Yes, yes, I know this recap is a week late. That's how long it's taken me to get over the fact that Laurina got booted in episode 15. All I've been doing for the past six days is rocking back in forth in the corner of my room with the lights off crying to Wendy Matthews' "The Day You Went Away".
Anyway there's no point moping anymore - Laurina wouldn't want it that way. Actually yes she would, but screw her, she deserted us.
We kick things off in the Shag Mansion sunroom, where the women are putting the finishing touches on the Laurina effigy they made out of an old broom and some milk bottle tops.
They put a dirty street pie on top as a ritual offering, and just as they're about to set it on fire in a pseudo Viking funeral sort of way, Osher turns up to explain to them why he doesn't have any envelopes.
"This time Blake would like to invite ALL of you on a romantic getaway," he says, as if that's remarkably different from every other week.
I mean... it's just a group date, right? Like the group dates that happen every week? Is it like that, Osher?
Oh wait on, maybe this getaway is going to be somewhere super exotic that will actually make it different and exciting.
"It's in the Blue Mountains!" says Osher.
Nope. Guess not.
"I may be falling in love with more than one woman, and that's what I'm here in the Blue Mountains to sort out," says Blake, who is Blue Mountainsing in the Blue Mountains.
"Who do I truly want to spend the rest of my life with?"
The next shot we see is this, so I guess he's decided:
Blake reminds us that at the end of this Blue Mountains trip one of the women won't be going on any further, which is sort of an ominous thing to say when standing on the edge of a cliff.
Of course the decision is entirely up to
"You all took A LEAP coming on this show," guffaws Osher, as if what he's about to say next is going to be some sort of incredibly witty play on words.
"And you're about to take another one - RIGHT OFF THE EDGE OF THIS MOUNTAIN!"
Well, that should cut down the selection process considerably. Good show!
But then he gets out harnesses and ropes etc and I realise he meant abseiling. Oh. Well. That's fun too, I guess.
"This is the final group date and I'm hoping the girls can truly let their guards down," says Blake.
He takes her away to yet another clifftop where the producers have spent the remaining $7.50 in the budget on two cushions and a laundry hamper.
They sit down and start getting boozed on Fruity Lexia which one of the producers has run through a Sodastream, and Blake starts on one of his famous romantic speeches that sounds like an office manager chairing a staff meeting about the company's new filing system.
"I wanted to bring you out here first and foremost because I missed you and I think this sets it up quite well, it's serene, it's peaceful and yet it's exciting at the same time which are pretty much all the same feelings that I have whenever I'm around you," he says.
Would it be too much to ask for someone to have a normal conversation on this show for once? About, I dunno... music? Or movies? Or TV shows? You know "What's your favourite book?" is a good conversation starter. Or how about "So, tell me about your job"?
Blake's always going on about wanting the women to "open up" to him. You know what? ASKING PEOPLE ABOUT THEMSELVES IS A REALLY GOOD WAY TO GET THEM TO OPEN UP.
"When I'm with you nothing else exists, and no one else comes into my mind," gushes Louise, as if that's surprising for someone who has spent the last 16 weeks living in a Barbie castle separated from reality.
Then they pash for AGES and he even lifts her up with her legs wrapped around his waist, which is worth at least double the vomit:
Wavy lines, doobly doo music, more wavy lines, the ghost of Laurina wailing "DIIIIRTY STREEEET PIIIIE"... and it's the next day, where Blake is thoughtfully taking credit for having prepared everyone a "big country breakfast".
After everyone eats their allocated three and a half raspberries (the chocolate croissants on display are plastic), Blake asks Zoe to go for a walk in the woods.
"I'm drawn to a woman who isn't afraid to open her heart," says Blake, revealing his predilection for zombies once again.
They sit down in what looks like a hikers' rest stop the producers have draped in horse blankets and old hurricane lamps, and Blake adds to the romantic mood by booming some sweet nothings at Zoe in that bizarre voice of his.
It sounds a bit like this.
"So, how is it with me and the other girls and coping in that environment?" Blake coos, which you have to admit is really swoonworthy stuff.
Zoe immediately falls asleep.
Blake takes her to the edge of a billabong and
"My wish is to find true love," he says. "What's yours?"
Moving on with absolutely no ceremony to Blake's date with Lisa, which is taking place at a horse ranch.
Apparently Blake isn't feeling a deep enough connection with Lisa because she laughs too much.
