Episode 2 kicks off at Gambles house where she’s invited Jackie and Janet to talk about the dinner that Gina excluded her from. Gamble tells us that it was a kick in the guts to not be invited to Gina’s dinner especially as Gamble’s invited Gina to her family events, including her wedding. She makes it clear to the other girls that she thinks excluding someone is one of the lowest things you can do.
Janet says that she thought the roses that Gamble sent was a lovely gesture but Jackie says she believed it was “a bit fuck you”. Seems Jackie was right as Gamble goes on to tell us that she thinks “Gina is smart enough to know that sending flowers to her dinner is a bit of a Fuck You, and it was a Fuck you, and if anyone deserved the Fuck you at the moment, is her at the moment”. Okay then.
Jackie tells Gamble that Gina was hurt and asked her to dispose of the roses because it felt like a passive aggressive act but Gamble says it was “aggressive aggressive” and felt she’d be present in her absence by sending the flowers.
Janet then tells us that Gamble is her own worst enemy and that she hopes she hasn’t bitten off more than she can chew by sticking a knife in Gina. It is awful that Gamble felt so hurt by being excluded. However, I think now that we’ve heard Gamble say that she knew what she was doing by sending them, it makes it difficult for people to have sympathy. It goes back to the old saying ‘two wrongs don’t make a right’. Instead, invariably the second wrong makes the situation between two people so tenuous that there’s often little hope for reconciliation.
Gamble reiterates that it’s a massive statement to not invite someone.
On a lighter note, we then see Gina having her fortnightly manicure and telling the manicurist to file her nails “not round, square” five times before she takes over the file to show her how she likes it done. Lydia is there also and tells Gina that she thought the flowers that Gamble sent were “a bit Dracula”. Gina agrees saying she was hurt by it. As we learned last episode, Gina’s beloved father passed away and Gina tells Lydia that she is feeling a bit vulnerable and that she feels sending the flowers was insensitive and controlling.
Gina then tells us that there are 2 types of people; givers and takers. She feels that Gamble is a taker that becomes nasty when she’s not given what she wants. She feels Gamble is passive aggressive and controlling and she’s not going to get the validation that she wants from Gina.
At that point we go back to Gambles house where Jackie and Janet are trying to help Gamble make sense of the breakdown of the friendship. Gamble produces some magazines containing Gina’s “Judge Gina” column and she tells us that she became ’filthy with Gina’ when she saw her marriage spread in the column with Gina having a go at Gamble. Gamble starts handing out magazines to Janet and Jackie and explains that she has to go through the articles to try and decode what happened between them. They start reading the headlines including “Gamble is so possessive”, and “Gamble twisted it”. The point that Gamble seems to be making is that these articles vilified her but she was not given the right of reply to defend herself.
Janet changes the subject by telling Gamble that “Venus is the cutest little blonde you ever saw” and similar in size and height to Gamble. Jackie suggests that Gamble would probably get along with her. Gamble asks how old Venus is and tells us that when she heard that Venus is one of Gina’s best friends, she stalked her on Instagram. She was curious why Venus has such a huge following suggesting that you have to be a “Pomeranian or a stripper to get that many following“ and she says she wonders if Venus has deleted some “raunchy stuff”. Janet says to Gamble “so we might have a nice new friend” and oddly, Gamble is shaking her head. I did hit the rewind and pause button a few times here and the expression of disapproval on Gambles face is very clear. I found this really peculiar because at that point she had not even met Venus so any animosity she’s already built up has to be purely because Venus is Gina’s friend. It’s not surprising that you can see that Jackie did not miss that moment either as I paused on her face too. Jackie then tells us that it will be interesting to see if Gamble gets along with Venus or if she’ll be upset that that Venus is friends with Gina. Jackie thinks that it would be ridiculous for Gamble to be upset.
Next, we see Venus and husband James jogging through Yarra Bend Park. Venus tells James that she did enjoy the dinner with the other ladies but felt they had their guard up. She said she couldn’t get a word into the conversation but she was being polite as it was her first night with them. Venus mentions she can see herself developing a friendship with Lydia.
