Just for something different, we kick off this week's episode with a shot of Blake in a boat...
I know I praised this last week, but this really feels like overdoing it.
...and one of him taking his shirt off.
"Hey guys can we try a katamaran next week? Or how about a Sea-Doo?"
Meanwhile, back at the Shag Mansion the women have become so accustomed to their opulent new lifestyle they have taken to such extravagancies as burning candles during the day.
Although this shot did prompt an emergency press release from the NSW RFS about the dangers of leaving candles unattended.
They're all sitting around in casual separates, as is their usual daily pastime, when a tuft of hair blows through the door and catches on the corner of the rug. Perhaps it blew in from a nearby salon? Oh no wait...
It's just Osher Gunsberg.
"I'm sure it must feel like you've been living together in this beautiful mansion for quite a while, and yet quality time with Blake is still scarce," he says, immediately winning the 2014 Non Sequitur of the Year Award.
Fortunately he has brought with him a brown envelope that will solve that problem, as it contains a sample of Blake's DNA so the women can clone him in their in-mansion laboratory.
No, no, it doesn't. It's just another date card, signalling the start of the Date Card Charade, a one act play performed weekly by the Amateur North Shore Ladies' Players.
GIRL 1: Inside that envelope is the name of the next girl to go on a date with Blake, and I really want it to be me.
GIRL 2: I've got no idea whose name is on that card, but I hope it's me.
GIRL 3: One on one time with Blake is so important, so I really hope that's my name on that card.
GIRL 4: We're all wondering whose name is on the card. I hope it's mine.
GIRL 5: I really want to go on a date with Blake.
GIRL 6: *head explodes*
Turns out it's Holly the netballer who'll be going on this week's solo date, the only person on the show with a voice deeper than Blake's.
To celebrate, Anita the dog groomer makes her a cake.
With poison inside.
Don't forget, Holly also received the
As ever, Blake the poet has left a cryptic message on this week's date card: "Let's get in tune with each other".
"Maybe it's a singing lesson at the Opera House," gasps Chantal.
Sure! Or maybe it's a candlelit dinner at an AutoTune repair shop. Or maybe it's a typo, and they'll be getting a couples massage at a tuna farm. So many things it could be!
And so Holly shuffles off to some orchestral music to meet Blake, who is sticking with the nautical theme but has switched from canoe to seaplane on the advice of Channel 10's maritime advisory officer.
There's something Freudian about this water obsession, I'm sure...
"It looked like Holly was up for anything I had planned," says Blake, a phrase which, depending on how the date goes, he may be destined to repeat in court later on.
They fly away in the seaplane to a picturesque beach where they walk hand in hand and share their plans for the future, like Holly's dream of one day globally launching her invention "Singkets" - fashionable singlets with attached thigh pockets you tuck inside your shorts.
"See it's like 'singlet-pockets' - Singkets?"
"Yeah, I get it."
"I'm quite touched by what Blake has arranged for me, I just couldn't wait to find out what he had in store," says Holly, reading off the cue card handed to her by a producer while Blake gets briefed by another on exactly what's going to happen on their date.
As it turns out they are to be serenaded on the sand by the Sydney Grammar School Year 10 orchestra.
"Sir, does this count towards our HSC?"
"This is by far the most romantic thing anyone's ever done for me," Holly gushes, which isn't really high praise considering she admitted earlier she's never even received a bunch of flowers. So basically, this is more romantic than nothing. Well done, Blake!
Still, it's enough to send her into a flurry of tears.
"The viola's out of tune!"
Feeling extremely awkward, the orchestra packs up and leaves (and just imagine how romantic THAT would have been, for a second), leaving Holly and Blake to pour champagne and propose a toast to
a) an amazing date
b) new adventures
d) something original
e) all of the above except d
Meanwhile, back at Shag Mansion the women have received another date card, this time reading "it's time to get down and dirty".