"You giggle at the end of all your sentences and I can't always tell if you're being 100 per cent serious," he tells her.
"I'm not serious right now - no, only joking, HA HA HA," says Lisa.
Anyway it seems strapping Lisa to a horse and forcing her to gallop is the best way to get her to "open up", particularly if she falls off and cracks her head, making her literally "open" and therefore the perfect woman in Blake's eyes.
They ride. No one injures themselves. Lisa laughs awkwardly, and we all move on to the next date with Jess in day spa decked out with roses, fluffy towels and champagne.
So just to recap: Louise got to sit on a cushion on the edge of a cliff, Lisa got to ride a horse and lie on the lawn, Zoe got to drink tea from a thermos while counting hurricane lamps, and Jess gets a massage with champagne and roses. Yep, sounds fair.
"I need to know: are we actually falling for each other? Or are we just caught up in our own romance novel?" Blake ponders, as though he just thought of this dead clever line and didn't read it off a producer's clipboard 30 seconds ago.
Oh also, I think they pashed.
"It's probably a little late to ask, but are you a massage person?" Jess asks Blake, as they're both being massaged.
WHILE HOLDING HANDS.
"I prefer to give them, haw haw haw," says Blake.
"That works for me, hee hee hee," says Jess.
You know, it's exactly this kind of sparkling dialogue that make Jess and Blake such a winsome couple.
The massage finished, they head to the jacuzzi for another session of slow blinking and smiling.
"Beyond the gazes, I'm not sure our relationship is really progressing," says Blake.
Unfortunately Jess drops the script for this scene in the water and it gets stuck in the filter, so she has to ad lib and can only come up with the lines she used on Blake in last week's episode.
"The moment I see you my heart starts racing and I get giddy, I get a bit nervous," she says.
"You make me... er... feel things that I... um... would want to keep feeling..." she continues, as Blake shouts "PROMPT".
The director finally yells cut and we move on to Blake's final date with Sam, which looks like it's being held at the hotel from The Shining and involves yet another dessert buffet.
Just to recap: of the three dates Blake has had with Sam one was at a diner with hot dogs and chips and two have involved a dessert buffet.
I think we can safely assume Blake is trying to inflict Sam with diabetes so he can look after her, Misery-style.
To be honest it would have been better for everyone if the two of them just stuffed their faces with profiteroles instead of what they actually do, which is stare at each other and ask questions starting with "how do you feel about..."
Blake asks Sam what it would take for her to feel comfortable with totally OPENING UP to him.
"Um, maybe sending four other girls home?" she says, taking the words out of my mouth.
OK Sam. I admit it. I like you. Well, better than Jess anyway.
After an entire episode of people staring at each other and talking utter crap, it's time for the cocktail party - ie: 15 minutes of people staring at each other and talking utter crap while holding champagne.
Except in an effort to prove just how boring he is Blake has cancelled it, opting instead to mooch around the garden at the Shag Mansion while each of the five women sits on their own looking pensive.
Best to move on to ROSE CEREMONY TIME! And this week's RC is even more important than usual, because the four women left clutching a longstem at the end of the night will get to take Blake home to meet their parents and explain how they want to marry someone they met on a TV show and have known for approximately six hours total.
"I HAVE STRONG FEELINGS FOR EVERY SINGLE ONE OF YOU," says the Blakebot 3000.
"INK CARTRIDGE EMPTY REPLACE TONER ERROR 5331."
Louise gets a rose, Sam gets a rose, Jess gets a rose. Everyone faints from total lack of surprise.
There's only one rose, but two women - Lisa the only vaguely normal one and the sole person from this show I'd ever want to have a beer with even if she does sound perpetually like a plumber on smoko, and Zoe the one who I only recognised for the first 10 episodes because she looked like that country singer who got kicked off and who had something to do with Polynesia or Vanuatu but has basically been pretty boring this whole series.
Lisa's right - Blake gives her the final rose and sends Zoe packing, probably because he recognises it's way more useful to have a plumber around the house than a pharmacist from a tropical island.
So there we have it, our final four - Lisa, Jess, Sam and Louise. What will happen when they take Blake home to their families? Who cares? Not me - episode 17 is the tell-all reunion special in which Anita returns to wreak her revenge and Laurina blurts out "I CAN EAT A PIE!". Anything that happens after that is irrelevant.
Join me again soon for that one, or go back in time and READ EPISODE 15 again.