Then we see a meeting with Janet and her son Jake discussing the success of their business ‘Raw Essentials’. They won a Gold Medal at the International tea awards and Janet thinks that it would be a good idea to throw a party to celebrate their success. They then discuss the Roach Foundation which is funded by the money made in their business. They established the Roach Foundation to help Burns patients with their recovery and rehabilitation. Jake devotes his time to accompanying burns patients to treatments and appointments. Janet is clearly very proud of Jake for doing this but she mentions that she can’t do it as she saw so many patients while Jake was going through his own treatments. In fact, we learned last season that Janet was diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder which she developed when Jake had his burns accident. To support Janet, I will say that as a former trauma counsellor in a Burns unit myself (in another one of my lives), I can say that people really don’t comprehend the intensity of the experience of recovering from severe burns unless they are somehow touched by it. It truly is one of the most difficult physical injuries and traumas to recover from. The multiple surgeries and daily treatments alone are enough to test any individuals state of mind. In saying that I also need to mention how incredibly heart-warming it is to see how Jake has been able to turn the whole experience around to do something positive by helping others.
We find Lydia’s husband making sausage rolls in their kitchen when Lydia appears with what seems to be a sample apron for her future cooking students. Andrew is making jokes about it all but eventually tells Lydia he thinks it is a great idea. Lydia is going to start with friends as students as she feels a little nervous about giving the classes. I’m wondering where Joanna, Lydia’s ‘house friend’ is as this is the second episode that we haven’t seen her at Lydia’s home.
We are then introduced to our other new cast mate, Sally Bloomfield who is meeting Janet to discuss stocking Janet’s tea in her Boutique Hotel in Bali. Sally splits her time between Melbourne, Barwon Heads and Bali. She has a ‘can do anything’ and ‘must have laugh’ attitude to life. Her grandfather was Sir John Bloomfield so there is a lot of ‘old money’ in her family but Sally says that she prefers to be known for her style rather than her wealth as she boasts having hundreds of pairs of shoes. Sally loves fashion and used to be the Melbourne Editor for Harpers Bazaar Magazine. She is about to open her new hotel in Bali which a wellness Boutique Hotel. She also has a Homewares shop in Barwon Heads “Bloomfield and Webber”. If you thought that was enough, she’s also developing her own accessories brand. Sally has 2 sons, Nick 15 and Jules 9, and keeping up with family dinners is very important where laughter is plenty. Sadly, her husband of 18 years passed away months ago. She says you have to own your own life and although there are sad experiences you can’t let that define who you are.
Sally tells us she feels instantly comfortable with Janet and finds she is someone she can open to. They discuss things that they have in common as well as the success of Janet’s teas. Janet invites Sally to the party. Janet also tells us that she feels that she clicked with Sally.
Next, we join Gamble and her step son Luke at the Hairdresser. She says that she realised that while she was saying that Gina never changes her look, she realised that she is guilty of the same thing and wants a complete change. Luke suggests that afterwards they can go home and burn her sequins – which Gamble seems to like, and her photos of Gina which Gamble says is not nice. She is asked why she wants the change and Gamble says she has a girlfriend who is copying her look, her hair, her clothes. I did rewind here because on the one hand Gamble has been saying that Gina never changes her look, but on the other hand she’s saying that Gina has copied her. This doesn’t even make sense Gamble – it has to be one or the other?
Gamble tells Luke that she has changed the theme of his 21st from a Midsummer Night’s Dream which has fairies, to an actual fairy theme. Luke is so unimpressed by this but Gamble seems determined to go ahead stating it will be talked about for years. Although we didn’t see her hair at that point she did tell us she can’t wait to unveil her new look to the girls at the party.
We are then at Janet’s partners house where the party will take place the girls begin arriving where they meet Venus’ partner James for the first time. Everyone seems to be in good spirits and then Sally arrives. Jackie introduces her to the others and they talk about Sally opening her Bali Hotel every soon. Jackie who had met Sally already tells us that Sally’s energy is warm, generous and genuine. Gina knows of Sally through mutual friends and tells us that she is aware that Sally is very nice person.
Janet gives a short speech to bring in the celebrations. The girls ask where Gamble is, and Janet tells them that she is on her way and has had a makeover for a complete new look. Gina jokingly says that due to Gambles weight loss, a makeover may mean she’s eaten a sandwich and grown a backside. Janet does mention to Gina that Gamble feels Gina has stolen her look and everyone has a giggle. Gina tells us that she’s been cultivating her look since 1984.