"Maybe it's mud wrestling," says Sam.
Sure! Or maybe it's a day of work experience at a pig farm. Or on a porn set. So many things it could be!
"Down AND dirty you say?"
Lisa McCune starts reading out names, and everyone is so caught up in their excitement they don't notice the extra terrestrial that as landed in the night and infiltrated their group...
"Laurina seems more interested in doing her nails than going on the date with Blake, and it really bothers me," says Chantal, pursing her lips together so hard a diamond forms in the side of her mouth.
"It's really frustrating when you see her react so poorly."
August is National Smug Cow Awareness Month. Find out more at www.STFUchantal.com
Sadly, Anita has missed out again.
"I was jealous. I missed out on a really good opportunity to see a part of Blake I'd like to," she says.
"Like his heart. On a platter. By my bedside."
Meanwhile, back on the beach, Blake and Holly are eating cheese and toasting champagne. Again.
"To first dates," Blake says.
"And to many more," Holly says.
THERE CAN ONLY BE ONE FIRST DATE, HOLLY.
Just like the champagne and the ripe innards of the camembert on the cheese board in front of them, the conversation is flowing.
"She opened up to me a bit more about her life and netball," Blake says, a sentence which no man has ever before uttered without adding "as if I cared".
After seemingly spending their entire day talking about how nice their day was, Blake gives Holly a rose and kisses her on the cheek, thus concluding the most boring date of all time.
She heads back to the Shag Mansion, where all the other women are in the middle of a fancy dress party with the theme of "Tween Bedtime Fashions":
Fashionable AND infantilising!
They all quiz Holly about the date, while Anita sits in the corner practising her audition for the upcoming Australian remake of The Ring, "The Ring Sting".
I'm not sure I would trust my dog with Anita.
Sun goes down, sun goes up and we're off on the group date which appears to be taking place at some sort of horse ranch.
"I'm really looking forward to this date, 'getting down and dirty', it sounds like a great opportunity to be really loose and playful," says Laurina, reading from the autocue.
"That sounded believable, right?"
Strangely enough it appears that there are several horses at this horse ranch, which is unfortunate for Canadian Amber, who has the most ridiculous allergy of all time.
"I'M FREAKING OUT RIGHT NOW BECAUSE WE'RE ON A FRIGGING FARM AND I'M ALLERGIC TO HORSES," she shrieks.
Well at least this explains why she's been avoiding Laurina.
"DO YOU KNOW HOW SCARY IT IS WHEN YOU HAVE A SEVERE ALLERGY AND THEN YOU'RE PUT IN A SCENARIO WHERE YOUR ALLERGY IS IN FRONT OF YOU?" she spits.
"I REALLY WANTED TO GO ON A DATE WITH BLAKE AND IT JUST SUCKS THAT I CAN'T DO IT NOW!" she blathers, as violins play in the background and poets write epic songs of her woe.
Sadly nothing can be done, so Amber is immediately placed in a Hazmat suit and whisked off to the CDC.
And everyone is really sad to see her go.
Suddenly a ball of old horse hair blows into shot and everyone has to stop the scene to reset, and... oh wait.
It's just Osher Gunsberg.
"You've left the city behind for a taste of country life today," Osher says, relieving everyone by actually finishing the word "country".
"Today we'll put you to the test with your very own rodeo," he continues, as Blake wanders in looking like an extra from an RM Williams catalogue shoot.
"How big is this dog, you guys?!"
None of this makes any sense, of course, given Blake is a city real estate agent and probably hasn't had anything to do with horses, rodeos or being a cowboy in his life, beyond riding the mechanical bull that one time at Hooters on the Gold Coast.
Speaking of which.
In case you're wondering why we've travelled to a farm in regional New South Wales to ride a mechanical bull the producers probably hired from a pub in Sydney instead of riding actual horses - the public liability insurance is cheaper.
