The big revelation of last night's show came, as ever, from Mark Wright. Brace yourselves: it' a big'un.
Mark has a walk-in wardrobe.
He also has around 100 pairs of neatly arranged trainers.
Oh, and he also claims to have slept with Juicy Lucy as recently as three weeks ago, when her beau, Mario, was in Ibiza (not Marbella? Further proof, were it needed, that Mario is not a legitimate Essex man).
Anyway. Prior to all of this drama, the cast appeared to be largely at peace: the quiet before the storm, you might say. That said, the opening scenes at the Norcross house were as confusing for Joey Essex as they were for us.
'Why's he holding a horse rope?' asked he-of-the-quiff in sheer bafflement as Mick amiably walked past the kitchen window, holding, indeed, a rope in one hand and the reins of a horse in the other. It must be added at this stage that whilst Mick and his horse/rope were walking past, Kirk and a hotpant-ed Joey were battering a piece of steak with a small wooden mallet (cue tenuous 'beat your meat' jokes from Kirk which were, largely, lost on Joey, and are probably still navigating their way around the quiff).
This hilarity was followed by a bit of the awkward father-son 'banter' that seems to haunt all of Mick and Kirk's conversations: Mick almost purposefully going out of his way to make Kirk feel vaguely miserable, whilst Norcross Jr. battles, desperately, for his father's approval. Their relationship is actually beginning to remind me of that between The Inbetweeners' Jay and his boarish father, Terry.
Meanwhile, Gemma 'London, New York, Paris' Collins and Arg are continuing their exercise regime with the aid of the twins. With each sit-up, the twin holding her feet on the floor put himself at risk of genuine suffocation: one heave of the sport-bra'd bosom in the wrong direction, and he would have been toast (well, more like flatbread).
'I'm more fascinated by the twin stuff,' piped up Arg, suddenly. Sorry, Arg, I'm confused. More fascinated by 'the twin stuff' then what? Sit-ups? Exercise? Gemma cut to the chase: 'have you looked at each other's dicks?' she deadpanned. Thanks for asking, G. We've all been wondering.
'We seriously need to cut down partying,' Billie Faiers confided to sister Sam, sitting, as they always do, in their empty shop.
The solution to going out, they decided, was staying in. And as these people are incapable of ever having 'alone time', or reading a book, the night in simply must invovle as many other members of the cast as possible. 'Let's have a sleepover with the girls,' chirruped Sam. 'And Harry!'
This was followed by a montage of 'the girls' (and Harry) piling into the Faiers' abode, wearing their finest slaggy pyjamas (no flannel or tartan in sight) and helping themselves to breast-shaped cakes and sweets (he he!).
The atmosphere quickly became tense owing to Gemma's simmering resentment about Maria's 'relationship with Mick', a situation not helped by Sam declaring she wanted to hear about everyone's love-life (clearly her subscription to Heat has been cancelled).
'Did it happen naturally?' asked Gemma, in an entirely casual (and utterly terrifying) manner as she and Maria stood alone in their kitchen.
'Well, no,' replied a clearly baffled Maria. 'You put us together at the party!'
This was followed by an exchange where Maria admitted that she did not fall in love with men instantly, a claim which Gemma countered with a steely 'well, I do'. That I suspect, Gemma, is why you are single (or it could be the fact you use the word 'undercarriage').
This was followed by more sleepover 'girly' gossip: namely, does one defecate in front of one's boyfriend? Lauren Goodger confessed she has done everything in front of Mark, whilst the gang told Maria that she ever, ahem, did 'anything' in front of Mick, he would most likely dump her. At this, Gemma's eyes lit up as she developed her game-plan: if she never did anything toilet-y in front of Mick, MAYBE THEN HE WOULD LOVE HER.
Anyway, back to the original drama. Following Lucy and Mario going on a double-date with Arg and Lydia (Arg literally asked Mark for permission to go, before ignoring his adamant NO!'s and going anyway), Arg decided to leave early and meet Mark 'in the club'. Lydia, infuriated, described Arg as 'Mark's bitch', adding conspiratory mutterings about the control Mark appears to hold over people. Lucy nodded sagely, describing herself, Lydia and Mario as the three 'who he can't control' (perhaps they should get their own reality show, or become the subjects of a Jilly Cooper*-style novel: The Three He Could Not Tame, or similar).
Prior to this, Mario had asked Lucy to move in with him. Lucy looked as pleased as - well, nothing, really. Her face quite literally fell, and she managed to squeak out a weak 'really?' before struggling to look happy.
Which club Arg met Mark in was not specified, but it was that club in Essex where the girls sitting behind you are Page 3 girls and 'fireworks' (they're sparklers, Mark) are served with champagne. 'We're not at fireworks night,' noted Mark to a particularly enthusiastic Arg, who was waving the sparklers as if brandishing his hankie at a departing ship.
Lo and behold, an outraged Lydia promptly arrived 'at the club', with Mario and Lucy in tow, and found Mark, Arg and the Page 3 girls. Sparks flew - and we're no longer talking shoddy fireworks. As Lydia laid into Arg, Mark told Mario he had slept with Lucy three weeks beforehand. Once again, Lucy's face fell, and it rather looks as if, despite her role as one-third of the not-controlled-by-Mark trio, she has succumbed to his, um, charms.
Smoothie Mario - FYI, Mario: I love you (Not in a stalker Gemma way) - swept the girls away from the situation, barking out a brusque 'come on, girls, let's leave dumb and dumber to it'. He then told Lucy he thought they should have a 'break'. Friends really does have a lot to answer for...
*Please accept my sincerest apologies, Jilly.
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