MAFS Recap 2024 Episode 18: Lucinda’s Dad Asks Tim To Pls Bone His Daughter

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My sweet MAFS-addicted angels, we're back for episode 18 of this season and I think I still have an emotional hangover after Sunday's Commitment Ceremony from hell. Nonetheless, we persist!
We kick off this episode of Married At First Sight rather dramatically, with Ellie's husband Ben mysteriously disappearing after Ellie wrote 'LEAVE' in the last Commitment Ceremony. It's all a bit hide and seek for a bit, with Ellie running around trying to find him. She reckons he's yeeted himself out of the experiment, and if that's the case then, bye bye, Ben! We won't miss you!
The bar is this low and you still fall over it, Jono (Credit: Nine)
Then we're back to the episode, with the ~mystery~ still lingering in the air. This ep, we're dealing with the fallout of three people writing 'LEAVE' (yikes), a few of them actually liking each other (rare), and everyone reading Jack (and the rest of the men) to filth (about time).
It's family and friends week, so we're expecting to see all the couples meet each other's loved ones. Sounds boring but whatever. Speaking of boring, we check in with Cassandra and Tristan, who are surprisingly okay after Tristan wrote 'LEAVE' in the last Commitment Ceremony. Eh, go off kids.
Soon, we cut to Lauren and Jono, who are still having a tiff after Jono totally borked the Commitment Ceremony. "One comment... is not enough when some dude with a tight man bun and jeans three sizes too small is going at me," Lauren yells at Jono. YES LAUREN. A queen after our own hearts. Her shoulders must be sore from carrying this show so much.
Lauren chastises Jono for continuously not standing up for her and calls out Jono's allegiance to 'the boys' instead of, you know, his wife. "I need to know he has the ability to stand up for a woman when a man is degrading her like that," she continues. The bar is SO LOW for men, and they still manage to fall over it. Jono says he feels annoyed at himself for letting her down and says he's sorry, but I can't really hear him through everyone booing at their TV screens.
Instead of working on your relationship just get... *checks notes* matching tattoos? (Credit: Nine)
Then we're (unfortunately) back with Jack and Tori, who are saying that old mate in the bad hat got "roasted" last night. As soon as you think that things couldn't possibly get any worse, they come up with a really, really great idea and decide to head out to get MATCHING TATTOOS. Yes, MATCHING. TATTOOS. Tori reckons it's a statement that's saying fuck you to the rest of the couples, but if you ask me, it's just like watching Tori about to materialise the biggest regret of her life. It literally hurts to watch this. The things people do for fame.

Ben Wants To Bolt & We're All Like, Uh, Seeya Champ

We get some solemn music as extra details emerge about Ben bolting. In a ~shock~ twist, he says that he's outside the building and does a fantastic bit of fourth-wall breaking when he asks her if she's with the producers. The show is becoming self-aware! Ben reckons he wants to come back, but says that he can't talk it all out because he's actually really, really tired. Like really tired. Like he needs to sleep RIGHT NOW. Honestly, this is the most in common I've had with this bloke, ever. I respect the need to snooze.
Then we check in with Lucinda and Timothy, who are dealing with the fallout of their Commitment Ceremony gone wrong. She says they haven't seen each other since then, but she empathetically says that she understands why she is the way he is, due to his history. This woman is honestly a gem. Australia's queen. I need her to give me a personalised lesson in emotional intelligence, please. On the other hand, Tim is clearly still very activated and says she has no loyalty. Don't do it, Timbo.
Meanwhile, the intruders all move in together and endeavour on a crash course on how to get their relos from 0 to 100, which includes sharing a bed, I guess. Ridge and Jade are actually extremely cute, and I really love this for them. Hell yeah!
Unsurprisingly Ash and Madeleine end up not moving in together, presumably because Ash doesn't just want to eat potatoes. Then, we get a mic drop that Ash actually also wants to leave the relationship and the two of them will be ending their time in the experiment after a little over a week. Damn. That feels like a new record. "It was doomed from the start," Ash says. I do feel kind of bad for Ash who seemed to be there with really good intentions, but I'm also simultaneously sad that we'll no longer see any more from Madeleine, who was easily the most entertaining person we've had on the show yet. It was a nice week, at least.
Jack trying his best to be a good human (Credit: Nine)