"Whichever one of you holds on the longest gets some very valuable alone time," says Osher, a phrase which has resulted in a court case more than once.
Sam lasts 28 seconds and does a swift dismount, which is something Blake can relate to, but Laurina beats her by holding on two seconds longer.
Sam is super impressed.
Laurina jumps on a horse and rides off into the sunset with Blake, leaving all the other women behind to bitch about how she's not in it for the right reasons and how they deserve it more than her etc. etc. blah blah blah.
Keep talking, bitches.
Laurina and Blake ride to a secluded spot in the bush, on which the producers have spent the episode budget's remaining $5 to decorate in super romantic fashion:
"In all honesty, what do you hope to get out of this experience?" Blake asks.
"Ummmmmm...." says Laurina.
"I'm ready to meet somebody, I am. I'm open to it," she tells him, which is handy because, oh, you know, SHE'S ONLY SIGNED UP TO BE ON A BLOODY REALITY TV DATING SHOW.
"Good. I just wanted to... double check... and confirm that," says Blake, which may be the most romantic thing anyone has said on the show so far.
Their business meeting concluded and the minutes filed with the secretary, Laurina and Blake head back to the farm where all the other women are pretending to enjoy some country band by dancing in a barn.
Except Kat, who recognises the true entertainment at the party.
Meanwhile, back at Shag Mansion, Amber has arrived home to stage her newly penned one-act tragedy "Horse of Doom: An Equestrian Nightmare".
"And then it LOOKED at me with its BIG, BROWN, EYES and said 'I WILL kill you, Amber'..."
The only person who looks remotely concerned for her is Jessica the Miranda Kerr lookalike, but she thought Blake organised all that snow himself last week so I think we can probably discount her opinion on everything from now on.
"Amber was on the verge of a breakdown," says Stacey-Louise, with only slightly more sympathy than most people reserve for a dying cockroach.
"Ain't nobody got time for horse allergies."
And with that...
IT'S COCKTAIL PARTY TIME!
* "I'm scared guys, I haven't spent time with him all week," says Amanda, as everyone watching at home thinks "Who the fuck is Amanda?"
* But she's not as scared as Anita, who starts shaking when Blake tries to talk to her.
It's a habit she picked up from one of her clients.
* "YOU MAKE ME FEEL MORE NERVOUS EVERY TIME I SEE YOU LIKE EVEN WHEN YOU WALKED IN THAT ROOM BEFORE I WAS LIKE OK AND THEN YOU WALKED IN THE ROOM AND MY HEART GOES BANGBANGBANGBANGBANG HA HA HA!" Anita says.
I think it might be about time to consider that Anita might be a few kelpies short of a kennel.
* Blake tries to calm Anita down by wrapping her tightly in warm towels and feeing her Schmackos but she just keeps shivering and laughing like a machine gun, so he resorts to compliments.
"There's a reason you're still here," he tells her, forgetting to finish the sentence with "and that's because you're a total psycho, which is good TV.".
* "EVERYTHING IN MY LIFE IS GOING REALLY WELL RIGHT NOW," hoots Anita.
"Did I hear my cue?"
* "I thought I'd come in and say helloyyy," coos Laurina.
"How are you coping, Anita? Oh, you're nervous. Well this will be awesome for you, to keep your confidence up!"
Laurina's superpower is condescension.
* Slowly realising that "giggly little girl" doesn't play so well in the shadow of "confident superbitch", Anita pulls more and more miserable facial expressions until she resembles a theatre tragedy mask, before loping off into the bushes to leave Laurina with her prey.
"Oh my god, I hope I didn't offend her," blinks Laurina.
* Realising they forgot to amend the agenda from their bush business meeting the day before, Laurina and Blake get out their manila folders and run through a few numbers.
It is even more romantic than the conversation Blake and Holly had about netball.LAURINA: "I just wanted to clarify and see if there's anything else you need or want me to clarify and just let you know that I'm open."BLAKE: "OK, well you've done just that."LAURINA: "Thanks."BLAKE: "Thank you for your time."LAURINA: "I won't hold you up anymore."BLAKE: "I appreciate it."