At that moment Gamble and Rick walk in and to everyone’s surprise she really doesn’t look very different. I will say her hair looked gorgeous straight and parted down the centre. You have to shake your head at Lydia who greets Gamble saying how she loves her hair. Then Lydia tells us that Gamble looks exactly the same, her hair is a little shorter and she did not like it. Gina tell us s a centre part isn’t a drastic makeover.
Venus and Gamble meet for the first time with a kiss and hug and Gamble says to us, “Holy Fucken hell, what are you doing with those contact lenses…are you channelling the dead…are you Chucky the killer fucken doll” etc etc … a little over the top. Then Gamble presents Janet with her gift in a wax sealed envelope. Janet and Jackie look puzzled at the contents so Gamble explains she made Janet a “Lady” and her partner Sam a ‘Lord’. Gamble goes on to tell us she bought these just to show that is very easy to buy Titles online and admits it may be a shit stir to Lady Venus. Now before we go further, why Gamble? Why would you do this is the. Gina tells us that Gamble is trying to have a dig at Venus because she is friends with Gina and wants to undermine their Titles.
Venus then tells us that her husband is the only one in the room with a Title and that those Titles should be respected and not mocked. Venus starts examining the Title and tells Gamble that she has bought a Novelty Titles that can be found in costume shops. Gamble then swiftly asks Venus if they have a seat in the House of Lords to which Venus replies by saying that you can get Lordship two ways. One way is a Seat of Lords, and the other way is inherited. Poor Jackie who is so down to earth is standing in the middle of all this, and baffled at Venus reaction.
Venus is laughing ‘outwardly’ but is very determined to let everyone hear that Gamble is trying to mock a gift that was given to her husband. She tells Gamble that she needs to educate her about real Lordships but Gamble tells Venus that she doesn’t think that she can educate her. Gamble then tells us that Venus looks like her Siamese cat and gives us her best impersonation.
It’s really not cool to make jokes about anybody’s personal appearance whether it be their face, their weight or their hair but one doesn’t expect to say that about a group of grown women.
Lydia asks Venus to explain why she’s so offended and Venus tells the girls that her husband was gifted the Title of Lord by his Grandfather. Venus is upset because Gamble is trying to mock them. Sally tells us she is surprised by Venus’ reaction but I wonder if thats because she isn’t aware of the feud that’s building between Gina and Gamble, and that its possible that Gamble is in fact mocking Venus. Venus is almost frantically trying to defend her position while Gamble looks as though she might burst into laughter. Gamble decides to take Venus aside to reassure her by saying it was a joke but Venus is insisting at that point that she wants to speak to James. Gamble tells us she wanted to calm Venus down just as James, whom she has named ‘Lord Batshit’ arrives.
James had heard bits of the discussion and Venus says “this is very dangerous ground”. She tells us that James was offended by Gambles prank and that neither of them will take it lightly. At that point Rick has joined them outside. They begin arguing about the incident as Gamble tells them she wasn’t mocking them, but then she tells us that she was mocking them. She goes on to call them idiots and easy to mock. It is surprising to me that Gamble did it to mock them. I recall Gamble having problems as a new cast member a couple of Seasons ago so I would have thought she might have given Venus a bit more of a chance.
Venus tells us that she thinks that Gamble can be quite malicious which she feels she showed by her gift to Janet.
Still at the party, Janet questions Lydia about the lunch Janet, Gina and Lydia had together. She asked Lydia what she meant when she said she had an issue with Jackie. Lydia explained that she missed Jackie and felt that she should be at the lunch with them. Janet agreed and called Jackie from the lunch, who apparently spoke briefly and hung up on Janet. Lydia tells us that she thinks that Jackie was annoyed that Janet was having lunch with her. Lydia then went on to say that Janet admitted Jackie had a problem with Lydia after she’d had a few glasses of wine. Jackie told Lydia that she didn’t think Janet would say that to her. Janet then asked Lydia why she would tell Jackie this other than to cause a problem between Janet and Jackie.
Jackie tells us that she’s not sure what Lydia’s thoughts are but she is questioning if Lydia is trying to drive a wedge between Janet and Jackie. She also tells us she knows Janet does not lie and would not discuss her with Lydia.