Petition For Leah To Be On This Show Full-Time

We're back with Jack and Tori, with Jack about to meet Tori's bestie Leah (again), who famously said that she got an icky weird feeling about him at their wedding. Our friend can READ. Tori jokes that Jack shouldn't tell his friend to "put a muzzle on it". A self-aware joke? Groundbreaking. Leah heads over, the two of 'em hug, and she says she can tell when Tori's with a dud (please, tell her, Leah!). Then, finally, Leah calls out the muzzle comment and says that it is a kneejerk reaction, adding that "at the root, he is a misogynistic person". Petition for Leah to be on every episode of this show, thanks.
Jack explains what happened and says that he did it to "protect his family" (vom) and all Leah says is: "Mate...". STOP. In this moment, we are all Leah. "It's kinda disgusting that he would say that," Leah says. "Wonderful that he apologised. Hope it was genuine, but I really doubt that." She's really out here just saying what we're all thinking.
Then Leah starts interrogating them about their (lack of) sex life and is wildly confused when they tell her they haven't boned yet. "It's an orange flag," Leah says. We respect the objectivity of her analysis. Jack gives her a box of Roses chocolates on her way out, and I just can't stop screaming at the television. It's so awkward, it's painful. Leah leaves, and so too does our voice of reason. I miss her already.
Okay but these two are IT (Credit: Nine)
Jayden and Eden's family meet each other and of course, we have some good airtime from old mate Mitch, who seems less awful here than he was in his season. Despite Mitch cooking his time on the show, he says that Jayden's got his shit together and that the two of them look very lovey-dovey. But because there's no drama in this relo, we only sit with them for about 20 seconds before we're off with the next couple.
We take a brief intermission with Jade and Ridge, where Jade reads out a letter talking about her early pregnancy, her ex cheating on her, and raising her child as a single woman. In a lovely moment, Ridge says that his ex should "give himself an uppercut" and that it was a lot to go through, and it's a really, really nice moment. These two actually seem to have a very genuine relationship and might even make it on the outside. I'm surprised, too. Jade voices concerns about him abandoning her and Ridge understands that it stems from trauma, immediately comforting and reassuring her. Could Ridge actually be the best bloke on the show? I didn't think it was possible, but he just might be.
We check in with Michael and Stephen who are tasked with hugging for a long time, and I'm really just grateful that they haven't been tasked with genital cupping, which, as we all know, did not help any couples. Then before we know it, they're gone and we don't see them for the rest of the ep. Justice for Michael and Stephen!
Lord, give me the patience of even 1/8th of Lucinda's (Credit: Nine)

Lucinda's Dad Begs Tim To Pls Bone His Daughter

Finally, we're back with Timothy and Lucinda, who is harnessing the power of crystals to help her through their rough patch. They reunite in the car and there's clear tension in the air, with Tim criticising Lucinda for allegedly throwing him under the bus. Lucinda, the ever-patient angel that she is, kindly explains to him that she might have "fucked up" on the couch but she's been quite patient with him. Timothy reckons Lucinda likes that "that dickhead Jayden" spoke up (which is actually one of the funniest lines he's said), but Lucinda says she's just trying her best, but also understands where Tim is coming from. Side note: Lucinda looks hot as hell in her knee-high boots. Get it girl!
Two of Timothy's friends join Lucinda's parents, then the couple finally walks in. They launch right into the tough conversations, with Lucinda saying they're having a bit of a "rough trot" and says she hasn't been celebrating the lovely things Tim has been doing. "I regret how I behaved," Lucinda says, before her father says that maybe she had reasons to act that way (yes, this is the correct take!). Lucinda says that she liked him lots but shares Tim's lack of sexual attraction for her, and Tim's friends are looking at him like BRO. Lucinda's dad asks him if he's tried to work on the sexual attraction, and it's nice to see that Lucinda's family are as sexually open as she is.
They go round in circles for a little bit and have the same conversation more or less ten times, but Tim's friend clocks that he's clearly angry and tells him to cool down. "He's had a lot of trauma," his friend explains in a confessional, crying. It's really easy to just write Tim off as a dickhead, which he can be a lot of the time, but when I look at him, I see an older dude that has bucketloads of unresolved trauma — and trauma that is beyond many people's comprehension. He's a deeply flawed dude, but I will be a Tim and Lucinda defender forevermore.
"How bout it mate?" — Lucinda's Dad, probably (Credit: Nine)
Lucinda's dad says that Tim doesn't know how to move on and that he's a bit too pissed off. "He's a bit repetitive and a bit boring," Daddy Lucinda says, before taking him aside for a one-on-one chat. "I don't think you give a great deal of respect for Lucinda," he says. Daddy Lucinda reads Tim and says he needs to change some of his habits, that he needs to not "get his tits in a tangle", and that he needs to "pull his finger out". I can't wait for international viewers to be incredibly confused about this whole interaction.
In a very self-aware moment, Tim admits that he's not easy and says that Lucinda is very special for being equipped to deal with his shit. We get some swirly music and Tim says he's gonna have a chat with her that arvo, and it better be a nice chat — or else. Daddy Lucinda jokes that Tim should have a one-night stand with his daughter, and the way I SPAT OUT my water. The apple doesn't fall far from the tree, does it? Tim realises he hasn't embracing Lucinda and needs to let go of the anger, and the entire group is collectively giving Tim a bit of a therapy session, which is lovely to see.
Then the episode anti-climatically finishes and we cop a preview of the next episode, which features Ben playing the guitar to Ellie in a bid to win her back. It's very Ken/Barbie-coded, and I hate every bit.

WTF Moment:

Tori and Jack getting MATCHING TATTOOS. Someone get a laser removal clinic on speed dial, please.

Couple Of The Episode:

Jade and Ridge, because, damn, Ridge really is stepping up.


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