Channel Nine’s incredible ratings run is coming to an end as its mega-popular, guilty pleasure reality series Married at First Sight draws to a close.
But rather than leaving our screens in the manner it which it arrived – with controversy, drama and concocted tension – the penultimate episode fizzled out thanks to spoilers and a surprisingly demure performance from series villain Dean.
Despite the requisite build-up, Tuesday’s episode failed to deliver on the drama of the preceding season, which was dominated by an engrossing love triangle between Dean, his “wife” Tracey, and “homewrecker” Davina.
On Sunday night, viewers were stunned when Dean, who spent most of the show flirting with Davina while saying brutal, painfully sexist things about Tracey, confessed his love for Tracey, only for her to dump him at the proverbial altar.
Flash forward to six weeks after the faux-marriage experiment ended and Tracey has since found love with fellow contestant Sean, whom she brought to Tuesday night’s dinner party reunion.
This would have been a big reveal, had it not been ruined by media leaks 24 hours before the show went to air.
Unfortunately for the show’s producers, they also missed out on what could have been another big moment – Dean finding out Tracey had moved on while in full view of the cameras and contestants.
Instead, Tracey robbed them of this showdown by doing the respectful thing and telling Dean ahead of time, meaning he was unexpectedly mature about the whole thing.
“You know about Tracey and I?” Sean asked Dean, almost excitedly.
“We’re all sweet. Of course,” a demure Dean responded.
He even went so far as to apologise to his partner in extramarital crime, Davina, for his handling of their dalliance (which, by the way, amounted to a kiss).
“Sorry for putting you through that. It wasn’t cool, what I did, the way I went about it. I’ve wanted to say that to you for a long time,” Dean offered to an open-mouthed Davina.
Of course, the self-proclaimed “alpha male” is still text messaging Tracey – he claims “as friends” – but all in all it’s an unexpected redemption arc for a man most of Australia has actively hated for the past two months.
“I’m actually quite impressed with the way Dean has managed this tonight,” one of the show’s stunned experts admitted.
The show’s second shock revelation – that contestants Carly and Troy had dumped their respective spouses to become an item – was also foiled when the pair was snapped rolling around on the grass in a Melbourne park in February.
Regardless, they still provided viewers with a positively cringeworthy performance: Carly watching lovingly as Troy did push-ups, Troy admitting Carly was gifted with “a very talented tongue”, and the two of them getting so physical it was enough to make Olivia Newton-John blush.
Or in Davina’s eloquent words: “It’s so f–––ing weird I feel like throwing up my beef cheek.”
While the show originally paired up 22 strangers, only three of the original couples have chosen to proceed with their relationships beyond the show: Sarah and Telv, Charlene and Patrick and Mel and John.
Of course, the show’s producers could be saving the best for last – Wednesday night’s episode will see the contestants sit down together to watch footage from the show.