Lydia then tells us that if she really told Jackie what Janet said about her at the lunch, that Jackie would be mortified. Lydia said that she wants to have a chat with Jackie to sort out their “issue” but Jackie says she moved on from it because they hugged at the last reunion, and that she is not going to go back to any negativity. Lydia then said that there are a couple of things that they do need to discuss privately. At that point poor Sally looks dazed by all the conflict at this party, but like a champion brings that conversation to a close with a toast to a New year.
So, we are left wondering what Janet ‘allegedly’ said about Jackie at this lunch, and if she actually said anything at all. Is Lydia planning to tell Jackie what Janet ‘may have’ said about her in the private chat that she wants to have with Jackie. I hope not. I think Lydia does miss Jackie but I hope she has the wisdom not to stir pots outside of her kitchen! Watch this space.
Gina and Gamble then have a seated conversation where they begin to argue about Gina’s dinner. Gamble explains how hurt she was to be excluded at the dinner and Gina tells her that she would have liked her to have made more of an appearance when her father passed away. Gamble tells her that she couldn’t turn up at a funeral when they had not spoken for some time. Gina replies by asking why she feels she should be included as a friend at the dinner if she felt it was inappropriate to go to the funeral.
Gina then tells Gamble that she was planning to meet with her one on one because she is worried about her because she’s as “skinny as a fucking bone”. Gamble replies back that she is fine and has been that weight for most of her life and was “fat for two years”. If that was fat Gamble I’m Marilyn Monroe! I had to turn on the subtitles to get some of this argument, but Gamble says that she has a “health Doctor” as well and will live 20 years longer than most people. She also tells Gina that she’s worried if Gina is a couple of kilos overweight, as that is when you’re at risk for health conditions like diabetes. Gina jokingly said she worries too, but she usually “eat her way through it”.
The two of them were basically both determined to each have their say and were talking over each other. Gina said Gamble is twisting what she says when Gamble explodes with “bullshit! Being skinny is not unhealthy…you live longer when you’re skinny”. Gamble tells us that she is a healthy weight and that people would go mental if the roles were reversed. I think what she meant by that was if people told someone that they had gained a few kilos it might be seen as fat shaming/body shaming. Gamble is probably right about that as there is a greater expectation today for choosing your words with caution when talking about someone’s weight. As I mentioned above regarding Venus, one needs to be careful about how they address peoples ‘physical’ characteristics.
Gina tells us at Gamble is assuming that Gina is coming from an awful place. Gina goes on to tell Gamble “I’m saying I feel worried about your weight loss. I feel worried that you sent me a note that felt like you had a sense of entitlement that was not warranted”. Gamble tells her she is not buying it and that she’s been disappointed and upset that there has been a campaign and propaganda written about her which Gina denies. Gina then tells Gamble that she thinks she suffers paranoia because saying those things is a paranoid explanation. Gamble declares “that is a lie… that is a lie”. Gamble tells us at what Gina wrote about her is in black and white print in her column.
They then discuss Gina’s column and from the little I could make sense of, it sounded like the columns under Gina’s name were actually interviews and that she didn’t write them herself. Gina tells us that Gamble shouldn’t take them to heart as they’re magazines, not a Eulogy.
Gina tells Gamble she came into her life with great expectations and demands and wants “to take and take and take” and Gamble replies with “I give and give and give, you leave out the giving part!” …Gina replied that Gamble has never given her anything and she has never asked her for anything. Gina raised the night Gamble broke down in tears last season saying it was because Gina wasn’t paying enough attention to her. Gina claims she hasn’t had a friendship like that since she was in school, and probably ditched that by the end of the semester. Gina said there is nasty side that is very expectant and she doesn’t like that. She then says “it’s like when you break up with a guy you’ve had a relationship with” and Gamble interrupts with “you’re not calling me a stalker are you?”. Gamble looks horrified and tells us she not stalking Gina. Gina tells her that it is ‘stalker like behaviour’ when someone has a sense of entitlement. They finish up with Gina saying that Gamble makes up the rules as she goes along and that they are not going to get anywhere by talking about it. Gamble is heard muttering under her breath as she walks away “stalker… fucken stalker? I’m not a stalker”.
What are your thoughts about this episode? Please leave your thoughts and comments below. Have a wonderful week.