the lead in the bitchiness, Sonya is right up there in the Most Terrible Human Being stakes.
With Jess gone, Emma lashes out, because she’s one of those hypersensitive people who have a problem with sustained bullying campaigns. Hadil tells her she knows a doctor Emma could go to “fix her ugly face”. Emma tells Hadil she’s got serious issues, which…I mean, Emma’s no genius but when you’re right you’re right. Sonya is wearing the sort of grin people would pay money to slap off a face.
Henry and Anna are shocked by the goings-on — down on the truffle farm such hostility is unknown, and their purity has never encountered the foul corruption of human nature before. They do not deserve to be exposed to this kind of viciousness — someone must shield them. Anna looks unspeakably sad.
Sonya points out that she and Hadil are “natural” and Emma looks “all gone wrong”. “All gone wrong!” they both chorus, much like the circus freaks in Freaks, only less easy to sympathise with from an audience perspective.
In the kitchen, we know things must be bad because the show has broken the fourth wall and let us hear the voice of a producer telling Kim and Suong to wait before serving entree, presumably until they can get Jess back in the room or turn a hose on Sonya and Hadil or something. “We’re not happy,” says Kim. Nobody’s happy, Kim. Nobody. I mean, we viewers are. And the Seven network. But several people aren’t.
Back in the dining room, Hadil is continuing the Tod Browning theme by literally screeching “Freak! Freak!” at Emma. Without wanting to lapse into hyperbole, Hadil might literally be the worst person to ever live. I mean, I know that’s unlikely, because Sonya is right there. But still.
Finally, the onlookers crack. Naturally it’s Jazzey, with her blend of earthy outspokenness and lovely hair, who makes the first intervention. “Stop being so rude,” she implores Hadil. “It’s so unnecessary”. Hadil disagrees, as it is only through feeding on the hurt feelings of others that she can maintain her human form through the night. “Don’t be so nasty!” Jazzey pleads. “BLOWFISH!” Hadil responds, adultly.
And suddenly, shit gets real. Manu sticks a handsome oar in. “Hadil!” he snaps, in the tone of an angry father admonishing a child, or of an angry French cook admonishing a total fuckwit. Josh joins in, demanding that Hadil show respect for Kim and Suong — you know, the women in the kitchen? Given Sonya and Hadil have already expressed the view that Kim and Suong are dumb peasants who can’t afford to eat at nice restaurants, it’s no surprise that respect for them is not high on the agenda. “I don’t care,” Hadil retorts. “Pipe down.”
To be clear, that was Hadil telling OTHERS to pipe down.
Valeria speaks up to say she hopes the brawl did not affect Kim and Suong’s cooking time. Pete points out that Kim and Suong are about to serve, and they’re all here to taste Kim and Suong’s food. “That’s great,” Hadil says, grinning like a cat that got the cream and then vomited the cream all over some other cats who were just trying to have a pleasant meal.
Jess returns to the table. Everything settles down.
For three seconds.
Then Hadil opens the Sarlacc-pit-like orifice that could perhaps be termed “her mouth” and announces, “They don’t deserve to be in the top eight because they can’t cook”. At this point the suspicion grows that Hadil is either drunk, or just places a higher priority on abusing people than literally anything else in life. But there seems no reason to choose between the two options, to be honest. “Hadil!” says Manu again.
This time Stella has had enough. “Stop talking!” she cries, in probably the wisest piece of advice Hadil has ever received in her life. “YOU STOP TALKING!” Hadil shrieks. “YOU STOP TALKING! WHY ARE YOU TALKING?” Yeah she has to be at least a little bit drunk.
“Who do you think you are?” says Stella fairly reasonably. “Who do you think YOU are?” Hadil shoots back, seemingly losing the power to say anything but the last sentence she’s heard at higher volume. But no: “Don’t you get involved!” she scolds Stella, and that’s a fair point: why should anyone else get involved in this fight, given they’re just the people who’ve had to sit there listening to it for hours?
Josh makes another desperate and clearly futile plea for harmony. “It’s Kim and Suong’s home,” he beseeches, near tears. “You’re in their HOME.”