* It seems the other girls in the typing pool aren't happy however, and they tear into Laurina when she returns.
"Didn't you feel bad for cutting in on Anita? You know how nervous she was, dude!" belts Sam, which sounds remarkably like a piece of dialogue from Home and Away but is actually a real sentence that came out of a real person's mouth.
"It's about time you started thinking about everybody else!"
"Ew gross. I'm not into kinky group stuff."
"Dude, have some consideration about someone else but yerself FER ONCE IN YER FARRGIN LOYFE!" barks Sam, while Laurina gently raises an eyebrow.
It's all a bit like this.
Laurina stalks off to the bar like any sensible person would while Anita falls gratefully into Sam's muscular arms crying "MY HERO!"
Meanwhile, all the other girls raise their glasses in a toast as though Sam is some sort of superhero rescuing them from the oppressive regime of an evil dictator. It's a pity, as I was starting to rather like her. Now she goes into the same bin as Chantal, the one marked "More of a dickhead than first thought".
* Amber can go into that bin too, as she accosts Laurina in the hallway shouting "WE THINK YOU'RE FAKE AND YOU HAVE FAKE INTENTIONS AND WE THINK YOU'RE FAKE!". Perhaps it's an allergic reaction?
* Just when it looks as though Laurina is going to have to go into witness protection, Lisa (who? Oh look, it doesn't matter) decides everyone's been a bit mean and runs after her to sign a peace accord.
"You never, ever, ever let a girl stand alone so I ran into the kitchen after her and made sure she was OK," says Lisa.
"I don't think anybody should be ambushed like that."
Gold star to Lisa for being a decent human being, but if everyone starts acting normal on this show it's all over.
And with that (finally)...
IT'S ROSE TIME!
* Blake comes on and tells everyone the rose ceremony is "the most challenging part of the week" for him, which might be significant if the rest of his week was filled with say, actual challenges, as opposed to just endless dates where he pashes on with hot chicks.
* It's evidently not as challenging for him as it is for Holly though, who announces "I NEED TO SIT DOWN!" before almost collapsing to the floor.
"So... we'll all just stand and look at you, if that's OK?"
Notably not one paramedic shows up to help Holly (well, they're expensive, and they spent all of this week's money on that mechanical bull). Instead she is shuffled off out the door, through the garden and into another room by Blake.
"I really care for Holly, so it's hard for me to see her unwell," he says, before shrugging and going straight back inside to hand out roses to his other girlfriends.
* Blake glances down at the list of names the producers have given him to read out, and gives Anita and Laurina the first two roses.
This is like a before and after ad for iron capsules.
* Jessica gets a rose. Of course. Because she's going to win.
* A bunch of other sequinned dresses get roses, like Sharna. And Kara. Weren't they a girl group from the 80s?
Finally it comes down to two: Amber the angry Canadian and... some chick I can barely remember. Amanda?
Amber starts tearing up and spluttering, and everyone looks around to see if there's a horse in the room...
Ah, no. That'd be it.
Anyway Amber gets a reprieve, in order that the Epic Battle of Laurina's Fakeness may continue in future episodes, and Amanda is sent off to the limousine of doom. No one even notices her go.
Suddenly Laurina announces to the room that Sam has apologised for her earlier outburst.
"That was really beautiful and mature of her," she says.
"So what about yourself, Amber? Would you like to apologise for screaming out that I'm fake?"
"No I'm good," says Amber.
"I'm sorry you're not big enough to apologise," says Laurina.
"Well I'm sorry you're a daft c**t," says Amber, which rather puts an end to that conversation.
So. That's that, then.
I think when it comes to summing up this episode, Chantal says it best:
"But Laurina doesn't even like Daft Punk...?"