“SHUT UP JOSH!” Hadil fires back, furious that all these random people have started interfering in the elaborate piece of performance art she has constructed for the evening. “SHUT UP JOSH!” she repeats in case her desires were not initially clear.
“Have respect,” says Josh, though he must know by now that horse has bolted.
“Stay out of it, don’t make me come for you,” says Hadil, on the verge of going to the mattresses.
“Don’t threaten me,” says Josh, although it wasn’t that much of a threat, because all that Hadil “coming after you” entails is drunken screaming.
Meanwhile Henry and Anna are crestfallen. Their mighty hearts are breaking.
“Bit of a subtle threat doesn’t go astray,” says Stella, who was quiet early on but is now quite clearly having none of this bullshit and frankly she’s pretty sexy when she gets riled up.
“We’ll come for you too, don’t you worry,” says Hadil, knocking back her fifteenth glass of wine, and maybe I was wrong, maybe it’s not just drunken screaming. It’s possible there is actually some kind of Jordanian mafia dynamic at play here.
“I saw Sonya and Hadil’s true colours tonight,” says Nic in a cutaway. Way to catch up Nic. Everyone else saw them months ago.
Meanwhile, Sonya has decided to join in the declarations of war on behalf of the Family. “And I’ll come for you and I’ll come for you and I’ll come for you,” she says, pointing at basically everyone, “because you’re all disrespectful arseholes. That’s what you are, arseholes”. I mean, talk about the pot calling the kettle a cunty snobbish fuckhead. Sonya is on the verge of tears: she’s never had to spend so much time with the lower middle-class before and it’s taking its toll.
“Teams, please!” Manu cries, upset at how high the ratings are going to be. “Teams have got too out of hand.” No idea why he keeps using the plural there. “This is a cooking competition,” he declares, which you’d think would break the tension, but everyone is so angry they can’t even laugh at something so obviously absurd. He goes on: “This behaviour is unacceptable.”
And then, the bombshell that is all the more shocking for us all having known about it for weeks. “Sonya and Hadil, you are excused from the table.”
Sonya and Hadil walk out, swearing and whining and complaining about how unfair it is that people don’t like them even though they are beautiful and rich and know how to eat in restaurants. They get into a taxi, which seems a bit downmarket for them, and are rushed away to give bitchy interviews to women’s magazines.
Finally, Kim and Suong serve entree. Everyone eats. Nobody cares even a little bit about the food or the scores or anything that happens at the table from this point on. The important bit is over. Everything now seems incredibly dull. The only way to keep interest in the show is to promise that someone will be evicted for bad behaviour every three days or so for the remainder of this and all future seasons.
Kim and Suong make mains. Valeria says she’s sorry she didn’t put popcorn down her bra, and so say all of us. Anna is still depressed.
Pete visits the kitchen to tell Kim and Suong that Sonya and Hadil are gone. Kim and Suong are all like what the fuck, dude? Kim says it makes her feel a bit sad, which is weird because she’s met Sonya and Hadil.
Suddenly Henry asks everyone what they do when they’re at home alone. Everyone’s cheered up a bit now, so they laugh instead of worrying that Henry is going to murder them. Henry tells everyone that he likes to walk around nude. Jazzey nearly has a stroke. Or two.
Everyone eats the main course and it’s very boring.
Kim and Suong’s ice cream is melting, but honestly nobody is even watching anymore. It’s probably only clever editing that makes it look like the guests even stayed for dessert.
Kim and Suong end up getting a good enough score to get in the finals, obviously, because seriously Jess and Emma really suck. It’s an anti-climax, but the main thing is that Sonya and Hadil have been ejected from the show in the most humiliating way possible, so in the end the evening is a win for us all.
Tune in next week, for “THE FALLOUT”. The promo asks “WILL THEY COME BACK?” but they better fucken not. The promo also says “IT’S NOT OVER” but it better fucken be.
Also someone is going to be rushed to hospital, so place your bets. I kind of hope it’s Nic, but I can’t quite say why.
If you think of me more as the Henry and Anna of recapping than as the Sonya and Hadil of comedy, please consider sharing this and even maybe supporting my Patreon. Cheers!